(月宮 あゆ, Tsukimiya Ayu
?, born January 7) is a fictional character and the main heroine in Key's adult visual novel Kanon
, followed closely by Nayuki Minase who is the only Kanon
heroine to appear with Ayu on three of the official game covers released by Key. Ayu was created by Naoki Hisaya who wrote her scenario for the visual novel, and designed by Itaru Hinoue. Hisaya commented on how he thought Ayu was the one character in Kanon
that he felt he grasped the best, but noted it was very difficult to write her character due to Ayu being primarily energetic. After Hinoue drew wings on Ayu's backpack, Hisaya suggested that they remove them due to spoiler reasons, and while Hinoue went along with it at the time, the wings were later included once again.
Yuichi Aizawa, the protagonist of Kanon
, meets a lively seventeen-year-old Ayu on the day after he moves to the city depicted in the game. As the story progresses, Yuichi discovers that she is trying to find something she lost, but she cannot remember what it is; Yuichi tries to help her in her search, but with no initial success. One of her most defining characteristics is the repeated utterance of her catch phrase "ugū" (うぐぅ, "ugū"
?) which she mutters as an expression of various negative emotions such as frustration, anger, and fear. Her favorite food is taiyaki
, and is seen eating the confection many times throughout Kanon
The main focus of both Kanon
anime is Ayu, who has also appeared in all of Kanon
's adaptations, and has been incorporated into numerous dōjin games. Ayu makes a cameo appearance in the second episode of the Air
anime series along with Nayuki, and Makoto Sawatari from Kanon
. Her voice actresses are Yui Horie in the Japanese versions of the visual novel and anime, and Brittney Karbowski in the English version of Kyoto Animation's Kanon
anime; Karbowski also voiced Ayu during her cameo in Air
. A leitmotif named "Hidamari no Machi" (日溜りの街, "Hidamari no Machi"
? lit. "A Sunny City") is associated with Ayu which is played in Kanon
numerous times during scenes which involve her, and is also used in a similar fashion throughout Kyoto Animation's Kanon
anime. In a review by Anime News Network, Ayu is described as a character that "persists on a degree of earnest cuteness that will endear her to some viewers."