Clannad series - Overall Series Impressions & Total Series Rating
This thread is to be used for discussing the entirety of CLANNAD series (both first season and After Story)... your thoughts about the show, overall impressions, speculation on the possible DVD only bonus episodes, etc., etc…
A few subjects you might want to ramble on about:
The poll represents your total series rating. In other words, how you would rate all the episodes combined (1-10)? If you'd rather rate the whole series by technical/artistic merits, you can do so. An example:
Animation Quality: 1-10
Voice Actors: 1-10
Adaptation from Game: 1-10
Average = Total Series Rating
Or a combination of the two. Or your general gut feeling.
Please note that CLANNAD ~AFTER STORY~ will not have its own thread. Instead, the franchise will be used as a whole. Therefore, please keep in mind that you are rating the first season and the second season of the whole story of CLANNAD, hence many points and situations from After Story should be reconsidered with the given backstory of the first season and vice versa.
So then, after almost 2 years of anticipating, watching, anticipating, watching, playing, speculating, hoping, and following Clannad, it finally comes to an end. And there is just one word to describe it that has often been used to describe it. Epic.
On the outside, the story seemed like just a guy meets a girl, they fall in love, she has a problem, he solves it. But once you start getting into the story, you realize how deep and complicated the story actually is. Out of all the Key games, this really is the first one where not only the female characters have problems, but the male leads also have problems surrounding their lives. Tomoya is a delinquent. His father is a drunkard. He has no future, and so on. In helping the girls resolve their issues, he's not just resolving their issues, but solving his own.
The storyline carried through, and created an arching epic feel throughout that made it somewhat of a classic. It's the type of a show I will show my children ten years from now and watch with them, telling them about all the good things about family it shows.
First, we have the Fuuko arc. A fairly comical arc, but one that is needed to get you into the series. The second arc, the Kotomi arc, is really what I felt made season one so great. Her story of survival and determination, couple with Tomoya's undying commitment just emphasized the entire point of Clannad.
After Kotomi, there was a set of intermingled arcs, which is fine, and then Nagisa to close out the season. Being able to show Akio going insane over his daughter's performance and the fight they were able to do, they could create a great masterpiece.
The start of the second season was genius, doing the baseball route to re-acquaint us. But after that, they sort of slipped up. The 3 side routes were in and of themselves interesting, but to have them occur one after another, it made the first half of the After Story feel almost slice of life-ish. If anything, they should've had those intermingled in S1 and started with Nagisa's route in S2, or just gone a 48 week continual story instead of taking us out of After Story until episode 9 of S2.
However, I do give Kyoani a 10/10 for what they did to the Yukine route. To change her route from being this dull and boring route to a combat thriller with a purpose, it was just amazing. One of the few times deviating from the original material is a good thing.
Kyoani then was able to go into the after story fluidly, and managed to get the boring 6800/0 out of the way very quickly, which made me happy. And then came episode 13. This was an adaptation miracle. Episode 13, combining both the marriage and the graduation, moved me to tears twice. Granted, I really wish that Akio would've said "Idiot" to Tomoya when he asked, but can't get everything.
Afterwards, they carried the rest of the story out nicely with the pregnancy, death, and then the beautiful Ushio arc. And then they carried out the resurrection perfectly, chopping out all the mistakes Key made in it. Though, they did have quite a grotesque death for the robot...
Now then, technical aspect. The artwork was absolutely phenomenal. The colors of the leaves on Nagisa's hair, the Sakura petals, her face on her death bed, the flower field... Nothing was left to be desires, except for DVDs since the station was so crappy.
Now then, the music. I like music very much. To me, it is the best part of the anime. And I really did not like a lot of Clannad's music. It involved a lot of synthesizer songs instead of orchestrated songs, it involved a lot of weird instruments, and it involved a lot of awkward chords. Now, some of the tunes were catchy, but i think it would've been a lot better to have had fully orchestrated pieces playing in the background. Allows you to appreciate it more.
But, the biggest flaw was Kyoani's lack of proper utilization of the music they had. They made country train seem like regular BGM instead of putting it right at the moment where Tomoya starts to act like a father (End of episode 17), and they completely misplaced the ED twice after Nagisa's death and Ushio's death. It wasn't that it was bad, it was that they could've done so much more with it than they did.
Chiisana Tenohira~ <3
For other factors, I think the voice actors/actresses did a phenomenal job, and I think 95% of the really important lines in my book were preserved. Adaptation was phenomenal as well, even though they skipped 2 routes.
And well, Clannad has been my life the past year and a half. It is the reason why I'm still alive today, and will be alive in the future. It is the anpan that kept me moving forward, and the drama club that'll always keep me company when I'm feeling lonely. It's the starfish to hold on to in times of sadness, and the violin to play in times of happiness (At the expense of others, of course).
Voice acting: 9.8/10
Adaptation: 10/10 (For perfect adaptation of what needed to be and fixing what needed to be adapted but the source was awful)
Intangibles: +2 (Keeping me going in life, being something to hold on to)
Overall: 9.8/10 (Rounded to 10 for the poll)
Excellent story, excellent experience, excellent anime. Summed up in one word: Dango.
The first thing I would like to comment about Clannad are the themes involved, basically they are the 5 Fs
basically these are 5 of the important things in life that people often forget in pursuit of their "happiness". I don't think I have to elaborate on them.
The second thing I would like to talk about is the character buildups.
Firstly I would like to talk about Nagisa, being a high schooler who got retained, she is clearly lonely as all her friends have already left, plus she is so shy that she would make mistakes often. Tomoya was the one that supplemented her weak points and protected her flanks (done in a pretty accidental way), so it is eventual they would end up together. To put it simply, they are fated to be together.
The dirty pair
Tomoya and Sunohara are perfect opposites of each other, with Tomoya being the smarter one, making them somewhat like a manzai pair. But despite being stupid and all, Sunohara has his own moral ground of protecting the ones close to him, like his sister, and Nagisa's attempt and remaking the drama club. Their existence in the story proves what Anne Frank wrote at the end of her diary true, "All people are good."
Kyou And Ryou
The Fujibayashi twins (my favourite characters) are something like initiators of comic relief, plus they are somewhat cute in their own personalities. Ryou is sweet and shy, and always require Kyou to come to her aid (often resulting in physical confrontations). But she has her own aggressive side, as shown in one of the later episodes when she mustered up enough courage to ask Tomoya to eat her bento. With Nagisa and Kotomi, they make up the three dense ones in the drama club. Kyou is a typical tsundere, but she has her softer side as evidenced when she is locked up in the gym storage, and in the Clannad Afterstory Episode 23. But how she constantly pick fights with "that Sakagami girl" never fails to crack me up, like what Ascaloth once quoted a Chinese idiom at Riuva.....
There cannot be two tigers (tigresses) in the same mountain.
I have to to swear that her name is an irony. If you separate her surname, Ichi-no (一ノ) means "the position of" and se(瀬) means "current". Most likely her name would mean "The position of the current influenced by the beautiful instrument". Yeah right, she might cause a major tsunami by just playing the violin. However, she is a sweet character, though extremely complex to being branded as dense. She has a pretty much smaller role to play in Afterstory, although her split second calculation and analysis of hitting the baseball back in Ep 1 is epic.
Anyway, she is cute. If I can't have a girlfriend like Kyou or Ryou, I would certainly want her.
I simply love how Kyou refers to her as "that Sakagami girl", and how she is always a competition for Kyou (although the fight is always seemingly initiated by Kyou). She is a very popular character to the extent that a miniature fighting game "Tomoyo Fighter ~It is an exciting life~" is made by fans for her (Kyou steals the limelight by being the other ridiculously powerful character ingame). I am not a fan of her, so I don't have much to comment other than her superb figure.
Yukine, Misae, Sanae
Not much to comment though, since their own arcs are pretty okay IMO. But Sanae is hilarious when she dresses up as Isogai Sanako, and considering how dangerous the bread are when baked by her (the one she serves Mei seems to have GLASS inside). Yukine's charms are creepy though. Misae is pretty tsundere at her age, and the Shima arc is just peppered full of whimsical jokes.
Lastly I would like to comment about the music. The music is downright beautiful, and I am surprised that nobody has yet to put together a band to play the pieces in a concert. The pieces I really like are
1. Kochi (the common piece played on the wooden flute)
2. It Is Like The Wind (Kyou's Theme)
3. Etude Pour Les Petites (Kotomi's Theme)
4. Hurry, Starfish! (This is obvious.)
5. Two Shadows
6. Small Palms
Well IMO this anime has probably the best set of music I have ever heard since Macross Frontier. I love them.
Shall I take you?
To the place in this city where wishes come true?
This is the world that has ended.
A world where no one but I exist.
In the room are a small wooden table and a chair.
Outside the window is a vast plain with nothing.
The building is old and there is no clue of when it was built.
I live here alone. I sometimes go out to pick necessities.
There is no one outside either.
Within the faint illumination are many small lights flying.
I picked up branches, nails and many other things.
It is to make a friend.
But will the one being born be happy?
With some doubt in mind......
This world indeed had ended.
No more lives will be born.
She's the only being with life.
Either in the distant past or the distant future, I was in a different place.
It is a very lively place.
But I can no longer return there,
I have this body that she made for me.
I have been trying to chart the entire story, with some changes in the grammar and sentence construction, I am sure it would make an excellent ballad. The two monologues are pretty emotional anyway.
Music : 10/10
Storyline : 9/10
Characters : 7/10 (could have elaborated more in After Story, especially Sunohara and the Fuji twins)
V.A : 7/10
Art : 8/10 (the part which scored points for the series is the fantasy world)
Adaptation : x/10 (I never played the game)
Overall : 8.2/10
The score isn't high, but the memorable effect it generates is huge. I have never watched such a show before that is enough to even impact on my outlook of life.
I think it pretty much sums up to the single word Kristen has : Dango.
Warning: This will probably be the longest post I have written in my entire life.
When I first heard of Clannad, I didn't really pay a whole lot of attention to what it was, nor did I really care. It was pretty much just "some series done by KyoAni", which did sound kinda interesting, seeing how I had enjoyed both Haruhi and Lucky Star. Later on, a friend of mine mentioned that she was watching the series, although she actually thought it was really freaking boring, and she only kept watching because... I dunno. Anyway, I also heard a lot of other people saying how good it was, and around that time, I also started getting into visual novel-adaptions, so I eventually decided to check it out anyway, at pretty much the exact same time as the first season ended. My first impressions were pretty good. Not the "this will end up becoming my all-time favourite series in a year from now"-type, but I still enjoyed what I saw, and found it to be both funny and really emotional. I ended up going through the entire first season in about 3 days.
When it comes to said first season, I'd say it was at its best in the Fuko-arc, which, despite being the least realistic part of the story, still somehow seemed a lot more "believable" than the rest. Plus, the last episode of her arc was nothing short of a masterpiece.
After that, there's Kotomi's arc, which was, quite frankly, not as good. Mostly because they seemed to be going for a more realistic approach, but the entire story just seemed kinda poorly written. For starters, if that old man wanted to talk to her, couldn't he have tried to approach her in a way that didn't make him seem like a creepy stalker? And then there's the whole thing with the suitcase... Did they honestly expect me to just accept the fact that that thing was handed around the entire world and somehow made it back to Kotomi? Besides, if her parents had the time to write that message, why not write a clearer message, like "please send this to Kotomi Ichinose" or something like that? I dunno. But despite that, it wasn't a BAD arc, but it was probably my least favourite part of the first series.
Then you get the next arc, which is kinda hard to define as a single character's story, seeing how Tomoyo, Kyou and Nagisa were kinda all in the focus at the same time. But seeing how Tomoyo and Kyou's arcs in the game were, it makes sense that they'd do it like that. This part was more light-hearted than the rest in my opinion, but it was still good, and while the ending was somewhat cheezy, it still worked. There's not really a whole lot more to say, though, as honestly, I can't quite remember all the details of how everything happened in the anime at this point...
Anyway, by this point, I was completely hooked, and while awaiting the start of After Story, I also checked out Kanon (which I liked even more than Clannad) and Air (which was also great, though not quite as great as Clannad and Kanon.) I also ended up being spoiled on more or less everything that would happen in After Story, which I really wish I could have avoided, but somehow, this ALWAYS seems to happen in just about everything I watch...
So by the time After Story actually started, I was already completely aware that Tomoya and Nagisa would get married, have a kid, that Nagisa would die, that Tomoya would end up becoming just like his father and so on and so on. On the other hand, I didn't know how the story would end at that point, seeing how I wasn't entirely sure how the "Insane freaking tragedy"-ending actually, y'know... ended, and of course, they couldn't use the "True end" as that would completely contradict the other one... Then around came After Story episode 8, at which point I pretty much figured out what they would do, and I'll just put it straight: I initially hated the idea of doing a "magical resurrection", as I thought it would ruin the entire story.
As for how After Story started... at first, I wasn't very impressed, really. I mean, it was enjoyable and all, but the side-character arcs just weren't as good as the stories told in the first season. At that point, I didn't think After Story would be as good as Kanon, the first season, or even Air, although I did consider the possibility that it would get better once they got back to the main storyline...
...And boy, did it ever! Starting from episode 9, the series just got better and better for almost every passing episode, and I think I gave like, half the episodes a 10/10-rating here. (Let's see... Episode 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 22... so 9 episodes.) Somehow, each of those "10/10"-episodes also managed to be even better than the last, at least until episode 18, which I considered the best episode in the series.
Also, Nagisa's death was probably the saddest scene I'd ever seen in any series, despite the fact that I more or less knew that she'd be alive again at the end of the series. But like I said, it was episode 18 that was the highlight for me, so the one scene that managed to be even more emotional than Nagisa's death was when Tomoya finally stopped dwelling on that, and decided to start treating Ushio like his own daughter after having neglected her completely for the last five years. God, that scene was beautiful. It was also at that point that I realised that, despite its rather slow start, this was quite simply the best series I'd ever seen... Although by episode 21, I was starting to reconsider that. Basically, if the ending played out the way I had imagined it, (Nagisa is revived and they live happily ever after) the series MIGHT stay on top depending on how they do it. If the story ends tragically... No way. I'd probably hate it for it.
Then around came episode 22, which was just everything I could have hoped for it to be. They did the happy ending, and at least in my opinion, they managed to make it believable. I saw a lot of people complaining about how it didn't make sense, but seeing how it all fit with my theory of what would happen quite perfectly, I understood it just fine. And the musical montage at the end, with Chiisana Tenohira playing in the background, was just perfect.
So, with that out of the way, there's also the music... Mag Mell was honestly just an average song at best, but it fit the series, so no complaints there. Dango Daikazoku was... weird. When I first heard it, I actually didn't like it at all, and all throughout the first season and until the start of After Story, I still didn't particularly care for it... Then along came After Story with it's super-happy ending-theme that just kept ruining the moment at the end of practically every single episode, at which point I suddenly realised that Dango Daikazoku was about a million times better than that, and what's more, it was actually an excellent song. So basically, I only started liking Dango Daikazoku because of another song...:heh:
Then there's the After Story opening, Toki wo Kizamu Uta, and I just can't express just how amazing I thought that song was. It fit the mood of the series perfectly, had a really catchy tune, great vocals, and the visuals were just gorgeous. It might just be my favourite opening ever.
The background music in the series was also quite outstanding, especially "Shining in the Sky", which was prominently featured at the end of Fuko's arc, "Distant Years", which was played at Nagisa's graduation-scene, and "The Place Where Wishes Come True II", which played at the end of After Story episode 18. While most of the music in the series was very good, those were the tracks that I felt stood out the most. The insert-songs were also generally good, except that the horribly broken english in "Ana" never stopped bothering me, and I was actually relieved to see that the song wasn't subtitled on the DVD, and "Kaze no Shoujo" wasn't anything too impressive. (Heh, the two insert-songs I liked the least both played in the same episode, and that episode was one of my favourite episodes in the entire series:heh:...) The other songs ranged from decent to excellent, and Chiisana Tenohira was just outstanding. All in all, Clannad had one of the most beautiful soundtracks I've heard. Jun Maeda, Magome Togoshi... Great job. (Shinji Orito was left out of this because his contributions weren't anywhere near as good.)
Character-wise... Fuko was the epitome of ultimate awesomeness, Nagisa was one of the most lovable characters ever, Tomoya was amazingly well-developed, and... the others... were also pretty good characters... Not much more to say about that, really. STARFISH RULES!!!
Animation... KyoAni. Enough said.
Adaption from the game, I can't say too much about that, as I haven't finished it yet, but with the exception of Yukine's arc, they've been more or less completely faithful to the source, with the only significant changes being made to make everything fit into one single timeline, and I'd say most of the changes were for the better. I don't quite get why they decided to leave out Kappei, though... Meh, I guess they just cut his arc out for time or something, and come to think of it, it's probably just as well, as my biggest complaint with the After Story was that the secondary character-arcs lasted too long.
So, at the end of this insanely long post, what is my conclusion? In short, Clannad is now my all-time favourite show. It's got some of the best humor I've seen, great characters, fantastic music, and no other series ever made me want to cry as much as this one. Key and KyoAni truly did create a masterpiece here, and I can't wait for their next series.
Total rating: 10/10
Animation Quality: 9
The show's strongest point. KyoAni yayayaya....
Voice Actors: 7.5
Only a few of the VAs really stoof out for me but no one was outright bad even if a few of the side characters could be annoying once in a while. Then again that's probably more a script issue anyway.
I've spoken extensively about disliking the entire ending but I did bump it up a few points because there were some nice moments here and there, especially Tomoya's experiences immediately after graduation where he's discovering himself and trying to grow up. A few of the moments during the drama dreamland period were nice too albeit completely ruined by the overall story arc they were sandwiched into.
Adaptation from Game: Variable
I didn't play the game so I don't have much perspective on this one. They probably did the best they could given the subject matter but a lot of times they tried to fit in aspects of the story from the game that just doesn't work in normal linear storytelling. And the way they deal with characters once their arc is over is sometimes awkward too. I mean, did Ichinose have anything but throwaway lines that people barely even acknowledge after her arc was over last season? It was kinda weird, especially this season.
Probably the show's weakest point besides the reset. Nearly half the entire season was nonsensical and unnecessary side story arcs that didn't add anything. Misae's boyfriend being a cat, Tomoya beating up gang members... I dunno what they were thinking. The entire school portion just kept dragging and after we get through those we start rapidly leaping through months and years in the blink of an eye.
Overall score: 6/10 Average
It's not a bad show but it's flaws were large enough for me to take issue with. It's obvious the director loved the source material but I don't feel like they did a very good job of adapting it. To be fair it's probably a tall order but it doesn't feel like he was up to it.
Well I decided to finish lurking and contribute my own opinion about the series now that it's ended. (It's just my subjective opinion, no flaming intended whatsoever)
The first time I've heard of Clannad (the visual novel), I just ignored it as I usually dislike High School oriented stories. However later on when I've seen that quite a lot of people voted it as favorite Visual Novel and it's playthrough is about 50+ hours, I decided to check it out, and I didn't regretted it. I felt hooked immediately, I finished some school arcs in one sitting, and I really grew to like almost all the characters (that's what makes these series interesting IMHO). After that I've thought I'm not gonna like the After story arcs that much as Nagisa wasn't really close to the position of favorite character in my rating (it's not that I didn't liked her, it's just the other "heroines" in the VN school arcs proved more interesting back then). And that's when I decided to watch the series, which proved to be my favorite series later.
The VN managed to bring me close to crying (or laughing out loud in some funny scenes) sometimes, but I was actually shamefully sobbing in quite a few scenes during the series -and laughing even more on the same funny scenes animated-.
My opinion on some character improved greatly -Fuuko for example as I've thought she was just a waste of space in the VN, but in the Anime it was so entertaining to watch her determination and stubbornness with her voice combined as she deals with Tomoya or when he messes with her-.
After I've watched season 1, I went back to play through the After story which proved to be interesting enough, but I didn't liked it first as much as the school arcs. However after Ushio borns and the VN goes heavily involved with emotion, it's impossible not to adore the whole of Clannad.
After I've run through the whole game I've started to watch the After story series, which was out as far about episode 14 back then.
The only thing I didn't liked in the adaptation of the Game is, that the series ignored some arcs (due to the limited amount of time possibly), but gave far too much episodes on some arcs which wasn't that great in my opinion (Yukine, Fuuko or Mei). Not animating Akio's route for example doesn't make much sense to me (as I really liked him and I was terrified about the events in his arc).
What I didn't understand either is why they entirely skipped the whole of Kappei route (hell they didn't even put him in the series at all) as I think he was a great pair with Ryou and Kappei's arc was quite good itself. They could have introduced him first season and hook Ryou up with him in the second season, after Tomoya decides to pursue Nagisa and reject everyone else's affection.
As I usually play VNs without BGM and playing mp3 or listening to the TV in the background, so I have no experience with the game's music, but I really liked the music in the Anime. I think it blends real well with the story, and some epic scenes indeed had remarkable music (the Tomoyo OVA snow scene for example).
It's simply gorgeous. I don't remember any moment when there was any flaw in the Art or the Animation. They did a really good job here.
It's great, as I mentioned my opinion of some characters improved greatly, in big part due to the quality of voice acting (Fuuko, Nagisa)
Not much need to be said here
Well I may be alone, but I think they can improve here. As Kristen mentioned already they did a good job improving the boring Yukine route, but in my opinion they could have edited the remaining lesser arcs a bit too and include the mentioned skipped routes aswell.
And not just the routes, it could have been awesome if they'd adapted such small easter eggs like the zombie mansion, the Laser tag prior to knowing Akio (including his final speech before the final duel), or some jokes involving JET Saito (especially how big pain in the b*tt it is to finally see that). Of course they squeezed some like that in (the gayish Sunohara-Tomoya "bad end"), but I would have preferred some of that more and watch less of Fuuko/dream world/etc.
Clannad series is a class on its own, It's uncomparable to the other Highschool life or Slice of Life animes. It was always entertaining, and it's really such a series, which I would show my kids too to watch it years later.
I just only hope they gonna animate the Tomoyo after game soon too for various reasons (hell I'm gonna miss Clannad till then).
Disclaimer: Yes, this post is huge.
I'll have to admit it now: the initial reason I watched Clannad was because I was a KyotoAni Fanman. It was a year after I saw Air, which up until that time was one only of only 2 shows to reduce me into a dehydrated pile of manflesh. I came off of Kanon 2006 and the Planetarian kinetic novel when I first saw the trailer for this. Searching around the net I found out that at the point of creation, Clannad was the longest piece of work made by Key, and that it did not contain any hentai scenes and the like. I was also told it was about love and family.
At first I didn't feel too interested. Air, Kanon and Planetarian had interesting premises that attracted me to them initially while Clannad did not. Information about the story actually felt so mundane and run of the mill. When the subs came out I didn't even download it as I did Kanon 2006, and watched on crunchyroll.
"Do you like this town? I do..."
I saw a young man. Dejected, empty, emotionless and simply drifting through the waves of life. In him, in the cynical manner he described his town, I saw a glimmer of goodness that could not manifest itself underneath his sadness. It was almost like looking into a mirror.
I saw a young woman. Frail and feeble, but full of the almost unshakable optimism unknown to even herself. In her I saw a strength hidden underneath a lonely and isolated exterior. With the words of Anpan she drew the courage to move forward.
3 minutes into the first episode, I paused the applet, thought about things a little, and later found myself ordering the game online even though I knew I couldn't read Japanese.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Animation - 9.5
This is Kyoto Animation. Anyone who has seen their work knows how freaking good they are. In this modern era we tend to see a hectic use of rich CG rendering and oversaturated colors that, at times, overpowers the viewer rather than immerse him. The ability of the studio to bring life into the scenery and to animate them with such life, vigor and motion is undeniable if not unsurpassed. The only times I've seen such a world come to life prior to this studio was with the Studio Ghibli classics, which still stand on a pedestal that Kyoto Animation is slowly reaching. If Makoto Shinkai would work with KA, I shudder to think of the wonders they can breath life into.
It is therefore troubling that the animation is inconsistent at times. Even though the worst parts are still amazing to look at, consistency is still key. I don't know if it's a change in art direction, but when you get used to the level of work this studio can do, you can't help but notice when it drops.
Voice Acting - 9
As the very same VA's from the visual novel reprised their roles, it's undeniable that they know their characters well. To me however, the cream of the crop is Tomoya himself, he who was the unvoiced protagonist in the PC version and given his voice in the anime. You could almost hear it in his voice, the slow growth and evolution of a man who has much to learn about life through his experiences with others. The snarky and cynical teenager becomes a father in a few short years.
This of course brings me to a few beefs. I'm still not too fond of Kotomi's and Ryou's voice but that's just me.
Script and Adaptation- 9
The script stands out to me because, quite frankly, it captures almost everything you'd expect from life in high school and beyond. The characters speak and act their age at the given moment in time and are fairly consistent with their mannerisms.
KA is of course famous for their faithfulness to the source material and it shows once again. While it is again understandable that a lot of things are still edited out, and at least one important character being left out completely, the fact that they managed to combine together so many diverging individual stories into 1 tale is a feat of its own.
Music - 10
Jun Maeda and his crew are farking geniuses. I listen to Clannad OST tracks when I study. Dango Daikazoku is one of the saddest happy songs I've ever heard. I plan to listen to Country Train while I'm actually on the train to Tibet this April. As for Chiisana Tenohira and Toki wo Kizamu Uta... well... I don't need to describe them, do I?
Reviewer's Tilt: 9.5/10
Love is patient. Love is kind.
It does not envy. It does not boast.
It is not proud. It is not rude.
If there is one thing I knew when I started this series, it was that Tomoya never truly understood the human connection as a whole. With only Sunohara as his friend, he lived his days listlessly, floating from one gag and joke to another to fill his empty days. He kept his distance from his friends and father, he treated things with a degree of cynicism and detachment, as if an outsider not truly living in the world where he was present in.
And for all that he lacked, in a way he knew things much more than everyone else. He loner, but he was patient with people and treated them with some degree of kindness. He never sneered at people nor was he arrogant. He didn't look down on people, and even helped them to the best of his abilities.
Perhaps, even if he didn't admit it to himself, he understood what it meant to suffer emotionally, and took it upon himself to alleviate the burden of others.
It is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered.
It keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil.
But rejoices in truth.
It always protects.
Always trusts. Always hopes.
The moment she uttered the words Anpan at the bottom of that hill, we knew that Nagisa carried a few crosses of her own. A loner as well, left behind to repeat her senior year once again due to illness, we knew she'd be a tad bit strange. She was frail, sickly, clumsy and socially inept. Yet, even then, despite the way people treated her, she always wanted to look at the brighter side of life, even if life often spat in her face.
I cannot remember when she would truly be angry. She was always working to help make others happy, and she never kept grudges when things didn't go her way. She always tried to do what she thought was right even if people ridiculed her. She was trusting of people to a fault, trusting and hoping to find success in her endeavors.
In the end, even if she was childish, somewhat cowardly and always worrying, she always made it a point to move forward in life. No matter what.
Love never fails.
Upon that chance meeting at the bottom of that hill, two lives would change forever. Polar opposites in personality and outlook, they were an odd couple as it was, so who would have ever known just how much of a match they'd make.
But a pair they did make. A wholly human relationship that steadily grew as a cynical young man somewhat grudgingly agrees to help an inept girl in starting a theater club no one was interested in. Perhaps it was not romance outright but, a budding one nonetheless, growing as this odd couple made it their mission to help friends in need.
Whether it be a ghost girl, a genius girl, a violent girl, a pair of twins, a brother and sister or some dorm mistress' magical cat, it was all part and parcel of a journey to understand the human relationship. What it was, what it meant, and what it could be. Beyond friendship, to become a family.
And so, it needed growth. These two had so much to learn from their friends and family but, most importantly, from each other. Teenagers they were, they still knew they were children with so much more ahead of them. If they were to carve a life for the two of them to find their joy, they knew they had to leave their childish ways behind.
When I was a child I talked like a child.
I thought like a child. I reasoned like a child.
When I became an adult
I put childish ways behind me.
It was almost amazing to see just how much Tomoya had changed upon meeting Nagisa. Once cynical and sarcastic, now more honest and accepting. Once a man who would rather run from his problems, he nows faces them head on. It is after high school now, and even though Nagisa would once again have to take her senior year a third time, he swore to become a man worthy of her. He finds a job, an apartment to live in, and finally support himself. He starts to make his own decsions and takes responsibility for his actions.
No longer a child, now a man. Love seems to have changed him.
But then, how does love and life survive tragedy? A tragedy beyond all feeling and understanding, beyond all expectations and realities. It shatters you heart and soul, the event you thought would bring new happiness into your lives. In the end, it leaves you with nothing.
Nothing. Once again, the color in Tomoya's life fades away.
Then, I saw but a poor reflection
As in a mirror
Now I see face to face
Then, I knew it only in part
Now, I know fully
And I am fully known
He sees himself as empty once again, a bitter and emotionless shell that has lost everything he had ever yearned and cared for. He feels nothing for his life, now bereft of anything worth living for. Or so he thinks.
Perhaps he saw too much of her in his daughter, a sad and bitter reminder of a love lost to tragedy. He gives her up to his in-laws, unable to bear the burden or face the truth of his life. He begins a life of vice, ironic mirroring of his own father's despair.
It took a train ride, a field of beautiful yellow flowers and and an aging grandmother to make him once again face himself. He sees a poor reflection of a desolate man who thinks he has lost everything and anything. Face to face with himself he finally comes to terms with what he has lost and, more importantly, what he still has.
A daughter he has long neglected because he could only run away from reality. Then and there he begins to remember just how important Nagisa is too him, and what she had taught him. He is a father, nothing will ever change that, and it was time he acted like one.
5 years is a long time, but in the spectrum of human relations, 5 years can often mean almost nothing as long as one is willing to bridge the gap. Nagisa taught him that.
And now these three remain:
At the end of a second tragedy that would even take the life of the most powerful of humans, we are left with only our emotions and out beliefs. Things we learned from those dearest to us, who have in one way or another taught us how to live our lives to their fullest.
To have faith in the goodness of others that, despite all our faults, we will be there to support each other in our times of need.
To have hope even in the impossible. To believe even in the absurd, to believe even in miracles.
But the greatest of these... it is Love.
To hold on to the love we have felt and we have shared. The love that changed our lives from one of sadness to that of joy. The love that had turned strangers into family. The love that had brought out miracles from thin air.
That is love. That is Clannad.
1 Corinthians: 1/13
Calculation method, with weightings:
Story/Plot (more Key than Kyo Ani, to be honest; weighting 20%): 9
Adaptation from Game (what could be done given source material; 20%): 7
Animation Quality (weighting 20%): 10
Characters/Character Design (weighting 20%): 7
Voice Actors (weighting 10%): 10
Editing (weighting 10%): 9
Composite Score: 8.5
(Rounding up to 9 in the poll)
Story/Plot: Plus points for emotional intensity and poignant themes (family and community, not dwelling on the past but finding happiness and love anew), minus points for unnecessary complexity.
Adaptation from Game: Yes, it's difficult to adapt a non-linear visual novel into a linear anime series. No, I'm not going to be lenient because of this. At times, the plotline was so confusing that viewers had to either play the game or read through explanations written by Klashikari, Proto, Kinny Riddle & co. in order to understand what the heck was going on.
Animation Quality: Perfect...
Character Design: Okazaki Tomoya gets a 10. Everyone else gets 6 or 7 for personifying a flat and exaggerated archetype. (Nagisa = pureness, Fuko = silliness, Kyo = tsundere, Ryou = shyness, Kotomi = childish nerd, Tomoyo = "strong, silent type", etc. etc.) Admittedly, this is entirely Key's shortcoming, or maybe the genre's; Kyo Ani had nothing to do with character design.
Voice Acting and Editing: Outstanding and very good repsectively.
I'm not a lenient judge, so an 8.5 or 9 from me is an excellent score. If I remember correctly, I think I gave Kanon a 6 or 7 (and 5 for character design?). I'm tempted to give Toradora a 9 but I'm going to wait for my enthusiasm to cool down before I rate that series.
NOTE: I have not seen the recap episode, but unless something spectacular(ly good) happens, my rating won't change.
As a game player, I think they did an AMAZING job on the Nagisa+After Story arc.
The base score: 10/10.
1. Dango Daikazoku, Toki wo Kizamu Uta. (+0.5x2 points)
2. After Story Episode 18. (+0.25 points)
3. Shima-kun~~!! (+0.25 points) [Note: he is never shown in the visual novel.]
Total: +1.5 points
Absolutely terrible: [it's so bad, it's on TV Tropes]
1. Seriously, Torch. You shatter the mood of the viewer after episodes 16 and 21. (-1x2 points here, it really is this bad.)
2. Tomoyo arc: seriously, one episode? What were they thinking? Seriously needed two episodes, or just leave it out. (-0.25 points here)
3. Fuuko... you already had your arc, STOP APPEARING!! (-0.25 points here)
4. Yukine arc gaffes: Nagisa shouldn't have allowed Tomoya to sleep on Yukine's lap. I RAEG'd!! (Instead, make Nagisa and Tomoya become a couple after the Yukine arc...), and also some really terrible animation in the fight scenes. (-0.125x2 points here.)
5. Nagisa x Tomoya relationship: could they make it any less "raburabu"? NOT EVEN ONCE in the whole series do Tomoya and Nagisa kiss. (-0.125 points)
Total: -2.875 points
Score: Base + Bonus - Deductions = 10 + 1.5 - 2.875 = 8.625 => 9 of 10.
Note: I loved the ending, and I would have given it a 10 of 10, if not for FREAKING Torch. D:
It finally ends...
But I can't remember all that much about the first season... Though I have a decent opinion of it, as much as I remember. Somewhat lacking, but it focused on the characters and set up for AS... But a few characters got the short end of the stick, pretty much getting no time for their own arc... >_>
AS was pretty awesome for the most part, even better than the first season by a lot... Until the end. Until the end, it was just a chain of tearjerkers... Especially Tomoya's dad's scene as he came home. :T_T::T_T::T_T:
Not only that, but from start to finish, the animation was just beautiful. The BGM/music was also just wonderful!
But that's when the cons come in.
-First, the OP. In a bad meaning, it was amusing to see the exact same OP even though most of the characters in it turned into air and Nagisa's name was still Furukawa. Hahaha, silly KyoAni!
-Then the ED. There is no limit to how much hate and laughter you can feel for this thing when it pops up after a sad scene. I mean, read the mood and use a sadder song, please!
-Then the ending episodes... Nagisa's was still fine. Ok, she dies. I'm sad. Then we get a few great episodes including the one with dad. Then the last episode and it goes Pon! They have Ushio die the same way! (Here, I can see why Key is hated by some... Then again, I avoid their games myself...) I'm just rolling my eyes. Not only that, it wasn't even some "there is nothing he can do!" type of scene, but Tomoya brings a sick child outside and decides to walk with her to somewhere. Brilliant. Ha. And then we undo everything because the balls of light allows the story to go into a world where Nagisa survives and everyone is happy or something. One of the several spirit convention ends this season, and considering the quality of this anime compared to those others that use this revival plot, was probably the most damaging. Bleh...
Almost made me feel the movie did better on the whole Ushio thing...
-Also can't exactly say the fact they stuffed an epilogue of most characters just like that...
-And of course, the worst crime that they dared to show me a non-loli Mei! MeiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!
Well, it was fun for the most part. There were some bad parts, but for all of the crying it allowed me to do and the laughing and some other stuff, 9/10!
Triple Critique: CLANNAD and CLANNAD ~After Story~, Animesuki Forums Chapter
For the final review I will ever give on CLANNAD (TV) and CLANNAD ~After Story~, I will focus on a number of points, some of which may be divided into subpoints. These points are as follows;
So there we have it, the basis by which I shall give my review on CLANNAD (TV) and CLANNAD ~After Story~. It’s going to be a long, long journey….
This is the Animesuki Forums chapter of the Triple Critique for CLANNAD (TV) and CLANNAD ~After Story~. The Triple Critique is a system of three reviews on the same series, composed in differing formats for different preferences in reading material.
The RIUVA chapter offers a deeper look into the themes and characters as portrayed in both series, in the medium of an animeblog editorial
The Nihon Review chapter offers summarized reviews of both seasons in their own right: Sorrow-kun reviews the first season CLANNAD (TV), while I cover the second season CLANNAD ~After Story~.
A good anime series draws its viewing audience into its own world; to achieve that, it has to set a general mood. To create a certain mood, two things must be achieved; firstly, animation of at least decent quality animation must be present in order not to make the whole thing look too jarring to the viewer's eyes, and secondly, the appropriate set of background music must be selected, in order to convey the general emotions of any particular scene. Kyoto Animation, which was also responsible for AIR (TV) and Kanon (2006), have earned a reputation for creating a distinctive ambience within their renditions of the Keyverses, so does their rendition of the CLANNADverse prove that third time’s the charm?
Background Music (Key Sounds Label)
Spoiler for length:
Rating for Background Music: 8.8/10
Art Direction (Shinohara Mutsuo)
Spoiler for length:
Rating for Art Direction: 8.2/10
Animation (Kyoto Animation)
Spoiler for length:
Rating for Animation: 8.5/10
Having long since graduated from being the dark horse within the animation industry, Kyoto Animation have since earned a status as one of the great studios in the popular imagination, with the quality of their previous works. While the audiovisual aspect of CLANNAD (TV) and CLANNAD ~After Story~ are not quite at the level of their predecessors, it remains at a level rivalled by few others, as well as one of the two important traits that makes KyoAni the studio that it is.
Overall Rating for Atmosphere: 8.5/10
A good setting lays the foundation of the world that the story takes place in, but it is the characters themselves who sets the foundation of the story itself; indeed, the storyline of the entire series rises and falls based on how well each and every character is handled; it's a fine line between making an individual character, or indeed the entire cast, look either dull and uninteresting, or over-the-top and lacking the ability to suspend the disbelief of the audience. With probably one of the biggest casts ever seen in a Key work, how does CLANNAD (TV) and CLANNAD ~After Story~ fare on this account?
As per usual, I will be rating the performance of the seiyuus as part of the competency in the execution of each individual character.
Large and varied is the cast of CLANNAD, yet there is no doubt that the story belonged to the three youngest members of the Okazaki clan. It is through the eyes of the three members of this one particular family through which we see the entire story unfold, and as such they would be the only ones who should be regarded as the main characters of this story.
Okazaki Tomoya (Nakamura Yuuichi)
”Nagisa, I’ve found it. I’ve finally found it. Something that only I can protect. Something irreplaceable that I have to protect. It’s….right here.”
Spoiler for length:
Rating for Okazaki Tomoya: 9.8/10
Rating for Nakamura Yuuichi: 9.6/10
Okazaki (formerly Furukawa) Nagisa (Nakahara Mai)
” The people who love this town live here, and the town that is loved will love them. That should be the case, no matter where it may be.”
Spoiler for length:
Rating for Okazaki (Furukawa) Nagisa: 9.6/10
Rating for Nakahara Mai: 8.9/10
Okazaki Ushio (Koorogi Satomi)
”Sanae-san said.…it was okay to cry in the bathroom…and in Papa’s arms.”
Spoiler for length:
Rating for Okazaki Ushio: 9.3/10
Rating for Koorogi Satomi: 9.5/10
Though the Okazakis may hold the spotlight, CLANNAD is one of those stories where the supporting cast is truly critical to the growth and progress of the main characters. As per normal, I shall rate only those of the supporting characters who were important to the story. Of course, with the huge supporting cast that CLANNAD has, it may well prove to be a much greater task than usual….
Furukawa Akio (Okiayu Ryotaro)
”Hey, brat....no, Tomoya. I’m sure that painful and saddening things are waiting for you. If it’s you two….if it’s us….we can overcome this. We’re family. We’ll help each other out.”
Spoiler for length:
Rating for Furukawa Akio: 9.1/10
Rating for Okiayu Ryotaro: 9.3/10
Furukawa Sanae (Inoue Kikuko)
”Tomoya-san, Nagisa is our dream. And from today onward, you will also be our dream. The happiness you two share is our dream.”
Spoiler for length:
Rating for Furukawa Sanae: 8.6/10
Rating for Inoue Kikuko: 8.9/10
Fujibayashi Kyou (Hirohashi Ryou)
”Even I felt a little tense before meeting with you guys today. It’s felt like you two had gone far ahead of us in life or something.”
Spoiler for length:
Rating for Fujibayashi Kyou: 7.0/10
Rating for Hirohashi Ryou: 8.9/10
Fujibayashi Ryou (Kanda Akemi)
”There isn’t just one future, but many possibilities. I still believe that.”
Spoiler for length:
Rating for Fujibayashi Ryou: 6.2/10
Rating for Kanda Akemi: 7.0/10
Sakagami Tomoyo (Kuwashima Houko)
”No matter how depressing it may look, the most important places don’t change. I think it’s the same for family, as well.”
Spoiler for length:
Rating for Sakagami Tomoyo: 7.8/10
Rating for Kuwashima Houko: 8.4/10
Ichinose Kotomi (Noto Mamiko)
”I’ve waited all this time. ‘Day before yesterday I saw a rabbit, yesterday a deer, and today you’. You’re Tomoya-kun.”
Spoiler for length:
Rating for Ichinose Kotomi: 8.0/10
Rating for Noto Mamiko: 7.6/10
Ibuki Fuuko (Nonaka Ai)
”Fuuko always kept being pulled to such fun places. Everyday was fun, just like the starfish festival. Thank you so much. Fuuko had fun.”
Spoiler for length:
Rating for Ibuki Fuuko: 9.0/10
Rating for Nonaka Ai: 7.8/10
Sunohara Youhei (Sakaguchi Daisuke)
”Well, they say friends you make during school will forever be friends. Though the only time you can do something stupid like this is now, even if it’s just being stupid.”
Spoiler for length:
Rating for Sunohara Youhei: 8.4/10
Rating for Sakaguchi Daisuke: 8.8/10
Sunohara Mei (Tamura Yukari)
”When I cried, onii-chan would always come right away. ‘Don’t make Mei cry!’ I was so happy. I felt confident in him.”
Spoiler for length:
Rating for Sunohara Mei: 7.6/10
Rating for Tamura Yukari: 8.0/10
Miyazawa Yukine (Enomoto Atsuko)
”I wondered, why was it I didn’t understand better how my brother lived his life? That’s why I built up the courage to get closer to everyone.”
Spoiler for length:
Rating for Miyazawa Yukine: 6.2/10
Rating for Enomoto Atsuko: 7.1/10
Yoshino Yuusuke (Midorikawa Hikaru)
”But he had lost sight of his path. He should have continued singing. Not for anyone’s sake, but love songs for that one person….Okazaki, what’s important is not losing sight of your path.”
Spoiler for length:
Rating for Yoshino Yuusuke: 8.0/10
Rating for Midorikawa Hikaru: 8.5/10
It probably goes without saying that, when all is said and done, the overall narrative that makes up CLANNAD (TV) and CLANNAD ~After Story~ belongs to the main characters, the three members of the Okazaki clan whom we’ve seen prosper and grow in each others’ company. In their joys and their griefs, we’ve participated in it all as they go through the vicissitudes of the long journey of life that they’ve been through. However, the Okazakis would not have come so far without the support of the huge, and generally well-developed supporting cast with which they share the setting and the story. In that sense, the CLANNAD storyline really is about family; for through living with and depending on others, only could one grow as a person, and it even goes for them as well.
Overall Rating for The Cast: 9.3/10
A good story; that is what an audience expects, regardless of whether the medium is a book, TV, a movie, or even in this case, an anime. And to get a good story, you need a promising premise, a logical yet appetizing plot, and most importantly of all, inspired direction to make the story really shine amongst its peers. It is often said that CLANNAD, especially the After Story, is one of if not the best piece of work that Maeda Jun and his cowriters at Key have ever penned to date; is such praise mere hyperbole, or does it live up to everything which has been said about it?
Spoiler for length:
Rating for Storyline Quality: 9.3/10
Spoiler for length:
Rating for Pacing: 8.8/10
Spoiler for length:
Rating for Internal Consistency: 8.3/10
In the end, CLANNAD was everything it was said to be; the best story from Key to date, and quite possibly a standard that even Maeda himself, as he personally has admitted, may never reach again. Though the challenge of adapting a multi-path visual novel source into a linear anime series meant a drop in consistency was inevitable, and though there was a point when the flow of the narrative wasn’t as smooth as it usually was, KyoAni once again proves their mettle as the studio to go to for adaptations of original source material, and the exceptional journey may, despite its flaws, well become a classic to be remembered long after its broadcast.
Overall Rating for Script: 8.7/10
Overall, CLANNAD (TV) and CLANNAD ~After Story~ is a long, long journey that shall remain memorable long after the excitement of its experience has died down. The collaboration between Key Visual Arts and Kyoto Animation has created an epic narrative, the scope of which could be challenged by few others in its genre, and which brought joy, grief, love, and sorrow to all who have stuck with it to the bitter end and beyond. Once again, Key/KyoAni has set a new standard within visual novel anime adaptations; for years to come, when viewers ponder the merits of a romance drama airing in the near future, they will inevitably compare it to the epic scope of the CLANNAD narrative, for it would have become a classic in its own right. CLANNAD is Family. CLANNAD is Life.
Final Rating for CLANNAD (TV) and CLANNAD ~After Story~: 9.1/10. Rounded down to: 9/10
I'm a little disappointed that After Story isn't getting its own Overall Series Impressions thread since I would have liked the opportunity to talk just about that.
Anyway, I've written two blog posts on After Story (1,2) and a formal review for Clannad, and my opinion on either hasn't really changed since I wrote those articles. Honestly I don't really have much to say now on Clannad that I haven't already said or that hasn't been said before.
As far as ratings are concerned, my rating for Clannad is a "Good" 7/10, and my rating for Clannad After Story is an "Awesome" 8/10. Philosophically, I don't think they should be rated together, since they are two separate series, IMO.
Animation - 8/10 (4:3 ver), 9.0/10 (16:9 ver)
Clannad have extremely well animation since it’s Kyoto Animation after all, but nurfed significantly because TBS only showed 4:3 which took away the quality of the animation, but it was solved with the 16:9 fullness we have seen with Kanon (2006) and Air. What impressed me more is the use of CGI in the Imaginary World which is well done.
Story Line - 9.5/10
Clannad’s main and reoccurring theme is the importance of family, friendships and relationships.Tomoya, a 17 year old student becomes a delinquent after the death of his mother and the inability to get along with his father. Tomoya’s life changed after meeting a girl named Nagisa, and soon after making friends with 4 other girls, Kyou, Kotomi, Tomoyo and Fuko and solving their problems when tragedy hits after Nagisa decided to revive the Drama Club. After the day of Nagisa’s performance, Tomoya decides to start a relationship with her and ultimately marrying her. During that time, Tomoya psychologically matures with the Imaginary World in his dream in addition to solving his issues.
Fuko’s arc is entertaining and also crushes you sadly, but not nearly as Mokoto’s arc in Kanon. With Tomoya playing planks on Fuko, having her dressed up as a maid, her poking Sunohara’s face, and lastly, the Starfish festival. After her arc, however, she pops up which some people who don’t like Fuko get annoyed at. Later on in After Story, she is alot funnier with jokes about IBCMs and her adoration of Ushio since “she is so cute”.
Kotomi is a enjoyable character, just like Kawasumi Mai from Kanon which is also quiet and also highly intellectual, but in a more realistic situation compared to fighting demons. Like Mai, Kotomi had a childhood friend aka Tomoya which was forgotten until recently. She comes alot more open after the help of Nagisa and company and also have some minor role in After Story. Her cuteness probably made her arc really enjoyable.
Kyou and Ryou
Kyou is our favorite Tsundere… with her aggressive side, punching/slapping Tomoya and kicking and throwing dictionaries at Sunohara. However, her famous “being locked in the gym storage scene.” Sadly, her arc did not fit well with the main heroine’s arc, and she got shafted badly, including Ryou and Kappei’s arcs.
Side note: Fujibayashi twins are so familar to the Hiiragi twins from Lucky Star, dispite of them coming around the same time… it’s most likely pure coincidence
Tomoyo is a very likable character mainly because of her beauty… and kicking Sunohara around over 9000 times (just kidding about the over 9000 times part, but alot.) Like Kyou’s arc, she didn’t get much in way of her adaptation of her arc, but she did get a OVA which covered her arc which make people want a “Tomoyo After” adaptation.
Nevertheless, Tomoyo remains the most popular girl by fans of Clannad…
Yukine, Misae, Sunohara Twins
First of, the Sunohara Twins arc is just so funny… Why…. mainly because Sunohara is dating Sanae-san, and also Mei-chan calling Tomoya “onii-chan” with dangerously high moe levels (I don’t care much about moe though).
Next, we have Misae’s arc which Misae back in the day is surprisingly a Tsundere… and also another side note, Shima crosdressing as a girl, due to his overly feminine appearance. Soon after, Misae’s fulfills Shima’s promise of meeting him at the Fall Festival.
Lastly, we have Yukine’s arc… which is entertaining with the fights and tradgic… as always… Yukine’s charms can be dangerous…
Lastly we have Nagisa, a third-year student who have to repeat her grade due to her illness. Tomoya meets her and helps her revive the Drama Club. Like always, Nagisa is very cute, although she denies it. With the help of Tomoya, she becomes stronger and also gets into a relationship with him and decides to have a child.
Compared to previous heroines of Key, Nagisa seems to be down to earth more so than Misuzu or even Ayu which makes her a more likable character.
Episode 10 and onwords, the story gets more interesting and also better as we see Tomoya starting to work as a Electrician while Nagisa goes and repeat her third year yet again. After Nagisa’s graduation, we see them get married and start living together and also see Nagisa in a waitress uniform. Tragedy strike, and with that, the audience see their feelings crushed as Nagisa dies after giving birth to Ushio and Tomoya going into depression like his father, but the good thing is that Key and Kyoani did not drag out the depression part. Tomoya and Ushio start making up with each other finally in Episode 18 which seems to have the most feeling in After Story. Soon after, we have some period of happiness in 2 episodes, until Episode 21 with the death of Ushio and Tomoya fainting. The problem with both the bad and good endings is that the storyline of the source material is non-linear and inorder show both endings, they need to use a time warp to shore it up. The bad ending seems to be forced which turned off most audiences, but the ending of After Story was sightly better than Kanon (2006) since it only had one miracle opposed to 5 miracles and lastly reenforces the importance of Family at the end of the story. Some will say that the ending is a “Deux ex machina,” but most will appreciate the ending, even with some minor flaws and it’s also beautiful. Also, it would be rather pointless to show all the Imaginary World sequences if there was no good ending shown.
Music - 10/10
As with all Key’s visual novels, Clannad have very good music… I especially liked the OP of Clannad and also OP and ED of After Story. No doubt, Key have done a outstanding job with music.
Overall, after watching Clannad in nearly 60 days (with catching up in the first seasons and the first half of After Story), Kyoto Animation and Key should be proud yet again of producing a outstanding melodrama I seen so far even though it had some minor flaws. I recommend watching Clannad and also After Story because they are enjoyable and touching story (but watch the 16:9 version, it’s much better).
Overall Rating: 9.7/10
Voice Acting: 9.8/10
Adaptation: 10/10 - (even though it left out some arcs.)
Score: 8.1 out of 10.
That was how I got into Clannad, with prominent members on another forum I frequent ranting about how beautiful the background was. I chose to give it a shot for the heck of it, and I am glad that I made that decision.
The first season was overall not bad, but was inferior to the After Story (though that is just as true in the game). The first few episodes were an interesting way to get someone new to be accustomed to the world, and things were pretty interesting from the get-go, with Kotomi, Kyou and Tomoyo making me smile in various ways or another. However, I nearly dropped it after the Fuuko route, as it was for me a poor start. Fuuko’s hyperactiveness and naivety more irritated me than anything else, and thus I had notable difficulty empathizing with her as her troubles grew. The fact that supernatural stuff just sort of appeared all of a sudden was for me a further turn-off initially – keep in mind that I was new to Key and thus was completely unfamiliar with their pattern, and thus viewed the whole supernatural stuff as some junk completely out of left field. I frankly dropped it for a short while after 8, and while I picked it back up after 10, I have never watched Episode 9 of the first season (though I know what happens, thanks to the game).
Next was Kotomi’s route, which for me was utterly fantastic, with Episode 14 becoming the first episode where I gave them a 9. I found her story incredibly touching, what with her sorrow, what she had to put up with, and just her reaction to being brought to the world around her which she had ignored for so long. Tomoya’s determination to help her was for me a significant part in his growth, as it was really the first time when he chose to help someone for the sake of helping others and not for the sake of killing time, which was why he initially chose to help Fuuko and help in the drama club. After the power of that arc, I knew that I had to continue it.
The next few episodes were interesting, and while deredere Kyou was a nice scene, it really made respect Tomoyo more than anyone. I did not like Nagisa at this point in the story, and thus was a little annoyed in the finale of Episode 18. However, Kyou also irritated me – pushing her sister onto Tomoya was annoying from my perspective, and her losing it in contrast to Tomoyo’s grace and quiet dignity at the end of Episode 18 did not endear her to me too much. I like Kyou to a degree, but at this point, I do prefer second season Nagisa (who for me is almost a completely different character from herself in the first season), Tomoyo, and Kotomi over her. They weren’t bad episodes, but overall, there wasn’t anything in them that overall impressed I in the same way that Kotomi’s arc just amazed me.
The next few episodes were the important ones, the formation of the drama club into something real, and the realization of Nagisa’s dream. Tomoya moving out was a powerful scene – perhaps it was me, but I was always somewhat sympathetic to Naoyuki, as he never seemed that bad of a person – just someone who had lost an emotional bond to his son, and had no clue as to how to reconnect. Everyone working together to form the drama club was pretty awesome to me, as well as the constant back and forth between Tomoya and Nagisa. When Nagisa found out about her parent’s secret and lost it, it irritated me and impressed me more with Nagisa just being a weak person – but it gave the Furukawa parents, who are absolutely splendid characters, a time to shine absolutely dramatically, as well as Tomoya to rush towards Nagisa and show the degree to which he has grown – Okazaki Tomoya from the beginning of the first season would have never done what he did at the end, rushing towards Nagisa and shouting out that she must perform for the sake of everyone else. That scene was powerful, the confession scene (which was also pretty good), made me give Episode 22 Clannad’s second 9. (I didn’t watch 23 as I thought 22 was the end of the first season, and while I found out I was wrong, I never got around to watching it).
Over the summer, I went and downloaded the game, and played through it. The After Story was absolutely spectacular – Kotomi’s route in the game is my favorite of the School Life, but After Story blew it out of the water, and thus I began the second season with incredibly high hopes of what it could do.
It was an unimpressive start. The baseball scene was a nice start, but then we went with three arcs which I didn’t care too much and were frankly not that well presented in the series. It was a poor start, but I did see signs of Nagisa becoming more mature and stronger than we ever saw throughout the second season, so I kept patient. Episode 9 was the true start of the After Story, and it was a very good start – Tomoya’s concern over Nagisa was touching, and while I was incredibly depressed with Kotomi being put on a bus, I knew it was going to happen, so I grumbled and sat back at the end of Episode 9, which was very good.
The next few episodes were very good, as expected from the true After Story, and KyoAni did a good job at adapting things. The dynamic between Nagisa and Tomoya was sweet and endearing, and there were many, many well-done scenes here, such as the marriage proposal, Yusuke’s story, and the concern over Nagisa’s pregnancy. And then the scene came, the one where I and everyone knew what was coming – and I was disappointed. Nagisa’s death scene was for me disappointing, with the fact that they made it way too obvious that she was going to die spoiling a lot of tension to which happened (the fucking ED didn’t make things better – whoever came up with that ED needs to be shot for completely spoiling the mood). It could have been more powerful than it turned out, and I didn’t even come close to crying during 16. The next episode covered Tomoya’s reaction, and while depressing, it was rather okay.
And then 18 happened.
Clannad After Story is not the best show this season – Toradora and Kannagi were just plain better and more interesting from my perspective. But this episode, episode 18 is one of the greatest things I have ever seen, in any media. When Ushio started crying in Tomoya’s arms and the music started, I felt like I was hit by a truck – and yet it was one of the best feelings I have ever had. It will be an episode which I hope to God will stick in my life for all of eternity. It made this person, someone who rolled his eyes and chuckled at the end of Grave of the Fireflies, to break down completely and sob uncontrollably for the next five minutes. While I had only given out 6 nines for the previous 40-odd episodes combined, Clannad After Story 18 became the third 10 I had ever given out in 4 years of watching anime – it is without a doubt the greatest episode of Clannad by far, and it is so touching, so unbelievably sad yet heartwarming that …. Words cannot describe it. This was the high point, a point so amazing and touching that nothing after this episode could even touch the high which this episode had reached – if Kyo Ani had just ended with this, everything would have been terrific.
Yet unfortunately, they had to continue on. Ushio was presented splendidly, and was unlawfully cute. While they had to drag Fuuko again, she was actually fairly well done for once, as Ushio’s awesomeness simply balanced out Fuuko’s sheer irritating behavior. Seeing Kyou was also nice, and the dynamic between the two was touching – it helped show one of the key points of the game, which is that you will lose touch with those you interacted with in high school. 19 and 20 were very good episodes, and while not as good as 18, that is nothing to be ashamed of.
The end suffered from the fact that ultimately, I felt that there was really no way in which Kyo Ani could do it in a way that would be understandable from the perspective of someone who has not played the game already, and they really did it as well as they could to make sense to the average viewer. While Kyo Ani really did do a decent job, the material they had to work within the ending was pretty bad, and thus I knew there would bad reaction to it – to tell the truth, there was far less “WTF is this shit” than I really expected. I think people just kind of realized that it was Key being Key, and to some degree, they let it go. While Kyo Ani did a decent job at adapting the ending, it was a fairly irritating ending, and they did suffer for it. Having Fuuko run around the end didn’t help things from my perspective, especially I had completely forgotten that scene existed in the game, and was thus completely irritated with an episode like this ending with that idiot running around.
Overall, this was a good series – not very good, but good. While it hit incredible highs, the fact is that the pacing was rather meh, as I felt that Clannad did have excessive focus on the minor characters. While the story is powerful, it could have improved. While overall, it was good adaptation, it could have been better, and there have been far better series out there, and for this year. As I said, I give these 8.1 out of 10 – it was a good series, and one can get into it – yet there were problems with certain members of the cast, and at times it’s completely forgettable. I do think that one should watch this series, however, and be patient with it – if nothing else, just to see the 18th episode of the After Story.
I was going to start writing this review going through a nice and tidy deconstruction of the series different merits and downfalls. Separate them through a clearly structured review passing through the different technical aspects of the series, and at the end giving an overall, ponderated review of the series.
And then I realized that if I did that, it would be the same as I normally do with series that fail to impress me beyond the level of a B series.
And that's because if I start to intellectually analyze a series, that's because the series failed to impact me in an emotional level. I don't see see, read, or hear any form of art in order to calmly evaluate the different aspects of a creation. If I wanted to do that I'd enter some paper database and search for some article that would help me write my dissertation, that would be a much more productive use of my time.
It's the same with anime. When I watch anime I don't want to think 'oh! Did you saw the inflection that that VA used during that scene? That just showed how experienced she is at portraying those kind of characters' or 'Wow, what masterful use of the color palette by the animation studio during that segment' or anything of the like. I want to cry, I want to laugh, I want to rage, ANYTHING, but overall, I WANT TO BE MOVED. Make me tear, make me lol, but for god sake, if something makes me go analyzing point per point the different, merits of a series, it won't go beyond a 9 level series for me. Ever.
tl, dr: I want to have an emotional attachment to the characters, plot, or general message of the series. I want to cry when the characters feel sad, to laugh with them, to feel for them. If I have the time to stop and think about the BGM or the color palette it's because the series isn't just being good enough.
As such, screw technical reviews. CLANNAD is a series that made me feel for almost all of its characters. It made me cry as few other series had made me cry. Yes, it made me laugh. As such, it receives a 10/10 for me, and screw everything else. It is up there with the only other 3 series that had made me feel this strongly: Haibane Renmei, ARIA and Figure 17. Other series might be up to and beyond CLANNAD in the technical aspect, but if I'm not feeling the same as what the characters are feeling minute per minute, then sorry, but you won't get any honors degree with me.
Rather than writing a large review, I'll just say this.
Clannad. When I watch it, I can learn from the characters. I can relate to the characters. I can feel as if I'm right there in the show. You build up such a strong connection with the story and it's cast, that it's practically torture for the show to end. At least, that's how I feel about Clannad. Easily my favorite anime.
What Proto said. :)
I have never yet give to any numerical rating to any episode, any series, and have no intention to begin anytime soon.
So this is just going to be another thought of mine about Clannad,
Always be the kind of person that get stirred by BGMs, be it in the past, now, and I think for the rest of my life. That's just how I am.
Negai ga Kanau Basho and Sora ni Hikaru was the two hard shots in this show, similar to Kaze o Matta hi in Kanon, and Sousei back in AIR.
Be it in the VN or in the anime, whenever those two popped up, my eyes get watery. Yes the scene is the actual perpetrator, but still the BGM has never helped.:rolleyes:
By episode 18, another track hits me. It was Haruka na Toshitsuki.
To this day, whenever I hear this tune, I remembered how Tomoya remembered and accepted Naoyuki.
A father that vowed to raise his son by his own hands no matter what,
yet at somepoint, everything went wrong.
Nagisa and Ushio is another piece still.
They were named after mother and daughter of this series, which we never get to see interact with each other (that, until Memories of a Town gets animated;)).
And I think Nagisa is the best score Key had ever produced to this moment,
I am, actually, in love with this tune, humming it out of nowhere, all before I even knew that it was a piece of itself (I always thought it was Dango Daikazoku without vocals).
Tomoya - Nagisa
To me Clannad will always be a tale.
A tale about a boy,
about how he become,
and finally... a father.
Beside him, a girl,
and how she actually become,
and a mother, even when she was not actually beside her family.
a little child,
who inherited her mother's resolution,
to no longer cry, no matter what hardships may come.
Watashi, Okazaki Nagisa wa, mou nakimasen.
Her mother's resolution, to live strongly, despite being weak.
a little song, passed on from mother to child...
and none of us should ever see Dango Daikazoku the same way again. Ever. :rolleyes:
So how much did Clannad means to me?
As much as the fact that I will never forget this tale for all my life.
At the end, I want to thank both AQS-Sprocket-theWaffleHouse and SS-Eclipse for accompanying us, throughout this journey. I can never thank you guys enough.
I also apologize if I ever offended anyone in the weekly discussion thread.
A big and warm thanks to everyone discussing, may we have another wonderful journey in the future.
With or without realizing it, Clannad has given us a chance to talk to each other, and it's been wonderful. [/cheesy]
/duel Maeda jun
Going into this series I honestly didn't think I was going to be terribly impressed with it, and really at first I wasn't at all. The opening episodes and frankly much of the first season were absolutely brutal for a person who is as stingy with his comedy as I am and I actually dropped it at one point only to catch up and finish it near the end of it's run. I also found that the less Sunohara (still one of the most annoying characters I have ever had to endure in an anime) there was the more favourable I was towards any given episode. If I had to give the first season a score it would probably be something like a generous 6.5, thanks mostly to the finale episodes and parts of the Kotomi arc hitting home with me.
After Story started with me similar to how the first season did and I more or less rolled my eyes at some of the attempts at what I assume was supposed to pass as comedy (again I am extremely stingy when it comes to comedy), and none of the mini-arcs did much of anything for me, but once we got into the actual After Story I got to see why it was that game players claim the them of Clannad is family. Episode 10-20 were among the strongest this series had to offer for me, and honestly if it had ended there with episode 20 I would have probably given this series a full pardon for making suffer through it's "comedy", but alas as I have previously mentioned the final two episodes (21-22 in my book were the final two) felt like a convolution and derailment of what the preceeding couple of episode were trying to get across as far as the responsibilities of the family unit go and no amount of trying to rationalize it's purpose or how it was possible (not that I really care cause that's no the issue) can rationalize that for me. What we got with the idea put across by the final episode just didn't seem as strong or powerful as what we got with the 16-20 arc.
So where does that leave me for the second series. If I'm going to try and BS some number across to convey my impression of it, I guess 7.5 or something. Putting the two seasons together I get an average of 7.0 (yeah numbers :rolleyes:) and a general impression of "well that was a lot better then I ever thought it was going to be". Now I'm not an expressive person when it comes to giving impressions of anime, so you won't really here me going "RAH RAH Clannad!" or "BOOOOO RESET!" or anything of the sort, so don't go expecting that sort of thing. Just let it be known that outside of the "comedy" Clannad managed to for the most part exceed my expectations in most categories and generate an interest in it's story and characters. This for a person who is not really into or drawn to the romance, slice-of-life or whatever you want to call Clannad's genre, or prone to any sort of really heavy or extreme emotion (which in my opinion the series relied far to much on it's viewers to feel for it's own good) that can be described as lasting should be taken as a fair bit of praise. Though obviously I'm not as totally 100% sold on the whole series as your average person here. Just not die hard or easily swayed by emotion enough to be all over this show as some of the others are.
Animation Quality: 10 Good characters .
Voice Actors: 10 Good voices .
Script: 7 Well , good story but the thing with the other world make me confuse .
Adaptation from Game: - I didn't play the game .
Total = 9/10 . It was a pleasant anime with some humors , dramas , romances ...
But it lacks of "Kiss" :p
I only have one "perfect 10" in my long history of being an anime fan and it is not Clannad. It is a great series, to be sure, but it does have its flaws and they do detract from it enough to drag it down slightly in my estimation.
That said, Clannad still manages to be #3 on my Top 5 list and for plenty of good reasons. The story, the characters, the music and the animation are all splendid. Few anime have ever made me experience such a wide range of emotion as Clannad did. It made me laugh and think on a number of levels, but more than anything else it gave me a whole new appreciation for my family and how much I love the people in it.
My final rating for Clannad is a 9. Fantastic series with a message anyone can relate to and it should be at the top of recommendation lists for romantic drama series everywhere. And it's pretty hilarious at times to boot. I just feel that a lot of the side character stories and development could have been handled better or not be quite so rushed.
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