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View Poll Results: Clannad series - Overall Series Impressions & Total Series Rating
Perfect 10 278 64.95%
9 out of 10 : Excellent 96 22.43%
8 out of 10 : Very Good 31 7.24%
7 out of 10 : Good 10 2.34%
6 out of 10 : Average 3 0.70%
5 out of 10 : Below Average 1 0.23%
4 out of 10 : Poor 2 0.47%
3 out of 10 : Bad 1 0.23%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad 1 0.23%
1 out of 10 : Painful 5 1.17%
Voters: 428. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2009-12-10, 15:01   Link #281
Haak
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Originally Posted by DeX-kun View Post
Well if the plot were changed to your alternative, this anime would feel like it's breaking the 4th wall. In a sense, it would take away the definition of a real miracle. I believe that if you felt weird about it, the anime did it's job Miracles are not something that we would call real or if they even exist (arguable considering sometimes things do happen in real life that one cannot explain,) so it's understandable if you get that type of feeling from it. I admit that even I wasn't sure what was going on the first time watching the ending, but as it went on I began to understand little by little while letting it sink in, it felt right. At least to me.
I don't really think that's the kinda feeling I had. I guess it was just closer to breaking the suspension of disbelief.

Besides, I've studied the concept of miracles and if they're rational to believe in Philosophy so I guess that's affecting my thinking aswell.

FWI, I believe there is no absolute definition of miracles, anyway.
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Old 2009-12-10, 15:08   Link #282
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FWI, I believe there is no absolute definition of miracles, anyway.
I'd have to agree, there might not be an absolute definition but I use a tentative definition of it.
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Old 2009-12-10, 16:39   Link #283
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Originally Posted by DeX-kun View Post
Well if the plot were changed to your alternative, this anime would feel like it's breaking the 4th wall. .
To be fair though, is there anything in the game that suggest that Tomoya wasn't actively striving for the happy ending and wasn't fully aware of it?

Because in the game, we are Tomoya and we are fully aware of it. In fact that's one the the reasons why we can enjoy the happy ending right? Because we feel we earned it by going through all the other paths. So why shouldn't it be the same for Tomoya?
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Old 2009-12-10, 17:18   Link #284
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I completely agree with you. This is something that I ranted about earlier, I wanted at least one more episode showing us the Okazaki family living their life together and maybe even a reunion with the rest of the cast while we're at it. Well, one can only dream
Yes, the anime really needed a proper "aftermath" episode or two, I think. It would have made the ending more "worth it" for me, I guess you could say.

In fact, that's what I thought episodes 23 and 24 would be before I watched them.. instead of a high school years episode, and a recap episode.

I liked the high school year episode because it actually felt a bit nostalgic to do an episode with the main cast back in high school again... but I would have preferred a true aftermath episode over the recap episode we got for episode 24.



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I think the ending would've been a lot better if we were shown that Tomoya was actively trying to get more light orbs and was fully aware of it, perhaps showing a bit of desperation as well. Then it would've felt a bit more earned.
I think that you're on the right track here. At the very least, I think the anime could have "gotten away with this" after Kotomi's exposition on the "hidden worlds" during episode 16. Everybody seemed to believe her ideas, so...


I certainly don't mind a miraculous happy ending (I myself do believe in miracles, but that's a tangent issue), but I prefer it when such a miracle feels kind of earned, as opposed to a complete gift; a deus ex machina, as it were. I guess you could say that my conception of a miracle is somewhat karmic based.


In fairness, I suppose you could say that Tomoya earned that major miracle by turning his life around, and eventually becoming a great father to Ushio. Maybe that's a good way to look at After Story's conclusion.
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Old 2009-12-10, 18:04   Link #285
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Originally Posted by Haak View Post
Because in the game, we are Tomoya and we are fully aware of it. In fact that's one the the reasons why we can enjoy the happy ending right? Because we feel we earned it by going through all the other paths. So why shouldn't it be the same for Tomoya?
In contrast though, what would the game be for? I mean the game provides you the feeling of earning it while the anime provides a more focused take on his life as a spectator. In other words, you're Tomoya in the game and you earn your happiness but in the anime, we put ourselves in his shoes and watch as he goes through a subtle growth as a character. In the end though, it's a matter of preference. People can play the game if they wish to earn the ending whereas people like me would rather watch it.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
In fairness, I suppose you could say that Tomoya earned that major miracle by turning his life around, and eventually becoming a great father to Ushio. Maybe that's a good way to look at After Story's conclusion.
Certainly, that's the way I look at it at least. Tomoya was heading down the path his father was, except he was worse. At least his father tried his hardest to raise Tomoya right, but Tomoya himself resented Ushio for being the constant reminder of the person he loved the most throughout his life. I'm glad that he realized what he had been doing and corrected his wrongs, in which earned him his well-deserved happiness in life.
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Old 2009-12-11, 00:48   Link #286
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Just finished my Clannad: After Story blog review.

This one's a bit more in-depth than my review of Clannad's original season, and maybe a bit more controversial, just to prepare people, lol.

It also contains comparisons between Clannad: After Story and the Gurren Lagann and Mai HiME animes... comparisons that are a bit spoilerrific.


Still, I hope that most folks here enjoy it.

Here it is!
I have to say that I mostly agree. However, it's right where you said that it's a matter of taste--when a lot of the supporting cast was absent. I mean, they were great characters and all, and it was hard not to feel fondly about them, but I liked the turn After Story took in regards to zooming into the relationship between Tomoya and Nagisa. To me, it just made the 16+ episodes all the more enjoyable (in a bittersweet sad sort of way ).

However, I vehemently agree on your assessment of Episode 18. It brought tears to my eyes, too, and brings a smile to my face whenever I think about it. It's little testament to just how well crafted these characters were, I guess, when you can truly empathize for them. For a few moments, I think I stopped thinking of them as fictional characters.

I also liked the ending, though, for reasons outlined by others above. Besides, that scene at the bottom of the hill was just too well-done. It definitely ranks as one of the best scenes in anime, or maybe just the ones I've seen. I definitely teared up at that one, too.

And, yes, Fuko's return was awesome.
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Old 2009-12-11, 02:13   Link #287
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Guys, if Tomoya was actively trying to get light orbs, you DO realise it would've made Clannad ~After Story~ about 20 times longer? Because then he'd have to be reincarnated each and every time. The light orbs were used to send him back each time, remember? so if he KNEW, there'd be so much more stuff to fit in, it wouldn't have been possible. Also in the game he does not actively know, either.
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Old 2009-12-11, 05:17   Link #288
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Guys, if Tomoya was actively trying to get light orbs, you DO realise it would've made Clannad ~After Story~ about 20 times longer? Because then he'd have to be reincarnated each and every time. The light orbs were used to send him back each time, remember? so if he KNEW, there'd be so much more stuff to fit in, it wouldn't have been possible. Also in the game he does not actively know, either.
We don't have to actually see all of it. Just some psychedelic small clips and some Tomoya commentry would be enough.

But if Tomoya doesn't actually know what's happening, then...

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Originally Posted by DeX-kun View Post
In contrast though, what would the game be for? I mean the game provides you the feeling of earning it while the anime provides a more focused take on his life as a spectator. In other words, you're Tomoya in the game and you earn your happiness but in the anime, we put ourselves in his shoes and watch as he goes through a subtle growth as a character. In the end though, it's a matter of preference. People can play the game if they wish to earn the ending whereas people like me would rather watch it.
.
Why not have both?
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Old 2009-12-11, 11:16   Link #289
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I have to say that I mostly agree. However, it's right where you said that it's a matter of taste--when a lot of the supporting cast was absent. I mean, they were great characters and all, and it was hard not to feel fondly about them, but I liked the turn After Story took in regards to zooming into the relationship between Tomoya and Nagisa. To me, it just made the 16+ episodes all the more enjoyable (in a bittersweet sad sort of way ).
I am glad that Tomoya and Nagisa's relationship got a very nice focus in the middle portion of After Story, as I felt that it needed a bit more development after the original Clannad season. The original Clannad season moved the relationship along at a very nice pace, but After Story is what really sold it for me.

Tomoya/Nagisa is easily my favorite pairing in this anime... and that's no small feat, as I tend to expect a lot out of established canon pairings (I'm not yet fully sold on Kyon/Haruhi for example, and I was never sold on Ranma/Akane in the old Ranma 1/2 anime).

It's a testament to just how well Tomoya/Nagisa was handled that there's honestly not a signal alternate pairing to it that I like as much as I like Tomoya/Nagisa... although the Tomoyo OAV was nice with its Tomoya/Tomoyo alternate pairing, I have to admit. Tomoya/Tomoyo would probably be my second choice.

Really... I probably should clarify what I wrote in my review. I probably would have liked to have seen one episode more or less devoted to what all the other primary characters were doing in their own lives since Tomoya graduated; just a few minutes each, really.

But... that's just a minor nitpick.


Quote:

However, I vehemently agree on your assessment of Episode 18. It brought tears to my eyes, too, and brings a smile to my face whenever I think about it. It's little testament to just how well crafted these characters were, I guess, when you can truly empathize for them.
I recall another poster mentioning how Ushio actually acted and felt like a real five or six year old girl. I'd have to agree with that. Often, child characters in anime feel a bit off to me... not with Ushio.


Quote:
For a few moments, I think I stopped thinking of them as fictional characters.

I also liked the ending, though, for reasons outlined by others above. Besides, that scene at the bottom of the hill was just too well-done. It definitely ranks as one of the best scenes in anime, or maybe just the ones I've seen. I definitely teared up at that one, too.
For sheer emotional investment, Clannad might very well be the best anime I've ever seen. There are other animes I've watched where I was emotionally invested in a character or two or three, but Clannad left me emotionally invested in pretty much every signal character... and that's really something.
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Old 2009-12-11, 12:52   Link #290
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I am glad that Tomoya and Nagisa's relationship got a very nice focus in the middle portion of After Story, as I felt that it needed a bit more development after the original Clannad season. The original Clannad season moved the relationship along at a very nice pace, but After Story is what really sold it for me.

Tomoya/Nagisa is easily my favorite pairing in this anime... and that's no small feat, as I tend to expect a lot out of established canon pairings (I'm not yet fully sold on Kyon/Haruhi for example, and I was never sold on Ranma/Akane in the old Ranma 1/2 anime).

It's a testament to just how well Tomoya/Nagisa was handled that there's honestly not a signal alternate pairing to it that I like as much as I like Tomoya/Nagisa...
Tomoya and Nagisa are my favorite pairing of all time but they're also my favorite individual leads and that speaks volumes about how well developed they were both together and individually. Just like you though, I felt that there was a lack of affection between this couple but in all fairness, it didn't really effect this pairing from being what it is.

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I recall another poster mentioning how Ushio actually acted and felt like a real five or six year old girl. I'd have to agree with that. Often, child characters in anime feel a bit off to me... not with Ushio.
It's funny because most child characters act like a mature adult, either that or they're childish but mature when they get serious Ushio is probably the best child character I've seen portrayed and the voice only makes her so much better.
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Old 2009-12-11, 17:34   Link #291
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Triple_R: first of all Clannad was meant to be commercial. It was meant ot generate sales and I believe Maeda was FORCED to make it a happy ending by Visual Arts. However after he was given full rein for Tomoyo After.
Really? :O Well, I suppose that is a good thing. I think he sometimes goes off the emo end when storytelling at times, even if they are very good. Because of my familiarity with the other Key stories, I seriously thought just plain killing off Nagisa would have been predictable. But that's just me. It would have definitely been a very sad story; probably the saddest one out there. But then I'd just remember it as yet another Key cryfest. That's still a good thing, but it wouldn't stand out as more. And somehow it works anyways.
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Old 2009-12-11, 20:39   Link #292
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I won't spoil Tomoyo After, but get the original with H. Not for the H, even though it's good, but for the ending. The CS version is 1.5x longer, but has a wussier ending, I believe.
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Old 2009-12-14, 22:57   Link #293
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H of Tomoyo. Sorry, I had to repair my head after it exploding. Hmm, that certainly sounds interesting... I'd make a sarcastic playful jab at Key and need for tissues, but I'll just stop there.

But I'm trying to finish watching Kanon. I do not want to be overloaded with so many sad things at once so this might take a while. Though to be very honest, I can't really view Clannad in terms of anything but Tomoya and Nagisa anymore.
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Old 2009-12-24, 01:55   Link #294
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Okay, first things first, I did not really like a lot of Clannad first season. The 'haremy' love triangle did nothing for me, and its what knocked it down a letter grade.

That said, the 'family' parts there are really done well, so it was saved. Of which was the entire focus of After Story thankfully. I personally love family J-dramas, and I was tearing or outright crying in some parts of After Story. That's some powerful stuff there.

Sadly, ~25 mins is not nearly enough per episode. It might just be my j-drama bias speaking (they're usually ~50 mins per episode), but the plot moved so slow per episode that waiting a week for the next one killed my interest at first. It was only when I can watch 2 episodes at a time when I bought the DVDs as an early Christmas present to myself was where my interest picked up again.

But when my interest picked up, man, the family parts of this show is up there with the best family j-dramas I've seen. It was THAT good.

I must say, though, I did not like the ending. A major theme of After Story is overcoming your grief and trying to move on for the sake of your family. This is exhibited by Tomoya's Dad when he lost Atsuko and Tomoya himself when he lost Nagisa; this is, by far, the most poweful part of Clannad. Doing a reset just trivializes the best part of the show, and this leaves me with a more bitter taste in my mouth than if they just ended the series with the very sad episode 21.

And the otherworld stuff? So did not fit in, especially in After Story. It was the only fantastic element in an otherwise totally down to earth story; contrast this with Kanon, which is the exact opposite.

So yeah, with it containing the ending and the fantasy stuff, episode 22 was so full of fail in an otherwise brilliant season. It wasn't enough to totally ruin the experience for me (hey, what can I say? I have a soft spot for happy endings and I do love Ushio), but enough to knock Clannad out of the running for best show that ended in 2009.



First Season: B+
Second Season: A-
-Sunohara arc: A
-2nd girl arc (forgot her name): A-
-Tomoya and his Dad arc: A+++ (pardon my language, but this was just fucking amazing)
-Ushio Arc:C- (mostly for the ending and otherworld stuff)

Overall A-
Man, if they ended it with episode 21 and cut out the 'otherworld' stuff, Clannad After Story would be undoubtedly my #1 for shows that end in 2009. Sadly, the ending was literally a Deus ex Machina that did not fit at all with the story, so I have to knock Clannad down a few notches.
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Old 2009-12-24, 13:22   Link #295
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Okay, first things first, I did not really like a lot of Clannad first season. The 'haremy' love triangle did nothing for me, and its what knocked it down a letter grade.

That said, the 'family' parts there are really done well, so it was saved. Of which was the entire focus of After Story thankfully. I personally love family J-dramas, and I was tearing or outright crying in some parts of After Story. That's some powerful stuff there.

Sadly, ~25 mins is not nearly enough per episode. It might just be my j-drama bias speaking (they're usually ~50 mins per episode), but the plot moved so slow per episode that waiting a week for the next one killed my interest at first. It was only when I can watch 2 episodes at a time when I bought the DVDs as an early Christmas present to myself was where my interest picked up again.

But when my interest picked up, man, the family parts of this show is up there with the best family j-dramas I've seen. It was THAT good.

I must say, though, I did not like the ending. A major theme of After Story is overcoming your grief and trying to move on for the sake of your family. This is exhibited by Tomoya's Dad when he lost Atsuko and Tomoya himself when he lost Nagisa; this is, by far, the most poweful part of Clannad. Doing a reset just trivializes the best part of the show, and this leaves me with a more bitter taste in my mouth than if they just ended the series with the very sad episode 21.

And the otherworld stuff? So did not fit in, especially in After Story. It was the only fantastic element in an otherwise totally down to earth story; contrast this with Kanon, which is the exact opposite.

So yeah, with it containing the ending and the fantasy stuff, episode 22 was so full of fail in an otherwise brilliant season. It wasn't enough to totally ruin the experience for me (hey, what can I say? I have a soft spot for happy endings and I do love Ushio), but enough to knock Clannad out of the running for best show that ended in 2009.



First Season: B+
Second Season: A-
-Sunohara arc: A
-2nd girl arc (forgot her name): A-
-Tomoya and his Dad arc: A+++ (pardon my language, but this was just fucking amazing)
-Ushio Arc:C- (mostly for the ending and otherworld stuff)

Overall A-
Man, if they ended it with episode 21 and cut out the 'otherworld' stuff, Clannad After Story would be undoubtedly my #1 for shows that end in 2009. Sadly, the ending was literally a Deus ex Machina that did not fit at all with the story, so I have to knock Clannad down a few notches.

Great review.

It reflects many of my own thoughts on this anime (although I probably liked the original Clannad season a little bit more than you did).

I definitely share your thoughts on the ending.


That being said... if Ushio had died as well that would have been too much, imo. That would have been too tragic, imho.
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Old 2009-12-24, 18:56   Link #296
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Originally Posted by DragoonKain3
Man, if they ended it with episode 21 and cut out the 'otherworld' stuff, Clannad After Story would be undoubtedly my #1 for shows that end in 2009. Sadly, the ending was literally a Deus ex Machina that did not fit at all with the story, so I have to knock Clannad down a few notches.

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Great review.

It reflects many of my own thoughts on this anime (although I probably liked the original Clannad season a little bit more than you did).

I definitely share your thoughts on the ending.


That being said... if Ushio had died as well that would have been too much, imo. That would have been too tragic, imho.
I guess both of you had missed a lot of discussion about the ending.
But anyway, to clarify things, there's a lot more to the ending that you think is Deus ex Machina. (it's not actually Deus ex Machina, you just misinterpreted the ending because you didn't piece together the puzzle, a very very hard puzzle)
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Old 2009-12-24, 23:48   Link #297
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I guess both of you had missed a lot of discussion about the ending.
But anyway, to clarify things, there's a lot more to the ending that you think is Deus ex Machina. (it's not actually Deus ex Machina, you just misinterpreted the ending because you didn't piece together the puzzle, a very very hard puzzle)
I'm aware that the ending was foreshadowed a bit, and how it ties in to a lot of what Kotomi was saying pertaining to her parents' research and her own research...

Overall... I'm just a bit divided on the ending. I can certainly see why many Clannad fans like it. It is a happy ending, and the plot did foreshadow it if you pay close attention to certain parts...

I'm just not sure if it gels well with Clannad's overarching themes, but maybe I really am misinterpreting things there, *shrug*.


But, anyway, it's hard to dislike a happy ending, so I still love Clannad overall.
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Old 2009-12-25, 21:46   Link #298
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I guess both of you had missed a lot of discussion about the ending.
But anyway, to clarify things, there's a lot more to the ending that you think is Deus ex Machina. (it's not actually Deus ex Machina, you just misinterpreted the ending because you didn't piece together the puzzle, a very very hard puzzle)
Well, I wouldn't say that those who weren't completely happy with the ending simply didn't understand what happened. I have a pretty good idea what went on (Nagisa's/Ushio's contract, the light orbs, the IW, the string research), and to an extent, I can see why Key chose to end it the way they did. The theme of Clannad is "family," and nothing stresses the importance of a family member like losing one. In both Tomoya's relationship with Nagisa and Ushio, we see the characters grow through struggle and hardship, so we feel a great sense of satisfaction when things finally turn out okay for them, and a great sene of loss when they are gone. It makes you want to get up and hug your entire family just for being there. But, again, the theme of Clannad is "family," and a family is incomplete without both parents and the children. So Tomoya, having learned the importance of his family the hard way, gets to enjoy the good life he earned with his family, his whole family.

While I certainly don't hate this ending, I would rather have seen an ending where Tomoya and Ushio grow and live together with Nagisa as only a poignant memory and a strong reminder that they cannot afford to push the other away. I'm really not a fan of non-permanent death, due to its tendency to cheapen the effect of the death in the first place. So I can see why many people loved the ending Key chose, but on the other hand, I can see why others feel it could have been better. It's up to the individual, I guess.
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Old 2009-12-26, 08:18   Link #299
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While I certainly don't hate this ending, I would rather have seen an ending where Tomoya and Ushio grow and live together with Nagisa as only a poignant memory and a strong reminder that they cannot afford to push the other away. I'm really not a fan of non-permanent death, due to its tendency to cheapen the effect of the death in the first place. So I can see why many people loved the ending Key chose, but on the other hand, I can see why others feel it could have been better. It's up to the individual, I guess.
KEY probably wouldn't/would give you a story like that but the moment you imagined a story like that, you just created a universe (a story) and that's what they wanted you to do.

Remember Fuuko's last line? "All the fun things will start now?"

CLANNAD is an open-ended show, we will interpret what will happen after the ending and not just them interpreting everything to us. The same with the ending of Episode 21, we will interpret what happened after that. You could think Tomoya and Ushio survived that and believe me, I have a pretty good reason for saying Ushio also survived that moment and a silly one that is and you'll probably say "That's a good one."

Beside the theme "family" KEY wanted us to see, they also wanted us to learn about how the universe works with their/one's own thoughts.

The bolded italic underlined text id what most of the people are misinterpreting about CLANNAD.

Just because we saw the whole family intact means that their death has not been permanent. The death is permanent in the first universe we saw and will continue on forever, unless a dragon ball (or any other unreasonable physics bending theory) exist in CLANNAD and wished for them to comeback to life.

So my thoughts in this, people could do a better ending (story) whether or not they think that the ending (story) they had in mind is superior to the ones KEY showed us. Everything could become better for everyone if they think it could be better and that's the whole idea. Although, you can't argue if people are contented with how things are and how things ended.
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Old 2009-12-26, 17:06   Link #300
XGeneral2000
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Originally Posted by dgreater1 View Post
Just because we saw the whole family intact means that their death has not been permanent. The death is permanent in the first universe we saw and will continue on forever, unless a dragon ball (or any other unreasonable physics bending theory) exist in CLANNAD and wished for them to comeback to life.
That's true, I guess I was generalizing a bit; every universe Tomoya "creates" for every light orb he collects sticks around, including the one where he, Nagisa, and Ushio all die. I'm just saying I don't like that kind of thing in general, and since we see everyone alive at the end (in the "good" universe), there is a bit of that feeling.

I usually don't really dwell on "things I would've done differently," since it's all opinion, anyway (I did give Clannad a 9/10). I was just trying to point out why some people weren't entirely satisfied with the ending. Anyway, whether or not I agreed with the ending, like I said earlier in my review, I couldn't help but have a big stupid grin on my face as I watched the last episode. Tomoya did earn his happy ending.
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