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Old 2009-03-29, 00:24   Link #11
I don't give a damn, dude
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: In Despair
Age: 32
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;

  • Background Music (Key Sounds Label)
  • Art Direction (Shinohara Mutsuo)
  • Animation (Kyoto Animation)

The Cast

Main Characters
  • Okazaki Tomoya (Nakamura Yuuichi)
  • Okazaki (formerly Furukawa) Nagisa (Nakahara Mai)
  • Okazaki Ushio (Koorogi Satomi)

Side Characters
  • Furukawa Akio (Okiayu Ryotaro)
  • Furukawa Sanae (Inoue Kikuko)
  • Fujibayashi Kyou (Hirohashi Ryou)
  • Fujibayashi Ryou (Kanda Akemi)
  • Sakagami Tomoyo (Kuwashima Houko)
  • Ichinose Kotomi (Noto Mamiko)
  • Ibuki Fuuko (Nonaka Ai)
  • Sunohara Youhei (Sakaguchi Daisuke)
  • Sunohara Mei (Tamura Yukari)
  • Miyazawa Yukine (Enomoto Atsuko)
  • Sagara Misae (Yukino Satsuki)
  • Yoshino Yuusuke (Midorikawa Hikaru)

  • Storyline Quality
  • Pacing
  • Internal Consistency

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

__________________________________________________ _____________________________________

The Cast

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.

Main Characters
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

Side Characters
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,, 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?

Storyline Quality

Spoiler for length:

Rating for Storyline Quality: 9.3/10


Spoiler for length:

Rating for Pacing: 8.8/10

Internal Consistency

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 Execution

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

Last edited by Ascaloth; 2009-03-29 at 00:56.
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