As with life, all good things must come to a end. Clannad and Clannad ~After Story~ has ended up as a masterpiece which has exceed the level of Kanon (2006) in terms of storyline, music, and character development, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have flaws… just a few.
(Click Read More to read the review since it contains spoilers)
Animation – 8/10 (4:3 ver), 9.0/10 (16:9 ver)
Clannad has 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.
Summary (Click show to read it):
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”.
Summary (Click show to read it):
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