Japanese: ＣＬＡＮＮＡＤ -クラナド-
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 5, 2007 to Mar 28, 2008
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 8.541 (scored by 156297 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular Tagscomedy drama harem romance school slice of life
Feb 20, 2013
The first time I watched Clannad was back in 2008, and I just finished re-watching it for the 3rd time this past few days. Now I realize that will take years before I watch something that does the same impact on me like this anime did. I was moved by it the first time I watched, and the third as well, but surprisingly in a different way. Throughout all anime history this is one of the most notorious series in the romance/drama genre, not only for the emotional load it carries but also for the effects and different reactions it causes on the people who watched it.
The quote at the beginning of the review is from the description of the blu-ray edition. Of course they wouldn't bad-mouth their own release on the disc cover, but it's so honest and true that I couldn’t find a better way to introduce this review (I just removed the "and now it's available in HD!" part, obviously.)
I'd like to start this review, if I may, going straight to the point; the main reason why some people avoid Clannad.
"It's too cute."
Yes man, it is. I agree with you. There were times I thought to myself "this would never happen in the real world" but what is the problem? Appreciating these beautiful moments won't bruise you. "You'll cry" is also a sentence often read in reviews. I admit, I wrote it on my After Story review, but it's not mandatory! Nobody is obligated to cry or feel sad, it's just that the anime is so strong that it makes a lot of people cry. Even if you're not really into drama or romances, give it a try. If you dislike then drop the 2nd season, but complete this one! It's one in a lifetime experience, I dare to say you'll enjoy at least half of the show.
The Clannad collection is undoubtedly a well known anime. Even though, the After Story receive much more attention than the first season. Mostly because it's more "touching" than its predecessor, but it wouldn't be the same and wouldn't even exist without this prequel. It's the entire set that makes Clannad the masterpiece it is.
Some people end up watching After Story before the first series. The storyline is set in a way it's not necessary watch the first season to understand what is going on, the characters are introduced again and it's a different theme. However, I cannot guarantee that you will enjoy the show as much as someone who watched the 1st season before.
Clannad is something I would recommend even to a friend who have never watched any kind of anime. There is no need to have a "anime background" in order to enjoy it, it's something everyone, without exceptions, can watch. Despite the genre, age, tastes... There is no gore, violence, profanity, battles... it's just the classical slice-of-life humor mixed with a lovely romance, that proves how strong some stories can be by themselves without any kind of "attractive" or fan-service.
Do you know anyone who's a little depressed and is now reading some kind of self-help book trying to see the "beauty of life"? Recommend to him/her this anime.
If I were to define this series with one word, I'd say it's "charming". It's an anime to be enjoyed, appreciated. All the aspects of it, including art, soundtrack, characters but specially story.
When we were little, we used to find everything amazing, even the most stupid and simple thing was something amusing. We had a hell of a time with friends, laughing for no reason... But, suddenly it's all gone.
All those great mementos are now just vague memories and you're stuck in a boring and endless routine. This are the thoughts of our male protagonist, Tomoya Okazaki. And this little fragment from the first scene gives you already an idea of how the story will progress. However these are also thoughts we all have inside of us, and that's why Clannad's story becomes so realistic at some point, because it's close to reality, a reality some people have experienced themselves.
Don't worry, this sadness isn't the main focus of the story. Clannad is a heartwarming tale. Our protagonist will make many friends along the way, and with them new situations will appear, turning his lonely days into something much more enjoyable, happy, and also mysterious.
Jun Maeda and the screenwriters from Key did a marvelous job with the development of some points from the story, keeping some surprises hidden until the very end.
Clannad is a character-driven anime. Since it's based in a Visual Novel by Key, KyoAni decided to maintain the same setting, that's why it is divided into "arcs", each one focusing in a specific character.
When you say on a review that one series has these arcs, a lot of people usually interprets it with a prejudgment that it's bad because they think it will completely focus in one character during some episodes and leave the rest like if they were in "standby". This is not how it works with this series. Clannad was divided into arcs because that's how the Visual Novel was done, it was already like this, KyoAni just decided to follow the order. Even though, these arcs are all tight together and some 'themes' are continuously being developed, sometimes on the background but also taking the main stage at some episodes.
While talking about characters, I must praise those who imagined and designed them. From my standpoint, they're original, unique.
Nagisa, for example, has a strong personality but is easily turned down, she's caring but also very naive. It must seems incoherent but this is where things gets interesting. These characters' personalities aren't "fixed", and just like us, they change as the time passes by. Watching a character that's plain and you can predict its next action is boring. Stereotypes like the "tsundere friend" will always be present because in a way or another they're trademarks of slice-of-life. Even though, the way they're interpreted and the actions these characters take is what makes the difference between the average and the outstanding.
Kyoto Animation has always impressed me with the visuals and the details you can get from their animes. As expected from a high budget company they have in their hands the most recent software. That said, the artwork was also a joy. It's common to see wallpapers of Clannad around the internet, just another proof of it.
The placement and setting for the story was really well done, all the buildings and alleys seemed like a small countryside city. Same goes for the characters, they all have a clean and careful outline with that "moe" style KyoAni has. Like said before, KyoAni did an adaptation of the original story, so it means they had almost everything of the storyline done, this way they could focus on improving and include minor "spoilers" and visual jokes from the later chapters into the very first episodes which is great because when you finally get to those episodes, you have that déjà vu kind of feeling and remember they did hint you about that.
The soundtrack chosen and created for this series is something to give praise. I was astonished with the OST. They included some really emotional piano pieces for the strong scenes but also relaxing songs for the happy moments.
Although, they did a huge mistake with the ED. Not that it was the wrong song, Dango Daikazoku is addictive and a cute melody, however, there were lots of emotional endings throughout the anime, but after that heartbreaking scene, they throw the usual ending theme. Ok, Dango is a great melody but it isn't perfect for every moment. You can't have a happy and a sad ending with the same song! In some scenes, it ruined the entire emotional atmosphere that was built up. This would be one of the few reasons for me to remove some points from Clannad score.
I once read this marvelous quote in /a/:
-"Oh, now I understand why there are few doujinshi of this anime"
and the caption said: "otaku after watching the complete Clannad series."
It's true! The story is perfect the way it is, nobody wants to mess with it.
It's a complicated thing to say "that series is the best anime of all times", this is something too relative. Even rankings like the one here on MAL aren't trustful. I'm not saying that it's wrong! It's just that these things are extremely relative since each website of anime has it own community and, as well, some differences in the rankings. Even though, there's one thing you can take as "absolute". If an anime is acclaimed by the majority of the critic during years it must mean it's good. I hope I was able to make a point, and at least convince some of you to watch it.
[...] adfghkjgfdssSorry, just sweeping my tears of the keyboard. read more
Nov 1, 2008
By now you’re probably wondering where I’m going with all of this. Before I begin my review I thought it was best to explain the role of a family in society and why they are so central to our everyday lives; whether we realize it or not. Clannad is the most recent installment of Kyoto Animation’s adaptation of Key’s visual novels. The central theme this time around is families and how they are needed in an individual’s everyday life. As an interesting bit of info, Clannad is the Irish word for "family" or "clan" which fits the theme of the show quite nicely.
Okay that’s a long enough introduction; I better start this review before the word count gets to be over… two thousand (no I wasn’t going to say what you were probably thinking about).
Story – 8/10
Similar to Key’s other works, Air and Kanon, Clannad attempts to throw the Republican punch; it plays with your emotions without giving a reason for doing so. Thankfully Clannad does a much better job than the pathetic campaign that the Republicans are currently running (and no, I’m not going to begin comparing Tomoyo to Sarah Palin if anyone was wondering).
Clannad’s story is about Tomoya Okazaki, a young delinquient in his last year of high school. When Tomoya was young his mother died in an accident. This event led Tomoya and his father into a downward spiral where they both became distant from one another. One night, Tomoya and his father got into an argument which eventually turned into a fight between father and son. As a result Tomoya seriously injured his shoulder and was unable to continue playing on the high-school basketball team. It was at this point where Tomoya began avoiding his father and roaming around the streets at night. He then began coming to school late and skipping classes together with his best friend Youhei Sunohara. Due to his actions, people began labeling Tomoya as a delinquient. Now in his last year of high school, Tomoya continues to half-ass his way through his life. Tomoya no longer cares about his future or others… until one day when he meets Nagisa Furukawa, a typically shy and gentle girl. It turns out that Nagisa was actually held back a year due to the fact that she was sick in the previous year and missed most of her classes. Since most of her friends graduated and left town, Nagisa is left with no friends. Tomoya, who feels that Nagisa is in a similar situation to his, approaches her. It is then that Nagisa tells Tomoya of her dream to join the drama club; because she always wanted to act in a play. Together, the two of them muster enough effort to go to the drama room after school only to find that the club shut down. Disappointed with the outcome, Nagisa leaves. After some thinking Tomoya, who feels that he has nothing better to do with his life, attempts to help Nagisa reorganize the drama club. Along the way, Tomoya meets many other (beautiful) girls, who all happen to have their fair share of problems. With nothing else to do, Tomoya eventually helps to solve each of their problems while at the same time coming to the realization that he himself has one.
Clannad’s story is told in a number of arcs. Each arc focuses on a specific character and their family central problems. Within each arc, Tomoya and Nagisa help that character identify the problem and find ways to solve it. In doing so, Tomoya learns more about the importance of having a family while Nagisa develops some personal courage. For this genre of anime, Clannad does a good job in steering clear from the pit of flaws and clichés that many other animes constantly fall into. In general, the story arcs in Clannad are well executed and told very nicely with some light supernatural elements thrown in. The backgrounds of each arc character are fleshed out and presented to the viewers in a way in which we can easily make connections and relate to each character. While the stories of each character are neither deep nor profound they are often sad; usually involving a tragic death or a tale of misfortune. Unfortunately, the episode length of the story arcs is quite unbalanced. Two of the main character’s arcs are cut extremely short due to some arcs being far too long and to a point, overly fleshed out.
Often times, Kyoto Animation (now KyoAni for simplicity) seems to be the Hollywood of anime; spawning shallow pop culture shows with over the top production values. Some of the animes produced by KyoAni such as The Melancholy of Suzimiya Haruhi and Lucky Star rely heavily on otaku-central humor. The humor sported by the above series often gets repetitive and dull since it is only targeted at one specific group. Thankfully, the overall experience of Clannad is not bogged down by unnecessary otaku humor. Oddly enough, the humor is actually used in parts of Clannad’s story to provide comic relief (usually involving the misfortune of Youhei Sunohara) to prevent the show from feeling too depressing. Additionally, the comedic scenes in Clannad are not just otaku-specific and are more quirky, witty and slapstick oriented. Unlike Zero no Tsukaima, which doesn’t t know when to draw the fine line between cruel and funny, Clannad seems to understand its reputation and swiftly draws that line. Overall, I enjoyed the humor in Clannad and felt that it added to the show rather than detracting from viewing experience. It’s nice to see that KyoAni has finally learned that there are anime fans out there that do not enjoy excessive amounts of otaku humor; Clannad being a key example of their progress.
Surprisingly there is very little romantic development in Clannad (which the opening would hint otherwise since it quite clearly showcases the five main girls in typical harem format). The main focus of Clannad is families and not so much romance, although all families eventually begin with some romance. There is some romantic tension between Tomoya and the other girls (mainly Nagisa) but it never gets to the point where a harem is formed. More than anything the romance of the show just fleshes out the main characters and makes them memorable in the end.
Animation – 9/10
KyoAni is known far and wide for having extremely high production values. Some fans even consider the studio to be the gods of anime and for good reasons too. The animation in Clannad does not disappoint, all characters are fluidly animated. There is not a single dull facial expression or a stiff body figure on screen at any time (although at one point Tomoya does get rather stiff, but this is not due to a drop in animation). The lighting effects in Clannad are also superb, as they are usually used in conjunction with character’s feelings to convey the mood. Overall I have very few complaints (if not any) about the animation in Clannad except that I know KyoAni’s has even greater potential in terms of animation as seen in their previous masterpiece Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid.
Sound – 8/10
Another strong point of this anime is its sound and voice acting. The opening song "Megumeru ~cuckool mix 2007” by eufonius is a direct remix of the Clannad game opening. It fits the tone of the show nicely and is enjoyable to listen too along with the opening animation. The ending them “Dango Daikazoku” (The Big Dango Family) by Chata is a metaphorical song of the show’s main theme and the animation that goes along with it is quite cute and charming. Most of the BGM in Clannad was either reused or remixed directly from the Clannad visual novel. People who have played the game before will recognize many similar tracks, which may lead to mixed feelings. It would have been nice if KyoAni had taken the time to create new tracks, although in doing so they may have destroyed the overall feel and mood of Clannad. The voice acting is handled quite well by the voice actors. Most of them were able to breathe life into each of their respective characters and with great passion too. Overall, sound is pretty solid in Clannad earning a respective value of 8.
Characters – 8/10
Most of the characters in Clannad are taken from a bottomless pool of anime archetypes including the quiet bookworm, the gentle girl and your typical tsundere. Thankfully, some of the characters in Clannad end up being more than dry bologna. I’m glad that I finally get to have a few slices of black forest salami.
My goodness, if the delinquents at my school offered to solve my personal problems and spoke without swearing every other sentence, I would declare world peace everywhere. It’s strange that Tomoya seems to be the nicest and most decent delinquient that I have ever seen. In some respects his character almost seems unnatural, although I guess Tomoya only developed in this fashion due to living with a dysfunctional father. Complaints aside, Tomoya is a painfully honest young man who is frantically dealing with his own personal problems. Tomoya is a truly admirable character as he draws upon the failures in his life to make sure those around him do not end up that way. Through helping others, Tomoya eventually comes to the realization of his own problems and changes with the help of others.
At first glance, Nagisa doesn’t really seem to fit the role of a heroine as her character is a combination of the shy, gentle girl archetype. Nagisa is initially afraid of speaking in front of others but nevertheless wants to join the drama club. Most of Clannad’s story revolves around Nagisa and her fight to overcome her shyness. With Tomoya’s help, she eventually matures into a strong-willed person with a mind of her own. In turn, Nagisa is the one who helps Tomoya get over his distrust of everyone and his negative view on life. Oddly enough, Nagisa seems to be one of the few characters in Clannad who doesn’t have an immediate family issue. Nagisa’s family happens to be very close with each other, a rarity in modernized societies today. Watching Nagisa’s family members interact with one another gave me a heartwarming feeling and made me realize how similar my family is to hers. Even Tomoya is welcomed into the family at one point, showing just how generous they are. I understand that not everyone is blessed with a warm, loving family, but I hope that this example illustrates that almost anyone can find a family in this world, even if they are not related by blood.
The four other main girls in Clannad aren’t quite as developed as Nagisa (in terms of character, not figure) but they still have more than ample screen time. First of all there’s Kyou Fujibayashi (your typical tsundere), Kotomi Ichinose (the shy, intelligent bookworm), Tomoyo Sakagami (the combo master) and Fuko Ibuki (the starfish obsessed bozo). All of the main girls have their own respective arcs in which their personal stories are told. Each girl is equally likeable due to their individual personalities and complex personal lives, although some such as Kotomi and Kyou seriously run the risk of falling within the bottomless pool of anime archetypes. One last notable mention is Youhei Sunohara, who is the main source of comic relief in Clannad. Sunohara is probably the most humorous character due to his wacky antics and idiotic behavior which often results in him being bullet-kicked by Tomoyo. While every character in Clannad belongs to an anime archetype, KyoAni does an excellent job in differentiating most of them from other common fodder. These characters are part of what makes Clannad such an enjoyable and at times humorous show to watch.
Enjoyment – 9/10
While it’s not a groundbreaking story, Clannad doesn’t try to play up to anything more than it is. Clannad is simply a heartwarming story about the importance of a family. While some character’s arcs did not receive as much screen time as others, the main story is not greatly affected. Clannad’s story isn’t without flaws, but it still stands strong and will be remembered if not for its heartwarming story, then for its wacky, original sense of humor. People who enjoy a blend of drama, humor and slice of life will more than enjoy Clannad. Those who prefer a more serious tone to their animes (such as myself) will still find reasons to enjoy Clannad as its story is not purely positive.
Phew, this was another review that ended up being well over two-thousand words. I probably mispelled Tomoya as Tomoyo somewhere. Again, if you found a way to get through this lengthy review, I congratulate you and hope you learned something from reading it. read more
Oct 25, 2013
*This is just a review of Clannad and does not take into account any of the events which occur in After Story*
Clannad is a series that I never believed that I would watch due to my particular tendency to watch more action orientated anime. So when a friend of mine forced me to watch it I wasn't expecting to continue it. So lo and behold I am here having watched the whole series within the space of three days, something I thought I would never do, writing this review. So without further ado let us commence.
The story of Clannad revolves around a slacker by the name of Tomoya Okazaki and his interactions with multiple girls within his high school. There are several arcs, each of which focuses on one of the girls but the overall story focuses on the rebuilding of the discontinued drama club. The overall plot of the show is somewhat forgettable but the arcs themselves are good. In particular the first arc was brilliant, mixing comedy with emotion to the point where I was laughing in one scene and tearing up in the next. Subsequent arcs stuck to the same formula but did not reach the heights of the first arc but were good none the less. Also the pacing can be quite slow at some points and is definitely off-putting. Overall the story was enjoyable to watch and is very good at points but is nothing tremendously special.
Kyoto Animation really knows their strengths when it comes to animation. Get a bunch of cute girls, give them eyes the size of half of their face to make them cuter and Walla we have ourselves a money making machine.
Anyway back to the animation. The quality, as per usual, is very high and remains in accordance with the high production values of Kyoto Ani. The characters movements are fluid and the colours and backgrounds are vivid and bright. The character details are great but it is the character designs themselves which is the thing I have a problem with. This is due to there being three characters with a different shade of purple differing them and another 2 characters having slightly different facial features that differ between them. This is more a problem due to source material rather than the animators themselves but come on you can do better Kyoto Ani.
So they did. All throughout Clannad there are scenes from a different dimension. These scenes are some of the best that I have ever seen. They were beautifully executed; the character movements were almost life like, the detail put into each scene is extraordinary and the ambient lighting always fits the mood exquisitely.
Sound 7.8 (Soundtrack-8.8 and Voice Acting-6.8)
The soundtrack in this anime will have you reminiscing about the scenes that certain tracks accompany. The tracks are very well composed and match the scenes, moods and atmosphere exquisitely. Also the ending is very cute and catchy and plays a major role in After Story. The gripes I have with this soundtrack is that, for all the very good pieces there are, there is no piece that I have found to be special.
This is one of the few anime that I have watched in both English Dub and the original Japanese. Overall I cannot comment on the Japanese as I do not understand the language (unfortunately) but I can feel the emotion which is put into the voices of each character.
The English Dub, on the other hand, is an entirely different matter on its own. When I watched the first episode of the English Dub I felt that it was quite a jarring experience. However, by the end of episode 3 I had become accustomed to English voices and by episode 7 I had become reasonably attached to them. The quality of acting throughout was good and I felt the emotion pouring through the characters.In particular praise should be given to David Matranga and Andrew Love who voiced Tomoya and Akio respectively. It was mainly due to the way in which these two characters were portrayed that I liked them so much. However even with the quality of the voices the script produced for this anime was far inferior to the original Japanese Dub. On the whole it was only a couple of voices that irked me but nothing major and it was quite enjoyable to listen to, albeit with some shoddy writing at times.
This is the main driving force behind Clannad and if this had failed the whole anime would be worthless. Thankfully they did not fail and became the pillars that the series relies upon. All the characters fit into a stereotype and many fit into one, *cough* moe *cough*, but all of them undergo character development to some extent. It is the attention to detail that I like watching in this anime as no one character is ignored. Each character, apart from Ryou, has a depth and a personality about them which makes the viewing experience more enjoyable.This is especially present in Tomoya. His is a character which is similar to many other characters in anime but I feel that he stands out among the crowd for being eerily relate-able. My qualms come in the form of the main female lead Nagisa who I felt was kind of un-interesting in comparison with some of the other female characters such as Kyou, Kotomi and Tomoyo. But on the whole there is not a whole lot to complain about and the characters are nicely fleshed out and developed.
I did like the series as a whole and was an enjoyable experience but it was mainly the melodrama throughout the series which kept nagging at me and reduce the overall immersion that I had. At times it enthralled me but other times I found it to be quite boring and it was this inconsistency which drops my enjoyment down quite a lot.
This is a very good anime on the whole, excelling in the animation and soundtrack elements and has some very good characters, albeit a bit bland at times. If you like a romantic anime with some slight harem influences then this will fit you fine however be warned that the anime is rather slow at points and does rely on some melodrama from time to time to try and stimulate your tear ducts.
Like I said at the top none of this review takes into consideration any of the events of After Story.
I hope that you found the review helpful and any feedback would be greatly appreciated =D
Mar 28, 2010
This show expects us to believe that teenage girls act like five-year-olds. It expects us to care about these infantile, one-dimensional characters. It expects us to have genuine emotional reactions to the 'blossoming relationships' between our bland protagonist and these excuses for characters.
Is this too harsh? Let's look at the individual components that MAL expects us to rate anime by.
STORY: To be fair, the anime didn't have much to work with, given that it was based on the original VN plot. Still, the outlandish (one word: Fuuko) and emotionally manipulative plot elements (most of the backstories that were explored) weakened what might otherwise have been a sweet, unpretentious slice-of-life drama/romance.
I mean: a story about a girl who is shy and has trouble making friends? Yeah, cool, you can watch Kimi no Todoke or something. A story about a girl with Mysterious Anime Disease who has the intellectual capacity of a child? Sorry, it's not working for me. [4/10]
ART: High budget, great production values and art direction. Squishy moe character designs may not be everyone's cup of tea (Sanae looks barely older than Nagisa), but again, that comes with the territory. If anything, this aspect of Clannad makes me despair, because I can think of a lot of better anime series that deserve to have this sort of budget. [8/10]
SOUND: Evocative without being overdramatic, for the most part. Unfortunately, all the female characters sound like babies. [6/10]
CHARACTER: This is probably the greatest problem I have with Clannad, and again, it's thanks to the source material. Few of the characters get much development. All of them (the female ones, anyway) exhibit some degree of fanboy-pandering. Kyou's tsundere-ness, Fuuko's quirkiness, Nagisa's unending sweetness, etc. - not to mention the fact that Fuuko, Kotomi and Nagisa, at least, sound at least half their age. Their childish and insecure natures (especially early in the series) make for unrealistic characters - and therefore compromise this show's unrelenting attempts at making us care about them.
It's also hard to understand Tomoya's motivations at the start of the series, i.e. why he even bothered with/cared about Nagisa et al. We get no insight into his motivations at all. Why would a so-called delinquent suddenly take up this project of helping a random girl he's never met before? Why does he find her interesting? What is the point? [3/10]
ENJOYMENT: Obviously higher if you're a moe fan, but those who derive little enjoyment from watching cute girls doing cute things might find this series rather trying.
Those who watch anime with their brain switched on will find this series trying.
Those who think that female characters should actually resemble, you know, real people... yeah, don't watch this show, it'll make you rage. [5/10]
If Clannad weren't so obviously manipulative, it might be a better series. Which is not to say that the series is obviously cynical - on the contrary, I think it exhibits a genuine warmth that lesser harem-type series lack. Yet the series ultimately feels contrived and heavy-handed, and its unrealistic characters undermine its would-be heart-warming nature. read more
Jun 16, 2013
I'll start by saying that many people who haven't watched the series will have picked up on the fact that whilst the second series - Clannad After Story - has gained extraordinarily high ratings on most anime-centred websites and fanbases, this part of the series has been greatly overshadowed by other preferred animes.
So you might ask: if After Story is considered such a masterpiece and this is hardly recognised as outstanding, why should I bother watching the first series? Why not just skip to the second if it's so much better?
Ladies and gentlemen, two words: Character Development.
The more you love these characters, the harder After Story is going to hit, and the more rewarding the series is going to be overall (not to mention that the ending of the latter will make more sense as there's a lot of foreshadowing spread over both seasons).
On a similar note, I think it's sad that this anime gets overlooked so frequently in comparison to its successor. Yes, After Story is a masterpiece of storytelling, tragedy, animation, music and characterisation (in my opinion and that of many), but the original series also lives up to these standards.
Most of the characters are developed with obvious motives behind their actions and whilst the gorgeous animation (and, for some, the heavily moe character designs) make loving them a lot easier, even putting those details aside, the personalities of every single major (and even some minor) character is thorough, intelligent and layered.
The story is told in several arcs, with most major characters getting their own arcs and others sharing them, and this can be jarring for some; however, if anything, this only served to increase my personal enjoyment as with each new story I discovered more about the characters I was growing attached to. I worried for them when things went wrong, breathed sighs of relief when things went right, got teary when they finally achieved goals they'd been striving so hard to reach.
And when a new arc began, I was happy to see the main characters of previous arcs appear sporadically, but also excited about getting to know the character getting limelight in the next arc.
Another notable thing is the score; the music is the sort of thing I want to listen to even after I've finished watching the series itself. My personal favourite tracks are 'The Girl's Fantasy', 'Distant Years' and 'The Place Where Wishes Come True.' The opening and ending themes are beautiful too, of course, if sometimes a little jarringly optimistic at the end of a particularly heart-wrenching episode.
The dub wasn't to my taste at all, but I have friends who didn't have a problem with it, so I'm going to leave the dub VS sub argument down to personal preference.
So, what is Clannad about? It's about love, it's about friendship, it's about hope, it's about the supernatural and the down-to-earth, the bleakest moments in life and the most hopeful. It's beautiful, funny, moving, clever and definitely a worthy set-up for After Story, so please do not overlook it.
As for the rest, people simply have to meet these characters and watch these stories unfold for themselves in order to understand why I and so many people love this series so much.
I hope you enjoy the series if you choose to watch it, because it's the sort of series people deserve to see at least once.
Dango, dango, dango, dango, dango, daikazouku. read more
Jun 15, 2010
That word is "moe". I'd never come across the word before "Clannad", and but I sure as hell knew it's meaning afterwards. It describes a feeling that originates from the sweetness of the female characters. But it's not a charming kind of sweetness that you get from, say, "Aria". It's an extreme kind of sweetness, the kind you get from gorging yourself on the icing from a cake, the kind of sweetness that makes your tooth ache and your stomach churn. I can't stand this kind of sweetness because it's artificial, arising from a cynical, calculated attempt on the makers part to portray the girls as cutely as possible. Taken to this kind of extremes, it has no real substance and serves only as an obstacle to good characterisation.
You can tell pretty quickly that "Clannad" is blatently based on a harem VN or a dating sim. The main protagonist doesn't waste much time hooking up with about 12 different girls. What's more, the character designs, with their various hair colour extracted from almost all major parts of the visible spectrum, are exactly what you'd expect from the source material. There's the Brown Haired Girl, the Blue Haired Girl (they don't even need names, and to be honest they don't deserve names), the Grey Haired Girl etc, and even a pair of Purple Haired Twins. In fact I'm surprised to see the roster is missing a Pink Haired Girl. Of course, a generically distinct personality is assigned to each girl. Now, "generically distinct" may sound like an oxymoron, but I assure you it is not. The girls' personalities are all distinct from one another, however they all conform to their own generic archetype that can be readily identified within about 20 seconds of their introduction. There's the Adorably-Childish Girl (aka Green Haired Girl), the Shy Girl (aka one half of the Purple Haired Twins), the Feisty Girl (aka the other half of the Purple Haired Twins) etc etc. Again, I'm surprised to see the roster missing a Ditzy Girl - maybe they deliberately missed one out in order to prevent the whole thing from becoming even more painfully transparent than it already is. It also soon becomes obvious that, though all the girls shows interest in the main character, for the purpose of the "Clannad" playthrough, er, I mean, storyline, the main character's "target" is Generically Sweet Girl (aka Brown Haired Girl).
Though I guess "Clannad" is technically not quite a harem, since there's another guy in the cast besides the main character, it may as well be one, because the other guy in question qualifies as a man only by technicalities. Practically, he's more like some sub-human creature, perhaps on about the same level as a worm, and is suitably treated as one too. Most of the girls treat him with distain and none of them are interested in him in the slightest. To be fair, the main character himself isn't quite your average harem lead, and for this reason, I've given him some more respect than the others characters by actually looking up his name for the purpose of this review (I'm bad with Japanese names and can never remember them): he's called Okazaki Tomoya. For some reason I keep thinking he's called Kyon... I think it's because like Kyon from "Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu", he sticks out as the lone, sarcastic voice of relative reason amongst a sea of irrational madness. Anyway, I digress... as I was saying, what make Tomoya different from a typical harem lead is that although he is a bit of a good for nothing person, he's at least more charismatic and confident than that typical loser-but-nice stereotype that's recycled through most harems, and so you can at least kind of see why he's able to get on quite well with his, er, harem.
Other than the insane amount of moe, another thing that stood out about "Clannad" (in a bad way) is the insane amount of heavy handed emotional manipulation injected into the show. This show has more of it than "Saikano", and THAT is saying something. I bristle at the sight of the slice-of-life tag attached to this title, because this show completely sacrifices any sort of realism associated with that genre in favour of trying to artificially invoke more emotions from the viewer with unbelivable and outrageously melodramatic storylines. The "tragic" backstories for the various characters pasts are so contrived that at times it feels like a competition between them to see which one can be more ridiculous and unrealistic. It's a competition that is eventually won by Blue Haired Girl's (aka Nerd Girl) backstory involving a teddy bear. It's a story that is so "moving" that it had everyone in the room bursting into tears. Tears of laughter that is. Moreover, most of the girls - Blue Haired girl being a prime example - simply disappears into the background once their part of the story is over, and the shift in focus from one girl to the next is so swift and ruthless I found it kind of off putting. What's the point of spending an arc fleshing out these characters if they simply get swept under the carpet again once their part of the story is over? Brown Haired Girl is probably the only person who's presence can be felt throughout the series, and that's only because she's obviously the girl who's gonna hook up with Tomoya's eventually (but don't worry, if you don't like this ending, Kyoto Animation has rather helpfully made several "Clannad" OVA's that are basically alternative playthroughs where Tomoya picks someone else).
Only one of the supposedly tragic situations did not come off as overly melodramatic, and that's the one involving Tomoya's family situation with his dad. However, it's side story that's really jarringly integrated into the show. It comes into the show's focus randomly with little apparent purpose. It also feels out of place when placed against the cheesily cheerful parts, and what's more did not really come to any conclusion. It's almost as though when given this piece of material with genuine potential, the makers of "Clannad" didn't quite know what to do with it. As a result it feels like a bit of a tag on without much purpose.
I'm really glad that I watched this with my local anime society, because with my stubborness of finishing what I start, watching this whole thing through by myself probably would have killed me. I remember trying to catch up with the episodes on the weeks where I couldn't make it to the society showings, and I literally had to split each episode into two or three chunks to be able to complete it - I just couldn't stomach watching more than a few minutes of it at a time. And no wonder - with its sickeningly strong stench of moe, ludicrously contrived stories and array of cardboard template cut-outs masquerading as female characters, just what is there to like for someone who's not into moe or extremely sappy melodrama? read more
Apr 26, 2009
What is "moe?"It is a terminology that takes on many forms in anime; I have no right to define it but for me the closest meaning to it is "cuteness"
Clannad's story is a slice of school life where the main characters encounter different people and situations alike. Each has their own conflict as a student, as a family member or as an individual. In my opinion, the story is simple.
Personally, I find its arcs or stories not surprisingly new. Problems about self confidence, crushes and parental relationships are already common though the way the protagonists address those problems are certainly interesting to see. Some things will make you smile,some has surprising twists and some may break your heart. But in another prospective, Clannad may be truly intended to those that relate to it.
The pacing is slow; it does not jump right into the situation but rather introduces its featured characters and shows their personalities and comical sides; though some may find those tidbits insignificant. And also, I find each arc unique on its own. Though slow, development is gradual and very in-character.
The main problem is that many things are predictable or expected, or that some viewers might get irked with all the unnecessary crying.
But Clannad has some little elements as well that I can say...out of this world. It's interpretation differs from one to another and is a good connection to the individuality and emotions of a person.
Art is also very familiar to the eyes for many animes featured Clannad's style but it is certainly refreshing. The environment and its colors are pleasing to the eyes with their mild tones. Probably the greatest asset of its animation is the characters. Different"unique" hair colors and styles has successfully distinguished one character from the other...and the eyes are gorgeous!
Dango Dango Dango Dango Dango Dango Daikazoku...
The memorable thing about Clannad's music are its melodies and the ending song certainly makes it so. So my praise comes to "Dango Daikazoku" because it fits the series in a very cute and adorable; but the song somehow touches a different area and tells another meaning.
The opening song is appropriate though not entirely exceptional. And though I say Clannad's melodies are good, the background music every episode are almost the same, making it repetitive and predictable. They could have used different character themes.
Loving the series lies within loving its characters; and generally, all the protagonists are classic school characters:
a delinquent, yet helpful boy
a boy who's the punching bag of female characters
a girl with little self-confidence
a cute yet mysterious girl
a pair of contrasting sisters
a shy and intelligent girl
a tough and responsible girl
Though many don't find them new (they're classic!), they somehow shine with some unique characteristics and actions that leaves a smile at one's face. Their interaction greatly plays a role in the drama of the genre. Many of them has hidden pasts and secrets that are revealed differently along the way. However, they are arguably generic and lacks development. Cuteness for the sake of it being cute may irk some viewers.
Sadly, the central plot mover, Nagisa Furukawa is weak. The story is made predictable through her and what is accomplished in the whole series can be compressed in a few episodes or such. Everybody acts in an idealized fashion around her while her struggle simply lacks impact and nothing new.
Notably, every one of them is kind-hearted. And they settle everything through teamwork and will-power. Don't expect intense humanism nor psychology. Expec
Enjoyment is rather personal and its not the best basis in rating the series. However, I was not entertained by the countless "I'm sorry!" then "It's okay!" dialogues and the lack of faults in the characters.
If you're looking for an anime with dark themes, societal issues, intense drama, cool action and superb coolness Clannad is not for you. But if you want a relaxing anime with adorable characters that will make you reflect about your school life and the feelings of people then check this series out.
Dec 4, 2008
Unlike its two predecessors (Air and Kanon) that started out as H-Visual Novels, Clannad was released for all-ages and does not contain any fan service (although the selling point is still harem). Being Key's second longest work, Clannad is not a simple story that can be summarized in a mere 23 episodes TV series. As a result, Kyoto Animation released an additional 24 episodes in the sequel Clannad ~After Story~. As the third anime adaptations of Key visual novels, Clannad certainly is a must watch for all Air and Kanon fans.
The Clannad visual novel was split into two segments, "School Life" and "After Story". Clannad features the "School Life" segment, while the "After Story" segment is in Clannad ~After Story~. Each segment is further subdivided into arcs about each heroine. Similar to Kanon, each heroines' arc describe something unique relating the heroine to the main male protagonist. The transition from arc to arc are often very smooth and does not leave the viewers with any confusion.
The animation quality is slightly better than previous Key adapations by Kyoto Animation. For those who are not familiar with the producer, Kyoto Animation (products include
Kanon (2006), Air, Full Metal Panic series, Lucky Star, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Kiddy Grade, etc.) has a pretty good reputation for its high level animation. Simply put, one will be find nothing but beautifully drawn girls, dynamic backgrounds, and completely fluid movements in this touching anime.
The OP, Megumeru ~cuckool mix 2007~, is sang by Riya of the Eufonius band. To those who have played the visual novel, it should be familiar as the song is actually a remix of the original game OP. While the ED, Dango Daikazoku, is sung by Chata.
As with many major titles, Clannad also come with a great deal of seiyu talents. Some of these big names include: Mai Nakahara as CV of Nagisa Furukawa, the main female heroine. Mai is famous for her role as Mai, the female lead in Mai HiME, and Norah in Spice and Wolf. Mamiko Noto as CV for Kotomi Ichinose. Mamiko is famous for voicing as Hecate in Shakugan no Shana, Kouta in Kanokon, and Yuka in Elfen Lied. Houko Kuwashima as CV for Tomoyo Sakagami. Some of the more well known roles by Houko includes Clare in Claymore, Flay, Natarle, and Stella in Mobile Suit Gundam Seed / Destiny (yes THREE major roles, yet one can hardly tell they are voiced by the same person), and Quon in RahXephon. Yuichi Nakamura as CV for Tomoya Okazaki, the main male lead of the anime. His past roles include Alto in Macross Frontier, and Graham in Gundam 00.
The characters are highly likable with a large variety of "flavours" to choose from. There is the tsundere type, strong-willed type, gentle type, bookworm type ... basically you name it, they have it! Since only 2 of the girls' arc are really covered in detail in Clannad, one might get the feeling that certain girls seem more "developed" than others. It should also be noted that there are quite a few unresolved character relations at the end which might make certain viewers feel unsatisfied with the ending. But please keep in mind that this is only half the story, thus one should expect plenty more character developments in the latter half along with more complete, resolved relations.
Personally, Clannad was more enjoyable than Kanon (2006) largely due to the more obvious humours (ones where you will laugh when you see/hear it, rather than those that require thinking and laugh in the aftermath). Tomoya's encounter with the girls are also MUCH more natural (and believable) than Yuuichi's ... in Yuuichi's case, it is almost always "oo.. must be a girl he left behind in his childhood" and yet most girls remember him and he only forgets them all.
However, that is not to say there is nothing to complain about regarding Clannad. What really nags me is the occasional intrusion by Fuko into the scenes in later episodes. It really disturbs me and I find it absolutely unnecessary. Was it like that in the game too?
Lastly, I want to point out that there is an episode 24 (DVD only) named Clannad: Another World, Tomoyo Chapter where the focus is on Tomoya and Tomoyo (what a nice pair of names). Evidently as the name implies, it takes place in "another world" thus it does not directly relate to the TV series of Clannad nor Clannad ~After Story~. But Tomoya x Tomoyo supporters would not want to miss this rare opportunity to see them embracing each other! read more
Oct 14, 2013
The thing that pissed me off was that why did Tomoya at the start just suddenly care and talk to Nagisa?? Like why did Tomoya help her so much through that 'setting up the theatre club' bullshit? He didn't have any feelings for her at that time. (but i guess if they didn't meet there wouldn't be this anime so i guess yeah) I just wished they had a history or something that showed why Tomoya cared and helped her so much.
The whole story was just a boring high school anime-y thing. But even most high school animes were better than this one. That fuko arc was repetitive and jesus christ so boring. Will be honest, i did like that Kotomi arc, almost made me cry. The rest was just...annoying. The voice actor of most of the female characters were way too high pitched.
Characters were okay. Some annoyed me. Like Nagisa's parents but i do start to like them in the after story.
Opening song is really nice!
and thats all i have to say about Clannad i think.
After story is a lot better, it has more real life situations and the story is much more touching than this high school bullshit
I do think this anime was necessary tho. To watch after story it is better to watch this first.
no hate pls
Oct 6, 2013
This is a difficult review, so bear with me.
Story- Firstly, the story isn't really a focus in clannad. At the end of the day, after 25 episodes, all you have witnessed is a few people setting up a theatre club. Although I didn't particularly mind this fact, it is a shame that all of these powerful characters were placed in an all too normal situation, which limited how interesting the story arcs were. If this sub section was ‘impact’ instead of ‘story’, I would undoubtedly mark it much higher ( maybe an 8). As I said, the story arcs are pretty average, parents died, sibling issues etc etc. Saying that, Clannad still manages to deliver maximum impact given the scenario. So, 8
Art- clannad, relatively speaking is again very unremarkable art wise. Because of the standard everyday life setting, there isn’t much chance for the art to shine. However, I will say that when the time comes, the visual effect is quite profound. Animation wise, the triangle noses and ridiculously busty girls, although over the top do fit the genre well, so I don’t necessarily have any complaints here. The art best comes into play in the comedic scenes, they did make me chuckle. So, to summarise, unremarkable stuff, done well. 8.
Sound- music was amazing. ‘Time flow people’ is an amazingly beautiful song, there are other equally good songs as well (as well as some really annoying and cheesy ones). The funny moments had good music as well. Voice acting was superb. Overall- excellent. 10.
Character- This is a difficult section to review. A bit of background of what I know about Key and clannad will perhaps make it easier. Key originally did adult anime. Yeah. So, that explains some seriously perverted scenes and some of the, lets say, physiques of the female characters. Also, clannad was originally a visual novel, where the goal was to romance each of the female characters on separate play throughs, by helping them with personal issues. Key basically shot themselves in the foot with this one as they were ultimately forced to include all of these romance stories whilst having the main character only fall in love with one of them, so essentially, the main character has girls leaping out from every direction who blurt out their life stories before a hello. Also, as I mentioned before, the completely average setting and plot of clannad meant that these life issues are fairly bland. For example, wanting to save some trees. However, saying this, you will end up loving all of the characters in the series, they all bring laughs and sad moments to the mix. Some characters are mega cheesy or stereotypical, yet you still love them. Again, it is the unremarkable setting that makes, by default, all of the characters very uninteresting, which is a great shame. 8.
Enjoyment- Clannad the original series greatest strengths was in the comedy, it had me cracking up many times. The emotional aspects are all really there to provide a concrete setting for Clannad after story, which is a slight shame because it means that no story arcs develop much. Also the fact that there are so many characters, and thus so many story arcs, each character only really has a short time to develop and shine. After their allotted time, they develop no further and so I felt that I either didn’t know the characters very well, or that they were just very uninteresting. Sadly, due to the dull and standard setting of the story, I didn’t particularly care whether the theatre club gets set up or if those trees get saved. However, saying all of this, there was never a point where I wanted to skip an episode (well, one particular characters story arc was particular dull and drawn out), I was quite happy sitting and watching what was essentially a guy going to school- so they must have gotten something right. 8.
Overall- I think the words, ‘unremarkable yet excellent’ sums it up pretty well, considering how standard and dull parts of it are, it is still enjoyable. The main reason I recommend it though however, is so that clannad after story has its maximum impact. 8. Be sure to read my Clannad after story review.
Jun 12, 2011
I'll describe the given categories in order of importance, from least to greatest.
Lets start with the -sound-
I enjoyed the opening theme, "Megumeru", and ended up adding it to my playlist. The music overall is good. That's all I have to say about that.
Now for the -art-...
Unfortunately, I found it very annoying. When Tomoyo first met Nagisa on the street and she opened up those horrifically huge eyes, I literally facedesked. What the hell is this? This pseudo-chibi, or moe style or whatever it is... it's not cute. It's not "kawaiidesu." It's extremely... I don't know how exactly to describe it. Let's just say that at first, the sight of them made me want to break things. By the end, I was desensitized, of course... but the point is: They look like extraterrestrials.
As for the -characters-...
This is the main reason I was turned off by this anime. I hated most of them, and I was quite disgruntled by their behavior. I will describe the mains in order from the ones I dislike the least to the most:
This is the one girl from this silly harem that I actually like. She is ambitious, and she knows exactly what she wants, unlike many women. Not only does she know how to fight, in every sense of the word, but she knows how to cook for and take care of her man - the complete package in a woman. -8/10-
I also like her little brother. "Hey mom, dad, I want to see the sakuras together every year!" "Oh honey I dont' know..." *takes out razor blade* "Oh there's some peach fuzz on my wrists. I'll shave it off a little" "OH WAIT DON'T DO THAT HONEY! OKAY WE'LL DO IT!" I was certainly intrigued by his persuasion techniques.
Youhei seems to be a comic relief character. I don't like those. But then again, he always seems to get thrashed verbally and physically by everyone. So I suppose I feel some sympathy for him. There was nothing special about him, but I couldn't find anything serious to dislike about him either - a fairly decent character overall. -6/10-
I don't like her simply because she's a jerk. She really doesn't do that much in the story other than being a loud obnoxious little jerk. And it's annoying. I don't have much else to say about her. -5/10-
Apparently she's a genius. But when we first met her, I got the impression that she was a retard. She does pitiful things like crying in a corner while her friends break their backs for her. I cannot appreciate that. -5/10-
Another ridiculous sob story. Probably the most ridiculous of all of them. Her obsession with wooden shuriken did not amuse me, nor did her cameo appearances. - 4/10-
Ah... the main character... His right arm can't shoot basketballs anymore, so instead of learning to use his left arm like any rational person, he becomes a "delinquent." And so he discovers poor little Nagisa-chan and randomly decides to dedicate his life to helping her realize her dream, because his own life no longer has any meaning. He also wants to help every stray girl he comes across, instead of focusing on his studies. I'm sorry but I can't admire or respect a person like that, because if you don't have any ambition and can only worry about others, what's going to happen to you? It's not like you're gonna get a huge prize at the end. You will still have to hope for the charity of others yourself... for the rest of your life. I cannot support such a lifestyle. And the part that irritates me the most is the situation with his father. The guy is apparently a bum and needs help. If Tomoya should be helping anyone, he should be helping him. The name of of this story, "Clannad," implies that this is supposed to be about "family" right? Well, there is no real reason Tomoya can't forgive his father for the greater good, for the sake of family. Yet somehow Tomoya would struggle to help random girls off the street over his own father. Regardless of what happened between them, I cannot respect that. All of this is only half the reason I hate this guy, but I can't say the rest without writing spoilers. So there you have it. -3/10-
And now the character I hate the most - the type of female I hate the most. She is the kind who is completely helpless on her own. She can't do anything for herself, and if Tomoya hadn't taken her in like a stray animal she would have sat alone in a corner eating bread for the rest of her life. She is the type of girl who has no self-esteem and at one point is even sorry for being born. She has great trouble calling Tomoya by his first name even after all they've been through, due to her obscene lack of self-confidence. By the way, when I go to Japan one day, I'm just gonna call all of them by their first name with no honorifics, just for teh lulz. Anyway, she relies solely on the help and sacrifice of others, and she wants to waste it by sulking and crying in a corner. Quite frankly, it's pathetic. I don't accept that she's "physically weak" as an excuse. I've seen autistic paraplegics with more independence and fiber of character. -2/10-
As for the -story-
All in all, it's all about Tomoya's life's mission to help stray girls, and how they all want him. I'll admit I was amused in some parts, and maybe a little sympathetic in others, but not enough to make up for everything else that bothered me. That's all I have to say about that.
And my -enjoyment-
I will simply repeat the word "decent." To be quite honest, the only reason I kept watching this show after the atrocious Fuuko arc was the same reason some people would vote for say... Sarah Palin: "morbid curiosity."
However, I don't know if my curiosity is enough for me to continue with the "After Story" ...maybe if I'm extremely bored one day. Well, whatever. Thanks for reading. read more
May 24, 2010
Ok, then lets start with the story:
The cute looking boy meets just awfully ugly girl with the strange things in her head. Then she starts saying some senseless things. In the school he sees that she's very lonely and he feels pity for her so they become friends. In this moments she can say that he's her first and most precious friend. Ok. Then she starts fall for him and he for her, but they are too shy and there's many other girls around him so she can't say that she likes him. Then it's showing that none of them can't suit him more than the main girl and in the end they confess to each other and end up dating. Such a silly, stereotyped drama and harem. I give the story 4/10
Omg, I HATED the main girl Furukawa, Nagisa. You just can't imagine how annoying she was. Like an eyesore.
Other girls was ok. Especially Kyou. She was very cute and cool.
Tomoya is the best. I very liked his personality and you know he was the one of the reasons why I watched the anime untill the end. [fangirl] He looks so cute read more
Feb 21, 2010
The first thing I noticed about Clannad was the art, it is probably one of the best elements in Clannad. I would often pause the anime for a minute just to watch the surroundings. I concluded that the sunsets were the most beautiful. Why? Because the orange glow it emitted was just stunning. Never before had I seen anything similar in an anime. Well, we do got other animes from Kyoto Animation, like Air or Haruhi Suzumyia. But I still found Clannad's art more charming than any other anime. The character art is also brilliant, and can resemble Haruhi Suzumiya, Kanon and even Lucky Star. A huge element which Kyoto Animation used was tears, you could for example often see Sunohara cry out of pleasure, pain or by being fooled by Okazaki. I can't find anything bad about the art in Clannad and therefore:
Another good thing about Clannad is the sound. From excellent voice actors like Yuichi Nakamura, Mai Nakahara, Ryō Hirohashi and Daisuke Sakaguchi too amazing situational music. Clannad soundtrack covers everything in a perfect manner: from spirited and happy moments too melancholy and sad moments. Jun Maeda, Magome Togoshi, and Shinji Orito who are the geniuses behind the music also made soundtracks for Air.
There are also soundtracks which fits each character. For example you have Sunohara which have uplifting and spirited music which fits too his personality. Nor in the sound can i find any flaws, and therefore:
One thing i simply loved about Clannad were the characters. How they were presented, their development and everything else about them. Each character had their past and views about things throughly explained throughout the anime, which was a first for me. And while watching Clannad, i felt like i were bonding with each character. Which made After Story a heart breaker, but lets save that for later.
Clannad's story is separated into several arcs. You have the very beginning of the anime were the main characters and some secondary characters are presented and also some relationships start to spin off. Then you have the Fuko Ibuki arc, the Kotomi Ichinose arc and after that Clannad keeps building the relationship between the characters. You often get a harem feel in Clannad, although it is not presented on a "ecchi" basis which we often witness in comedy/romance animes. Well, you have Sunohara of course, but the protagonist, Okazaki, isn't really the ecchi type. Of course, there are a few moments, but it is not the main basis of Clannad's humor. Which I think affected the story in an excellent way.
Clannad's humor is just flawless. It's not too ecchi and you never seem to get tired of Sunoharas stupidity or Okazakis pranks. You also have Kyou's anger and Tomoyo's grown up personality and her desire to be a student council president. These are of course just examples. But there are also sad parts in Clannad which I think were done really well. And it were all supported by excellent music.
What can I say? I loved everything about Clannad, and it is by far my favorite anime. I can recommend this anime to everyone, it is really worth taking a look at. Even if you don't like romance/drama/humor as much!
Rating: 10 read more
Oct 4, 2009
The story itself is set to a small Japanese town, and a select few inhabitants of that town. The first person to note is Okazaki Tomoya, a high school senior notorious at school for being a tardy delinquent; always late for classes, if he shows up at all, and he surely doesn't care for anything. And while that is true, he isn't the kind of person who goes looking for fights and has a foul mouth. The reason for his current life situation is a complex one, but can be summarized as such: He's simply bored. Of going to school. Classes. The town he lives in. His home and drunkard father.
That however, changes drastically one day, when walking to school. he hears a girl mutter the word 'anpan' to herself. This draws on his curiosity, and before long, the two of them are talking to each other. The girl, Nagisa Furukawa, evidently mutters names of foods she likes, to give her the confidence to get through the day. She is currently repeating her senior year due to illness, and she has one thing she absolutely must do: Re-establish the school's drama club.
To do this she needs members. And before long herself and Tomoya are looking around the school for new members. And here the somewhat-standard harem cast is built up. The soon-to-be drama club members are for the most part girls, each with their distinct personality and quirks which probably aren't unknown to someone slightly experienced with this kind of anime.
The route it takes from here is, at its bones and skeleton, a standard visual novel approach. There are several story arcs covering various amounts of episodes; each arc focusing on a specific girl. Of course, this means that the girls have their problems and issues which they have to deal with. And our main characters do just that, by valiant effort to help their newfound friends. And a little bit of Dr. Phil mixed in. One of my pet peeves with this anime.
But from what we now know, it sounds like any other anime of this type. So what is it that sets Clannad apart from the rest, and elevates it above them?
The first answer would be the characters. Yes, they start out a bit cliché, in some ways, but that's not really a bad thing. Making totally original characters personality-wise nowadays isn't that easy after all. What Clannad does with the characters after their introduction, however, is amazing. Not only are their struggles portrayed excellently and grippingly, they develop into strong induvidials who are there for their friends, who can face the world and its hardships more openly.
The second answer lies in its themes. Here it completely blows everything else out of the water, because what the producers want to tell us through Clannad is realistic and believable what concerns both actual plot execution and message. What the characters do, I can belive. What they learn from their struggles, I can learn and take with me to real life. That's how strong Clannad's message is.
Mostly it's about family. What is a family? Who can be family? How important are bonds? What if you don't have proper family at home; only jerks with no right to call themselves your family? Clannad tells us that a family can be found anywhere; not only in our own home. The main characters of the show may just find their own little family together, as they work with the drama club.
A character which I think deserves extra mention is Sunohara. He is in many ways the comedic relief person; when you see him around you expect something funny to happen. Or well, at least that's what you're supposed to do. But Sunohara isn't just a blond, shallow klutz. At times he really shines through with his deep character, proving that he, too, can be a capable supporter among his friends.
As most would expect of Kyoto Animation, the animation budget is all but slim. One of the things which makes Clannad so lifelike is the animation itself, through sheer quality. Lucid, vivid and soft colours makes sure the eye is pleased through gentle contrasts and lifelike static and non-static objects on-screen, be that walls, characters, cityscapes or other such things. The detail level is exceptionally high, which again contributes to that feeling of the series being alive. Clothing, furniture, decorations, it's all there and looking truly neat. But what contributes most to this feeling of being alive lies in the character motions. Not only are they fluid and pleasant to watch, they're abundant. You've most likely watched a series only to find that the characters walk stiffly, and when they talk they remain static during the whole conversation, save for maybe one or two motions. In Clannad, they swing their arms to be dramatic and to prove their points. They aren't static when jsut standing upright speaking. They do things during conversations which ensures that they seem more like real humans standing there than 2d anime characters.
And what would a show be without its music? Just as the animation contributes to the series coming alive, the music does an outstanding job at amplifying the emotions portrayed. Many of the themes are dramatic, sad; this to reflect the overall sadness of Clannad. Yet there are other themes too which fit right in. The standard new day at school theme, some comedy-like themes, they are all there. And they are composed beautifully, making sure every mood swing and feeling sweeps your heart away, gripping at your innermost feelings of empathy and compasion for the characters. The opening theme, remixed from the game's counterpart, is a lovely upbeat theme mixing strings, a neat bass and percussion all mixed into an allegro which has interesting lyrics as the topping. The end theme is basically a metaphor for what goes on; the dango family representing Nagisa and the caring people around her. It is a very bittersweet tune, offering cuteness and melancholy all the same.
And parallelling all that happens is the story of a girl in a world that has ended. A strange, mysterious world, where she is alone. All alone, savefor a doll she built from scrap metal. What this symbolizes and means, you can watch for yourself. Though, this side-story's relevance to the main plot is not revealed properly before the second season.
All in all Clannad offered a very pleasant surprise to me; offering both enticing themes, a fresh plot and interesting, deep characters. Once during the season I also had to experience a tear making its way down my cheek. That's the kind of anime this is. If you haven't watched it, you should definitely give it a try. read more
Oct 22, 2008
Story: What more is there to say about the story other than it's great? The word clannad means family. There are five girls, each with their own story to tell that somehow involves family. Although there are many comparsions to Kanon, they remain different because Kanon's overall story was about miracles, while Clannad is about the bond of family.
Art: As expected of Kyoto Animation, the animation quality is superb. I don't think there's a single negative comment I can make about it. The character designs are great. The way the characters look and act line up perfectly with each other. The background isn't lacking of detail either.
Sound: The opening and ending songs fit well with the story. The opening shows the dramatic side and the ending shows the light-hearted side. Nagisa's voice is portayed very well. Her insecurities an naviety are very evident. Tomoya's funny antics shine brightly through his voice. The music played during comedic scenes and the music played for emotional scenes fit perfectly.
Character: Each character is very unique and different from each other. There's the strong-willed loud mouths and the insecure shy types and not to mention the two delinquents that provide the much needed comedic relief. They all have separate yet equally srong stories to tell.
Enjoyment: I definitely enjoyed this series. It has every aspect an interesting story needs: drama, comedy, and romance. The comedy scenes sit well with the series because they keep the story from being too emotional. The romance is also nice. Nagisa and Tomoya have such a cute relationship. It's interesting to watch their two different characters interact.
Overall I think this is a series that should not be missed. Regardless of what intrigues you, you're sure to find something you enjoy about this series. read more
Jan 27, 2008
Art: Probably the only good thing about this show is the artwork and its attention to detail, great shading/coloring, and minor use of CG.
Sound: The OP/ED have great songs but there is just one problem with the sound in this show and that is Fuko. After about three episodes worth of hearing her say nothing but "Dozo" you'll probably start to really dislike her character. Word on the street is they fill Ai Nonaka's mouth full of cotton balls before she does the voice acting for Fuko to give her that "just got a root canal done and still under the affects of novacaine" sound.
Character: Nothing really impressive as far as character development goes, which is pretty much all a harem anime has going for it. The show starts off strong showing the first couple girls but starts to fall off with what feel like filler episodes because of the failure at emo/sad episodes, leaving not enough time for the remaining girl's arcs.
Enjoyment: The show had a nice balance of comedy with story progression but once the comedy aspect of the show was gone part way through and they made a sad attempt at tear jerker episodes, the show really had nothing going for it.
Overall, this anime could have turned out great but they just didn't make a good balance between the comedy and the truly ineffective attempt at sad episodes. I think people are just hyping this show up because of their expectations from prior Key releases or enjoyment from the first few episodes. Good luck next time Kyoto Animation/Key! read more
Oct 26, 2008
The story is totally unique. An outcast, troubled boy tries to help a sickly, shy girl in forming a drama club. Why does he help her? Why does she want to do it? All sorts of great questions are asked, and the beauty of it is that some are not answered. Things just happen in life, don't they? Sometimes there's never an explanation. The story follows day-t-day school activity and home life. If you're into slice of life with romantic appeal, then you'd like the story for CLANNAD.
The art was colourful and pretty, though it may be too moe for some people. There was some good use of bright colours, and it doesn't ever look dull or tired.
The sound was AMAZING. It created a wonderful mood and the ED makes me want to get teary.
Characters were all unique and awesome. They were bittersweet and touching, each and every one of them. And I must say, Nagisa and Tomoya make some excellent leads, and Sunohara wins hands-down as best supporting character ever.
I loved CLANNAD. It was beautiful. There were one or two unfabulous things, like when it got traditionally harem-like (boobs pressing against guy's back, a ton of girls who want him, misconstrued sexual situations) but the brilliance of it otherwise overshadowed that.
It is moving, emotional, and lovely. read more
Nov 22, 2007
Each girl in Clannad (main and supporting cast) has her own personality quirk, one of which is bound to attract a fan. That kind of variety works to attract many viewers. But Clannad is not necessarily a "harem" by its general definition. While Tomoya's daily life is indeed surrounded by beautiful girls, he is not interested in dating any of them. Instead, he becomes involved (accidentally or not) in their hopes and concerns, and the storytelling of the series becomes apparent through the dramatic character development.
In most episodes, the flow of the story involves each girl a little bit at a time, which I prefer since the drama feels more realistic. Character development occurs in parallel, and more drama can be drawn from the intertwining relationships among the characters. Some episodes do define their focus on a particular girl, but the overall immersive feel of the series is not lost.
The fact that Kyoto Animation produces this series has been a recent guarantee that the artwork is superb. Characters and backgrounds are brilliantly drawn. Motion of all kinds are captured smoothly -- not only characters walking but also the wind blowing on their clothes. Body language is also visible, which speaks louder than words most times.
All the music is taken from the original game, which many fans praise, although it does not allow for too much creativity. Regardless, the original music is full of variety and is easy on the ears. Plus it was composed to fit the story for a reason; why not reuse it? The ED thing (at least the lyrics) is new, though, I believe.
While the storytelling is excellent, most of the enjoyment lies in the humor, which is mostly cute and/or slapstick stuff. Only in rare occasions does the humor detract from the story and drama, but it is mostly timed well and presented as a fun change of pace after a very emotional sequence (or before the next one). Speaking of emotional sequences, I found myself crying on more than one occasion. Clannad pulls at the heartstrings very effectively when the time is right.
Overall, the defining points of Clannad are the supernatural elements (gotta break the laws of physics a tiny bit to tell a unique story), the moe factor (cute girls are cute, but not totally unrealistic), and the emotionally gripping story (everyone is connected to the overall theme of the series -- family).
I regret that the series is about to end, but I have loved it every step of the way. Kyoto Animation has such amazing respect right now that I'll give all of its future Key adaptations a 10/10, before having seen any of the episodes or knowing anything about the series. They know how not to disappoint.
(Originally written 11/22/07 after episode 7. Last updated 02/09/08 after episode 17.) read more
Dec 14, 2007
The series begins as a usual high school anime, with no defined plot or storyline but just introduces the male protagonist and the girls that the series revolves around. From the first couple of episodes it is easy to pin point the obvious similarities it has with its predecessor (Kanon) but the major difference is the level of comedy. The comedy of Clannad is on a completely different level, as it manages to turn anything to do with games (RPGs) or romance anime into a hilarious joke. However during the girl's various stories the comedy is somewhat replaced with some heartfelt drama, which adds depth to the series but it lacks a bit of substance. It doesn’t seem to matter much though, as this once again proves to be a winning combination.
The characters are an important aspect of this “winning combination”, as you will grow to care about some of the characters so much that you may even shed a tear. The girls are the major part of the story and even though their personalities are a little clichéd, they each get their own moment to shine. However the length of the series did negatively affect the girls during the 2nd half of the series. The male protagonist (Tomoya) is surprisingly well developed, as he intermingles between the girls various stories and of course, brings most of the comedy.
The quality of the animation is nothing short of wonderful, with beautifully drawn girls, dynamic backgrounds completely fluid movements that would put many shows to shame. I’ve probably said this same thing to a lot of other anime series but if you know anything about “Kyoto Animation” then you’ll know the sort of standard you are going to get, from watching this masterpiece.
Unlike the music in a lot of other KyoAni shows, the music plays an important role in Clannad and I’m not only talking about the catchy OP and ED theme (dango). Each of the main characters gets their own theme tunes that go well with their personalities, adding a sort of personal touch to the main girls. Nonetheless it does get a bit repetitive, listening to the same tunes over and over.
Overall Clannad has proven to be one of the best Harem, Romance anime of our time. It is really hard to find a flaw in this amazing series, because it has superb visuals, a great story and some of the best characters. Even with a lot of parallels with its predecessors, Clannad still manages to break free and become a show of its own. Of course it is riddled with clichés and cheesy moments but you wouldn’t mind, due to the many hilarious and touching moments.
You don’t need to be a harem anime fan to enjoy Clannad, you just need a heart.
^_^ read more
Nov 11, 2013
You cannot really fault the artwork in this serious. From a technical point of view it looks just incredible, so much detail but also such great use of colour. That brings me to the second point, they really use the colour schemes of scenes to reflect and set mood in such a brilliant way. It works so well, somehow managing to use a pretty mundane background setting and make it look dark, beautiful, full of light or sadness; fantastic. Just like this the soundtrack is brilliant and at times especially towards the end of the story arcs evokes a lot of emotion, brilliant.
This story is driven by character however, and it excels at that. We see long arcs of development throughout the series, in fact the idea of growing as a person is probably what the entire show is about. They do not make it unrealistic, its done i a way that i plausible, gaining confidence, finding friends, its relatable to a lot of people. We have a wide range of characters, and no pointless fan service. Even those outside the core cast are well though out and develop across the course of the show. I enjoyed it a lot, and i guess i am only half way through the entire story.
I am not somebody who gets emotional very easily but this show had me very much invested into the characters on screen. I loved it and would recommend it to anybody. Character driven drama at its best. Its not a romance, its not a coming of age story, its not a slice of life. It somehow rides the balance between the 3 in a way that balances out perfectly. Throw in beautiful art, music, character and structure and you have a beautiful anime. A definite watch. read more