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English: Clannad After Story
Japanese: ＣＬＡＮＮＡＤ 〜ＡＦＴＥＲ ＳＴＯＲＹ〜 クラナド アフターストーリー
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 3, 2008 to Mar 27, 2009
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 9.151 (scored by 162442 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular Tagscomedy drama romance slice of life
May 6, 2009
I experienced something that changed my life...
In a nutshell, Clannad ~After Story~ influenced the way I will live for the rest of my life and not just in some half-assed way like any other show would. It legitimately moved me to make certain decisions, for better or for worse. In that sense, no other anime can compare, as no other anime has provided an equivalent reaction on my part.
Before you continue, you should know that Clannad ~After Story~ is a continuation of the story from Clannad and an adaptation from the original Visual Novel by KEY. Although knowledge of the first season is not necessary, it is highly recommended if you want to get the most out of ~After Story~ as well as this review. That being said, this review is tailored to all readers, and can be understood without knowledge of the first season. Note that there may be very minor spoilers. Now then, on to the meat and potatoes.
I won't spend much time on the individual components of Clannad ~After Story~ (or Clannad ~AS~ as I will call it now) like I have with my other reviews. At first glance, there is nothing notably outstanding about it as a whole. For those who are interested in the individual components, here they are and the reasons behind them are available at the end of the review:
Enjoyment (in this case influence): 10+/10
| Main Review |
It is difficult to convey the emotions that went through my mind as I watched Clannad ~AS~. For those of you who watched the first season and dropped the show, I urge you to pick up ~AS~ and give it a chance. The first few episodes run almost identically to those of the first season, but the true After Story part branches off in a manner that is unique only to ~AS~. What Clannad ~AS~ gives the viewer is a story of life. A story of despair. A story of forgiveness. A story of hope. Through this story, Clannad ~AS~ can powerfully change the way you perceive the world around you. I am well aware that not everyone enjoys Clannad and ~AS~, especially since the magical light orbs are outlandish to some, but for me it was a bit of a godsend among anime.
The concept of Clannad ~AS~ is neither truly unique nor breathtakingly wonderful. What the viewer gets when watching it is the story of a man. Nothing less and nothing more. What Clannad ~AS~ really excels at, however, is the way it tells the story of that man. While it may be classified as a romance or even a harem anime by some (at least the first season could be), I really classify Clannad ~AS~ as a slice of life. A slice out of the life of a delinquent who can’t seem to do anything right and struggles to protect what really matters to him as the world comes crashing down.
However, “slice of life” can be a deceptive term. As I watched Clannad ~AS~, it was not as much a slice out of Tomoya’s life but a slice out of mine. You see, what Kyoani succeeds in is hitting on the points that make life truly what it is. The continuation of time. The reality of truth. The genuine meaning of “life goes on.” Additionally, by extending over many years, the true significance of every event begins to emerge. Clannad ~AS~ takes the tale of the first season and shapes it around a single person. It is a respectable reflection of life and delves into what many shows do not, and cannot, represent: the story after the story.
While many of the situations may be overblown and excessively dramatized (at least in the opinion of some people), it is ultimately true that every facet of Clannad ~AS~ gives the audience some insight into life. Does it matter that there are miracles and magic orbs of light flying around? For me, no. For others, this could be the case. That is to say, not all aspects of Clannad ~AS~ are perfect, but the impact was enough for me.
If you are looking for a cheerful anime, turn away now. Kyoto Animation does many things with Clannad ~AS~ including some very effective humor in many places, but Clannad ~AS~ will make you cry and smile, often both in the same episode. I won’t lie, I cried at least 5 times throughout the season. Even when rewatching episodes, I cried again. Don’t get me wrong, Clannad ~AS~ really has some happy moments as well, but Kyoani tends to depress many, many times. Each sad moment is profound and beautiful, but nevertheless it is sad. The ending song, Torch, which is played in every episode, serves to alleviate this, for better or worse. Torch is very upbeat, but many people consider it unnecessary and I agree. Torch can be a real mood breaker at times.
The power that Clannad ~AS~ exerts comes from its characters. While the first season portrayed many main characters and their stories, ~AS~ focuses on the life of Tomoya and lightly on the lives of those who surround him. Tomoya is a failure in a cruel world. In a sense, he is a fatal hero. While he may not know it, he is destined to face pain and suffering through his life. There is a bit of controversy over the ending of ~AS~, but those who wish to have a “truer” ending can consider the second to last episode as such (don’t hate me for suggesting it). When seen in that light, Clannad ~AS~ effectively played out a story that neither catered to an audience nor skewed reality (except for the orbs of light, of course). What it presented was something that many people can relate to. The loss of a loved one. The pain of recovery. The neglect of a father. Rediscovering love and friendship. Coping with suffering. *SPOILER* The feeling of holding a daughter in your arms for the first time. The pains and joys of being a father. */SPOLER* What it ended with was a realistic ending and a message for the future. Additionally, if seen that way, the last episode can be portrayed as Kyoani staying true to the visual novel and respecting the source material.
*Unfortunately, more talk of the plot would undeniably lead to spoilers, which I am trying to keep free from this review, so please bear with me. Heck, if I’ve convinced you at this point, what are you waiting for? Go see for yourself what all the hype is about. Otherwise, read on!*
Ultimately, Clannad ~AS~ molded characters that I thought I was familiar with into something close to human. Their stories produced emotion that made me reconsider the situations of the people that I see every day. Through social commentary and moral struggles, the viewer can genuinely begin to respect Tomoya. I know I wouldn’t be able to withstand half of what he did, but I truly began to respect the fact that he kept going, despite him being a fictional character. Through his struggles, I began to learn about myself. Through the struggles of those around him, I began to respect those whom I had once hated. This may seem extreme, and you may think that I am crazy, but what I write is nothing but the truth. Every episode gripped me, and many episodes evoked tearful reactions, which I am not very prone to. As I continued to watch, I could hardly bear waiting a week for each new episode to come out. At the same time, however, I knew that each episode held a bomb - a flood of emotions that could affect the rest of my day. Clannad ~AS~ went way beyond enjoyment – it went into the realm of what I could call an “epiphany.”
Can the story of one man influence the lives of others? Is it still possible if that man is a fictional character? For me, I did not think it was possible for anime to extend its influence at such a level. Clannad ~AS~ proved me wrong time and time again. Look past the first season and the first few episodes, and perhaps you can begin to understand what I mean.
For those interested or who can relate after watching the show, this is the ultimate and most powerful result of the show as it applies to me. The following is the reason why I can’t keep my mind off of Clannad ~AS~ and the reason why it will remain as my #1 favorite for what I know will be many, many seasons: *SPOILER* Through Clannad ~AS~, I have basically committed to wanting to have a baby. Ushio love. */SPOILER*
| Analysis of components |
Clannad ~AS~ is unique in its storytelling, but the story itself is nothing special. The earlier episodes present almost unrelated stories just as the first season did, but Clannad ~AS~ takes a turn for the better with a focus on a single character and his ordeal. At this point, Clannad ~AS~ does nothing but follow the life of a young adult, Tomoya. Sure there is drama (oh, is there drama) and there is romance, in a sense, but in reality, there is no real plot to speak of. What there is, however, is the tale of a life experience that can change the way you live. A real deterrent might come from some of the magic that inexplicably finds its way into Clannad (both seasons), but that never really bothered me. The ending is also less-than-stellar and can be a bit confusing, but as stated before, there’s always the second to last episode to fall back on.
There is nothing blatantly wrong with the animation quality. Kyoto Animation produced Clannad ~AS~, so fans will know that there is nothing to fear. The character design is the same as that of Clannad and other KEY adaptations. The KEY character design is quite distinguishable, with its giant eyes. Personally, I am a fan, but other viewers might dislike the artwork. Other than that, Kyoani did another solid job with the animation, and there are no jerky movements that detract from the gorgeous lessons that unfold.
Kyoani had its ups and downs with the music for Clannad ~AS~. In many aspects, Clannad ~AS~ shoots beyond other KEY adaptations with its unique, unconventional plotline and incredibly well enacted scenes of what could very well be the life of an individual. In fact, many of the ordeals that Tomoya must face strike a particularly strong emotional chord among many people. Who knows, you might not be that certain type of person, but I definitely was. Anyways… back to the music. Clannad ~AS~’s opening sequence is a strong piano melody with deceptively deep lyrics. However, the ending sequence detracts from many of the spectacular moments, especially because Kyoani tends to end episodes on a sad note. As such, many would classify Torch (the ED) as an elaborate troll because it is too lively. Beyond the OP and ED, Clannad ~AS~ features tracks from the Visual Novel, which include very familiar tracks from the first season. Notable among these are the songs with lyrics, ie Ana. Certain parts of the OST mesh very well, and a powerful soundtrack can produce a powerful reaction. However, I don’t remember anything in particular clearly standing out to me, and as previously mentioned, Torch ruined quite a few strong moments.
While most of the other aspects of Clannad ~AS~ are very similar to their counterparts in the first season, character development in ~AS~ take a turn for the better. Kyoani successfully made me hate characters that I loved and love characters that I hated. Through a roller coaster complete with dips and turns, Clannad ~AS~ changed the way I perceive all type of people. From Tomoya’s seemingly disinterested, alcoholic father to Nagisa, a character who I actually deemed annoying in the first season, I came to understand what truly makes up a person. Every character really has a story behind their dejected or cheerful façade. Despite the usual “Clannad magic,” every character also turned out to be associable, adding to the personal level of the show. Even the more comical, secondary characters had their share of emotional moments, giving them real depth and giving the viewer a relatively accurate understanding of human nature. About half-way through the show, there is a certain character that changes many, many things. I won’t spoil it now, but her unique appearance is what truly brought Clannad ~AS~ to unmatchable levels.
Enjoyment is really up to the beholder. My view of enjoyment may be somewhat different from others’. Clannad is not for everybody, but for those who dropped the first season, ~AS~ is truly on a league of its own and worth another shot. Every person has that one anime that leaps up above the rest and leaves a lasting impression. For me, that anime was Clannad ~AS~. No other words can describe the effect it had on me, and I hope that this review has at least made you, the reader, consider picking up this diamond in the rough.
| Final Thoughts |
Thank you for your time (I know the review was long), and I sincerely wish that you give Clannad ~AS~ a chance. Who knows, it may change your life. As always, comments about how effectively this review worked are welcome. Also, a helpful rating is always appreciated. read more
Aug 12, 2011
As I said before, I started After Story expecting it to have the same light-hearted high school drama feel as the first season and, unfortunately, the first eight episodes did nothing to prove me wrong. The first eight episodes are Clannad at its storytelling worst, more specifically the Sunohara arc. Thankfully, Clannad at its storytelling worst is simply "okay". The Sunohara arc makes Youhei's younger sister, Mei, seem like a nosy and irrational little girl in contrast to the mature-beyond-her-years character that the writers seemed to be trying to present her as. The Yukine arc was better, but it pushes the boundaries of Tomoya's "good Samaritan" personality a bit too far. The Misae arc is good by itself, but has very little to do with the story or the characters that we care about. If it weren't for each arc each containing details that are vital to the enjoyment of understanding of the later part of the anime, I would recommend skipping the first eight episodes altogether to get straight to the real good stuff.
Thankfully, the latter part of After Story more than makes up for its mediocre first act with the absolute greatest storytelling in anime. After Story quickly gets back on its feet and shows what truly makes it great as we ride the greatest emotional rollercoaster in recent memory. The ending has caused some controversy for being too ambiguous to fully understand without having played the video game, but I feel otherwise. Granted, I had to see the anime twice before I truly understood it, but I was nonetheless able to figure out exactly what happened without any outside help. It's a tough one, but it's very possible.
While the main setting has its moments of visual awe, the artistic aspect of the anime truly shines in the beautiful and surreal "hidden world". The impact differs greatly from the main world, boasting beautiful lighting, animation, and colors. In the main world, colors do a great job of changing from bright to dull based on the situation and animation is polished to a shine.
I've always been a big fan of a musical score acting as a compliment to whats happening on screen rather than a mere accompaniment. Clannad: After Story masterfully pairs its score with each event to further the emotional impact of each scene. It is done so well, in fact, that one cannot hear the music on its own without feeling some kind of emotion attached to that song by a certain event from the anime. The OP is good and very versatile in setting the correct emotional tone for each episode. On the downside, the bouncy, poppy ED is often horribly inappropriate to the emotions that you are left with at the end of each episode and is almost guaranteed to ruin the mood if you aren't quick enough to stop it. I found myself sometimes ending the episode early when the scene seemed like an ending due to my fear of facing the buzzkill of an ED.
On the voice acting side, the English performances are top-notch. Each character is paired with a voice that fits their appearance and personality very well and that can easily be recognized among other voices. Luci Christian gives a flawless performance as both English Nagisa and Ushio, and Andrew Love does really great stuff with the situations he is put in as Akio.
The characters are without a doubt the strongest aspect of After Story. Each one is as incredibly human as they are likable, and their easiness to get attached to is one of the biggest reasons that the anime has such a great emotional impact. When the characters are suffering, it as if one of our friends is suffering, and when they are happy, we are happy for them. I have never felt such an attachment to a set of characters as I did in After Story. Each character plays so well off of each other, including Tomoya and Nagisa, who are without a doubt the greatest couple in anime. In most stories, be it in books, cinema, or television, the romance sub plot is almost always one of two things, the incredibly good-looking and nice alpha-male protagonist gets paired with the incredibly good-looking romantic interest, or the incredibly good-looking and nice but shy protagonist gets paired with the incredibly good-looking romantic interest. In both scenarios, the two characters are always blessed with the perfect personalities and that's why they go so well together. Tomoya and Nagisa are different. Neither of them have perfect personalities, but both of their personalities are able to compliment the other's. Tomoya's hot headedness is able to be cooled by Nagisa's quiet, strong demeanor. It's not perfect gets paired with perfect, it's human finds human.
After I finished Clannad: After Story for the first time, there was only one thing I wanted to do: watch the entire series again, so I did. I know that the word "experience" is overused in film and television, but that's exactly what After Story is. I don't cry during movies or anime. I've seen Elfen Lied, Old Yeller, My Dog Skip, Grave of the Fireflies, etc. You name it, I've seen it and didn't shed a tear. Clannad: After Story made me cry like a girl multiple times, and the reason it did is because it's different from anything else I've ever seen before in one way. It is able to appeal to the most human parts of you, whether it's Tomoya's responsibility as a man or Nagisa's inherent ability to remain positive for the sake of the people she loves, the one thing that makes this anime so emotionally powerful is the fact that you could see it happening to you. read more
Jan 9, 2014
“After Story” takes place right after the first season of Clannad and chronicles the lives of certain characters from the first season, primarily focusing on Tomoya, his relationship with Nagisa and more importantly, himself. It attempts to bring a sense of realism to its viewer through the joys and hardships that Tomoya goes through and accomplishes that for a while. It also eliminates the harem aspect of season one and adopts a much more serious tone.
The series spans 24-episodes with the first 10-episodes composed of various arcs dealing with other characters and their corresponding dilemmas while the rest of the show focuses on the primary protagonists. This brings up the problem of structure and inconsistency. The initial problem with “After Story” is the characters that are focused on for the first 10 episodes. With the exception of the Misae arc as it LOOSELY connects to the magical component of the show, the other arcs have no direct relevance to the overarching story nor do they serve any function in moving the plot, but are just thrown in there, forcing unnecessary drama. This also causes a huge gap in consistency between the first part of the show and the rest, especially in regards to quality. However, the next few episodes are a pleasure to watch as they highlight Tomoya’s evolution as a character along with his relationship with Nagisa. Structurally, “After Story” fell short, consequently causing a gap in quality and consistency.
Substantially, “After Story” has its share of delightful moments, but those are restricted to a very limited amount of episodes. The story is unoriginal, but imbues concepts and themes that are very real and relatable such as: imploring responsibility and growing up, the innateness of hardships, the importance of relationships, moving on, and many others that are close to home. Yet, “After Story” manages to ruin the very thing it tries to achieve. The show spends a great deal of time trying to evoke “realism” through manifesting the aforementioned themes, but subsequently destroys that with its detachment from reality and deus ex machina resolve. For example, one of the arcs in the earlier part of the series shows how two supposedly bitter and rival gangs end up being bros4lyfe via some [extraneous] female side-character. I may not have a proper grasp on gang psychology, but I’m fairly certain that the odds of something like a dudefest and “understanding” blossoming between two rival gangs are astronomical. This notion of “bonds of friendships overcoming everything” is extremely over exaggerated deeming many of the earlier arcs unrealistic, effectively leaving me in a state of overwhelming ennui.
For a series that tries to emphasize real life, especially while trying to deal with issues such as loss, acceptance, etc., it negates all validity by embracing a faux idealism grounded in wish fulfillment. The realism juxtaposed with magical idealism/wish fulfillment really disintegrates the show by the end. However, that is probably one of the overarching reasons the show is as popular it is, because instead of staying true to its realistic core, it defaults into fantasy, idealism, and wish fulfillment. It’s successful but at the cost of complete contradiction therefore making After Story somewhat of a Pyrrhic victory. It should be noted that there is nothing wrong with having a plot based on supernatural/metaphysical notions, however, when the show is simultaneously trying to bring a strong sense of realism to the front, it becomes counter-productive and contradictory. I can’t even incorporate this under efficient “magical realism” because of how badly the two are handled when looked at as a pair.
Essentially, where “After Story” excels at is deception. It does an excellent job serenading its viewer into a false lull making it seem exponentially better than it actually is by manipulating sympathetic themes and completely over exaggerating them, however, when dissected the story offers nothing unique, let alone life altering. It’s a good effort, but that’s all it is, an effort, that has its comely yet ephemeral moments. Conclusively, "After Story" ends up stumbling within its own narrative and resolution.
“After Story” gets a ridiculous amount of praise for having “human-like” characters, however, the series lacks greatly in terms of balanced characterization. Tomoya is well developed and one can partly empathize with his struggles as he tries to shuffle through the various challenges he encounters. Tomoya’s progression is probably the most realistic part of the show and is fairly well-executed. While the show gives us a dynamic Tomoya, we are left face-palming in deep regret and resentment with the lack of attention given to Nagisa. There is nothing memorable about her; struck with some unknown illness, we often see her washing dishes for like three continuous episodes. I felt no sort of attachment, relation, or even empathy towards Nagisa, rather her lack of progression had the opposite effect. Her static, ingénue personality got unbearable. Oh and she can’t hold her liquor. That just heightened my insouciance even further. The futility of Nagisa truly is a burden on “After Story”.
The over-development of one protagonist and under-development of the other did not have a neutralizing effect, but a detrimental one. Their relationship is the foundation of “After Story” but it remains immature, mainly due to Nagisa’s incomplete characterization. Instead of spending the initial 10 episodes on completely useless characters, the series could have utilized the same time to construct Nagisa into a character with dimension, personality, and purpose. The show spent so much time trying to build this false delusion about how “friendship solves everything” that essential aspects got completely disregarded. Tomoya along with an unmentioned character carry the weight of “After Story”. In hopes of keeping this review spoiler free, only the two main protagonists (Tomoya x Nagisa) are discussed.
There are plenty of supporting/side characters in the show, some making cameos (from season one), others for reasons I have yet to understand. The only notable side characters are Nagisa’s parents who provide some comedic relief (which is the same recycled humor of the first season) but they still manage to maintain their likability.
Don’t hold your breath expecting anything aesthetically orgasmic. The girls are molded with “moe” in mind at all times: Unrealistic character designs for a “realistic” anime. In terms of the actual art, “After Story” does a fairly good job. Bright colors are often used to accompany the magical atmosphere and vibrancy of life that the show is grounded upon. There are instances of visually striking scenes scattered here and there, especially with some of the natural backgrounds. There is always light illuminating from somewhere, even in the darker scenes. The one place where the animation did shine is while depicting the “illusionary” world. The background, colors, and overall depiction of that world is nicely done as it provides a very surreal atmosphere to the viewer. However, don’t expect gorgeous animation akin to something like “5 centimeter”. It’s nice, but nothing exceptional.
“After Story” has a viable soundtrack that fit its purposes. Composed of subtle, soft, and sometimes melancholic piano music, the OST is pleasant, but conventional. It wasn't something that compelled me to go download or re-listen to. The same applies to the OP/ED selections. They are very imminent and “of-the-moment” in the sense that they are enjoyable and appropriate at the time they played. However, I almost always forwarded the OP and rarely listened to ED. The voice actors are fitting in regards to their respective roles.
Undoubtedly, “After Story” is at the forefront its genre because of its inherent ability to capitalize on emotions and “feels” to the point where many “manly” tears are shed and lives are changed. However, I could not relate; as the anime defied all levels of logic with convenient plot devices, contradicted its own pursuit of realism, over-dramatized situations, wasted 11 episodes of my time with frankly fatuous arcs, and underestimated the importance of complete characterization--emotions no longer mattered. After all, feels and impact are evanescent, quality is what remains.
"After Story” therefore didn’t really leave a strong impact on me nor did I learn some particularly significant lesson about life nor did I put my feels on suicide watch. Nevertheless, the four or five episodes towards the middle/end are truly poignant and laudable—if “After Story” could have maintained that level of quality throughout and refrained from committing some of the aforementioned blunders, the series would have lived up to its hype. Alas, I cannot rate a 24-episode series any higher based on my enjoyment of five episodes. My “After Story” experience is a step away from the norm and that’s the reason I spewed all of this—to offer some solace to those who couldn’t cry those manly tears or indulge in wish fulfillment, while also providing another perspective to those who have yet to watch it that isn’t soaked in sheer “feels”.
May 5, 2009
How does one cope in a world that is always changing? And are we ever truly alone?
The above questions are foundational to the series of Clannad After Story, a story of love, loss, redemption, happiness, sadness, togetherness, and change.
I will start by commending Key, the brains behind this show. Like other works of theirs, (Notably Kanon, Air, and the first season of Clannad), it is beautifully written and incredibly aesthetically detailed, with well designed environments and a soundtrack that fits the context to a tee. Added to the compelling characters, this anime is in my somewhat biased opinion a masterpiece. I'll start with the story.
As a story by Key, I went into the anime with some expectations. Not only was I not disappointed, I was sent from small fits of laughter to open sobs and bawling more quickly than I would have liked (very manly, testosterone-charged sobs and bawling, of course).
The anime starts right near the end of the first season of Clannad and picks up quickly. Nearly all of those "minor" characters from the first season are given more time, their stories are displayed in a very accessible manner, and there is a feeling of very little "filler". Almost all of the characters have you caring about them (and feeling happy or sad for their situations,) by the time the story ends.
These stories play out against the backdrop of Nagisa and Tomoya's relationship, their trials and happy times, as Tomoya becomes a man of society. A distinct shift of the angle and scope of the anime is witnessed, as Tomoya moves into the "real world". One of my favorite parts of the story came from the implementation of Nagisa's parents, Akio and Sanae. I will discuss this implementation later.
During most of the story, I felt as if I was actually living the lives of the characters I was watching. Realistic scripting, well chosen voice actors (Mostly the same from the first season), and strong writing right from the beginning gave me the impression that this could actually be a real story, happening somewhere on the planet (with some minor exceptions that are related to the story).
The themes of change and family are expressed continuously, from the changing city to the powerful interconnectedness of family, friends, or larger communities. The OP and ED become more powerful as the story continues on, and the connections made to the first season are near perfect.
There is more than one climax to this story, and it is barely short of amazing how there can be so much emotion packed into 24 episodes (though the 24 of the first season play a role here).
The ending was very pretty, I especially liked the ending of the 24th "recap" episode (which I would consider a part of the After Story experience as it provides some final closure).
Overall, the story is so beautifully done that aside from one potentially confusing part near the end, the plot is watertight and expressed in a way that is easy to connect with. Next I will discuss the art and sound.
If the entire After Story anime consisted of just the OP and ED, I would have awarded it somewhere around an 8.5. The combination of theme song (Toki wo Kizamu Uta by Lia,) and stunning visuals sent shivers down my spine many of the times I watched it. Both the OP and ED gain more as the story goes on, as more subtle details are revealed in the plot.
I have always been a big fan of the Key visual style, but the visual style of this anime is very impressive. The characters as can be expected are very well detailed, but what is stunning about this anime is the amount of detail in the environments. Every building and nearly every person, near or far, important or not, is well detailed. Seeing the wood grain in a power pole when the pole is barely hanging in the scene. Or the swaying of each individual plant in a field during sunset, as the orangeish hue nearly matches that of a sunset in the real world. This and more all combines to produce a very appealing look and serves to immerse the viewer in a world that is not their own (though one might wish it were, for how pretty it is).
The soundtrack is impressive. Many of the songs come from the first season, but some less well used songs in the original get used more often in this season. The choice of where the soundtrack is implemented is pivotal, and this anime is very good at knowing when to emphasize the emotion or when to provide a contrast that might nudge the viewer, "Time still goes forward; life still goes on!"
Lastly, I will talk about what I believe is the most important portion of any story, and especially so for this one: the characters.
After Story provides an amazing level of character depth. None of the first season of Clannad is forgotten, and various past issues and memories are brought back.
The development of the "minor" characters plays a very important role in this anime. Though Tomoya is the main character, one gets the sense that there are no arbitrary characters in the anime at all. Everyone has a past, a story, and a place where they can fit into the extended family of Tomoya.
Tomoya is one of the most realistically portrayed anime characters I have seen in some time. Viewers will remember him as the slightly hot-headed but caring figure from the first season. Tomoya undergoes a remarkable transformation in this series, and the contrast (which is well-emphasized in After Story) is very well done. Finally, I want to take a quick second to recognize something I liked that Key did with this anime: the implementation of Nagisa's parents.
Though they had relatively brief appearances in the first season, Akio and Sanae play incredibly powerful roles in After Story. They are characterized as deeply caring parents that will do anything for the happiness of their family. They stand as a beacon of love and support for both Nagisa and Tomoya, and can be as funny as they are compassionate.Though not always on the front lines, viewers can expect any issues encountered by the characters to be thoughtfully and thoroughly dealt with by these two.
In conclusion, this anime is borderline phenomenal. In between moments of laughing and crying, there is a plethora of amazing characters, portrayed with the right music, detailed in beautiful environments, and built into a fantastic story that is very pretty, both in concept and implementation. I would heavily recommend this anime to anyone who is into Key stuff, who has seen Clannad, or just someone who wants to use a whole box of tissues from all of the happy/sad crying one is bound to do.
In response to the first quote of this (longer than I had expected) review in the words of Tomoya,
"Just find them; just find new fun and happy things. C'mon, let's get going."
Mar 22, 2009
“… an astounding series with a slightly less astounding conclusion.”
Due to the frequent references to Clannad (first season), from here on, the term “Clannad” will be used when referring to season 1 and “After Story” will be used for season 2 and the term “Clannad After Story” will be used when referring to the Clannad series as a whole. A few friendly reminders before we begin. After Story is a direct continuation of Clannad, thus it is not very “new audience-friendly”. Knowledge of certain key events and character relations are expected from viewers. Again, due to After Story being a direct continuation (in story) from Clannad, and the latter ended with a climax of sort, it is unreasonable for us to expect After Story to start off with the same level of intensity. In layman’s term, don’t expect the show to start with a bang.
What exactly is After Story? In short, it is an emotion evoking machine designed in such a way as to suck dry your tears. By combining music, dialogue, and animation (often from the facial expression), After Story has the ability to dominate even the mightiest cold blooded person on this planet. Crappy live drama should learn/adopt some of the plots/techniques used in the anime. They should be ashamed of themselves because some anime by the name of Clannad After Story can present a much better dramatic story as a whole. In addition, After Story can squeeze the deep down juicy emotions inside you that not much live drama (if there is any) can ever accomplish.
Those who are familiar with Clannad should have no difficulty identifying various strong points evident in After Story (such as high quality animation), but perhaps one may not be too familiar with the weaknesses of After Story. While some may claim the following “ugly” facts to be minor issues, it is only fair on my part to present both sides of an argument, so to speak.
Inappropriate ending theme. The MUSIC makes Clannad what it is (more into that later), but sadly there are occasions when the ending theme just ruins everything the episode worked so hard for. It is important to note that the ED song itself is not bad; it just does not fit in especially with the latter half of After Story.
“Clannad Magic”. The magic might work on some viewers, but for the rest of us who are looking for a more realistic story it was somewhat a let down to say the very least. I still recall people used to ask me the difference between Kanon and Clannad, and usually my reply will be the following, “… well Clannad is the more realistic version of Kanon as far as the main story between the protagonists is concerned … nothing too supernatural …” but the magical performance totally destroyed it.
As previously stated, the author of this review (ie. me) is simply presenting issues of what seem to be hindrances to After Story from achieving a perfect 10/10 masterpiece for some demanding viewers. In fact, After Story is a show overwhelmed with prettiness. Depending on your definition of prettiness it could mean any or all of the following but let me assure you that there is absolutely no exaggeration involved.
Lyrics, Music and BGM! Normally song lyrics are not a big factor in an anime, but After Story’s OP is just too fabulous to ignore. Slowly, I began to learn the meaning behind the song. If you read the lyrics in detail, it is clear that the song is a summary of the story of Clannad After Story. A particularly heart warming chunk of the song lyrics is provided below.
“The chilly days continue on, even though it’s already spring.
On the mornings I woke earlier than the alarm clock,
You, making breakfast for three,
Would be standing there.”
I would refrain myself from explaining the meanings behind the lyrics, but I hope you can have a rough picture of what kind of story Clannad is getting at just by that one simple verse. You can find the lyrics (in English and Japanese) from the link below.
As mentioned earlier, music is one of the key features making Clannad After Story a successful business. Music in Clannad After Story is not simply music. Likewise, BGM is not simply BGM either in the context of After Story. They blend in with the animation, characters, and story. They all compliment each other to bring out the maximum effect to each scene.
Animation! 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, et cetera.) has a pretty good reputation for its high level animation. Simply put, one will be find nothing but beautifully drawn girls, dynamic backgrounds, silky smooth scenes transition, and completely fluid movements in this touching anime. There is, however, not much difference (if at all) in the quality between Clannad and After Story.
Characters! One great thing about the characters in Clannad After Story is no matter if they are main or supporting casts, they all seem to be part of a jigsaw puzzle. The show would not be the same without any one of them. What makes After Story superior from its predecessor is its focus on the main protagonists (ie. Nagisa and Tomoya) for the most part of the show. This is evidently lacking in season one because other heroines’ story had to be covered, thus leading to an ambiguous character relationships development between Tomoya and various heroines. Although not a major Nagisa fan myself, one should realize the importance of her character and how it all connect to the story’s main theme.
Story! After Story is all about the story! It is by far the prettiest of all the pretty traits that one can think of about Clannad After Story. On the whole, the Clannad series is an astounding series with a slightly less astounding ending. Slightly less astounding partly due to the magic, but could also be due to another reason. Assuming some of us has been paying attention to what Kotomi has been explaining regarding the works of her parents, then perhaps we can take a more scientific analytical approach to the ending via something known as the Omega Point Theory. Due to the lack of spoiler tags, further analysis of the ending will not be possible for this review. However, the following blog will prove to be extremely valuable.
Let us just say that the story for Clannad After Story is deep and “pretty”, and leave it at that.
***If you find the overall concept and plot of the Clannad series confusing, please visit the following link and it should clear things up.
--> thanks goes to fellow member Eternal-Dragon for providing me with the diagram.***
Simply put, Clannad is LIFE, period. It lets you experience a wide variety of emotions such as anger, jealousy, joy, love, sorrow, pain, hardship, friendship, and most importantly the care from your family. From the ridiculous comedies presented by Sunohara (or Fuko), to the naivety shown by Nagisa (or Fuko), one can always relate characters and/or events in Clannad to some direct/indirect personal experiences. Additionally, Clannad also teach you the meaning to LIFE. Next time when you are on the verge of starting an argument with your parents, just think about Tomoya and his dad. Think of all the hardships and difficulties your parents went through to feed you and raise you to make you become who you are. You will never know, maybe Clannad can really teach you a thing or two.
In an unrelated note, for those who enjoyed watching the Nagisa x Tomoya pairing and at the same time disliked the magical performances throughout the show (particularly the ending), then it is recommended that you give the Clannad movie a try. read more
Sep 14, 2014
So why then do I find my eyes dry when they should be overflowing with tears? Why do I find myself staring at the screen with indifference when my hands should be covering my mouth in surprise? Why do I find myself wanting to vomit when I should be going "aww, how sweet?" One simple reason: this is a direct sequel to Clannad, an SOL romance visual novel adaptation which I don't really hold in that high of a regard. Had this been a standalone show with no context, I'm 100% certain that I would've been able to hold After Story in the same regard as everyone else. Of course, that's not the case at all.
Now, it's not like this season didn't do anything right because that's not the case at all. However, it seems like people only focus on the positive aspects of After Story while completely forgetting the negatives. I cannot in good conscience say that After Story is a masterpiece at storytelling because that's far from the truth. The first eight or so episodes are more or less skippable and in some cases, the stories that were told within those 8 episodes are rather... questionable to say the least. For example, the first four episodes are spent on Sanae "dating" Sunohara and how he's neglecting his little sister because of his infatuation with Sanae... yes, that actually happened and it's something that REALLY tested my patience.
First off, how the fuck is it that Sanae, a MARRIED woman with a daughter of Sunohara's age actually consented to pretending to be the girlfriend for some hormone-crazed high school student? This sounds like some bullshit that would go down in Saved by the Bell. It's not even like she was reluctant to do so or anything, she gladly jumped on board! That's what irks me about this whole ordeal: the fact that Sanae actually consented without doing so much as a double-take on the situation. I can vaguely understand why if her marriage was visibly tanking and she needed some excitement or whatever, but Akio and Sanae have a perfectly healthy relationship! Come on!
Second, Sunohara completely neglects Mei until the very end because he's infatuated with Sanae, and it's outright stated that Sanae kept pretending that she and Sunohara were in a relationship despite the fact that Sunohara was neglecting his little sister. It isn't even until Mei gets put into a position where she's about to incur some physical abuse where Sunohara finally comes to his senses and actually comes to Mei's rescue, only to get into a fight with Tomoya shortly thereafter because he didn't protect her... even though he was about to get his ass handed to him by the soccer team trying to do so.
You know... I remember the initial stages of euphoria from my first relationship and how that caused me to miss out on classes and shit, so I can kind of see where Sunohara's behaviour is coming from. At the same time, Sunohara's behaviour during this whole ordeal about him neglecting Mei was more than enough to make me want to punch a hole through my monitor. Tomoya goes so far as to say he's going to dump Nagisa and start dating Mei, even though Mei is like 11/12 years old JUST to evoke some reaction out of him.
Guess what Sunohara's reaction is? He doesn't go into an outrage or anything of the sort, hell... he just tells them to have a nice life! Sure, it's shown that he's not okay with it, but his reaction was just so rage-inducing that it isn't even funny. His best friend basically comes right out and says that he's a paedophile, and he just ends up kicking something that ISN'T Tomoya's ass? Sunohara, is the pussy really worth it? Is the booty so good to the point where you're not even going to kick your best friend's ass for outright stating that he's going to dump his girlfriend for your little sister who is significantly younger than the two of you? Come on! That's some ol' bullshit right there!
Let's not forget how he comes in to save the day at the last fucking minute. That is some of the most cliché bullshit I've ever seen, and this is coming from a guy who grew up watching a plethora of Bollywood movies. Oh, but we can't end it without having Tomoya and Sunohara fighting each other and then making up the next day, how sweet. Sunohara, Sanae... you both can go rot in hell. I hope the sex was worth losing ANY respect that anyone with a functioning brain had for you at some point (before you ask: it was never stated how far the two of them went, I wouldn't be surprised if they ended up fucking at some point though).
The next four episodes really aren't bad, and in some cases I rather did like them. However, they may very well just be filler episodes at best because of the fact that the events that transpired here aren't referred back to... except for some minor detail in Episode 6 that becomes major toward the end of the show but that's a different story. Basically, these four episodes don't contribute a whole lot of well... anything. I mean, I ended up re-watching them because I mildly enjoyed em, but if you're re-watching the show, you could just go ahead and skip over them.
Episodes 5 and 6 go into Misae, the dorm mother's back-story about the autumn festival and how she met her cat. It's a rather sweet story that wouldn't really feel out-of-place in something like Kanon since it does delve into the supernatural, but I digress. For what it does, it does it fairly well and it doesn't overstay its welcome. I will say this though: just because the supernatural stuff works here doesn't mean that it'll always work for the rest of the series. I'll get to that later though.
Episodes 7 and 8 cover a small story about Yukine, the librarian who's caught in the middle of a gang war. Her brother was in one gang, but is now indisposed for various reasons. Now the other side wants to fight him despite Yukine's pleas for peace. I'm rather lukewarm to these two episodes, NOT because of the gang stuff (although that's part of it) but mostly because of the fact that these two episodes focused on Yukine. Yukine really wasn't that big of a character in the first season and if I'm not mistaken, she wasn't one of the love interest choices in the visual novel.
It also doesn't really help that Tomoya just jumps in to save the day like he usually does in the first season of Clannad. Granted, he doesn't actually save the day which was rather nice but it's still something that leaves a rather sour taste in my mouth. Why? Well... the first season kind of left a bad impression of Tomoya on me because he kept moving from girl to girl with their stories in the first season due to all that visual novel bullshit that went on. So, even though it was outright stated that Tomoya and Nagisa are dating and he clearly shows that he loves her... it still irks me to see him give attention to another girl. Upon retrospect, I guess that was just him looking out for a friend, but it's still something to be mentioned.
Going back to the gang stuff, I really just question why street gangs even had to be involved. Now, I live in New York City where there's a LOT of gang activity, and the way Clannad portrays street gangs is rather... bizarre to say the least. For example, the two gangs in question just fight because they state that it's something that they have to do. Basically, it's implied that they fight because they're macho men and macho men fight because that's what macho men do. Uh... somehow, I don't think that's how gangs actually operate in real life.
Now, I can't speak from experience since I've never been in a gang, nor do I know anyone personally that has ever been in a gang. At the same time, the gangs here in New York City basically deal with hardcore stuff like drug trafficking, prostitution, shit like that. Gangs here in NYC don't fight because it's something they feel like they have to do. Gangs in NYC fight because of stuff like territorial disputes. They don't want anyone else horning in on all of their action, so of course fights, drive-bys and the like happen. I don't even mean the archetypal Crips/Bloods that we usually think of when we think of inner-city gangs, I mean virtually all of the gangs here in NYC are pretty much like that.
Sure, there are definitely a few gangs that are nothing more than tight-knit communities of similar people and nothing more, but gangs are more often than not equated to organised crime. The way that After Story handles the gang stuff really doesn't give off any implication that there was anything illegal going on OTHER than the constant physical altercations between the two sides. Now, the only reason why I'm making such a big stink about something like this is because After Story gets praised for its realism... yet these first eight episodes are so far detached from any sort of reality to the point where it's not even funny or even heartwarming, it's just stupid and in the case of the first four episodes, EXTREMELY rage-inducing (at least for me).
Now, Episode 9-onward is where the story finally makes some actual progress. Basically, Tomoya and everyone else graduates and this is where we start leaving the realm of high school and start going into all of that realism that After Story is praised for. You know what? Kyoto Animation and KEY did a DAMN good job of their portrayal of life after high school. I'll admit that there were some moments where I felt like shit was progressing a little too fast, but I was pretty much able to suspend my disbelief for the most part.
What I really love about After Story is how Tomoya doesn't magically have his shit together and is working some kind of 9-5 business job or whatever the case may be. No, he actually has very limited options because of the fact that he was dicking around in high school too much and isn't planning on going to college. So he ends up working a modestly-paying job at the company Yusuke works for fixing telephone poles and the like which is actually shown to be physically exhausting and the like. They also show Tomoya struggling to find a modestly-priced apartment to the point where he just moves into an apartment that one of his co-workers was moving out of.
Why do I like these things? Well, I've made quite a few friends in high school who ended up getting jobs, moving out, and the like and their lives aren't all sunshine and rainbows. Hell... it's the exact opposite half the time (you try working 80 hours a week as manager for a Burger King, trust me... it ain't pleasant). Like they've told me in-depth about the struggles of living on your own, work, etc. Plus, I do know like one or two people that ended up joining a contracting company and now they work some pretty damn hard hours doing a lot of hard labour for quite a lot of money. So... in many ways, I can definitely see that KyoAni et al did their research while writing up this segment of After Story.
Another thing that I really like about After Story is the fact that they actually show Tomoya and Nagisa's friends slowly losing contact with one another. Now, as someone who's just started his second year of college, I can definitely say that this is something that Kyoto Animation nailed PERFECTLY. They show Tomoya, Nagisa, et al trying to remain in contact every now and then, but as the series goes on, you start to see less and less of the others. That's pretty much happened to almost everyone that I knew in high school to the point where it's not even funny, it's actually kind of depressing.
You might think that After Story only does those two things right, but no! There's a LOT that this show does right... or at least I imagine it does right because I can't speak from experience about wanting to raise a family with my first love from high school... at least not anymore (but that's a different story for a different day). However, there were times where it felt like it was using dirty tricks just to evoke an emotional response out of you. Case-in-point: certain characters end up dying and a major one ends up kicking the bucket at the end of Episode 16. Yeah... I really wasn't surprised when I found this out since shows of Clannad's ilk tend to use death and/or near-death experiences as an emotionally manipulative plot device (ref: Kanon 2006).
However, I didn't find myself reacting much to these sort of plot devices like I did when I was watching Clannad or hell, even Kanon. The thing is while I wasn't particularly invested with those two programmes, at least the emotionally manipulative from Mai Kawasumi and Kotomi's arcs actually had me reacting to what was going on in some way, shape, or form. Hell, Kotomi's arc almost had me tearing up at what happened because of the fact that I know full-well what losing a parent feels like. I mean... it was just that one instance, but it was still something to be mentioned.
In After Story, that's not really the case whatsoever. I think this can be attributed to two factors: the first being that of course, Kotomi and Akio weren't at the forefront of said tragedy since they're side characters here. The second being that I've already seen all of this emotionally manipulative crap before so I've developed a sort of resistance/immunity to said crap. Whatever the case may be, I don't find myself reacting to what's going on... hell, I find myself just staring at the screen bored which should NEVER happen if a major character ends up dying and you make a big stink about it by the way.
That notwithstanding, the tone of the show from Episode 17-onward is noticeably less jovial and in many ways, it really does reflect how some people are after a loved one passes away. Being consumed by work just to avoid the pain, taking up addictive habits like smoking and the like are incredibly commonplace behaviours from people who just incurred such a tragedy like that and it's definitely something I can relate to quite well, so I give props to Kyoto/KEY for actually maintaining some sense of realism in the midst of all the emotional manipulation being done.
With that said, I was kind of expecting something rather depressing like the third season of Moral Orel after the hunting trip. I mean, these episodes aren't ridiculously light-hearted to the point of being insulting, but at the same time... I was expecting some of the characters to visibly show signs that whole ordeal really took a toll on them. Nobody's facial expressions really changed all that much, their eyes are still as wide as ever, etc. I guess that's a problem more in-line with the art/animation, but the behaviour of most of the other characters really just doesn't reflect that of people who lost a very close friend.
With that said, there's another problem that After Story has: exposition dumps. You see, a lot of people tout After Story's ability to keep beating you over the head with the feels hammer. HOWEVER... I really couldn't find myself feeling much of anything half the time during Episode 17-onward because there were many "revelations" and such that are meant to provide insight on various events and such which are then in turn supposed to make the characters and you start tearing up because you misunderstood what went on prior. Why is this a problem?
Rather than just letting the characters find out about these things on their own, someone just has to come in and drop an exposition dump about something they misunderstood and then the entire atmosphere turns into something vaguely reminiscent of Bollywood drama. I don't know about you, but that's not even an emotional cheap shot, that's just lazy writing. I mean... my reaction to those exposition dumps was a resounding "meh." I mean... it's certainly sad/heart-breaking when you really think about it, but the execution was just pretty damn weak.
Now, I know I've been doing a lot more bashing on After Story, but truth be told... I can't really tell you all of the parts that I really DO like because they take place in Episodes 17-onward and if I were to tell you what I genuinely did like, that would be going into some MASSIVE spoilers which I'd rather not get into because truth be told, they're best experienced rather than told about. I will say this though: that stupid Dango Family song that Nagisa liked to sing so much is sung as a lullaby, and it's the most precious and heart-warming thing I've ever seen/heard in quite a long time.
Now with all of that said, there was one thing about After Story that REALLY pissed me off, and that was the ending. Without spoiling too much, here's how it went down: basically, Tomoya goes through a rather heartbreaking tragedy that actually did shock me and may very well have left me in tears had they shown what would realistically happen afterward. But then After Story pulls the most convoluted bullshit possible JUST to rewind the story back to the events of Episode 16, change one tiny little detail, and suddenly everyone's living happily ever after, THE FUCKING END.
Now, the biggest problem that I have with the ending is the fact that it just feels like a complete and total cop-out from letting After Story really just go all the way with the realism. Yes, I did state that After Story wasn't always faithful to reality, but it definitely was from Episodes 9-onward. Okay, it did get a bit melodramatic and there were moments where my suspension of disbelief wavered, but it was nothing too serious. For the most part, After Story REALLY hit the nail on the head and so, I assumed they'd drop any sort of supernatural bullshit and actually go all the way. But no, we always have to give the fans their happy ending.
Now, don't get me wrong: I don't mind happy endings if I feel like they're feasible/well-executed. I mean, the ending to Rurouni Kenshin is one example of a happy ending that I happen to genuinely like because of how it was executed. Similarly, I love the ending to Moral Orel because of how it showed Orel breaking the cycle of abuse and actually going on to live a happy life with Reverend Putty's monologue about miracles was playing in the background. In those cases, I'm just fine with a happy ending, and if I really was invested with what was going on, I'd actually WANT the happy ending.
I'm sure that After Story's conclusion was more than enough to satisfy fans who were truly invested with what was going on and really did need the happy ending otherwise they might cut their wrists and black their eyes so they could fall asleep tonight and die. HOWEVER, the way that After Story executed this ending was just a drastic change in tone to the events that transpired to the point where I found it mildly insulting. I mean, the type of tragedy that Tomoya goes through is something that CANNOT have a "happily ever after" style ending whatsoever. If you're going to do a tragedy, I expect you to have the fucking decency to END on a tragic note. Don't pull any supernatural bullshit out of your own ass JUST to give people their fairy-tale ending. Can you imagine how insulting Grave of the Fireflies would be if they pulled the same shit that After Story pulled at the end of the movie? This is why I don't like supernatural shit in my SOL stories.
Speaking of supernatural crap, this is something that I'm REALLY sick of seeing in slice-of-life programmes. If I'm watching something that's widely considered to be a slice-of-life show, I expect programme to be firmly grounded in reality. While I'm not a fan of slice-of-life, the main appeal that I see in an SOL show is the fact that since it's grounded in reality, it's much easier to connect to what's going on. That's why I'm able to thoroughly enjoy My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, Chu-2, and Kimi ni Todoke. Adding a supernatural element to all of this just defeats the purpose and more often than not, leads to bizarre situations like the ones in the Kyoto/KEY trilogy which is rather irritating to say the least.
Now, with all of that said and done... the overall story of Clannad is a mixed bag for me. While it's nowhere near as average/archetypal as the first season was, this season had far too many problems for me to actually give it that high of a score. At the same time, it did what it did exceptionally well, and just the concept alone of a slice-of-life show that actually goes beyond the realm of high school is more than enough to earn points in my book for some semblance of originality. Plus, there were a few moments that I found to be genuinely sweet/touching/heartwarming/tragic/tear-jerking/funny/whatever. Hell... I wrote five fucking pages in Microsoft Word about the story. If I write THAT much about the story of some show, it must've done SOMETHING right.
Taking a break from all of that rambling with the story, let's take a look at the characters. Like in the first season, Tomoya Okazaki is our main character. HOWEVER, I can safely say that Tomoya is a million leagues more likeable and realistic here than he was in the first season of Clannad since all of that visual novel bullshit is now a non-issue since he and Nagisa are offically an item now... even though I still maintain that Kotomi would be a much better match, but whatever. What I really like about his characterisation is just how he's so... composed, I guess?
A few of my friends really don't think that Tomoya in After Story is realistic, but I beg to differ. I mean... high school student who eventually graduates. I mean, once you're out in the real world, you HAVE to start thinking and fending for yourself. Plus... the way that he handles the shitty hands he's been dealt time and time again throughout the course of After Story mirror stuff that I've actually seen go down, so I can safely say he's rather realistic from an anecdotal standpoint. He also still retains that unabashed snark/sarcasm which he had more than enough of from the first season, which was pretty much the only trait of his that I liked from that season so that's always a plus.
HOWEVER... aside from Tomoya and another character that pops up later on in the series whom I can't talk about due to massive spoilers, the character selection was rather dry for me to say the least. I mean... all of my favourite characters from the first season like Akio, Kotomi, and Tomoyo didn't have much of a role here in this season and I don't particularly care much for the ones that stuck around barring Tomoya like Nagisa and Sanae... and in the case of the first four episodes, I absolutely despise her.
I mean... Nagisa does get a lot more screen time in this season, but she doesn't really change. She's just this sort of idealised house-wife/girlfriend character and that really just doesn't sit right with me. Well then again, Nagisa didn't really have much of a character to begin with, so I guess it's only fitting that a character with no personality would grow into a character that still has no personality to speak of. Now if only Kotomi was Tomoya's girl rather than Nagisa (for the record, I'll NEVER let that go).
Moving away from the characters, let's talk about the art/animation. Now, everything that I have to say about the art/animation here in After Story was already said in my Clannad review, so I'll just briefly sum it up here: Kyoto Animation doesn't disappoint when it comes down to incredibly gorgeous scenery and high-quality animation. However, the CG used in After Story still feels horrendously out-of-place/unnecessary. On the flip side, the moe didn't really bother me all that much in this season since this season doesn't really use moe as a means to manipulate the fuck out of your emotions like in Kanon and Clannad, so that's always a plus. There were moments where the moe really did get on my nerves though.
There was one thing about the art/animation that annoyed me though. The opening sequence is some gorgeous stuff to look at and it's pretty much standard fare for something produced by Kyoto Animation. HOWEVER... when a certain character dies, the opening sequence doesn't change at all. Usually, when a character would die, the OP would change to omit that character to further hammer in the point that he/she is gone. That was not the case here in After Story whatsoever so I had this nagging feeling that this character really didn't die. Well... that's not entirely true since it was clearly established that this person did die, but that character comes back to life by the end of it all due to that supernatural bullshit I was talking about earlier. So yeah... the OP for After Story is kind of irksome, but it's a relatively minor complaint in comparison to everything else I have a problem with.
Going over to the sound of After Story... again, virtually everything that I have to say about the OST/dubbing for After Story was already said in my Clannad review so I won't go into too much detail here. Basically, the OST was pretty good but I couldn't exactly remember any BGM tracks that stood out. In that sense, the OST is more of a complement to enhance the drama that goes on. Now, in regard to the OP/ED themes for After Story, it's inverted here: I absolutely love the OP theme but I can't stand the ED theme since it's too upbeat for all the intense drama that goes on toward the end of the series. Dub-wise, Luci Christian does an amazing job as Nagisa and her performance almost left me in tears just like her performance as Mariko in Elfen Lied. Tomoya's English VA did a great job too but other than that, the dub itself was pretty average to say the least.
So... on the whole, is Clannad: After Story worth watching? Absolutely, especially if you've watched the first season and found it to be incredibly underwhelming. For the prospective viewer, it's really up to you to watch this before watching the first season. Personally, I found the first season to be rather good before I started overthinking the visual novel stuff and if you really do get attached to some of the characters in Clannad, After Story will definitely be an emotional rollercoaster for you. However, as a standalone piece of entertainment... romantic drama is NOT the first thing that comes to mind for entertainment. Is it funny/entertaining? Yes, at certain points. But for the most part... this season really isn't something you'd be able to watch with friends since it lacks stuff like giant robots and boob physics. But whatever, I digress. Point is: watch this show if you're in the mood for romantic drama with lots of moe. If not, just shut up and wach 5 Centimetres per Second or some shit like that. read more
Nov 12, 2009
This is a continuation of the previous series and opens up with the conclusion of Clannad: That Nagisa and Tomoya has finally started dating. But by no means does it stop here. Not many anime, or any stories even, tell a story where the couple are already together and go off from there. Most of the time it’s about how the two love interests get together and fall in love, which is all well and fine but what about after? Do they actually live happily ever after? Are their futures sure to be fine and dandy now that they are together?
I never thought highly of ‘slice of life’ anime. If I wanted to watch an anime about people’s lives I would just record myself, or better yet - watch Big Brother. Anime is all about the supernatural, fantasy, badass and beautiful characters, action, over the top romances and comedic situations -- the unreal!
Or so I thought.
Clannad ~After Story~ proves you don’t need any of these to make a great anime. There’s no world destruction, huge responsibility, convenient coincidences, twists of fate, gore, blood, lovey-dovey romance or any of the usual routine. It’s life. With heart-wrenching drama. With every day real life events that could happen to any of us. And with bittersweet moments.
It does have some supernatural elements though, but if anything, it adds a touch of realism rather than the opposite. Who’s to say these supernatural mysteries do not take place in real life after all?
The main cast remains the same, however unlike the first series, ~After Story~ concentrates more on Nagisa and Tomoya, especially in the second half of the series -- one of the many reasons why I enjoyed this. There are also many episodes which are dedicated to characters whom are important and dear to Tomoya and holds value in his life. I also found these a great joy and equally inspiring. The quality of content in these episodes are much higher than those in the prequel series and of faster pace. They don’t draw out one character’s story for five episodes, but instead packs one or two episodes with such inspiring stories that moves a person emotionally.
The series has a strong family theme, with Nagisa’s parents being central characters in the story. Tomoya’s father has a bigger part in this series, as we see a progression and revelation between Tomoya and his father. Rarely is there ever a family theme in anime. We hardly ever see parents being shown, never mind being main characters - they really do well in pulling off such a delicate theme.
What really made the anime for me was the animation and sound. The animation was so surreal, so vivid it simply made me stare in awe. Key’s animation really impressed me; at times they would they would do sweeping camera follow ups, follow the movement of a flying baseball in slow motion or even chase the movement of a little girl as she runs through a field. The sound was beautiful too. I usually never sit through every single episode’s opening however I could never resist ~After Story’s~ opening. It always sets the mood of the anime and prepares you for what’s to come. Even the opening could twinge your feelings a little. The other themes were wonderful as well. It could go from happy, joyful tunes to melancholic, depressing ones to uplifting and inspirational instrumentals. Nagisa’s Dango Song affected me the most as it would be soft and cute at first then go on to be so painfully uplifting with the use of percussions.
Another beautiful thing is Nagisa and Tomoya’s relationship. Not once in the entire show are they shown to kiss and even holding hands was a rare see. Yet, their relationship is truly on another level. What they have is a bond so strong and pure that those sort of actions do not need to be shown to tell us that they are undeniably close.
I disliked Clannad. This feeling I cannot change. But Clannad ~After Story~ is a whole other world in anime. It has the art of anime, but has the feel of an old time classic love story of happiness, tragedy and bittersweet revelations. I sought an anime that would make me cry. And sure enough it did. Even the most stone-hearted person would feel a heart aching twinge. Either that or bucket loads of tears. It’s simply beautiful. read more
Jan 30, 2010
I just spent the last 4 days re-watching Clannad and Clannad ~After Story~.
It made me recall that the first season was actually good. The first time I saw it, it just paled in comparison to the ending of After Story, giving me false memories of it being bad when I thought back to it.
After Story was still even better. The second time through made me admire the pacing the script writers had to go through to achieve this amount of emotional connection that other movies and shows can only dream of achieving.
It took multiple revisions of the same plot until they achieved this precipice. It went through a visual story video game, a manga, and a movie, which I'm sure all went through many revisions of the plot themselves, until they carefully produced this gem of a masterpiece. That's the only thing I can call it. I can't say it's any lower than that. All the extra episodes that aren't necessarily vital to the plot are all needed. It's pacing. You can't attach to characters at such an emotional level in a short amount of time.
I loved After Story. Even though re-watching something will never give me the same experience as the original time, it still was great. I look forward to 30 years in the future, when I probably have all forgotten part of the plot (though, no amount of time will ever make me forget the possibly life changing experience) that I re-watch it again.
I've never experienced anything that touched me like this anime has. People have told me of all kinds of animes that were sad, like Grave of the Fireflies, and such. None of them affected me. I just laughed, and assumed maybe I didn't have a heart since I didn't find anything sad. I mean everything too. Never a movie, book, nor show ever make me feel pity for their real or fictional characters. Everything until Clannad ~After Story~. To be able to create something that can do this deserves a Masterpiece title, because nothing I have encountered has ever done it before.
I also seriously doubt there will anything in a long time that will top After Story's presence. In fact, I doubt that it can ever even be rivaled as an equal in terms of character development.
The art is simply amazing. If you actually pay attention to some scenes, you'll notice the very high quality background scenery, along with very fluid character animations with great shadow detail.
The sound is also one of the strongest points of the anime. The music is amazing and creates the atmosphere in numerous scenes. The ONLY thing I don't like is the happy, cheerful ending song. It only fits a handful of episodes, and completely destroys all mood created in the other episodes. If anything, they should have brought back the Ending of the 1st season for certain episodes. They have songs for everything, for all occasions.
To say this anime isn't a 10 makes me question someone's soul. Though, I can possibly understand why they might give it a 8 or 9, since everyone is different. Though to give it anything less is probably a troll attempt, or they just didn't finish the series.
The story is fantastic. It's not a brain twisting mystery, nor a plot twist filled thrill ride. It instead shows the roots of human mentality. It shows how a person develops.
Clannad ~After Story~ is not an anime you should skip on. I watched the anime through a 2nd time with a friend, since he had not seen it before. Mistake. This is best viewed by yourself, or possibly a loved one. Not a buddy. read more
Jun 28, 2014
I didn't, until I watched Clannad: After Story.
If you are familiar with anime, chances are high that you might have heard about Clannad and Clannad: After Story, two anime produced by Kyoto Animation and generally known as 'tearjerkers'. Both series are based on the Virtual Novel 'Clannad' that was originally produced by Key. So far I can also highly recommend the visual novel, but of course this review will describe the anime Clannad: After Story.
To put it simply, Clannad: After Story influenced my life in a way I would have never expected. I know that this sounds rather lame, perhaps also because you have certainly read this very line in a million other reviews, but it is a blatant truth that has to be mentioned. Which leads me to the point that it was obviously better than I expected (even though my expectations were unreasonably high after watching its predecessor (Clannad) and after hearing that After Story is going to be a million times better). Besides, After Story obviously changed my perspective on a lot of things. Even though the basic principle of the story is rather simple, it manages to grip you like almost nothing else, in particular because it has this very ability. Aside from that, the series gives you many different kinds of inspiration for your every day life. It is something that – simply said – changes your perspective on the world. Though, my conclusion will be explained further by the end of this review.
As I've said before, the plot of the story is nothing special by itself, it is something you can basically describe as slice of life. The story is neither extraordinary, nor outstanding by itself. Only in combination with the characters and all their (painful) background stories, you are able to appreciate the series at its best. This is also why I recommend everyone to watch Clannad before watching Clannad: After Story: only after watching the first season you are certainly able to comprehend the characters and to appreciate their character development. That's the big point: you get in the roles of the characters, and this is where After Story truly shines.
Basically, the first half of the series is indeed nothing special in comparison to other series. We have a couple of small arcs about some of the supporting characters, which aren't really outstanding, even though these episodes are pretty well-written and in general enjoyable. Still, those parts of the story definitely aren't enough to understand my rating, also because these arcs are absolutely irrelevant for the main story. The main characters don't get any significant character development during these arcs, therefore these arcs can be only seen as useful in terms of the minor characters and the development they get.
But where After Story truly shines, is the latter half, the arcs of the story that are eventually relevant in terms of the main characters. Even though this part of the story 'just' describes all the ups and downs of the main character's life, it does it in a really astonishing way, and that's where the story shows its best side. Because of the well-proceeding character development (you can read more about that later), you can truly appreciate how the main character feels in all the phases of his life. Beside that, the whole set-up of the story was definitely great and the pace of the latter half was perfect, so the story never seemed rushed.
In a nutshell, the plot doesn't seem extraordinary or complex, but this is another aspect why I consider this series as something great. You don't expect something from a series that has such a seemingly monotonous plot, yet the story is absolutely unique, particularly in combination with all the plot twists. Some people assume that the plot is predictable (mainly because of its genre), but I honestly don't think that. You'll be positively surprised when you watch it.
If there is one thing that can be openly discussed by the community, it is obviously the ending. Some people like it, some people don't, mainly because it destroys some of the efforts the producers made in order to produce a realistic series (which can be seen as a little critique from my side). This is a question you have to answer for yourself, while it definitely depends on your personal preferences. On a positive note, there weren't any visible plot holes left after the final episode, even though the ending may seem a bit confusing if you don't know the Visual Novel.
Animation/Art style: 9/10
There are people who dislike Key's art style (in particular because of the big eyes of the female characters), but I actually grew to like it very much, also because it is really unique and since this style defines the characters in an appropriate way. Despite your personal preferences on this particular topic, it is generally known that KyoAni shows during After Story how truly beautiful an anime series can look. The animation is really well-made, in particular the scenes with Sakura trees are truly gorgeous, hence I can highly recommend the series to you if you like well-animated series. Beside those scenes, KyoAni's animation also shines in the 'Illusionary World' scenes. Those scenes are always animated in the ideal way to create a fitting atmosphere. In general the art style definitely fits the atmosphere of the series, also because of the appropriately used blurring effects. The art style was never misplaced throughout the whole series, even the backgrounds were usually memorable and breathtaking. In case you want to check it out for yourself, just watch the opening, since it manages to show perfectly how good the animation is.
As well I see no reason to complain about the character designs. Each character is designed in an unique way, so you can identify them easily. In addition to that, their characteristics are well-represented by their designs, no matter whether the character is rather shy or extrovert. The characters' designs usually didn't spoil the story, though.
I guess that I should start this part of the review with my opinion about the opening theme. A truly gorgeous song. I started to listen to it on a daily basis, since it motivates me like almost nothing else. It is nearly perfection, in particular since this opening fits rather sad scenes as well as times in which an episode starts on a rather positive note.
Other songs that appear during AS are great as well. Just take 'Small Palms' as an example. This song is always able to fit the atmosphere, so I'd likely give the sound a high rating.
You wonder why I didn't give the sound a 10/10? There is one simple reason.
Torch. (The ED)
As much as I like Torch as a rather motivating song, it often managed to destroy the atmosphere of a complete episode in less than 10 seconds. Including various ED's would have been better, considering that the upbeating atmosphere of Torch doesn't fit a couple of episodes at all. Still, I also grew to like this song.
Kudos to Jun Maeda for this one, he did a great job again.
About the character voices (attention: I only watched the English sub, which means that I only heard the Japanese voice actors and actresses): Each character definitely got the perfect voice actor/actress in the 'original' version. The character voices perfectly fit their characteristics, the quality of the sound is consistently good as well. Beside that, the voices are perfectly detachable, so you will never get confused by them. The voice actors definitely made a good job here.
I already enjoyed the characters (and the relationships between them) during Clannad, but After Story made me truly love them like my own children.
To start with, all the characters were really well-rounded. Each character has got many different flaws, but also many strengths, which were mainly connected to the painful background stories of them (you can read more about them later). Not a single character has been out-of-place, hence I grew to like them all.
Beside this aspect, the producers managed to keep all the characters realistic throughout the whole series. Not a single character has behaved in an inhuman way during the series. Their reactions were always comprehensible, in particular the actions and thoughts of the main character (Tomoya Okazaki) were always so realistic that it sometimes hurt a little inside my heart.
Though, one of the most important points is definitely the fact that you will certainly relate to the characters in a lot of different ways. You can easily identify with the characters in a variety of occasions, which makes you feel even stronger for the characters. This can be considered as one of the big advantages of Clannad. All the joy and the pain the characters feel, will be also certainly felt by you. Which leads me to another enormous advantage of After Story: the ingenious character development.
Throughout the whole series we are able to see how the characters grow because of all the hardships they experience. It is truly unique to see such a well character development through the whole series. In particular the main character, Tomoya, visibly grows because of all the hardships in his life. There will also appear another certain character halfway through the series, who will likely change your personal view on your own life.
Though, not only the main characters have got a good character development, but also the supporting ones. I honestly didn't expect to see a series with such a great character development, even for the supporting characters. None of them were flat or unnecessary; everybody has got the ideal place in the story as a whole, so the amount of supporting characters also can't be considered as too high.
Take Youhei Sunohara as the best example. He is already well-known from the first series, during which I honestly disliked him. But, given all the development he has got during After Story, I also grew to love him as a character. We can perfectly see how even such a 'sidekick' can get a good development and grow to a loyal, sharp-minded human.
In a nutshell, I'll remember all the characters (even the supporting ones) of Clannad even in the distant future. Their sad, painful background stories in combination with all the hardships they experienced were enough to make me remember them for a long time. Each character is really unique, but also perfectly outlined.
Enjoyment/Influence on my life: 11/10
Before I start to talk about other aspects, I would also like to emphasize all the humorous elements of the story, obviously since they are one of the aspects because of which I really enjoyed After Story. Despite being overly emotional and something you can call a 'tearjerker', the series also managed to make me laugh uncontrollably a couple of times. Even though the first season had a couple more running gags, several moments of After Story were hilarious as well. (SPOILER) Just take 'Drunk Nagisa' as an example. To see how such a lovely character gets drunk is something totally hilarious and unexpected. To such moments I'd also count the moment Nagisa tells her father something about her private life with Tomoya, or in general almost each interaction between Tomoya and Akio. Hell, these two are so similar that my sides almost broke a couple of times. (/SPOILER) All the humorous elements were a the perfect compensation to all the emotional moments.
Okay, but now back to the main topic...
Clannad: After Story is definitely one of the view anime I can recommend to everyone. Even non-anime fans will certainly be touched by it, which can be great if you intend to watch such a series. Besides, you needn't know anything about anime if you want to understand it; you can just watch it and be entertained.
Aside from that, I would re-watch it definitely as soon as possible. The series also contains a couple of hidden teases (which make every single re-watch a great experience), but I'd rather re-watch it because of all the lessons it taught me. The whole season is almost perfect as a whole, so I would definitely re-watch only both series as a whole.
Now about my rating... Some of you may be irritated by my rating, but I'm fully serious here. This may sound stupid, but AS definitely changed my life in such a positive way that I can only give it such a high rating. Because of it I now tend to pay more attention to the point of view other people have, in fact, I started to think more about other people and their opinions at all.
Sadly, the improvement it made on me can be hardly put into words, but I'll try to do it. Basically, the way After Story portrayed what a human being can withstand (and what it obviously can't), showed a whole new side of life to me. While the story seems rather simple, it made a huge influence on my life by directly showing to me what can go right, what can go wrong, and how everything influences our mind and our life as a whole. After all, After Story shows a whole new side of life to its viewers: a dark side that everyone tries to ignore. While a couple of other series try to ignore this rather dark side of life, After Story directly puts a finger on it, showing what really matters in life: family, friendships and ultimately love, no matter whether to your family or to your precious friend. It gives you a lot of inspirations for your life, no matter how you used to live before watching it. And because of the huge impact the series makes on you, you will certainly remember it even in the far future. Blatantly said, it certainly makes you a better person.
Though, there is another important point that makes the series so memorable. While the story itself is already memorable (also because of its simplicity), the characters play an important role as well. No matter whether it's Nagisa's shyness in combination with her ability to remain always positive for all the people she loves, Tomoya's (almost) incomprehensible ability to keep on living after everything or Ushio's innocence that ultimately portrays the view of a little child on the difficulties of life in a perfect way: Clannad: After Story is a memorable series that lives not only by the story, but also of the realistic way the characters deal with the struggles in their life.
Final Rating: 10/10
In a nutshell, After Story is something you can describe – blatantly said – as life. It shows you all the ups and downs of a life, which isn't extraordinary, but it does that in such an astonishing way that you may be blown away, just as I am. All the emotions that were both shown and felt from the characters (and from the viewer) throughout the whole series, such as anger, envy, grief and depression, but also faith, fortitude, charity and – most of all – hope, make the series perfect as it is. All the emotions are portrayed in such a realistic way that they sometimes even become real, the viewer can really feel all the pain the characters have inside them. And that's why I consider After Story as a true masterpiece. Thus, just by showing you all the difficulties and hardships one can experience in his own life, it can certainly change your view on what life is about. This series definitely gives you a lot to think about.
Aside from that, there is also another important aspect why I highly recommend Clannad: After Story to everyone. Whenever I think about a life decision, I started to remember what the characters of After Story experienced. Unlike many other series, Clannad: After Story isn't something you'll easily forget the day after you finish it. It is something that will certainly burn itself deeply into your mind, not because of the tears you may shed, but rather because it shows life from a different angle. Remember what you would have done in Yukine's place, after everything that she has experienced in her life. Or think about all the hardships Tomoya went through. This series is extremely unique because of its ability to show you how the human mind certainly reacts to life-changing events and everything that follows them. Besides, the series shows you what can go right in your life, and what certainly can't go always right. Whenever you'll think about them while making an important decision, you'll likely pay more attention on the view of other people (just as I do), and that's why Clannad: After Story made such a huge impact on my life and why I can highly recommend it to you.
Dango Daikazoku! read more
May 9, 2013
FIRST: Do NOT watch this show or read my review without first watching season one of Clannad. Although it isn't "necessary," watching season one and experiencing the character development throughout it greatly helps you understand the story and value the characters. Plus, it was a pretty damn good show.
Really, the first 8 episodes of After Story are pretty much exactly like what the original Clannad series was like: school life and character arcs while slowly building up Nagisa and Tomoya's relationship. Although these arcs were well written and I enjoyed them thouroughly, they weren't deserving of a 10 rating. However, once you get past the great, but not truly spectacular first 8 eps, the show starts to focus solely on Tomoya and Nagisa. This is where the magic happens and the show began to become my favorite of all time. I was impressed that Clannad managed to make me cry during Fuko's arc (last time I cried was when my grandfather died a few years ago, and that was only a couple tears). But then in the homestretch of Clannad ~After Story~ I found myself bawling my eyes out on numerous occasions. The best word to describe this series is an emotional rollercoaster. It will having you laughing your ass off one minute, and crying like a baby the next. The writing in this anime is unbelievable and it's like the writers developed the perfect bow to pull on your heart strings, timing each event perfectly. The ending is controversial, but I personally loved it.
The art in After Story is beautiful. The settings are all beautiful, characters look great, and colors are vibrant. However, it is not up to par with some other, more recent, anime I have seen. If I were to review this back when it first came out, the art would get probably a 9, but with anime becoming more visually impressive each year, I just can't say it's distinctively good. It certainly is great though, and besides the fact that many of the characters don't seem to age physically even thou they are old (look the the furikawa family...), there is nothing to complain about.
I'm reviewing the dubbed version if anyone is wondering. I found the voice acting to be superb, and can't find any week links in the cast. But what really makes the sound of this anime spectacular is the soundtrack. My only complaint is with the Ed "Torch" although it isn't a bad song, it is very upbeat and poppy, thus can easily kill the mood of the more serious episodes if you don't pause the show before the song starts. Overall, most of the tracks used in Clannad are reused in After Story. All the music is perfectly placed with each scene, and i never found myself annoyed with the song choices. Each track helps establish the setting and mood of the scene. By now, everyone should be familiar with the dango song, and thus Nagisas theme. The melody to those songs was stuck in my head since season one. I found it to be a really cute and catchy song. But after watching After Story, I can't help but feel emotional whenever I hear it. The melody is rearranged multiple times to make different variations of the song that fit their specific scenes perfectly. Really, if the only songs in the ost were rearrangements of Nagisas theme, I would still probably give the soundtrack an 8. It really is quite like the series as a whole, sometimes listening to it will make you smile, but other times it may make you tear up a bit. Other highlights are Roaring Tides, The Place Where Wishes Come True, Toki o Kizamu Uta, and Fantasy.
THE reason why this show is so great. Each character is unique, and although their arcs can sometimes fall into a cliche, the writing still keeps you caring about them. The character development of Tomoya is really the most intriguing aspect. How he deals with all the joys and hardships of life really makes you think about yourself as a person. Where Tomoya was a funny delinquent in Clannad, in After Story you see him mature into an adult, albeit, an adult with a cursed life. I have never been a sucker for romance, but Tomoya and Nagisa's relationship is unlike any I've ever seen. The writers did a brilliant job of making you fall in love with the characters, and feel their emotions as they experience them. I know that what I just wrote isnt very convincing, but that's because I honestly can't explain how this show makes you feel for the lead characters because it is unlike anything I have ever experienced.
The show made me laugh until my stomach hurt on numerous occasions. It later would flip my stomach upside down and make me depressed as I cried my eyes out. The few plot twists this show has hit you hard (I was spoiled for one of the key events already, and it still left me shocked when it happened). Btw, for your own good: DO NOT GOOGLE ANYTHING ON CLANNAD WHILE WATCHING THIS SHOW. Seriously, just typing in a characters name and looking at the suggestions on google or youtube can spoil major plot events. So now you have been warned. Anyways, this anime is the first to make me actually think about myself as a person, and my future life. The emotional ride the show takes you on is one you will never forget.
Watch this show. If you haven't already, watch Clannad before Clannad ~After Story~. In short, the emotions this show makes you feel are what set it apart from everything else. This show really can't be described in any other way than by watching it. If you don't think you can handle the emotions that come with this show, do not watch it. But if your someone who thinks anime is meant for action , and not something that can make you laugh, cry, and reflect on your own life, then watch this show, and see your perspective change completely. I have never seen anything like Clannad and After Story, and don't expect to ever again.
An experience unlike anything I've ever seen. An emotional rollercoaster like no other.
+ Toying with your emotions
+ Excellent character development
+ Beautiful story
+ Music is fantastic
+ So much crying...
+ Everything else
- Torch can really kill the mood
- Not enough cons for me to write about
If you liked Clannad, watch...
Anything by Jun Maeda belongs here because they are so emotional and high in the drama department. Although none of these shows are as good as Clannad, they all do have similar feels and are all good in their own right.
ef-Tale of Memories:
Drama filled sadness.
10/10 - Masterpiece read more
Sep 11, 2009
Clannad has grown on me more than I ever thought possible when I played that first episode. Sakura trees, overdramatic (though fabulous) music, deep thoughts, cynical male protagonist right at the start of the anime? I knew it was really popular and loved, but back then I thought I knew just why and my presumptions weren't bright at all.
"I realize why some people might like this stuff but me? Nah...this is too corny for me...oh well, now that I've started, I'll give it a shot with a few more episodes."
But how the hell could I have known?
It's a 10, the biggest freakin' 10 I've ever given to anything in my entire life. This is what animes are basically all about. Granted, there are animes that are different, unusual and branch out pretty far from their origin. But essentially what makes them anime, not cartoons or tv shows, a medium that has attracted so many people lately is more or less the same. And Clannad is a conventional anime in that regard. Except it took all that emotion, tranquil slice-of-lifeness, seemingly naive but in fact deep story and made it feel REAL. Every character, every moment, everything that might have put me off at first - though it seemed bland at times - has converted into a great memory, a profound feeling of love. Clannad has stripped off the defense mechanisms I have implanted into my brain as I grew up, thinking I have toughened up, grown smarter, more experienced, when in reality all I did was block off those simple, yet beautiful things and emotions that make life. Because it was easier that way, it left me less vulnerable, rid of any great expectations, making it harder for me to get hurt.
Friendship, falling-in-love, the simple quirks and talents that make us special, the dreams of our childhood and adolescence, all that seems to be labeled as a stupid ideal or taboo today. Should we trivialize those things, take them for granted and treat those moments as such? (This is exactly what Ryou was talking about in Kyou's arc, Alernate World episode) No, instead we should hold them as precious memories, even though they might not be "Clannad" for everyone. I was a bit like Nagisa in those years and I regret what I have missed. When I think about it, those years will always hold a special place in my heart even though my childhood and adolescence was short of practically any happy moments. If I had a chance to redo things, I definitely would have acted more like Tomoya, I would've stayed true to some things even when I was ridiculed and insulted by others.
Clannad is all too simple. If I tried to describe it, I certainly wouldn't do it any justice. Every aspect of it is combined in a perfect way to create a masterpiece, making it all seem believable. I cried plenty of times, I smiled like I haven't since childhood (I mean those truly happy, altruistic, empathic smiles) because the characters felt completely real. No real way to describe it other than watch it; this is what makes animes great - to an outsider all this would seem pathetic but rather than using complex dialogues or situations to build up characters and explain their morality like in the real movies or TV shows, in animes it's done in a way that's almost magical. Not only that, this anime makes you rethink your life priorities and thus changes it. Yes, this anime is life-changing.
There, my impression of Clannad. It's the best thing I've watched in my life. Rewatching an anime seemed like a ridiculous thing to do when there are so many good ones around, but I am positive I will rewatch Clannad one day and rejoice as I have on my first watching. read more
Oct 29, 2013
"Just because an anime is capable of making you cry and make you feel sad, doesn't mean it has to be good!"
This is something what I've heard a lot of people saying these days. I don't know if this is true. But do people actually know why people cry while watching a specific anime? Do those people realize how an anime could have possibly make you sad? It's because the story touched them to the very core. Or you felt so bonded with the characters while watching an anime. This is a feeling called 'empathy'. You feel for the characters as if the pain was really yours. And this, was definitely in the case Clannad: After Story.
For various reasons, this anime has been close to my heart for a very long time. This anime really managed to touch me and a lot of other people to the very core. And this is why I actually wanted to review it. So hear my very own opinion of Clannad ~After Story~, the anime which changed my life for good.
The story takes place immediatly after the events of first season of Clannad, after Tomoya confessed his feelings for Nagisa. And so the story follows Tomoya's final semester at high school and his relationship with Nagisa. The story itself, is very different from the prequel. In the first season of Clannad the story revolves around Tomoya helping out a couple of girls with their problems. Since Clannad is more about high school and has more comedy to it, the plot of After Story is revolved about Tomoya's relationship with a girl when they're going from their teenage life towards their adulthood.
And as the story progresses, the main characters get a hell lot of development.
What made the story of Clannad very good, was that it showed the importance of family and friends in real life. But the pacing of the story could have been better. The first half starts out slow, while the second half of the story revolves more about Tomoya and Nagisa. But overall, the story telling itself is really good and unpredictable. The plot has a really sad yet calming atmosphere around it. Still some very good humor, but also very heartwarming. The drama and romance are also very well done in my opinion.
The background scenery was colorful, rich and very detailed. Simply breathtaking, unique and something memorable. The animation quality is very fluid and it totally fits the beauty of Clannad After Story. The character designs are very 'moe-infected' unrealistic, with oversized eyes and unnatural hair colours. But that's only a good point, because most of them looked unique and weren't similar to each other. It also fits the anime and it's story really well. Another good thing about the art, were the face expressions. For a drama/slice of life/romance anime, emotions take a big part in the story so they need to be visible as well. And so were they. The face expressions were so incredibly detailed and very well done.
One of the best points of Clannad, are the soundtracks. The OP "Toki wo Kizamu Uta" (Which is sung by Lia) is such a splendid song with great vocals. The soundtracks are very catchy and memorable. All of them are fitting with the story and the atmosphere. The voice acting was also very well done. All of them were very fitting for the character they portrayed and I don't think it could have been done any better. So about the sound, the soundtracks were all really good and I'll probably be listening to them a lot in the future. No complaints here.
One thing you'll notice watching Clannad (+After Story), you'll feel immediatly bonded with almost all of the characters. Especially Tomoya. He gets so much development in the anime as the story progresses, you'll feel exactly the same things as him. Not only Tomoya, all of the main characters and even several supporting characters are so interesting. Each of them reacts in a realistic way as a with normal human sense to the situations around them. A lot of them are really deep and have some great development as well. The characters are all unique and have their very own likeable personality. Some of them had a really sad past, which made you feel for them even more. I can't even name one single character which I don't liked in Clannad. The whole supporting cast was great and none of the characters were really flat. I will remember all of the characters in the future. I've never felt so bonded with so many characters in an anime before.
I think, as long as you like heartwarming and sad anime, you will enjoy watching Clannad After Story just as much as I did. It really has some very hilarious scenes that are also very memorable. This anime is rewatchable and I probably will rewatch Clannad and After Story in the future.
Overall ~average score: 9,4 out of 10
A heartbreaking story with a beautiful atmosphere. This show left a big emotional impact on me. It managed to make me cry, to make me laugh and to make me think about what's really important in life. I think, the whole importance of familiy, love and friendship is what Clannad really is all about.
Watching clips of Clannad on youtube, even after a year you've watched it, give you a really undescribeable feeling. A sad, yet a very pleasant feeling. I'm so glad I watched this series and I would recommend this to anyone.
Feedback is highly appreciated~
Jul 7, 2014
This question, posed by Nagisa in the first season of Clannad, is not directed to anyone in the series, but rather, to the viewer. Clannad is a fantastic love story, in every sense of the word "fantastic." It's a fantasy, a perfect world in which wishes can and do miraculously come true. But is that really such a good thing? I'm not so sure, for though After Story may drown its competition in a flood of tears, it's rather shallow once the saltwater recedes.
Before I really get started, let me first say that KyoAni did a wonderful job animating this series, and even better with the music. After Story's opening theme is one of the best, but the background music used throughout the series is truly fantastic. Bravo, Maeda and company.
Now, Clannad: After Story has remained in the top 5 highest rated series on MAL since its completion in 2009, and for good reason: it's the best show of its kind. That said, it isn't exactly the deepest, most well-written variety of literature. Clannad could have been a magnificently inspiring tale of love, loss, acceptance, growth and joy; a chronicle of a boy's journey through life unparalleled in its depth by any other series in the medium. But it isn't. Rather, Clannad is simply an emotional roller coaster, hurling viewers down into despair and back up into joy, only to return in the end right back where it started. It's an incredible ride, but it doesn't really *take you* anywhere.
In order to squeeze a record-breaking volume of tears from its viewers' eyes, Clannad's creators packed it with as many impossible miracles as they did devastating tragedies -- that is, too many. For each moe girl -- and believe me, Key and KyoAni made sure the girls were as moe as possible -- there is a tragic story with a tear-jerking ending. Some can be quite touching, if a tad unbelievable, but others range from mediocre to outright bad. Frustratingly, After Story begins with three very underwhelming character arcs right off the bat, which tend to leave the viewer wishing they'd just get on with the "important stuff" already: the story of Tomoya and Nagisa. I know Clannad is adapted from a multi-route visual novel, the objective of which is to complete each girl's story arc before embarking on the After Story with Nagisa, but the nearly unanimous consensus is that the "After" part of After Story is what really makes Clannad so great. Everyone has a favorite girl, so to leave any of them out of the anime would have incited unwanted rage from fans, but I must confess that I feel Clannad would have been a better anime overall if the nonessential character arcs had been cut, focusing instead on fleshing out Nagisa. It would have been a very different anime with a very different ending, but I feel that would also have been for the best.
Tomoya, the male lead of Clannad, grows beautifully in After Story, but his female counterpart, Nagisa, is no deeper than the average h-manga sex object. What I mean is, just as girls in hentai are designed to be sexy, girls in Clannad are designed to be moe, and that's the full extent of Nagisa's character. There's nothing else to her. Likewise, just as h-manga scenarios bend over backward to put characters in the most erotic situations imaginable, Clannad's story was expertly engineered to manipulate the viewer's basest and most fleeting emotions, at the expense of the real profundity it could have produced if handled differently.
To summarize, Clannad is a very well-produced and unforgettably touching series -- if you're the sort of person on whom Key's style of tear-jerking drama works as intended. Yet, even so, it's left my heart yearning for the masterpiece I know Maeda could have created, but never will. read more
Dec 27, 2011
Clannad After Story, sequel to another brilliant project of Key visual arts, brings you the magic of what a story can hold. It has the old high school romance, the friends, the drama, but it's not afraid and most certainly not attempting to hide it's supernatural aspect. You won't feel intact with the beauty of what Clannad has to offer if you don't realize the 'magic' behind it all. It brings life, and wonders to what life itself actually is.
Story: 10/10 - Proceeding from Clannad's last season, we have our beloved Nagisa and Tomoya, who are now thankfully a couple to die for. Once the first portion of the show is over, it enters into what we've been waiting for, the focus on the two MC's, and how they're now involved with each others futures, and the events, or drama that happens within it. Friends seem almost non-existent when you are in love, all your mind can think about are images of that person's face, the one you know you can't live without. Okazaki and Nagisa went one way, and all of their fellow classmates soon depart another. Whether you were a Nagisa fan from the beginning or not the story almost twists you into having a bit of sympathy in the least, and I feel if a writer is able to do something like that, then round up the applauses because damn am I impressed!
It's a vast universe, when you lock souls with that other, it almost seems like a miracle.
Art: 9/10 - From the unique visuals used for the toy robot and the Illusionary girl, to the mere fluidity in Tomoyo's 1,000 kick combo! I have never been less than impressed when it comes to a Key production. The opening songs are beautiful in both art and sound and I can't get enough of the foreshadowing. Kyoto's visual arts know when to emphasize a scene of significance; the baseball soaring through the air, it turns into a close-up, spinning ever so slowly, and then we return to the story of the Illusionary girl, and the field which constantly emits these orbs of light, floating, as if the world they're in, has it's own sort of weather. The atmosphere of Clannad is what pulls one into the anime, almost like you're experiencing it all as well.
Sound: 8/10 - Again, the opening songs for the prequel and Clannad AS itself were both very pleasing to the ears, but had a kind of melancholic tone, this only grows stronger as you progress through the series because you then are able to reflect on all the characters as you see the images pass by. The sound effects for everything else aren't much to write home about but the soundtrack is quite amazing! The synchronization of the bgm and the scene at hand could be the reason you find yourself bawling or tearing up on the side because of how heavy it all feels at once. I have no words for how sad one single soundtrack could make you feel.
Characters: 9/10 - The idiot, the genius, the tsundere, the tomboy, the shy girl, the airhead, the goofball. All of these generic characters in one show, but how do they manage to be so entertaining and get them spot-on? Because it's just done well, and isn't boring, or frustrating and repititive. The characters mingle with each other like how they're suppose to and nothing seems out of place, or unordinary. Aside from Fuko. Now that relationships have developed and it's almost time for graduation, the 'friends' almost seem like a family.
Dango Dai kazoku!
Enjoyment: 10/10 - Never will I forget such a series, and I will continue to recommend it as long as I keep interest in anime, and I don't plan on abandoning it anytime soon. Let's hope it sticks, but Clannad can and WILL teach you a few things about life, it isn't easy but miracles do happen, so don't let go of that strand of hope, and keep on pushing for what it is you seek. It'll all be worth it! Just like an alternate world, there are always alternative options, don't fret, keep your eyes on the prize! As they say.
Jan 13, 2011
“He loves her. She loves him. They accept each other. And so they lived happily ever after…”
“And so they lived happily ever after…”
What really happened to them “after”? How long did they stay together? What happened to them when they were together?
No movie or show, let alone an anime, has ever answered these questions.
Instead of presenting a brief five minute epilogue with a J-ballad playing in the background at the end of the first season, Kyoto Animation has given us a 24 episode masterpiece, which is not only a highly satisfactory epilogue, but also a heart wrenching story by itself.
Clannad: AS is a direct sequel to the first season, Clannad. Although Clannad: AS is extremely good just as a stand-alone, watching the prequel provides better understanding of their characters and their backgrounds. If you still want to go ahead and watch Clannad: AS directly (although I wouldn’t), then I suggest you give the MAL synopsis for Clannad a quick read before heading onto this one. You follow, Tomoya Okazaki and Nagisa Furukawa, two people who who have vowed to spend their lives together. What you get is the "after" of their relationship from Clannad.
Clannad: After Story is split into two parts - the side-characters part and the main-characters part. It starts off with three arcs (which make up the first part of the series), lasting a total of eight episodes, dedicated to three of the first season’s recurring characters – Sunohara, Misae and Yukine. Although these episodes seem to be fan service and lack depth compared to the rest of the series at first glance, they are not. They are there for a purpose and that is to provide us with the characters’ final days in school. Because in this anime, just like real life, their friends move on and the plot provides its absolute and undivided attention to probably my favorite on-screen couple of all time – Tomoya Okazaki and Nagisa Furukawa.
You get a visual running commentary of every single event of this seemingly perfect couple, as they struggle, hobble and claw at life to remain together. What you get is the complete journal of events that happen in this couple’s lives, told from Tomoya’s point of view.
You watch as he tries to overcome whatever life throws at him, in order to be happy, even for just a minute.
You watch as he bears the brunt of life upon his shoulders and as he shifts through the yin and yang of life.
You watch as his soul tries to escape the darkness that stalks him like his own shadow.
You watch as he tries to understand the complexities of the world we live in, during the defining moments of his life.
You watch, a boy becoming a man.
I will try to condense the analysis of the animation and audio department so as to maximize the space available for story and character analysis.
The animation is just as gorgeous as ever. Movements have been refined and are now much more fluid. The one thing that had improved majorly in this area was the art involved on the characters’ faces. Their emotions are brought out so subtly, but yet so significantly, that it makes you wonder how long they spent trying to get these tiny factors right. For example, when you see Okazaki being calmed down by Nagisa, you can actually watch how his reactions slowly transform from angry to annoyed to a calm state within a couple of seconds. Perfect.
As far as the soundtrack does, there have been no major additions except for the OP and the ED. The OP, Toki wo Kizamu Uta, is one of the best there is and has cemented its position in my favorite OPs of all time at number four. The ED,Torch, is, for the most of the series, a complete misfit. Just when you are about to burst into tears after a devastating episode, the sight of a girl doing high knees followed by the rest of the characters moonwalking across the screen totally ruins the mood.Hard to believe that this inappropriate ED comes from the same singer of the incredible OP, Lia.
Calling this anime an emotional rollercoaster might very well be the understatement of the year. Now, the best way to describe the story's impact is to describe my emotional reactions when I watched the anime. I am a 17 year old guy, with below average sensitivity. Never in my life have I ever shed a tear while watching a show or a move in the theater or on TV. But, this anime wiped the slate clean. I can say, without any regrets or feeling embarrassed that I cried while watching Clannad: AS. This anime tugs at your heartstrings so hard, that it’s almost inhumane not to tear up. Clannad: AS will rip your heart out and then mend it with sweet words of love and then rip it out again. During some scenes, I could almost feel my heart crumble inside my chest. That is not to say that this anime contains only sadness. Just when the show pushes you so hard into the well, it pulls you back up just as fast. This series is just raw emotion packed in the form of animated characters.
The story continues its tie-ins between the real world and the Illusionary World and the supernatural aspect of it plays a much bigger role in Clannad: AS. I won't be going too deep into this as it contains too many spoilers.
The characters are crafted to perfection. Thanks to the super job by the animation department, you are now able to completely feel all of the characters' thoughts and feelings, blurring the line between anime and reality. For almost the entire series, I felt exactly how Okazaki felt and thought how Okazaki thought. The innocent and simple way they think was also one of the reasons people love the characters so much. The characters, although grown up, were so gentle at heart. This content and caring way of living lays further emphasis on the purity of the two protagonists. I felt their pain, their sorrow, their despair, their happiness, their pleasures and their excitement. The characters made sure of that. One particular new character bowled me over with his/her charm. The introduction of this soulful, innocent and sincere character was one of the main reasons why I was so moved by this anime.The characters are what strengthened the anime and made a simple tale interesting to watch.
The voice acting is very well done. The casting was perfect and none were out of place. It was all so believable. The entire cast deserves a standing ovation for their power packed performance. The subbing by StaticSubs Eclipse was very neat.
When I write a review, I do my best to be unbiased. But sometimes, it's hard not to let your emotions flow when you see an anime that mixes the genres of slice of life, drama and romance so well, that I simply cannot emphasize enough on its ability to make full use of its potential and deliver a story that is sure to make fans of any genre fall in love with this anime.
Overall, Clannad: After Story is a piece of art and will go down in history as one of the best ever. Even with a near-perfect ending, you’ll be wishing for an After Story to this After Story as it’s really hard to let to let go of the characters that you’ve come to love so much. That’s how hard-hitting and beautiful this anime is. The MAL rating of 10 does not mean an anime is perfect, but it means that the anime is a masterpiece. And that, Clannad: After Story is.
[ THE WRAP-UP ]
Clannad: After Story is a an intricately carved insight into the life of characters whose stories “ended” last season. The trials and tribulations of the characters successfully bring your emotions to the surface. This emotional bond is further strengthened with a heartbreaking, yet uplifting story, which is guaranteed to drop to your knees and make you jump for joy at the same time. The anime infuses the key elements of its genres (romance, drama, slice of life) and serves a dish that is bound to please even the most stringent of otaku. The animation and soundtrack are exactly what you would expect from KyoAni - inch perfect. While the initial episodes might cause an eyebrow or to raise, rest assured, all suspicions are laid to rest once the series settles down about quarter of the series in. And from then on, the atmosphere of this anime is simply enchanting. This is just one of those rare anime out there that you don't want to miss out on, even if you're not a fan of the genre. Clannad: After Story is a magical journey that will leave you with a lot of memories which will leave you wondering on how YOUR After Story would be. read more
Jan 27, 2012
Clannad [After Story], shows that everything comes to an end; I know that all things will come to an end, normally they would. But Clannad [After Story], shows it upon a persons certain point of view. Or what he thought of these “end” and “endings”.
Clannad [After Story] was the one who changed my whole viewing about Drama and Slice of Life genre anime. Clannad changed me for a while there while I was watching it. I didn′t even held a tear while the most saddest parts were playing right before my very eyes. After Story had a huge changes from the first season, but the story is still revolving around Okazaki Tomoya, who always thought that nothing would and could never change, until a certain girl entered through his path - Furukawa Nagisa, whom Tomoya confessed his loved to in the final episode of the first season. It′s not like some other anime, which when the guy confesses and the girl accepted, it′ll just end there -- no. After Story continues from where it left off; continuing the path where Okazaki Tomoya is walking at.
They then had a relationship, where the both of them vowed that they will, no matter what, share every sorrow and happiness each one have. That both of them would help each other. After Story can actually be seated beside a real life; After Story is not some mediocre story, After Story shows us how life can be full of happiness, how having a family feels, how sad and full of grief life can be. After Story can teach you a one or two, life is not that easy, and that doing nothing would do you any good.
People who haven′t watched After Story might think that, this last season would be exactly the same as the first season. No, they aren′t the same. Yes, I agree that the characters are still the same, but as soon as the story of After Story in the beginning part whereas it only centered around Okazaki Tomoya, his friends, who were special to him, also changed and had their own path which they walk through while Tomoya′s path is still growing.
- The plot of After Story, is hugely different from the prequel, whereas the story runs along with Tomoya′s companions and acquaintances. After Story had it′s plot viewing only around Okazaki Tomoya, from him, being just a highschool student at first, and now he is a man who works for his family, who shreds blood and sweat.
Every now and then, After Story′s plot is still one of the best that one can ever line up with. Changing ones point of view in life, how many changes can happen, how many tears might fall down on your cheeks without you, noticing it.
After Story had a huge impact at me, the prequel, who had some comedy and funny scenes, changed to full drama in After Story. Where I wasn′t able to hold back my tears on the sad parts; though After Story had a little bonding moment, to change the atmosphere a bit, but then again, changed to a tear-jerking one.
At first, After Story′s part give′s you a light and normal feeling; how former friends can reunite, have fun, and think of the good old times. Think of it as like a trailer, because when you′ve watched the full storyline, prepare your tissues and try to hold back your tears. After Story emphasizes many standards of life. Also showing us some things that aren′t meant to be.
After Story teaches us a lot of things of what you might stumble upon at when you grow up. It teaches us how having a family can be fun, how having someone to help you, or you can rely on can be like. It′s not all about smiles and happiness. Every now and then, you need to have some waterfall dashing out from your eyes. Grief and sorrow, are the things that Tomoya changed his life, again, after the one dearest to him, was taken. Tomoya didn′t know what to do, or how is life is going to be after all what happened.
People who had lost their dearest to them, must not let sadness take you with them, even if someone was taken from you, stand up and be strong. No matter how hurtful the things were that was given and bestowed upon you, always think of the good things that might come once again. After Story, on the other hand, had an alternate and one you can call, a true ending. (It′ll be much of a spoiler to post it here.) But that might only happen, if the person really can′t take living by himself, or God might even wake you up from your nightmare. Tomoya had a dream, where she first met Nagisa, but, it was an alternate one, daresay. She kept calling out Nagisa′s name. And that′s when she knew, how important she was to him.
Many people has their own point of view in After Story, smile, happiness, sadness, grief, and love. That′s what all the things you′ll be stumbling upon while reminiscing through After Story.
Who knows? It might be just a dream, and you might soon wake up from it.
After Story shows deep emotions and strong points all through out the series. Don′t think that nothing would change, everything and everyone undergoes changes. And experiences something they didn′t imagine to happen to them.
~ Will add more later; read more
Aug 11, 2011
"oh shit is that piss? IS THAT PISS?"
No wait wrong situation, oh there comes a time in every anime fan's life where they find that 1 show that they know is better than the rest. They know it's the best they ever seen and that nothing will top it. I'm talking about the day where they find the best show they'v ever seen. To me that moment occurred after i finished watching clannad after story last year,
And you know what I've watched a large amount of shows almost all of them great since then, and still none of them have come close to topping this show.
Now first thing you should know is that this show is a sequel to a great not perfect but great show called clannad (duuuuuuurrrr) and the only thing people may be dissapointed about this sequel is that almost all the characters are pretty much absent in after story, they will be there in the start but the story focuses on tomoya and nagisa's lifes after school ends and goes as far in time for more than a decade
The serise(not to sound cliche and full of myself) the show is legitimately inspirational, after watching this show i find it much less than a coincidence that i started to work harder and enjoy life more.
The show really shows the hardships tomoya endures due to him being a flunk at school and you see how that affects him as his life goes on but you also see how he pushes through it thanks to the help of nagisa and how they as a couple push through for better or for worse. It's really handled beautifully, The characters of tomoya and nagisa are some of the best characters out here, not only are they likable and relate-able but you don't have a hard time believing there's people out there like them, they aren't perfect people either, like all humans they have flaws to them.
For a show that really gets drama down perfectly the show can also be very funny and even kinda crazy at times, mainly between the relationship between akio-san and tomoya, when they are both onscreen at once you can expect things to get funny but the bets part is that the relationship is more than comedy. Their relationship really builds and they do seem like father and son as things become much more bleaker as the series goes on(without spoiling it, 3/3 part of the show GET TISSUES)
now i've talked about all the things that make the 2nd and 3rd part of this show so amazing but the 1st part also is handled very nicely, its still in school from the first season and they end up at least giving a episode to each character and you learn that these side charecters really have stories to tell. You see exactly why sunahora and tomoya were friends and stuff like that, none of them have any big twists like the first season did but they are handled very well and these characters which you may have not cared to much for turn out to be extremely likable characters
So if your still reading this show you should be able to tell by now, I LOVE THIS SHOW, everyone needs to see it, You didn't like the 1st season? Watch it, don't like moe? still watch this. This is a show you need to see. Saying i highly recommend this is a understatement. I'm not ordering you, i'm begging you to go watch this cause everyone should feel the same feeling i got while watching this show. I feel bad when i see someone who hasn't given this show a try, regardless of how meh the show seems initially don't pass this up. This show is one of a kind. As i stated before i BEG you to watch it read more
Jul 31, 2009
Then there is Clannad After Story, which seams together these two extremely emotional qualities flawlessly and presents us with something truly unique and amazing. It is a very real story, beautiful in its simplicity yet powerful with its bold emotions. It will send chills down your spine in the way it is able to show the biggest wonders within the smallest events. Clannad After Story is truly a treat, one that you will never forget.
I do not want to spoil a moment of this compelling story for you, but essentially this is the story of the beginnings and life of a family. So simple, yet the slow and emotional way in which it is presented is truly amazing to watch. The characters and music combine with the story and make its presentation even more astounding and emotional.
I absolutely love this art style. The animators will take their time to highlight specific things in a scene, perhaps the wind carrying sakura petals or the gaze of a robot lost in a desolate world. I am big on eye styles if you know me well, and Clannad does not fail to deliver. The eyes are unique and refreshing, yet they completely work for the characters.
I will say that the Clannad team does tend to "recycle" their clips a lot, and they re-use many scenes that have already been used. It was never a problem for me however, and I never seemed to notice during each episode. Each clip of animation has a visible amount of dedication put into it, and it pays off.
I would say this is where Clannad truly shines, but to be honest, it shines everywhere, and the soundtrack is no exception. Honestly, this is one of the most amazing anime soundtracks I have ever heard. Shinji Orito and gang have created a moving soundtrack to match the emotions of the anime perfectly. Without these songs, the anime would only be half as good as I believe it is. I urge you to listen to the songs carefully and let yourself be absorbed into the emotions of the anime, and listening to these songs later will immediately bring to mind these emotions that our characters were feeling at the time. Fabulous, fabulous job to the music team.
Another 10, yes, but I am sure you will agree with me on this one. There is Tomoya, the main character, who changes dramatically over the course of After Story. There is Nagisa, Tomoya's wife, who is kind, gentle, and sometimes a bit incapable of handling things herself. There is Kyou (yay Kyou fanboy here), the aggresive tsundere of the group who is outgoing, kind, and well... intolerable of stupidity. There is Tomoyo, very similar to Kyou but with ambitions and a steady path she sees for herself.
These and many other characters make this story a must-see. There is a character for everyone to love and be attached to; in fact I find myself loving every single character. (Except Fuuko, who I must add, was put in this anime a bit too much.) Overall, amazing cast, and voice acting is also very solid.
I always hate to give a review all 10's, because it seriously looks like I'm a fanboy of Clannad. But thinking back on the series, it deserves nothing less. All the elements that make up an anime mesh perfectly for Clannad After Story, and it is truly a treat to watch. I enjoyed every second of this anime, and came close to crying (which I have never done watching an anime).
I knew then that Clannad After Story was something special, something that draws the emotion from everyone's hearts and connects you to the story in one way or another. This is something you cannot miss. read more
Jul 23, 2014
Complimenting and connecting with each other, as well as continuing on rising. That's the path pretty much all the factors of Clannad's storyline take. From direct and merciless telling, all the way to parallel switching between the scenes and in the end connecting it as an overall whole, the story is well thought-out as well as presented to the audience. It is hard to understand Clannad: After Story without its prequel, Clannad. That is because only together they deliver a total sensation. The prequel, Clannad, serves as an introduction. It exist for the purpose of emphasizing the sequel, After Story, and can not be seen as its own product with the latter being a simple continuation. No, the original Clannad hold an important role that mustn't miss, otherwise the entire built falls apart. It is there to introduce us to the characters, as well as show us some progression on the matter. Moreover, with just a spice of comedy on the right spots, it is there to gracefully make us sympathize with the characters, accept them and like them, some more, some less.
What's especially great is that not only it succeeds at doing just that on a masterful level, but as a stand-alone, it delivers a product that can be enjoyed wonderfully, as well as stand above other series that share the same genres. Therefore, if the sole purpose is school comedy, Clannad already tends to fit the spot. Yet, looking from another perspective, it is much more than that. It sets us into a quirky mood of wanting to see more of the franchise. To see the continuation and enjoy it to the fullest. Here is where to road takes a rare turn for not only the better, but for the heavily better. As we enter the title called Clannad: After Story, we are surrounded by beauty that is yet to enclose us. At the beginning, it all seems similar. It's the splendid Clannad that makes us smile and enjoy the light-hearted experience. From here and there, however, we can already feel a smaller vibe of difference. A vibe that gets stronger and stronger by each episode that passes. It doesn't take a relatively long time for us to realize that we are in the middle of a drama show. What's more, we begin to realize that this drama is of higher quality, different than the majority that simply wants to bring a tad more interest to the story overall. In After Story, the drama that has yet to show its true strength takes the lead, not being only an addition.
Bringing drama into a story is always a huge risk. Naturally, the bigger influence it has overall, the more it is responsible for the final success of the series. After Story is not the first product that stares in the eyes of drama as it takes it on fully, but it is one of rare that manage to succeed greatly. As the story unfolds, the drama slowly rises. At every obstacle that it faces, it always hits the nail, never giving the impression of the characters overreacting or not fitting in the mood of other factors present. Such accuracy and complementation is hardly seen if it manages to soothe the audience, yet the feeling of greatness is easily present. On the other hand, if at such sharp focus the two wouldn't do the trick, failure would be more than obvious from every angle, bringing only the question of why play with fire if you cannot control it. However, someone always has to be different. Someone has to be the best and someone has to be the worst. As long as the series are not all equal, the same goes for them. After Story is different. It plays with a double-edged weapon that holds great strength, and manages to fulfill its given goal, possibly even surprising itself afterwards. It delivers round and complete excellence.
As the story comes to a closure, the drama that has been slowly rising starts to rise exponentially. Many powerful events occur, leading to a break down. Not to a break down in quality, but thinking and preferring. Truth be told, the drama reaches such heights that it simply cannot hold the whole audience together, as at that point, some are unable to take it anymore, while some want a complete ride all the way through. And so comes the ending. The creators want to suit the majority of the audience and gracefully finish the story. This is where the break down shows its effect. As the audience has split in the way of thinking of what would a suiting ending to the story be, not all can be pleased. Being more specific, those who are tough and strong wanted to see the story end realistically, which unfortunately for them, isn't the case. If the story were to end on a realistic side, it would result into Clannad being one of the most powerful if not the most powerful progressive series ever. Yet, many followers simply could not accept it due to them getting to sympathize with the cast that greatly in both, Clannad and even more in the sequel, After Story. The producers were aware of that, so the decision fell on the story ending on a lighter note. Obviously, many were disappointed. However, regardless of that being the case, one path had to be chosen. Regardless of which path that is, it still had to be executed in the correct manner for it to be considered good for the audience that wanted to see it. Here is where the parallel story telling has done a great job and if analyzed well, it is visible that it has excellently connected the entire presentation as an overall whole. Looking at the big picture, from the beginning to the very end, all of the factors active contributed greatly towards a complete progression of an amazing series.
There always comes the question whether Clannad is perfect. Excluding this one time, I haven't used that word in the entire review. No, Clannad is not perfect. The simple reason for that is that one cannot force the entire audience into objectivity. Each person is different, and each person desires to see and hear something a little bit different. This same desire effects what someone understands under the term “enjoyment”. Therefore, especially looking at the closure of the series, Clannad is not a product that joins the entire community into one group of a single preference. There are many different opinions on the series overall being cast all around, yet there has to be a word given if only one person is sharing and submitting a review, in this case that being me. Isolating myself from the community and the noise around, I must say that I simply adore Clannad as a whole, keeping what it is and what it could have been in mind. Regardless of possible overtaking idea, every factor that I put under the zooming glass is quality-made. There is not one piece that is shallow, everything that contributes to the series, major and minor alike, is filled with deepness and effect. Therefore, combining the fact that I simply adore the way the storyline runs from the beginning to the end with the matter of each individual focus holding quality and connecting with others to create a strong completion, I can swiftly call Clannad a masterpiece.
Sharing a word or two on the sound and animation, they are both of the top league. The studio producing the animation is the famous Kyoto Animation, and this is simply one of their wonderful works. Every scene holds spacial deepness and truly throws the audience in the middle of action at-hand. As a fan of splendid shadowing, accurate three-dimensional presentation and other realistic artistic skills, I was greatly impressed by the visual presentation. However, ever more than the animation, it was the sound that has brought that cherry on the cupcake. The voice actors have done their part beautifully well, sharing the emotions of the characters at certain moments splendidly well, in calm and intense situations alike. What I would especially like to point out, though, are the original soundtracks. Long story short, they are marvellous. What's interesting is that at some situations, they are used spot-on, while at some it would fit better off without them. Still, all the major scenes are covered correctly and accurately. The main specialty is that unlike the most, they are inverted. While some other series would emphasize the power of the situation at-hand by increasing the strength of the sound, Clannad tends to take an exact opposite approach. Although it might seem reasonable for a drama show to be like that, it is actually an art to make the more soothing, calm, as well as pure melody to sound more powerful than the one with a rougher core. Clannad OSTs tend to be that piece of art, as the sound producers take it to a whole new level. From the basic “Roaring Tides”, to the pure melodic “Snowfield”, the difference can be seen nicely as the latter soothes the mind with its constant, yet soft melody, bringing a stronger effect over the former. The two as a stand-alone create goodness, but when they compliment each other, they create greatness.
Even though there is a known saying that everything becomes easier after you get over the starting obstacle, that just does not work when trying to review something beautifully rounded up — something complete. I've rewritten the reviews for Clannad many, many times now. At one point, I've written a review that has consisted of over five thousand words overall. However, it still didn't hit the spot. To accurately review something complete and not feel like you could have done it better, your mind must be absolute. This is most likely my last time reforming a review on the series in a shape of text, but I believe I've done a good job. In the end, Clannad are some extraordinary series. They hold strength and are beautifully rounded up as a piece of progression-type entertainment. Regardless of the general preferring, if you do have a sweet spot for everything quality-made that holds the essence of drama in the main spot, experiencing the series or even the Clannad franchise as a whole is strongly recommended. Due to every single person being different than one other, there is subjectivity. Therefore, Clannad is not perfect, but it stands in the highest peaks of excellence — it is a masterpiece. read more
Jan 15, 2014
I haven't seen a lot of anime yet, but I plan to see so much more. The fact that I just felt emotions that have been inactive for years is a testament to just how powerful a good story and good characters can be. I will forever hold Clannad in my heart as a beautiful masterpiece. read more