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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: 9.161 (scored by 154535 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
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."
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”.
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
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
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
Yesterday, 1:19 AM
The moon viewing dumpling is a bit of a dreamer,
The sesame dumpling always looks prim, the quadruplet spitted dumplings,
Put all of them together to make a family of one hundred.
The baby dumpling is always in the midst of happiness,
The old dumpling narrows his eyes.
The friendly dumplings all hold hands and create a big round ring,
They laugh together while making towns on the dumpling star,
The rabbits wave from the big moon in the sky,
It takes all the happy and sad things and rounds them up.”
It's not easy. Understanding, or especially later examining something that reaches completion is anything but a simple and easy task. As I gaze at the screen and my mind is filled with ideas on what to put on paper, a new one always comes that overwrites the previous one. So here I am, stuck in a chaotic situation, yet with a simple and round completion in my mind. It makes me wonder, just how. How was something able to be set-up so nicely. How was is possible to execute it so excellently. How could it be delivered so gently, yet powerfully, that one only sits calmly after finishing it, yet the mind doesn't want to pause. How, despite there being no physical supremacy, can such an aftermath take place. Is this what they call “art”?
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
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, in the end it remains disappointingly shallow.
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
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
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
Mar 28, 2014
Now I shall go ahead and give you the reasons as to why these areas were scored the way they were! :) I tried not to put any spoilers in this review, but I still would read with caution because hints of the upcoming event are given...
This is definitely the most important part of an anime for me. If the story isn't good, the whole thing kinda fails, same goes with the characters. The story does run a bit slow at times, but to be fair, it is a 'slice of life' type anime and life doesn't always go all over the place in full speed. The story picks right up from Clannad, which makes me very happy because we get to see the main characters gradually grow more mature and eventually get married and so on... The story also has many situations and areas where everyone can relate to, giving it a strong connection with the viewers. The father-son (Tomoyo and his father) and father-daughter (Tomoyo and his daughter) relationship was a big point in the story. The way they showed another side of Tomoyo's father through flashbacks and such, showed a new side to the man that many might have thought mean, cold and selfish during Clannad. This made me really happy and made the anime more realistic, showing that a person's heart isn't fully rock solid. WARNING: Clannad: After Story plays with your emotions, causing you to feel very sad and sympathetic or empathetic!
I'm not too prickly about my art preference, but I ended up scoring Clannad: After Story an 9 because I generally like more realistic looking characters... I guess? Maybe characters without such big eyes...but, the backgrounds were beautiful, I especially loved the parts where it goes to a different world where the girl lives all alone with the light orbs. :)
Dango, dango, dango, dango.... that song makes me smile every time I here it now!Oh, Nagisa! I really liked how a more mellow song was chosen for the opening to kind of set the mood, but then the closing song is more upbeat, which uplifts my spirited after a heavily heart tearing episode. The sound tracks were great!
Like I said in my little Story scoring blurb, the characters are important! Clannad: After Story did not fail me on that! The characters were all pretty much developed because of Clannad, but they managed to develop them EVEN MORE! Again, like I had said on my Story scoring paragraph, Tomoyo's father was more explored and the reasons for the way he was acting are revealed, causing you to feel different emotions toward him than of those you felt during Clannad. Nagisa is still her stubborn, lovable self. Her mom is still the supportive woman she is, and Nagisa's father, likewise, is still as comedic and awesome as usual...Tomoyo on the other hand...reacts the way many human beings might after facing a huge set back in his life, causing him to feel very depressed and...lonely...Anywho! You'll love the characters!The anime gets you to become attached to these characters, making it EVEN MORE sad and hurtful to the heart when something goes wrong for them...and on the other hand, when something amazingly happy happens to them, you'll feel that warmth in your heart as well!
I loved, loved, loved every second of this anime! I cried, I smiled, I laughed, I was given many different facial expressions throughout this anime! I enjoyed it very much! Episodes 18 and up were the ones I liked the most!
It's just an all around great anime! I really recommend people to watch Clannad: After Story!
Jan 19, 2014
The story would be an absolute 10 if not for some of the first arcs in the show. Though they were a bit more realistic than those in the first season of Clannad, I found myself not enjoying them quite as much if only because the themes are not my favorite things to watch in an anime. However, when the story really gets going, it grabs and pulls you along. I find it especially potent because of how we get to watch the characters grow and mature while the story occurs.
The art is absolutely beautiful. I love how the sun shines through the trees and especially the scenes from "The World That Has Ended".
The opening is one of my favorite anime songs of all time, and the soundtrack through the episodes is nostalgic and contributes greatly to the events in the story. However, the ending wasn't great--there were a few episodes that ended on a distressing note, and the happy, upbeat ending just didn't fit well with the tone of the story at those times.
The characters were already introduced in Clannad, but now we get to watch them mature and become adults. Since I'm reaching that stage in my life around now, the character development is even more fascinating. I feel like the characters in the second season were more realistic, in some ways, than they were in the first season.
Full marks all the way. I no longer cry at the sad bits, but I did during at least my first two re-watches, and I always laugh at the funny parts (because they're priceless). This is a series that will never get old for me.
I would absolutely recommend this to anyone, especially those in high school/college. Indeed, I have made many of my friends watch it (whether they REALLY wanted to or not), and they enjoyed it greatly as well. Through love, anger, sadness, grief, and hilarity, the meaning of "family" always shines through. 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.
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
Feb 24, 2014
Generalities and Formalities.
Clannad: After story, is commonly referred to as one of the greatest animes to be ever written and created. It's up at the top with Steins;Gate and FMA, and all for a good reason. But before I get into these reasons, I have to point out the fact that Clannad: AS is the only Slice of Life anime to be in the top 5, and this is an impressive feat that gets overlooked. In a society of Anime dominated with the overwhelming fanbase of Shounen anime (action, fighting etc...), a Slice of Life anime able to break through that craze and emerge at the top. Personally, it is my number one anime out of all the animes I have watched. The reasons I will reach now.
Key, the writers of Angel Beats!, Little Busters (Refrain), Kanon, Clannad, and Air are known for their genius in writing amazing stories. They have become so famous to the point where Key has it's own anime genre (fan addressed) called "Key Anime" which refers to these slice of life animes which have a mind blowing, or completely heartbreaking/joyous ending.
Now, getting to Clannad: AS. The story takes place after the original Clannad Television series, but instead follows mainly about life after highschool. The other factor which makes this show even more enjoyable and touching is the fact that the story and characters are so real. After Story does what Clannad (Original) could not do, and that is wrap up things and answer questions.
Of course I cannot say too much or it would ruin the story, but the first season's setup led perfectly into this second season, which developed the story into something truly beautiful, and will treasure in their hearts. I shit you not, I changed how I looked at life because of this anime.
Obviously not the most beautiful characters out there in the Anime Industry, whether it comes to OPPAI!!! (Highschool DxD) or design (Nagi no Asukara), but the art style to Key animes are very unique. After Story is no different. The characters are perfect for the story, and could not imagine it with any other art for the characters. The eyes especially display the sadness and happiness of a character extremely effeciently!
This anime was made quite a long time ago (2008-9). That was 5-6 years ago, yet, the artwork was consistently fantastic for the scenery. I will quickly and spoiler free mention examples. The snow, grass fields, everything to that sort, all were amazing. even surpassing some of the animes we have to this date.
The music, was perfect for every situation. To this day, whenever I watch the opening for this show, I get chills and a wave of reminescence hits me like a hammer. Every single character has their own theme song, which plays continuously and fits them amazingly. The OST for the situations that the anime plays through also fit amazingly, and I am not exaggerating when I say that the music becomes a part of the story telling. Now, to the sound effects. These are standard, and for a bigger company like Key is unexpected, and of course, they do not mess it up. Every sound effect from baseball noises to eating, to plates, rain, cicadas, walking, are all great. The voice acting? Amazing. They used famous actors from all over the industry. We have people from one piece, fairy tail, highschool dxd, you get it, basically the best out there.
In an anime based around story telling, what's a good story without a good set of characters? The characters are all very different, and yet they work very well together as a group. briefly, I will go over the characters and their characteristics.
Okazaki Tomoya - A delinquent, yet a very caring guy in the inside. He likes to take care of other people. He is very responsible, and much more mature than he lets on to be. He usually takes other people's problems into his own hands to help them as much as he can.
Furukawa Nagisa - A softspoken, shy girl. She opens more once she met Tomoya on the day of the opening ceremony, and becomes great friends with him. She quickly makes many friends with the help of Tomoya. She is naturally weak, as she was born with a frail body, yet she tries everything with everything she has. She also has a tendency to cry easily, and is very caring for others.
Sunohara Youhei - Delinquent, met Tomoya through a mutual trouble making incident. He is loud, obnoxious, and has trouble getting girls. However, he, like Tomoya, is secretly very caring. He is often referred to as a clown and a jokester, because he is not as mature as Tomoya is.
This show has so many important characters I would love to go on, but this gives you an idea of how some people work. On paper, they seem generic, but once you watch the show you will truly understand this masterpiece of character design.
MY NUMBER ONE ANIME. WATCH CLANNAD AND WATCH CLANNAD: AS!!!!
I can easily give my favorite anime a 10/10 on enjoyment. I mean, why is it my number one if i didnt enjoy it?
THANKS FOR READING! Hope my review helped decide whether you should watch this or not.
Dec 31, 2013
I would definitely give this a 10, but judging the anime's entirety, I'm gonna have to give it a 9 since the first 10 episodes or so are a repetitive...as in they're really similar to Clannad and not that special. What really separates After Story from the first one is what happens after the first 10 episodes, where the plot twists and character development really take off. I have never ever cried from reading a book, watching a movie, listening to a song etc. until the day I watched After Story. I have never experienced a story so sad and moving.
Myanimelist describes a 10 as a masterpiece. What defines a masterpiece then? To me, an anime is a masterpiece if it accomplishes what its genre intended. That means if it's a comedy, I think it's a comedic masterpiece if it made me laugh like never before. If it's an action masterpiece, that means I felt the intensity and nervousness as if I was there with the MCs.
AF is a slice of life and drama masterpiece. Upon completing it, I felt my life had changed; I had always had an awful relationship with my parents, but AF taught me the value of family and friends and just how precious your loved ones can be. It actually changed my ideals and beliefs. I'm not saying I magically started loving my parents again, but AF taught me I should at least appreciate them. I didn't think anime even had the power to do something like that to me, but AF did.
Anyone who's seen Air or Kanon will know that Key always does a great job with their art, whether it's animating scenery or characters. Yea, Key does use a distinct style with animating their characters, but I didn't see any problems with it.
Yes, the story itself for AF was unbelievable, but really the music itself was absolutely critical to it becoming a masterpiece. The music Key chose for its scenes fit perfectly and really were what moved me to tears during the sad moments. Even after watching the anime, I immediately downloaded AF's soundtrack because it was just that good. In fact, I mention in my Kanon review that what prevented that anime from becoming a masterpiece was because the music they chose was kind of poor and awkward. But AF's music was sad when it needed to be, and funny when it needed to be.
I was slightly disappointed that most of our heroines from the first Clannad disappear in AF, but the character development of our main hero and heroine becomes all the more outstanding because of it, since there's now more room to concentrate on just their relationship.
Tomoya continues his journey from a bad boy who cares about nothing into a respectable man who learns the true meaning of family while Nagisa finally sheds her shell of shyness and learns to support her man ins his journey. They both encounter terrible hardships, but they learn to grow from them and they both remind us that people can indeed change for the better, and that good deeds are always rewarded, no matter how small. Sounds a bit overly optimistic? Perhaps, but every once in a while we need an overly optimistic message to remind us that while life is hard, it has its rewarding moments.
Truly a moving and impacting story. I cried a ton during this anime (I have honestly never cried from anything I've read, seen, or heard before until this show) and you definitely will too. I can't even bring myself to rewatch this anime because of how emotional it is. If you love drama, slice of life, or romance, this anime will catapult itself to the top of your list once you're done with it. I know I'm making this anime sound really serious, but just like in the first Clannad, its funny moments are indeed funny and you will have a good time.
I think I already said all I've wanted to say, and the final conclusion is: you will love this anime. However, definitely keep a box of tissues next to you while you watch. I'm not even kidding.
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~
Oct 14, 2013
Story (10/10): The story of Clannad: Afterstory is very different from its prequel, Clannad. While Clannad revolves around the life of Tomoya in his 3rd year in high school, helping out various girls with various sorts of problems, this anime focuses solely on the relationship between Tomoya and Nagisa with their life transitioning from teenage life into adulthood. The reason why this anime could be praised highly on its story is due to its far reaching, beyond the anime realm of high school where it originates from. It focuses on the main character Tomoya in a way that creates incredible development in his character, while keeping its mystical supernatural theme in play. Note, you cannot under any circumstances understand what is happening in this anime without watching the original Clannad.
Characters (10/10): The characters of afterstory has dwindled greatly from Clannad itself, throwing out almost all of the other characters that were there previously. Tomoya, as the main protagonist, is his usual cynical, but funny self with his attitude towards life. As the story progresses, Tomoya becomes more self-aware of his actions and takes responsibility for them. Any more explanation is considered as a spoiler. Next is Nagisa. As the main female protagonist, Nagisa returns as her usual cheerful self in trying to make the people around her happy, especially her boyfriend, Tomoya. As the series goes on, Nagisa thinks more about her future with Tomoya, ultimately influencing Tomoya as well, changing him even further. Next are Nagisa's parents Akio and Sanae. As a comical duo, the general gags that run with them return as well. These 2 have incredible importance due to their parental guidance to Tomoya, influencing him as well. Apart from them, there is one little character that deserves mentioning, but revealing it would be a very big spoiler.
Art and Sound (9/10): With the art, the art stays with its original Clannad look with highly moe-infected characters with eyes that to me resemble galaxies, and well done scenery and shades. For the sound, a new set of music that sounds great for Clannad's storyline and is something to behold. With its OP sounding at a high level rivaling its prequel's OP, it definitely is something to praise upon.
Personal Enjoyment (10/10): When I look at Clannad, I see my own personal morals. The importance of family, the trials and tribulations of various life situations, and the hilarious moments that life can provide. When I watched this, I just felt at home watching because of how close it touched me, especially in the second half. (For some reason, I'm shedding tears just writing this.) Just watching the characters interact and watching Tomoya especially, it just made me feel like I was part of that world. Kyoto ani are dicks for making this one of the biggest tearjerkers I have ever watched. (Seriously, I brought a tissue box with me, it was empty after the marathoning.) Because this anime touched my heart in a way that no other anime was able to, this is by far one of my top 3. Unless you have a heart of pure stone or don't give a damn about your family, you will cry when watching this. It made me appreciate my family more then I have ever done before. I highly recommend this to anyone. Even if you're a fan of random action and high intensity thrillers where everyone dies, I HIGHLY recommend this. It's that good. And one more thing, Dango. :) read more