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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 135968 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
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
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
May 12, 2013
I watched this in the middle of 2012, during the summer. I had previously watched Clannad, the prequel to Clannad ~After Story~ and enjoyed it a lot, I thought that Key had made a pretty awesome story. Then I noticed there was a season 2, so I decided to watch it, but never in my life would I have expected to find something so life changing that day. Clannad ~After Story~, the one anime that has changed everyone's perspective of life as we know it. It was my absolute pleasure to watch this, and I probably haven't cried this hard in... well, ever. About everything in Clannad ~After Story~ was perfect, and when I say perfect, I mean flawless and extraordinary.
The story picks up off of Clannad. Nagisa and Tomoya are going out now, which was what everyone was wanting to see throughout the first season, and it was well worth the wait. Anyways, they're dating now, and they also seem to be helping more people with their problems, just like the first season. It wasn't until around episode 10 where the graduation starts where it started getting a lot more interesting, and a lot of stuff happens, some good things, some bad things, and then a few episodes later, the biggest, most heartbreaking thing occurs, and I can say that it hit me right in the feels. From there on out, I was constantly holding back tears from both happiness and sadness, no lie, it was hard for me not to cry while watching. In the end, I was a changed man. New perspective of life, new plan for my future, everything changed, and it was thanks to Clannad ~After Story~.
The artwork was flawless. Beautiful scenery, amazing character art, everything was spectacular, so colorful and amazing.
Voice acting, I'll tell you something, I'm guessing the voice acting won some awards somewhere on earth, it was filled with such realism. I loved everyone, they got some really good actors and actresses to take part in such a masterpiece, and I think that this may be what they're all most known for.
Nagisa, Tomoya, Sunohara, Akio, Sunai, everyone is in the show once again, and all of them are playing much larger roles. Out of all the characters in the show, my favorite would have been either Nagisa or (Spoiler, sorry, can't give you any names). Nagisa is the person everyone falls in love with, both friendship-wise and romance-wise. She's the perfect human being. Tomoya is wonderful, under all the depression he's lived with in his life, he's honestly an awesome person. He cares for others and always tries to help people. A wonderful role model. Sunohara is one of the bestest friends anyone could have, hilarious, he's pure awesome. Sunai and Akio are the parents everyone might find embarrassing at times, but they are the idle parents, caring for their children in every way possible. Wonderful cast of characters.
There are many words that can describe Clannad ~After Story~, but the word I choose is "Masterpiece". I've shown this to multiple friends, even those who want nothing to do with anime, and all of them have loved it. This is honestly one of the greatest animes in history, and if you don't even show a hint of sadness or joy on your face in this show, go to the doctor, you might be sick, maybe even have a minor concussion, this show should change your life no matter what.
I am asking those who have not seen this yet, please, watch it. You will not regret the time put into watching this, you have my word. 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
Jan 27, 2012
Clannad [After Story], shows that everything comes to an end; I know that all things will come to an end, normally they would. But Clannad [After Story], shows it upon a persons certain point of view. Or what he thought of these “end” and “endings”.
Clannad [After Story] was the one who changed my whole viewing about Drama and Slice of Life genre anime. Clannad changed me for a while there while I was watching it. I didn′t even held a tear while the most saddest parts were playing right before my very eyes. After Story had a huge changes from the first season, but the story is still revolving around Okazaki Tomoya, who always thought that nothing would and could never change, until a certain girl entered through his path - Furukawa Nagisa, whom Tomoya confessed his loved to in the final episode of the first season. It′s not like some other anime, which when the guy confesses and the girl accepted, it′ll just end there -- no. After Story continues from where it left off; continuing the path where Okazaki Tomoya is walking at.
They then had a relationship, where the both of them vowed that they will, no matter what, share every sorrow and happiness each one have. That both of them would help each other. After Story can actually be seated beside a real life; After Story is not some mediocre story, After Story shows us how life can be full of happiness, how having a family feels, how sad and full of grief life can be. After Story can teach you a one or two, life is not that easy, and that doing nothing would do you any good.
People who haven′t watched After Story might think that, this last season would be exactly the same as the first season. No, they aren′t the same. Yes, I agree that the characters are still the same, but as soon as the story of After Story in the beginning part whereas it only centered around Okazaki Tomoya, his friends, who were special to him, also changed and had their own path which they walk through while Tomoya′s path is still growing.
- The plot of After Story, is hugely different from the prequel, whereas the story runs along with Tomoya′s companions and acquaintances. After Story had it′s plot viewing only around Okazaki Tomoya, from him, being just a highschool student at first, and now he is a man who works for his family, who shreds blood and sweat.
Every now and then, After Story′s plot is still one of the best that one can ever line up with. Changing ones point of view in life, how many changes can happen, how many tears might fall down on your cheeks without you, noticing it.
After Story had a huge impact at me, the prequel, who had some comedy and funny scenes, changed to full drama in After Story. Where I wasn′t able to hold back my tears on the sad parts; though After Story had a little bonding moment, to change the atmosphere a bit, but then again, changed to a tear-jerking one.
At first, After Story′s part give′s you a light and normal feeling; how former friends can reunite, have fun, and think of the good old times. Think of it as like a trailer, because when you′ve watched the full storyline, prepare your tissues and try to hold back your tears. After Story emphasizes many standards of life. Also showing us some things that aren′t meant to be.
After Story teaches us a lot of things of what you might stumble upon at when you grow up. It teaches us how having a family can be fun, how having someone to help you, or you can rely on can be like. It′s not all about smiles and happiness. Every now and then, you need to have some waterfall dashing out from your eyes. Grief and sorrow, are the things that Tomoya changed his life, again, after the one dearest to him, was taken. Tomoya didn′t know what to do, or how is life is going to be after all what happened.
People who had lost their dearest to them, must not let sadness take you with them, even if someone was taken from you, stand up and be strong. No matter how hurtful the things were that was given and bestowed upon you, always think of the good things that might come once again. After Story, on the other hand, had an alternate and one you can call, a true ending. (It′ll be much of a spoiler to post it here.) But that might only happen, if the person really can′t take living by himself, or God might even wake you up from your nightmare. Tomoya had a dream, where she first met Nagisa, but, it was an alternate one, daresay. She kept calling out Nagisa′s name. And that′s when she knew, how important she was to him.
Many people has their own point of view in After Story, smile, happiness, sadness, grief, and love. That′s what all the things you′ll be stumbling upon while reminiscing through After Story.
Who knows? It might be just a dream, and you might soon wake up from it.
After Story shows deep emotions and strong points all through out the series. Don′t think that nothing would change, everything and everyone undergoes changes. And experiences something they didn′t imagine to happen to them.
~ Will add more later; read more
Aug 11, 2011
"oh shit is that piss? IS THAT PISS?"
No wait wrong situation, oh there comes a time in every anime fan's life where they find that 1 show that they know is better than the rest. They know it's the best they ever seen and that nothing will top it. I'm talking about the day where they find the best show they'v ever seen. To me that moment occurred after i finished watching clannad after story last year,
And you know what I've watched a large amount of shows almost all of them great since then, and still none of them have come close to topping this show.
Now first thing you should know is that this show is a sequel to a great not perfect but great show called clannad (duuuuuuurrrr) and the only thing people may be dissapointed about this sequel is that almost all the characters are pretty much absent in after story, they will be there in the start but the story focuses on tomoya and nagisa's lifes after school ends and goes as far in time for more than a decade
The serise(not to sound cliche and full of myself) the show is legitimately inspirational, after watching this show i find it much less than a coincidence that i started to work harder and enjoy life more.
The show really shows the hardships tomoya endures due to him being a flunk at school and you see how that affects him as his life goes on but you also see how he pushes through it thanks to the help of nagisa and how they as a couple push through for better or for worse. It's really handled beautifully, The characters of tomoya and nagisa are some of the best characters out here, not only are they likable and relate-able but you don't have a hard time believing there's people out there like them, they aren't perfect people either, like all humans they have flaws to them.
For a show that really gets drama down perfectly the show can also be very funny and even kinda crazy at times, mainly between the relationship between akio-san and tomoya, when they are both onscreen at once you can expect things to get funny but the bets part is that the relationship is more than comedy. Their relationship really builds and they do seem like father and son as things become much more bleaker as the series goes on(without spoiling it, 3/3 part of the show GET TISSUES)
now i've talked about all the things that make the 2nd and 3rd part of this show so amazing but the 1st part also is handled very nicely, its still in school from the first season and they end up at least giving a episode to each character and you learn that these side charecters really have stories to tell. You see exactly why sunahora and tomoya were friends and stuff like that, none of them have any big twists like the first season did but they are handled very well and these characters which you may have not cared to much for turn out to be extremely likable characters
So if your still reading this show you should be able to tell by now, I LOVE THIS SHOW, everyone needs to see it, You didn't like the 1st season? Watch it, don't like moe? still watch this. This is a show you need to see. Saying i highly recommend this is a understatement. I'm not ordering you, i'm begging you to go watch this cause everyone should feel the same feeling i got while watching this show. I feel bad when i see someone who hasn't given this show a try, regardless of how meh the show seems initially don't pass this up. This show is one of a kind. As i stated before i BEG you to watch it read more
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
Dec 27, 2011
Clannad After Story, sequel to another brilliant project of Key visual arts, brings you the magic of what a story can hold. It has the old high school romance, the friends, the drama, but it's not afraid and most certainly not attempting to hide it's supernatural aspect. You won't feel intact with the beauty of what Clannad has to offer if you don't realize the 'magic' behind it all. It brings life, and wonders to what life itself actually is.
Story: 10/10 - Proceeding from Clannad's last season, we have our beloved Nagisa and Tomoya, who are now thankfully a couple to die for. Once the first portion of the show is over, it enters into what we've been waiting for, the focus on the two MC's, and how they're now involved with each others futures, and the events, or drama that happens within it. Friends seem almost non-existent when you are in love, all your mind can think about are images of that person's face, the one you know you can't live without. Okazaki and Nagisa went one way, and all of their fellow classmates soon depart another. Whether you were a Nagisa fan from the beginning or not the story almost twists you into having a bit of sympathy in the least, and I feel if a writer is able to do something like that, then round up the applauses because damn am I impressed!
It's a vast universe, when you lock souls with that other, it almost seems like a miracle.
Art: 9/10 - From the unique visuals used for the toy robot and the Illusionary girl, to the mere fluidity in Tomoyo's 1,000 kick combo! I have never been less than impressed when it comes to a Key production. The opening songs are beautiful in both art and sound and I can't get enough of the foreshadowing. Kyoto's visual arts know when to emphasize a scene of significance; the baseball soaring through the air, it turns into a close-up, spinning ever so slowly, and then we return to the story of the Illusionary girl, and the field which constantly emits these orbs of light, floating, as if the world they're in, has it's own sort of weather. The atmosphere of Clannad is what pulls one into the anime, almost like you're experiencing it all as well.
Sound: 8/10 - Again, the opening songs for the prequel and Clannad AS itself were both very pleasing to the ears, but had a kind of melancholic tone, this only grows stronger as you progress through the series because you then are able to reflect on all the characters as you see the images pass by. The sound effects for everything else aren't much to write home about but the soundtrack is quite amazing! The synchronization of the bgm and the scene at hand could be the reason you find yourself bawling or tearing up on the side because of how heavy it all feels at once. I have no words for how sad one single soundtrack could make you feel.
Characters: 9/10 - The idiot, the genius, the tsundere, the tomboy, the shy girl, the airhead, the goofball. All of these generic characters in one show, but how do they manage to be so entertaining and get them spot-on? Because it's just done well, and isn't boring, or frustrating and repititive. The characters mingle with each other like how they're suppose to and nothing seems out of place, or unordinary. Aside from Fuko. Now that relationships have developed and it's almost time for graduation, the 'friends' almost seem like a family.
Dango Dai kazoku!
Enjoyment: 10/10 - Never will I forget such a series, and I will continue to recommend it as long as I keep interest in anime, and I don't plan on abandoning it anytime soon. Let's hope it sticks, but Clannad can and WILL teach you a few things about life, it isn't easy but miracles do happen, so don't let go of that strand of hope, and keep on pushing for what it is you seek. It'll all be worth it! Just like an alternate world, there are always alternative options, don't fret, keep your eyes on the prize! As they say.
Jan 15, 2014
I haven't seen a lot of anime yet, but I plan to see so much more. The fact that I just felt emotions that have been inactive for years is a testament to just how powerful a good story and good characters can be. I will forever hold Clannad in my heart as a beautiful masterpiece. read more
Dec 19, 2013
Shima: "Love is like a firework from the past… it’s more beautiful for it to go to pieces and scatter far off.”
The story of Clannad After Story (CAS) manages to refine and mature it’s emotional impact from its prequel, ‘Clannad’. The show basically starts off by continuing the same principles of Clannad; it just gives those last few characters their deserved individual attention. These story arcs carry a whole lot more impact than before because they just simple had more effect on the characters themselves. After a few episodes however, we start to see the characters grow up, so it is understandable that the life issues become far more mature. The fact that we can see these characters growing up and that we have been alongside the main characters this whole time, makes any of their struggles or joys, our struggles, and our joys. Indeed… tears will be shed.
While I will never knock CAS ability to impact the viewer, its ability to construct a story isn’t as great. As mentioned, CAS has to follow the better part of one person’s entire life. This leads to some incredibly rushed parts of Okazaki’s lifetime, and it leads to some really drawn out and emotional events. Thus the quality of the episodes were very varied. Finally, the ending of CAS… was emotionally confusing, to say the least. The show ended up trying to be as sad as possible, whilst being as happy as possible. But in reality, it just ended up being as much of a mess as I was emotionally.
Sound/ art- 9/10
As with the emotional impact, the artwork was also greatly refined. There were some especially beautiful scenes that really captured the spirit of the moment. Otherwise, the animation still offers the same comedic value to those humorous scenes and still maintains the general charm of the original series. The soundtrack remains largely the same, with the exception of the amazing OP and the ending song. Having this constant through both series gives those repeated tracks even more depth and meaning and listening to them after finishing both series will bring back a flood of memories. The one problem I had with the soundtrack was the ending song. In general, the standard episode would end with a really touching scene. The atmosphere would then almost be completely destroyed by a really upbeat song with people skipping everywhere. It just ruins the moment. Anyway, here is the name of the beautiful OP sung by Lia ‘Toki Wo Kizamu Uta’.
Akio: ‘So I’m going as your friend #1; YO YO I’m the MC Akio!’
The characters of Clannad are as wonderful as ever. Every character has a chance to shine in the end with their own, emotionally powerful story arc. What I loved more with CAS was that there were more group interactions, where as in Clannad, the focus was on individual development. So in a sense, Clannad did well to set the stage for those hilarious gatherings. It was particularly great to see Akio and Sanae, possibly the best anime couple ever, to become more involved in the story as well.
The only issue I had with the characters is pretty much the same that I had with Clannad; that some characters just disappeared after being developed. As the story continually focuses in on Okazaki, the other characters just start to vanish, as such, not much changes in their lives. Again, wasted potential here.
Enjoyment (impact)- 9/10
I ended up absolutely loving everything with CAS. From the legendary Akio to the tomboy Kyou. From the hilarious Sunohara to the troll that is Tomoya. Besides from the defining qualities of the characters, I felt like I knew each animated design as a person. A person that I had shared many laughs and tears with.
The beautiful animation and soundtrack gave Clannad an irresistible charm and an unavoidable impact. Some scenes, through a combination of the characters and media, are and always will be some of the most powerful scenes in film today. CAS is certainly a moving masterpiece.
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi.
Clannad After Story will change the way you think about valuing love and friendship. At the end of the day, anything as beautiful and as touching as CAS should recommend itself to you as a human being. If not, hopefully this review has convinced you to do so anyway.
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~
Mar 7, 2014
“I would throw my money away just to kill time. To stay away from home, I was hiding from reality because it was the only thing holding me together. I hate this town, but even if I moved away, I wouldn’t have anywhere to go; anything to do. I tried to shut everything out; to live without thinking of anything. I wanted to wipe my mind clean. I wanted to forget what happened. Everything I did was wrong. Everything was a mistake.” — Tomoya Okazaki
Allow me to state something before hitting the road. This review is relatively quite long - if you would only like to read a quick overview, I suggest you to skip to the last paragraph. I’ve dedicated so much text towards it because I wanted to point everything out. In all honesty, Clannad: After Story deserves it. Although I’m far from being a professional reviewer, I tend to look at how the users feel when reading a review. Therefore, I tried my best to keep the review entertaining on every so, by including various interesting quotes, as well as writing in a not-so-bland and strict way. Whether you’ll take your time to read the review fully or not is up to you, of course, but feel free to brag and swagger about it all you want if you actually do read it. I would appreciate it. A thing of beauty. Clannad: After Story is a direct sequel to the Clannad series. Both are based on the visual novel by the same name. It follows the relationship between Tomoya Okazaki and Nagisa Furukawa as they graduate from high school and continue their life’s journey. Right on the start, I would like to quickly clear up the matter of adaptation. It is done marvellously well. It is one of those cases where an adaptation is not just an original’s shadow, but something more. With having that cleared up, let’s proceed through this humble delivery.
First off, I would like to clear some facts up about the episodes’ structure of Clannad and Clannad: After Story. Both series conclude of 22 main episodes. Next to them, Clannad also has an Extra episode “The Events Of Summer Holidays” (“Natsuyasumi no Dekigoto”), as well as a special OVA “Another World: Tomoyo Chapter” (“Mō Hitotsu no Sekai Tomoyo-hen”). After Story also has an Extra and an OVA, with the Extra being “The Event from One Year Before” (“Ichinen Mae no Dekigoto”) and the OVA being “Another World: Kyou Chapter” (“Mō Hitotsu no Sekai Kyou-hen”). Next to the two, After Story also includes a special Summary “Under the Green Tree” (“Midori no Ki no Shita de”). Basically, the Extras are further episodes that show us some off-side story and moments that are good to be known in order to connect with other events. The two OVAs are stand-alone episodes, with Tomoyo-hen showing us what would it be like if Tomoya and Tomoyo were be a pair. The same goes for Kyou-hen, with Kyou being Tomoya’s love interest there. The love interest goes both ways in both of the OVAs, of course. With both of them being filled with a tad heavier drama and romance, they hold the essence of After Story over the Clannad series. Last but not least, the unique Summary is basically a recap of the events that went down between Tomoya and Nagisa through time. In other words, it is a flashback episode that focuses mainly on the two main characters of After Story. Due to the strength the series hold, including a recap was a wise call. It is one of those rare recaps that almost everyone is happy to see, regardless of the general preferring over them.
All the animated Clannad-themed releases, excluding the movie, are majestic. However, After Story tops them all on the chart. It delivers an experience. If you allow the series to take you with the flow, they present you to something strong. Something deep and heavy. Something that will (at least) temporary dig and carve itself into your mind. For the better that is. Clearing up the matter of necessity to see the Clannad series first in order to understand the After Story, I would say that isn’t the case. After Story can be seen as a stand-alone, but I would heavily suggest watching Clannad first. The main reason would be the sympathizing, as well as understanding of the general bonds that were created between the characters. Those are shown in Clannad. Furthermore, the prequel isn’t bad one bit! The main focus is comedy, and it is executed amazingly well. Most of the time, it is an easy-going show, with some grand and funny moments awaiting on cleverly set-up corners. Truly something that is not good to be missed, especially if After Story is on your radar of planned picks. In the end, there are multiple factors that encourage the watch of the first season. High enjoyment level, some nice spices of drama, splendid presentation of the cast that is later taken for granted in the After Story, and the ability to be proud that you have completed both series. Scratch that last, but the rest stands on a clear ground.
Explaining the relation further, we could see Clannad as a set-up for the After Story, but the trick being that it is amazingly good as a stand-alone as well. It is not there only to introduce us to the characters and let us know of their relationship between each other, as well as possibly hint the serious issue of the sequel. No, far from that. It is a piece of entertainment that surpasses many other stand-alone series by far. And next to doing all that, it even manages to set up a stage that’s more than excellent for the grand focus: After Story. The word “after” might sound misleading, as if the Clannad series were actually the core, with the After Story being some sort of a follow-up. Not quite. It would the other way around, if anything. Regardless, roughly examining it, the deal is quite simple. Clannad focuses on comedy, with only spices of drama being seem. This way, it gently lures us into sympathizing with the characters, as we get to see their everyday life and issues. We see them laughing. We see them get beaten up by friends (the main two being girls!). We see them help each other out. Right here, the slice of life genre does its job well. We don’t get bored of seeing the everyday life of our peeps, but find it rather entertaining to leave them the stage. That’s the effect Clannad brings. Light. Funny. Tranquil.
After finishing it, the chances of liking it are high. Therefore, many go onto the After Story with the expectations of a similar show. Not knowing about a majestic advance the series receive, it hits many of them. And it hits them hard. The comedy with the spice of drama that I’ve spoken about earlier gets inverted. We see little comedy around on every so, but the drama kicks in hard. The vibe’s intensity increases from an episode onto an episode. I still remember that I didn’t quite realize that at first, but I remember the sensation after completing the episodes being far stronger than the one in Clannad. It felt more powerful. More serious. And even though I am a fan of lighter enjoyment, this heaviness filled the correct spot. With it increasing and accelerating in further episodes, I was simply holding onto my chair like I was insane. The series overall surpass the capability of keeping your sanity, which feels like a spot-on ecstasy. Alright, I might have gotten a bit too far with that last statement, but not by much. The point I’m trying to come across is that the whole sensation is powerful. It holds a weapon that can either hurt you and make you heavily angry and disappointed, or bless you with an amazing presentation of wonders. After Story tends to go with the latter. Moreover, here comes a twist that rarely takes action in the anime series in general. After seeing the most splendid Clannad and hearing of After Story, one might not believe it would not only end up as a better, but as an entirely different show. Different, but a masterpiece. Serene. Intense. Fulfilling.
“If a prediction is right, then it’s like you have one future. Like that future has been decided. But if it’s wrong, then you have an almost infinite number of possibilities, and that the tiniest twist of fate can change your future. I want to believe that I have choices, that the path I walk on has different turns, and many different roads to follow.” — Ryou Fujibayashi
A reasonable question that would come along is, just how is all the drama and intensity emphasized? As said, one of the major factors of Clannad, if not the biggest, is to get us to sympathize with the characters. Through the whole series, we get to like them more and more. We get to root for them to overcome the obstacles standing in their way, hopefully on the funniest way possible. That focus and pace continues on the beginning of After Story as well, but not for long. Shortly after the beginning, all the love stockpiled turns into a direct, sharp and bold presentation. The execution from there one tends to take a huge risk. It walks the line of either ending up as a masterpiece, or a huge failure, a show that aimed high but just couldn’t deliver it all. Such failures happen all the time. But not here. Not only that it is uncommon, but it is actually extremely rare to find some series that do it right. That do not want to simply abuse our love for the characters and present a situation in which they are hurt, just to get us to feel sorry for them. Far from that. After Story takes it on a whole other level, with the premise, the idea of the general issue, as well as the execution being top-notch. The main focus are the three biggest borders in life: Birth, marriage, and death. One comes happily, with everyone embracing the new and simply loved change. One more comes shortly after, which becomes the most important person to the two. It doesn’t take long, however, for all of this “too good to be true” life to take a turn. Deep connections and relationships are a wonderful thing as long as they peacefully last. However, what is some event were to disturb them? When someone puts everything on those connections, it brings a disaster if something happens to them. Something that no one would ever even dare to imagine. Still, it happens. And when it does, the person breaks. Hopelessness. Despair. Inner corruption.
One is desperate. Hurt. Broken. Doesn’t see the meaning of life anymore, but is still smart enough not to take the ultimate action - perform a suicide. When that situation takes place, it is the good old pain killers that tend to lower all the pain at least a little, by letting the one flow in illusions and escape from reality. Drowning in alcohol. Lost in the smoke of cigarettes. Feeling only negativity. Sadness, which on a long-term switches to madness, aggression, and social distance. All of that indeed takes away the whole person. It is that much worse if that person was someone amazing prior to the extremes taking place. However, just that is simply not enough to make a masterpiece, wouldn’t you agree? Sure, it is grand. It is powerful. But there is no resolve. There is no need for a change. There is no necessity for an overhaul to take action for the sake of a bigger goal. After Story, on the other hand, has a bigger goal. And that bigger goal, is a child. The treasure of any parent. The irreplaceable gift. For the sake of one child’s happiness, his/her parents would do anything. In this case, that “anything” is performing an ultimatum. Snapping out of it. Resenting the illusions in order to come back to reality. Facing the great mountain of issues. Staring in the eye of even more pain, which one cannot handle. An impossible road to cross at this point, so to speak. Or is it? Encouragement is a marvellous thing. It gives us extra strength to perform things we think we are unable to. Even we are sometimes surprised we managed to pull something off when in the groove. Sounds amazing? It indeed is. However, the key is to find the trigger to it. As said, children are the parent’s most valuable possession. Not being there for your kid for some years, because you were drowning in pain, but then seeing him/her for the first time in years, might not bring any emotions whatsoever. This fact is clearly visible in After Story.
But how come that’s the case? Why not feel a thing? Because the bond, relationship and connections were not activated yet. They create themselves quickly, though. In these series, they dramatically make their appearance through an emotional event. The love has always been there. There was only a small push needed for them to overcome the pain and come to the surface. Lost toy can be replaced. But what if it is the first one? The first one from someone important. Very important. From someone like daddy? Something special was lost, but since it was, a much more important factor was realized and gained. The one in pain finally found it. The one finally found the light in his life. It was always there. Waiting. The pain of a great loss isolated the one completely, even from the greatest treasure there is. However, the treasure is then regained. Although without an important person by their side, the life continues. It moves onward, and the daily life continues. Everything becomes serene again, with a goal seen, motivation being there, and the flow going on. However, I’m not completely pleased by that. That would bring us only one huge turn-around of realization, which would indeed count as excellence, but wouldn’t hit the masterpiece mark. That’s exactly why, after the grand drama hit-wave has more or less cooled down, the key strikes. Even bigger. Even more destructive. A final touch of pain. A final shot of despair. What if this treasure, this one last hope and light, would suffer the same faith the previous light did? What if everything would repeat all over again? That moment and those scenes are the peak of After Story. The glorious top that releases a sensational pulse. A shock. A time-stop. A pierce-through the heart.
I have once read a poem from a famous poet that has lived in my country. A strong oak stands strong for many years. However, suddenly, a great storm takes it down to pieces. The great oak somehow manages to survive, by re-seeding itself and growing again from the fresh bulb. It is growing with grace, and it looks like it will grow into a mighty oak once more. But then comes a great storm again. It completely devours the small tree that was yet to grow. This time, it finishes it up for good. If we take a human being as this oak tree, one can handle a huge loss, even if barely. However, if he/she obtains a new light and hope in his/her life, but loses even that shortly after, without even having the time to recover, then a total break takes action. After Story is the most beautiful example of such case I’ve seen up until now. The whole set-up, presentation, and overall paced execution makes it a one complete whole. A supreme whole. However, just ending it like that would bring us a tragedy. Here comes the matter of personal preferring. Many would prefer the story to end at this point, even as a tragedy, as it was simply beautiful. Others, though, couldn’t handle it. Sweet as the creators are, they have went with the happy ending. As far as it concerns me, the series would end beautifully either way, just with a darker feeling if the tragic ending would indeed be the one to finish and round the series up. In both ways, the main lesson and point is presented. The weight of a double loss. The pain and harshness being stabbed without any warning given. And the one, who has to live with it.
Falls down. The shock is too big. Cannot handle it anymore. Doesn’t even matter if the ultimatum takes action or not. This is the end. Hope is completely lost. Everything is turned against the wanted. The needed. And here is where the supernatural activity (finally) takes place. Through the series, many might have been wondering why “supernatural” is one of the official genres set. Well, the whole focus of it is on the Illusionary World. Through the entire series, clips from it were shown to us. No one knew what they were meant to represent. At the very end, a really interesting information is gained regarding it, making me wish to have focused more on the clips themselves earlier through. If you have yet to do so, make sure to keep a close eye on what’s going on in that world. In the world where a girl and a garbage doll live. The supernatural power takes action in the very end, and is the ultimate twister of fate. Experience is gained. The true wish is made. The wish is granted. It is granted, because the one wishing something has made others’ wishes come true. Beautiful and fair. With the entire pain gone, and the two great losses being regained, the life that should exist in the first place begins. Were there any differences made? Yes. People learn from experience, and so did our main character. While sympathizing with him, we are put on a ride through pain, realistic solutions to various issues, as well as the powerful feelings that overcome him, for the better or worse. All in all, we are put through an experience. A wonderfully executed experience. An experience that we acknowledge. That we can relate to on at least some degree. Some call it influence, some call it enjoyment. I prefer calling it a “sensation”, as it is brings a total inner mess to the one watching, but puts everything back to place afterwards. Like an extremely efficient massage. Really extremely efficient one.
“He realized that he had lost sight of something important. No matter what turn he took he should have kept singing. Even if his songs couldn’t save the world, he could still sing songs for her. Don’t ever lose sight of what’s important to you.” — Yusuke Yoshino
Focusing a little bit on other components as well, allow me to start with the sound. It is amazing. When I say that, I’m thinking about all the splendid OSTs the series include. People around tend to only point the Torch out, but I assure you that looking at the average, the series include far more excellent soundtracks. However, saying just that alone doesn’t really state much, so let me hit it with the examples right away: Roaring tides (both versions); Town, flow of time, people; Spring wind; Nagisa; Toe; To the same heights; Existence (both versions); Shining in the sky; White clovers; Distant years (both versions); Shio; The palm of a tiny hand; The place where wishes come true; Snowfield. There are more, but these titles overall cover one hour of listening already, so I’ll stop there. As a stand-alone, they are already wonderful. The smoothness and tranquility of the sound are excellent for the time when you would want to calm down or simply listen to something a tad less energetic. However, the greatness comes in how they are used in the series. With the story already being really powerful, one would expect nothing less from the sound as well. At the crucial and memorizing situations, only the best of the best are used. In all honesty, without the soundtracks, the situation itself would bring the effect, but not as strong and efficient one. In other words, the sound contributes greatly towards the overall whole. No questions asked. Expending it to the voice actors as well, they have done a splendid job. The right guys and gals for the jokes, as well as the right peeps for the drama and intensity. The important scenes, and even the general situations in general, are voiced very well. The casual chills have their own style, and the peaks of action have their ways, too. Rightfully both, and all in between.
As far as the art and animation are concerned, they are done very well. I am not a Kyoto Animation fan of any sort, I am rather quite neutral on their creations. However, After Story is something else. The whole presentation, especially the quickly reacting scenes and marvellous landscapes are animated wonderfully. The expressions on the characters’ faces, as well as their body reactions are all spot-on. Of course, there would be no point of having a great animation without having the characters look cute, hot, and sexy as well, would it? It comes down to personal opinion, but the majority prefers to see some good-looking characters and listens to their story, over some average-looking guys and gals with an excuse being that it’s “all about the story, anyway”. As far as I can tell, there are no scenes where the characters would suddenly look genetically mutated. In other words, there are no major animation flaws seen. The frame-flow is smooth and steady, meaning that it doesn’t hurt the eyes, even on longer runs at one point. What I especially like about the animation is how well it connects and blends in with the other components as well. For example, at one point, the sound was playing low, but as soon as it hit a strong and loud note, the intensive and beautiful sunset appeared. They both worked together and filled themselves so nicely, that it brought together a splendid blend. In other words, a splendid experience. The components combined on a nice, suiting, pleasant and clever way are what brings the great experience, and at the end of the day, it’s the main reason why we are watching anime series around it the first place. After Story tends to fill the spot almost flawlessly, so I feel privileged to point that out.
As pointed out earlier, the characters look really nice and attractive. But that’s far from being all to it. The whole style they are presented to us is on a slow, steady, but really effective way. Slowly, we get to pick our favourites. Well, those who do that anyway. From the males, Tomoya Okazaki and Youhei Sunohara make the show. I’ve seen a poster come around many times. It stated: “This guy made me laugh (points on Youhei), This guy made me cry (points on Tomoya)”. That’s mainly the way it goes, although Tomoya and Youhei both make the deathly pair that brings the entertainment through the comedy and jokes. Still, Youhei indeed is that crazy gear that brings the great laugh on every so. Tomoya, on the other hand, is that “one” that I’ve mentioned multiple times through the review. That’s pretty much all there is to the guys. Then come the girls. This spectrum is wider when we come to them. Far wider. We’ve got many types, from aggressive and energetic ones, all the way to calm, smart, but still dangerous ladies. One thing they have in comes, though, is that they are all lovable. A loli or not. A favourite or not. If you are rooting for a specific pairing or not. You still don’t get to dislike them in most cases. Well, some did dislike Nagisa at the beginning of Clannad, as they thought that she was trying to steal Tomoya away from Kyou. We later learn that’s clearly not the case. It would be the other way around before that. And yes, I am a Kyou fan myself, but I simply cannot say anything bad about Nagisa. Anyhow, the cast is strong. It consists of some wonderful individuals, which together make it all happen. If the story is what makes the show, then the characters are the ones that deliver it. And they deliver it with grace.
Summing it all up, these series are an experience that equals excellence in almost every factor. With the enjoyment, in other words sensation as I prefer to call it, being unbelievably high, these series do stand out, and rightfully so. Sympathizing is achieved marvellously well. The journey presented is walking a risky line, but succeeds. The execution is top-notch. The soundtracks and voice acting are done very well and greatly contribute towards the overall whole. The art and animation are smooth, attractive, beautiful, and don’t hurt the eyes with any kind of harsh and sudden displays. The overall feeling after experiencing it for myself is unique. Special. Wonderful. Due to there being a factor of personal opinion that judges some series as well on a subjective level, no series can ever be flawless. However, looking at the whole picture, misguided expectations or disappointments in how the story has progressed, or possibly even finished, are the only flaws I see. There will always be a debate and discussion open at what After Story is and what it could have been. But the fact that there even are serious discussions regarding it out there, means that these are not just some other series that came flying around. Far from that. They stand high, and in all honesty, are one of the very best out there, regardless of the possible deviations on the matter. With me holding them in such high regard, I completely and fully suggest experiencing the whole Clannad franchise. Quality and sensation. After Story delivers them.
“Shall I take you away, to the place where dreams come true?” — Nagisa Furukawa read more
Jan 13, 2011
“He loves her. She loves him. They accept each other. And so they lived happily ever after…”
“And so they lived happily ever after…”
What really happened to them “after”? How long did they stay together? What happened to them when they were together?
No movie or show, let alone an anime, has ever answered these questions.
Instead of presenting a brief five minute epilogue with a J-ballad playing in the background at the end of the first season, Kyoto Animation has given us a 24 episode masterpiece, which is not only a highly satisfactory epilogue, but also a heart wrenching story by itself.
Clannad: AS is a direct sequel to the first season, Clannad. Although Clannad: AS is extremely good just as a stand-alone, watching the prequel provides better understanding of their characters and their backgrounds. If you still want to go ahead and watch Clannad: AS directly (although I wouldn’t), then I suggest you give the MAL synopsis for Clannad a quick read before heading onto this one. You follow, Tomoya Okazaki and Nagisa Furukawa, two people who who have vowed to spend their lives together. What you get is the "after" of their relationship from Clannad.
Clannad: After Story is split into two parts - the side-characters part and the main-characters part. It starts off with three arcs (which make up the first part of the series), lasting a total of eight episodes, dedicated to three of the first season’s recurring characters – Sunohara, Misae and Yukine. Although these episodes seem to be fan service and lack depth compared to the rest of the series at first glance, they are not. They are there for a purpose and that is to provide us with the characters’ final days in school. Because in this anime, just like real life, their friends move on and the plot provides its absolute and undivided attention to probably my favorite on-screen couple of all time – Tomoya Okazaki and Nagisa Furukawa.
You get a visual running commentary of every single event of this seemingly perfect couple, as they struggle, hobble and claw at life to remain together. What you get is the complete journal of events that happen in this couple’s lives, told from Tomoya’s point of view.
You watch as he tries to overcome whatever life throws at him, in order to be happy, even for just a minute.
You watch as he bears the brunt of life upon his shoulders and as he shifts through the yin and yang of life.
You watch as his soul tries to escape the darkness that stalks him like his own shadow.
You watch as he tries to understand the complexities of the world we live in, during the defining moments of his life.
You watch, a boy becoming a man.
I will try to condense the analysis of the animation and audio department so as to maximize the space available for story and character analysis.
The animation is just as gorgeous as ever. Movements have been refined and are now much more fluid. The one thing that had improved majorly in this area was the art involved on the characters’ faces. Their emotions are brought out so subtly, but yet so significantly, that it makes you wonder how long they spent trying to get these tiny factors right. For example, when you see Okazaki being calmed down by Nagisa, you can actually watch how his reactions slowly transform from angry to annoyed to a calm state within a couple of seconds. Perfect.
As far as the soundtrack does, there have been no major additions except for the OP and the ED. The OP, Toki wo Kizamu Uta, is one of the best there is and has cemented its position in my favorite OPs of all time at number four. The ED,Torch, is, for the most of the series, a complete misfit. Just when you are about to burst into tears after a devastating episode, the sight of a girl doing high knees followed by the rest of the characters moonwalking across the screen totally ruins the mood.Hard to believe that this inappropriate ED comes from the same singer of the incredible OP, Lia.
Calling this anime an emotional rollercoaster might very well be the understatement of the year. Now, the best way to describe the story's impact is to describe my emotional reactions when I watched the anime. I am a 17 year old guy, with below average sensitivity. Never in my life have I ever shed a tear while watching a show or a move in the theater or on TV. But, this anime wiped the slate clean. I can say, without any regrets or feeling embarrassed that I cried while watching Clannad: AS. This anime tugs at your heartstrings so hard, that it’s almost inhumane not to tear up. Clannad: AS will rip your heart out and then mend it with sweet words of love and then rip it out again. During some scenes, I could almost feel my heart crumble inside my chest. That is not to say that this anime contains only sadness. Just when the show pushes you so hard into the well, it pulls you back up just as fast. This series is just raw emotion packed in the form of animated characters.
The story continues its tie-ins between the real world and the Illusionary World and the supernatural aspect of it plays a much bigger role in Clannad: AS. I won't be going too deep into this as it contains too many spoilers.
The characters are crafted to perfection. Thanks to the super job by the animation department, you are now able to completely feel all of the characters' thoughts and feelings, blurring the line between anime and reality. For almost the entire series, I felt exactly how Okazaki felt and thought how Okazaki thought. The innocent and simple way they think was also one of the reasons people love the characters so much. The characters, although grown up, were so gentle at heart. This content and caring way of living lays further emphasis on the purity of the two protagonists. I felt their pain, their sorrow, their despair, their happiness, their pleasures and their excitement. The characters made sure of that. One particular new character bowled me over with his/her charm. The introduction of this soulful, innocent and sincere character was one of the main reasons why I was so moved by this anime.The characters are what strengthened the anime and made a simple tale interesting to watch.
The voice acting is very well done. The casting was perfect and none were out of place. It was all so believable. The entire cast deserves a standing ovation for their power packed performance. The subbing by StaticSubs Eclipse was very neat.
When I write a review, I do my best to be unbiased. But sometimes, it's hard not to let your emotions flow when you see an anime that mixes the genres of slice of life, drama and romance so well, that I simply cannot emphasize enough on its ability to make full use of its potential and deliver a story that is sure to make fans of any genre fall in love with this anime.
Overall, Clannad: After Story is a piece of art and will go down in history as one of the best ever. Even with a near-perfect ending, you’ll be wishing for an After Story to this After Story as it’s really hard to let to let go of the characters that you’ve come to love so much. That’s how hard-hitting and beautiful this anime is. The MAL rating of 10 does not mean an anime is perfect, but it means that the anime is a masterpiece. And that, Clannad: After Story is.
[ THE WRAP-UP ]
Clannad: After Story is a an intricately carved insight into the life of characters whose stories “ended” last season. The trials and tribulations of the characters successfully bring your emotions to the surface. This emotional bond is further strengthened with a heartbreaking, yet uplifting story, which is guaranteed to drop to your knees and make you jump for joy at the same time. The anime infuses the key elements of its genres (romance, drama, slice of life) and serves a dish that is bound to please even the most stringent of otaku. The animation and soundtrack are exactly what you would expect from KyoAni - inch perfect. While the initial episodes might cause an eyebrow or to raise, rest assured, all suspicions are laid to rest once the series settles down about quarter of the series in. And from then on, the atmosphere of this anime is simply enchanting. This is just one of those rare anime out there that you don't want to miss out on, even if you're not a fan of the genre. Clannad: After Story is a magical journey that will leave you with a lot of memories which will leave you wondering on how YOUR After Story would be. read more
Jan 13, 2014
Watching this show is like being on a literal emotional roller coaster. One minute you will be laughing at the comedic antics of the quirky characters, only to have your heartstrings being tugged the next minute. The story is so fantastically touching and the message it sends about the importance of family is so powerful.
It really says a lot about how life can be... Life can give you towering high points and abysmal low points, but In the end it's absolutely beautiful either way.
Having written this I also have to explain that I have NEVER been a real big fan of the "Slice of Life" genre of anime. That being the fact this show is definitely one of the top 10 anime that I will always love and cherish. One that I can re-watch over and over again and love it even more every run through. This is the "Forrest Gump" of anime. read more