Tomoya Okazaki is a cynical delinquent who lacks ambition as he apathetically labors through high school. During his childhood, a tragedy had caused his father to seek solace in alcoholism and neglect his son. Yet, meaningful human interaction can be a benediction, as Tomoya learns when he meets the enigmatic Nagisa Furukawa. The odd girl offers a gesture of friendship to Tomoya, but he rejects the request, dismissing it as a trivial incident. However, as he soon realizes that he is encountering Nagisa more and more often during school, Tomoya drops his discompassions and befriends the girl.
When he learns that Nagisa's dream is to revive the Drama Club, Tomoya decides to shed his detachment from the ordinary pleasures of life and dedicate himself to helping his new friend achieve her ambition. But what starts as a simple friendship may progress into something far more deep, intimate, and life-changing. As the pair face various hardships and afflictions, Tomoya and Nagisa gradually come to terms with the challenges of life.
*An alternate interpretation of the Clannad story centered around the Nagisa x Tomoya couple.*
Did you get confused with the ending in Clannad After Story? Did you wish for a more realistic ending? Did you know that Clannad The Motion Picture might just be what you are looking for? Or perhaps you have heard of Clannad and Clannad After Story from all your friends, but you have yet to try it out? Clannad The Motion Picture (TMP for short) provides a great summary of all the major events that took place in the ~46 episodes (excluding OVA/recap) series between the two main protagonists. Please be mindful
that the movie is retelling a story in ~90 minutes that its TV counterpart took ~1100 minutes to tell! Thus some events may seem to occur at an unreasonable pace. But nonetheless Clannad TMP is still a movie that a true Clannad fan should not miss out on.
While the story is still being told from Tomoya’s perspective, many aspects of the show depart from the TV series. Assuming you have the background from the TV series (if you have no background what-so-ever please skip the rest of this paragraph) then you should be warned that first of all, this is purely a Tomoya x Nagisa scenario with all other heroines playing a minor role, or in some cases did not even have a role. This means that Tomoya never develop any kind of deep friendship with the others and consequently did not help them when they were troubled. This in turn means no light orbs … hence a more realistic ending.
Although Clannad is a slice of life/romance anime, its similarities end there with other show of the same genre. Clannad is like a milking machine. Its whole purpose is to milk out all your emotions that you often don’t have toward anime. While the movie did not do very well in this department compared to the TV series (largely due to the lack of character development and coverage), the overall story in the movie did manage to create a similar atmosphere for viewers. This means that we still get the usual comedic side of a delinquent high schooler lifestyle. It also means a confused protagonist at a loss after being challenged by the hardships in life.
There was this “illusionary” world in Clannad TV series where they featured, with great CG animation, a girl and a robot built from scrap metal. Mirroring this concept, Clannad TMP also has an illusionary world. But instead of the girl and robot, we have a “clown”. The symbology in the two illusionary worlds is slightly different but both fit perfectly fine in their respective show. These illusions generally give the viewers more background on the characters and the way they think/feel about certain things.
Like previously stated, the characters in Clannad TMP consist of Tomoya and Nagisa. Their role did not get amplified compare to the TV series, instead the other characters just never get enough screen time. One strong point about the characters in the movie is that there is no ambiguous character relationships developed between Tomoya and various heroines. This allows us to truly enjoy Tomoya and Nagisa’s journey through life instead of wasting our time rooting for other females who will never end up with Tomoya.
One glaring eye poison of the movie is the character design of the lovable Nagisa and her equally adorable mother, Sanae. They look like characters drawn from a low budget production in the 90s (actually the looks are straight ripped out from the manga, but Toei Animation should have improved on it). Thankfully there does not appear to have much character “deformation” in the other characters, they all look similar to their TV counterpart which is definite a welcome for most fans. And thankfully (again) there does not appear to have any ear poison either. Although nothing sounds too spectacular from the movie (especially when compared to the TV series) there is no serious window shattering horrid nightmarish music/soundtracks. Lastly I recommend you not to make any comparison between the TV series and the movie since:
1. The movie was made before Clannad season one so technically there was nothing to compare to back then.
2. The movie was made by a different animation studio (Toei Animation) compare to the TV series (Kyoto Animation).
After reading some of the other reviews, I decided to write my own to express my own views towards Clannad The Motion Picture. Before that, I would like to note that I will be comparing the movie with some outside facts and other points of view to prove my arguments.
People say I shouldn’t compare to the series because the series was release after the movie. So I didn’t, but instead I compared it with the visual novel. Before that, I think Kyoto Animation did a fantastic job in porting the story from the visual novel to the series with many of the original content still
remaining except the story was alter in order to make all the character’s story operate in one single universe instead of the multiple parallel universe that the visual novel runs in. So basically, in some degree comparing the series is also comparing back to the visual novel into some extend. [Sorry for any terms that might alienate non fans] While the movie only focus on Nagisa’s arc and only half way through the After story arc. I think it’s unfair to judge the series with the movie like that, simply because that it have 48 episodes to explain nearly 7 character arcs (if I’m not wrong) and a complete and lengthy After Story arc. Plus, if we were to compare the movie with the series, the movie only summarise approximately 10-12 episode worth of story from the series out of the 48.
But I say won’t compare to the series, so here’s my other point of view on the movie.
The problem with the movie is how much referencing I should be making with the vn. The movie is written to be able to stand on its own. Many other studios also do this by taking and redoing the story of other VNs to suit the timeframe and demands of the market. So why was Clannad such an exception to the modification make in the movie? Reason is simply because of the story and how it captures the heart of its audience. While I agree that one and half hours is way too short to truly and deeply capture the heart against a minimum of 90 hours gameplay or 48 episode series but then again I find Toei Animation isn’t even trying (too much business too less romance if you ask me). Ask yourself if you watched both the series and the movie, how memorable or funny moments can you remember from both of them. So the movie very feels like a summary but summary of what? I not allow to compare it with the series and it has totally different storytelling from the VN. So, I would say it like a summary of the plot or the key events of Nagisa’s arc and first half of After Story arc.
tl/dr: Same plot but different way of storytelling
Absolutely horrible. This is the part where the movie failed the most. I’m not comparing it to the series which was the total opposite of it. (FYI, the movie’s first public announcement was around March 2006 and premier on September 2007 while the series was in March 2007 and October 2008. There was only around a year of differences between both the series and the movie’s announcement date and airing dates. So the point where people are comparing the movie’s artwork with the series is quite reasonable and valid unlike the case with Kanon02 and Kanon06 where they have 4 years difference)
But I would like to also point out that my main reason of rating the artwork so low was because it was a 2007 movie and that it did not meet up standards of its time. There are just too many animation inconsistencies and the character just look too flat at some moments for me.
tl/dr: Seriously, it was a 2007 movie? I thought it was made in 1997.
Another let down of the movie was its soundtrack. I find the soundtrack to simple and just work. Why? Because VisualArt’s/Key and Jun Meada did a great job in the visual novel with soundtrack that’s totally authentic to Clannad franchise itself. (FYI, the series reused almost all of the soundtrack from the VN which give gamers a right at home feel). So the reason wasn’t that the soundtrack was bad, it was generic but good enough and matched the scenes properly. The real problem was that the visual novel already set a very high bar for the movie which it also fail to reach expected level of quality that the visual novel have. Maybe that’s the reason why kyoani didn’t bother reinventing the wheel on the series.
td/dr: Visual novel(2004) have great soundtrack so why the movie(2007) only has ok level soundtrack?
Except Tomoya, Nagisa, Sunohara, Akio and Sanae, almost all the characters have their characters and personality changed which is a good thing as I can’t very predict was going to happen next since I can’t rely on my known knowledge about the characters. While I have no real complains as they are changed to adapt to the current storyline, but the character were less lovable (not just because of artwork but also their dialogue and choice of actions) than in the VN and series. Plus, where is FUKO????
p/s: I have no problems with the voice actors even Tomoya’s since he has no voice in the vn.
I can’t say I enjoyed fully it but it served me another way to love the series even more instead. The movie also serves a simple straight to the point ending for people that can’t fully understand what’s going on in the true After Story ending.
But the real problem for me was that the movie doesn’t have any elements that scored well for me to clinch to. It was simply because either the visual novel or the series outperformed it in every aspect that it outshined the movie and make it look bad. So, I also believe this is the biggest reason why many people didn’t like the movie.
tl/dr: Nothing to like about the movie.
Should you watch it?
YES if you are a fan of the series.
or else NO, watch and love the series than come back or don’t bother. Cause there’s better movies.
Messy straight to the point story, horrible artwork, ok soundtrack but could be better, plain simple character, no love for it cause the series took them all
NOTE: The purpose of this review is to compare the movie to the visual novel and the anime
It pains me to think of what this movie could have been!
I am a huge fan of the novel and anime series, but I always heard the movie was mediocre or worse, so I never took the time to watch it. However, when my wife and I bought the series on DVD, the movie was included, so we thought, "Why not?" I watched it, prepared to strongly dislike it, and I did . . . until the last half hour. I am not going to waste
time discussing the individual parts of the score I gave. Instead, I want to share why I was so heartbroken by the end of this movie.
Before you even watch this movie, consider that the movie will attempt to do what took the anime 10+ hours and the visual novel around 100 hours in . . . 90 minutes. Yep, this is the biggest flaw of the whole movie; I told my wife after watching this that if this had been about three times as long, I probably would've liked it more than the anime. Let me explain why.
The first hour was a botched mess. It was basically a summary of the school arc, and a bad one at that. It just seemed like a really lame romance where boy hates school, girl loves school, boy helps girl in school, girl helps boy to love school. Sure, that is arguably the way the school arc happened in other media, but the difference was execution. The school arc here felt very shallow, whereas there was depth and purpose for it otherwise.
The characters were alright, I guess, but they didn't have the time they needed to develop. Important characters like Kotomi, Kyou, and to a lesser extent Tomoyo were basically cameos in here, and it honestly didn't make sense to even include them (though Tomoyo is somewhat justified, the movie really didn't need her either).
The whole Illusion World concept was also wrecked; they bothered to introduce it, but they never explained its true significance. True, they kind of made their own definition of it, which actually worked okay, but I wish they just never introduced it. It would've saved them time, and I picture the audience being left confused on the whole thing.
So, that's the first hour. What about the last 30 minutes? Let me tell you something; in my opinion, if the last half-hour was given more time to work with, it would have rivaled After Story.
The last half-hour primarily focuses on the aftermath of Nagisa's death, and unlike After Story, it felt much more dramatic and tragic. Don't get me wrong; After Story made me cry when both Nagisa and Ushio died. But there was a level of hopelessness in this movie that was not reached by the anime, and I think this is where the movie excelled.
The environment is very dark, Tomoya expresses a shockingly dark level of anguish. Tomoya doesn't work, doesn't cook for himself, refuses to talk to anybody . . . it was heart-rending just to watch. The emotion I felt when they portrayed Nagisa's death and Tomoya's descent into depression was similar to that of After Story.
Eventually, the gang (Tomoyo, Sunohara, Kyou, and Nagisa's parents are the ones I remember off-hand) take Tomoya to a train station to finally meet Ushio. There were about 5 minutes left in the movie at this point, and I wondered how they were gonna do everything post-Ushio in that timeframe. Tomoya and Ushio have a tearful, beautiful reunion as Tomoya accepts her as his daughter.Tomoya also mentions his interpretation of the Illusion World at the end which, albeit not quite as good as the real deal, was a fitting conclusion to his experiences. . . .
Then the credits roll.
I was shocked to see the movie end that way; no raising Ushio, no Nagisa coming back from the dead . . . none of that.
As I thought on it, I saw the brilliance in it. Unlike After Story, which gets a little more into the fantasy side (which isn't a bad thing; I gave AS 10/10), this movie was very realistic. It was a very fitting ending, and I wanted more. I wanted to see Tomoya's journey to Ushio in greater detail, and I wanted to see more of that alternate universe where Nagisa DIDN'T come back. The last half-hour was done superbly. It was such a shame that it never got the love it deserved.
My final verdict: 7/10
I wouldn't recommend this as a stand-alone movie nor an introduction to the Clannad universe, but I would recommend it to Clannad fans, so long as they clearly understood its flaws (not every character you like is in there, and it is way too short), as this movie gave me a very moving alternate setting. The anime still outshines the movie in every single aspect, but I strongly believe that the movie would've been just as great if it had more time. I enjoyed it, and I was entranced while thinking what could have been had Nagisa never come back.
I realize this came out before the series, but I highly suggest that if you are going to watch the series/are watching the series, DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE. The storyline was all over the place and non of the characters are developed well. The animation is mediocre at best and all it really does is spoil the plot of an amazing series.
I highly recommend watching both the Clannad series, and the Clannad After Story series. If you still feel the urge to watch this movie, at least wait until you get to about ep 18 in After Story.