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