Apr 20, 2009
KaminaKai (All reviews)
*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).