Much like last year's Tomoyo Chapter, KyoAni has gone back once more to animate the main arc of another popular girl from the visual novel Clannad, this time focusing on Kyou Fujibayashi. The Kyou Chapter is a good piece of storywork, with a solid and steady narrative flow, exceptional artwork, great BGM and performances, and decent, though generic, characterization. For now, I'd like to focus on the facts before getting to my opinion, so as to differentiate, I didn't think this was a bad little story per se, but raging Kyou fans might just be better ignoring the existence of my review when I get to my enjoyment, as there's no chance I'll be sugarcoating matters.
Kyou Chapter, first off, accomplishes an astounding feat by compressing several hours worth of material into a half-hour short story, which can be no easy task whatsoever. Masterful composition of key scenes never feel out of place nor does it feel as if the story is taking any large leaps from event to event, skipping other priorities. Though it could easily have been expanded on, the basic plot is well-contained and the delivery is pitch-perfect. Nothing phenomenal, no massive twists or unexpected incidents given what we know of Kyou and Ryou from the series that could put it over, but a job well done.
Despite the brevity of Kyou Chapter, KyoAni also does some wonderful short pivotal points with each character, expressing different things about them through the animation whether than words, the imagery of which is profoundly captivating. A particular scene involving a farewell kiss was so expertly crafted I could not contain my appreciation for it. It spoke leagues about the girl in the scene even though she said nothing. Though this short story often relies on the viewer to have prior knowledge of the characters, it does a good job of filling viewers in through rather subdued methods.
In the technical realm, KyoAni shines just as brightly as they did with the series itself. Gorgeous fluid animation, exquisite backgrounds, great facial expression from the characters, it's tops across the board for the animation powerhouse.
Sound carries the wonderful OST back with no piece of it used in an inappropriate or unnecessary way, always adding an extra something to the mix. Performances are also dead-on. Though I already expressed about the visual aspect of the characterization, the audio aspect is certainly nothing to knock. Everyone is voiced sincerely as the characters they have been playing, just in new situations, and seeing the twins' seiyuu finally shine is definitely a reason to check this out as well.
So end the accolades...
Despite the well-earned love I've given this review such far, I greatly disliked it. Though well-plotted, I thought it was generic. Though there was great characterization, I freakin' loathe the girl I'm supposed to be rooting for. Though the art and sound are great... okay I agree with that. The fact of the matter is I personally cannot stand the character that misses his or her chance, only to whine about it when someone else takes the chance themselves. Moreso, I hate it when said whiner wins because I'm supposed to feel sorry for her not being able to express her feelings.
Hell, this OVA actually had the opposite reaction on me. It made me dislike Kyou more and make me like Ryou more. How could I not when she displays her courage despite her timid demeanor and does her best to make Tomoya happy WHILE KYOU JUST CRIES. Even though this OVA was meant to pander, I didn't for one moment expect it to insult me to this degree. While others may, and probably will, enjoy this, no dice from me.
Overall, I give Clannad: Another World, Kyou Chapter a 7 out of 10.