Sep 14, 2010
kajia (All reviews)
Despite being a just a short, half 25 minute OVA, "Clannad: Another World, Tomoyo Chapter" managed to capture most of the essence of the original series - just like the original series, it's guilty of being over manipulative, of having contrived scenarios that strives to squeeze a tear or two out of the audience by whatever means necessary. In other words, it's guilty of being complete bullsh*t... just like the original series.

In this alternative playthrough... er, I mean, alternative universe, Tomoya is dating Grey Haired Girl instead of Brown Haired Girl, and Grey Haired Girl gets elected as the Student Council President. The gist of the episode is that her role as President does not mix well with her role as Tomoya's girlfriend, as

a) she is has so many duties to perform as President that she can't find enough time to be with Tomoya;
b) Tomoya has a bad reputation as a good-for-nothing-deliquent, so people disapprove of the match up, and
c) there's also the sense that Tomoya, being a good-for-nothing-non-delinquent, is holding Grey Haired girl back from Greater Things.

So far so good - this isn't actually a bad set up at all... except "Clannad", being "Clannad", has to go and over do it by laboriously shoving the point down the viewer's throat. Take for example, one of the mini stories in the episode, where Tomoya is waiting for Grey Haired Girl after school so they can go home together. Grey Haired Girl is busy with student council stuff, so she proceeds to use the PA system to announce to Tomoya - and the rest of the school - that she's too busy to walk home with him that day. My eyes boggled in disbelief as the proceeding blame for this fell almost entirely on Tomoya, who is guilty of... what? Waiting?? Now, I don't know about you, but if the Student Council President uses the school's PA system for her personal matters, it would probably occur to me that she's irresponsible and is prone to abuse her powers; it might occur to me that she's probably unsuited to being president... but "ZOMG IT MUST BE HER BOYFRIEND'S FAULT!!" isn't likely to be the conclusion that jumps out at me. And this pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the show. Doesn't matter what happens, everything always gets blamed on Tomoya, even when it made absolutely no sense to do so. Meanwhile, Grey Haired Girl is treated like some potential future president of the country with everyone droning on about how she's being held back by Tomoya from doing Greater Things, and no one pauses to consider that, even if assuming everything is Tomoya's fault (which it isn't), the very fact that Grey Haired Girl is so easily led astray should speak volumes about her suitability for the Student Council President role. But no, none of these sensibilites appear to cross anyone's mind, and I ended up feeling as though I was watching a comedy show called "Tomoya the Scapegoat".

The anime is quite neatly summed up by a song which is played at the emotional apex of the show at the end. It's a really nice sounding song which at first seems to be trying to communicate across some extremely emotional message. It's a song that seemed suitable to be played at the most emotional part of the show... until you read the English lyrics... or to be more accurate the Engrish lyrics. It's clear that the lyricist had very little understanding of the English language, and just threw together a bunch of words that seemed nice. The result is something that so laughably bad that it dispelled most of the atmosphere the anime is trying to create at that point. Here are some of the choicest lines from the song for your enjoyment(and no, there's no translational issues here - these are the actual lyrics of the song, since it's sung in English, or rather some twisted form of the language):

"People's hand does not reach, so merely has the worship."

"The place is a lofty lord, can't meet nobody put on."

"Like the head of the shade, figure will be thrown away."

And why do I say this sums up the anime quite neatly? Because just like this song, the anime might give the impression of being an emotional one, only to collapse completely under the lightest scrutiny because it's not backed up by solid substance.

Do I have anything good to say about this OVA? Well, I guess it's not filled with sickening amounts of moe like the original series is at least, since Grey Haired Girl is one of the less moe characters in the dating si- err... I mean the anime's cast. Ehhh... that's about it.