(Note: This review covers both the first season and After Story)
I give the best Key game adaptation ever...a 88/100!
As I've promised, my review of Clannad (and Clannad After Story) is finally here! It took me a while to finish the series (dubbed in English), but now I have all the box sets (and I wish I could get the movie!) and have finally finished this wonderful and suberbly polished gem of an anime! I've already explained who Key and Kyoto Animation are so I don't need to bash that info into your skulls a second time. Before I start my review, a little story! I kinda randomly discovered Clannad on Wikipedia while I was surfing the net. This was before it was made into an anime. It looked kinda interesting. And all of a sudden, POOF! The anime appears! Becoming rather interested, I decided to watch it...and boy am I ever so glad that I did! Oh, this review covers both Clannad and Clannad After Story so as to make it a bit more interesting.
The story begins with Tomoya Okazaki, a delinquent who's tired of crawling through life and being bored by everything around him. All he has is his friend Youhei Sunohara and his school, and he dislikes the latter greatly. His life wasn't exactly the best. One day, however, his tired and boring life drastically changes when he meets Nagisa Furukawa, a timid but kind and munificent girl who has to repeat her senior year due to an illness keeping her out of school for a long time. On that day, at the bottom of the cherry blossom blanketed hill, their fates and destinies become totally intertwined, and the future slowly unfolds for these two souls.
This may be rather bold of me to say, but when it comes to all the thing's KyoAni has animated, I personally believe that Clannad may be their best animated work yet. Basically EVERYTHING comes to life! They even give detail to even the littlest things like the scratches on Tomoya's hand after he punches a concrete wall. I don't think I really have to go into too much detail about the animation since practically everyone knows how good KyoAni is when they animated Clannad, so this will be short and sweet. In short, Clannad's the best animated KyoAni work yet!
I love the soundtrack! Of course it's from the game, but it still manages to retain it's original feel, and they fit their scenes perfectly. But if there's one thing I really hate, it's the ED theme for After Story. I mean, it's nice and all, but it's just TOO happy and upbeat. After a few episodes it starts to kill the mood a bit, especially when the darker episodes of After Story come around. I wish they could've kept the adorable Dango Daikazoku theme. Also, the first Clannad anime used a remixed version of the game's famous OP theme, "Megumeru" and it's a nice song, but I prefer Dango Daikazoku better. In short, the soundtrack is awesome but After Story's ED theme doesn't fit the show at all.
The characters...yes, EVERYONE I know is gonna agree with me on this so I won't go into too much detail, but the characters are awesome. Tomoya's not your stereotypical spineless male harem lead. In fact, far from it really! He's straightforward, speaks his mind when he wants to, doesn't take crap from anyone, is quite brash, and will do anything for his friends (but I suppose he is surpassed by the main character of this visual novel called Sharin no Kuni, Himawari no Shoujo) so he's a keeper! But I'd have to say my favorite is Nagisa. I can really relate to her in many ways. Like me, she's shy and not good at making friends either (but for me it's because of my autism) but is passionate when it comes to doing what she loves and cares for her friends very much. She's pretty much the best character in the entire series in my opinion, along with another character who I REFUSE to reveal due to her appearance being a huge frosty avalanche of spoilers, but I will say she appears in After Story. The rest of the characters are awesome too, but I don't have much to say about them (except that Youhei, while a tad stereotypical, is not like the other "pervy best friend" characters who chase girls and whose purpose is to make the lead character look good).
One of Clannad's biggest themes is the value of family. Practically ALL the characters' stories relate to family, such as their problems (like divorce, death, etc.). I found all the characters' backstories to be both realistic and interesting, especially since they're about the importance of family. Clannad also shows that your family doesn't have to be limited to just the people you're related to. You can include your closest friends or people like that. Clannad is actually an Irish word that means family, and the creators could not have come up with a more perfect title for it. Yeah, the story and it's themes are amazing, even the parts with the illusionary world and the girl and the robot doll are awesome. I'm sorry, I just can't come up with the proper words to finish this review.
But I can say that Clannad is Key's and Kyoani's best work! No doubt about that!
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