Clannad – Anime Review

by Legend

Have you ever heard of the anime Clannad? I had an article about it previously, and now I’ve finished watching it (not including the two bonus episodes, I still need to see those). It has been little over a week, and now that I’ve had time to mull over the plot and such, I can finally write my review (my first review EVA!)

Keep in mind this review will be on the Dub, which is the anime with English voice actors, not the Sub, which is the original Japanese anime with subtitles. The two are slightly varying in terms of the lines for the characters.

Also, be forewarned that this review will include major spoilers. I will be spoiling the entire plot of Clannad, so make sure you understand this before clicking, “read more”.

Director: Tatsuya Ishihara
Produced By: Kyoto Animation
Genre:
Drama, comedy, romance

Clannad didn’t have crazy sci-fi, adventure, or action (except for Sunohara’s stunts… I’ll get into that later). There was romance, but when I say romance, I don’t mean something like Romeo and Juliet. The romantic theme in the story is between Tomoya Okazaki, male protagonist, and Nagisa Furukawa, the female protagonist. At first Tomoya only wanted to help Nagisa with the drama club. Soon their friendship blossoms into love, although they don’t notice it themselves until around the last several episodes.

Overview

The cast of Clannad were easily lovable, even down to the supporting characters. I found myself eagerly anticipating many of the characters’ appearances.

Tomoya Okazaki is a delinquent who hates his school and town. He meets Nagisa Furukawa on his way to school one day and learns that she wants to revive the school’s suspended drama club. On her own Nagisa does not have enough self-confidence, but the two work together to revive the drama club.

To revive the club, there needs to be more members, and a teacher will be needed as an advisor. In attempt to bring in more members, Tomoya and Nagisa try to make friends around the school. Each of the main characters in the series have problems, and the time it takes for their problems to be solved are called “arcs”.

There are five arcs, one each for Fuko Ibuki, Kotomi Ichinose, Kyou and Ryou Fujibayashi, Tomoyo Sakagami, and finally Nagisa.

Unfortunately, because I never wrote about the series previously, you will not be able to follow along the story with me, and all the spoilers will be in this one post.

Fuko Ibuki Overview

Fuko Ibuki was in a traffic accident and has been in a hospital ever since. Rumours of her ghost walking around the school have been spreading. Fuko is carving wooden starfish to hand around at school for her sister’s (Kouko Ibuki) upcoming wedding.

Tomoya and Nagisa help Fuko carve and hand out the wooden starfish to the student body. Soon people are having trouble seeing Fuko, and some people even forget her. These mysterious happenings may have to do with her body being in the hospital.

After Kouko’s wedding, Fuko is finally forgotten by all, but not without giving her best wishes to her sister.

Kotomi Ichinose Overview

Kotomi Ichinose is a genius who is allowed to skip school classes to study on complex topics in the library. She spends nearly all her time there, until Tomoya meets her there and helps her make friends by getting her to join the drama club. Tomoya soon learns that he used to be friends with Kotomi when they were both kids. Kotomi remembered him, but he had forgotten of their previous friendship.

On an outing with her friends, Kotomi is confronted by a gentleman who wishes to speak to her. Kotomi is frightened by the gentleman, so Kotomi’s friends make the man leave. After the incident, Tomoya learns from Koromi that several years ago her parents had needed to leave for business for her birthday. Her young self had been selfish, shouting “I hate you!” at her parents. Kotomi burned her parent’s important scientific thesis in anger.

Then Kotomi learned that her parents died in a plane crash, and she promised to study hard, and try hard, to redeem herself for burning their important work and being a bratty child.

The gentleman, who is actually Kotomi’s guardian, gives Kotomi a suitcase with a teddy bear and a note from her parents.

Dear Kotomi

The world is beautiful. Even when they are filled with sadness and tears, open your eyes. Do what you wish to do. Become what you want to be. Make friends. Don’t rush, and take your time in becoming an adult.

Kotomi’s guardian said that the suitcase had been handed from person to person around the world to reach Kotomi. The guardian also stated that Kotomi hadn’t burned her parent’s thesis, only a catalogue of teddy bears.

Kyou and Ryou Fujibayashi Overview

Kyou and Ryou are also called the Fujibayashi twins. Ryou is Tomoya’s classmate and class representative, and Kyou is Tomoya’s friend (from a different class). Kyou is very protective of Ryou, and whenever she is mad at someone she will throw a dictionary at them.

Ryou had a crush on Tomoya and her sister tried to get them together. Later into the series, Kyou realizes that she has fallen in love with Tomoya as well. When the two discover that Tomoya loves Nagisa, they weep together.

Tomoyo Sakagami Overview

Tomoyo Sakagami is a transfer student who wants to be student council president. The reason for her goal is to preserve the cherry trees because they are significant to people around the town including Tomoyo’s family.

When Tomoyo was younger her parents were going to have a divorce and were fighting about who would get the children. Tomoyo’s brother Takafumi didn’t want the split up and jumped in a freezing river, even though he didn’t understand the rationale behind his actions.

Takafumi was taken to the hospital and nearly died. His family reunited while grieving together, and Takafumi was discharged from the hospital in the spring. The family walked along the cherry trees afterwards, and that is why Tomoyo wants to preserve them.

With the help of Tomoya, Tomoyo becomes student council president.

Nagisa Furukawa Overview

Nagisa Furukawa had a fever when she was young. Her parents were busy with work, so they had to leave her home. When her father, Akio, came back home, Nagisa had been waiting for him outside. It was a cold blizzard day and she was unconscious, lying in the snow.

Nagisa’s parents wept, prayed, and sat by their daughter. She could have died that day. Fortunately, she survived. Akio and Sanae (her mother) gave up their dream jobs to open a bakery and spend more time with their daughter.

The memories of their former lives were hidden in their shed, until Nagisa found it the night before the drama club’s play and felt responsible for her parent’s finished dreams. She was too sad and preoccupied to act in the play, until Akio burst through the doors, giving a speech about how she was their dreams.

Nagisa acted well afterwards, and the story ended with Tomoya’s love confession after the play and party.

Plot – What I Thought

I enjoyed the plot, of both the main story and each of the character’s respective arcs. While the series was full of tear-provoking moments, I could not cry once. I usually don’t cry in reaction to media, but I do laugh (loudly) when their is humour.

Fuko-chan’s* arc was well done, and it was certainly touching. I didn’t think this anime would have had any supernatural in it, what with Fuko-chan’s ghost appearing in the school. Despite this, it was pulled off well and didn’t ruin Clannad’s slice-of-life feel. Fuko’s starfish love caused me to become obsessed, as shown by my new blog name.

Kotomi’s arc was even more touching, I have to say (sorry Fuko!). This arc definitely deserved tears (that it didn’t get unfortunately). The weirdest part about it, though, was when the suitcase from Kotomi’s parents was handed all around the world to reach Kotomi. Who would seriously put so much care into a suitcase with no address on it? All the same, it was still a touching notion.

Kyou and Ryou’s arc was played at the same time as Tomoyo’s, and this was played off just as well. Tomoyo’s arc was interesting, but it was kind of far-a-fetched how the family ended in a complete happy ending. As if Takafumi would survive and the family would come back together! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against happy endings, but it should have been more believable.

Nagisa’s arc was the most touching of them all. Akio’s speech was inspiring, and Nagisa’s acting was excellent. The gradual showing of affection between Nagisa and Tomoya was done well, not too slow or rushed. The love confession could have been better if closed with a kiss. I’m not a romance kind of guy, but it was expected.

*“Chan” is an honourable suffix used in Japan for young children or teenage girls.

Comedy

Most of the comedy in the series is provided by several of the characters. Akio Furukawa had me laughing almost every time he appeared.

Youhei is a fellow delinquent and friend of Tomoya’s. He is very persistent and resilient, even to the point of not learning from his mistakes. He is one of the main points of comedy in the series.

Youhei is sometimes perverted in mind and will usually gets hurt for things he says and does. The video above is one of the few times he is beaten for causing fights or just being annoying.

Music

Every song on the soundtrack is amazing, I did not dislike any of it. I sat through the intro and credits without skipping because the music was so great. Each of the main characters have a theme song, as well. I was often humming songs from this series.

Verdict

Story: 4.5/5
Animation: 5/5
Music: 5/5

The story was great (with a few far-a-fetched notions), the animation was amazing (I loved the art style), and the music was catchy.

I give this anime a. . . . .

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One Comment to “Clannad – Anime Review”

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