Clannad ~After Story~ OVA – Kyou’s Story

2 07 2009

Okay, you’ve heard me praise After Story enough, so did you seriously think that I WOULDN’T blog this? To be fair, I’m not even compare this OVA to the main series.  Instead, my baseline for comparison is the Tomoyo Arc adaptation in the Clannad OVA.  Both adaptations were crammed into 1 episode.  Both arcs were romance based, so adapting it in the Nagisa-centered anime, was impossible. Most importantly, both adaptations dealt with characters that were just as, if not more than, popular than Nagisa.  So without further ado, my thoughts. Read the rest of this entry »


Winter Finales: Clannad ~After Story~

28 03 2009

It’s not very often that I can say this, but with Clannad ending, it closes a major chapter in my anime life.  When I first saw Clannad, I was fresh on the anime scene and it was one of the first series that I actively kept up with.  I loved the first season because it introduced a large number of likable characters, it had some great comedy, while keeping a drama heart

But if the first season was good, the second season took it to another level.  Once the after story began, Clannad ended up showing such incredible heart.  It was rare to see something like that from any media.  When Tomoya was in pain, I was too.  When Tomoya was happy, so was I.  Episode 16 to 22 were nothing short of brilliant, and I was ready to consider Clannad as one of my all-time favorite animes…

But wait… the really good episodes only make up a little over a quarter of the show.  While, yes, the entire series were leading up to the final quarter, there were some rather weak parts to this season.  Yukine’s arc lacked depth, and some of the early After Story episodes tended to drag a little.  So overall, the show wasn’t perfect, and stuff could’ve been done to make it better.

This leads me to my final point. Would I recommend this show?  Hell yes.  Clannad is a heart wrenching story that can drive the most resilient viewers to tears.  It accomplishes this by introducing great characters, developing them over 30+ episode, and then introduce incredibly realistic conflicts and issues that really hits close to home.



Clannad ~After Story~ – Episodes 23 and 24 [END]

28 03 2009

Since episode 24 was nothing more then a recap, I decided to fuse their episode reviews.  Like episode 23 of the first season, episode 23 of this season was an extra “filler” episode.  The term has a negative connotation, but strictly by definition, that’s what it is.  The first season’s extra episode was quite comedic and actually developed the romance between Tomoya and Nagisa.  This extra episode was, imho, rather hit or miss.

It was a nice refresher to say at the least, it’s been almost 13 episodes since we left the School Life story behind, seeing them suddenly go back to the start was nice.  If anything, it REALLY made me appreciate the character developments that Tomoya and Nagisa got (It reminds me of another great character).  I mean in this episode, Tomoya was a complete bum like he used to be, and Nagisa was hopelessly shy, yet now, we see them as a very open and loving couple that encourage their daughter

It was interesting to see how Tomoya and Kyou met (though I’m pretty sure that that was only there to appease the Kyou fanboys).  Otherwise, it wasn’t the funniest Clannad episode, there weren’t as many Sunohara antics.

The recap episode was, well, a recap.  Narrated by Tomoya while apparently talking to Ushio, it actually did a pretty good job of reviewing the events and showing how much this show developed.  The last few minutes were a nice little easter egg.  No real point in me giving a rating for this episode

RATING (episode 23): 8/10


Clannad ~After Story~ – Episode 22

25 03 2009

Well there you have it. The good end, and it was EXACTLY how I wanted it… well almost. Anyone not familiar with the Visual Novel will probably have a hard time understanding this and there in part, consider this a Dues Ex Machina ending (google the term if you don’t know what it means). And of course the real critics will argue that the adaptation fails because it doesn’t provide a good explanation for the ending that accessable to everyone. After watching the episode, I would’ve accepted that argument….

Until I rewatched the entire series with my friends recently. From the very begininng, there have been hints dropped of the After Story. Most critically, any discusion about parallel worlds is VERY important. Taking all the hints into account, the imaginary world and the good ending aren’t given a poor explanation in 10 minutes, but rather have a very in depth explanation that spans over 45 episodes.

So how do I interpret the end? First of all, the tragedies of Tomoya’s life, that we saw from episodes 16 to 21, weren’t taken for granted. They actually happened. And the knowledge and the mistakes of that world are passed on the Tomoya of the good ending, where they undeniably take a part in him raising Ushio.

Okay, well, maybe the ending isn’t THAT solid. But any issues at this point can easily be blamed on a common issue that unavoidable for visual novel adaptations: adapting a non-linear storyline into a linear one. But taking that into consideration, if anything, it HELPS prove that Kyoto Animation did an amazing job adapting the story. I mean, give it to any other studio, odds are that they would’ve given up, and probably do a half-assed job on an anime-original ending.

Argument aside, I do have to say though, that this episode was far from perfect. I know it sounds hypocritical after I spent 4 paragraphs defending the ending; but note my word choice. I was defending the ending, not the episode, in particular, the last third. If anything, that Fuuko moment was a) drawn out and b) detracted from the impact of the episode. It should’ve ended at the second cut and the episode should’ve spent more time leading up the the climax. I mean, when the insert song ended, I REALLY wished that the episode ended there as well, it would’ve been PERFECT.

First 2/3rds: 10/10 Last 1/3rd: 7/10
RATING: 9/10


(So I used 11 photos… so sue me…) For your enjoyment, some “where are they now” pics =D

Clannad ~After Story~ – Episode 21

23 03 2009

 Why Key…. why must you put the characters through so much torture….what have they ever done to you… First Misuzu in Air, then Ayu in Kanon, now Tomoya and Ushio in Clannad… Thank GOD this isn’t the final episode, or else I would’ve been blasting this show nonstop about having a tragic end just for the sake of tears (How I felt w/ Air)

*wipes tears away* Okay… *sniff* that being said. I remember mentioning at the beginning of the series how I was looking forward to Kyoto Animation’s adaptation of the After Story, and that I anticipated tears. I mean Toei’s movie adaptation was plenty sad, but inaccurate, and if KyoAni has proved anything, it’s that they can evoke emotions. However, even with those bold predictions, I didn’t anticipate Clannad to be THIS tear-jerking. In the last 7 episodes, 5 (possibly 6) have been REALLY emotional. I haven’t seen a show evoke that much emotions since I finished ef – a tale of memories.

Anyway, returning to the first topic. Thankfully, this ISN’T the last episode, and there’s enough time for SOMETHING to happen. I admit, I’ve spoiled myself, and I do know about the game ending. What I’m really curious about is how KyoAni plans to adapt it.

So what can I say about the episode? Definetly one of the best episodes, but not quite at the level of Episode 18. But that’s fine, it did it’s purpose… and ruined my mood for the rest of the day -_-;;;

RATING: 9.5/10


Clannad ~After Story~ – Episode 20

23 03 2009

 A nice relaxing episode that takes a break from the recent emotional developments. We get another “blast from the past” with Kyou being reintroduced as Ushio’s kindergarten teacher. It’s weird, I mean we only saw her like 4 episodes ago, yet it was refreshing to see her again. There were also some great Fuuko moments. It’s been so long since i’ve really laughed during a Clannad that I’ve almost forgotten that the show is part comedy.

Most importantly, this episode had a lot of Tomoya going “How would it be if Nagisa were here?” And I noticed here another great thing that Clannad does. In other animes (including ef – a tale of melodies) when a character dies, I usually go “oh the other characters probably miss him/her”. The impact of the death doesn’t go further then the actual death scene itself. Some examples: Kamina from Gurren Lagann, Lockon from Gundam 00, etc. In Clannad, I actually miss Nagisa as if she were a real person I knew. That’s how much I’ve grown to enjoy these characters. VERY rarely does an anime take the death of a character this far.

Anyway, I did have some problems with the number of insert songs in this episode. It felt like a galleria for the music. But I DID enjoy hearing Dango Daikozoku again.

RATING: 8.5/10


Ushio got sick at the end of this episode… this can’t be good

Clannad ~After Story~ – Episode 19

14 03 2009

A semi-comedy, semi-serious episode that continues Clannad‘s recent win-streak. Well, first thing off, Fuuko is back. No, not like first season w/ her random, rather unwanted, appearances. She’s actually out of the hospital now. And as she’s been in a coma all this time, she hasn’t changed. Her reintroduction was very amusing, it’s good to see both her and Tomoya just as friendly as ever XD. Only thing different, she’s got a rather creepy attraction to Ushio o___O;;;. Okay, so it’s justified since she also loved Nagisa. I was kinda expecting Fuuko to remember her “dream” with Tomoya, but I guess it makes more sense that she doesn’t.

On a more serious note, we had the inevitable, long-delayed confrontation between Tomoya and his father. It was defintly awkward like it should’ve been, but also heartful. My big fear was that Tomoya’s father would interpret Tomoya’s attempt to send him back to his mother as an attempt to make him go away from his life. Thankfully, this didn’t happen. You could literally see the change in Tomoya’s father when Tomoya finally forgave him and lifted all the stress of his shoulder. His one, only wish was granted. The scene with Tomoya seeing his father off wasn’t quite tear-jerking, but it was still beautiful.

Lastly, the light orbs make another appearance. This time, it’s Ushio who sees one being absorbed by Tomoya. Does this mean good end? =D

RATING: 9/10