Sunday, July 22, 2012

Watashi wa Anime ga daisukidesu-Clannad

              I am going to take an aside rant before I start actually talking about the anime. Namely, when I started reviewing things, what, 4 years ago, my specialty was anime. It was the medium I had the most knowledge and experience with. But since then, I took it upon myself to spread my boundaries, and watch as much as possible from the other mediums. I'm happy to say that it has mostly worked, so that now I can talk somewhat intelligently about books, live action TV, western animation, films, fanfiction, comic books, and webcomics. However, it struck me the other day that I had not started and finished an anime in a very long time. I had abandoned by original fandom, and that just would not do. So I'm spending more time on the anime side of things. And if that isn't your cup of tea, don't worry, I'm still watching live-action TV, movies, cartoons, etc.

             Clannad is an anime made by Kyoto Animation, and it is based of a visual novel game by Key. Those are the same people who made the visual novels turned anime Kanon, Air, and Angel Beats (Yes, the last one isn't  visual novel, but it was made by Key then made into an anime.) My record with these adaptations is mixed. Kanon was one of the first anime I saw, and still holds a special place in my heart as, "that incredibly sad one about high school girls in the snow." Air is odd for me: I didn't finish it because it simply failed to grab me any longer. the characters hadn't grown on me, and the only thing I enjoyed was Vic Mignogna's performance. Angel Beats start off a little slow, but ends up one of my favorite series from recent years, especially because of the frankly amazing soundtrack. So how does Clannad fair?

            Let's start with the opening. It works well, and while I wouldn't have it high up on my list of favorite openings, it's still very good and sets the mood well for the show itself. The plot is about a delinquent high school student and his best friend, who end up befriending several girls each of whom has their own story arch. (Except Ryou for some reason.) Each arc's ending is sad, though how sad depends on the viewer. The characters are pretty good, my favorites being the best friend Youhei for being a hilarious spaz (seriously, he's the Xander of the show), and one of the girl's dad Akio for being awesome.

            I'll quickly mention the animation before I move on: it works. It tells the story, and that's good. Not much to talk about really. So how did I like it? Well, I'm proud to say that unlike Kanon or Angel Beats, I did not cry once.  The first character arc's ending came pretty damn close though. Seriously, in my opinion that is the best arc of them all, it is so freaking sad, but completely heartwarming at the same time. The final character arc almost got me too, there was literally a part halfway though the episode where I was completely confused, because somehow I'm such a terrible visual novel player that I got the bad ending on an anime adaptation!

            Overall I would definitely recommend the series, it is very funny, sad, and it fills you with warm fuzzies for a little while. And really, isn't that good enough? Well, of to watch After Story!

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