|Made By||Kyoto Animation|
|# of Episodes|| 23 (Season 1)|
24 (After Story)
Sum it up in a Sentence
A guy with nothing better to do helps a bunch of pretty girls with their problems.
Tomoya's father has succumbed to gambling and alcohol ever since his wife died. Tomoya's unfortunate family situation is reflected in his attitude at school where he is known to be somewhat of a delinquent. He then gradually goes on to make friends with others at his school and uses his time to help them.
Continuing after the events of the first season, Tomoya settles down and gets his life together after high school. He endures a tragic hardship, however, and has to pick up the pieces with help from the people he's met.
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I prefer Kanon to Clannad. The show is funny enough, but I started to lose interest toward the end of the series. I think the problem is that the main female character is also the least interesting.
The show is very entertaining, however the humor elements tend to drop off and become buried under the seriousness near the end of the series. However, this series is sure to make even the most hardened veteran shed a tear.
Clannad: After Story: Second season to Clannad. If you've seen that or KyoAni's previous VN anime Kanon then you'll know what to expect. They did a really good job of making you feel for the characters and the scenes. Good use of music and facial expressions among the characters to convey the mood. This show will make you cry at some point. (8/10)
A show that tries to show the value of friendship and family while mixing in some pretty good humor. I found it to be rather touching and one of the better shows of its kind.
The first season is pretty much generic harem, decently done, but unexceptional. The second season, though... The protagonist actually picks a girl, and grows up, through lots of drama and hardships. The events of the first season become not 'oh yeah I dated a bunch of chicks one after the other' but as oh so painful memories. So I think it's overall superior to the others in the genre, (including Kanon) because it moves on to say something about life afterwards, something very few shows even attempt. And I think the core cast (who turn out, not, in fact, to be the other girls in the harem) are very much better developed than the general cookie cutter archetypes. Watch episode 18 in series 2, and you will cry. (And I say this as someone who was not all that affected by Grave of the Fireflies.)
In the end, how much you enjoy this probably depends on how much emotional investment you are willing to put in the main couple and in Tomoya's plight, in the end.
Of KyoAni's three Key adaptations (Kanon, AIR, and CLANNAD), I feel that this is the one that really got it right. It has the largest cast of (good) characters and the best balance of comedy and drama. And while there are the usual magical/fantasy elements that Key loves to use, I found CLANAND's use of them to be far more nuanced and interesting. People often complain that if you experience one Key story you've experienced the same plot twists from all of them, so I guess if you're going to pick one of the three I think at least with CLANNAD it wouldn't bother you nearly as much.
At any rate, the first season is mostly a solid high school comedy/drama with some fairly typical romantic elements and subplots. Some plot threads are probably familiar to you, but they're generally done well and the way that the anime was able to integrate them into a sprawling, connected story is actually quite commendable as usually that just doesn't work. And best of all, there's almost nothing that you would call fanservice, which is quite surprising for this type of work. Indeed even the original Visual Novel has never even had any pornographic elements associated with it, which can't be said for AIR and Kanon. Good, clean fun.
But it's the second season where things get really surprising. Largely a sequel to Nagisa's route, After Story sets out to go through story arcs I honestly don't think I've ever seen in a romance-driven plot before (at least in anime/manga). I won't go too deeply into the details, but it turned out incredibly refreshing as it basically asked the question "OK, what happens when the high school sweet hearts graduate?" Too many romances in anime/manga simply stop dead in their tracks when the couple finally gets together, maybe slapping a time skip epilogue at the end but never really exploring the couple being a couple. After Story accomplished this quite well. The comedy essentially dried up towards the end, and I will say that there are many points where a lot of people will shed tears. It's melodramatic at times, but Key has a way with manipulating people's emotions and it paid off quite well in After Story. The ending may bother some people, which is sadly something I feel is lost a little bit in the adaption from game to anime despite the contents being nearly identical. Personally I liked the ending a lot, but I also had a pretty grasp of what was happening from playing the Visual Novel earlier.
The character designs are a big barrier for a lot of people, as well as the perceived stigma that it's yet another typical Dating Sim/Porn game or whatever. For people who can get past these things I think will find a very compelling drama with a good balance of comedy, with a large and well developed cast, great music, and surprisingly great direction and story boarding. Indeed, I think this is a rare case where the anime adaptation surpasses its Visual novel counterpart in most respects.
The first season was somewhat disappointing since it never reached the same level as Key's other series, Kanon, the year prior, although it does have significantly less of the fantasy element and a more believable setting. Still, the pace of some "arcs" were pretty slow and were kind of forgettable. I think they kind of went with more comedy than drama this time around. The second season is a different story though. If you want that same tear-jerking and emotional rollercoaster ride that Key is so good at delivering, After Story is the thing for you! It's a good kind of hurt, I promise. --Willsun 03:30, 2 June 2011 (UTC)