Roostophe's Review - CLANNAD
This anime series is based on a popular visual novel PC game, which was relased in 2004.
The series sees Tomoya Okazaki, who is labelled as a 'delinquent', attending his final year of high school. Everything seems to be unchanging for him, until he meets Nagisa Furukawa, and Tomoya finds that his life is about to change.
Tomoya spots Nagisa around school on her own. He decides to talk to her, and they begin to bond and form a friendship.
Nagisa reveals to him that she is redoing her last year of high school, and everybody she knew before has moved on. As she knows nobody, she now feels lonely.
Nagisa wants to join an extra-curricular club, and so decides to join the Theatre Club. However, there are no members of the Theatre Club left, and the club needs to be restarted.
Tomoya decides to help Nagisa restart the club, but says he will not join the club as he is not interested. Nagisa agrees, and they begin to look for other people to join the club.
Tomoya and Nagisa begin to restart the Theatre Club. Tomoya brings in help in the form of his classmates. Fraternal twin sisters Kyou and Ryou Fujibayashi assist, while Tomoya's gullible friend, Youhei Sunohara, joins hoping that Nagisa will love him for joining. While junior student Tomoyo Sakagami's campaign to reform herself from her violent past to become President of the Student Council is seen by the club as a useful way of getting the club restarted.
However, the club's reformation is put on the backburner, as other topics find their way at the forefront of their thoughts. Such as Sunohara's belief that Sakagami is actually a man. The strange girl who Tomoya discovered lurking on her own in the library, reading very complicated books and not attending classes. And another equally strange girl that Tomoya also discovered alone, albeit creating starfish sculptures rather than reading intelligent books.
Tomoya often avoids his own home, and can often be seen going over to Sunohara's home. It is shown that Tomoya has an estranged relationship with his father, who seems to treat Tomoya like 'a stranger', despite being his son and living with him.
Tomoya finds himself meeting Nagisa's family, who run a bakery in town. The family are seen getting along very well and it is obvious that they all love each other like a family should. But because of his relationship with his father, Tomoya finds such it strange for there to be such a functional family. But Nagisa's parents begin to see Tomoya as a close family friend, which is something Tomoya becomes happy about.
The first thing that attracted me to Clannad in the first place was its name, which is the Irish word for "Family" (and the name of an Irish folk band). I found it intriguing that an anime would have a title that was neither English or Japanese. (Although the Japanese pronounce it as 'Kuranado'.)
I also found out that many people (Yes, they're American) don't realise that 'Clannad' is an actual word, and so throw Clannad into the genres of anime whose names have absolutely no relevance to the show whatsoever.
That is NOT the case with Clannad! And I say that with a stick in my hand, pointing to a chalkboard with the word "NOT!" written in enormous letters that could be seen from the opposite classroom!
Like I said, it means 'family', which features enormously in this series. From the sweet and functional Furukawa family, to the twin-sister relationship with Kyou and Ryou Fujibayashi, and then to the other end of the scale with the estranged relationship between Tomoya and his father, who both live separately despite living in the same house.
Not only that, but the students bond with each other in a certain way, in the way that the title suggests.
Clannad is the first anime series I've seen that has not been dubbed, as this is a very new series that only finished airing in Japan in March of this year (All the anime I'd seen before have been at least a few years old.).
I was not deterred from watching this subbed, because a few of my anime-loving friends have seen this one, and could not really describe how much they loved it without using CAPITALS! Because of their earlier two recommendations, which I had ended up loving (Haruhi and Azumanga Daioh), I thought that they could impress me with a hat-trick of awesome anime.
And they got their hat-trick. Not with a small scrappy tap-in from a defender's mistake, but with a marvellous goal from the half-way line just like David Beckham in '96!
Clannad was an absolutely wonderful series that I enjoyed immensely. It was a beautiful series with great visuals, marvellous story and a cast of characters who you just can't hate even if you tried.
And I really mean that. The characters are all rather lovable, although you might be reminded of characters from other anime shows when you see each character. But that won't deter you from wanting to jump into the screen and give Nagisa a huge hug, just for being so damn cute!
Clannad is definitely a series I recommend. Many of you experienced anime watchers may notice a few cliches popping in and out, but you ought to ignore them when they come along and enjoy the ride!
To tell you just how much I liked Clannad, I would say this:
Clannad made me glad that I decided to start watching anime in the first place!
That's how good I thought it was.
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