Why Clannad is Overrated (In the Form of a Review)

Before I even write anything review-wise, I should remind everyone that “overrated” is not the same as “bad”. This is kind of a funny thing to clarify, considering up until a few days ago, I hated Clannad‘s guts. The first time I watched it, I had the expectations of it being some pinnacle of writing in regards to drama or whatever people hype it up to be. It not only failed to meet those expectations, but put them into a box, lit the box on fire, then threw it off a bridge while making overdramatic poses.

I rewatched it for the sake of writing this post, and it was a lot easier to enjoy it when my expectations were it being absolutely terrible.

Of course, there’s still plenty of faults with the show, but there was also a decent amount I enjoyed. Though what I find absolutely hilarious is that my biggest complaint against the show could have been fixed with a very simple executive decision. Well, that and the fact that for a lot of the things the show did wrong, it also had an example of how to do that exact thing correctly. You’ll see what I mean.

Oh, and this only covers the first season, because seasons are required to stand on their own merits. Also because I’ve heard all the things I liked about Clannad got toned down in After Story, and all the things I hated got cranked up. Yay.

Jumping straight into one of the biggest issues, most of the female cast are about as interesting as wet toilet paper. They either have no discernible personality (Nagisa), seem to have no actual reason for liking Tomoya (Kyou), or both (Ryou). Well, okay, to be fair to Nagisa, she does have somewhat of a personality, it’s just an extremely obnoxious one.

The whole “cares about others more than herself” deal is an alright personality trait, but the only other one she has is stupid. No, I mean as in it is literally a stupid personality. And it’s the incredibly annoying kind of stupid, where they say “desu~” at the end of nearly every sentence. The thing is almost a cheat code to make any character seem twice as dumb.

Now I could spend minutes just pointing at each character randomly and detailing them, but I should be a bit more orderly about this. I’m going to go through each character arc chronologically (as dictated by the show) and address my complaints and compliments for each one and the character the arc is for.

First up is Fuko’s arc, and there’s only one thing to say right off the bat when it comes to this one: what in the hell is Fuko?

You see, for any story there’s an important line to set decently early on: the boundary of realism. Stories aren’t as simple as “realistic” or “unrealistic”, there’s millions of lines between those two. Some stories will have magic be a common occurrence, while the idea of ghosts is preposterous, and others will be vice versa. With Fuko, it’s impossible to establish that line because you’re never told what the bloody hell she is.

Is she a ghost or an apparition? No, because the characters are able to touch her. Is she just a figment of everyone’s imaginations, seeing as how she gets forgotten over time? No, that can’t be it since apparently she’s still wandering around even when people can’t see her.

Without this line, you don’t know where to set your expectations in regards to phenomena happening. For all you know, a magical unicorn that grants wishes will show up to solve everyone’s problems.  And yes, there’s the whole “other world” deal going on with the girl and junk robot, but it’s made very obvious that it’s disconnected from the main story. Oh, and the whole hit counter thing when Tomoyo kicks Sunohara, but that’s done for comedic effect, so it’s obvious that it’s also disconnected from the legitimate events that happen in the main story.

Now you may say, “Well, it’s not important what she is!”, but it is. You see, since the main drama is revolving around her disappearing from people’s sight and memories, it’s important to know the context behind it. Why? Because if the audience starts to question the concept, the immersion is completely broken.

Take for example the scene where Sunohara has forgotten her, but she’s standing there with a starfish carving. So… can he not see the starfish carving too? Is there not just some random wooden carving floating in the air? When Fuko puts it in his hands, he looks down and wonders where it came from. Okay, so I guess things Fuko is touching also can’t be seen. But wait, that doesn’t make any sense because there’s a few times where Tomoya tries to show her to people, and he puts his hands on her shoulders. He doesn’t suddenly disappear from their sight, so I guess it’s just Fuko they can’t see. But then that doesn’t make sense because people would see floating starfish carvings and a party hat going all over school. Speaking of which, why does nobody ever trip over Fuko? I mean if she’s always walking around school when people can’t see her and she can be extremely airheaded so then wouldn’t that mean people would walk into her and- AAAAAAAAARGH.

My mind is trying to make sense of what Fuko is even when her arc is at it’s end, so I’m not able to appreciate anything. It certainly doesn’t help that they break their own pre-established rules at the end by having her magically float down to her sister who can for some reason now see her.

I don’t know, maybe I’m just not a romanticist, but I feel like if you’re going to bring fantasy elements into an otherwise very grounded story, you’d better have a damn good explanation for it all.

Though it wouldn’t even matter if I was able to enjoy the arc, because the show proceeds to shit all over the struggles and drama that was in it in later episodes by having Fuko randomly show up for comedic relief. I’ll admit, those sections are pretty funny, but it completely destroys the themes and such from her arc, essentially making it seem like a humongous waste of time. The one thing saving it is that Fuko’s arc isn’t actually just about her, but I’ll save that for later.

Oh, and there’s also the fact that the arc is funny. I mean, the show in general is funny when it wants to be, but Fuko and Tomoya bounced well off each other as far as both actions and dialogue goes. Even when it was one-sided, like when Fuko spaces out, it’s still funny to watch Tomoya troll her.

The next arc is Kotomi’s, and there isn’t much to say about it actually. Honestly, the only purpose to the arc seemed to be to introduce the topic of the “microscopic world”, which never even ends up playing a part in this season. I’m guessing it’s a set up for After Story or something.

There’s an overall aspect to the series that becomes prominent starting in this arc that I’m going to talk about, however, I first want to address the blatant plot hole in the ending to the arc before I get to that.

Kotomi’s story ends with her parents’ suitcase being found and it being delivered to her. This is due to a letter that was found in it with writing on the envelope that said to deliver the suitcase to their daughter if it was found.

Uhm. When and why did they write that?

The story says her parents died when they went down with a plane due to it breaking or something along those lines. Did they write it as the plane was plummeting to its doom? The writing was pretty neat and they were even able to put their signatures or whatever, so that seems unlikely. Besides, why would they just happen to have some paper and an envelope handy for the situation? So does this mean that they wrote that letter ahead of time? But then why would they need to write a letter like that ahead of time? Weren’t they just going to give her the gift when they got back from their business trip?

Considering the resolution to this arc is how her parents loved her so much and got her the stuffed bear, this kind of plot hole completely disintegrates the whole dramatic tone the show is going for once you notice it.

And speaking of dramatic tones…

This is the arc where Key shows their usual methods of generating drama, which is by making people cry, and being overdramatic to the point of being unrealistic. The scene I’m talking about (at least it was the one for me), was where Child-Kotomi goes into her father’s study and burns what she thinks is a copy of the thesis.

First of all, the idea of burning it rather than just shredding it up doesn’t seem like something a child would do, but it’s somewhat passable since if I recall, the matches were right nearby so that could have put the idea in her head. However, a kid would not then proceed to sit in a corner and cry their eyes out while the room starts to catch fire. It also irked me that Child-Tomoya was able to grab the doorknob and open the door when a good portion of the room was on fire. Realistically, that doorknob would have been pretty hot at that point. Perhaps not boiling hot, but he wouldn’t have been able to calmly grab it for a few seconds before thrusting the door open. Then Child-Kotomi is still sitting in the corner and crying. At this point a child would have gotten the hell out of that room due to the heat, and she should have started suffocating or maybe even died from the smoke the fire would have caused.

This is why drama is a tricky subject to write. You want to be as dramatic as possible for maximum effect, but if you go just slightly too far, the audience’s immersion and suspension of disbelief will be broken. This can be different for each person, sure, but there’s usually still a general line you do not want to cross. For example, the scene in episode 22 where Akio yells at Nagisa on stage to not worry about him or Sanae is just stupid. The message itself was not, but it was ruined with incredibly overdramatic motions on Akio’s part, and a ridiculous amount of “dramatic” camera angles on part of the show itself. If they hadn’t don’t those two things, it honestly would have been more dramatic.

This is also an example of something the show also manages to do right, though. This being the tension between Tomoya and his father. It never does anything overdramatic between the two, or even completely explain the story behind it. You just see Tomoya looking disappointingly at his father, or sometimes when his dad tries to do something, Tomoya gets this seriously pissed-off look on his face and leaves. Those interactions are miles more dramatic then shoving the camera into people’s crying faces or having them do over-the-top hand and arm motions when talking.

But getting back to Child-Kotomi, there’s another point I want to address: why do Key works always revolve the drama and tragic backstories around little girls?

I mean, it’s your choice what characters you want to do, it’s your work after all, but the fact that it’s always girls – usually young ones at that – makes me a bit wary of Key. Are they not confident enough to write drama for male characters or just adults? Are they scared that they won’t be able to force tears from people unless they have these bad things happen to young girls? As I said, it’s up to writer what they want to write, but it just seems slightly suspicious, like they aren’t confident enough in their writing so they feel like making little girls cry is a good fallback to make the audience sad.

Which reminds me of the last point in regards to drama I wanted to mention: the massive focus on characters crying.

Now, having characters cry is not inherently a bad thing, after all, it’s natural to cry when bad things happen, but when you focus way too much on the characters crying, it’s almost like the show doesn’t feel like you’ll feel genuinely sad for what’s happening, so they try to make you cry by showing other people crying. This is stupid and exploitative, because it unfortunately works on some people. Nothing against those people, all my blame goes on the writers and/or director of the show.

“Wait, why is that a bad technique?” I hear you ask. Well, other than it being shallow as all hell, it’s basically the equivalent of a laugh track. If writers or directors don’t feel like the audience will know when to laugh or think the jokes aren’t funny, they’ll have a laugh track so that audience is subconsciously told, “this is where you’re supposed to laugh”. After all, laughing is contagious, and people want to treat crying in the same manner. Now, some shows are more guilty of this than Clannad (*cough* Ano Hana *cough*), but they still do it.

The next few episodes aren’t really an arc, but I like to consider them to be Ryou’s, Kyou’s, and Tomoyo’s arcs, since they’re featured pretty prominently in them. There isn’t much going on as far as plot goes for these episodes, so I guess I’ll just talk about the characters.

I said before most of the female cast wasn’t very good, and the Fujibayashi sisters are a good example. Ryou is honestly a completely worthless character. First of all, she has no personality. You might say she has a shy personality, but that’s really only occasionally with Tomoya. She holds plenty of normal conversations with him, other people, she seems to have plenty of friends, and she’s the class representative or whatever. Those don’t sound like things a shy person would do.

The show also never shows why Ryou likes Tomoya. She just does, and that’s it. Ryou may as well have been replaced with a piece of cardboard. They’re about the same in regards to feeling like an actual person.

They also never explain why Kyou likes Tomoya, but at least she has enough of a personality to make you actually care about her. Though the show tries to push that she has an aggressive personality, it’s not consistent. She has just as many normal conversations with people as she does aggressive encounters. It’d be more correct to say that she’s volatile, or she has a short fuse. That and she’s got enthusiasm and confidence.

It’s just too bad that it seems like she doesn’t have a life outside of Tomoya. Think about it, what is Kyou doing when she’s either not with Tomoya, or at home with her sister? You never know because the show never says. There’s even a scene where she says she can’t do something because she’ll be busy “doing stuff”. What stuff? Skiing? Rollerblading? The world will never know.

Now, I hope I don’t have to explain why it’s important for a character to have a personality, so I won’t. Rather, I’ll explain why it’s important to show that the girls like Tomoya.  You see, due to the fact that these various girls like him, there’s supposed to be some very small tension going on, so that at the least, you’ll feel bad for the girls that don’t win his affections. If you’re simply told that a girl likes him, it becomes a plot point rather than something genuine about the character. So when they don’t end up winning his affections, you couldn’t care less. They even try and make it all dramatic, and they cry, but you don’t feel sad because the characters lost something they don’t even seem to need. At best they were simply physically attracted to Tomoya, but that just makes the fact that they didn’t end up with him a good thing; now they can actually find someone they genuinely like.

At least the two male characters are well-written. Tomoya is the delinquent and troll with a heart of gold, and Sunohara is the delinquent, idiot, and clown with a heart of gold. They honestly carry the show since most of the female cast is so lacklustre.

However, if you noticed, I said most of the female cast. That’s because there’s one character that’s actually handled well. Yep, that’d be Tomoyo. She has a personality, has a life outside of Tomoya, and we’re actually shown how she falls for him.

Tomoyo’s a vigilante, she’s confident, tries to help out people where she can (like how she patrols during the Founder’s Festival for troublemakers), but at the same time, she’s trying to be seen as more feminine. It’s not the most complex character personality or struggle ever, but it’s very solid.

As for life outside of Tomoya, you know that she’s working towards become the student council president, so you can assume whenever she’s not on screen, she’s doing work to make that happen. You even get to find out later that she wants to join in order to save some cherry/sakura trees, and why she cares about them. Again, nothing overly complex, but still very solid and hits all the check marks.

The way she falls for Tomoya is actually decently subtle, a word I didn’t think Key had in their dictionary. They occasionally chatted for a bit whenever Sunohara was being stupid, but later on Tomoya actually saves her from being recruited by the Judo Club captains. Tomoyo is impressed that he stood up to them, and while talking with him, realizes that he’s a pretty nice guy. At this point, she basically considers them to be friends; Tomoya is most likely thinking the same thing. The next episode, she tries to be helpful by waking him up to get to school on time. When she goes to talk to him about being tardy during lunch, Kyou shows up and takes him away due to a previous promise. Sunohara then asks Tomoyo if she’s interested in Tomoya. She says that’s not the case, but then after thinking for a second considers that it actually might be a possibility. From there, she continues to hang out with him and wake him up, and her feelings for him grow along the way.

If Sunohara hadn’t asked her what he did at that one lunch, she may very well not have developed feelings for Tomoya. She just saw their relationship as being friends, and Sunohara’s the one that planted the idea of romance in her head. Due to that, it actually happens. Honestly, I think that was extremely clever. It’s just too bad the rest of the female cast couldn’t have gotten the same level of development and such.

And now we finally reach the last arc – Nagisa’s. Oh boy is there a lot to say about her character and the way she was handled in regards to the plot.

I hate Nagisa. She’s annoying. I said way back at the beginning that I have a bias towards characters that end their sentences with “desu~”, but Nagisa is annoying for more reasons than just that. Her personality is just the annoying kind of stupid. She’s not fun to watch, she makes me sigh with almost everything she says. Though it’s weird that they managed to make Nagisa stupid in an annoying way considering her parents are basically the prime example of how to do stupid in an endearing way. This is probably because half the time you can’t decide whether they’re genuinely stupid, or if they’re just playing around. But it’s done extremely well, and they’re two of the funniest characters in the show. Every show should look towards those characters as an example of how to do dumb characters in a funny and entertaining way.

Also, Nagisa can’t do anything on her own. She accomplishes absolutely nothing in the show without Tomoya’s help. He helps her start the club, he helps her study for the play, he admonishes her when she does something wrong, etc. etc. She does nearly nothing of merit. The only positive about her is that other than being stupid, her personality is that of someone who cares more about others than herself.

Perhaps I’d like Nagisa more if the show hadn’t handled her progression with Tomoya in a completely stupid way. Remember before when I said that Fuko’s arc wasn’t just about Fuko? Well the arc was also to give progression for Tomoya and Nagisa’s relationship, since they basically acted as parents to Fuko, something Nagisa herself says in one of the episodes which makes them both blush. There’s also the occasional slight flirt in the arc, such as during the maid café part for the Founder’s Festival, where Tomoya tells her she looks the part.

However, then the show starts the Kotomi arc, where Nagisa gets all but abandoned so Tomoya can follow Kotomi around everywhere. That’s a good five or six episodes where Nagisa is hardly ever seen. Then the next four or so episodes focus on Kyou, Ryou, and Tomoyo, especially when Nagisa falls sick again. Then finally after she recovers, it’s made obvious that Tomoya has chosen Nagisa.

So basically there’s a giant chunk in the middle that completely disregards Nagisa, despite the fact she’s the main girl we’re supposed to like the most because she ends up with Tomoya.

I said way back at the beginning that this could have been fixed with one simple executive decision, and that’s to swap the Fuko and Kotomi arcs. Sure, there would’ve been a slight disconnect in regards to Nagisa from the intro episodes, but having Fuko’s arc lead into the fact that Tomoya chooses her makes infinitely more sense than abandoning the focus on her right in the middle of the show. Of course a few of the minor events that happen in each arc would have to be shuffled around a bit in order to fit the continuity, but it would have been worth it. Or you know what? They could have just removed Kotomi’s arc entirely. It was just overdramatic ridiculousness that introduced the plot point that Tomoya knew her as a kid which is information that never ever got used after her arc. It’s like the director just liked Kotomi, so they decided to animate her route without any actual confession at the end.

Anyways, my point is that it’s important to care about the relationship between the two people who actually get together, and putting a giant chunk of time where they hardly spend any time together right in the middle of the show is kind of a detriment to that.

You know who should have gotten a legitimate arc instead of Kotomi? Tomoyo! …Okay that’s just personal bias speaking, but she’s far and above the more interesting character! In fact, the show should have ended with them getting together. There’s a reason that when Key decided to do a spin-off, they chose Tomoyo.

Anyways, the only big positive I can give Clannad is that it was really funny when it wanted to be. It’s not too big of a surprise, Kyoto Animation has always been good at comedy when they aren’t so focused on moe. It almost makes me wish Clannad was a comedy rather than a romantic drama or whatever genre people like to call it nowadays.

Fun fact: this is the longest post I’ve ever written. It’s just over 4000 words, which makes it even longer than my post on why there’s no such thing as objectivity. I’m not sure whether this is something to be proud or sad about.

Anyways, this took absolutely forever to write up, but I kinda of like this ultra-analysis style of reviewing. Perhaps I’ll do this on more shows from now on. Or at least shows that somewhat deserve it, because I’m not going to spend days analyzing a completely mediocre show.


70 Comments on “Why Clannad is Overrated (In the Form of a Review)”

  1. Vincent says:

    I hated this show to the core, and it is nice to see somebody rip it to shreds like you have done.

  2. Game8910 says:

    I agree the drama in Clannad is not that great but it works great as a comedy. However I do like the characters and Kyou was prob my fav one. It also seems you havent watched After Story yet so I wonder if your opinion will change then.

    You mentioned they don’t show how Kyou falls for Tomoya, AS kinda shows it.
    You mentioned they don’t have drama for male characters. AS has one and the 2nd half can be pretty much considered the Tomoya arc since he is the main focus.

    I want to see want you think of the 2nd part of the series. While I don’t share the opinion of it being a masterpiece like many will say (and to be frank the 1st half of AS is pretty boring imo). When it comes to the drama it at least manages to handle it better at certain points throughout the 2nd half.

    • Riyoga says:

      TOMOYO 4 LYFE.

      And goddamnit, you’re not seriously going to make me watch After Story, are you? I avoided it as much as possible after Clannad. The only thing I watched was Nagisa dying, because I’m a dick and it made me feel happy.

      • Emerald says:

        Glad to see that Nagisa’s death was enjoyed by others besides myself. :3

      • Jason546 says:

        I won’t tell you to watch After Story, but I would love to see you tear After Story to shreds just like you did with season one. After Story is what makes Clannad truly overrated, not to mention the fact that I think Tomoya and Nagisa are incompatible together.

        • Ross says:

          To bad everything you be random incorrect bs that this article was and have to wait for someone with a brain to actually correct it

  3. Ritsuioko23 says:

    Glad to see that we think on the same brain wave.

  4. Marow says:

    You like Tomoyo? You got great taste. Maybe you should watch the OVA. It’s better than the entire series.

    • Riyoga says:

      The Tomoyo After OVA is indeed a lot better. The excessive crying at the end is pretty bad, but everything else combined with a character you can actually care about still makes it infinitely better than the actual show.

      • Jason546 says:

        While Kyou maybe my favorite girl to get together with Tomoya, I think Tomoyo would be the most compatible with Tomoya. I’ll be looking forward for when Key decides to animate Tomoyo After, it was better than Nagisa’s After Story.

  5. Sandra says:

    It makes me happy to see someone have the exact same complaints about the characters of Clannad that I did. You even had the same exception (Tomoyo)! Watching it was honestly gruelling for me because of that. Any female character they spent any reasonable amount of time on ranged from flat and boring to downright annoying.

    Also, while After Story does get better in some ways, it also becomes ten times more exploitative (showing people cry to make you cry; this worked on me in After Story but they were also bitter tears of anger at the fact that I was crying over something stupid that I didn’t actually care about) and has one of the most insulting endings anime has ever graced us with. And too much Nagisa. You won’t like that.

    • Riyoga says:

      I heard about the ending to After Story. I guess my “magical unicorn randomly shows up that grants wishes and solves everyone’s problems” wasn’t just an insult to Clannad, but an actual plot point.

      And Nagisa is still terrible.

  6. Well, your post only makes me wonder the more why Clannad is so popular. And it is astounding that a show can be so bad that it takes longer to explain its deficiencies than to adequately explain why objectivity doesn’t exist. But, some shows are really so terrible that one cannot exhaust the reasons for it being a flop!

    • Riyoga says:

      To be fair to Clannad, I’ve gotten better at rambling and explaining things over the course of about two years. If this had been one of my first posts, I probably would have only made it to 1000 words at best. That and I still concede that it’s pretty funny 50% of the time.

      But it’s still one of the most overrated shows ever.

  7. shiranui51 says:

    I agree on the fact that fuko, nagisa and ryou are bad characters ( but nagisa prents are great ) but I think that almost all other characters are really great and that it’s one of the big strenghts of the show, I hated the thing with the junk robot and the other world but that’s not a big problem as the anime is slice of life style. Most girls seems to have no reasons to like tomoya but there’s the same problem in almost every anime of the same style, and tomoya is a better character compared to the typical harem holder.

  8. *slow clap*

    Excellent write-up sir! While I’ve seen plenty of high, and eccentric, praise for Clannad, I myself have never been convinced of its greatness. I mean, the show is just so methodically dull, and I felt that even it’s comedy was lackluster throughout the entirety of the series. Yet the biggest shortcoming is that Key (and often KyoAni) relies way too much on the two Ms: moe and melodrama. They painfully don’t focus enough on worthwhile character building and congruent storytelling. And I find it weird that so many people overlook such huge flaws.

    I now really want to know if you’ve seen Hyouka, which I think is KyoAni’s best show by far. So please let me know if you’ve had the time to get around to it, or if you’re planning on getting to it sometime soon.

    Anyway, it was a very prodigious post and one you should be quite proud of!

    • Riyoga says:

      As I conceded, I actually did like the comedy in the show. I like troll-ish humour.

      I haven’t seen Hyouka. I was going to watch it that season, but I got overloaded with real life stuff and I had to drop quite a few shows that I hadn’t started. Hyouka was one of them. I may eventually watch it, but it isn’t a high priority.

  9. starlytes says:

    I’m getting really sick and tired of seeing constant flaming for this anime. It’s getting incredibly boring and tedious. There are plenty of anime for you to pick on so you can always choose something else. Clannad has just become some target anime, which it never used to be. It’s not the best anime but it’s not the worst either. There were good points and bad points but for the amount of praise it recieved it;s obvious the positives outweigh the negatives.
    Clannad was never a favourite until I saw After Story, but obviously you wouldn’t want to see that considering your unlimited loathing for the first season.I suggest you don’t anyway, because you will just hate what happens near the end.
    As for overrated, the rating for this show aren’t exactly high but for overhyped, that would be more the case. I can see why you didn’t like the show very much but if you are planning to do a reverse psychology or to make Clannad drag down from the list -forget it. That’s why you make these pointless blogs, You want to make the viewer feel bad for even watching it. It has it’s flaws (what anime doesn’t) but they’re not that noticeable to make the show really terrible. I think it’s time this anime got a break. I even got bored of seeing Naruto backlash and I don’t even like Naruto.

    • Riyoga says:

      Woah, calm down dude. You make it seem like I wrote this just to specifically piss you off.

      I don’t loathe Clannad. I even made sure to mention this at the very beginning, which makes it look like you didn’t even get past the title.

      Indeed, overhyped is a more fitting word choice, but it’s too late for me to change the title. I’ll just have to live with my slip up.

      I wish I had the power to affect rankings like that. No, I just want to put an opposing opinion out there. You say that everyone flames the show, but I just see endless praise everywhere. I’m sorry if those are the only opinions you come across.

      Pointless blogs? Make the viewer feel bad? Did a blog steal your lunch money in elementary school or something?
      Blogs exist because people want opinions. If those opinion make people rethink their own, then that’s how it goes. Opinions can do that. Nobody is trying to make anyone feel bad in the process.

  10. starlytes says:

    I apologise if you think I’m being a nuisance but if this was the only blog I had seen then I wouldn’t have minded so much.

    • Riyoga says:

      No, I appreciate every comment I get. I just wasn’t aware that there was a large portion of people that flamed the show. Like I said, all I ever see is praise.
      It’s understandable that a 4000 word post about the show’s faults would annoy you if you see negative opinions on the show regularly.

  11. seadart says:

    Thanks for the review. I agree with you. Clannad has too many escapist elements for the themes it trying to convey to viewers.I decided to make a review for the visual novel: http://seadartshanger.blogspot.com/2013/01/visual-novel-review-1-clannad.html

    • Riyoga says:

      I finally had a good chunk of free time to read your post, but now it’s gone? Dunno if it’s Blogspot or you changing sites or whatever, but it’s down.

  12. RoeDeer says:

    I shared the same opinion as you when I first watched Clannad, and even though there were some enjoyable moments, it was too overhyped for it’s own good. The interesting part didn’t happen until much later in the series. For me it got good about episode 18 and this was Tomoyo’s backstory. I too love Tomoyo. She’s my favourite girl in Clannad. I loved how sweet and sad her story was, shame it was so short. But THAT is how drama should be executed, unlike Fuko’s and Kotomi’s arcs, which I wouldn’t consider “terrible” but more of guilty pleasures. Fuko’s was horrible in drama. It was so contrived. The only thing that kept me going was Tomoya’s pranks, (Tomoya is my favourite character in the show) and then it eased off in Kotomi’s arc, which I found slightly better than Fuko’s arc because she actually had a story behind her, which Fuko’s didn’t. In fact, Fuko’s arc was like a poor spin-off of Makoto’s arc in Kanon, which was not only emotional but very well told, also considering I liked Makoto far more than Fuko.

    But again Kotomi’s arc suffered from melodrama, just like Fuko’s and the story just got cheesy and laughable instead of emotional. I did feel sorry for Kotomi but there are some things that shouldn’t be taken literally, with drama being shoved in your face rather than earning a response from the viewer. Clannad would have been better as a full-time comedy.

    After Story, now this is where the series gets really really good. This was the spotlight for Clannad. I had low expectations for After Story because the first Clannad was average at most and I expected a lot more than that. The first couple of arcs in After Story focus on minor side characters which seemed to bother some people but to me, I found that more interesting because there were mysteries surrounding these characters as well as the main ones. The good thing about these arcs is that they aren’t too long so they don’t take up too much time and let the other characters go into full development, which is great. The drama is fairly good as well, you actually care about these characters and the way you get sucked in so quickly is unbelieveable. Now the middle of After Story is AMAZING. Even those who dislike this anime have to admit that. I don’t know one single person who hated that part of After Story. This is the master of true tears, something you probably haven’t experienced in a long time. This is Tomoya’s story and focuses on his struggles and becoming stronger solving these mysteries and the whole thing is just excellent. It stands as one of my favourite animes and I don’t regret watching it one bit. But if you really hate Nagisa then I would probably give it a bit of time. It all depends on how much you liked Tomoya since the story is really about him, even though there is a lot of Nagisa involved. You could always give it a bash and see how it turns out.

  13. Norah says:

    Yay someone that FINALLY understands how I feel everytime my friends compare this piece of shit to Grave of the Fireflies. Honestly, you don’t even know how much this made my day.

    People make this show seem like it’s literally the most intense anime that will change your view of the world forever. I watched the entire series, but it killed me to do so. (You know how peer-pressure is.) I completely agree with everything you mentioned. To me it’s like watching some soap opera like All of My Children or something.

    I never shed one tear watching it, and even laughed at the terribly “sad” parts. The humor was okay at most, but nothing special, I don’t know, if it’s just me but to me this entire anime was very cliche and boring.

    And for Nagisa, she was so Mary Sue that it actually HURT. Yes, I am a hater of this show. Maybe because I was forced into watching it from my best friends. Also because they told me that this anime was sadder then one of my all time favorite movies ever. (The one I mentioned above, which happens to be set during WWII, and is based off a true story. It’s kind of like Schindlers list, except the main protagonist is a 14 year old boy and his little sister.)

    Yeah. So, they compared this to a World War II film. And said it was “sadder.” I mean what the fuck? Clannad isn’t even on the border of realistic. Everything that happens is so overly dramatic that it’s just sickening. I hate this anime. Yeah, I guess this is a flame. But I don’t even care anymore, because all the good concepts of Clannad was ruined for me.

  14. RandomDudette *>* says:

    Thank god I’m not the only one who thinks clannad is overrated. It wasn’t that sad. Though made me feel bad for not crying when the characters are crying. Definitely LOVE Tomoyo. I was glad they made an OVA for the Tomoyo ending.

    And the fans are exaggerating. Whenever I listen to a clannad OST, there has to be people saying how they were bawling their eyes out. And I’m like : “ooookay…It’s just music…” It was sad I guess, but I don’t think it’s possible to cry over music. IDK just my opinion.

    • NekoNyanCat says:

      Oh yes, the fanbase. Sometimes someone would say how the anime was sad and left them depressed ( Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Fate/Zero etc.) A clannad fan would come up and say “Dude, Have you WATCHED clannad?” …Uh, yes. Are you trying to imply that clannad is sadder? Yes. IS it sadder? NO.

  15. Jerry says:

    Clannad is a masterpiece, there’s no way around it. If you don’t like romance or slice of life then obviously you are not going to like this. It is a masterpiece simply because of the underlying themes that are shown throughout the show. it is not only a story about family, but also a coming of age story. The only things that could be really taken away from this show are the dub(which takes away all seriousness from the anime) the first season(mainly because it stayed faithful to its visual novel roots, but still enjoyable to watch because of comedy sad moments and overall an important part for the story.) mainly the fact that this story starts off a little slow but that still shouldn’t detract from it too much. after story is so special because it is very unique in the way that it takes in the hardships of real life after they graduate and is able to show the struggles that we will eventually have to struggle with in our life. Not only is this a story about real life but also has a lot of depth in it with the orbs and the second world. It leaves a lot of room for interpretation and is able to evoke strong feelings from the audience. You can’t really say a series is overrated when it is able to accomplish this with so many people. clannad is a purely average show(maybe below average) but when you add in after story, it truly makes all of it so special. I am not saying that EVERYBODY will absolutely love it, but calling a series overrated especially when you haven’t even seen after story(which is what ppl love about it ) is not really justified.

    • Riyoga says:

      >Post is about first season of Clannad
      >Does nothing but praise After Story and admits the first season isn’t that good

      Your abuse of buzzwords and my disagreement with your praise of After Story aside, you basically made a long, off-topic comment that actually has you agreeing with the main point of this post. It’s sort of funny in an ironic way.

    • Jason546 says:

      I agree that Clannad is a good series, but to say that it’s a masterpiece is a huge face palm for me. While I can tolerate season one of Clannad, most of After Story is just depressing melodrama (especially after Nagisa’s death), not to mention the the ending was terrible. As for the dub, it was one of my favorite dubs. And to say that being overrated isn’t justified if you haven’t seen After Story just doesn’t make any sense considering that you have to at least somewhat like Clannad to even be interested in After Story. If you like Clannad and it happens to be one of your favorite series, that’s fine, but is it really unjustified to call it overrated if you haven’t seen After Story?

  16. renniechea says:

    I love your videos on youtube dude!! You have a blog, on wordpress which is even more cool. Glad to see you here! :D

  17. foxsjams says:

    I personally loved Clannad but I can understand why you didn’t like it very much. The first season is pretty vague and doesn’t really classify on any of the side charcters. I know you said this is not about After Story, but After Story is actually the key to the whole series because it is then the characters develop their backstories and the conclusion to the IW is revealed, though it’s not done particularly executed in the best way possible so don’t expect it to be perfect. This is what happens when you have really high expectations of a show, so I’m not going to disagree that it can get overhyped. As depressing as After Story goes, I’ve seen worse, such as Grave of the Fireflies and Wolf’s Rain, which both surpassed depression level for me.

  18. 420OtakuCultureForever says:

    I find it kinda depressing how someone can’t just sit back and enjoy relaxing to some Clannad. I can’t even comprehend the mental process that goes through a person’s mind when they hate on this show. Not enjoying both seasons of this series just means that you’ve missed the opportunity of a lifetime on being able to experience the emotional roller coaster that is Clannad After Story. Truth be told, the show clearly has its flaws mainly due to character design choice, but in the long run its a masterpiece. That is why its ranked up there with other shows like Code Geass, Fullmetal Alchemist and Steins; Gate. People only doubt the greatness of Clannad because the story was difficult to understand and can’t put everything into perspective. The journey it takes you on is extraordinary and you’d have to be completely oblivious not to realize that. This show holds a special place in my heart and when I see an entire blog dedicated to saying that Clannad doesn’t deserve the credit that it gets is uncalled for, but hey, you’re only human and I can let this one slip with no hard feelings. FYI a bunch of statements in this post are proven wrong by After Story. If only more people had a little common sense.

    • Riyoga says:

      I find it hilariously ironic that you hate on me for apparently being some pretentious asshole for not loving Clannad like it’s my own child, yet you say things like, “People only doubt the greatness of Clannad because…” Yeah, I’m the pretentious one. Your comment reads like someone from a cult. Or, you know, standard religious propaganda.

      Plus, your shameless attempt to guilt trip me falls flat on its face, and always will for anyone with any actual self-respect. I could just as easily take your argument and replace “why can’t you just enjoy Clannad” with “why don’t you have standards and actually use your brains while consuming media?”, and the arguments would hold the exact same weight. They’re just bland, emotional pleas. If you really want to convince me I’m wrong, go over each point I make and explain why I’m wrong. THAT would get my attention in a good way.

      Also, how would my statements about the first season be proven wrong in a completely different season? I know you people think After Story can practically cure cancer, but the first season was just not that good. Get over it.

      • Jason546 says:

        Not to mention that After Story has a lot of depressing melodrama that tries to make you cry way to much. In my opinion, After Story is no better than the first season.

        • foxsjams says:

          At least After Story handles the drama in a more appropriate way, unlike the first Clanna, which was not meant to be a drama in the first place. That was the mistake. You either have a series of drama or comedy but not mashed in together until you don’t know when to laugh or to cry. After Story was more depressing, but actually handled the comedy parts very well and I actually didn’t see it as “trying too hard to be sad” as you put it, especially in the latter. It all seemed real natural emotions which is what made it great. Besides that, Kanon 2006 has a perfect balance of comedy and drama and I also think it was directed better as well.

    • Diane says:

      You’re basically saying that Clannad is good because Clannad is good. Instead of using circular reasoning (i.e. saying something is good just because it is) you should try to use “common sense” (see what I did there) and use facts to prove your point. Persuading others is not a matter of calling people stupid just because this anime was oh so special for you. If only you had a little common sense.

      BTW http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circular_reasoning

  19. Ross says:

    This is a horribly incorrect article desu is a formality that is used at the end up sentences to speak formal with someone. In Japan showing respect is considered important so this would develop Nagisa not hinder her. For the luggage people write if lost please return to letters. Not every character is developed and Fuko is not spelled out but is still very believable its too bad you have to think about this story unlike something you are used to like one piece. One possibility is Fuko is only there for people who can view her and non existent to those who can’t this also leads in to after story. There are so many things wrong with this article I argued most of the non opinionated objects in this article

  20. Kahlan says:

    These are the exact same issues I had with Clannad. Any message they tried to get across was brain numbingly stupid and the whole show’s goal was just to squeeze as many tears out of you as they possibly could. The only interesting and likeable characters were Sunohara, Tomoya, and Tomoyo. Heck, my favorite episode of this train wreck was the alternate ending with Tomoyo and Tomoya. I think Clannad could’ve been so much better if they had more interesting characters and a good solid plot that doesn’t make me confused by the end.

  21. Pamdas says:

    As a foreigner, I can’t write as capable as you can, but I utterly agree with you. Before I watch any anime, I look at the rate and reviews of that anime. This tactic of trying to find enjoyable and well plotted anime worked out for me since high rated anime such as Full Metal Alchemist satisfied me, but I still question why Clannad is part of the famous anime.

    As you said, I agree that you can just take out the useless episodes such as the part where it talks about Kotomi’s past. Everyone spares their time, and if some episodes aren’t there to support the story, they shouldn’t have put it in the first place. Yet, I tolerated all these despicable waste of time because I hoped to see Kyou being married to Tomoya after the death of Nagisa (I was spoiled about the death of Nagisa before watching). However I was very disappointed when they tried to fit their story unrealistically to bring Nagisa back to her life. It is not like they explained the reasons well also.

    Overall, I seriously hate this anime although I cried a little at the last few episodes of After Story, but wasting 10 hours of watching weak story to shed a drop of tear is extremely worthless. I would like to recommend other anime for people who hadn’t watch Clannad yet because there are many other anime with story 10x better than Clannad.

  22. Buck Wade says:

    Dude, I think you were watching the Japanese dub version with english subtitles. In Japanese, desu is put at the end of a sentence as in a, or is. Before you judge a word your unfamiliar with, look it up.

  23. Buck Wade says:

    People overreact to any sad moments. Drama is a genre. Putting in drama is like putting an action scene. What matters is if it actually has an impact on the story, but people take drama too far and think that putting drama makes a story good. If it gives character depth, or development, or actually provide something to the overrall story, then it’s good, but people treat it like it’s all amazing

  24. Buck Wade says:

    I learned that when watchnig something like clannad you have to watch it like your watching a person’s life and the hardships they go through. And the arcs in the 1st season gave character depth and development to the other characters, so they aren’t pointless at all.

  25. foxsjams says:

    Just to add from my previous message, (sorry it’s been such a long time) have you watched Kanon 2006? If not, I definitely think you should. You’ll like that far more than the first season of Clannad. I guarantee it. It’s one of my favourite animes and does a much better job at explaining events in the story. I look forward to seeing your review, once you finish it. I really think you’ll like it :)

  26. cyjanidybel says:

    Raising my middle finger to those puritans who defend this show with the aforementioned ‘circular reasoning’. People have been pointing this out left and right and yes Clannad had its strengths(I am cackling bitterly as I acknowledge the fact that the Fuko arc duped and reduced me to tears and that I once thought Kotomi was a darling)—but guess what?

    With a god awful ending like that, you can’t expect /some/ people to avoid After Story like a plague.

    Watching Clannad was one of, if not, my honest worst anime experiences. Ever. I don’t care if After Story redeems the whole thing. If the first title doesn’t make me want to watch more then I won’t. Bitter regret after watching it still consumes me to this day.

    Also surprised how nothing was mentioned about how Nagisa is not only annoying and bland but she’s also incredibly downplayed like a damsel parasite to Tomoya every time she’s on the screen. It’s not even just how ‘she can’t do anything without Tomoya’— it’s how dependency is disgustingly over-dramatized with her.

    Yuck. This entire thing (After Story spoilers included, imho) just stinks of bad fanfiction to me. The amount of hate I have for this show is amazing i’m so sorry.

  27. citrin189 says:

    As someone else mentioned watch Kanon 2006. You’ll definitely like that far more than Clannad (first season mainly). Although I think Clannad is okay, you’ve given it a much worse name than it really deserves.

  28. nishimurapeter says:

    You’re the first person I’ve seen to view Clannad in a negative light. Of course, to each, their own, but one thing I think we should remember is that enjoyable is not the same as complex. You dislike the female characters because they’re bland, and to a certain extent, they are, but I think that’s the whole point. Originally, these girls would be potential love interests for Tomoya (Clannad was first a visual novel). They are placed into certain archetypes for that very reason: in the visual novel, you are supposed to ultimately end up with one of these girls, and I do believe the visual novel goes more in-depth to these girls should you get together with them. That said, this is an anime; the writers could only do so much.

    Furthermore, I do agree that Clannad is not the best show there is, and other comments here have argued for After Story. I do think that you should check it out because as many people have said here, praise for this show lies in After Story, not Clannad. Though, again, I do not deny that where this show has a really big hole (the ending of After Story).

    You gave an interesting review. I don’t agree with it, but hey, what can I do?

  29. Himejima Akeno says:

    As a watcher, I am the type who will watch a show without asking a lot of questions, simply riding the waves of whatever happens and letting my emotions go where they will. I know that it might seem like an ignorant way to go about watching anime, but I find that I will get the most enjoyment out of shows I watch by doing so, and for me, enjoyment is the most important thing to consider when watching anime. By no means am I saying that people shouldn’t question the shows they watch, if anything I think it is good to do so.

    Using this with regards to Clannad, I moderately enjoyed the first season. Simply sitting back and watching things unfold made me like it better than many of the more analytical watchers. AS is what gave me the most enjoyment though, so if you haven’t already, I suggest you at least give it a try. It might not sound very convincing after what I just said, but others have told you the same thing. Regardless, the review was well written and interesting, especially since I have only heard praises for Clannad. It was nice to hear a different perspective.

  30. Evergreen says:

    Finally, people who actually have the balls to criticize Clannad :D
    I cannot stand it when faggots (the kind who create the stupidest bandwagon groups and cliques) say this is the best anime ever, and shove it into people’s faces. They literally attack every person who tries to stand up for those who really hate this show for good reasons. I personally haven’t shed a single tear-so what the heck made them cry?? People actually cry over forced drama and stupid characters with tragic pasts?? Cannot compute. But I do agree that Tomoya was a refreshing character. He’s much more realistic and interesting than those other wimpy harem guys with nerdy looks and shit :/ And I love Sunohara and Tomoyo! I was also drawn to Kotomi was first introduced, but I actually wanted to see more of her. She was Tomoya’s childhood friend, but her story is just tossed out of the window once her arc ends O_o wtf. Anyway, Tomboy chicks and mysterious chicks like Tomoyo seem more interesting than the usual cutesy (vomits in mouth a little) moe girls… And speaking of which, I heard that Japanese men love cute and/or feminine woman. That must be why they are turned on by the annoying “kawaiiiiii” sounds and chipmunk voices they pull. Which is creepy cuz I just think of pedophiles that way lol. Also, something interesting I learned is that Clannad is originally a visual novel (a dating sim with different routes and endings depending on which girl you choose); that’s why they tried to stuff every damn girl from the game into the anime.
    As for the annoying characters-Nagisa was indeed very annoying… They at least should have made her into a more interesting character-like, say, her dad for example. Her dad was freaking awesome. She cries about how much she disappoints her parents, but she doesn’t try anything out herself, which is just digging deeper into the pit that she’s already created for herself 9_9. And Fuko was freaking annoying. I wanted to strangle her the moment I heard her speak. I don’t even know why she was in there. It was pointless.
    Note to directors: A point of an adaptation is to change things up from the original source (in this case, the game). You could have omitted some (maybe most) of the girls-but no, you had to stuff them in even though they had no purpose in the story at all! You could have either made more episodes to develop these characters and make people care about them, or made it more memorable through the use of only a small handful of this ridiculously large cast. I hate repeating myself, but to this day, I still don’t understand why this TRIPE of a show got the highest rating in the history of anime. Fans, you suck. You’ve been riding a giant ass dildo called Exploitation.

  31. BlueMoon says:

    I hate Clannad/After Story too. I wish it never existed.

  32. […] interesting thought as to how, specifically, emotionally manipulative these shows are. Riyoga’s Ramblings writes that placing so much emphasis on characters crying is a sign that their creators aren’t […]

  33. Sheena says:

    In the visual novel, Nagisa story arc was actually pretty boring and dry. Kyoto animation did a good job with making her somewhat interesting; but not enough to make her a favorite. The only reason I liked her route/arc was because of Ushio. Tomoya should’ve been with Tomoyo or a least Kotomi. Their arcs in both the VN and the anime, were the best and most interesting. Nagisa was my least favorite character in the whole VN and anime. I’m glad key made Tomoyo After: It’s a Wonderful Life, it was such a beautiful story. Now if only they would make Kotomi’s after story…

  34. Momo says:

    I didn’t know feminine traits are considered bad. Ryou does have a personality. She’s a shy and socially awkward individual, so I can relate to her. So I’m a bloody piece of cardboard? Nah, I don’t think so. Kotomi’s arc wasn’t great, admittedly, but Tomoyo is as melodramatic as the others, so please don’t try to ‘angelize’ her. She too has a tragic past, and it’s not believable either. And if she’s good at kicking ass and is cool and calm, that makes her a good character? No! I usually like ‘feminine’ characters and Yamato Nadeshiko.
    I like the Nagisa x Tomoya relationship, because it’s believable. It’s not like most romances- Nagisa doesn’t immediately develop romantic feelings for Tomoya. It paces gradually- statically.
    Tomoya isn’t the playboy. Nagisa says desu because it’s part of the Japanese language. It’s a formality that is used to express humbleness. Though I’ll agree with you that some shows feature characters that overuse this term to the point of getting annoying, I didn’t find it as such here. Ryou and Kyou like Tomoya because they have known him for a great deal of time. It’s young love, or puppy love as adults used to say. Being as this isn’t a sci-fi thriller or shonen, they don’t need a huge life threatening ordeal to flesh them out. Just being familiar with each other for so long.

    Riaz Gremory

    • Momo says:

      Sorry I couldn’t add this earlier, but I just wanted to tell you to think of CLANNAD like this:
      Suppose there’s this really quiet girl. Once you get to know her, you realize that she’s actually pretty nice, but shy. You would like her, right? Because she’s kind and lends you bread.
      Now suppose there’s this girl who keeps on beating you. You wouldn’t really like that. In one case- think of it realistically. People tend to like mysterious and delinquent-ish girls- though they aren’t that likable in reality. People just mindlessly hate ‘overly nice’ and ‘selfless’ girls, though they’re actually like likable in reality.
      P.S: Ignore the Rias Gremory PLZ. I wrote two posts on one Word Office, so it accidentally got pasted -_-

      • Riyoga says:

        These read like someone who’s mad about my opinions, so they took everything I said on the most bare, surface level instead of bothering to understand the actual points I was making. Just saying.
        Part of that could be on my end due to wording and such, but not to this degree.

        Anyways, most of your arguments are based in too much faith. A recurring idea of “it’s okay because in reality…”. But this isn’t reality, it’s a fictional story and piece of entertainment. You can’t say Ryou, Kyou etc. have feelings for him because “well they did a bunch of stuff together off-screen and in the past” because then there’s no connection for the audience. It’s a hand-wave. A “this is the way characters are because we say so” rather than actually showing it.

        Also, I never said Tomoyo’s arc wasn’t melodramatic. It was just infinitely less jarring because you can actually give a shit about her as a character first, rather than the others where it tried to make you care about the character BY doing bad/sad things to them.

        • Momo says:

          I hope you didn’t think my post offensive.
          I’m a huge Childhood-Friend supporter, so I admit I’m probably biased because of Kotomi. The ‘reality’ part, I get it. But when people keep calling it ‘realistic’ and ‘believable’, it’s kinda hard to believe Kyō is liked among the fandom. I just wanted to say that Nagisa and Ryou are actually likable, and- well- not cardboard. I actually agree with you that Maeda should have shown some actual character interaction between Ryō and Tomoya. But it’s pretty much impossible to stuff 100 hours of gameplay into a small arc.
          I don’t actually particularly feel anything towards Tomoyo. Yeah, she’s an endearing character. She’s been through a ton of shit. But in the same case, one could also give a shit about Kotomi as a character. Why she acts so socially awkward? (I actually consider Kotomi’s behavior justifiable because PTSD and autism exist). And also Fuko. Why is she so weird? Or Nagisa. Why is she so physically weak?
          I hope you don’t think that I’m offending you in any way.

  35. Random-kun says:

    Hi! I really enjoyed this post, despite a few disagreements. I just wanted to clear some things, if you don’t mind!
    Fuuko Arc
    I didn’t like the Fuuko arc. Her existence puzzled me. Why are people forgetting her? Why don’t they see her? She’s something like Nishizono Mio from Little Busters! But Little Busters ~Refrain~ clears it up. Afterstory, however, doesn’t.

    Kotomi Arc
    When a plane crash-lands, it doesn’t just crash immediately. A warning might be issued through the speakers for passengers to follow the blinking arrows and exit. Kotomi’s parents probably understood that survival was difficult- So they wrote the letter then! They are scientists on business, so I don’t see any need to question why they carried a pen and envelope (Unless they hijacked the plane) I know it sounds stupid, but it’s my theory. After all, I don’t think it’s that improbable.

    I like Ryou, though that might have something to do with my secret infatuation with timid and feminine women. What I like about Ryou, as Momo said, that she’s sort of relatable. I actually consider it normal for a teenager to be sociable, but shy around her crush. But we’re two different minds, right? As for why Ryou has feelings for Tomoya, I have no idea.

    Disliking Clannad doesn’t make you a soulless monster, and there’s nothing wrong with liking it either. Hope I didn’t offend you with this comment! Plz answer. I want to see what you think about this!

  36. Eldebrand says:

    I don’t usually reply to these things as I will most likely never find this blog again. I just want to say that the reason Clannad’s arcs, characters, and plot points are ordered and written the way they are is because this show was created as a whole from the source material. The reason it is considered a masterpiece is because it did one of the best jobs of portraying its source material ever seen in anime. Also, the dead world is more important that you think, and I am guessing that you didn’t even notice the blue orbs near the tree at the end of the OP which is also important to the whole story. I will give you that the crying was exploitative, and that Nagisa (in the Japanese) was annoying. This is one of the few shows that I feel the English dub VAs did a better job. If you rate Clannad on its own, despite both shows being created together and aired separately merely because thats how it had to be done if they wanted to be faithful to the source, then you are going to view it as just another SOL romance. If however you take the work as a whole (which is Clannad and After Story) as intended by the creators and source material, then you will recognize that many of your complaints don’t hold up. This is the problem with season structures vs works as a whole, and why I and so many other fans of anime prefer to wait for a series to finish and just watch it as ONE thing.

  37. Answer me says:

    Wow. Just wow. This whole comment section sounds like raving readers expressing utter disgust or happiness, and a somewhat proud writer who calls everyone who doesn’t agree with him an ‘idiot’. Just saying… I am not an expert blogger, but for others to understand your opinion, you need to appreciate them for theirs. Don’t take this hard please. I don’t know a thing about blogging, but just don’t insult others.
    I’m probably going to be a nuisance now, but please bear with me, okay?

    The basic problem you have with this Anime is the characterization-or lack of. I, unlike you, found Ryou a 50/50 character. Certainly not a bland character, but bonus points for being the sis of Kyou! I wouldn’t call her card-board though. She’s not a main character, so you can see why her character is not elaborated on. If you had bothered to watch the Afterstory -OVA- called ‘The Year Before’, you can clearly see Kyou and Ryou’s relationship with Tomoya develop. Again, Maeda shouldn’t have cramped a crush into one episode, but overall, it’s good. I found the question why Ryou liked Tomoya pretty stupid, I’m not meaning to be rude, but why does Ryuuji like Taiga? (I can see why Taiga would like Ryuuji, but not the other way around) It is called puppy love or young love. You don’t like someone for a legitimate reason, it’s there and gone. As it is in Kappei’s route in the VN.The VN hints that Ryou never liked Tomoya. She just wanted to best Kyou.

    Fuuko? Fuck her arc. It was useless, but in one way or the other, it did prove to the viewer that the city of Hikarizaka is special. The observant ones noted the marginal realism and the rather vague hints of an alternate existence. But Fuuko is a very badly-written character. Her moe made me sick, but Tomoya trolling the shit out of her is the best aspect of the first season, I’m glad we agree on something!

    Now comes Kotomi. I like Kotomi as a character as her PTD and autism are at least, realistic. But, as a commentor said:
    When a plane crash-lands, it doesn’t just crash immediately. A warning might be issued through the speakers for passengers to follow the blinking arrows and exit. Kotomi’s parents probably understood that survival was difficult- So they wrote the letter then! They are scientists on business, so I don’t see any need to question why they carried a pen and envelope (Unless they hijacked the plane)
    They probably drifted on the debris like titanic… Or whatever. It’s not a good arc. I’m willing to let how Tomoya opened the doorknob, as it was made of wood, and if you had paid any attention at Science, wood can’t conduct heat. Also, wasn’t the fire in another corner of the room? These are nitpicky aspects, but I want to clear them.

    Nagisa started off as a likable character for me, but quickly descended into a somewhat self-righteous and Mary-Sueish character. She’s the idealization of the perfect woman (so is Tomoyo, but we’ll get back to that later) She can cook, is meek and submissive. Though Nagisa does have some character development, so might not cross the Mary Sue line. She barely survived though.Also, is plagued by self-guilt and always considers herself responsible. I don’t hate this trait. It’s admirable in some characters like Madoka from (PMMM) {I know this is irrelevant, but PMMM is overrated. Urobutcher ripped on Kamen Rider. We’re talking about overratedness so I might as well bring it up), but Nagisa is an exaggeration. She’s not necessarily a bad person, per see, but her characterization is terrible. Another thing we agree on! But please reconsider that ‘desu~” thing. I means ‘Please’ and is considered polite, but you can’t condemn Nagisa for something Japanese people do in general. It’s usually used for a stranger, and indicates politeness. It’s like ‘please’. Not everyone uses it, but it’s respectable.

    Getting on with Tomoyo. I don’t like Tomoyo. She’s too bland. It would be very hypocritical to call Nagisa a Mary Sue and not call Tomoyo one. She’s good at cooking, good at grades, intelligent, beautiful, kickass and popular. She doesn’t undergo any significant character development. She’s a Mary Sue. Her past is super-tragic, too. Luckily, Maeda doesn’t rub it in our face that ‘O SHE HAD A SAD PAST AND A QUIET CARAKTA SO SHE DESERVES FRIENDS AND TEH COMPASSION’ like he does with Nagisa. Also, even Maeda said that Tomoyo was modeled after admirable in a woman. I think that just proves Mary Sue-ness, but whatever. She was bearable at least.

    My favourite was undoubtedly Kyou. She had enthusiasm and confidence without being Mary Sue-ish or exaggerated. I totally ship Sunohara x Kyou (even though it borders abuse though lol), because it’s somewhat laughable to imagine Kyou punching him after he embarrasses her in front of their children (talk about domestic abuse). Hey, if I write a fanfic about it, would you read it? Also, Kyou calls Sunohara YOUHEI. YOUHEI!!! Why doesn’t he create a WHOLE SEASON FOR KYOU AND SUNOHARA CALLED YOUKYOU?!
    I’m sorry. I’m really sorry if I trashed your comment page.
    But PLEASE REPLY. I want to know what you think. I’m somehow always neglected by bloggers because they think I’m stupid -_-
    Not saying I’m not.

  38. Thespy says:

    Wow, so many idiots in one thread including OP. Go watch your favourite shit like Toradora, Elfen Lied, Hellsing Ultimate, Gurren Lagann, FLCL, Code Geass and die already.

  39. Hana says:

    Ya’ll ruined it for me. I watched this anime a while back and fell in love w/ it like omgg. and to this day i love it. But ya’ll ruined it. I don’t see it the same anymore. Was this eye opening or messed up?

  40. I just read the review and I liked almost all the things the op wrote. I guess the director of Clannad was trying to squeeze a lot of arcs in one season to make it longer and also to please their fans but with the whole objective of just trying to go with Nagisa in the end, making every arcs incomplete or just wasted. I think what could have been better is that if they made independent endings for each girl like what they did in Yosuga no Sora. Tomoyo and Kotomi are my favorite in the series since they are complete opposites with endearing personalities that I like. Let’s just hope Tomoyo After gets an anime adaptation.


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