Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ryan Reviews: Clannad ~After Story~ Eps 1-5

Hey folks, Nam is encouraging more actual posting in the blog so I figure I'd drop my two cents on one of the biggest anime titles of this fall season: Clannad ~after story~. I'll be using this post to catch you up with my thoughts on the show thus far.

Clannad ~After Story~ is a continuation of the original season Clannad, which is based off a well-known visual novel of the same name. The story picks up where the original left off and promises to keep true to the "after story" arc that is prevalent in the game.

I have never played the original game, so I wont be able to tell you if it's true to the original source, but I'll still be voicing my general opinion on my thoughts on the story itself.

Episode 1 : Love, Moe, and a tired cliche (done right).

The series kicks off with a simple baseball game. Despite it being a tired old gimmick in slice of life animes, it works very well for Clannad. We get to see all of the characters in their familiar setting and the characters are brought back into our memories using the methods that made them memorable in the first place. The episode stays light-hearted with many jokes and Sunohara thrashing as the beautiful animation from Kyoto Ani keeps our eyes peeled to the screen. In the end you may be left with a tear streaming down your eye, but it will be a tear of laughter. A excellent way to start the series. (Was that corny?)

Episode(s) 2-4 : A Mini-Sunohara Arc and "Onii-chan?"

The Sunohara Siblings are made the center of attention in this 3 episode story. It moves the shows focus off of Tomoya as a central character and puts more of the minor characters in the spotlight. The execution feels like it is somewhat lacking, and I blame this on the compression of the story. There isn't enough emotional buildup or tension to make most people hang on to the story or characters and hoping they would turn around for the better. Sure, I wanted everything to work out for Sunohara and his sister, but I just wasn't captivated by anything.

However, I wouldn't say that it was a terrible mini-event. I'd just say it was mediocre by the standards I had set for Clannad. Everything else is standard Clannad affair, terrific animation and many of those "awwwwww" moe moments.

Episode 5 : A strange boy and a dorm managers past

This episode puts us down the path of a new story which thrusts us into the past of the dorm manager named Misae. Personally, I was hooked by a strange transition into the past. While seeing a young Misae is somewhat reminiscent of our Kyou, she is not without her own characteristic charm. The boy repeating "I have a wish, and it's only for you!" is kind of interesting as well. I am wondering if he is merely a normal human who wishes to grant her whatever she desires, or some sort of special celestial being.

At this point anything seems possible. I already have a feeling that this story arc is going to be a lot better than the previous Sunohara arc, which will hopefully also tie into that "Illusionary world" where we see the girl and the toy robot.

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