Clannad: After Story Review & Characters – The Anime that Made the World Cry


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The Anime that Made the World Cry


  • Episodes :24
  • Genre : Drama, Romance, Comedy, Slice of Life, Supernatural,
  • Airing Date :October 2008 – March 2009
  • Producers : Kyoto Animation, Pony Canyon, TBS, Rakuonsha, Sentai Filmworks, Animation Do

Clannad: After Story Preview / Plot (No Spoilers)

The first season of Clannad was, although critically acclaimed, still an anime that conformed to a proven template. With a story taken from a visual novel of the same name, the series found it unavoidable to carry over some of the themes that were central to the game. Thus, though heartwarming, the first season was still a romance, comedy, and harem anime at its core. Still, it was regarded highly by both viewers and critics alike.

With the release of the second season, Clannad: After Story however, the producers of the series decided to take the story not just a step forward. Rather, they chose to push it beyond any anime of its kind that was ever made. The result of these efforts was the After Story, an ode to life itself, told through the only medium that can do it justice.

Following the events of the first season, delinquent Tomoya Okazaki is living his last year of High School. With the conclusion of his school life comes a lot of dilemmas, however, the most prominent of which involves his girlfriend, Nagisa Furukawa. With Nagisa’s mysterious illness forcing her to quit school once more, Tomoya has to contend with the realization that his departure from school will be without his beloved, and his life as a youth is at an end. And so, he decides to take the next step in facing life.

Doing something that only this anime can pull off, Tomoya decides to ask Nagisa to marry him and start a family of their own. The love that they discovered in the first season comes to full bloom as they begin to share dreams, and look at the future with pure optimism.

But Tomoya is soon to discover that life is not as simple as doing all you can to follow your dreams and pursue happiness with the one you love. Sometimes, fate will rear its ugly head and push you into the depths of despair.

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Who does Clannad: After Story cater to?

The story of Clannad: After Story is actually very simple. It is the story of a man who tries to do what he can to make those who are important to him happy. Despite all the emotional baggage that Tomoya carries from his childhood, he nonetheless strives to do all he can simply to put a smile in Nagisa’s face.

The events of the story are actually quite understated, save for a few key scenes. The interactions of the characters, as well as their dialogue, usually mean more than what they say on the surface. Truly, the dialogue is one of the strongest suits of this anime.

The realism in this anime runs side by side its fantasy element. As the events of the After Story unfold, the story of the mysterious girl and her cryptic robot companion in the Illusionary World also develops. The events in the Illusionary World may be confusing at times, though its significance cannot be further emphasized by the time the After Story reaches its heart-wrenching climax.

What's so appealing about this piece of work.

The appeal of Clannad: After Story lies in its simplicity. This anime is not for those who are looking for dark, epic arcs that involve saving the world from a catastrophe. Rather, Clannad: After Story takes the Slice of Life genre to a whole new level, giving its viewers a pure, unadulterated view on the trials and tribulations of a man as he goes through life.

Just like the plot, the characters in the series are also pretty simple. They do not have dark plans to bring the other down, nor do they have any dreams to put themselves above all others. In fact, this simplicity is one of the things that make Clannad: After Story’s characters so real. They do not change face as the series progresses. Instead, they mature.

It is the maturity of the story itself that makes Clannad: After Story so engaging. Also, the harmony between the events in the real world as well as the Illusionary World gives its viewers a unique experience. Watching Clannad: After Story is a lot like watching a puzzle form before your eyes, each piece meticulously being added and fitted in every episode.

Clannad: After Story Trailer

Clannad: After Story Main Characters List

Tomoya Okazaki

clannad tomoya

Voice Actor :Kenji Nojima

Tomoya is the main character of both the first and second seasons of Clannad. Being a student who has a penchant for defying the rules of the school, Tomoya is usually looked upon as a delinquent. A former athlete with a bright future in basketball, his dreams of pursuing his passion for the sport was crushed forever when his father injures his shoulder in a drunken fight. As a result, his relationship with his father has been strained ever since.

In the After Story arc, Tomoya outgrows his delinquent tendencies and decides to face the world as an adult. Immediately taking a job after graduation, he starts pursuing the long road to adulthood and independence. He rents out an apartment for himself and works to pay his bills. Eventually, he even decides to commit his life fully to the woman he loves, the sweet yet physically weak Nagisa.

Nagisa Furukawa

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Voice Actor :Mai Nakahara

Nagisa is the female lead of the series. Though her significance in the first season of Clannad may be diluted as the series explored its harem tendencies, her role as the story’s primary female protagonist and Tomoya’s beloved was cemented as the first season came to an end. In the After Story arc, she takes an even bigger role, serving as Tomoya’s muse and moral compass.

As a woman, Nagisa remains emotionally strong despite her extremely weak physique. She has an extremely optimistic outlook in life that affects everyone around her, brightening up any room that she is in. She’s also very resilient, finishing school and taking on a job despite her mysterious illness. Nagisa serves as the After Story’s driving force midway through the series, as it was her choices, and the circumstances that revolved around them, that made Clannad: After Story as emotionally powerful as it has become.

Ushio Okazaki

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Voice Actor :Koorogi Satomi

Ushio Okazaki is Tomoya and Nagisa’s daughter. Born from the love of two people who wanted nothing more than to live a happy life, Ushio was mostly raised by her grandfather and grandmother instead. She eventually becomes close with her father as the series progresses, and just like her mother Nagisa, becomes an instrument of both Tomoya’s redemption and despair.

As a child, Ushio takes much from her mother. She is very polite and is also highly independent, being able to practically take care of herself even at a young age. In her heart though, Ushio is an innocent, pure little girl, who wants nothing more than to love and be loved in return, by the people she holds dearest.


Contains Spoilers

Clannad: After Story Review

Clannad: After Story has touched the world ever since it was released way back in 2008. As stated above, part of what makes Clannad: After Story so engaging is the way the story was presented. Simple as it may be, the execution of the plot was something that is now considered as one of the greatest in anime.

The first eight episodes of Clannad: After Story do not really feel much like an after story. Rather, these episodes feel much like an extension of the first series, with their relatively short arcs and their focus on a secondary character. In fact, one may consider the first eight episodes of the second season to be Clannad: After Story at its worst. Despite this, Clannad: After Story’s worst still pretty much pertains to above average storytelling.

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In fact, the infamous first eight episodes would not be looked upon as negatively by most fans and critics of the show if it weren’t for the fact that when the After Story does take off, it takes the viewers on a proverbial emotional roller coaster that never lets go until the last episode. If you have read about Clannad: After Story being an anime that has changed people’s lives, there’s a certainty that they are pertaining to episodes 9-22. Once you’ve reached episode 9, prepare yourself for one of the best storytelling ever done in anime.

One of the things that made these episodes so powerful was the rawness of emotion that was conveyed onscreen. Personally, the way the drama unfolded was something that I previously thought was impossible to achieve in anime. As a viewer, your heartstrings will be plucked when Nagisa decided to carry Tomoya’s child despite the risks to her health, or when she valiantly delivers Ushio on a fateful winter night, and when Ushio opens up her heart to her father for the first time in years (to name just a few). Indeed, these scenes evoked so much emotion from me that for a moment, I totally forgot that I was watching an anime that was based from a visual novel.

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Clannad: After Story is an anime that is designed to evoke emotion from its viewers, and in this light, it surely delivers. The famous death scene of the anime’s main heroine, Nagisa, was nothing short of perfect. Everything, from the understated art to the soft chords of the background music, from the warm color palette prevalent in the scene to the simple yet profound dialogue, the scene was done to perfection.

The episodes pertaining to Tomoya’s descent into depression and his eventual redemption through the love of his daughter was something that also resonated with me for a long time. As with the events leading up to Nagisa’s death, each step that Tomoya takes toward his life as an adult and later on, as a father, will strike your heart directly. Once you end up emotionally investing in the characters (and trust me, you will), you will feel every ounce of sorrow and joy that Tomoya experiences.

I believe that the fame earned by Clannad: After Story is well-founded. Rarely does an anime come that has so much heart, so much rawness of emotion, as this one. In a lot of ways, I have to agree with the majority here. This anime will certainly touch you. It may even change your life.

1. Realism Behind Fantasy

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One of the things that I admire most about Clannad: After Story is the fact that the story, despite its fantastical twists, remains realistic in its core. The characters in the story live and breathe just like human beings. None of them is larger than life, making everyone, from the main characters to the supporting characters, completely relatable to the audience. In fact, each of the characters in the story is an archetype of human beings in general, each one showing a facet of humanity that anyone can relate to.

The portrayal of life is very realistic as well, as it shows how life can be cruel even if one does not deserve it. The two notable deaths in the series are the proofs of that. It shows that sometimes, bad things happen to good people, even if they do not deserve them. This may be an ugly truth that was somewhat erased when everything fell into place during the last episode, but at the end of the day, life is precisely like that. We are all subject to the machinations of fate, and we have little control as to what happens to us tomorrow.

2. Redemption

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The theme of redemption is something that I have found to be masterfully developed side by side with the story’s theme of naturalism. Just as the story shows its viewers the pain that the loss of a loved one and the despair that one feels due to one’s powerlessness against fate, the story also shows its viewers that if one is courageous enough to open up the heart, redemption may take place.

The last episode of Clannad: After Story has garnered quite a number of critics due to the Deus Ex Machina-esque way that the loose ends of the story were tied up. However, I beg to disagree. I believe that the story became much better-rounded due to the last episode, as it showed its viewers that life, despite its cruelty, can also have its silver linings.

3. The Illusionary World

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The Illusionary World is something that has perplexed the show’s viewers since the first season. For one, the story of the mysterious girl and her junkyard robot friend at first seems to be a story completely removed from the main plot. However, as the series progresses, one realizes just how significant each of the scenes in the Illusionary World really is.

The identity of the mysterious girl and her friend is one of the series’ most significant twists. In fact, this reveal was the one thing that ushered in Tomoya’s final redemption, as he finally achieves something that he has wanted to have all his life – to have a complete family to love, and be loved in return.


Clannad: After Story will be an anime classic. That much is certain. In the years that it has been around, it has continuously touched the hearts of many. All over the world, fans have shed tears with its characters over every significant event in the series. Truly, it is an anime that has, and will continue, to make the world cry.

Peter

Writer

Author: Peter "Virage" de Jesus

In the game of life, the Universe deals us a hand of cards. Some revel in the fortunes they are provided. Others resort to clawing their way up with the bad hand that they are dealt. A number would fold as the years go by. Our existence is a game of chances, and in this game, we all play. I play life in Hard Mode.

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