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REVIEW: Clannad After Story Blu-Ray


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EnigmaticSky



Joined: 06 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:15 pm Reply with quote
I was very disappointed with After Story, personally. It just seemed to drag on forever in the middle for me. I'm one of the few though that didn't love it; maybe it is just not my cup of tea.[/spoiler]
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:19 pm Reply with quote
I'm watching After Story right now, about half way through and jeez, I've never felt so not-compelled to blaze through a Key-oAni production. The thug arc just never worked because we spend too little time with that central character to really care. I'm just in no hurry and not in the mood to get to what I know happens later on.

No where's my Kanon After Story? I like that cast much better.
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Red Fox of Fire



Joined: 24 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:26 pm Reply with quote
Ugh, I bought the dual-audio DVDs, then Blu-rays come out. It's my #1 series so I'll probably buy it eventually...but not now.

I agree that the dub had a good number of missteps. It wasn't bad per se, and I was still able to enjoy the series as much as ever, but a lot of the mistakes felt pretty elementary. It's a shame because, for every amazingly-done character (Nagisa, Youhei), there's a mediocre/poorly-done character (Misae, just about every extra). Luci Christian is so amazing I could find myself on the dub again just for her, though.
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:03 am Reply with quote
Don't know if it's any different in After Story, but just on the dub and the first Clannad, I think the guys are ok to well done. But the girls... I cannot stand most of them. It's the same for other series when american VAs try to emulate the moe-ness of the Japanese characters, in contrast to the performance of characters like Revy in Black Lagoon. I would rather the ADR director decide for them to "not act" like that and just speak normally and more naturally with less proper enunciation
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Kohii



Joined: 12 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:04 am Reply with quote
Red Fox of Fire wrote:
Ugh, I bought the dual-audio DVDs, then Blu-rays come out. It's my #1 series so I'll probably buy it eventually...but not now.

I agree that the dub had a good number of missteps. It wasn't bad per se, and I was still able to enjoy the series as much as ever, but a lot of the mistakes felt pretty elementary. It's a shame because, for every amazingly-done character (Nagisa, Youhei), there's a mediocre/poorly-done character (Misae, just about every extra). Luci Christian is so amazing I could find myself on the dub again just for her, though.


lol. I liked it, too. Sure, but I only got the subbed DVDs. Didn't care for the dub, even when they had that exchange program. I wish I had the BDs, but I'm a poor college student so no dice.
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boredandlazy



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 189
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:08 am Reply with quote
I bought the ultra-expensive Japanese BD's for Clannad and After Story, that's how much I enjoyed it. The English dub doesn't interest me for Clannad(NagEEEEsa...) so I won't be picking this release up.
The 'Summary' episode(which is apparently in the wrong order again, Sentai have only had 3 chances at getting that right...) isn't as useless as some people may make you think as it actually provides a bit more explanation as to what actually happens in the series. Either way I wholeheartedly agree with the review, although this is the first review I've read which hasn't specifically mentioned the ending. Usually the ending cops a bit of flack for various reasons(some justified, most not), but for me it was great and didn't dampen the entire experience at all.
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Big Hed



Joined: 04 May 2006
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:12 am Reply with quote
walw6pK4Alo wrote:
I'm watching After Story right now, about half way through and jeez, I've never felt so not-compelled to blaze through a Key-oAni production. The thug arc just never worked because we spend too little time with that central character to really care. I'm just in no hurry and not in the mood to get to what I know happens later on.

No where's my Kanon After Story? I like that cast much better.


I seem to remember a time when it went without saying that Kanon was the greatest of the Key-Kyoto Trinity... Then Clannad AS came to be.

Idea for you though: if you aren't bothered to get all the way through the show, you can leave it after 18 and I'd argue you'll have had a better experience of AS than the watching the last few episodes would produce. Having said that, I'm sure my suggestion will be marked as heresy by AS's more devoted fans.

I'm surprised you haven't yet seen AS, though.

Carlo wrote:
Luci Christian brings a cheerful, girl-next-door quality to the role of Nagisa—someone that viewers can relate to ...


While that isn't enough to drive me to watch the series again, that sounds like an exceedingly positive move that the dub made. One of my central criticisms of AS is that Nagisa is mind-numbingly boring--especially next to Tomoya--at least in Japanese. Maybe such improvement is what happens when you give ADR to somebody who isn't Steve Foster?
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dragonrider_cody



Joined: 14 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:28 am Reply with quote
Big Hed wrote:


Carlo wrote:
Luci Christian brings a cheerful, girl-next-door quality to the role of Nagisa—someone that viewers can relate to ...


While that isn't enough to drive me to watch the series again, that sounds like an exceedingly positive move that the dub made. One of my central criticisms of AS is that Nagisa is mind-numbingly boring--especially next to Tomoya--at least in Japanese. Maybe such improvement is what happens when you give ADR to somebody who isn't Steve Foster?


FWIW, it's Steven Foster that cast Luci Christian in the role, and he directed her in many of the episodes of Clannad. Wink

I do agree that I think that Luci was a bit of an improvement over the Japanese VA. She seemed less helpless and whimpering than Nagisa had been in the Japanese. I was actually a bit worried when I read about her casting, but Luci really impressed me.
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Big Hed



Joined: 04 May 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:36 am Reply with quote
dragonrider_cody wrote:
Big Hed wrote:


Carlo wrote:
Luci Christian brings a cheerful, girl-next-door quality to the role of Nagisa—someone that viewers can relate to ...


While that isn't enough to drive me to watch the series again, that sounds like an exceedingly positive move that the dub made. One of my central criticisms of AS is that Nagisa is mind-numbingly boring--especially next to Tomoya--at least in Japanese. Maybe such improvement is what happens when you give ADR to somebody who isn't Steve Foster?


FWIW, it's Steven Foster that cast Luci Christian in the role, and he directed her in many of the episodes of Clannad. Wink


Oh, sumptuous irony.

I'm not surprised she performed well though. That's the rule rather than the exception for her, I'd say.
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Megiddo



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:47 am Reply with quote
My core problem with After Story is the ending. I've written about it before at length, so I'll try and keep it succinct.

spoiler[The message that After Story was sending to me was that even if Tomoya had been a complete deadbeat for 3-4 years, he could still change and be the father that Ushio needed. After his reunion with his dad (and particularly the moment it hits him about how hard his dad worked and did what he could to provide for him), I was ready to sing After Story's praise. The further touching scenes as Tomoya and Ushio reconnect and slowly form a bond on their trip cemented my jubilation even further. However, this message and all that Tomoya goes through is for naught. Instead of it being a story of how hardship can be overturned and how even in the darkest depths there could still be light, it turned into a fairytale where he was able to re-live from the very moment that Ushio was born (with Nagisa surviving this time). This renders everything, the ups and the downs of the previous few years, absolutely worthless.]

spoiler[And for what? So that there could be a forced happy conclusion? Why wouldn't it have been a happy conclusion if Tomoya had just carried Ushio to the spot that Akio had taken Nagisa many years prior when she had nearly been frozen from the snow and then have the magical orbs bring Ushio back to life and just continuing from there, with new conviction to be the best father he could for Ushio? Such a beautiful story gets tarnished because people can't accept anything other than fairytale mega-happy ending, even at the cost of vital character growth? Sigh.]

Okay, yeah. I fail at succinct. Sorry about that. This was one of the biggest disappointments I have ever had for anime. At least I've already played the Little Busters game so I know what to expect there.
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Wakazhi



Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 202
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:34 am Reply with quote
walw6pK4Alo wrote:
No where's my Kanon After Story? I like that cast much better.


You just blew my mind! I would love to see more Kanon. I can't remember if Makoto ever came back though. Her story got me teary-eyed the most, lol.
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Cecilthedarkknight_234



Joined: 02 Apr 2011
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Location: Louisville, KY
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:38 am Reply with quote
reads full review.. hmm I agree, sees the person that submitted the review is Carlo Santos... BRB I need to check on something.

Megiddo wrote:
My core problem with After Story is the ending. I've written about it before at length, so I'll try and keep it succinct.

spoiler[The message that After Story was sending to me was that even if Tomoya had been a complete deadbeat for 3-4 years, he could still change and be the father that Ushio needed. After his reunion with his dad (and particularly the moment it hits him about how hard his dad worked and did what he could to provide for him), I was ready to sing After Story's praise. The further touching scenes as Tomoya and Ushio reconnect and slowly form a bond on their trip cemented my jubilation even further. However, this message and all that Tomoya goes through is for naught. Instead of it being a story of how hardship can be overturned and how even in the darkest depths there could still be light, it turned into a fairytale where he was able to re-live from the very moment that Ushio was born (with Nagisa surviving this time). This renders everything, the ups and the downs of the previous few years, absolutely worthless.]

spoiler[And for what? So that there could be a forced happy conclusion? Why wouldn't it have been a happy conclusion if Tomoya had just carried Ushio to the spot that Akio had taken Nagisa many years prior when she had nearly been frozen from the snow and then have the magical orbs bring Ushio back to life and just continuing from there, with new conviction to be the best father he could for Ushio? Such a beautiful story gets tarnished because people can't accept anything other than fairytale mega-happy ending, even at the cost of vital character growth? Sigh.]

Okay, yeah. I fail at succinct. Sorry about that. This was one of the biggest disappointments I have ever had for anime. At least I've already played the Little Busters game so I know what to expect there.


Tomoya collected the light orbs during each arc from the start of of the original series. As in the game the light orbs are to obtain the best ending possible which you just described. If you didn't have them, the story ends right therespoiler[ when ushio dies]. spoiler[Basically Tomoya collected the dragon balls, got a miracle granted to him in a different time line/split world to live with this wife and daughter alive through his good deeds/karma of helping others]. That was touched on in kotomi's arc if you recall on her parents re-search...

The VN did and does explain this much better and it's key/visual arts style of writing to use supernatural elements, symbolism, reincarnation etc. characters "little busters is up there as well so have fun or enjoy.. well it's KEY/VISUAL ART'S it's their writing style after all"

You think this bad I've played the spin off tomoyo after it's wonderful life...spoiler[ Tomoya dies from a brain tumor on the BEST ROUTE, i've never cried so hard in my life from a damn text game]
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ArrancarNelTu



Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 9
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:52 am Reply with quote
Megiddo wrote:
My core problem with After Story is the ending. I've written about it before at length, so I'll try and keep it succinct.


Finally, what I've been trying to describe After Story's ending you just said it in the best way possible, you literally touched upon every issue with the series' ending. Good to know not everyone in the anime community drinks Key cool-aid. Bravo.
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amagee



Joined: 08 Nov 2010
Posts: 333
Location: Orlando, FL
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:53 am Reply with quote
Clannad After Story's ending had a massive risk of being awful. For me, however, the final epilogue episode - the summation of the series - saved it.

*To make this easier to explain, I'm going to take Megiddo's route and spoiler the paragraphs.*

spoiler[So you have the original "natural area saves dying child bit" with Nagisa when she was young. The inherent powers of a place, especially a natural setting is pretty standard in Japanese and other cultures. There is a big emphasis on the fact that the area which saved Nagisa was being leveled to become one with the city during this series in addition to the importance of the city itself to the family. In the end, the good deeds - despite faults - Tomoya has given to the members of the city leads the city itself to reset his life for the sake of Ushio, Tomoya, and Nagisa. Essentially, the idea of the city as having a soul - another common anime trope - replaces the chunk of forest which saved Nagisa. As I always saw it, the small bit of forest had enough power to save Nagisa and that is all well and good. The city, a significantly larger entity, was able to conjure up a much greater change - turning back the course of history. ]

spoiler[Thus in my mind, this at least works with other things that have been done in anime before. The idea of turning back time, however, makes it seem like all the character development the viewer had observed was subsequently lost and that the intention was to force the happy ending. This being the understandable problem people tend to have with the series.]

spoiler[In comes the epilogue episode to show me that it wasn't what it had seemed. The final summation was done as a story by Tomoya to Ushio (I seem to recall her being asleep or something so it was more like an internal dialogue if I remember correctly). In this, he mentions that he remembers everything that happened in the previous timeline - Nagisa's death, his abandonment of Ushio, Ushio's death - and how he grew as a person. He also mentions that he doesn't quite understand how all this works but he knows that these events happened and made him the man he was then and there. Consequently, though everything has been remade into a happier world, the growth he experienced has not been for naught and still defines the character we see at the finale. ]

I know the ending draws a lot of flack for it's deliberate intention to be happy but, given the understanding garnered from the epilogue, I think Clannad After Story has become one of my favorite happy endings in anime.
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Fencedude5609



Joined: 09 Nov 2006
Posts: 5088
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:02 am Reply with quote
Clannad's exploitation of the VN "route" format to tell its story pretty much made the ending a huge risk to actually animate.

I think it was worth it, but I totally can see people docking points for it, since it doesn't work nearly as well in an anime's inherently linear storytelling.
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