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Why Clannad Made You Cry


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killjoy_the



Joined: 30 May 2015
Posts: 2460
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:31 am Reply with quote
Hey, I wear a watch!

This article reminded me to put Air on my backlog. For some reason I've completely missed it, even though I've watched (or tried watching) every other Maeda work. I think I was able to not get spoiled, but I don't care too much if I did, because I know the guy can press the tears button even when you're expecting it.

I do wonder though if my reaction to his works would've been different had I watched them in different times. Clannad was my first anime that wasn't morning-cartoon-on-TV-while-I-was-a-kid, and it's impact could've possibly been lesser had I known about all these tropes and clichés the story uses. I couldn't get through to Kanon because of them, after all.

In regards to Charlotte, it was somewhat a disappointment but I was also not expecting great things from it. While I definitely liked Clannad and Angel Beats, I disliked 3/4 of Kanon, and Little Busters made me sleep on the keyboard, so I was 50/50 on the Jun Maeda scale of like/hate. Unfortunately Charlotte ended up falling in the latter.


Last edited by killjoy_the on Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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WashuTakahashi



Joined: 18 Mar 2015
Posts: 415
Location: Chicago, IL
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:53 am Reply with quote
When I first watched Air, I was just confused as heck. Even after watching the OVA. But now that I've had the plot explained a bit more, it makes more sense. Still wasn't enough to get me to cry though.

Quote:
Okay, so Jun Maeda may not be able to make everyone cry. If a story rubs someone's heartstrings the wrong way, the rejection will usually be violent. Nobody likes feeling manipulated, especially manipulated into feeling sad, so the criticisms of his work are often just as fierce as the affection for it.


This perfectly describes how I felt about CLANNAD. I bought it since it was supposed to be a classic and all, and make me feel the feels. The first season was terrible and boring. I would have dropped it right then if I hadn't already bought the second season. But I watched the second season, cried like a baby, and then was SO MAD. How DARE they make me feel things for these characters, ruin their lives, AND THEN ACT LIKE IT NEVER HAPPENED. I was so mad that I invested hours and hours into that anime for the end to be like "Haha, just kidding!"
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noobster



Joined: 18 Sep 2014
Posts: 58
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:05 am Reply with quote
Regarding to the take note below, making a VN with 19 routes is hella freaking insane tbh. And maybe, they really planned and thought of it about. And Charlotte tbh was poorly executed and everything was forced. It's more like a Little Busters!-tier than Angel Beats!-tier. If I'm going to rank all works of PA Works, Charlotte is below RDG. It would be better if they used Little Busters! during the advertisement instead of Angel Beats! imo but since Little Busters! is not under PA Works, Nods.jpg

In my opinion, many jumped in hype train of Charlotte (I'm one of them until I saw the trailer and episode 1) of course i's because it's from the same team of Angel Beats! from writer to studio to character designer to some of its cast(s). But I think the show is a nay~. Episode 1 was meh~ though they managed to pull it off somehow in other episodes then everything was just became forced just to have those melodramatic scenes.
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peko



Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 25
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:41 am Reply with quote
Articles like this is why I come back to ANN again and again but personally, those animated gifs make reading tough, they're just too distracting! Is it just me?
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Animegomaniac



Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 4093
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:43 am Reply with quote
The article only serves to remind me how much I don't like Angel Beats. Ok, its technical merits are excellent but look at its premise: It's not just an afterlife, it's an afterlife for people who died young... maybe, there examples where they could be any age... unfilled... kind of goes with young but specific examples are people who died on their way to something so, just "cut short" in many cases... cruelly... a little more obvious but so artificial and convoluted that it calls attention to its own fictional status ... and unfairly. Bleeh.

Life is unfair; Setting aside a place for a karmic reset that's the same as being reincarnated... hey, your soul is being washed clean either way... only makes sense to an outside audience; There's no "rage against the heavens" situation like in Air as that's for the living because you're raging inside heaven or at least its doorstep. The only thing that makes sense to me is that the series was only made in such a way in order for the ending where spoiler[a dead girl could thank her dead organ donor for his heart] could happen. Even when I first saw it, I wondered if that even mattered at that point. Then the logic bomb started...

And it wasn't even that but rather spoiler[why was she there then? How?]. And then the other part.

Time and again, the phrase "move on" is used. Audience entertainment aside, is the point to show that some one cares? What would be a decent analogy for this series; God or someone can watch every falling baby bird but only helps them to fly after they died? And then puts them in a new nest. So, it's more a "move back" then? It's a reset, a wipe, there's not a lot to learn from it or for the next life.

Even if the actual premise is that the kids in question were victims of faulty karma while living then why "limbo"? Why not reincarnate them with plus karma? Even if it's just for the deity/overseer in question, a recording of "we apologize for any inconvenience" in a black room while they wait would be a step above this scenario.

Unless he's the real audience all along. Ok, I could really love it that way but it would undermine the whole thing. Actually, that makes a little too much sense. spoiler[Torture them in life, torture them still in the afterlife, end it on the classic star crossed lovers routine that betters Terry Pratchett's comedic example of lovers who were so tragic, they lived a thousand years apart and never meet.]

Well, there is an "ant farm" aspect to it, with the closed circle centered around the school. There's the twist: spoiler[We're never reincarnated as insects because we're insects all along and just think we're people.]

The guy's definitely a "feel, don't think" writer; I knew that before I started Charlotte but it still didn't help me at all with it. Any positives from Air, Kanon and Clannad I ascribe to Fumihiko Shimo and Tatsuya Ishihara and the gang at Kyoto Animation than Maeda.
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jymmy



Joined: 11 Nov 2011
Posts: 1244
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:52 am Reply with quote
"Why Clannad Made You Cry" – I guess you have the data on what brings the most click-throughs, but I really hate titles like this.
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Touma



Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 2651
Location: Colorado, USA
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:57 am Reply with quote
peko wrote:
Articles like this is why I come back to ANN again and again ...

Yes. This is very good.

Quote:
... but personally, those animated gifs make reading tough, they're just too distracting! Is it just me?

It is not just you.
It would be nice if there was some way to turn them off after seeing them once.

Where does Kanon fit in terms of angst and tragedy?
I like some of Air, but mostly just the parts about the past.
I enjoyed a lot more of Angel Beats! and might watch it again. What I liked most were the songs and action, and the comedy and lighter drama.

I have always avoided Clannad because of what I have read about it.
I have had Kanon in my backlog for a long time. I am sort of afraid to watch it because I do not react well to tragedy and despair.
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chito895



Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Posts: 512
Location: Lima, Peru
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:18 am Reply with quote
I will always be thankful to Clannad because that anime broke me for the first time in 10 years. Crying for me was difficult, I had a cold heart when it came to sad moments in my life: someone near to me dies, not even a single drop of tear. Maybe I'm just messed up, but Clannad After Story hit me right in the heart, and after that, water works come to my eyes everytime I see something sad. Now I'm a crybaby! (I shouldn't be happy about that, though)

But between Clannad and Angel Beats! (the only two shows that I've seen from Maeda) I'd say that Angel Beats! Was more compelling to me than Clannad. Sure, during Clannad AS' final episodes I just cried and felt sad and stuff, but when I started to think about it, I just couldn't stand that Deus ex-y way to solve things. I had to search about why those things happened and why eveything in a happy for Tomoya, but that's something I don't like to do, as an anime should stand by its own feet.

Angel Beats!, on the other hand, felt more complete (even though just 6 characters got development) and more understandable than Clannad. I understood the reasons behind everything, and when the sad episodes came by, I just couldn't resist the tears and feels. That, combined with one of the best comedy I've seen in anime, made of Angel Beats! a more compelling anime than Clannad.

Now that I have read this analysis, I now understand a bit more of what Maeda/Key works try to do, and for that I thank you, ANN!

Charlotte and Air are next in my queue, so I hope that those are as compelling and beautiful as the two I've talked about previously.
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hurafloyd



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
Posts: 79
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:33 am Reply with quote
chito895 wrote:
I will always be thankful to Clannad because that anime broke me for the first time in 10 years. Crying for me was difficult, I had a cold heart when it came to sad moments in my life: someone near to me dies, not even a single drop of tear. Maybe I'm just messed up, but Clannad After Story hit me right in the heart [...]


I hear ya, it was the same for me, Clannad and Angel Beats, (I watched them practically in succession) felt like some sort psychological and emotional treatment after the death of my father, It took my almost 7 years to get over it, Clannad and Angel Beats, helped me bring closure.

It could sound strange or weird but after that experience with those anime in specific, I never underestimated anime again, even from a person (at that time) that had around 15 years of anime experience, now I see them as a source of self reflection and insight.
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Key
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Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 18213
Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:45 am Reply with quote
Touma wrote:
Where does Kanon fit in terms of angst and tragedy?
I like some of Air, but mostly just the parts about the past.
I enjoyed a lot more of Angel Beats! and might watch it again. What I liked most were the songs and action, and the comedy and lighter drama.

Kanon is the Key-originating series which I felt first and best nailed down the "you have to have comedy to set up the tragedy" business that Hope is describing. Its humor is far more effective that Air's and its tragic elements almost equally strong. While it never achieves the raw emotional intensity of After Story (but really, nothing in anime is AS's equal on that point), I still think it's the best and most consistently entertaining of the Key-adapted series.

Going back to Hope's point about using comedy to set up the sadness, I read this piece shortly after finishing writing up the last episode of School-Live! and was struck by how much that principle could apply to that series, too. In retrospect, the mix of "cute girls do cute things" with zombies works in part because it shows what the girls are at risk of losing (besides their lives) in the face of the zombie threat, which is not so dissimilar at all from what the Maeda series do.
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ParaSitius



Joined: 19 Feb 2012
Posts: 55
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:51 am Reply with quote
Clannad is the only anime to date I've rated as a Masterpiece on this website, I'm open minded enough to enjoy the ending and those that want a perma death ending then watch the movie. I didn't openly cry at the ending but I did have to dab my eyes with a tissue.

Kanon was also enjoyable, mainly due the fact I was learning more about Japanese culture at the time and the whole fox spirit thing was new to me. The ending was good but not teary eyed good.

Angel Beats was a strange one, it had its good moments but left too much of the plot unexplained and a bit .... wonky. Ending was good though, much like Kanon.

Air did nothing for me. Couldn't get into the story at all and found it to be quite labourous in the second half. I was glad when it finished and can't say I'll ever have it in my collection.

I enjoyed the article, was a very good read which I will point people towards in the future who have problems understanding Maeda's work.
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 9322
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:58 am Reply with quote
jymmy wrote:
"Why Clannad Made You Cry" – I guess you have the data on what brings the most click-throughs, but I really hate titles like this.

ANN has gotten extremely clickbaity recently. I guess it was inevitable. At least they can back it up with real articles and not just listing crap, for now.

Also, too much Angel Beats in this review. Even for Jun Maeda stuff, that one is vastly overrated precisely because it was cut down to 13 episodes, leaving the ending rushed, confusing, and unnatural. I felt absolutely nothing there and that left me more cold on the rest of the series. Out of all of these, Kanon worked the best for me because I just liked that set of characters and that setting the most. It was the most enjoyable of the Key-o-ani trilogy, and it got through its arcs without being too sped up like Air and not dragging like Clannad, especially After Story. I find it funny that people never seem to recall that the first half of After Story is basically irredeemable "who gives a shit" material when season one was never that bad. But that may be due to me being one of those rare freaks that actually liked the Fuko arc.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 3442
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:27 pm Reply with quote
You know, I actually watched both air and clannad (and possibly kanon too) but cannot for the life of me remember anything about them at all. I know I watched them cause I recognize the art style and if I read the plot synopsis I eventually have a deja vu feeling, but no detail come to my mind. I wasn't bored, sad or angry at it, I just have 0 feeling for them.

I think it ultimately come down to how forceful stuff felt. I just never react well to story that feel like they were designed with an idea in mind first (the viewer will be really sad because of this character fate) before any specific. It just all feel so fake and forced that I make no connection to the character. The magical realism part probably play a part in this too. Too fake to feel real, not enough to forget my reticence and just enjoy it regardless of what happen, a kind of story uncanny valley.
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Hameyadea



Joined: 23 Jun 2014
Posts: 3679
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:38 pm Reply with quote
For me, Air's appeal wore off somewhat when the story jumped to the "origin of the curse" around the show's mid-point. On the other hand, I found CLANNAD (film and both seasons) and Kanon (both versions) to be enjoyable and relatable -- I think it was mainly due to the musical score. Angel Beats! has had good comedy overall, as well as serious drama and "dem feelz," but neither aspect hit me as much as CLANNAD or Kanon. (I haven't had the chance to watch Little Busters!, so let's skip that entry.) As for Charlotte, I feel that the Law of Diminished Returns does starting to apply here, but not as a repetitive/over-inflated narrative device within a story, but the story itself. At times, it feels like I'm watching bits from Air or CLANNAD with different characters, but with quite similar settings.

The show is good and enjoyable, just not as much when placed on the same shelf as Maeda Jun's previous anime works.
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PetitePuff



Joined: 25 May 2015
Posts: 68
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:53 pm Reply with quote
oh, so that's why buddy from Air turned into a crow. i remember not understanding it at all back when i watched the show a long time ago. i liked the guy, so i was kinda miffed when it happened, and afterwards i couldn't get emotionally invested in the rest of the show.

i'm very fond of Clannad (but the end of AS also made me kind of salty). the moment that always gets me choked up though is the end of Fuuko's arc spoiler[when she's gonna disappear]. after that though i'm usually good to go and won't cry anymore. spoiler[except when it came to the bonus episode with Tomoyo, because she's the best girl, TomoxTomo forever!!!)]

i really love Angel Beats. i was disappointed that it wasn't longer, i really wanted to know the tragic back-stories of all those wacky characters! and when the song "Ichiban no Takaramono" plays, it gets me every time.
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