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Shelf Life - Clannad and Clannad After Story


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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Posts: 4305
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:18 am Reply with quote
After Story is still on my "to finish" list. Many people have warned me (without spoilers) about the expectations I should have for it, so I want to go all in and see it for myself.
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thenix



Joined: 18 Apr 2012
Posts: 248
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:25 am Reply with quote
I haven't watched After Story but I have seen all of the first series and I have to say I think it's probably the most over-rated anime I've seen. Just based on how much other people seem to love it and how much I dislike it. I'd expound more on this if anyone cared, otherwise just my 2 cents.
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invalidname
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 11 Aug 2004
Posts: 1730
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:36 am Reply with quote
thenix wrote:
I haven't watched After Story but I have seen all of the first series and I have to say I think it's probably the most over-rated anime I've seen

OK, who had "2" in the "how many comments until someone says 'overrated'" pool? Come on up and collect your prize.
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Spastic Minnow
Bargain HunterBargain Hunter


Joined: 02 May 2006
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Location: Central Florida
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:45 am Reply with quote
I've said it before, I'll say it again. There is no deus-ex-machina in After Story. At least not one that comes out of nowhere. The magical solution is built up, explained, and completely photographed throughout the first season and beginning of After Story. The only issues are that once the magic solution is needed they stopped making reference to it and tried to downplay it while they explored the possibilities of the tragic route.
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Animegomaniac



Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 3103
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:56 am Reply with quote
Quote:
The friendships and possible romances that bloom from Tomoya's different relationships eventually follow him in his transition to adulthood, which is the focus of Clannad After Story.
... eventually. Half of it is clean up work for Clannad, the bad stuff that wasn't good enough for that one. Would it have killed them just to do a twelve episode series?

Wait... no, I think I mean 12 episodes for the whole thing. Maybe even as a movie. A Kyoto Animation movie of a Key visual adaptation, that would have been good.

I find all of Kanon's 24 episodes to be essential in bringing out Yuichi Aizawa's personality; When he sees someone in need, he just has to help and he's always been that way. For Clannad... well, it worked in Kanon and Key tried to repeat it here but it doesn't work because the main character was a slug prior to the start of the series. It only gets worse once you start comparing the girls and the story directly. Strong silent physical type? Check. Sickly girl who has problems going to school? Check. Mysterious girl who may be real or may be recorded? Ugu! Average girl who's in this story because she's normal? Divide that zygote first and there she is and there she is again.

Makoto... well, there's that boy in Clannad After Story's first half but we don't talk about that. It doesn't fit the narrative of "greatest anime ever".

thenix, there are five episodes in After Story that really are great as they are proclaimed to be but that's only if you gloss over the previous 40 and the following two. And ignore all the "other world" OVAs. And don't watch any other key adaptations, including the Clannad movie.

There is a story about family... as per the title... in there but you have to work for it. It's like reality, you're not born into a family, you have to make one. Or something.

Or is the moral "Family is what you make of it"? No, that doesn't work either as it doesn't explain how Tomoya begins or lives prior to meeting Nagisa. "Maybe a magical girlfriend will solve all your problems". I don't think it's widely applicable. "Do or do not. There is no try." Oddly... yes... but I think it's taken. Kanon has "Second chances are a thing and that includes miracles... so don't give up hope. Hang in there, baby!" but Clannad even fails with that one.

"Give up hope and [something something something] will solve all your problems"
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invalidname
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 11 Aug 2004
Posts: 1730
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:02 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Despite the mixed experiences I've had with previous visual novel adaptations, my hope was that Clannad would be the series to finally break down barriers and deliver the saccharine melodrama that my inner romantic can't resist.

I guess another thing that's interesting to note is that this is kind of a relic from another era -- visual novels are in a long decline in Japan, and anime adaptations of them have become much less frequent than they once were (with exceptions, of course… Spring's Steins;Gate 0 should be huge).

Also, I was the third seat for the ANNCast about Clannad and one of the things we talked about is the structure of this series, how that first season has to do 4-8 episodes on each main girl's arc in almost total isolation from the rest of the story. As I've gotten into more and more visual novels, including Clannad (whose VN didn't come out in English until a year after that ANNCast), I've come to realize that Clannad (and maybe the Key / Visual Art's stuff in general) is a little unusual in the degree to which its paths tend to lock in very early and be independent of one another, versus VNs where you have more of a common route that pretty much any path through the game will take. This leads to the one-arc-at-a-time approach that we see in Clannad, Little Busters!, and Kanon (but less so in Air, which is in an ultra-compressed single cour), and gives the impression that this is the main or only way to do a VN adaptation, but it really ain't so. Some VNs are better suited to anime adaptations -- for example, ef benefits from multiple player-protagonists, so it naturally lends to intercutting between story arcs, since you don't have a single protagonist who has to solve Girl A's problems before he can move on to Girl B, as in Clannad.
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Violynne



Joined: 09 May 2014
Posts: 94
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:29 pm Reply with quote
After Air and Kanon, I was extremely hesitant to watch Clannad. I didn't want to sit through another supernatural series. Several fans stated Clannad was a bit different, so I dove in.

I was impressed, but I feel the show could have done better.

After Story blew me away... until the end. Everything I hated about Air and Kanon struck me with an impact of a dump truck at the end of After Story, and I hated the ending because of it.

Even if I should remove the supernatural element of the ending, the entire ending felt like a tacked on, last minute ditch effort to get people clamoring for tissues to wipe their tears.

Should I revisit the series, I'll be stopping short of the final four episodes. Doing this, and After Story remains one of the best written anime in this genre I've seen to date.
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Nico_Astray



Joined: 08 Jan 2017
Posts: 20
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:42 pm Reply with quote
I binged the anime 3-4 years ago and if you invest the time go get emotionally invested during the first season, it really pays off. After Story was one of the most compelling stories i was able to witness.
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Joshua Zarate
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Joined: 12 Jan 2017
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:37 pm Reply with quote
I agree with Spastic Minnow in that there never was a deuce-ex-machina in After Story. I’m surprised at how many people just didn’t see the magical solution gradually build up from the beginning and explained, but I guess those same people don’t want to acknowledge it because reasons. (It doesn’t fit their narrative, probably.) Anyway, Clannad remains, to this day, my favorite anime by Kyoto Animation and it certainly had a very strong impact on me. The review mainly covers what I liked about it, so I won’t repeat that, but what I will repeat from it is that those who don’t like magical realism will not like where this show ends up going. Plain and simple. Other than that, this series is one of the best romance anime out there and it’s definitely at least worth a recommendation.
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NormanS



Joined: 15 Aug 2014
Posts: 141
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:09 pm Reply with quote
I understand why people think Clannad is overrated, because on its own its pretty average fare. But because its a setup to Clannad After story that people give Clannad better ratings as a package.

That said, the scene about the lost toy in After story still gives me feelings.
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crazieanimefan1



Joined: 18 Feb 2015
Posts: 106
Location: Auburn, AL
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:14 pm Reply with quote
I wound up getting both series on sale at two different anime places, one being Sentai. The one thing I hate on the Clannad series...the price. No matter which way you go, it's high. I was lucky to have got it when I did at the prices I did, but if I had gotten it any other way, the price tag would've got me horribly. It makes me wonder why some anime are gas guzzlers on prices and some you can get, later on in life, for 20 bucks. It's just weird. But it was worth it as I'm a Clannad fan and the feels are real...no onion excuses for me.
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TheTsunami



Joined: 19 Jul 2004
Posts: 128
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:22 pm Reply with quote
Spastic Minnow wrote:
I've said it before, I'll say it again. There is no deus-ex-machina in After Story. At least not one that comes out of nowhere. The magical solution is built up, explained, and completely photographed throughout the first season and beginning of After Story. The only issues are that once the magic solution is needed they stopped making reference to it and tried to downplay it while they explored the possibilities of the tragic route.


Calling the ending a cop out misses so many things. spoiler[ Aside from the explanation and build up for the ending throughout the series, the entire point was that Tomoya had to live through that agony, persevere, and then when presented with a chance to go back and do everything over to avoid all of that suffering, he chooses the same path. Your typical deus ex machina is some form of magical "make everything alright immediately" nonsense that spares characters from difficult fates. Not only did Tomoya have to live through his difficult fate, he had to be willing to do it all again before he could be granted his happiness. ][/spoiler]
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killjoy_the



Joined: 30 May 2015
Posts: 1657
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:05 pm Reply with quote
Clannad was the first anime I watched (not counting shounen I saw on TV as a kid of course). I still love it. I'm not sure I would love it if I watched it now, though.

At the time I'd been a fan of visual novels, so the whole aspect was appealing to me - either having to go through 'routes' or even the conclusion being the amalgamation of all those routes. The ending kind of blew me away at the time honestly.

That said, looking back, you could kinda remove a third of this series and not really lose anything? Of course waifu-wise each route in the first season does something that isn't too vital, and the start of After Story can be scrapped if you don't care for the lore (and it's not a particularly inspired way to deliver the lore), but it does all build some character - either Tomoya's own or his friends'. So it's all about you liking a character or not when it comes to those (and I didn't like the twins, for instance).

The soundtrack to this show is amazing and needs to be mentioned. Go ahead and hear that track - you know the one. Try not to tear up.
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db999



Joined: 23 Dec 2017
Posts: 22
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:41 pm Reply with quote
I remember this show. I first watched it in College because there were a bunch of people who would watch anime in the common area of my freshman dorm. It wasn't an official club or anything they just watched shows at night after 10. The show that was watched before Clannad was Gurren Lagann which every single person in the dorm showed up to watch, (not exaggerating at all). Clannad is odd in that I love After Story but absolutely despise the first season of Clannad. My only complaint with After Story is the ending. It wasn't the magical solution it was what came directly before it. It was so emotionally manipulative that rather than crying I burst out laughing. Major Spoilers for the ending of After Story incoming spoiler[Really you're going to kill off the daughter and then the main character almost immediately afterward. I know that in order for the magical solution happy ending to occur you kind of have to do something, but this was just so stupid.] I actually liked the movie more overall and it ended where I wish the show had ended.
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Joshua Zarate
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Joined: 12 Jan 2017
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Location: California
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:57 pm Reply with quote
db999 wrote:
My only complaint with After Story is the ending. It wasn't the magical solution it was what came directly before it. It was so emotionally manipulative that rather than crying I burst out laughing. Major Spoilers for the ending of After Story incoming spoiler[Really you're going to kill off the daughter and then the main character almost immediately afterward. I know that in order for the magical solution happy ending to occur you kind of have to do something, but this was just so stupid.] I actually liked the movie more overall and it ended where I wish the show had ended.

spoiler[Tomoya wasn’t going to be killed off afterward. He simply collapsed in massive grief over the death of his daughter. He was not going to die as well right then and there, so I just wanted to clarify what happened for what it’s worth.]
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