Clannad ~After Story~: My Final VerdictPosted: March 30, 2009
So Clannad ~After Story~ has finally finished its last episode (which I’m not going to post about, since on the whole, there’s not much fail to bash), and I’ve finally decided what score to hand down to the series.
And so, without further ado (don’t ruin my fifty milliseconds of what appears to be a half-assed attempt at suspense plzzZz), I give Clannad ~After Story~…
Now hold your horses for a second, and let me asplain.
This was undoubtedly the hardest rating I’ve ever had to give. No matter how much I wanted Zetsubou Sensei, that comedic triumph of an anime, to be a 10, I just couldn’t do it. No matter how much I wanted to forget about the first half of sola and give it an 8 or a 9, I just couldn’t do it. But After Story is on a whole different level of rating.
However, now that I’ve given it, I stand by it. I truly think that it deserves a perfect score from me.
Before I get down to the nitty-gritty, here are my views summed up nicely by somebody else (Star Crossed Anime Blog):
I’ve been thinking about this series, and how to exactly review it, since Clannad’s after story contained some of the biggest highlights but also some of the biggest lowlights of the season. In the end, though, I decided to be positive about this series. Sure, the ending was terrible, I’m not going to sugarcoat that, but the episodes prior to that were utterly incredible.
“So why a perfect score? The anime wasn’t perfect. The ending was horrific, just like you said in that huge post you made the other day.”
Well, that’s 100% true.
But what of episodes 1 – 21?
Yeah, those impossibly incredible episodes?
What of the heartbreaking scene shown above?
What of the time after episode 10 or so that public opinion was: “Jesus, this series can’t get any better,” and it did?
Taking all of this into consideration, I found that I truly loved this series.
Was a perfect ending impossible?
Was a better ending impossible?
However, it is damn hard to keep up the level of drama that CLANNAD ~After Story~ hit at episode 16 with Nagisa’s death…
Yet KyoAni did it. There was just as much drama and heartbreaking moments in episodes 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21.
Yet this was this series’s downfall.
Because it was so good, I (and many others) expected an ending of epic proportions, and was thoroughly disappointed when the usual Key ending came along.
In retrospect, I shouldn’t’ve expected as much as I had from a series that had already delivered so much. <—THESIS!!1
From the side arcs of Misae and Yukine to the comic genius of the extra episode (23) to the tear jerking father-son “reunion” in episode 19, CLANNAD ~After Story~ managed to pull off everything almost flawlessly (and I say “almost” because of the ending and of the somewhat detached Misae arc).
Can’t you remember these epic scenes…?
I watched CLANNAD, and found it to be not that interesting.
True, there was quite an intriguing storyline with the play and whatnot, but having the drama peak at episode 8 or so with Fuuko just totally caught me off guard and made me anticipate more drama later on… which never happened.
As a result, I came to After Story with low expectations (even if the Tomoyo OVA was dramatic as hell), looking forward to nothing more than some school life romance.
And I got it. For a short while, at least.
CLANNAD ~After Story~ delivered some truly great school life moments in its early episodes, and honestly reminded me of Lucky Star‘s final episode (which was epic, by the way).
…and then it got better.
Suddenly, the camera panned out from school life to life in general.
When does this happen in school life romance anime again?
Oh, that’s right… rarely, if at all.
Was I in any way prepared to see that mysterious future that school kids in anime face after they graduate?
No. No way. I was prepared for a quaint little school life romance with a nice central theme and some KyoAni art and animation.
So what the hell was this?
I didn’t know, but I sure knew one thing: this series was going to be good.
And it wasn’t. It wasn’t “good” at all.
“Good” didn’t even begin to describe the sense of awesome I got when I watched every episode.
I personally picked up CLANNAD ~After Story~ after episode 16’s airing.
Sadly, I was spoilered about Nagisa’s death.
But when I watched episode 16, I knew that this anime was utterly amazing.
I cried. I CRIED. Like, what the hell?
Strong men like me don’t shed tears in front of a computer screen, right?
Well, I cried again during episode 18, and then in 19.
“Holy shit,” right?
So how could I cry from a cartoon?
How could an anime touch me so deeply (no innuendo intended)?
Well, there’s only one answer to that question, and it’s the keystone of this post:
CLANNAD ~After Story~ is a masterpiece.
P.S.: Yes, I know I didn’t go into detail about anything, but this was intended to be more of a personal post (basically, a bunch of opinions without much support) than anything else.