Ten Years Since “Clannad After Story” Ended

Ten Years Since “Clannad After Story” Ended

Sometimes, an anime series makes such an impact on me, it is impossible to forget. So even though I will never watch Clannad nor Clannad After Story again, that doesn’t mean the combined series isn’t an incredible one. Its hard to believe that ten years ago, Clannad After Story ended. This was a series I actually blogged about.

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(Note: As of this posting, many of the episode reviews for Clannad and Clannad After Story in this blog are missing images. 😅 Maybe one day, I’ll get all of that fixed.)

The Story, in Brief

The story of Clannad centers around OKAZAKI Tomoya, who’s mother has passed away. His father is not a good one. Tomoya is pretty much a delinquent, but he meets an older girl named FURUKAWA Nagisa. Due to illness, she was held back a grade. She wants to get the drama club going, so Tomoya ends up helping. Through this, Tomoya ends up befriending several other girls and helping them as well as Nagisa.

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Clannad After Story picks up after the Clannad, and this is where the franchise gets very emotional. I’m going to hide the remaining summary under a spoiler tag.

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Nagisa fails to graduate due to her illness, but her friends hold a mock graduation for her. She and Tomoya get married via the register’s office, where she gives birth to their daughter, Ushio. Nagisa dies and Tomoya falls apart as a result. Five years later, Tomoya has mostly abandoned his daughter. However, when she develops the same disease as Nagisa, Tomoya drops everything to spend time with her, taking her on a trip just before she dies.

Tomoya, who’d been having visions of an alternate world throughout both series, is given a chance to make things right after being in this alternate world after Ushio’s death. He takes advantage of the situation and thus Nagisa lives through childbirth. Also, a character who died in Clannad is brought back to life.



Key and Kyoto Animation Top Themselves

Clannad and Clannad After Story were based off of the Clannad visual novel. Unlike previous visual novels they had created (Air and Kanon), developer Key decided not to make Clannad an ero-visual novel. (They did create an ero spinoff called Tomoyo After: It’s a Wonderful Life, where Tomoya hooks up with Tomoyo instead of Nagisa.) Since the focus wasn’t on bedding one of the girls, Key was able to craft a very powerful story with a theme of the importance of family.

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Thankfully, Kyoto Animation doesn’t try to be clever with the source material. Instead, they take Key’s story and craft it into something amazing. This allows for the Clannad anime to cover the routes of the different other girls without detracting from the romance between Tomoya and Nagisa.

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But at the same time, Kyoto Animation is laying the groundwork for Clannad After Story. After completing Clannad After Story, going back to the start of episode 1 of Clannad, what had been a confusing opening to the series now makes perfect sense. It really is quite good work on the part of both companies.

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Why Should You Watch?

I’ll be the first to admit that the combination of Clannad and Clannad After Story can be quite devastating at times. Having cried a lot during Kanon and Air, I knew Clannad and Clannad After Story would have me going through a box of tissues. Heck, even now, I find I have a lump in my throat just remembering both series, and that’s with not having ever rewatched the series. 😅 It is that powerful.

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But despite the devastating sadness some episodes bring about, the series does end on a very positive note. And this too can bring tears to one’s eyes.

That’s not to say that the entire series is all sadness until the end. There are a lot of humor moments, more so in the Clannad series than Clannad After Story. I rather enjoyed the ongoing conflict between Tomoyo and Tomoya’s best friend Youhei.

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So why should you watch? Well, if you want a series that’s more than fluff, harem, or “other world” (and all of these elements are in both series) and has a strong family theme in it on top of a strong central story, then the combination of Clannad and Clannad After Story fits the bill. Plus, it is one of those titles that I feel all hardcore anime fans should watch at least once. I’m glad I did.

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