Ending B

Summon elemental powers!

For those who recall my first article on Clannad, you will recall that I wanted to wait for After Story to make a full judgment on the series as a whole. Well, on the flip side, CAS, does answer my questions. Unfortunately, I didn't like the answers I got.

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SOME MINOR SPOILERS!

It's going to be impossible for me to tell you what I think about CAS without revealing major MAJOR spoilers, but I'll try my best. This series takes place almost immediately after the events of the first series. The series is split up like so: "During School" (ep. 1-9), "After School and All is Well" (ep 11-16), "Things Fall Apart" (ep 17-21), "Nauseatingly Happy Ending" (ep 22), "Extra Prequel Episode That Does Nothing for the Plot (ep 23), and "Clip Show" (ep 24).

Nagisa gets hit in the head with a pan

THUD!

If anyone is wondering what I mean by "Nauseatingly Happy Ending," go read A Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare. You'll understand then.

One of the main problems that I had with this series is that it's focus was on characters that I either didn't care about or didn't like at all. The characters that I wanted to see more on, Ryou (one of the twins), Kotomi (socially awkward girl), and Tomoyo (kicking girl) are pushed to the background or largely ignored.

Yeah, just... ugh.

For crying out loud, this bozo gets his own story arc!

Tomoya, the main character, is the largest disappointment in the series. He evolves from an apathetic slacker to an unbelievable bastard who doesn't learn from his mistakes. Over halfway through the series, let's just say he develops a nasty character trait that leaves him to be unforgivable in my book. At the end of the story, he basically stays the same person who is stuck in the past. And he gets rewarded for it.

I was also frustrated by the "extra" episodes at the end of the series. They didn't really add anything to the story. It almost seemed like they ran out of ideas for the main story and just went off on a tangent.

Tomoya carries Nagisa

Hang in there, I'm almost done.

Despite my complaints, there were a few good things about CAS. One of the storylines I really wanted to see completed in the original series gets completed, and quite nicely I might add. In addition, I absolutely love the opening song. It may be my favorite song anime has ever provided.

THOUGHTS

Overall, my initial mild disappointments in Clannad evolved into a strong dislike after watching After Story. If you watched the first series, you could watch it just to get some of your questions answered, but don't hold your breath for anything good. If you haven't seen ANY of Clannad, I can't in all good conscience recommend it. If you are interested in a great anime with beautiful animation, might I suggest you watch Kanon or Air instead? (If you're only going to watch one of those, then go for Kanon)

Ushio cries

Don't cry, Ushio. I don't hate you.