To start, I’d like to declare that Clannad is my personal favorite anime series of all time. That isn’t to say that everyone will absolutely love this series, but it is definitely worth at least a try, especially if you’re into the slice of life genre. Clannad is a comedy drama that follows a high school delinquent, Tomoya Okazaki, as he tries to help a strange girl he befriends, Nagisa Furukawa, in her quest to restart their school’s drama club.
The first season, consisting of multiple story arcs, for the most part seems unimpressive. There is a good reason. It is a build up to season two, known as Clannad: After Story. The first season of Clannad introduces you to the characters and slowly develops them. Adventure after adventure the cast grows on you and you become attached. Season two matches the pace of season one for the first half or so, and then bam! The story flies through several years of Tomoya’s life.
The story arcs in season two, delving into deeper themes than anything in season one and is much more intense overall. Since you bond with the characters for around 20 episodes, the feelings become heightened during intense moments. The characters are at a similar point in their lives as many of us students are, so many situations are easily relatable.
The series is perfect at captivating you before you even realize. It takes you through so much in 50 episodes that it’s hard to stop watching after so long. Clannad is life; it captures so much of day-to-day life and the struggles of the teenage years through the early 20s. It causes you to experience such a wide range of emotions and can easily and unexpectedly hit you close to home.
Clannad was the most emotional I’ve felt watching an anime before. Admittedly I cried watching through it the first time and then cried even more the second time. The show connected to me on so many levels, and when I couldn’t relate, it commanded my sympathy. The pacing can be slow at times. There are weird flashes that won’t make sense until the ending and it isn’t very action driven. It can be hard to stick with it, but if you do sit through both seasons you are rewarded. It can be a great anime to start with if you haven’t watched an anime series before. If you are an anime regular, I highly recommend it. I hold the series in the highest regard and award the series a 10/10.
Since an official trailer of the series doesn’t seem to exist, here is the first scene from the first episode to give you a feel for the show.