I feel that more often than not, I’m recommending a sad anime. In my defense, it’s not my fault sadness so often translates to masterpiece in the weeaboo world. This is definitely the case with Clannad and Clannad After Story, a two-part anime adapted from a KEY visual novel for PC.
In classic anime fashion, Clannad centers around the love story of a delinquent boy (Tomoya Okazaki) and a moe girl (Nagisa Furukawa). On the surface, Clannad follows Tomoya as he agrees to help Nagisa revive the school’s drama club. However, the nature of Nagisa’s apparent frailty and the underlying issues found within the rest of the club members quickly deepen the narrative. Tomoya must face the fact that life isn’t as dull and nonsensical as he had previously believed. This switch in perspective is what sets the scene for Clannad After Story.
Clannad might have never been widely accepted as a good anime as a standalone. Yet, it is an important piece of the puzzle if you want to truly enjoy Clannad After Story. In this new iteration, Tomoya and Nagisa’s relationship is explored in-depth. The writers allow for their story to reach heights we rarely see in shoujos: marriage, pregnancy, and children. That being said, get ready for some waterworks (and not in a The Notebook kind of way).
Why You Should Watch It
While Clannad is filled with youthful shenanigans and organizes its episodes around its female characters (similar to God Only Knows), Clannad After Story is definitely worth the investment. The anime elevates the maturity of its predecessor in unforeseeable ways. In short, you definitely won’t regret having put in the time to get through both installments.