Jun Maeda is best know for his work as a writer with the visual novel company Key, but it’s perhaps a lesser known fact that he also has a hand in composing the soundtracks for his projects. That includes the opening and ending songs of the popular anime adaptations of Kanon, Air, and Clannad, most of which are based on selections of music from the original VNs. The most famous of all these is also the simplest: “Dango Daikazoku” by Chata, the ending song for the first part of the Clannad series.
Compared to most school anime, the Clannad series is a grand, sweeping story. It takes us on a journey beyond the simple high school crush and well into the trials of being an adult. And yet with “Dango Daikazoku”, the message of this story – the fundamental value of family and friends – is so easily, beautifully condensed into a simple child’s song. With it’s crayon drawn animation, plinky xylophone music and plain, innocent vocals, it’s a comforting reminder of the bonds the characters have and need to draw from when they hit their lowest point. The song is retired after the first series, but the moment when Clannad leading man Tomoya finally finds himself compelled to quietly sing the song in After Story was one of the most touching, MANLY TEARS inducing scenes I’ve ever experienced.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I seem to have have something stuck in my eye… *sniffle*