No matter how many trailers or clips you watch of an anime, nothing compares to a recommendation from a friend. We make a lot of suggestions amongst ourselves but too often they end up doomed to the dreaded backlog. Enter GLORIO Anime Club! The rules are simple: choose any anime you’ve watched in its entirety and the next randomly chosen person on the list MUST watch it, no questions asked. After watching and documenting their thoughts for your reading pleasure, they get to choose what the next person watches and so on. For our very first round of GLORIO Anime Club, Timmy has chosen Clannad for Marlin to watch. Read on to see how things went. – Jel
Timmy: For this first edition Marlin was the lucky one who was drawn to go first and I was drawn as the one to give him a recommendation. Seeing as he seems to be our resident romantic (although most of us seem to enjoy a good romance show) I found it surprising that he hasn’t watched Clannad, so I decided to use this opportunity to push him to fix that. I have hopes he will enjoy himself enough to dive into Afterstory, where the real meat and potatoes of the series reside, but I guess I will have to wait and see on that.
What did you think?
Marlin: Clannad was always one of those things I just never got around to watching. I always heard how good people thought it was. I know people love it for Key’s patented blend of silly comedy and heartbreaking drama. Still, I just never really felt a large desire to see it. It might have been those character designs, which really remind me why the term “moeblob” exists. Still, as Timmy says I do enjoy a good romance and that’s what I hoped for. Too bad that really isn’t what Clannad is about.
Just to lay this out on the table, I’m going to get into what really didn’t click with me for this show. I do not find Clannad funny. Not in the slightest. There were a lot of sequences that made episodes boring or even hard to watch. Its “jokes” seem to rely on you either loving Tom and Jerry style violence or be endeared to the insipidly cute things some of the heroines do. I also have problems with the main character being a bit of an asshole. I’m definitely not the kind of person that accepts messing with people for fun, and Tomoya really does it way too often.Timmy, Jel, and Life, all lovers of the show, simply seemed to think my tastes are just way different from the norm, but I just could not get into it. Honestly, the violence was the worst part, completely ruining fantastic scenes on more than one occasion. It got so repugnant it almost made me stop watching altogether.
Still, most people aren’t into Key stories for the comedy. The meat of that VN empire is their drama, and that definitely was Clannad‘s strength. Each of the three main heroines focused on have well written backstories and tragedies to overcome. If I had one criticism of the way Clannad handled its drama, I was disappointed by the frequent recurrence of Fuko after her crushingly depressing exit, as it really seemed to undermine any gravitas her disappearance had. Still, otherwise those scenes were fantastic and gripping, and well worth my earlier frustration.
In the end I honestly did have a positive experience with Clannad. Despite my problems with its comedy, it always hit me in all the right places with its drama. It genuinely made me care about its characters. I think the best part would have to be the slowly growing relationship between Tomoya and Nagisa. It was so sweet and developed very organically. The accidental slip when the family is playing baseball is one of the best confessions I’ve ever seen. I’ve been spoiled some of the painful particulars of After Story, so I might be hesitant to watch such a happy ending turn south, but it would definitely be tempting once I start going through my backlog.