CLANNAD (TV) – Anime Review

The Essentials

CLANNADName: CLANNAD; CLANNAD: After Story (Season 2)
Genre: Drama, Comedy, Romance
Episodes: 44 + 3 specials + 1 recap
Aired: October 4, 2007 – March 27, 2008; October 3, 2008 – March 26, 2009
Based On: CLANNAD dating sim by Key/Visual Arts
Director: Tatsuya Ishihara
Produced By: Kyoto Animation
US Distribution By: ADV Films/Sentai Filmworks


Character Japanese Cast English Cast (N/A)
Tomoya Okazaki: Yuuichi Nakamura
Nagisa Furukawa: Mai Nakahara
Kyou Fujibayashi: Ryou Hirohashi
Youhei Sunohara: Daisuke Sakaguchi
Kotomi Ichinose: Mamiko Noto
Tomoyo Sakagami: Houko Kuwashima
Sanae Furukawa: Kikuko Inoue
Akio Furukawa: Ryotaro Okiayu
Ryou Fujibayashi: Akemi Kanda
Yukine Miyazawa: Atsuko Enomoto
Ushio Okazaki: Satomi Koorogi
Yusuke Yoshino: Hikaru Midorikawa
Fuko Ibuki: Ai Nonaka


CLANNAD, and it’s second season, CLANNAD: After Story, is about two high school students – Nagisa and Tomoya – who each are having their own problems in life, but are able to lift each other up out of those circumstances together.

Nagisa is a sickly and shy girl who has been held back in her senior year of high school due to missing much of the year with a mysterious illness.  This, on top of her social timidness, has resulted in her not having all that many friends.  Tomoya, meanwhile, has been leading a dismal life, living with his drunkard father and being looked down upon by the rest of the students in the school as the resident deliquient.  However, one day early Tomoya’s senior year (and Nagisa’s repeat of hers), the two run into each other on a hill leading to school, and their extroardinary tale begins.

Along the way, the two hang out with a variety of students at the school, including the student representative twins, the timid Ryou and the tomboy and violent Kyou, the super genius Kotomi, ex-gang fighter Tomoyo, as well as Tomoya’s troublemaker-in-chief friend Sunohara, and the always hospitable Yukine.  The two are also encouraged by Nagisa’s parents, Akio and Sanae, whom Tomoya soon starts living with due to his own domistic situation.

The first season of CLANNAD is mostly spent running through the 5 main girl’s arcs, though only two of the girls, Fuko and Kotomi, have true and distinct story arcs per se, with Tomoyo’s, Kyou’s, and Nagisa’s arcs all essentially running parallel with each other near the end of the series.  The second season begins by running through short story arcs for some of the minor characters, before jumping into the beef of the story, which is Tomoya and Nagisa’s post-high school relationship.

CLANNAD is replete with comedic and dramatic story points which make this series very entertaining to watch (and the overall storytelling helps as well).  The show covers enough ground that, even though it’s 44 episodes long (at least in the series proper), it never really stalls or hangs around any given conflict too long, keeping the series fresh as it progresses.

My only problem with the series is it’s ending, which I personally think invalidates the last 6 episodes of the series, which happen to be perhaps the most powerful episodes of the entire series.  However, your mileage may vary when it comes to whether one likes or dislikes the ultimate ending.  Luckily, there is still more than enough in the rest of the series that the ending didn’t dampen my overall enjoyment of the series too much.

As is usual with Kyoto Animation series, the music and animation quality are amazing.  My only complaint is that the series, as aired on TV, is in 4:3 aspect ratio, while a re-airing in it’s proper 16:9 ratio didn’t occur until 3 or 4 weeks later, though the 16:9 version should be fully available by now (or for purchase from ADV Films for the first season).

Overall, if you’re looking for a good romance-drama with a healthy dose of added comedy as well and want something that doesn’t totally confirm to the norm in the genre, you may like CLANNAD.


Story: 5/5
Animation: 5/5
Music: 5/5
English Dubs: N/A

Overall: 5/5

First Watched: October 2007 – March 2009
Do I Own: Yes
Do I Recommend: Yes