The main male protagonist Okazaki Tomoya and the best character in this anime, the starfish freak Ibuki Fuko.
The fifth anime in this wave of 2007 anime reviews is Clannad, as promised. This is another anime based on those dating simulations, brought to you by those who make the excellent AIR series. The difference between Clannad and AIR is that Clannad is a romance anime, thus automatically will be saddled with the higher standard that I imposed on all romance genre titles.
Fuko-chan is making fun out of the main character’s ignorance.
Our high-school delinquent Okazaki Tomoya hates his school and hates his father, and went through the motions of his life alongside his sidekick, Sunohara Youhei. But one day, as he is going late to the school, he meets Furukawa Nagisa who is also late just like him…
For those who did not see this anime yet, the anime is divided into several story arcs, and this information is important for the context of this mini-review. The first arc which deals with the Ibuki Fuko is the longest, and also the best of them all. In fact, I started to wonder whether Clannad will get a perfect score despite the handicap (which will automatically dethrone Nodame Cantabile off its perch) if the anime continues, but unfortunately the subsequent arcs is nowhere as good as the first one.
It is not to say that the rest of the story arcs did not have good stories behind them, it is just that the first arc is just a magnificent masterpiece; it makes the others look so ordinary. And this is one of the weaknesses of this anime, which will be the unbalanced storyline quality. Another weakness of this anime that has something to do with the story arcs formation in this anime is that they do not merge smoothly enough to make a whole complete package. This scene-transition problem also happened to AIR, and I wonder if this problem is inherent in anime based on dating games.
I also have issues about the storyline of the arc about the genius girl, which requires a significantly higher degree of suspension-of-belief. There are some facts in that arc that is simply hard to believe, for example how the main protagonist can forget a major event like the fire in the genius girl’s house just like that. Considering the context of the anime up to that time, this is simply hard to believe, and the main protagonist has an unusually hard time to remember it back. The explanations given for his ‘amnesia’ is not satisfactory and ruined the arc for me.
But in general, despite of issues mentioned above, this anime has a good story as a whole, even better than the one in AIR although it would have been better if the arcs after the Ibuki Fuko’s can match its (first arc) brilliance. The ending is also very well done, and I wonder how this anime can be extended in the confirmed second season. Which I will definitely watch.
Yet another weakness that has something to do with the story arcs of this anime is the ‘weird’ character development strategies this anime seems to employ. This mainly applies to Furukawa Nagisa, but I think some other characters like Sunohara Youhei is also affected by this to a lesser extent. This weakness caused Furukawa Nagisa to look like different characters depending on what story arc is currently playing. For the rest of the characters, their development is rather mixed, with the main male protagonist and Ibuki Fuko being the best amongst them while many other characters having minimal development especially those who are not main characters of an arc.
She also points out one of the main issues that infested many titles in Japanese anime.
Coming straight out of a typical H-game. As usual, black is an alien color for hairs, and the obsession with purple hairs is simply unhealthy. Stereotypes are the rage here with big eyes, big boobies and impossible body shapes.
The face that launched a thousand Awws.
Overall, voice acting in this anime is just average at best, with no one being better than the rest.
This anime has good OST, and the ED theme is excellent. Nothing can be said about the OP theme though.
No matter how many times she does it, it never gets boring.
A positive point of this anime, the animation quality in this anime is top notch, even in the little fast-paced scenes this anime has. Due to the nature of this anime, there will be no comment about the choreography, although the fight scenes are nothing to write about. The directing is generally good, and I will forgive about the story imbalance problem, but I will not overlook the problems with the genius girl arc.
She is totally awesome even when bashing other people’s head.
8 out of 10 (remember the handicap that AIR does not have). If the anime finished at episode 9, Clannad would have taken home the Anime of The Year 2007 title from Nodame Cantabile. Alas, the next 14 episodes ensure that that will not happen. The next anime in the pipeline is 5 Centimeters per Second, in the glory of HD.
She makes the first story arc magnificent in this first place, it makes me wanting to get the game just to pair her up with the main protagonist.