Title: CLANNAD – Part 2 – Episodes 13 to 24
Alternative Title: ク ラ ナ ド
Published By: Siren Visual (Australia)
Based On: Clannad by Key / Visual Arts
Audio: English and Japanese Dubs
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Runtime: 300 minutes
Cost: $AUD 49.95 from Siren Visual’s Online Store
Classification: This title is rated M due to Mature Themes and Sexual References.
My Blurb: “An overall enjoyable second part to a great series! At first it tries to convince you that it is a normal school life series, however then adds a quirk or heartwarming element that makes it different from the rest.”
For those who have not read my review of the first part of Clannad, please refer to this link to read it. Since that review I actually managed to acquire a Japanese copy of the visual novel and is currently in the middle of going through the game, however, I have put that to the side and managed to finish watching the final part of the first season of Clannad. Thankfully, Siren Visual has just announced that they will be releasing Clannad: After Story, which follows the rest of Okazaki’s adventures through high school and his life after it.
This DVD is a direct follow on from the first DVD, starting in the middle of the Kotomi arc and continuing from the cliffhanger that they left on. This review may be shorter then the previous one due to the graphics and music being of the same quality as the last DVD, however I encourage you to read on for my review of Clannad: Part 2.
EVERYTHING SEEMED LIKE A DREAM…. AND EVENTUALLY I FORGOT EVERYTHING
Tomoya Okazaki is depressed at the prospect of school. His days are spent considering the path which lies ahead of him, the shadow of his vacant alcoholic father constantly looming over his daily void. He meets a group of strange girls at his school, each with unique social problems and begins to gain perspective on the deep loneliness he feels. When the drama club is established, paranormal turmoil unfolds and hearts are broken…
Clannad deals with the social dynamics of high school and the ennui (I was wondering what the word mean’t, so click here for the definition) it fosters, the bruises adolescence leaves one one’s psyche and the fear of being forgotten by your pears as time ticks by. Central tehmes are the importance of family, self esteem and identity amonst the apparent emotional emptiness of society.
Before you say anything, yes that is what is on the back of the first DVD set’s case, however I do feel it is the most appropriate means of recapping the story so far and detailing the rest of the story. For those who have watched the series up to this point, the storyline starts off from the middle of Kotomi’s arc, where Okazaki finds her cowering in a room filled with newspaper articles relating to her parents. The first part of this volume focuses on him trying to build up her morale to both come back to school, and not suffer at the hands of her parents death. That is what I would consider the last of the character arcs in the series, as the rest of the series details the other girls (Kyou, Kotomi, Ryou and Tomoyo) trying to get Okazaki’s attention in a very weird love hexagon, the attempts at getting the Drama club restarted and finally the ending of the first series in which Nagisa performs her drama.
The good thing is, now that they managed to get away from the individual character stories, they were able to spread out into a lot of smaller storylines, introducing new characters and generally present the second half in a less constricted way then when they put all their focus on one character. The smaller storylines were much more interesting and improved the character development of all characters well. The characters with the most character development would be Tomoyo (Who takes it upon herself to transform Okazaki into a non-delinquent) and Nagisa alongside her parents (Especially at the end where they reveal their secrets to Okazaki).
Sometimes the storyline seemed a bit unrealistic in the times where realism would have been better used, such as the use of a basketball game to help determine who would get the last available teacher as their faculty advisor, so called “magic spells” to have romantic and misunderstood situations occur and many serious moments being interrupted by Fuko appearing from nowhere, however these were only small qualms on an overall brilliant storyline. The only major issue I had was with the ending, which seemed a bit too wishy-washy for my liking and whilst it was evident that it was going to happen, they could have presented it in a much more interesting way. However, I do agree that it was the more appropriate ending for the season.
That being said, the conclusion to Kotomi’s arc was very well done and heartwarming and they did a good job attempting to diversify the character relationships to make it seem more then what is usually seen. The ending could have been better, but the back story for all the characters in relation to the ending, as well as the overall story was very well done. I look forward to seeing the storyline for Clannad: After Story, since the story does not resolve itself completely, leaving a lot of unfinished storylines to carry over.
However, that is not all. At the conclusion of what I would call the proper ending for the series, there are two bonus episodes. The first bonus episode, if you could call it that, takes place after the ending events (Actual ending removed for spoilers) and has a strong focus on Okazaki, Nagisa and Youhei Sunohara’s younger sister Mei and is not very serious and focuses more on a more light hearted environment and some comedy. This was a really enjoyable watch. The second bonus episode takes place in an alternate world where instead of being friends with Nagisa, Okazaki is in a girlfriend/boyfriend relationship with Tomoyo, which turns out to be a much more depressive and sad storyline, however is still a very interesting watch.
As I stated in my review for part 1, the design quality for both environments and characters do not decrease between sets, and if anything, the design quality may have improved slightly in comparison to the first part, especially in the later episodes. In terms of music, the opening and ending themes remain the same throughout the series whilst the music is, and I was able to confirm it both thanks to jopchan121 and playing the game, mostly the same to the really good music in the game! The voice acting for the original characters remains as strong as they were when the series started, whilst the new characters also had some decent voice actors, such as Serena Varghese who voiced Mei Sunohara who pulled off the cuteness appeal, however I will save my judgement on if she is better then the Japanese voice actor once I do a comparison on a certain scene in Clannad: After Story (People who have watched Clannad: After Story can most probably guess the scene).
Overall through, it was a very enjoyable watch and if you enjoyed the first set, then without a doubt go out and buy this as you will not be disappointed. If you have read this without having watched the first one, then go out and buy both of them!
Character Development: A
Voice Acting: A
Personal Opinion: A
Overall Score: S
“Might seem a bit weird giving my first review under this new review system an S grade, but it deserves much more then an A Grade!”