Clannad ~After Story~ 01
So here begins this new season of anime, and thus of anime bloggers endless posts about the anime. Woo. In any case, of the new series on offer, I’ll definitley be following both ef – a tale of melodies and Clannad ~After Story~. I am still watching Full Metal Panic!, and I’m really enjoying it, but knowing the next episode is there to watch makes it hard to write about each one objectively and without bleeding into the surrounding episodes. Luckily, I won’t have that problem with the new Clannad.
I was surprised when I heard about Clannad the first time around, basically because of the word “clannad.” I knew without having to look it up that it meant “family” in Irish, and it shocked me to know that visual novel producers actually knew that my country existed. Unfortunately, there already existed a folk band with the name Clannad, so now whenever I hear it, I have conflicting thoughts of moé and traditional music. Which don’t mix terribly well, at least in my own head.
If you haven’t seen this episode, beware of spoilers from here on in.
RIght, well let’s go on first impressions to get this mini-review kicked off. I assume that we’re treated to a nugget of Tomoya’s past here to begin proceedings, which obviously suggests that Tomoya and his father were once on good terms. It looks like we’re going to have more of the past dragged up concerning Tomoya’s daddy troubles, given that Nagisa seems determined to get the two of them talking again.
I quite like the new opening animation and music so far. The new OP song is a little softer and climaxes less often in computer generated euro-dance than Megumeru, last season’s opening track. As a result, it does lose some of the old OP’s really anthemic qualities, but I think this one will survive repeated plays more than Megumeru did. Plus, it eschews the violins for more emphasis on piano, which I think is a better choice. I really like the final section of the OP that repeats that simple five note melody, because it gives the song real prescence without overpowering it. It’s a great way to finish the song.
As for the ED… I can’t hide it… I’m really missing Dango Daikazoku. It was such a beautifully simple song that really hit your inner bits when it shifted into the second verse with the gongs. It’s nice that they referenced Dango in the new ED, but I don’t think the new song will stand up to the test of time. It isn’t memorable, because it doesn’t have a catchy chorus or rhythm, and even the backing track is sort of dance-like beats that don’t have any lasting power to compel the listener to keep listening. It just sounds like a generic anime song.
I’m so glad that Tomoya is as sarcastic as ever, and still as willing to degrade himself to joke around with people like Sunohara. His devil-may-care attitude slightly sets him apart from the normal harem leaders, which is always a bonus for a style that has limited potential before looking old and rehashed.
So Tomoya has managed to conveniently get together some of the characters from the last season to play a nice, friendly game of baseball against some Koshien players, is how the story for this episode goes. We’ve got all of the main ones here, and they’re all sounding great. Kotomi sounds a little different to what I remember, but all of the girls’ voices scream moé from the rooftops, just as they did before.
I’m also glad that Clannad has kept that brand of humour it has last season, that doesn’t make everything so serious. Moments during the baseball match were quite funny, though not on the funny scale of the lesbian mix-up last time. But give it time, and I’m sure we’ll see some gems. It also seems we’re not done with that robot stuffed bear thing quite yet.