I return today to talking from films to TV shows for this installment of 12 Days, 12 Moments–and about the most popular show on the blogosphere, too. The end of the Fuko arc in Clannad marks, in my view, the maturation of Key as storytellers, where they at last succeeded in finding the right balance between sentiment and restraint and earning the emotions of its characters.
No. But that doesn’t stop this from being the most heartfelt, genuine, and overall best Key plotline ever. Here’s why.
I can’t help it. The Fuko arc really does work after all, in spite of itself. Maybe the reason why the arc is so long is because it needed that time to settle in the viewer’s mind, but there’s something primal and powerful about where this story is headed that I can’t help but be touched by.
The Fuko arc kicks into full gear, and the result is something that feels, well, much more like previous Key productions and less like the refreshingly different feel of the earlier ones focusing on Nagisa. Key has always been sentimental, but I think this arc feels a bit excessively so, to the point where I felt a bit emotionally detached the whole time.
The entire review presumes that you know what Fuko’s true condition is. It should thus be considered a spoiler in its entirety.
Lucky because he almost got to orchestrate a yuri scene? Well, not really. Plus, I feel like I’ve seen the plot twist that happens at the end before in Kanon. But heck, this one had some good jokes and the best almost-yuri scene of the season.
I remember I was gushing over episode 2, probably more for personal reasons than for genuine artistic ones (though I do think this is the strongest start to a Key show ever), and so it was just a little disappointing to see it slip back into a more “typical” kind of mode with this episode. Of course, it’s way too early to prejudge anything–dang it, I learned that lesson by now!–but this episode more than the previous ones felt more like a collection of loosely connected vignettes rather than a more cohesive story that was pulling forward in a certain direction.
On the other hand, it was also genuinely funny.
Like maturity, we were just a few days late with this episode–but Anime Diet Radio, being 14 like Shinji-kun, has made its angst-ridden, whiny return! And indeed, we spend a good amount of time talking about ourselves and our battle with the splogs in our Roundtable section this time. For the first time, however, we answer reader mail–thanks asdf!– and talk about Clannad canned bread and strange places for Nice Boats to appear. (Some comments have arrived for our previous episode since this episode was recorded; we will answer it in the following episode, which will be our Halloween special.)
- (00:00–01:25) Intro
- (01:25–03:20) J-List Plug
- (03:20–05:33) Agenda
- (05:33–19:26) Mailbag: more on Geneon and the industry
- (19:26–26:19) News: Clannad Canned Bread
- (26:19–32:26) News: Strange places for Nice Boats
- (32:26–43:39) Roundtable: Splog Invaders
- (43:39–end) Conclusion and Preview
- OP: “perfect blue” by ATSUMI (OP to Dragonaut: The Resonance)
- ED: “I’m here” by Hiroko Taguchi (ED to ef–a tale of memories eps 1)
- We are J-List affiliates. Click here (1) to visit J-List, and if you buy something via this click, you help to support this site!
- Read ‘asdf’s original comment (2) which we reply to here.
- Here’s a link to the news story (3) about the Clannad canned bread. Read the forums (4) to see what people who actually have had canned bread before think.
- Here are some interesting places where Nice Boats have appeared: on race cars (5), and in “ef–a tale of memories.” (6)
- (1) http://affiliates.jlist.com/click/19?url=http://www.jlist.com/
- (2) http://animediet.net/archives/1848#comments
- (3) http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2007-10-04/clannad-canned-bread
- (4) http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/bbs/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=43655
- (5) http://mainichi.jp/enta/mantan/graph/anime/20071009/
- (6) http://animearimasu.animeblogger.net/2007/10/13/ef-tale-of-memories-nice-boat/
I must be succumbing to the Borglike consensus or something: I liked this episode. A lot. Very much. Just but short of love, but only just. So far the show looks very promising and I’m beginning to warm to the main set of characters, which, when it happens at this early stage, is almost always a good sign.
|Reminder: Our School Days Demotivational Poster contest ends TODAY! The deadline is October 6, 9:30 PM Pacific Standard Time, or October 7, 9:30 AM in Taiwan and Singapore. Please see here for more details.|
Whee, I’m on the bandwagon everyone! I’ve never actually quite figured out why the anime blogosphere in particular is full of moe fans, but it’s always these shows that get blogged the most…and seeing that this one has the best chance of being quality, I’m giving it a shot. And, like both the beginning of Air and Kanon 2006, it starts fairly strong.
I have a conflicted relationship with the harem genre. Love Hina and Oh My Goddess were some of the earliest anime I watched as a fan, and I liked them both (a lot, in fact). They were amusing and nice wish fulfillment, though only because I hadn’t yet become inured to the genre. But aside from the kinds of issues I talked about in my anime and gender post, I’ve always felt that the harem genre was generally the most hidebound and cliche-ridden of all the modern anime types in recent years–School Days aside, which perhaps blew up the harem conventions for the sake of blowing them up. With those thoughts in mind I watched the 30 second Clannad preview, which is the latest in a string of KyoAni + Key projects that began with Air and continued with Kanon.