Clannad 1–Family Matters

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Let’s jump on a show everyone will watch.

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 mustn’t run away? Not even angst?

I don’t know why, but I like the fact that this show starts in a much more angst-ridden context than usual. Tomoya hates this town, he has an alcoholic widower of a father, and the preview to the movie describes him as “the unhappiest man in the world.” I’m thinking that this makes having a harem a lot more comforting than when it’s with an ordinary hapless guy who doesn’t need all those girls hanging around him, squeeing at his blank face. I still can’t get past the stereotypical character introductions, though, despite the fact that I know this is the convention and that they’re more controlled than usual. Though the appearance of the Tsundere is awfully, awfully typical, and I groaned when the Sick Girl appeared. At least her own angsty fantasies give this show the appearance of emotional depth.

Happy families are all alike… …but unhappy families are unhappy each in their own way. –Tolstoy

As the title implies, families play a bigger role in this show than they typically do in anime. I’ve been spoiled by the richer family life that’s been portrayed in recent anime like Lucky Star and Seto no Hanayome so this is no longer such a hugely unique thing for me anymore. Honestly, though, Nagisa’s parents don’t act all that much older than she does, especially her mom. We don’t know too much about Tomoya’s dad except he’s a drunk. But this will be an element to watch for, because portraying actual families well is so rare in anime that it deserves mention wherever it appears.

Gauze number 1… …and Gauze #2.

Animation-wise: I think I figured out KyoAni’s MO. It’s the filters. Notice how every detailed background scene seems filtered through some kind of soft focus filter and looks a little overexposed? I saw this in Kanon. I saw this in some scenes of both Fumoffu and Haruhi. I wasn’t paying enough attention to Air to care, but considering it’s the same director and staff, I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case too.

I’m just saying: when is Makoto Shinkai going to do a TV series? I’m sure he’ll pick KyoAno as his studio. Their visual styles are in tune with each other.

Sad buns in snow. You know you want it. Nostalgia for childhood = recipe for angst

Finally, I’m almost certain the children’s song of the ED is going to be used in a maudlin, extremely sad, and heartstring manipulating context down the road. I can smell it. This is Key, after all.

Anime Diet Recommended Allowance: 70%. Add 20% if you like moe and harems.

Likelihood of continued blogging: 60%. Depends on how it goes. We’re still in the trial phase for pretty much every show now.

Author: gendomike

Michael lives in the Los Angeles area, and has been into anime since he saw Neon Genesis Evangelion in 1999. Some of his favorite shows include Full Metal Alchemist, Honey and Clover, and Welcome to the NHK!. Since 2003 he has gone to at least one anime convention every year. A public radio junkie, which naturally led to podcasting, he now holds a seminary degree and is looking to become Dr. Rev. Otaku Bible Man any day now. Michael can be reached at You can also find his Twitter account at @gendomike.

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