Sunday, 21 February 2016

CLANNAD AFTER STORY

Clannad After Story ( Roopayan Ghosh )


Clannad After Story
Number of episodes-22+2OVA
Genre- Drama/Romance/Fantasy/Slice of Life
Rating:- Art and Animation-9/10, Music-9.5/10, Story-10/10, Characters-10/10, Enjoyment-9.5/10(48/50)
Well this has been reviewed too many times in forums and too many good things (and a few bad ones) have been said about it. I dont know why of all these days a sudden urge came to me to review it(Its surprising I haven't done it before), but let me whet that urge. And yes I am not reviewing Season 1 just season 2. I am not a fan of season 1, for some odd reason, and started season 2 before even going halfway through season 1. While it did not deter me from enjoying the anime, it made me watch season 1 later and ended up clearing some things which unless you watch season 1 you will never get.
I will not spend much time in explaining my ratings, just that the art and animation are typical KyoAni and yet one of their best in 24 episode anime. Maeda Jun's music grows on you as you listen. I have to admit initially when I first heard the music I wasnt captivated but then I heard the OSTs as standalones it was a surreal calming experience. The voice acting of different characters were up o the mark, they portrayed the emotions of the characters clearly enough but still there is always room for improvement.
Which brings me to the story. The storyline is dramatic and often people complain overly melodramatic. So let us break the anime up into arcs. The anime starts cheerfully yet almost each episode has some melancholy in it. Sunohara's character gets some much need exposure and until graduation the few characters which lacked proper exposure in Clannad gets their time. Specially that story of the cat is one of my favourites in AS. It is so simple yet hits you right in the kokoro. I am not a pet lover at all but that did not prevent me from having a melancholic smile on my face when the episode ended. Yes the first half of CAS will ensure you have a mix of sadness and happiness and you will not ever be able to imagine what will hit you later.
The tragedy which strikes though isnt really surprising. We all knew Nagisa(the female protag) was ill and I think at the back of the mind each of the viewer gets prepared for the worst. But what makes the anime brilliant is how they portray the lives of the characters around her. Her parents, her husband and her friends. But in this arc the single greatest episode according to me is probably the interaction between the protagonist his grandma and his father. So much emotions was bundled in that episode that it almost threatens to overshadow the main flow of the story. But then you are not spared, more tragedy strikes and everything seems almost hopeless.
There is a parallel story in a parallel world shown in each episode. And I am sure most of you will be left wondering whats going on. And near the end it becomes clear. This anime was never an ordinary slice of life. It never intended to be in the first place. It was always a fantasy slice of life. From season 1. The legend of the town starts to make sense and we get to know about Nagisa's past as well. And then the miracle happens. It is here that the fandom gets split. Some people say the miracle was not needed, while others say it was beautiful. I will leave that opinion to the viewer. If you want my personal opinion I would say that the authors had planned for this from the start, they weren't intending to make a sad anime, they were intending to make an anime tinged with melancholy yet will bring a smile on your face. They wanted to make a fairytale ending. And that ending will never demean what was shown before. Because the previous episodes hit your emotions the way they intend to, they teach you the importance of bonds and family, they teach you the sadness of losing your loved ones and what they teach you most is to treasure the people close to you, because you never know what the future holds. The hero got a second chance at life, it is almost as if the authors are telling you, “Well, we hope after seeing this anime you see the people around you differently, this is your second chance. We hope you are a little bit wiser about your outlook towards life”, just like the protagonist was told.
So why did I suddenly have the urge to review it. Oh I remember now, I saw a news that a family went for a trip to Kashmir, their car got caught in an avalanche and fell into an abyss. The wife and son were dead. The father was fighting for his life at the hospital. Somehow this reminded me of Clannad after story. Yes in real life there are no miracles, no fairy tale ending. But reality is so boring aint it?



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