Clannad and Kinship (Clannad anime review)

Quite recently, I finally completed watching Clannad and Clannad After Story after much persuasion by Ristlin, @fkeroge and MauJG to put it at the very top of my watch list. Their persuasion and the bet we had made me attempt to spam watch both seasons as fast as possible. And finally, I’m done with similar sentiments to them. I F#$%*^&G love it!!!!! (pardon the language)

Claanad is a school-life romance VN with aspects of fantasy and drama. It was adapted into an anime and I watched the anime only because i’m too lazy to want to play the VN which is a very lengthy affair. But the anime is just as good (or so I’ve heard from @fkeroge who has done both).

And our protagonists meet

I deeply enjoyed Clannad because of the incredibly compelling storyline. It’s the first anime where I decided to watch 10 episodes in 1 night. The emotions and the events that occur all make you thirst for more as you watch. Sure it starts out a little slow but it picks up speed really fast and continually hit you with more and more emotional drama and scenes until the climax of the story arcs. The ending made me oh so close to causing me to lose my bet that I would cry at the end.

Obviously, it looks better animated. So go watch it

However, it’ll all be a bit of a shame if the visuals don’t help to accentuate and deliver the plot. Happily, Clannad sure doesn’t disappoint in this aspect. The animation is smooth and the graphics absolutely stunning. Beautiful graphics with an amazing storyline sure places this in my favourites.

This bit onward is ridden with spoilers and might be a bit of a rant. You have been warned ;D

Throughout Clannad and the After Story, Claanad touches on a lot of key aspects of life, of friendship, dedication, love (duh XD), relations and various others. But what I found myself really drawn too the aspect of family.

Tomoya and his dad have a really crappy relationship

In the story, there are 2 main families (3 if you want to count all of Tomya’s close friends as family). Mainly it’s Nagisa’s close knit family who get along incredibly well (almost unrealistically well in my opinion) and Tomoya’s broken family consisting of his dad (and later in the show when it is revealed, his grandmother).

Nagisa's dad says some random shit often

So, on one hand, we have Nagisa’s family who make me very jealous. My family sure isn’t as close knit as Nagisa’s where they can all get along well and interact like they’re the best of friends. Definitely worthy of envy. Such a family relationship would surely require a lot of nurturing and love to achieve such a strong bond between parent and child.

However, due to the unfortunate circumstances of my family, we seem to have followed the default “Asian” path (not trying to be racist here, just noting a observation). It is common of Asian parents to be over-protective of their offspring. Not necessarily a bad thing but we do tend to go overboard till it becomes just sheer dominance over the child. I’ll use myself as an example. My parents want to know each and every aspect of my life. Where I’ve been if I was late returning home, what I’ve been doing on the computer and the internet, who my friends are and such. Of course, normally, you wouldn’t mind. It nice to know your parents really do care about you and they want to know about you.

But as I’ve said, we do go overboard. We seem to tend to want to control every single aspect of our child (ESPECIALLY their education. Because nothing is more important than grades to use Asians ;D). We want to control every bit of how our child lives his life to create a “perfect” child in our eyes that will be welcomed into society with open hands . However, this does result in one thing I’ve seen present in a large amount of people I know. The various decisions and acts carried out eventually result in one incredibly negative effect. Resentment towards your parents. Such total control over the child also has other negative affects such as warped perceptions, inability to socially interact and such. But resentment is what Tomoya has.

Yes, it is common to dislike your parents a little for some decisions they do that disagree with you. However, you get over them as you eventually come to realize they were for your own good. But resentment is a different. It is the deep dislike for your parents, no matter what they do, whether it was for your good or for their own reasons as you simply feel they are just trying to hold you down. Disobeying such decisions would then result in a sound scolding or a beating. Such occasions and events would then be imprinted forever in the child, leading to intense dislike, to resentment to even outright hatred.

Guess who they're talking to. Yeah, his dad is jail

Tomoya resents his father for the beatings that have been dealt upon him, one which lead to his permanent disability of being unable to lift his right shoulder past his shoulder joint. He feels that everything his father has ever done just held him back and had negative affects on his life. The fact his father is a drinker doesn’t help Tomoya’s view of him. And so, he does everything in his power to avoid his father. He prefers to go to his friend’s apartment after school to pass the time before returning home just to sleep, all to minimize contact. And when there is interaction, he always gets angry and annoyed at his father as he feels his father does not view him as his son.

I can actually relate to Tomoya quite well. Yes, I do feel resentment towards my parents. I surely hope it’s not as bad as Tomoya but it is there nonetheless. It’s unexplainable. It’s just the deep dislike of them whenever they interact with you and the thinking that everything they do is for their own personal benefit without consultation with you as to your views or feelings.

Learning about his dad's past from his grandmother

However, Tomoya does eventually overcome this resentment. There is only 1 way I can see to be able to do so. That is to simply understand. It is very difficult for a child to step into your parent’s shoes, especially so when you resent them. You just simply do not want to care about their point of view. You just feel they are “bad”. However, if you were to do so, to see from their point of view, you can release all that resentment. You can forgive them for all the beatings and scoldings they have heaped upon you as you can see they have a good purpose. You can see that all they wish for is that you succeed in life and achieve your dreams.

Nagisa ~ !!

This path of actions however, is a lot more difficult than it sounds. It would require you to WANT to let go of your resentment. Such pent up feelings definitely bad for one’s mental health (I should know, being just a tad bit insane). This is present in Tomoya on how he views his life with all that negativity. Thank god for Nagisa who showed up, who shined a ray of hope into his pit of self-inflicted gloom and depression (I want a Nagisa too x3).

Some other family related stuff in Clannad

So this seems to have become a bit of a rant. I’ll conclude here then before I continue to yap on and on. I really would recommend Clannad to anyone. It’s a very powerful show. It changed my rather negative and biased view towards my parents. I am now actively trying to release my resentment towards them (although their attitudes and actions towards me seems to makes that harder but I’m not willing to give up so easily). So I really do appreciate Clannad for that ;D

P.S I’ve kinda decided to write more “serious” posts, with more meaning (I hope) that I can relate too. So please tell more how you thought of this. I would really like to improve on it if possible.


About Manfred Tham

Manfred can typically be found hiding from people behind his computer screen or a tall pint. However you can easily contact him in any given video game where he will either insult you or be really nice to you. In addition his nerdiness transcends the digital plane when he partakes in the arcane rituals of rolling dice in both table-top and board games. Disregarding the countless hours he has logged into games, Manfred loves nothing more than cooking food to satisfy his craving for Northern European cuisine or to sip away from the many bottles of whiskies he fondly defaults to. Manfred is also what is commonly known as a “metalhead” with a penchant for both symphonic and power metal. Manfred summarises his life philosophy with a quote by Samuel L.Jackson, but it has been redacted for being far too vulgar.

Posted on September 3, 2011, in Anime, Otaku-ism and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Some people dont like clannad… The soulless bastards that they are >.> (sorry if u dont like clannad~)

  2. I’m in the process of making a CLANNAD prequel visual novel. Here’s a link in case you’re interested:

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