Clannad is a story that stresses the importance of the social networks of both friends and family. It's rare in an anime to have the protagonist's family play a role larger than causing issues or setting up dinner, Clannad dives into the significance of a caring family. Tomoya's and Nagisa's family are very different but they are both significant in their own ways, but these are bonds worth protecting, just as important if not more than those with our friends. Because family lasts forever even if you don't want it to, that bond always exists. Clannad is a strong plot-based drama which has a rare but amazing conviction to stick to it's themes, never betraying them even for their adorable and loveable characters.
The nature and nuture debate is inherently placed in this exploration of the good, the bad and the ugly of relationships in this anime. The story is about several life transformations that take place both during and before the characters began becoming friends at school. We see the flaws in the characters but a difficult question must be asked about that, who's fault really is it that these problems exist? Is it fair to blame another for one's own faults despite not doing anything about it? The characters make mistakes and sometimes they are not entirely realized, it is a heart-warming story about the battle against fate. Perhaps an alternate future where their situations didn't change, what kind of people would they be now? It explores how others can have a huge influence on someone's life if you take the initiative, and you should but also other times it is not so easily done.
There are some cliches and also some over dramatization of some people's situations but looking at their characters it's easy enough to overlook it, as the anime has something important to say and sometimes the message is more important even if it compromises the plot a little. The characters are likable enough that rationalization occurs naturally anyway so you need not worry about such things, I am generally very critical when it comes to story lines but I enjoyed these stories, despite the fact it is not the reason the anime is worth watching.
The animation could be compared to a huge rainbow lolipop, so many colors are beautiful and strong, they are also sweet and often enhance the scenes being dealt with. It manages to be very strong without taking away from the anime, where realism is important so many colors still manage to fit in at perfect times. Lack of color seems to represent sadness in this anime and the animation is used symbolically in more ways than one, which is nice to see because I don't see it too much and it is taken for granted. It is very important in movies to get such things right, but anime often overlook this aspect, I am appreciative that Clannad did not.
The opening and ending of Clannad were very fitting in most circumstances and I really enjoyed them, I found myself singing along in some circumstances. The voice acting in Clannad was top-notch, I've only ever really been impressed by Light from Death Note, a few characters from Naruto and one character from Ouran High School Host Club but Clannad caught my attention for sure, many characters were defined and created by their voice actors while in most anime only the storyline and animation seem to define characters. The soundtrack was pretty good, the only complaint I have is that it was quite repetitive, I'm sure they could have found a few more songs that would fit in. The continual use of the one song in so many different circumstances made it become plain and boring, and it's small effect was lost after sometime.
Since Clannad is a story of characters, it was very important that the characters were interesting, believable and powerful. Thankfully, Clannad creates likable characters who all have a part in the story, yet it isn't thrown in randomly. The characters all have their place and personality. In many anime, characters have their perspective lost in order for a point to be made or a scene/relationship to work, and you end up forgetting who they were in the first place. Clannad certainly has some personalities but there are very few inconsistencies, each character hints at their more personal and emotional feelings before they are shown to us. No character is overly complex or interesting but the story always flows more nicely when characters flow normally like real people do. Although you may like to believe that your "persona towards people you don't know well" is not the real you, eventually you'll find out that it is, it may not be entirely you but you can't simply shrug it off.
This anime really keeps its perspective on the nature of the events/relationships and I felt that this allows the viewer to take the anime more seriously. There were multiple aspects that helped to achieve this and that's why I think this anime is worth watching. I was moved by the male protagonists ability to help those who seem fine on a basic level, but are clearly in need of help. Even if these situations sometimes seem to stumble upon him. After watching this I reconfirmed my belief that if you have the power to help someone is in trouble then you should, because it will generally be just as rewarding for you as it is for them. While the anime for me did not have the scene or event that broke down my walls and truly inspired/affected/touched me that the best anime in my opinion so far have managed to, it was worth watching.
Thank you for reading my review.