So here you are. You've made it through the first season of Clannad, the infamous destroyer of the human heart, and you're not really sure what the fuss is about. Little do you know, Clannad was just the warm up round for the true challenge: Clannad After Story.
I am, of course, exagerating quite a bit. Clannad is more of a show to fondly look back at the memories of than its reputation would lead you to believe. Although I will certainly admit it will push your emotional connection with the characters, it does so more for the sake of a good story than for shock value, and that makes it infinitely more memorable.
Clannad continues that story of Nagisa and Tomoya, the unlikely couple from the first season, and their lives as they finish their years in high school, and face the oncoming storm that is maturity. But before you go running away, its not really much of a coming of age story, or at least not as much as it is a story about dealing with real life. Its one of those shows thats best enjoyed when you know as little as possible, so I'll end the plot synopsis by saying that despite a slight hiccup in its ending, Clannad has a really good plotline, and you'll just have to take my word for it.
Which brings me to the big drawing point of Clannad; the characters. By this time, you probably know the whole cast pretty well, and they still have just as much complexity now as they did in the first season. Admittedly, only a couple have real arcs this time, but that's alright. The first season was for character development, this one is for the payoff of following them through their long adventure.
I'll end this review with one final point. It has been about eight years since I first saw this show, long enough for me to forget a lot of the details. And yet I still remember the characters, their flaws and their dreams, the story that they experienced and the lives the lived. I still remember the truly beautiful soundtrack (although I will admit a lot of it is on my personal music library, so mayhaps that's cheating), and all the emotions that those little songs brought out back in the day still spark up listening to them now. Clannad is one of those shows that will stick with you for a long time, and it will always be a strong recommendation from me.