Clannad and Clannad After Story Series Review



It seems really unlikely that you don’t already know what Clannad is about but just in case, the story mostly follows Tomoya who runs into Nagisa on her way to school talking to herself. Seems she is a bit worried because she’s had to repeat a year due to ill health and she’s worried she won’t know anyone. Tomoya isn’t exactly the most reliable assistant given his own personal traumas but the two of them are going to try to make it.


This is going to be fairly short because my overall feeling with Clannad is that while it was fun to watch not much of it sticks afterward. Almost instantly my memory becomes hazy. I know there are plenty of female characters that Tomoya helps along the way during the first season, but other than Nagisa and Fuuka none of them really left any kind of impression (other than the genius who can kill people with the sound of her violin – okay they don’t die but they look like they wish they could die).


After Story has a far more lasting impression but that is because the story focusses on what happens after they are done with school and is pretty much about Tomoya and Nagisa’s relationship which then leads to Tomoya building a relationship with his child and finally facing his own issues with his father. It is a far more focussed story and while the other characters all make appearances, it is clear who owns the story and it has far more emotional strength as a result. Still, After Story only works because of the ground work Clannad did in the first place so it isn’t as though we don’t learn about these characters as they go about fixing everything.


I often wonder why male anime protagonists feel that they have to help every sad anime girl that they encounter but clearly it is a necessity as is the girl then following said guy around like they have no existence outside of said guy and guys other rescued girls. Even when it is clear the guy is with or going to end up with one of the other girls. Just keep hanging around and maybe you’ll get your screen time.


Tomoya’s one male friend fares a little better because at least you remember him, even if it is only because he gets beaten up almost every time he appears. It is a running gag, and like many of the comedy moments in the series, one I wasn’t so fond of. And yet, for all that they literally use this character as a punching bag, Sunohara’s existence is kind of essential to the series and his few actually dramatic moments work well.

The story does take a fairly serious look at a range of high school and life issues. Some of these are quite moving and relatable and others are recognisable even if you don’t have any personal experience. This focus on real drama kind of lifts this show from just being another generic high school harem thing.

Basically if you like slow high school stories that have a lot of drama but are peppered with the usual kind of comedy moments and scenarios than Clannad is quality viewing. While watching it, the show draws you in with its visuals and music, and while none of the other things really stuck with me, while watching I didn’t have any criticisms other than the fact that it felt like I’d seen pretty much all of this before. After Story made me cry but it was working really hard to achieve that so full credit for them succeeding at their goals.

As for me, I liked this well enough while watching but not enough that I’d go for another round any time soon. Definitely a case of having experienced it, enjoyed it, and now moving on.

Thanks for reading.

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Karandi James.


16 thoughts on “Clannad and Clannad After Story Series Review

  1. If I ever get around to the visual novel I actually think I’d play the Kyou route. She was always my favorite as Nagisa kinda got on my nerves most of the time. Of course then we wouldn’t have had Ushio and *hold in the tears man* wouldn’t have had to see her… yeah you get the idea.

    Also Akio is best girl.

  2. I really hated how they treated Sunohara in After Story that I had to put the anime on hold. Everyone says that After Story is a must watch, so I guess I’ll eventually have to go back to it and finish it off.

  3. This always seemed like it would be one of those ‘experience it, enjoy it, move on’ shows for me, so it was ice to see that feeling pan out for someone. I’ll get to watching it eventually I think, but I suspect I’d have to be in the right mood to finish it.

    1. Given the genre I kind of suspected I would either be indifferent to it and not finish it, or I’d get this that was nice kind of feeling but not really remember it. Very few of these kinds of shows leave a lasting impression on me so I wasn’t disappointed and I can see why so many people really like this show even if it doesn’t really grab my full interest.

  4. Don’t know how made this… But when I watched clannad I watched clannad after story first lolol what I can tell you is even if you don’t watch clannad you can enjoy clannad after story xD however my review couldn’t be put in better words than yours

    1. I think some of the character appearances in After Story would confuse me if I hadn’t watched Clannad. So many people checking in on him and we wouldnk’t know why.

  5. I’m 100% with you on this one, Karandi. I think the story and the premise are good, but it just drags on for so long that by the end I was kind of bored and starting to not pay as much attention anymore, which made the feels significantly less for me. There’s nothing really wrong with it, i’d say, it’s basically perfect, but very slow moving.

    Toradora is my go-to pick when someone wants a good Romance/Drama series to watch. A lot easier to digest, better pacing, and still a great story.

  6. “It seems really unlikely that you don’t already know what Clannad is about “…..ermmmmmm Ofcourse I have heard of this series, even have it on my “must watch” anime list but I did not know the exact storyline. God I really feel pretty dumb now 😅 But this is only more incentive to go and watch more anime. Reading through this I think I will get enough of a kick out of this to enjoy it. As always: brilliant review 😀

    1. I thought I was pretty late to the party on this one given I put off watching it for a very long time. It really isn’t my usual kind of story but it works well enough for what it is. I definitely liked After Story more but it isn’t as though you can just skip Clannad and watch After Story as you wouldn’t have a clue who half the people were or why they had any significance.

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