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Clannad Episode 1

So once again we continue our adventures into the world of KEY and KyotoAnimation’s partnership.

Clannad is the third series by KyoAni to be based on one of KEY’s games, the other two being the wonderful Kanon 2006 and AIR. So far this seems to have worked so I have a good feeling about this new show.

We open with a monologue by the main protagonist, Tomoya Okazaki, on how he dislikes the repetitiveness of his life. A typical KEY hero basically. Everything is slightly fuzzy, like it’s filmed by a video camera and all the colour appears to be washed out. It very much reminded me of the 2nd ep of Haruhi Suzumiya.

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Handsome, isn’t he?

Suddenly he happens across a mysterious girl talking to herself about how life is always changing and you can’t always keep nice things. She also mentions sweet buns for reasons that escape me right now so I’m expecting that to be of some importance…

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Anyway, he tells her to simply look for new things to like. Awww. Bring forth a funky switch to full colour and the camera dancing about as if it were being help by a dancer (or possibly a drunk). With the uniforms being done in very earthy tones the transition isn’t quite as impressive as Haruhi but cool none the less, there are some lovely backgrounds as well if you like that sought of thing.

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So now we have our two heros, Tomoya and Nagaisa. Wild guess: They hook up.

I could watch Nagisa running to catch up with Tomoya all day. So damn cute…

Que the OP;

Felt kind of basic but got the job done so I can’t complain.

Tomoya appears to ditch school to go visit his friend Youhei, the only boy with more absent marks than him. They’re the schools dynamic duo in slacking off. Tomoya arrives at the dorms to find Youhei being used for Rugby practice by a group of Man-Ogres.

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Pink Boxers…

I’m taking a guess here and saying he’s going to be our comic relief. I wonder what he’ll eventually contribute to the plot. I’m guessing he fights the Rugby team for some dramatic reason.

Things start to get weird now with an odd dream sequence involving what I assume is a younger Nagisa, All very down in the dumps stuff about how the world is so unchanging. I like it when they throw in these scenes with no provocation. Keeps me on my toes it does.

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Bring on our next player please: Ryou Fujibayashi. She’s the rather shy and clumsy Class President. She tries to ask Tomoya to stop being a lazy git but he’s rather dismissive of the idea. If she were my class President I sure as hell know I wouldn’t be lazing about with some guy in a small room.

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She is cute, that’s why we call her Ryou-chan.

Tomoya says he’ll only show up depending on his mood. Not to be defeated so easily Ryou decides to read his future with some playing cards. I’m not familiar with her style (looks more like a game of 52 pick up) but she gets her prediction: He’ll have a romantic meeting and forget to be on time. Well we all could have guessed that but there you go. Enjoy Ryou while you can, she’s not in the OP and therefore not going to win any possible prizes.

Suddenly a Wild big sister appears:

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Oh ho~

Now here’s a member of the Fujibayashi clan who looks like she’s out to win. She greatly resembles Nayuki from Kanon, KEY must have a very limited template for character design. Still, I’m not complaining when the results are this huggable.

After making sure Tomoya isn’t abusing her lil’ sis Kyou finds out about the prediction and swiftly leaves feeling rather amused at the whole idea. Methinks she doesn’t like his chances.

Lunch break rolls around and our fearless hero over hears something about a ghost girl haunting the school (it’s not Key without some magic.) At that very moment he spots young Nagisa eating lunch (a sweet bun no less.) She ends up telling Tomoya how she was kept back a year because she was ill for a long time (another staple of any KEY character) and is lonely now (awww.) The only thing she now wants to do is join the Drama club. Tomoya encourages her to be more out going and social (idiot, he should keep her to himself…)

Before things get overly emotional the sound of motorcycles cut through the silence. Tomoya and Nagisa run over to the sports field to see what’s happening. Turns out some guys from another school have shown up looking for a fight. Onto the field of battle strides contestant number 3;

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Not wanting to see a sweet young lady get horribly beat up (I found it odd as well but some people don’t like seeing it for some reason) brave Sir Tomoya gets ready to help her. He is called off by the girl’s class mates though. They say the Tomoyo (this could get confusing) is more than capable of dealing with these guys and he would just get in the way.

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Their confidence in Tomoyo proves well founded as she kicks ass in a very cool manner. She even had blue sparks! Do you know how bad ass you have to be to get those suckers!? I loved the Spectators view replay. Makes me wonder what DBZ would have looked like to someone watching (I’m guessing waiting for the monologues to end may take to long though.)

It turns out Tomoyo used to spend a lot of time dealing with the local gangs. Sadly Tomoya only remembers this after Youhei gets his ass handed to him when he challenges her to a fight.

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As the day wraps up Tomoya goes to help Nagisa enrol in the Theater club. Sadly it appears the club has be cancelled due to lack of interest. Tomoya tells her that it can re-opened and not to give up. She then asks a very dangerous question “Why are you helping me when we’ve only just met?” He gives the answer every other guy would give: “I don’t know.” Good move in my mind.

With a potential crisis averted Tomoya heads into town, lazing about and generally avoiding going home. With little else to do he goes off to Nigisa’s family bakery where he meets her mum who offers him her latest creation: The Rice Cracker bun. Well it’s one way of dealing with leftovers. Needless to say Tomoya isn’t to pleased but makes the mistake of saying so out loud. Idiot! You never, ever make someone’s mum cry or there will be hell to pay.

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And here comes hell. Tomoya, meet Dad. Dad, Tomoya. Play nice. Luckily for Tomoya rather than having the shit beat out of him Dad decides to give him a lecture on critique etiquette. The jabbing with a base ball bat is a good way to drive the point home. Noticing that Tomoya has the same Uniform as his daughter Dad quickly brings him into the home and starts playing nice. It seems he and mum (Sanae) are keen for Nagisa to make friends. Dad isn’t to pleased though when it sinks home that Tomoya is a guy and possibly a potential Boyfriend for his pure young daughter. Man, dad is the best thing ever. He’s like Kamina (of Gurren Lagann fame) tempered with age and wisdom. One second he’s trying to drive of Tomoya for stealing his daughter and the next he’s giving a speech on how one must sweep their love off their feet. What a dude.

Nagisa, who has been cooking tea/supper all along, serves up the grub and they all get on like a hobo on fire. Personally I think all potential step parents should be able to rename the step child. “Galaxy Universe” or “Tomoya Eternal Onozaki” would be great names…

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Tomoya finally returns home to find his dad drunk. In the true teenage fashion of dealing with problems Tomoya runs back to the Bakery. As he does this mini-Marathon we learn his mum died in a Car accident and his dad went into a downward spiral. Well it wouldn’t be an anime without one dead parent would it?

Outside the bakery he sees Nagisa bathed in light. She offers to take him to “the place in the city where wishes are granted.” Red light district?

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And that is where the episode ends.

Dango dango dango~

Let’s get down to it then, my thoughts;

This kind of felt rushed, like they were tying to get character intro’s out of the way. Not bad and it means more plot like substance but I quite like the “getting to know you” stage.

Speaking of characters I like the cast so far. Not much to go on but the Fujibayashi girls made an impression and Tomoyo is clearly going to be a fan favourite (at least until Star fish girl turns up.)

The background music was pleasant enough but this show is supposed to be slightly Irish themed. We need more playful Irish folk music. The OP is rather basic but I do like the Ed. Those Dango are just so squishy looking.

Animation is more than up to scratch as is expected from KyoAni but I think their pallet could use a slight boost. Make the reds a bit warmer and brighter and deepen the blues slightly and we’d be fine. The designs have been cleaned up nicely (Key are notorious for characters that appear to have Downs Syndrome), uniforms actually look believable and gym uniforms are rather wonderful.

This is probably all we’ll hear from me on Clannad (sad isn’t it?) but I’d have to say it’s worth downloading.

Other series you should see if you like this: Kanon 2006, Fate/Stay Night.

Fansubs by: http://eclipse.no-sekai.de/

Hopefully I'll find a better way to post screen caps. Imageshack has the thumbnails but is just irritating to use a, photobucket jst doesn't have a thumbnail option and LJ's way is not pleasant for anyone.

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