Posted by psgels on 1 January 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews



I’m not exactly sure what’s up with Kyoani and Toei’s key rivalry (when one of them adapts a key work, the other one does at well and vice versa), but the Clannad movie premiered about a month before the start of the TV-series. It took me this long to watch it due to the spoilers, but I’m glad that I did in the end, because Osamu Dezaki did the story a surprising amount of justice, considering how he managed to stuff such a huge story that took Kyoani 50 episodes, into just 90 minutes.

When you look at the big picture, this movie is obviously inferior to the TV-series, because it has far less time to flesh out its characters. Nevertheless, when you look at the individual details, there’s quite a lot to like about it. In fact, even though the movie and the TV-series have the same story, the execution, focuses, themes and characters are so completely different that they’re both worth watching in their own ways.

First of all, the graphics. The TV-series actually has better animation, but the screenplay of the movie, with typical Osamu Dezaki effects, camera-angles and filters is far more interesting to watch. The visual direction may be less consistent, the budget of the movie is actually smaller than Kyoani’s version, but it’s much more interesting to look at.

As for the characters, the movie dumps most of the side-stories and instead gives its full focus on the main characters (while not forgetting to spend about a minute of background on the major side-characters, in order to make them more than just one-dimensional paper bags). I was especially surprised by Nagisa and Sunohara, who are actually more interesting to watch than their versions of the TV-series. Nagisa is a much stronger character here in this movie, so much actually that she reverses the entire role of her Tomoya: where it was Tomoya who looked after Nagisa in the TV-series, here Nagisa looks after Tomoya. Sunohara is actually much more of an extreme character here, but the visual comedy around him makes him actually quite charming.

The after story also has quite a different approach to it. While not as impressive as in the TV-series, I liked it, as well as the role that the side-characters played in it. Overall, these people were really enjoyable to watch, even though the movie had very little time to really explore them individually. They do a great job in supporting the main storyline without overtaking it.

Where this movie drops points, however, is with Tomoya himself, especially his angst. He’s just too gloomy throughout nearly the entire part of the movie, and doesn’t really feel like the dynamic character he should be, for the role that was given to him. And that’s a bloody shame, because he’s the main character!

The thing with Osamu Dezaki is that his works are either brilliant and imaginative, or they flop gigantically. The Clannad movie belongs to his better side, and he showed that the Clannad Story even works in movie format with the right amount of cutting. This is really what recap movies should realize: you can’t tell a story just by cutting things randomly, you have to create a good standalone story as well.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Well paced, creative and actually puts 50 episodes into 90 minutes while standing on its own as a solid story.
Characters: 8/10 – Tomoya is too angsty, but all the other characters have their charms.
Production-Values: 9/10 – The animation quality itself isn’t special, but the visual direction makes more than up for it.
Setting: 8/10 – Simplified, but it works.

One Response

  1. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Well, something else I need to watch. ^_^; I too avoided it prior to the TV series to avoid spoilers but then after the TV series aired, I wasn’t sure I wanted another helping, no matter how small. There’s been enough time now that maybe I should go back and pick the movie up.

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  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:13 AM)
    @Raggers, I will go into detail when I review it. But I think something is seriously wrong when I get a far more satisfying ending out of shirobako than Death parade.
    Looking forward to writing a review of shirobako too.
  • Raggers
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:56 AM)
    @Aidan: it wasn’t bad though. I think it suffered from too high expectations and lack of focus (or overreaching).
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:29 AM)
    Well. Death parades ending was quite underwhelming.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:21 PM)
    Waiting between releases for this will be a good thing, its the sort of manga you pick up and put down, then go back to with breaks in between.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:13 PM)
    13 volumes into dorohedero, I’ve found it good enough to buy now that I’ve caught up with the official English releases. While the plot meaders and is kind of messy, isn’t up to much, I love how crazy the gory action is, the gritty artstyle/world and the black comedy more than well make up for it. It works best when focused on those masked gangster magician guys and also the main character, the others are only alright.
  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 02:19 AM)
    @Aidan: true, but I don’t think the level is anywhere close to a true shounen. And once the basic rules are established it’s strategising and straight out fighting.
    I’d be more inclined to call it seinen with shounen elements than actually shounen.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 09:59 PM)
    Good all action finale to cap off Garo there, went out with a bang, though thing is I have no idea where their going to go with this when the movie, second season comes along, this seems like a pretty good point to finish.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:35 PM)
    I think that just about all the manga serialized in ultra jump feel less seinen than those serialized in other seinen magazines.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:19 PM)
    There’s plenty of in battle explaining. I don’t think there’s been a battle without in battle explaining. You got the first time villain that ends up a good guy. You got powerups and levels of quinques. There’s a ton of shounen elements.
    Just because something has gore does not make it seinien. Deadman wonderland is Shounen and it has just as much gore and torture.
  • Raggers
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 02:52 PM)
    @Emma: ah, yes.
    @Aidan: How so? A variety of weapons and abilities does not turn something into a shounen battle manga.
    I’d need a lot more random in-battle explaining secret powers to your opponent, and a lot more mercy to not consider it seinen.
    Also, torture, balls and limbs being chopped off as a sick joke, slicing people in half without warning, breaking half their bones…

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