Thursday, June 24, 2010

I went on a hell of a DVD-buying binge this last month, due to a confluence of online sales at Deep Discount & My "to-watch" shelves are groaning under the pile, and I'm spending a lot of time in front of the TV, alternating between the box-set of the Shield & various anime series. This week it's Clannad.

I never watched Clannad in fansubs, because I had a bias against Key visual-novel adaptations. I was so utterly bored by Kanon (the awful 2000 Toei version) that for the longest time I referred to the whole subgenre as "retard moe". But I've been favorably impressed by Kyoto Animation's production style, the roseate skin-tones and gorgeous backgrounds, and Sentai's ads on their other releases for Clannad made me regret my initial refusal. So, I bought it expecting "scenery porn" - which means I'd basically be watching it for the landscapes.

So far, the backgrounds are ok, but nothing quite as gem-like as The Second Raid; at least not yet. But the story and writing is unexpectedly amusing, and not nearly as emo & overwrought as online commentary about "Jun Maeda's sad girls in snow" leads one to suspect. The protagonist is a mischievous liar, who likes to amuse himself by staging manzai routines with his gullible nakama of haremettes & token beta-male sidekick. It's nothing great, but so far it's an amusing way to waste a few hours of my life...

Oh, BTW - "clannad" isn't a word - there's a Celtic band which abbreviated "an clann as Dobhar" into "Clannad" for their name, and somebody at Key decided it meant "family" in Gaelic. It doesn't, it doesn't mean anything. But apparently Key intends "Clannad" to refer to the protagonist's search for family via nakama formation.

Oh, and btw - Sentai? If you feel the need to bombard the viewer with heaping piles of on-screen cultural note subtitles, it'd be nice if you put them in a secondary subtitle track. It's a little intrusive, and since I've been watching these things for nearly twenty years now, pretty redundant. Especially all the blow-by-blow details about what the various politeness-level gags mean in the Kotomi arc.

1 comment:

Wonderduck said...

I saw one episode of Kanon '00 and immediately despised it. But Kanon '06 is much, much better. Visually, it was done when KyoAni was at the peak of their visual art powers, just before they did Lucky Star and every series from then after had a dose of that cartoony style to it... compare Haruhi II to the original series for an example.

Story-wise, it's the "sad girls in snow" trope namer, but I'll be darned if I don't love it for that as well. It's also nowhere near as overwrought as people make it out to be.

Clannad is a better show in every way except for the LS-influence on the art. Yet, having said that, I still prefer Kanon '06. I like the characters better, the story a lot more, and the art is, as I mentioned, the best KyoAni ever did.

Mind you, I like Clannad and the not-quite-sequel After Story quite a lot... bought the first series when it came out, and only the passing of my mother (and the mental devastation that caused) prevented me from getting AS they day it became available.

You surely can't go wrong with either.

(note: I'm well-known for my Kanon-luv, so take my gushings with whatever size grain of salt you'd like)