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Clannad – Collection 2 (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

December 1, 2009 by  



If you thought the first volume was enjoyable, fun but also emotional, the second and final part of “Clannad” just gets even better and probably will make you cry as well.  An awesome anime series from beginning to end!  Just wonderful and highly recommended!

 

Image courtesy of © VisualArt’s /Key/Hikarisaka High School Drama Club.  All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Clannad – Collection 2

DURATION: Episodes 13-23 + OAV episode (300 Minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen, Japanese 2.0, English subtitles

COMPANY: TBS Animation/Sentai Filmworks

RATED: TV PG

Release Date: May 5, 2009

Original Character Designs by Itaru Hinoue

Directed by Tatsuya Ishihara

Series Composition/Screenplay by Fumihiko Shimo

Music by Jun Maeda, Magome Togoshi, Shinji Orito

Character Design by Kazum Ikeda

Art Director: Mutsuo Shinohara

Chief Animation Director: Kazumi Ikeda

Sound Director: Yota Tsuruoka

Direction of Photography: Ryuuta Nakagami

Featuring the following voice talent:

Mai Nakahara as Nagisa Furukawa

Yuuichi Nakamura as Tomoya Okazaki

Ai Nonaka as Fuuko Ibuki

Akemi Kanda as Ryou Fujibayashi

Daisuke Sakaguchi as Youhei Sunohara

Houko Kuwashima as Tomoyo Sakagami

Kikuko Inoue as Sanae Furukawa

Mamiko Noto as Kotomi Ichinose

Ryotaro Okiayu as Akio Furukawa

Ryou Hirohashi as Kyou Fujibayashi

Ai Bandou as Sugisaka

Sometimes, something as simple as a chance encounter with a strange girl talking to herself can change your life forever. Alienated from his abusive father, Tomoya has been spiraling into delinquency since the death of his mother. Nagisa’s curse is her fragile health, which has forced her to repeat a year of high school. But when Tomoya impulsively agrees to help Nagisa restart the school’s disbanded Drama Club, a new mechanism for change is created, acting like a magnet for other girls with equally tragic stories.

Prepare to meet the ambitious Tomoyo, who dreams of becoming class president; Kotomi, a troubled genius with a secret past; and most mysteriously, Fuko, whose disassociation with the world has become so severe that she is literally fading from existence!

When it comes to the Japanese software company Key, many fans appreciate their work as the video games tend to be dating simulators for the PC and many other video game consoles.  Known for two visual novels “Kanon” and “Air” (both were adapted to anime series), the objects of the video games tend to be the gamer controlling the main male protagonist and with a lot of female friends, answering questions correctly in order to score.  The first two video games were adult-based but in 2004, the company released “Clannad”, a series that would not show nudity or fan service and a game for all ages.

“Clannad” received an anime adaptation in 2007 with a total of 23-episodes which was followed by “Clannad: After Story” (which takes place ten years later), OVA’s, an animated film and a manga. As for the anime series, the series is directed by Tatsuya Ishihara (“Air”, “Kanon”, “Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya”) and a screenplay by Fumihiko Shimo (“Full Metal Panic!”, “Air”, “Burst Angel”, “Gravion”, “Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya”).  The character design for the anime series is by Kazumi Ikeda (“Kanon”) and is faithful to the original designs by Itaru Hinoue (“Air”, “Kanon”).    All episodes for “Clannad” and “Clannad: After Story” are now currently available from Sentai Filmworks.

The anime series focuses on the character Tomoya Okazaki.  A high school student who tends to be late for class and has his share of personal problems at home (he and his father have not had a good relationship since his mother’s death) and pretty much spends most of his time with his troublemaking friend Youhei Sunohara.  Tomoya was once a promising basketball player in school until he was in a fight with his father which led to his arm being injured to the point where he can’t lift his arm up past his shoulder.

But life changes for Tomoya for the positive when he meets new high school student Nagisa Furukawa who he quickly becomes good friends with and helps her out.  Throughout the school year, he meets other female students that he tries to help out and becomes their friend.  And in the process, his friendships with these people help other people who are in need of friends.

The main characters of “Clannad” are:

  • Tomoya Okazaki – The main protagonist.  A delinquent in school who tends to cut class or fall asleep from class, his life is changed for the positive when he meets Nagisa Furukawa.  He hangs out with his good friend Youhei Sunohara.
  • Nagisa Furukawa – A shy teenager who is passionate towards an old commercial for the Dango Family.  Her parents Akio and Sanae run a pastry shop where Nagisa helps out.  A kind and shy teenager who cries when she’s sad but through her friendship with Tomoya, it helps give her strength to try and start a drama club at their high school.
  • Youhei Sunohara – Tomoya’s good friend who always gets in trouble and is often seen getting beat up.  The character used for the comedy portions of the series.
  • Kyou Fujibayashi – The twin sister of Ryou Fujibayashi. Very tough girl who gets in Tomoya’s face and always thinks he is mistreating her sister or other girls.  Secretly, she likes Tomoya.  A class representative at school.
  • Ryou Fujibayashi – Twin sister of Kyou, she is the most reserved and quite of the two.  She’s always defended by her twin sister Kyou.  Ryou enjoys fortune telling.
  • Kotomi Ichinose – The smartest girl in  school.  Very quiet and spends most of her time inside the library.  Tomoya tries to help her by introducing her to friends and giving her encouragement.  We learn through the anime series of why she’s so hooked on learning and pushing herself too hard.
  • Tomoyo Sakagami– The transfer student who is rumored to be a violent girl and she demonstrates her fighting skills by taking out two gangsters.  This upsets Youhei Sunohara because he can’t believe a girl is beating up on boys, so he tries to figure her out.  She dreams of becoming more ladylike but also the school president.
  • Fuko Ibuki – A girl that Tomoya meets in school and learns about her obsession with starfish.  But things start to become weird when people are unable to see her but tomoya and his friends.

“Clannad – Collection 2” features a total of 11 episodes + 1 OAV episode on two DVD’s.  Here is a spoiler-less summary of each episode:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 14 – Tomoya finds out about Kotomi’s past.
  • EPISODE 15 – The gang needs Mr. Koumura to be an adviser for the Drama Club but the Choir Club has him as an adviser.  Meanwhile, Youhei’s sister Mei comes to visit.
  • EPISODE 16 -Tomoya, Youhei and Kyou take on the Freshman basketball team.
  • EPISODE 17 – Nagisa collapses and has to stay out of school.  Meanwhile, Tomoyo tries to get closer to Tomoya.
  • EPISODE 18 – Tomoyo has a bad reputation at school that can jeopardize her chance at becoming Student Body President.
  • EPISODE 19 – With Tomoya having problems at home, Nagisa asks for Tomoya to stay at her family’s place.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 20 – Nagisa’s father reveals to Tomoya of their past.
  • EPISODE 21 – Nagisa must prepare for her play but in the process, accidentally discovers her parent’s secret past.
  • EPISODE 22 – It’s the day of the big play but with Nagisa discovering her parent’s secret, she may not be ready for her big day.
  • EPISODE 24 – It’s summer vacation and Tomoya and Nagisa try to figure out what to do during vacation but Youhei’s sister Mei has an idea.
  • OVA – CLANNAD: Another World – Tomoya’s Chapter – An alternative world storyline featuring Tomoya and Tomoyo as a couple.  But Tomoya, as always, thinking about others first, knows that Tomoya has much more to accomplish in her life (and for her career) than being with him.    So, he questions his relationship with her.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

So far, each anime series that were based off a Key video game such as “Kanon” and “Air” have both been fantastic anime series featuring vibrant animation, colorful backgrounds and just many settings that really make the series stand out.  The same can be said about “Clannad”, the animation and production is absolutely fantastic.  Kyoto Animation has done a wonderful job with the artistic backgrounds.  Also, the animation is solid and character designs are also done very well.  “Clannad” is featured in 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen and picture quality for the anime series on DVD is wonderful!

The OVA episode titled “Another World – Tomoyo’s Chapter” features a more higher production style compared to the television episodes.  Artwork, character design and shading and colors are absolutely vibrant and beautiful.

As for the audio, the audio of the series is in Japanese 2.0.  Japanese voice acting is solid and a lot of well-known Seiyuu are involved in the series.  Dialogue is understandable and clear.  Personally, I chose to have my receiver play the series with “Stereo on All Channels” for a more improve soundscape.  As for English dubs, there are no English dubbed dialogue for “Clannad”.

Subtitles are featured in English.  I did notice some typos and interesting selection of word translations for one episode.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Clannad – Collection 2” features the clean opening and closing animation and Sentai Filmworks trailers.

After recommending “Clannad – Collection 2”,  I eagerly was anticipating the second collection of the series and needless to say, I was just as impressed with how the second half of the series concluded.

Similar to the last series, the final half features several arc’s based on certain characters.  Collection 2 continues with the Kotomi arc, then the Tomoyo arc and then finalizes things with one last Nagisa arc.  These episodes were much more dramatic and in someways are tearjerkers compared to the lively, lighthearted first half of the series.

Also, I was glad to see Sentai Filmworks including the “Another World – Tomoyo Chapter” OVA as well.  In some ways, I suppose like the video game, it would have been nice to see these “Another World” OVA’s in which we see Tomoya choosing each female character as his girlfriend and seeing the different stories the writers can come up with.  But overall, the Tomoyo Chapter was actually quite intriguing.

As mentioned in the last review, I absolutely love the animation and artistic backgrounds of “Clannad”.  If one thing that I noticed, “Kanon” and “Air” have solid artwork and “Clannad” is just as impressive and vibrant.  Voice acting by the seiyuu talent is well-done and I can understand some fans being upset that there are no English dubs with Sentai Filmworks anime DVD releases but still, if you have been curious or have wanted to see the series, even with subtitles, I still recommend giving “Clannad” a try.

If you own the first collection, the second is literally a no-brainer, its definitely a must buy.  Now, I look forward to the “Clannad: After Story” series which takes place ten years later also available on DVD from Sentai Filmworks.

Overall, “Clannad – Collection 2” is highly recommended!

 






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