Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Review of the Clannad Visual Novel "True love, tragic loss, with the will power to make it Right"

The Official Xbox cover
This following review contains some minor spoilers on major aspects of the game. If you do not want to spoil yourself or skip past these spoilers I have highlighted in red for you all
This will be last big review so please take it slowly and just enjoy
I also have made info dump for those new to clannad. Also keep in mind this is an overview of the entire game not a review of a characters route.

Now Clannad's main story revolves around a high-school senior delinquent named Tomoya Okazaki who just all around hates where he lives the few people that are around him. This is due in part that his mother died in a horrible accident when he was young, and his father has never gotten over it to this day despite that ten years have passed. Tomoya's father also did happen get physical at one point with him thus making hugely estranged to the point that Tomoya avoids his father as much as possible now of out anger/disgust he has towards him.

 It wasn't until one day walking to school late he happens to see a beautiful girl named Nagisa Furukawa. She was talking to her self saying "Do you like this school??" She continues to talk to her-self "I really really do, but nothing...can remain the same forever." Tomoya interrupts her by saying "You just have to find it, right?" This little conversation he has with Nagisa will change the course of his life forever.

Depending on what you choose to do from this this point onwards will determine if you end up the main hereon Nagisa or another female character such as Tomoyo from your choice alone. They are needed to set up the essential plot points for everyone but there is one huge thing that leaves a lot people with their heads scratching, which is "Other World". This is a place where nothing can grow, nor can nothing give birth/live a lonely desolate world.

To explain this more simply think of this as Tomoya's feelings that are in his heart through at the course of the visual novel. It is suppose to represent how Tomoya is closed off and doesn't want anyone in his life. This is due in part of how much he has been hurt before in the past with his mother dying when he was a child or just being an overall delinquent wanting to forget his past or pain that he has went through in his life. I also want to point out due to time restraints I have only played two routes so far that would be Ibuki fukko's  and kotomi ichinose arcs.

The other world that is mentioned countless times or dream world changes depending on how you choose to play that also represents his actions of what good deeds or wishes that Tomoya grants for each person. By helping out people in every route or arc "hence the glowing orbs of light". There happen to be only two livable creatures in the "other world" a young girl and a small robot that is unable to speak. Both of these characters represent two very important characters in the physical world that leads to sad twist of fate later on that can only be changed by your actions alone.

I realize that I am praising clannad  to much however there is one thing that will keep some people away. No it's nothing nasty or sexual, it's the level of difficulty for the visual novel. Even for a seasoned veteran like myself was frustrated at points of what to do " I actually had to go online and use a hint guide to unlock certain points.". So to be nice I will go ahead and tell all of you one major thing. In order to get the best ending possible.

Moving on past the insane level of difficulty is something that I do happen to love which is the characters. I have stated three of the main characters but some others such as Tomoya's friend named Sunohara, who has to be the biggest comic relief character of all time and brings down some of the drama to make it bearable at some points. Even he Sunohara has his own arc in the game as well that is serious to discuss why he is living in the males sports dorm despite not being on any team. 

Kotomi and Tomoya..
The other honorable mention goes to Kotomi Ichinose who is a child-hood friend of Tomoya's . I do realize that this not original but it's handled very well over the course of her character arc which is worth a play through. The growth with Tomoya deserve a huge mention because of the way it was written/handled and the fact she is one of my favorite characters from this series so please excuse my bias here since her arc came second on my roster before spot checking this review.

One huge positive for this visual novel is the music score for this game. No visual novel even being produced in 2004 came close to the music score clannad has. Each piece is hugely diverse as well, from a fully voiced OP/Ed. Then it moves to something as simple as a character bgm, which could have piano or violin pieces of music. It truly displays the emotions for what's going on at the moment, I will flat out just say the music for Clannad it bumps it to a higher level beyond any normal visual novel still being produced to this day.

One last thing to mention is the artwork or visuals for Clannad. Unlike most that I am used to playing it is very bright, well drawn but there is one thing that does bother and that's the huge eyes. Despite this small flaw, everything is well drawn and holds up very well to other visual novels on the market  Each character has a very unique design or trait that does feel organic, despite some copy-paste tropes/designs from previous titles. One huge draw back is how they eyes are drawn and the over use of class room sprites. The eyes alone keep people a majority of people away, however you will overcome this once the story, characters and music absorb you into it's world making you want more.

Well that's all I have cover on  the clannad visual novel for now. Despite some of the flaws that I have mentioned the are not bad enough to hold this visual novel back from being a classic in this day and time. I really do wish there was a legal way to play this game besides using torrents/mounting software at this point in time. You can import the original or voiced version  two hundred dollars usd, however I highly doubt any of you want to spend that huge amount of money on just one visual novel. 

-Cecil The Dark Knight

Artwork: 4/5

Characters: 5/5

Story/Plot: 5/5

Music: 5/5

Game-Play: 3/5

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Age Rating 15+


  1. As much as I love this vn I never actually got the after story. Either the game would break and I'd have to re-install or I'd delete my saves by accident.
    Oh and I just got an email about blogger info, was that by you or someone else?

  2. To be honest no clue man I got one as well, something's not right. I got the header up but I will need to proof read and write up the rest soon.

  3. "for-all ages" so there's just going to be a lot of hugging?

  4. loved it i also love much :3

  5. Clannad is one of my favorite slice of life anime. Wait its for the PS3? I can buy it then since I heard PS3 isn't region locked like the PS2 was. Nice review hun ^_^

    ~Tsubasa_Lover_4Ever from Crunchyroll

  6. I'll probably check this out. Good job at making me interested in it :)

  7. wow i love slice of life/drama its my fav genre so iam gonna buy it love ths review thx~!

    ~CrimsonHAter from crunchyroll :)

  8. Clannad is by far the best Drama anime I have ever seen.

    Kotomi-chan! I love your violin playing skills!

  9. A lot of people tend to dislike the way the eyes are done for key games. I'm not entirely sure why.
    I loved the Sunohara route. Funny and serious at the same time. The fight with the soccer team was an amazing scene.
    I have to say that I think most of the anime was more emotional apart from the endings of most of the characters like Tomoyo, Kyou and Kotomi.

  10. This is truly a great novel. The art and story line is great. I haven't gotten around to finishing it, but i know everything that happens.
    I'd totally recommend this one. One thing I haven't understood though, you said this one was difficult. I can't see where you come from when you said that.

    ~10mejia from CrunchyRoll

  11. this one for PS3 or other console?

    1. it covers all the platforms due in part most are just ports story wise. Now i have no idea how the ps3 version plays or handles but it shouldn't be that complex.