Clannad After Story Part 2: Episodes 13 - 25
Summer vacation is over and itís time for
Tomoya, Nagisa, their chums and hangers-on to approach graduation and -
shock horror! - the onset of adulthood.
The Clannad series has always been
heavy on friendship and the forging of meaningful interpersonal and
familial bonds, and this time around sees these themes intermingling
with some rather weighty subject matter and no small smattering of
The narrative once more shifts its focus
between central and peripheral characters to good effect, and with ten
or so episodes proper and a couple of bonus outings thereís no shortage
of space for Clannadís writers, by this point at the top of their
game, to bring things to a satisfying and meaningful conclusion.
Though Iím the opposite gender and a decade
or more older than the target demographic, and otherwise prefer my anime
to be based on a manga series Iíve actually read (Chobits),
downright insane (Irabuís Office) or replete with oodles of
gratuitous fan service (Ikki Tousen, Girls Bravo), I must
say I rather enjoy Clannad.
Itís always a cogent and charismatic
exercise in first rate high school melodrama, and combines cleverly
written, believable characters with just enough tweeny cuteness to avoid
becoming mired in pointless pathos.
After Story Part 2 is a fitting and
compelling conclusion to the Clannad journey thus far, and
handles the closing of certain chapters in its characters lives and the
possibility of new beginnings with equal aplomb. Once more the
animation is superb, with textured, luminous backgrounds neatly
complimenting the strong character designs, and though only two-channel
audio is on offer both the English and Japanese dubs are solid and the
Casual viewers and those not otherwise
familiar with the Clannad series may wish to start elsewhere, but
for those who have lived with these characters for the past several
years the current collection will certainly not disappoint.