It is time to kick off my blogging for the Fall 2008 anime season. It is very fitting that the first show I’m starting with is the one of the fall seasons biggest shows, Clannad After Story. A large number of fans have been waiting impatiently for this sequel to air. Like the name implies this season follows the After Story path of the visual novel, which if the people on Anime-Eden forums are to be believed I’ve already run into a major spoiler, but I’m not going to ruin it for you like they did. (Note: if you want to tell about endings to anime in forums USE SPOILER TAGS PLEASE!!! It is finally here and boy am I excited. But enough about me not talking about the show, here we go.
The OP for Clannad is really good I enjoy the music as well as the opening montage of scenes that portrays. You can definitely tell that this is a higher budget show with the extra animation and filters in the background as well as the soft color lighting that helps add a grand affect to the sunset shots. But first we are greeted with some peaceful flute and acoustic guitar music as it shows two people, one adult male and one young boy (very possible Tomoya is one of them) riding on a train and talking but you can’t hear their voices. It then moves to a field full of flowers and they’re walking holding hands. You learn this is a daydream by Tomoya because it is interupted by Nagisa telling him to watch out for a stray baseball being hit at him. It shifts to present day and you see Nagisa and her family outside, and her dad is playing baseball with the neighborhood kids like he did in the first season. He dedicates his next home run to his wife, Sanae, and he hits the ball straight out of the park and accidentally breaks a window, supposed to be a comedic moment. The OP then starts up.
We learn that the shopping district that Nagisa’s family lives in is playing another district and Nagisa’s father, Akio Furukawa, wants Tomoya to get his friends together from the drama club and join the team. We then get background information in monologue form from Tomoya who lets us know the second semester started, he is still living with Nagisa’s family, and he has no clue about his future. Move forward to the drama club room where Kotomi (my favorite character), Kyou, and Sunohara decide to play, while Nagisa and Ryou decide to cheer. It seems that the very funny, abusive relationship between Sunohara and Tomoyo (the girl, great fighter, school president) will continue since Tomoya lied and told Tomoyo that Sunohara wanted to do something perverted to her, which caused Sunohara to be kicked into a wall.
Tomoya plays it off as a joke to test Tomoyo’s athleticism. Afterward Tomoya makes a joke, at Sunohara’s expense again, and he gets Yoshino Yuusuke to join as well. Yoshino is the man, former music star, that married Fuuko’s sister (Koko) in season one. Afterward, they get Misae, the dorm mother, to join the team also, and mention getting Mei (Sunohara’s sister) to play.
It shifts to everyone parting with Nagisa and Tomoya where Nagisa tells Tomoya they should invite his father as well causing Tomoya to tense up, and say maybe next time. After this it moves straight to the pregame. You learn that Misae, Yoshino, and Koko (Yoshino’s wife) all knew each other from their past. The pregame part ends with Akio making a joke about Sanae’s terrible bread by saying if they lose they’ll have to eat it. (Of course Sanae was not present.) The game starts and you find out that Akio has a good fast ball and can pitch rather well, giving up zero runs. It moves forward to Akio’s team batting. Sunohara leads off faking a huge power swing and ends up bunting. It’s a pop-fly backwards though and is easily caught by the catcher. After Kyou mocks Sunohara he demands that she hit the ball which she does getting a single. Misae is next who also hits a single.
Akio is fourth who they intentionally walk. Next up is Tomoyo with the bases loaded and she hits a grand slam. It moves to the top of the second inning and the other teams star player is batting, he swings the bat loses the grip and hits Akio (the pitcher) right in the leg. This leads to a shocking moment of having Akio call on a relief pitcher who is no other than his daughter Nagisa. Nagisa’s first batter she faces hits the ball to Tomoyo who throws a ROCKET to Tomoya on first base, but he manages to hold on. Nagisa manages to escape unscathed from the inning.
It moves forward and Akio’s team is batting. Tomoya is up to bat, and he strikes out. The next batter is Kotomi, who being her amazing genius self, goes through some complex statistical probablility formula using the length of the bat, the diameter of the ball, her arm length, strength, range of motion, speed of pitch and the trajectory of the ball to “accidentally” hit the ball and get a single. Sunohara hits into a double play getting himself and Kotomi out.
It moves forward to having Akio’s team on defense with no outs and a runner at third. The batter hits it to Kotomi who manages to catch it, but was so excited she caught it, she forgot to throw it home to Sunohara who was playing catcher, so the runner tagged up on third and scored. We see that was it was the top of the third and Akio’s team gave up one run. So the score is currently 4-1. They move up to bat and Kyou and Misae start off with hits. They have a runner at first and third with no outs with Nagisa up to bat who ends up striking out.
Tomoyo is up next and instead of hitting a home run, she decides to try and hit the ball “girl like” according to her and hits an easy pop fly resulting in an out. They show the scoreboard and it has a 2 in the run column so I assume the other team got another run sometime. So now it is 4-2 I assume. Tomoya is up to bat with Mei (Sunohara’s sister) on first, but because of his bad shoulder he decides to do a sacrifice bunt which works and advances the runner. They show the scoreboard and one team scored one in the third and fourth inning but I’m not sure which one, so I’m not sure what the score is right now.
Akio’s team is back on defense and Misae (the dorm mother) makes a great jumping catch. Switches quickly to Tomoyo hitting a single. Up next is Yoshino who is frustrated after not being able to contribute to the batting decides (with a scary red/black aura) to hit the next pitch which he succeeds at.
They show Yoshino who is making an exaggerated appearance walking and talking about giving them a great thing called memories, but turns out he was walking the bases and got easily tagged out. It switches forward with the other team now winning 5-4 so those two runs earlier in the third and fourth inning were the other team scoring. Nagisa takes the blame but Sunohara tells her its not her fault, it’s just the players are too good. This leads to everyone pointing out all the mistakes Sunohara has made in the game. So they move forward to Akio’s team batting in some inning and Misae hits a pop fly causing the first out. Next up is Nagisa who amazingly hits a single. Tomoyo is up next but unfortunately hits a line drive to a fielder and is called out. Yoshino is up next and hits a single and starts walking around the bases again and talking about memories again, but this time it is okay because he called time out.
Mei is up next and she beats out the throw to first for a single. So the bases are loaded and Tomoya is up to bat. He receives words of encouragement from everyone on the bench in a shounen style if you believe in yourself you can do it kind of thing. He steps up to the plate, and then it switches to after the game with everyone eating at Nagisa’s house, and then we are told that Tomoya pulled through and they ended up winning. It shifts back to the game after Tomoya made contact with the ball, all dramatic and in slow motion showing the ball spinning in the air. However, it makes an unexpected shift back to the field with the robot from season one sitting in the grass looking up at the sparkly lights in the sky and we are greeted with a To Be Continued. Episode 1 finished!
The ED is rather upbeat this time around and the Dangos are once again present. I will admit after having the show filled with slower keyboard chords with a symphony effect on them, for a airy, fantasy type theme, this music is somewhat of a slight shock, but it is by no means a bad song.
MY Thoughts On Episode 1
This episode seemed like your standard first episode of a series. It was more laid back and had a lighter tone to it with all of the extra comedy, but did not feel completely useless. It filled you in on background information rather quickly in monologue form and did not linger on what happened in the previous season like many other shows do. However, with the flashback at the beginning from Tomoya’s daydream, the appearance of the robot at the end, and a flash of a possible adult version of Fukko in the OP, this episode still gave hints to the big surprises ahead. The animation was still very impressive, and it would seem that Tomoya and Nagisa are together just as everyone thought. Overall it was still a good, funny episode and I’m looking foward to the second. This concludes my post on Clannad After Story Episode 1. Please note this was my first blog post for a specific episode of an anime ever, so I would appreciate it if you would leave me comments telling me what you thought about the post, Thank you! I will now leave you with an unbelieveably awesome picture from the OP.