This is the second half of Clannad (we reviewed the first half here), where we follow Tomoya’s trials and tribulations of helping out his fellow students. Continuing hot on the heels of the emotionally heavy last episode in the first half of the season, Tomoya discovers he had forgotten some events from his childhood and that he once knew the shy Kotomi Ichinose who is now holed up in her house, distraught about previous events in her life.
Several episodes are spent as Kotomi’s past is unravelled and we see Tomoya and his friends helping fix up her garden to try and get through to her. There’s a lot of emotion flying about, as you’d expect from Clannad, all of which is deftly handled.
The series continues by returning to the main arc, helping Nagisa Furukawa to restablish the drama club despite the many obstacles that are thrown up before her. As something of a sideline to this Tomoya also finds himself helping out an other friend, the tomboyish Tomoyo Sakagami who wants to become student president. She has her own rather touching reason for wanting the position but Tomoya is explicit that he’s only really helping her as it will help out Nagisa and the drama club. There’s some great character moments to be found here especially with some fleshing out of Tomoyo’s character and that of the slacker Youhei Sunohara who helps out in his own, often ridiculous, but none the less caring ways.
The final episode of the series (only the first ten here are the series proper, the last two are the OVAs) revolves around the drama club putting on a performance and some wildly emotional scenes between Nagisa and her parents as she discovers something she didn’t know about her own past that affected her whole family.
The first OVA is essentially a regular episode but the second is an alternate world story where Tomoya has ended up with Tomoyo and where he’s seen to be holding her back. This OVA has the Clannad hallmarks of tight story telling and emotional heart string tugging and as an alternate take on what could have happened is a really nice companion piece to the main series.
The animation is consistently solid and nice as per the first half and the dub cast continue to hold their own with David Matranga’s consistently great portrayal of Tomoya.
I had hoped due to the complete lack of extras on the Part 1 release, that this would be crammed with them. I’m as disappointed as you’ll be – there are none here either. The same mild, but annoying, technical issue returns; the DVD returns to the menu after each episode so you can’t seamlessly skip from episode to episode with your ‘next chapter’ button – mildly vexing but not a major mark against the release.
Once again the series provides something of an emotional roller coaster (if you don’t choke up even a little, then you might want to check that you’re human) but one that the audience can’t help but want to be on. An excellent end to a wonderful show.
Clannad Series 1 Part2 is released on 30th July and is available to order now on Amazon.
Clannad, Series 1, Part 2 [DVD] – £18.99