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Clannad (クラナド Kuranado?) is a Japanese visual novel created by the software company Key, who also produced the successful titles Kanon and Air. Key released a limited version for the PC on April 28, 2004, and the regular version less than four months later on August 8, 2004. The visual novel was later ported to the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. The gameplay in Clannad follows a linear plot line, which offers pre-determined scenarios and courses of interaction, and focuses on the appeal of the five female main characters.

While both of Key's first two previous works, Kanon and Air, had been released first as adult games and then censored for the younger market, Key's third work Clannad was released for all ages and does not contain risqué situations or even any fan service. On November 25, 2005, Key released an adult spin-off entitled Tomoyo After: It's a Wonderful Life which expands the scenario of Tomoyo Sakagami, one of the five heroines from Clannad.

Clannad has made several transitions to other media. There have been four manga series: the first serialized in the Japanese magazine Comic Rush, the second serialized in Comi Digi +, the third serialized in Dengeki G's Magazine and Dengeki G's Festival! Comic, and the fourth in Dragon Age Pure. An animated film by the animation studio Toei Animation was released on September 15, 2007, followed by two anime series including two original video animation (OVA) episodes by Kyoto Animation, which also animated the previous Key titles Air and Kanon. Lastly, there are two sets of drama CDs, totaling nine in all. Both anime series and their accompanying OVAs are licensed by Sentai Filmworks and are localized and distributed in English by Section23 Films. The first Clannad anime series was released in North America in two half-series box sets in March and May 2009. The Clannad After Story anime series was released in North America in two half-series box sets in October and December 2009.

The visual novel and the animated adaptations including the two TV series and film have received high sales figures in Japan. Across the national ranking of bishōjo games in amount sold in Japan, the Clannad limited edition PC release premiered at number one twice since its release, and the third ranking brought the PC release down to forty-six out of fifty. Out of eight DVDs released for the first Clannad anime TV series, six were ranked first during their first week of sales for anime DVDs in Japan. Out of eight DVDs released for Clannad After Story, seven were ranked first during their first week of sales. The special edition film DVD first ranked at number three during its first week of sales.

Gameplay

File:Nagisa Furukawa Key screenshot.png

The Clannad visual novel is divided into two segments, or story arcs—School Life and After Story—which serve as different phases in the overall story. At the beginning of the game, only the School Life arc is available to play, but once the player has completed the scenarios available in School Life, After Story is made accessible. This is through the collection of eight lights, or orbs, which can be obtained after a character's scenario is completed; one of the lights will disappear while still in School Life, but will reappear in After Story.[1]

School Life contains the final year of high school of the main protagonist, Tomoya Okazaki, in which he meets all of the characters in the game, though the focus is kept on the five heroines in the story, including the main heroine Nagisa Furukawa. After Story is mainly a continuation of Nagisa's story, and is set immediately after School Life when Nagisa and Tomoya are now living their lives as a couple, and extends into the next ten years.[1] Characters from School Life do appear, but play minor roles compared to their roles in that arc. In order to view the true ending of Clannad, all thirteen lights must be obtained. Originally, the lights were meant to be items that players could use in the game, but since this increased the game's difficulty, and detracted from the storyline, the function of the lights was changed to be simpler and less intrusive.[2]

Clannad's gameplay requires little interaction from the player as most of the duration of the game is spent simply reading the text that appears on the game screen which represents either dialogue between the various characters or the inner thoughts of the protagonist. An important aspect of Clannad (as in nearly every visual novel) are the "decision points" which appear every so often which give the player the chance to choose from a limited number of options. The time between these decision points is variable and can occur anywhere from a minute to much longer. The game pauses at such moments and depending on which choice the player makes, the plot will progress in a specific direction. There are five main plot lines that the player will have the chance to experience, one for each of the heroines in the story, and there are thirteen possible endings. Each plot line can be achieved through multiple replays.[1]

Clannad is Key's second longest work, as reported by Yūto Tonokawa where he stated that Clannad is about 4000 words fewer than Key's 2008 game Little Busters! Ecstasy.[3] While both of Key's first two previous works, Kanon and Air, had been released first as adult games and then censored for the younger market, Key's third work Clannad was released for all ages and does not contain risqué situations or barely any fan service other than one small scene.[1]

Plot

Setting and themes

The first half of the story takes place primarily at a high school in Japan, which is the best school in the city. Outside of the school, frequented locations include the bakery run by Nagisa's parents, and the dormitory where Youhei Sunohara lives. Throughout the story, glimpses into an Illusionary World are shown. This world is devoid of all life except for a young girl, though she later makes a body out of junk pieces through which the player can interact with her. The remaining half of the story takes place in the same city, after the conclusion of the first half.[1]

There are recurring themes that appear throughout the story. The main theme is the value of having a family, as the title of the series implies since the main scenario writer Jun Maeda misunderstood Clannad to mean "family" or "clan" in Irish.[4] Of the six main characters, Tomoya, Nagisa, and Kotomi have no siblings, though their parents factor in majorly in their stories. Nagisa's story was written to incorporate what Maeda described as a "perfect family" with a focus on mental consciousness.[2] In Nagisa's story, there is a recurring appearance of "The Big Dango Family" (だんご大家族 Dango Daikazoku?) (a fictional group mascot for children) that Nagisa is fond of.[1] Tomoya's and Nagisa's characters were written in a style to exemplify a "growth to adulthood" by the end of the story.[2] Fuko's and Kyou's stories have their sisters playing an integral part, and Tomoyo's story is influenced by her entire family.[1] A minor motif of Irish words continues with the opening theme of the game, "Mag Mell", which means roughly "plain of joy" and is connected with Irish mythology.[5] The arrange album, a short music CD that contained remixed versions of songs in the game, that was bundled with the original game release was entitled Mabinogi,[6] which was a collection of prose stories from medieval Welsh manuscripts;[7] Welsh is a Celtic language, as is Irish.[8]

Main characters

The player assumes the role of Tomoya Okazaki, the protagonist of Clannad. Tomoya has been labeled a delinquent, or a young person who defies authority due to his non-committal attitude towards school and general apathy towards living life; at the beginning of the story, he even hates the city he has lived in all his life where Clannad is set. He is very straightforward in his comments to others and will not hesitate to speak his mind, even if he comes off as rude during such times. Despite this, Tomoya is very loyal to his friends, and has been known to dedicate himself for those around him in need of help or support. He generally has a selfless personality and does not ask much from others in return for what he does for them.[1]

Tomoya meets Nagisa Furukawa, the main heroine of Clannad, at the onset of the story. Nagisa is a soft-spoken girl who has very low self-esteem and self-confidence which causes her to rely on those around her for support; she developed the strange habit of muttering the names of favorite foods that she plans to eat as a way to motivate herself, such as anpan. Kyou Fujibayashi, another of Clannad's heroines, is a bad-mouthed and aggressive girl well known as a good cook among her friends and family. When angry she does not hesitate to throw a dictionary at people that she often carries around for such purposes. Despite this attitude, she also has a more subdued side, especially towards her younger fraternal twin sister Ryou Fujibayashi.[1]

Tomoya meets a genius girl named Kotomi Ichinose, also a heroine, one day at school. She is ranked in the top ten throughout the whole country in standardized exam results of every subject—she always goes to library to read extra materials, especially books in foreign languages. Kotomi is a very quiet girl with poor social skills and it is quite difficult to communicate with her; Kotomi can even completely ignore someone when reading, even if they make loud disturbances around her. Clannad's fourth heroine is a second-year student named Tomoyo Sakagami who transfers into Tomoya's school. Tomoyo, like Kyou, can be extremely aggressive, and Tomoyo is a very strong fighter, preferring to use kicking over punching, and is very athletic. Although Tomoya is older than her, Tomoyo does not show him his due respect as a senior student.[1] Tomoyo appears in Key's fifth game, Tomoyo After: It's a Wonderful Life, as the main heroine.[9]

The last main heroine in Clannad is a first-year student named Fuko Ibuki who has a distant attitude towards others and, before she met Tomoya, was generally seen alone by herself making wood carvings of starfish with a small knife to give to others as presents. Fuko is extremely enthralled by starfish, or things that are star-shaped, and will often go into short euphoric bouts where her awareness of her surroundings is completely overtaken.[1]

Story

Clannad's story revolves around Tomoya Okazaki, a third year high school student who dislikes his life. Tomoya's mother (Atsuko) died when Tomoya was young, leaving his father (Naoyuki) to raise him. After the accident, Tomoya's father turned to alcohol and gambling, and held frequent fights with his son. One day, Naoyuki, again arguing with his son, slammed Tomoya against the wall, dislocating Tomoya's shoulder. Ever since then, his father has treated Tomoya nicely, but distantly, as if Tomoya and he were strangers rather than a family. This hurts Tomoya more than his previous relationship with his father, and the awkwardness of returning home leads Tomoya constantly to stay out all night. Additionally, the injury disables Tomoya from participating in his basketball club, and pushes him to distance himself from his school and other activities. Thus his delinquent life begins. Tomoya's good friend Youhei Sunohara, who got thrown out of the soccer club for a dispute, is also a delinquent and often hangs out in his dorm room with Tomoya doing nothing much.

The story opens on Monday April 14, 2003 at the beginning of the school year,[1] when Tomoya meets by chance Nagisa Furukawa, a soft-spoken girl one year older than him who is repeating her last year in high school due to being sick much of the previous year. Her goal is to join the drama club which she was unable to do due to her sickness, but they find that the drama club was disbanded after the few remaining members graduated. Since Tomoya has a lot of time to kill, he starts to help Nagisa in reforming the drama club. During this period, Tomoya meets and hangs out with several other girls who he gets to know well and help with their individual problems.

After Story

In the second part of the story, which starts immediately after the end of the first part but extends into the next ten years, Tomoya and Nagisa live together as a family. Tomoya has to endure several hardships that the family has been suffering from, mainly involving Nagisa's illness. Just after Nagisa gives birth to their daughter Ushio, Nagisa dies, leaving Tomoya to fall into a state of depression. This causes Nagisa's parents, Akio and Sanae to look after Ushio. Five years later, Tomoya meets Shino Okazaki, his grandmother on his father's side. Shino explains to Tomoya about his father's past and tragedy, similar to Tomoya's current situation after Nagisa's death. After hearing that, Tomoya decides to raise Ushio and acknowledge Naoyuki as his father. Shortly after Tomoya regains his purpose for living, Ushio is struck with the same disease as Nagisa. Tomoya, Sanae and Akio struggle to save Ushio, with Tomoya retiring from his job, but all efforts are futile. In the coming winter, wanting to do anything for Ushio, Tomoya decides to take Ushio on a trip, but Ushio falls unconscious and dies shortly after.

Tomoya's psychology developed in his dreams of a bleak world where small orbs of light float around called the Illusionary World (幻想世界 Gensō Sekai?). In the first few dreams, he sees a world devoid of all life except for one girl (and grass). Each time he dreams, he finds out more about the world. Tomoya discovers the girl has a special ability to fuse junk together to create new things, with which she creates a body for him. Thus he is reborn in this world, and fills time following the girl around. Tomoya conceives that only the two of them are "alive". To pass time, Tomoya and the girl try to build another doll with more junk they find, but as it has no soul, it fails to come to life. Remembering a distant world where he came from, Tomoya convinces the girl to build a ship so that the two can escape the approaching winter and continue a happy life. Eventually, winter sets in, and the girl becomes cold to the point where she cannot move any more. Upon meeting this tragedy, the girl tells Tomoya that he has another chance to go back and make things right. To do so, he must collect certain "lights" (symbols of happiness) similar to those floating around in the Illusionary World. If all the "lights" are collected throughout both story parts, a chance to save Nagisa from dying in childbirth will become available, and the true ending where Nagisa survives and lives with Tomoya and their daughter Ushio will also become available.

Development

The executive producer for Clannad was Takahiro Baba from Visual Art's,[1] the publishing company which controls Key. Jun Maeda, who was one of three main scenario writers with Kai, and Yūichi Suzumoto, led the planning for Clannad and wrote the majority of the scenarios. Scenario assistance was provided by Tōya Okano. Itaru Hinoue headed the art direction, and also worked on the character design.[10] Miracle Mikipon, Mochisuke, Na-Ga, and Shinory supplemented the computer graphics. Torino provided the background art.[1] The game music was composed by Maeda, Shinji Orito, and Magome Togoshi.[10]

For Key's second visual novel Air, Maeda admitted he felt he was able to write what he wanted to for the game's scenario, however later discovered that Air was difficult for players to receive and experience. Due to this, Maeda felt that for Key's next work Clannad, he had a sense of duty to make the game easier to receive for as many users as possible. In any case, he wanted to make it an entertaining game, and started planning on Clannad almost immediately after Air's completion. From the start of Clannad's planning, Maeda did not want to write a story like in Air, but instead wanted to focus on writing a deep connection between the 'people and the town', and 'humanity'.[2] Maeda noted that he exceeded his writing ability when writing most of the scenarios in Clannad, and equates Clannad's writing process as a "wall that I will never be able to get over again."[11] While at the beginning Maeda felt he was prepared, the entire game's story started to increase to a level Maeda never predicted, and Suzumoto noted that it approximately doubled in size from the original projected length. Suzumoto attributed the increase due to the lengthening structure of the game's base scenario which caused the 'branch' scenarios to increase as well.[2]

There were more concerns about Clannad being similar to Air. When Nagisa's scenario was being written, there were some disputes concerning the length of her scenario, and thus putting too much focus on the main heroine. Some were concerned that having a single prominent character with a unique storyline would be too much like how Air was structured with the overall focus on Misuzu Kamio. The company president of Visual Art's is even noted as suggesting to minimize the differences between the other characters' scenarios, but this was ultimately ignored since Maeda thought the game's evaluation by players would not decrease on account of the scenarios being vastly different, and thought the end result was a good one. Maeda was concerned that the After Story arc, mainly a continuation of Nagisa's scenario, would eclipse the entire game's scenario, much like what happened with Air according to Maeda. In order to prevent the same thing happening in Clannad, Maeda focused on making the first half of the story, the School Life arc, just as enjoyable by making it long and heart-breaking.[2]

Release history

Key announced in 2001 a release date of 2002[12] for Clannad and, after several postponements, Clannad was first released on April 28, 2004 as a limited edition version, playable only for the PC in DVD-ROM format.[13] The regular edition went on sale less than two months later on August 6, 2004 and retailed for the same price as the limited edition; the limited and regular editions contained no voice acting for the characters.[13] A consumer console port of the game developed by Interchannel for the PlayStation 2 was released on February 23, 2006.[14] Full voice acting (minus Tomoya Okazaki) was included for the PlayStation 2 version.[14] After the PS2 version sold enough units, it was decided that a cheaper version also known as the "Best Version" would be released on July 30, 2009.[15] The PS2 Best Version was also bundled in a separate "Key 3-Part Work Premium Box" package together with the PS2 Best Versions of Kanon and Air released on July 30, 2009.[16] A portable version, playable on SoftBank 3G and FOMA mobile phones produced by Prototype through Visual Art's Motto, was released on January 16, 2008.[17]

A version for the PC with full voice acting called Clannad Full Voice was released on February 29, 2008.[13] This version contains new computer graphics,[13] and the voice cast from the PlayStation 2 version remained unchanged; Tomoya is still not voiced. Prototype also produced a PlayStation Portable version of the game released on May 29, 2008 which included the additions from the PC full voice version.[18][19][20] Another console port developed by Prototype for the Xbox 360 was released on August 28, 2008, and includes full voice acting (again minus Tomoya).[21] The Xbox 360 version utilizes Xbox Live to distribute the voice files of the Official Another Story Clannad: On the Hillside Path that Light Watches Over drama CDs which were also released by Prototype.[21] The limited edition release of the PSP and Xbox 360 versions came bundled with a "digest" edition of the drama CD series released by Prototype containing five separate stories each; the CD bundled with the PSP release is different from the CD bundled with the Xbox 360 version.[18][21] Clannad Full Voice was re-released by Key under the name Clannad on July 31, 2009 in a box set containing five other Key visual novels called Key 10th Memorial Box,[22] and was re-released on May 28, 2010 with updated compatibility for Windows 7 PCs under the title Clannad Memorial Edition.[23] Prototype will release a version of Clannad ported to the PlayStation 3.[24][25]

Adaptations

Books and publications

A magazine-sized thirty-nine-page book called pre-Clannad was published by SoftBank Creative on April 15, 2004.[4] The book contained images from the visual novel, and short explanations of the characters, along with production sketches and concept drawings.[4] A 160-page visual fan book was published by Enterbrain on October 12, 2004 which contained detailed story explanations, computer graphics, sheet music for the opening and ending themes, and interviews from the creators. Near the end of the book contains original illustrations of Clannad characters from various artists, three additional chapters of the Official Another Story, and production sketches.[2]

A set of fourteen illustrated short stories which added to Clannad's story were serialized between the September 2004 and October 2005 issues of ASCII Media Works' Dengeki G's Magazine.[26][27] Titled Official Another Story Clannad: On the Hillside Path that Light Watches Over (Official Another Story Clannad 光見守る坂道で Official Another Story Clannad: Hikari Mimamoru Sakamichi de?), there were thirteen regular chapters and one extra bonus chapter. The installments were written by Key's scenario staff and each story was accompanied by illustrations by Japanese artist GotoP. Two more stories were included when they were collected into a 103-page bound volume released on November 25, 2005.[28] The short story collection was later re-released via SoftBank 3G and FOMA mobile phones produced by Prototype through Visual Art's Motto starting in January 2008.[29] One chapter was released weekly with the SoftBank 3G releases three weeks behind the version for FOMA phones, and a version for au phones was released in summer 2008.[30] Prototype again re-released the short story collection, this time on the PlayStation Portable handheld game console in two volumes, each containing eight chapters including the original art by GotoP. The first volume was released on June 3, 2010 and the second followed on June 24, 2010; the re-release is described by the developers as a "visual sound novel".[31]

Two Clannad anthology character novels were written by several authors and published by Jive in September and December 2004.[32][33] The first volume of a short story anthology compilation series written by Hiro Akizuki and Mutsuki Misaki entitled Clannad. (くらなど。?) was released in November 2008 published by Harvest;[34] the third volume was released in October 2009.[35] Three volumes of a short story compilation series by several authors entitled Clannad SSS were published by Harvest between June and August 2009. The first volume of a novel series titled Clannad Mystery File was first published by Harvest in August 2010. Harvest published a novel titled Clannad: Magic Hour in December 2010.[36]

Manga

The first manga illustrated by Juri Misaki entitled Clannad Official Comic was serialized in the Japanese manga magazine Comic Rush between the May 2005 and April 2009 issues.[37][38] Eight bound volumes were published by Jive between November 7, 2005 and March 7, 2009.[39][40] The second manga with the title Official Another Story Clannad: On the Hillside Path that Light Watches Over was serialized between June 21, 2007 and August 21, 2008 in the Japanese magazine Comi Digi +,[41][42] published by Flex Comix, and contained eleven chapters. The story for the second manga was adapted from the short story collection the manga was named after, and is illustrated by Rino Fujii. The first bound volume for the second manga series was released by Broccoli on February 21, 2008 in a limited and regular edition, each with their own cover.[43] The limited edition comes bundled with a small black notebook with the school emblem of Tomoya's school on the cover.[43] In order to commemorate the sale, an autograph session with the manga's illustrator signing copies was held on March 2, 2008 at Gamers in Nagoya, Japan.[44] The second and final volume, again in limited and regular editions, was released on December 20, 2008.[45]

A third Clannad manga illustrated by Shaa began serialization in the August 2007 issue of the Japanese magazine Dengeki G's Magazine, published by ASCII Media Works.[46] The manga ended serialization in Dengeki G's Magazine in the July 2009 issue, and began serialization in the eighth volume of Dengeki G's Festival! Comic, Dengeki G's Magazine's sister magazine, on October 26, 2009.[47] The first bound volume for the third manga series was released by ASCII Media Works under their Dengeki Comics imprint on February 27, 2008;[48] the third volume was released on December 18, 2010.[49] A fourth manga under the title Clannad: Tomoyo Dearest was serialized between February 20 and August 20, 2008 in the shōnen manga magazine Dragon Age Pure, published by Fujimi Shobo.[50][51] The story centers on Tomoyo's arc from the Clannad visual novel, and is illustrated by Yukiko Sumiyoshi.[52] A single volume for Clannad: Tomoyo Dearest was released on October 9, 2008.[53]

There have also been four sets of manga anthologies produced by different companies and drawn by a multitude of different artists. The first volume of the earliest anthology series, released by Ohzora under the title Clannad, was released in June 2004 under their Twin Heart Comics imprint.[54] Volumes for this series continued to be released until April 2005 with the fifth volume.[55] The second anthology was released in a single volume by Jive on January 25, 2005 entitled Clannad Comic Anthology: Another Symphony.[56] The third anthology series was released in two volumes by Ichijinsha on June 25, 2004 and July 24, 2004 under their DNA Media Comics;[57][58] a third special volume was released much later on December 25, 2007.[59] The first volume of the last anthology series, a collection of four-panel comic strips released by Enterbrain under the title Magi-Cu 4-koma Clannad, was released on February 25, 2008 under their MC Comics imprint; the tenth volume in the series was released on August 26, 2009.[60] Each of the anthology series are written and drawn by an average of twenty people per volume.[60]

Drama CDs

There are two separate sets of drama CDs based on the Clannad series. The first set, produced by Frontier Works, contains five CDs each focusing on a different heroine in Clannad's story ranging from Nagisa, to Kotomi, Fuko, Kyou, and Tomoyo. The first volume was released in Japan on April 25, 2007 as a limited edition with an extra track added. The second through fifth volumes followed in one month increments between May 25, 2007 and August 24, 2007.[61] The second set, produced by Prototype, contains four CDs; the first was released on July 25, 2007. Volumes two through four were released in one month intervals after that, with the last being released on October 24, 2007.[62] Each CD is based on the stories from the Official Another Story Clannad: On the Hillside Path that Light Watches Over collection. The artist GotoP, who provided the illustrations for the short stories, also illustrates the drama CD covers.[62]

Film

Main article: Clannad (film)

Toei Animation (the same team who worked on the original Kanon anime and Air film) announced at the Tokyo Anime Fair on March 23, 2006 that an animated film would be produced.[63] The Clannad film was released on September 15, 2007, directed by the same director of the Air film, Osamu Dezaki, and the screenplay was written by Makoto Nakamura.[64] The film is a reinterpretation of the Clannad storyline which centers on the story arc of the female lead Nagisa Furukawa. The film was released on DVD in three editions: the Collector's Edition, the Special Edition, and the Regular Edition on March 7, 2008.[65] Sentai Filmworks will be releasing an English-subbed and dubbed version of the film in March 2011.[66]

Anime series

On March 15, 2007, the Japanese television station BS-i announced a Clannad anime series via a short thirty-second teaser trailer that was featured at the end of the final episode of the second Kanon anime series. Clannad is produced by Kyoto Animation and directed by Tatsuya Ishihara, who also worked on other adaptations of Key's visual novels Air, and Kanon. The anime aired between October 4, 2007 and March 27, 2008, containing twenty-three aired episodes out of a planned twenty-four;[67] the broadcast time was first announced on August 11, 2007 at the TBS festival Anime Festa, which is also when the first episode was showcased. The anime series was released in a set of eight DVD compilations released between December 19, 2007 and July 16, 2008 by Pony Canyon, with each compilation containing three episodes.[67] Of the 24 episodes, 23 were aired on television with the first 22 being regular episodes, followed by an additional extra episode. The last episode was released as an original video animation (OVA) on the eighth DVD on July 16, 2008 and is set in an alternate universe from the anime series where Tomoya and Tomoyo are dating, which is based on Tomoyo's scenario in the game.[67] The OVA episode was previewed on May 31, 2008 for an audience of four-hundred people picked via a mail-in postcard campaign.[67] A Blu-ray Disc box set of Clannad was released on April 30, 2010 in Japan.[68]

After the ending of the twenty-third episode of the first Clannad anime series, a fifteen-second teaser trailer aired promoting a second season entitled Clannad After Story. The anime is again animated by Kyoto Animation, and animates the After Story arc from the visual novel, which is a continuation of Nagisa's story, into twenty-four episodes. The same staff and cast from the first anime were used and the series broadcast in Japan between October 3, 2008 and March 26, 2009.[69][70] Of the twenty-four episodes, twenty-two are regular episodes, the twenty-third is an extra episode, and the last episode is a summary episode showcasing highlights from the series. The episodes were released on eight DVD compilation volumes between December 3, 2008 and July 1, 2009. The eighth DVD volume came with an additional OVA episode set in an alternate universe from the anime series where Tomoya and Kyou are dating. The OVA episode was previewed on May 24, 2009 to a limited number of people.[71]

The license holding company Sentai Filmworks licensed the Clannad anime series,[72] and ADV Films localized and distributed the television series and the OVA starting with the first half season box set consisting of twelve episodes with English subtitles, Japanese audio, and no English language track, which was released on March 3, 2009.[73] The second half season box set containing the remaining episodes was released on May 5, 2009.[74] Sentai Filmworks licensed the Clannad After Story anime series;[75] Section23 Films localized and distributed both the television series and OVA starting with the first half season box set with English subtitles released on October 20, 2009. The second half box set was released on December 8, 2009. Sentai Filmworks re-released Clannad in a complete collection set on June 15, 2010, which featured an English dub, produced at Seraphim Digital.[76][77] The English dub premiered on March 25, 2010 on the Anime Network.[78] Sentai Filmworks will also re-release Clannad After Story with an English dub in April 2010.[66]

The opening theme for the first season is "'Mag Mell' ~cuckool mix 2007~" by Eufonius, a remix of the song "'Mag Mell' -cockool mix-", featured on the third disc of the game's original soundtrack, which is itself a remix of the game's opening theme "Mag Mell" (メグメル Megu Meru?). The first season's ending theme is "The Big Dango Family" (だんご大家族 Dango Daikazoku?) by Chata. It carries the same tune as "Small Palms" (小さなてのひら Chiisana Tenohira?), the ending theme from the After Story arc of the game. The second season's opening theme is "A Song to Pass the Time" (時を刻む唄 Toki o Kizamu Uta?) which uses the same tune as the background music track "To the Same Heights" (同じ高みへ Onaji Takami e?) from the game's soundtrack. The ending theme is "Torch", and both the opening and ending themes are sung by Lia. The rest of the soundtrack for both anime series is sampled from several albums released for the Clannad visual novel including the Clannad Original Soundtrack, Mabinogi, -Memento-, Sorarado, and Sorarado Append. The cover art for Sorarado Append is also visible as the last shot in the ending video animation of the first season.

Internet radio shows

An Internet radio show to promote the Clannad anime series called Nagisa to Sanae no Omae ni Rainbow (渚と早苗のおまえにレインボー?) was broadcast between October 5, 2007 and October 3, 2008, containing fifty-two episodes.[79] The show, produced by Onsen and Animate TV, was hosted by Mai Nakahara, who played Nagisa Furukawa in the anime, and Kikuko Inoue, who played Sanae Furukawa, and was streamed online every Friday.[79] Several voice actors from the anime adaptation appeared on the show as guests who included Ryō Hirohashi (as Kyou), Atsuko Enomoto (as Yukine), Akemi Kanda (as Ryou), Yuichi Nakamura (as Tomoya), and Daisuke Sakaguchi (as Youhei).[79] A two-disc CD compilation containing the show's first thirteen broadcasts was produced on June 18, 2008.[80] The second two-disc CD compilation containing the fourteenth through twenty-sixth broadcasts was released on October 15, 2008,[81] and a third CD volume followed on November 19, 2008.[82] A fourth and final volume was released on February 18, 2009 containing the rest of the broadcasts.[83]

A second Internet radio show to promote the Clannad After Story anime series called Nagisa to Sanae to Akio no Omae ni Hyper Rainbow (渚と早苗と秋生のおまえにハイパーレインボー?) was broadcast between October 10, 2008 and April 10, 2009, containing twenty-six episodes.[79] The show was also produced by Onsen and Animate TV, and was streamed online every Friday.[79] The show had three hosts including the previous two plus Ryōtarō Okiayu who plays Akio Furukawa in the anime series.[79] Two two-disc CD compilations were released containing the second radio shows broadcasts, the first released on February 18, 2009,[84] followed by the second on May 29, 2009.[85]

Music

The visual novel version has four main theme songs, the opening theme "Mag Mell" (メグメル Megu Meru?), the main ending theme "-Two Shadows-" (-影二つ- -Kage Futatsu-?), the insert song "Ana", and the ending theme featured in the After Story arc "Small Palms" (小さなてのひら Chiisana Tenohira?). The opening and ending themes were sung by Riya of Eufonius, and the insert song was sung by Lia of I've Sound. Six of the characters have background music theme songs—the five heroines, and Yukine Miyazawa. Nagisa's theme is the self-titled "Nagisa" (?); Kyou's theme is "That's Like the Wind" (それは風のように Sore wa Kaze no Yōni?); Kotomi's theme is "Étude Pour les Petites Supercordes"; Tomoyo's theme is "Her Determination" (彼女の本気 Kanojo no Honki?); Fuko's theme is "Hurry, Starfish" (は~りぃすたーふぃしゅ Ha~rī Sutāfisshu?); lastly, Yukine's theme is "Tea Party in the Reference Room" (資料室のお茶会 Shiryōshitsu no Ochakai?).

The first music album was an image vocal album called Sorarado released in December 2003 featuring songs sung by Riya.[86] The next album, Mabinogi, came bundled with the original release of Clannad in April 2004. The game's original soundtrack was released in August 2004 containing three discs with thirty-six different tracks along with remix versions of many of the background music tracks plus short, instrumental, and remix versions of the theme songs.[86] A follow up to the first image vocal album was released in December 2004 called Sorarado Append; the songs were again sung by Riya.[86] A remix album entitled -Memento- was also released in December 2004 and contained two discs.[86] A piano arrangement album was released in December 2005 called Piano no Mori which contained five tracks from Clannad and five from Tomoyo After: It's a Wonderful Life.[86] Each of the albums released for the visual novel version were released on Key's record label Key Sounds Label.[86]

A maxi single by Eufonius was released in July 2007 for the Clannad film called "Mag Mell ~frequency⇒e Ver.~". The single contained a remix version of the game's opening theme, and instrumental track of that remix, and an original track. An image album entitled Yakusoku was released in August 2007 featuring a song sung by Lia, an instrumental version of that song, and two background music tracks used in the film. The film's original soundtrack was released in November 2007.[87] The albums released for the film were produced by Frontier Works. A single was released in October 2007 for the first anime series called "Mag Mell / Dango Daikazoku" which contained the anime's opening and ending themes in original, short, and instrumental versions plus a remix version of "The Girl's Fantasy" (少女の幻想 Shōjo no Gensō?), a track featured in Sorarado sung by Riya.[86] A single for the second season anime series was released in November 2008 called "Toki o Kizamu Uta / Torch", and contains the anime's opening and ending themes sung by Lia.[86] A remix album containing piano arrangement versions of the second anime series' opening and ending themes was released in December 2008 called "Toki o Kizamu Uta / Torch" Piano Arrange Disc.[88] The anime series' two singles and one album are released on Key Sounds Label.[86]

Reception

Critical reception

In the October 2007 issue of Dengeki G's Magazine, poll results for the fifty best bishōjo games were released. Out of 249 titles, Clannad ranked first at 114 votes; in comparison, the second place title, Fate/stay night, got 78 votes.[89] The PlayStation 2 release in 2006 was reviewed by the Japanese video game magazine Famitsu, which gave it an overall score of 26/40 (out of the four individual review scores of 7, 7, 6, and 6).[90]

The anime television adaptation has been critically acclaimed. While the first season of Clannad received reviews ranging from positive to mixed, the second season Clannad After Story has received universal critical acclaim. The THEM Anime Reviews website gave the entire series a score of 4 out of 5 stars, with reviewer Tim Jones describing the first season as "the most fleshed-out and real Key animated adaption to date,"[91] and reviewer Stig Høgset stating that the second season After Story "will play up the tragedies and the drama considerably, quite possibly tearing out your heart in the process. This is where time truly starts to fly by, lending the show some real weight in the emotional departments."[92] Theron Martin of Anime News Network gave the first season a 'B+' rating, criticizing its extensive use of moe elements, but considered it appealing entertainment for a "fan base who revels in this kind of thing."[93] His review for the second season After Story was much more positive, giving it an 'A-' rating. He praised the second half of the season as "the best-written quarter of Clannad," stating that it "effectively builds up and delivers its emotional appeal, reinforces the series' central theme (i.e. the importance of family), and peaks visually," and concluding that "only the most cynical of souls will avoid shedding at least a few tears at certain points."[94] On the DVD Talk website, the reviewer Todd Douglass Jr. gave Clannad After Story a "Highly Recommended" rating, stating that "the range of emotions Clannad takes you through is quite daunting. It's charming, cute, hilarious, mysterious, and tragic all at the same time. Few shows are as memorable, and few are this good for this long." He concludes that the storytelling is "heartfelt" and "memorable in so many ways," and that "few shows rise to the levels this one does."[95]

Sales

Across the national ranking of bishōjo games in amount sold in Japan, the Clannad limited edition PC release premiered at number one twice since its release, and the third ranking brought the PC release down to 46 out of 50.[96] The first two weeks of June 2004 held the final ranking for the original release at 40 out of 50.[97] The Clannad regular edition PC release premiered at number 26 in the rankings.[98] The next two rankings for the regular edition were at 37 and 41.[99] Clannad Full Voice ranked three consecutive times in terms of highest selling PC games nationally in Japan, achieving sales rankings of 7, 20, and 40 between February and April 2008.[100]

The two anime series and film DVDs have shown consistent high sales figures. The first anime limited edition DVD ranked third for the week of December 19 and December 25, 2007.[101] The second through fifth limited edition DVDs all ranked first during their first week of sales,[102][103][104][105] while the sixth limited edition DVD volume was ranked fourth for the week of May 21 and May 27, 2008.[106] The seventh and eighth limited edition DVD volumes both ranked first during their first week of sales.[107][108] The third limited edition DVD ranked sixth for the most anime DVDs sold between December 2007 and November 2008.[109] A Blu-ray Disc box set of Clannad ranked third for the week of April 26 and May 2, 2010,[110] and ranked again at 13 the following week.[111] The special edition film DVD first ranked at number three during its first week of sales, and dropped down to number ten the following week.[112][113]

The first limited edition DVD for Clannad After Story ranked second during its first week of sales selling 17,521 units.[114] The second through fourth limited edition DVDs for Clannad After Story ranked first during their first week of sales each selling over 16,000 units each.[115][116][117] The fifth through seventh limited edition DVDs for Clannad After Story ranked first during their first week of sales selling over 14,000 units each.[118][119][120] The eighth limited edition DVD for Clannad After Story ranked second during its first week of sales selling over 19,800 units.[121] The sixth limited edition DVD volume ranked again the week of May 11 and May 17, 2009 at number three for anime DVDs.[122] The seventh limited edition DVD volume ranked again the week of June 8 and June 14, 2009 at number six for anime DVDs.[123] The eighth limited edition DVD volume ranked again the week of July 6 and July 12, 2009 at number five for anime DVDs.[124]

Legacy

Gamania Entertainment hosted a collaboration event with Clannad and their two massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) Hiten Online and Holy Beast Online.[125] Between March 26 and June 26, 2008, the two games offered costumes characters could wear which looked like the winter school uniforms from Clannad, along with offering Kyou's pet boar Button for players to adopt.[126] Also, any players of either game who had a character over level twenty could enter a lottery where five-hundred people were chosen to win Clannad-related goods which included virtual and real-world items such as file folders, "netcash" cards, sports towels, tapestries, and various items used during gameplay.[127]

ASCII Media Works and Vridge produced the PlayStation 2 visual novel Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu: Cosplay Hajimemashita (乃木坂春香の秘密 こすぷれ、はじめました♥?, lit. Haruka Nogizaka's Secret: Cosplaying Has Begun) based on the light novel series Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu. Released in September 2008, the game features the series' characters cosplaying in various costumes either depicting characters from five popular light novel series published by ASCII Media Works, or three Clannad heroines. Haruka Nogizaka can cosplay as Kotomi Ichinose, Mika Nogizaka can cosplay as Nagisa Furukawa (albeit with long hair), and Shiina Amamiya can cosplay as Tomoyo Sakagami.[128] The player can also view exclusive CGs in the game if one of the girls is taken out to various places while cosplaying as one of the aforementioned five light novel series characters, or as the Clannad heroines. For example, if Mika is cosplaying as Nagisa, a CG of her eating dango can become viewable.[128] When cosplaying as one of these tie-in characters, the voice of the girl cosplaying changes to the voice actress of the character they are cosplaying; for example, if Shiina cosplays as Tomoyo, she is voiced by Tomoyo's voice actress Hōko Kuwashima.[129]

A 3D virtual world called Ai Sp@ce was developed by the video game developer Headlock where users can interact with bishōjo game heroines from Clannad, Shuffle!, and Da Capo II.[130][131] Released in October 2008, the world recreates each game franchise on its own virtual island which are linked with a central Akihabara Island where users can interact, bridging the gap between the separate franchises. Users are able to create a customizable avatar to represent themselves in the game, along with choosing one game heroine to live with, which is referred to as a character doll, or chara-doll for short.[132] The user and chara-doll reside together on one of the three in-game "islands" depending on which franchise the heroine is from, which includes a house with furniture and clothes that can be purchased. The chara-dolls can also be customizable in that they can develop a unique personality for each user.[130]

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External links

ko:CLANNAD (게임) id:Clannad (anime) it:Clannad (visual novel) ms:Clannadru:Clannad (игра) fi:Clannad (visual novel) tl:Clannad (anime) th:แคลนนาด (เกม) uk:Clannad (візуальний роман) vi:CLANNAD zh:CLANNAD

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