High school romance can be one of the most disruptive parts of our school life. In school, we’re usually busy following trends and enjoying our friends’ companionship. However, at some point, you may look around and see that one person who stands out for some peculiar reason. Why do I keep looking towards this person? Why do I long to be back at school just so I can see them again? It never started this way, but once this person gives you a piece of life that you can no longer imagine living without, what would you do for that person? Would you push yourself to your limits in order to keep them happy? Do you think they even feel the same way towards you? Join Tomoya Okazaki in his struggle between his mind and his heart as he pushes himself to support the feeble Nagisa Furukawa.
Tomoya, being the high school delinquent, thinks that he’ll never amount to anything. Coming from a broken home, with no determination or ambition, he skips school and plans to waste his high school days away with his friend Sunohara. One day, Tomoya passes by a girl on his way to school who’s quietly talking to herself. Curious, he stands there for a moment to see what she’s going on about. All of a sudden, she exclaims, “ANPAN!” (a popular Japanese food) which baffled Tomoya. Steadily, Tomoya keeps noticing her around the school grounds. He discovers that the girl, Nagisa, was held back a grade due to her weak immune system. She missed too many days of school and now is trying to pave her way to graduation. With all of her friends having graduated already, she’s kind of a loner. Her dream is to resurrect the school’s drama club. Since Tomoya has nothing better to do, he decides to help. As he learns more and more about Nagisa and the other girls who join the drama club, he starts to realize that life may not be as boring as he thought.
The tempo of this anime can be a bit slow at some parts. While there is a lot going on between character development and dramatic scenes, this anime does not fail to provide the bashful, funny, and timid humor that will leave you face-palming yourself time after time. The sheer amount of cuteness and naivety that is high school romance makes this anime lovable. Along with dramatic turns and moments of despair, the contrast between comedy, drama, and suspense will keep you hooked from start to finish.
If you thought Clannad+ was an emotional roller coaster, it’s sequel, Clannad: The After Story, will leave you in pieces. The hardships and internal struggles that Tomoya faces through his darkest time are captured vividly. With heart-wrenching moments and jaw-dropping outcomes, the sequel does an outstanding job of creating a full story transition from childhood into adulthood. With a little bit of fantasy involved, you will have to pay close attention to the beginnings and endings of the episodes in order to receive the full backstory which is a nice feature. The creators of this anime have a side story on top of their original story which in the end, coincide and create an alteration to the entire story line.
Cleverly directed, this anime is a must have for any romance and drama otaku enthusiast. With scores of 9.1/10 and ranked #11 on myanimelist even after almost 6 years, there is no doubt that this anime deserves recognition on our list of recommendations.
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