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Karifean's Blog of Visual Novels

CLANNAD First Re-Impressions

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You know I was somewhat anxious going into CLANNAD. Not too long ago I crowned it my #3 favorite visual novel, but really, it's been two years since I read it by now. It was the first visual novel I had ever read that I truly identified as a member of its medium. So I was slightly afraid that it turns out my perception of CLANNAD was just heavily colored, that since I had no standards regarding visual novels back then, it might fail to hold up now, not actually being as good as I remember.


It took CLANNAD a grand total of 60 seconds to remind me of why exactly I fell in love with it two years ago. To be precise I got stuck on the title screen listening to the amazing arrange of Ushio over and over again.

But it only got better from there. The wonderful characters, the beautiful music, the humor that just really clicks with me; it's all still there. And now I'm really looking forward to reading through all of it over again.

The protagonist, Tomoya Okazaki, is the best combination of jerk and nice guy I could ask for. For backstory family reasons he wants to avoid coming to his home as much as possible, and having lost his main reason for attending the prestigious school he's in he goes through life mostly inable to bring himself to actually care strongly about anything.

But as can easily be seen in his interactions with just about anybody besides his best pal Sunohara (who is the comic relief punching bag of the story), he's actually a rather nice guy. There's no better example of this than his interactions with Nagisa Furukawa, the main heroine of the story. A girl with very little self-confidence who had to repeat her final year at school due to health issues. If you follow the usual choices Tomoya and Nagisa will end up having several conversations on the first few days and this is already where I start loving the writing of this VN soooo much. Both of them get really strong characterization very early on and their contrasting points as well as their similarities are highlighted, and the way they support each other in ways only they can really elevate this to one of my absolute favorite romances.

Naturally Nagisa's route was the first I went through and it's been an enjoyable ride from start to finish. It went on for somewhat longer than I remembered, but all that really meant was that I got to enjoy more great Tomoya Nagisa romance and more scenes involving Nagisa's family. Because Nagisa's family is the beeeeeest. I'm really looking forward to continuing this story in After Story, but for now I have 9 other routes to go through.

Yes, 9 other routes. And then a final route that's about as long as three routes put together. All tied together in what is easily the most complex route structure I have EVER seen in a visual novel. If I hear any complaining about this visual novel not being worth the $50 they're asking for I'm seriously disappointed.

I won't rush through CLANNAD the way I tend to do with VNs like these that just don't let up on the amazingness, but I'll probably still be done soon enough. That being said the Kazamatsuri Bookclub is scheduled to go on for three whole months so I won't stop immersing myself in CLANNAD anytime soon.

Really, this visual novel gets my highest recommendation for anyone who enjoys this kind of story (and can stomach/like the art style). Do yourself a favor and try it, if you can.

And now for some random screenshots!

Really liking the illusionary world segments too. Quite atmospheric.

Sunohara for best comic relief character.

...but when he gets serious, he still has his moments. I like him a lot.

Pranking Fuko is still as hilarious as ever.

I want to high-five whoever had the idea of putting this little mini visual novel in this game.

Yoshino Yusuke's out of place inspirational speeches always make me laugh.

Ohai random easteregg.


  1. Aerith's Knight's Avatar
    While they did a great job on the CLANNAD anime, the 'everyone is friends' theme is still a little forced. The VN is superior in that sense.

    I loved it then and I love it now. You never want the story to end, yet you don't want to stop reading. That is the mark of a great story.