Warning: I wanted to avoid spoiling After Story in this review however the movie rearranges events, in fact the whole movie is a flashback happening after a certain event and I’d suggest watching Clannad and After Story before reading this review. Aside from what will be a single clearly marked paragraph I will not spoil the movie itself as the ending is a little different from the anime.Clannad was amazing. If you’ve read my past two reviews you’ll know I think exactly that, however there is something dark that has the name Clannad. I’m not sure exactly what should be expected taking about 18 hours and squishing them into about 2 but this was honestly a mess. Unlike After Story I knew of this one fairly early on (I found it while looking for After Story) and despite it being obvious I didn’t like it at all let’s get into it!
It starts off similar to the anime with Tomoya talking about how much he hates the town and pretty much everything else. You’ll notice a change really quick in the anime it’s made clear Tomoya’s dad doesn’t think of him as a son anymore. In the movie on the other hand he seems to really want Tomoya to like him again. One of my favorite parts of Clannad was when Tomoya and his dad make up at the end of After Story and that’s clearly not going to happen here. He meets up with Nagisa on the hill and they have their conversation. We know see Tomoya walked in the pouring rain during what appears to be the middle of the night. He talks about how that’s how it all started and moves to Nagisa introducing herself. Tomoya is mean to her as always. We are then treated to a scene of the teacher telling Tomoya to wake Sunohara up which makes Sunohara bite the teacher’s ear and lick him. I feel of all the comedic relief moments this was one of the worst they could have put in and honestly, it isn’t that funny. We’re then treated to Sunohara trying to buy bread with the giant ocean of students. While I admit this was a bit funnier I didn’t like having two comedic scenes one right after another.
Skipping ahead a bit, since I don’t want to post the whole movie, Tomoya meets up with Nagisa on the roof. No idea what was wrong with Courtyard but I guess the roof was needed or something? Anyway Despite the flashing between depressed Tomoya and I guess the school flashback you’ll notice something missing. The Illusionary World. I’d like to point to how essential to the plot The Illusionary World was in both the Visual Novel and the Anime. We get these weird dreams Tomoya is having and the play matches with them but they barely do anything from the Illusionary World and the girl and junk robot are absent. It is also dropped fairly early that Nagisa is dead. There isn’t even any build up or anything just, she’s dead. One last thing you’ll notice is characters. Clannad had had a ton of characters and most of them developed very nicely through the series. You like Kotomi? Ryou? Yukine? Koumura? Fuko? Too bad, none of them are here. Kotomi has a slight cameo directing a band for some reason but no one else is even mentioned. Tomoyo is in but she’s a massive bitch. She quite honestly seems to be against the Drama Club and is certainly doing nothing to help. Kyou is Tomoyo’s assistant. Kyou really isn’t all that important to anything. She seems to care less about Tomoya and Sunohara unlike being their friend in the anime and visual novel.
Another character change is Sunohara. In everything else he is a lazy, comedic, idiotic character but in the movie he’s responsible and often isn’t that funny. He ends up getting a part-time job working for the electric company because his family is having financial troubles (Mai isn’t here either) and even shows up with Tomoyo (which makes no sense with how they were barely friends) to counsel Tomoya when Nagisa dies. The final character change that hurts me so much is Tomoya’s dad. I hinted in my After Story review how he was one of my favorite characters in the entire series and in the movie, every reason for me liking him is gone. Yes he still sacrifices his life to try and make Tomoya’s a good one but there’s just something about it that seems off.
More changes are Kouko Ibuki being the drama teacher, Kouko and Yoshino getting married before Nagisa’s death despite not having Fuko wish them to and what I feel was one of the worst things this movie did. The ending.
WARNING SPOILERS! THIS PARAGRAPH CONTAINS SPOILERS, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO WATCH THE MOVIE SCROLL PAST IT
So we know how how the anime ends right? If not Nagisa dies in child birth, Tomoya gets depressed and leaves Ushio with Sanae and Akio, Sanae organizes a trip with Tomoya and Ushio, Tomoya meets his grandman and learns the story of his father, Tomoya tells Ushio about Nagisa, Ushio moves in with Tomoya, Ushio becomes friends with Fuko, Tomoya apologizes to his dad getting the Orb of Light, Tomoya wishes that Nagisa didn’t die, Time is reset, the Illusionary World collapses, the girl and robot are revealed to be Ushio and Tomoya, they grow up as a happy family. Now how does the movie end? Yoshino and Kouko run into Tomoya’s room, pull him out, drive him to the train station, meet up with Sunohara, Kyou and Tomoyo, ride the train, find out this was Tomoya’s dad’s plan, Sanae and Akio are on the platform with Ushio, end. I’m serious end. No Tomoya forgiving his dad. No Tomoya making friends with Ushio. No Nagisa returning. Ends there. This just makes it feel incredibly rushed and they noticed they were running out of time so just threw this ending together.