It’s finally here! CLANNAD got me into anime as well as visual novels! I’m not even going to do my usual hyping paragraph as I just want to get into this! Let’s go!
*A review code has been supplied by Sekai Project.
*I will be using provided screenshots as Steam’s screenshot option wasn’t working for me for some reason
Tomoya Okazaki hates the town he lives in. He is a self-proclaimed delinquent who we watch coming to school late during the opening of the novel. As he’s walking to school late he finds a girl standing at the bottom of the hill. We later learn this girl is Nagisa Furukawa who is considered the “true” heroine. Nagisa states she loves this school and asks Tomoya to walk up the hill. He decides he might as well as he has nothing to do and his life starts changing there. I’m going to stop story here as the common route is so different depending on route. Instead I’ll go over characters (since there are a lot).
Nagisa Furukawa is our main heroine she’s shy and has very little confidence in herself. She has been held-back a year because of an illness keeping her home.
Kyou Fujibayashi is a violent, quick tempered tsundere who is one of the only girls who will talk to Tomoya. She cares deeply for her sister Ryou and has a pet boar named Botan.
Ryou Fujibayashi, Kyou’s sister, super shy and quite quiet. She also talks to Tomoya. Botan doesn’t like her.
Tomoyo Sakagami is another violent girl but she tries holding back and is only really violent against those who try dampening her school life. She transferred into the school just before the story starts.
Kotomi Ichinose is a genius girl who doesn’t need to go to classes and hangs out in the library reading all day. Also quiet and shy (Key seemed to love this personality in CLANNAD)
Fuko Ibuki is a mysterious girl who spends all her time carving wooden starfish to give out to students to invite them to her sister’s (who used to be a teacher) wedding.
Yukine Miyazawa is quiet but I wouldn’t say shy. She spends all her breaks in the reference room making coffee and trying out spells. She’s also the best girl.
Youhei Sunohara, Tomoya’s friend who is in his class and has worse attendance than him. Usually used for comedic relief.
As you can see there’s a lot, and I’m only about halfway listing those with routes! I’m going to stop here though as this is going on a bit too long.
Every once in a while we get read a few lines taking place in a place called “Illusionary World” which has a girl and a doll made a junk she created. You’ll get hints through some routes about what this world is and why these two might be there.
One final thing is a new addition to the Steam release named the Dangopedia. Every once in a while you’ll see a term highlighted in red and if you enter the Dangopedia you’ll be able to read up on that term in more detail. While this is a neat idea I didn’t find much use for it as I’ve learned most terms it described from anime/manga/visual novels so if you have more than 5 or 6 months of experience you’ll probably be in a similar situation as me. I also found it a bit clunky to access as the terms get added to what will be there final place. This means navigating the 5 pages to find the new term. It is organized alphabetically but I wish it would add them all to the start then slip new terms into their place like Steins;Gates’ encyclopedia function (forgetting the name).
My only real negative (that I know won’t be fixed before release) is how some characters simply don’t get introduced unless you go out of your way to meet them which could lock out other routes. Going through Yukine’s route I met Nagisa (never learned her name), Kyou, Ryou, Yukine, Sunohara and Misae. I know there were a few others I could have met but comparing this to most other VNs I’ve reviewed you meet most if not all the characters before even making a choice that will lock out a route.
When playing the fan translation I already liked the graphics. Sure they were outdated but still appealing. The Steam release upgraded them to be HD makes them even better. Some background characters look a little weird though it really isn’t an issue. I also found some sprites a little too zoomed in. I’m also not sure if it was to represent height but sprites are at different levels too.
If you’ve seen the anime the voices (except Tomoya) are the same. Tomoya remains unvoiced which some people like but I find a bit annoying when the rest of the cast are voiced but not the protagonist. Soundtrack is also very good. I can’t think of a single song I disliked and they were all used very well. Aside from the Tomoya thing I really can’t think of anything.