I was first introduced to this series back in 2009 when Lewis decided to send me an emotional and huge spoilers clip from episode 16 of the 2nd season where two people shed tears as they rekindle and become a family again. Just like when I was introduced to Code Geass, I saw an enormous spoiler thanks to a friend even before starting the series which also affected my innocence and curiosity. But I still kept true to this one back in 2009 and it was one of the best recommendations of my life.
I was watching it in English Subbed and was messaging Lewis on MSN Messenger (remember that?) with live updated thoughts and comments as I ploughed through the series in a week. I was obsessed with this anime because it was bringing out emotions of both happiness and sadness from the mixed atmosphere in almost every episode.
Sub over Dub if I'm honest. Tomoya and Nagisa (well actually every characters voices) emit more passionate and whole hearted emotions and words through Japanese than English. The English version aint' bad but it doesn't cut it enough for me since I've seen the series many times and tried it in both versions and just strongly believe that the Sub is better.
The anime is actually based off a Visual Novel (an online role playing game where your choices affect the outcome of the multiple endings you will discover). It equals to the animation, artwork and characters but has been turned into an Anime perfectly.
In a way, I relate myself to his very character because of my own school life history, issues and difference to everyone else. What makes me envy as well as respect Tomoya is that he lives the very school life that I never got to have. Where he became close friends with kind girls. But then again, it happened to me eventually in college even if I didn't become calm, socially acceptable around them until after my 5 years of secondary school.
What I love most about Tomoya is that despite having little happiness in his life, he's willing to go the distance in helping and being there for others. He forgets how lucky he's got it. Two qualities that I myself share with him (which is why I feel connected to him in my old post).
But on the bright side, there are several comic relief moments and characters including Tomoya's delinquent partner in crime Youhei Sunohara who acts cocky and always gets his butt kicked or becomes the victim in epic comedy violence. Plus Nagisa's parents are cute relationship goals but are also funny especially when her Mum gets stricken with sadness after misreading criticism on her baking skills, leaving her cool, tough and sarcastic husband to chase after her whilst also serving as the protective father of Nagisa but sometimes a tough friend for Tomoya too.
Machi, Tokino Nagare, Hito / Town, Flow Of Time, People" is the highlight of the series. It has that nostalgia feeling of unlocking memories in my head or be the perfect track when walking alone or witnessing a sunset. It's harmonious choir echoes throughout the piano and gentle ambient work perfectly and uniquely. Its possibly one of the greatest pieces of music I've ever heard in my life ever.
The soundtrack cover is a huge spoiler which is why I don't want to share it on here, but I will share some more tracks since the music is the series 2nd most powerful pinnacle to past Animes I've watched. "Nagisa" is a gentle piano theme for our heroine full of pure innocence and has an instrumental take on the series ending song "Dango Dai Kazuko" (not surprised since those stuffed pillows are her secret obsession and guilty pleasure). "Tong Poo / Spring Breeze", "Inakakomichi / Country Lane" and "Shirotsumekusa / White Clover"are played during the school get togethers or comedy moments of Sunohara getting his butt kicked or when friends hang out in general. It's a good track symbolising fun, happiness around friends and a peaceful Sunday afternoon.
"Yukinohara / Snowfield" changes the atmosphere and brings out sad nostalgia during reminiscence of the past. Lastly "TOE" is an uplifting track with sudden realisation as to how a sad past can still turn into a happy life when your answers are given and everything becomes clear.
I'll give some more tracks when I talk about the next season later on this month!
Oh and before I forget or spoil anymore, you can get the soundtrack and it's other related albums off iTunes. But sadly the track names are spelt in Japanese but some with alternative track names, so use this playlist track list to change the names if you choose to purchase and alter the tracks.
The ending took a surprising turn for the worse and almost made everything they worked for, fall apart after learning an astonishing truth. Plus illnesses can affect people's future as well as making others put their dreams on hold for their own children's future. But a miraculous miracle snaps her out of her confusion as an encouraging man shouts across the room to reassure that very broken soul and help her finish what she started.
Plus I'm glad two souls got together in the end (even if a kiss wasn't present). And with that beautiful ending, I knew I had to watch he 2nd season right away to see what else lied in store, but also to have the tissues at the ready (not like that) as Lewis mentioned "it gets better before it gets worse..."
But another thing to mention is that there are 2 OVAs (which are episodes which could relate to the story itself or become stand alone stories or even fan-service episodes to answer questions). The first was a short movie acting as a small interlude between the ending of the series and before the 2nd season begins.
I know not everyone is an Anime fan but I hope those who already knows of this Anime or are now interested in it will share my very same feelings and views too. I'm an emotional man with issues or complications but I can still be passionate with feelings even if it's on something fictional.
I'll get round to the 2nd season near the end of the month and I also realised on how late it is since I was planning to get round to watching the 2nd seasons of Sword Art Online and Code Geass from their posts too. But overall, I hope you've enjoyed this post and have a newfound interest to check it out for yourselves.