Technical Issue!

AsperJosh has suffered a heavy impact. Every picture on every post before the Africa one has been lost due to an album online becoming corrupted.
I have almost every picture stored across 2 laptops and will slowly begin to re-upload them to my posts over a long period of time!
I will be starting from latest posts and work backwards to re-upload the pictures.
Thank you for understanding!
Joshua :'(

UPDATE - Fixed Posts

2015 posts fixed so far:
- Tough Mudder 2015 - MCM Expo 2012 + Past Experiences - Telling People, I Have Aspergers - 5CPS - Marvel Phase Three - Attack On Titan - MCM Oct 2015 - Interstellar - Star Wars VII - Star Wars Original Trilogy - Star Wars Prequel Trilogy - Star Wars Battlefront - The Fault In Our Stars - Chronicle - Evans Night Out + Winter Wonderland 2015 -

2014 posts fixed so far:
- A Year's Progression At The Gym - 5CPS - The Land Before Time - X-Men Premier - X-Men DOFP - Halloween 2015 - Online Dating - Macbook Pro -

House MD, 3 Years Driving currently in progress.
More to be mended

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Clannad (Anime Review)

This Anime stands out to many that I've come across so far, because this and it's even better sequel opened my eyes and life and even touched my heart. I encourage you to read or even watch the story of how a teenage outcast learns to make friends and help them. This slice of life, drama, romance Anime is very dear to me and I want to explain why, this is the story of Clannad.
Tomoya Okazaki - Voiced by: "Kenji Nojima" (Japanese) and "David Matranga" (English) is a teenage delinquent with a tough life and doesn't really see any good in his future or this city. However everything changed that day on his way to school when he encountered Nagisa Furukawa - Voiced by: "Mai Nakahara" (Japanese) and "Luci Christian" (English) a girl who opened up to him about her love for this school which snapped him out of his isolation. His comforting words for her help him awaken a new found dedication towards this shy young lady and encourages him to soon help her dream come true. His journey will also bring him into friendships new and forgotten.

The story begins with a mysterious teaser into another story set in an Illusionary World, where a young woman lives alone in a wasteland of light. However she decides to build a small junk robot friend (whom she can't hear speak) and together they will last the days together and keep each other company in this isolation world.
The theme "Genso / Illusion" is a wondrous piece which makes me feel like I'm standing between a flat ocean with a reflecting sky above or soaring in the sky with ease. Like I'm standing in a reality that astounds me (like the Salt Flat Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, Brazil)!

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 animation is as stunning as 5 Centimeters Per Second and is the radiant aspect of this series. It gleams with colour, brightness and detail from the cherry blossom petals falling in the beginning, to the amount of details on every characters eyes. Even the sunsets are gorgeous and are beautifully painted and set the scene. The amount of detail that's been put into this 22 episode (+2 OVAs) is what I can't help but praise besides its slice of life story and magnificent soundtrack.
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.

The series may look cutesy and lovey dovey but its actually much more than that. It actually shows how one man can make a difference to many peoples lives as well as change his own and make it better. I love how his sarcastic view on things shows how funny he is yet deep down he's a lone wolf who's never really had true friends.
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).

Nagisa isn't just the main lady of Tomoya's life. The series is sorta divided into Arcs and focus on one of his friends for several episodes and how he'll eventually help them succeed or comfort them. I love that concept since I too put my friends and family before myself and care about others than myself as well. Though this series will hit you in the heart several times like in TFIOS and will do even more in the following season.
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.

The soundtrack to me is the soundtrack to certain moments in life itself. The theme "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 opening intro "Mag Mell" is a nice intro that shows off all the girls as well as clips from both seasons. I find the 2nd season into to be far more superior. Riya provides the vocals as well as in the tracks Two Shadows and the ending song of the 2nd season.

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.
But the other one is a stand-alone chapter representing "Another World" where Tomoya never fell for Nagisa but his attention fell to another lady (which I think is a cute alternative plot) as she was a badass fighter and had a mixed past that you can't help but respect her determination.

This Anime means so so much to me and I try to encourage my friends who like deep Slice of Life Drama or Romance Animes to check it out. It's weird how an emotional Anime that can unleash both positive and negative feelings from you still entrances you to this outstanding story. Theres no over the top violence or complicated plots, it's just a drama about how one man can make the difference to multiple lives as well as change his own life and views for the better.
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.

1 comment:

  1. It's a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Fantastic work!
    best romance anime