Clannad Part VI: The Ending
But I am now through all 25 episodes of After Story. Done. I managed not to cry despite coming really close.
Overall thoughts? This was quite possibly the best love story I have experienced thus far. I have a few reservations about that opinion mostly because of the surrealism in the end (or rather throughout, technically?) However, everything up to that point was amazing. Great characters, relatable situations and endless rivers of tears. Yeah, this was an experience, and wow was it worth it.
Totally recommend this anime to anyone who appreciates a good story.
But what I liked about After Story was that it took place outside of highschool for the characters. I don't actually think I've seen that before in anime, and this show actually captures a side of life that adult stories fail to do. Really, this is the first show I've ever seen that has the protagonist grow up, find a job, and deal with difficult choices and growing up quickly that actually felt genuine and logical. If I were in Tomoya's shoes, I probably would have made similar, if not, the same decisions he did. Every decision felt like it was carefully thought over for the characters to make. Akio and Sanae especially seemed seasoned in making tough choices (which fits perfectly with their characters). The scene where Sanae and Akio talk after Tomoya decides to take in Ushio? Priceless.
It's just... everything about this show's main story felt like it was well-made. It's good, plain and simple; the kind of story I love.
That being said, I do think certain episodes, such as Kyo's story, was a bit forced, maybe? Like, I could see how Tomoya could end up with Tomoyo because she used to be a delinquent similar to him, but she also worked with him to help him grow as a person. Nagisa did that too by taking his feelings seriously and pushing him to talk with his dad or talk about his plans for the future (It's why they're my OTP in this show, because they work together. Heck, he does the same for her with her self-confidence). With Kyo's story, I really didn't sense any of that going on. It didn't feel like a relationship so much as a cliche'd love triangle (rectangle if you include Sunohara. =P).
Now then, as for the very last episode of After Story: I liked it.
I mean, I keep hearing it's frustrating or bad or what have you, but... Well, I don't get that opinion. It was a summary episode, and I always look at those as a nice look-back to the story as a whole. They chose a nice theme to work around too, and the ending of that left me with "D'aww... You know you scarred me for life with the rest of this story, right? =D"
I mean, if you're actually talking about the ending of the main story, then I guess I can see where you're coming from, maybe? It was a weird way to get to the ending, and despite the happy I was still going through rehab due to the enormous amount of grief the show had just put me through so I wasn't getting into the happy... But it could have ended worse.
Obligatory: FUKO, YEEEEEES!
Anyway, the few nit-picks aside, this story was completely worth it. I'll probably watch it again someday (and cry forever).
GET OFF MY LAWN!