Top Critic Average
I don't remember the last time I was so interested in a story labelled as "romance," but then came Clannad and everything changed. I never know a romance story could be so engaging, so multifaceted, and so emotional. The choice of a perceived bad boy as protagonist was an interesting one as opposed to showing the innocent girl fall in love with the rebel, a scenario played out far too often in Hollywood. Clannad shows us the softer side of a delinquent teenager, juxtaposed with the often harsh outcomes of his decisions.
Despite a beginning that focuses a bit too much on archetypes, so that it can deconstruct them later and far too much fluff, CLANNAD pulls its act together rather quickly to present a beautifully written story about family and optimism within change. This visual novel is a big investment, but its status as a potentially life changing one makes it more than a worthwhile read.
If you are looking for a heartwarming and occasionally tragic story, Clannad couldn't come any more highly recommended. I would say to be prepared for a bit of a slow burn, though…this is quite a long game with a strong focus on slice-of-life antics.