Clannad: After Story

Title:Clannad: After Story
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Music - MAEDA Jun
Original Concept - KEY
R1 Distributor - Section23 Films (ADV)
R1 License - Sentai Filmworks (ADV)
Events in After Story take place starting at the beginning of the final semester of Tomoya's senior year. After declaring his love to Nagisa, they begin to have their relationship. BUT, Nagisa's health has not improved at all and this can change their lives forever.

[24 episodes based on the visual novel (game) of the same title.]
0:15 min Trailer 1 - YouTube Video
Aired on October 2, 2008.
[edit] The ↗Clannad franchise:
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 9 9 8 9 9 8 Dreamer [series:1852#2279]
Although I barely enjoyed the first series and thought of it as over-hyped, I still ended up picking up this second installment to learn more about our character's stories. I'm sure glad I did.

Art, Animation & Character Designs
Wow! One of the first things I noticed was the OP's opening sequence. The artwork was just breathtaking. Most noteable was the very first scene of the clouds rolling to the right over a serene cityscape. The clouds were shades of various blues, violets and purples. Just.... wow! One thing I truely appreciate is amazing pieces of artwork. This is one those pieces. It's not quite at the level of "EF" IMHO, but really darn close. With all that said, it seems the artwork and animation had improved over the first series.... which itself was gorgeous.

The OP was darn good. The fact that the animated sequence that went along with it was so gorgeously done, made this song even more inspiring. The way the OP opens up with the hard and light keys (pianos) and the light resonance of symbols.... then followed by a shutter of brushed symbols with female vocals just sent shivers down my spine. Wow! Some of the words to describe this.... hope, inspiration and goodness. Anytime you have a powerful song in conjunction with a scenic display of clouds, it almost aways conjures up such feelings and leaves a "wow" effect. I was so impressed and amazed at the beauty of the opening sequence (the initial few seconds), I sat and watched it on each episode. Normally I skip the OP after I hear it a few times. The soundtrack is similar to that found on the first series.... which is good throughout.

Series and Episode Story
As mentioned above, I only picked this one up because I wanted to see how our characters from the previous installment would play out... .even though I didn't care for the first one that much. However, this one was quite different. This one was far more powerful, dramatic and serious. For the first few episodes, we have some of the same humour and comedy found in the first installment, but shortly thereafter, the plot focused on our two main characters.... Nagisa and Tomoya. Here, the story takes off and explores their lives as a couple, then marriage, then parenthood. But being faithful to the series, we get plenty of angst and heartwrenching scenes and plot.

One of the most emotionally charged scenes was episode 16, (spoiler)Nagisa giving birth (rather right after giving birth). The combination of the depressing yet hopeful song and the scene playing out in front of you would make the most manly man breakdown in tears.... or the least, sniffles. Now, i'm not considered a small guy... 190 lbs at 5'8'' with a well toned frame so I consider myself pretty manly, but this part of the scene.... I excused myself a few times to.... oh, get a cup of water, or check if it's raining (even though it's 98 degrees out), or see if I missed a call... or something. Ok fine!!! I was bawling like a baby!!!

Ok, let's talk about the ending. The ending almost disappointed me. Based on the events in episode 16, we see what happens and how the story unfolds from there. However, all of this becomes moot near the end. You almost feel a sense of being cheated out of a bittersweet yet amazing ending... (one would assume at least), and instead, given a "happy" ending to appeal to the majority. The whole (spoiler)birth sequence and what transpired was an amazing and very powerful scene in the fact that tho a life was painfully lost, a new life was given in return in the form of a beautiful baby. There was nothing more poignant than that. And if the writers had left it at that, it would have made the story as a whole an inspiring and beautiful tale of love and life in all it's realism. Yet, we're given a fairy tale ending that almost ruins it. I say "almost" because although I was disappointed, it didn't completely ruin the whole thing. It tied in the mysterious robot scene to give it a sense of all the puzzles to the story fitting together.... and it really does work for the most part.

Overall, this was far better than the original series, far deeper, and much more beautiful. This story will have your emotions swinging from one extreme to the other but all the while, enjoying every minute of it. A definite buy here.

Last updated Tuesday, October 26 2010. Created Saturday, August 07 2010.
Rent 8 9 8 8 8 7 chibi [series:1852#2380]
On the cubicle walls where I work, you'll often see a clipping of the cartoon where the physicist has filled a chalkboard with a complicated series of formulas showing in mathematically precise detail the steps in a puzzling phenomenon, in the middle of which is a step which reads: "AND THEN A MIRACLE OCCURS!" That's what I felt like when I hit episode 22 of After Story. After all the plot twists, emotional build-up and drama, just a small miracle was all it would have taken to turn it into one of the best anime romance/drama series. But instead the writers chose to transform the universe and re-wrote half of the series in one episode, thereby wiping out the rationale for most of the painstakingly-learned lessons in Tomoya's young life. Baaah! What is it with Japanese writers that they come up with such great stories but can't write a decent conclusion to them?

Anyway, having narrowly avoided a Buy recommendation, the series is still worth a Rent in my opinion. The first half is a bunch of fairly silly stories playing off of the strong characters developed in Clannad, with the second half consisting of the continuing relationship of Tomoya and Nagisa. This kind of closure in a couple's story used to be non-existent in anime, but seems to be showing up in a couple of recent series such as Itazura na Kissu and this one. I for one hope the trend continues.

I just think a room full of monkeys could have come up with a better ending, darn it.

Last updated Sunday, March 15 2009. Created Sunday, March 15 2009.
Rent 9 8 8 0 7 0 KBanger1 [series:1852#1694]
For those of you who like the first Clannad because of the harem-like comedy, you better be into a lot of tear jearking moments in Clannad After Story. It's basically what happens between Tomoya and Nagisa after the first series. Apparently they get married, have a child, the rest yourself. If you're familiar with the OVA, then most of the series you can figure out on your own.

I certainly will not take anything away from the story or the art/animation end from it. You really can't say that it isn't visually stunning. This particular series gave me a feeling of cliche moments. What I mean is that certain episodes were really predictable. I only say that because of two things: 1) I've already watched the OVA so I knew what was going to happen and 2) Most series like these always want to leave you with a happy ending. Not a realistic ending (even though it's primarily a fantasy world that co-exists with their reality). That left with a "meh" feeling. I keep thinking to myself, "Ok, when is blah blah blah gonna happen? In the next episode or two?" When that happens, I lose the desire to watch the rest. I will admit, I tend to skip episodes if feel I know what will happen. In this case, I skipped about three and picked up after that. I found out after I saw the ones I'd skipped that my preconceived notions were dead on. Even though the outcome of the series went a different path than the OVA, I still don't really like the fact that it was predictable. For some, they'll tend to look past that because the story was good if not spectacular. Me, I tend to nitpick on these things because I want something that isn't too predictable. Between this and the first series, I have to go to rent. I will say, nearing the end, it was rediculously tear jearking but at least it wasn't boring. Drama is high in this one so if love the cynical tragedy type of anime, you'll love this one. For any other person, look elsewhere.

Last updated Friday, March 13 2009. Created Friday, March 13 2009.
Rent 9 9 8 7 7 7 Ggultra2764 [series:1852#1552]
(Watched 4 episodes, over four years ago)

I've chosen to drop watch of the series since I'm now at my limit for what I can tolerate. Events were feeling far more forced than what I seen from Clannad (TV) and I barely could tolerate the overuse of moe from this series, especially in the case of Mei's return. But with the melodrama I seen through After Story's most recent episode, I've had enough.

Since I have seen so little of the series up to this point, it won't be fair for me to rate it. So, I've chosen to keep this review Unevaluated.

(Final review, as of 7/4/2013)

And here we are crossing paths with a series I had dreaded to even want to resume for years and I've finally completed it. Even with the major storyline that has many fans thinking After Story is among anime's major hits, the series still suffers from some major flaws that I feel keep it from being considered a worthwhile classic.

The show's first eight episodes follow the first season's setup in focusing on Tomoya and Nagisa's interactions with classmates and helping them out with their problems. These don't really add anything new to the title's focus on our main couple, milk use of Key's typical elements on tragedy and magical miracles, have their flaws with setting up common sense and believability with their writing for plot and characters and seem to only be there for the sake of padding for the title's major storyline.

From episode 9 onward, After Story begins its major storyline that made it a hit among fans: the continuation of Nagisa's route from the first season. I'll admit that, outside of a few minor issues and personal nitpicks, Tomoya and Nagisa's developments made for the best writing to be offered with Clannad as their relationship deepens into adulthood and the couple face their hardships coming from Tomoya's past and Nagisa's illness throughout much of the rest of After Story's run. The latter especially becomes prevalent in the later episodes of the arc when tragic events crush Tomoya's hopes for happiness and he has to learn to value what he gained from said tragedy. But even this happiness is brief when more tragedy awaits the guy. The show's running moral of learning to value family and loved ones is retained in this storyline through Tomoya's ordeals and his interactions with Nagisa's parents, which make for engaging comical, heartwarming and serious moments.

The storyline's major issue though comes in the form of its ending. Without spoiling things, it felt like a cop-out, felt quite vague in the implementation of its fantasy element (which Key's titles normally suffer from) and made all the drama seen throughout the prior dozen episodes feel pointless just to force along its ending. Oddly, the story ended only at After Story's 22nd episode as the final two featured an episode from Tomoya and Nagisa's first days in their third year of high school that don't add much to the series and a recap episode chronicling all the major events of the prior two seasons.

Visually, After Story was one of 2008's most artistically impressive titles with gorgeous and detailed shots of scenery, more polished character designs and animation that's more fluid than the first season of Clannad. The soundtrack for After Story's a bit of a mixed bag for me. While having powerful dramatic tracks used to accompany major moments in the series, they can be a bit too overwhelming in enforcing their mood upon the audience as I found these to take away from the drama of After Story's serious moments at points.

While I'm not as much of a prude with judging Clannad After Story as I was years ago, I still think it gets more praise than deserved from many folks. The major highlight of the series requires watching through After Story's first eight subpar episodes and while emotionally powerful, the ending to the story is a major cop-out that hurts the quality of the series to a degree for me since it seemed hesitant to commit to being a tragic drama. It's still worth looking into if you enjoyed Clannad's first season, but I wouldn't consider it a masterpiece comparable to anything like Haibane Renmei or Rurouni Kenshin: Trust and Betrayal.

Last updated Thursday, July 04 2013. Created Friday, October 24 2008.
Rent Stretch [series:1852#628]
(All episodes watched):

Clannad ~After Story~ was a show which went through a difficult transformation, from clever comedy to moving drama. This had mixed results, as I found my interest close to lapsing halfway through. Some elements never made sense to me, but one thing was for certain: there was a lot of quality being worked with here, in all sorts of ways. The conclusion could have been a good deal better, but it would have been a shame not to have watched the series at all.

At the beginning, it looked like the established cast of Clannad was serving in a comedy sequel, with the same witty and sarcastic style, and I was enjoying it. Episode one was a baseball game played by an ad-hoc team and number two is the first half of a two-parter about a scheme to fake a romance. Episode three got surprisingly serious as Sunohara got angry at Tomoya, and I got the feeling that ouch, a friendship may be ruined by accident. This faked romance wasn't just a joke, it was quite poignant and the consequences will extend beyond a minor plot arc; and this show will have something of an ongoing plot it seems. Clannad AS seems to be in a higher class than most of the shows I watch, with better all around quality, especially in terms of writing. I liked episodes five and six, which were largely a flashback to present-day dorm manager Misae's days as a student herself. There was little humor but the story held my interest firmly, which isn't easy. I had largely--completely, actually--forgotten who Misae was, so this interesting little story was all the more surprising. Episodes seven and eight involved a war between gangs and the girl who serves as an intermediary. These were OK, but I had already guessed why her brother had gone missing long before the "shocking" revelation.

...and I still haven't a clue what's going on in the scenes with a rusty old robot. A dream? A parallel universe? Artsy-fartsy stuff that was never intended to be understood by the viewer? One distinctive feature of Clannad is that there tends to be a supernatural, spiritual element having an effect on the outcome of each arc. Sometimes these are poignant and sometimes they leave me scratching my head--like the boy who is reincarnated (I think) as a cat(?).

My feelings about Clannad AS are kind of ambiguous; at one point I thought of it as a show which I ought to watch, what with all the nice touches, yet I couldn't say it was a favorite of mine. The series started out as seemingly silly comedy but ended as (almost) tragic and heartbreaking. Perhaps as a result my feelings for it ran a guantlet between seeing it as first amusing, then tedious, then enthralling, and finally something else.

Episode 18 startled me with it's moving finesse, as Tomoya makes up with an estranged relative (I don't want to give too much away). It feels like there's one overiding moral to this story, and it was planned from the beginning, which is all the more surprising since this is all supposed to have originated rom a visual novel. Or maybe that's exactly why it felt that way. In general the series had been looking up recently, having shifted into a quality drama format from the silly comedy one in which it began.

Clannad AS builds an unusually intense crisis, based on problems that could happen to anybody; it's almost heartbreaking. And then it pretty much throws it all away. So, since things haven't gone so well in this world, we naturally transport to an alternate reality? (I don't think it's that easy!). And anyone who is in misery can just "reset" their life, provided they live in a good city? And the girl who froze to death was Ushio while the robot was Tomoya (what?)? I guess the Fuko bit at the end was added to make this clear, since I had assumed that that was Nagisa.
I suppose I should have known that a show which sometimes resolves minor arcs with supernatural factors would do so for the main one as well. But it seems like a distinct disappointment and leaves me more irritated than teary eyed at the happily-ever-after ending. There is a special episode about what happened when Tomoya and Nagisa first met, but as far as the conclusion is concerned, it doesn't salvage much. Just as bewildering is the final episode, a recap of both the original series and this one as well. Perhaps the makers of this series had conflicting goals of wanting to both end on a high note yet also demonstrate that they really were serious about the conclusion (the way Tomoyo explains it in the recap episode is that the tragedy was all a strange bad dream, which only adds to the confusion). I'm not furious, and I don't regret watching the series--it was pretty good, for the most part. But the climactic episode leaves me feeling "man, what a cop-out".

Last updated Sunday, April 05 2009. Created Saturday, October 11 2008.
Unevaluated Forbin [series:1852#1573]
First Look:

It's clannad, the designs are there. It was basically an Intro episode.

I avoided this honestly after episode 2 decided to finish off the last 2 'heroines' of Clannad. I picked it up on #9 when the true nagisa story started. #1 #9 #10 all good. Well #17 has shown up and I'm not all that enthused by Clannad anymore.

Last updated Tuesday, February 10 2009. Created Thursday, October 09 2008.
Unevaluated AstroNerdBoy [series:1852#436]

Final review coming soon...

The first episode would be classified as filler, but considering how fun it was, who cares. ^_^ Episode 2 features Mei and Youhei as does episode 3 and 4. Episode 5 starts the Misae arc which ends with episode 6. The Yukine arc is in episodes 7 & 8. Episode 9 is an emotional episode. Episode 10 continues the emotional ride (only not so hard) with Tomoya's new job, apartment, and Nagisa's schooling. Episode 11 has Tomoya training at his new job. Episode 12 has the event fans of the series have long waited for, Yoshino-san's story in brief, and a lot of thunderhead clouds. Episode 13 has Nagisa graduate and more. Ep. 14 has Nagisa working a family restaurant. Ep. 15 had Tomoya and Nagisa facing some difficult choices. Ep. 16 has Ushio born. Ep. 17 show Tomoya to be a worthless dirtbag. Ep. 18 has Tomoya and Ushio take a trip. Ep. 19 has Tomoya take responsibility for raising Ushio and make amends with his father. Also, a great character from the original Clannad returns for an extended cameo. Ep. 20 has Tomoya enjoying his life with Ushio. Ep. 21 has Ushio get Nagisa's illness.

Last updated Saturday, April 04 2009. Created Sunday, October 05 2008.

Buy 10 10 10 10 Xenoknight [series:1852#2967]

watching now... 23 eps watched... Most painful ep so far = 21. Read my ep summary...

Clannad (TV) is back and has what it takes to be stronger than ever! The series continues right where it left off last time with them all playing baseball in the park. I love continuation attempts and this series will easily prove why. Nothing has changed: the main lead is still a "G" with his "I don't care" attitude, all the characters are back (yes, the VAs are back as well), and the story is destined for greatness just as it displayed last time around.

I've always considered Clannad (TV) as a perfect example of what the "highest caliber" animation and artwork looks like and this sequel will continue it's reign of beautiful animation and character design. The first episode is reason enough for my eyes. I must also say the music got a major upgrade compared to the original. The intro is brilliant (“Toki wo Kizamu Uta” by Lia) in its own right (as an added bonus for the musically inclined, check out this small gift in this post) and the ending is a "God-send" compared to the original retarded ending with the dango family credits.

Ep 3: I'm fine with the direction and drama, but the premise is off. Mei always treated Sunohara like crap and usually ignored him but now she has a problem with the new attitude his present situation has afforded him!? (heavy sigh) Whatever...

Ep 4 was something to behold indeed. "High-caliber" drama, a couple of old fashioned fist fights, and the characters putting their pride aside for the greater good are the ideas for this episode. I expected no less from this wonderful series! Great episode...

Ep 5: Of course, there are many issues with this episode. We have an ep with the focus on a character that isn't considered main at all, a huge backstory (though interesting) that sucks up the whole ep and threatens to engulf the next one as well, and the whole cat that is a boy that can grant one wish (!) and he only wants to give it to Misae, deal! Where is this show headed and why are they so desperate to stall with pointless (though still slightly interesting) material. You know an anime is stalling when they give emphasis to a support character...

Ep 6 was brilliant. That is the only thing that can be said, period. I had swirling emotions by the end of the episode and wanted to cry from the bottom of my heart (I didn't but I wanted to). It was that serious! Tremendous drama and emotion. Tremendous... I never thought I could feel pain and sadness for a damn cat before but this anime has done it and i'm grateful for it. That story was incredible! As expected from a Clannad title.

Ep 7 was "kind of" funny and "kind of" interesting. I'd say right in the middle but a bit more on the boring side of the scale. The girl in the library is now the focus (another support character - sigh...) and this episode focuses on her brother and his gang's issues at the moment. Slightly interesting but nothing great to mention except how the little boy decided to follow Sunohara and became his pupil. That crap was funny but that was about it. This story will engulf the next ep as well. One last thing about the girl and the robot that the story continues to foreshadow - things are about to pick up for them soon...

Ep 8 was FIERCE in every sense of the word! The drama, the fighting, and the overall pace of the episode all worked flawlessly. This ep was absolutely brilliant and I watched it 3 times over!! The battle between the main lead and the other leader was EXTREMELY FIERCE! That is the only way I could describe the fight. I never thought an "old-fashioned" fist fight could be done so well. I loved how the sister appeared as her brother and still tried to fight in his name after getting punched square in the face! It was incredible to find out the truth about her brother and just how stupid the gang war really was. Just one thing though, don't mistake my enthusiasm as kindness because I still think they need to quit stalling and get the story about the main lead and Nagisa started (or at least hint at it a little). Perfect drama elements that makes this title worthy of the "Clannad" banner of excellence.

Ep 9 is where things become incredibly interesting and where the title of "Clannad" takes off it's gloves and prepares to get serious while flexing it's muscles. The events of this one episode quickly destroyed all the other eps up to this point in terms of drama and slice of life elements. Nagisa is in trouble again and the main lead is prepared to do whatever it takes for her and his resolve to protect her has never been stronger. I tried to hold back the tears that streamed down my face as the ep came to a close and we see the main lead pour out his soul to Nagisa to tell her what she really means to him. That was one emotional scene and it really sets the mood for things to come in the future. Things are even heating up for the young girl and the robot that play in those cryptic intro scenes. If you thought this season was a joke so far (I would never call it a joke but it certainly wasn't Clannad at its best), I would say that now is the time to return and prepare for an unforgettable story experience that could (will) give the first season a run for it's money. Masterful ep...

Ep 10: Things aren't looking too good for the robot and the girl in those cryptic intro scenes! As for the ep: This is where life really begins for our lead couple. The main lead gets a job and moves out of Nagisa's place to become his own man (bird leaving the nest). Life is normal and even Nagisa cracked a joke about her mother's bread - LOL. He sees a few of his old friends and they are glad to see he is still his old loser self. His new job is extremely taxing but he knows his life is at stake since he is on his own now. Nagisa is like a wife to him, cooking him breakfast and waiting for him to come home for dinner. I must say that this title has really evolved from the stall episodes they were throwing at us (though they were still entertaining to watch) and this is when things become insanely interesting (or painful if you saw the movie). Either way, this title can (will) never be forgotten and therefore, will be a new entry into the list.

Ep 11: No scene with the girl and robot (the first ep with no scene by the way). The main lead takes his work very seriously and tries his best to get used to it. Nagisa supports him (behind every strong man... LOL) and wakes him up in the morning and makes sure he always has food to eat. He promises to make time for her and the founder's festival at school, despite him screwing up at work with his disability. He ends up breaking his promise to her because of a mistake at work. It wasn't all work this ep though as we get some great laughs from Nagisa's parents! Great ep...

Ep 12 That's it! The story begins now (as far as the movie is concerned that is). This ep featured Yoshino's backstory that involves teenage delinquency, music, depression, romance, and drugs (it was fairly quick but extremely interesting). He gets a promotion (of sorts) at work but his dad seems to want to keep him at arms length (if you will) and causes him to lose the position! The main lead curses his father's existence and unleashes a blind rage. Nagisa is the only one there to stop him and she wrestles him to the ground (that's my Nagisa - keep him in check). As he finally calms down, he suddenly asks her to marry him! She agrees with no hesitation (she always knew he was the only one for her) and they promise to stay together forever! My heart instantly broke into pieces as I already know (I regret it even more now) what will ultimately happen in the end thanks to that stupid movie (avoid the movie at all costs until this series ends!!!). Still no scenes from the robot and the little girl though. Perfect ep...

Ep 13:


Absolutely flawless execution! The main lead has to fight in order to win Nagisa's father's approval and it doesn't go as smoothly as one would believe. Expect lots of disappointment and training in the rain. The main lead gets one last chance and hits the ball with a watery explosion (water sparkles and all) and wins his approval! They all enjoy a family get together and enjoy some sake with Nagisa as the center for comedic relief. Nagisa falls under the weather yet again and misses her graduation ceremony but everyone bands together and holds a special graduation just for her. She gets her diploma and gives a speech from the bottom of her heart that brought me to tears (similar, though not as devastating, to the emotional breakdown I endured in Da Capo II). The main lead and Nagisa get registered (what, no spectacular wedding?) and she becomes Nagisa Okazaki! This ep was brilliant and carves the road for the more "high-end" excellent storyline. Fantastic ep...

Ep 14:


Ridiculously amazing! Things go from perfect to undeniably sacred (in more ways than one) in this episode. It was all over the place with comedy and drama with the usual "Clannad-grade" (the best grade there is apparently) surprises! Nagisa's wish took the future words right out of the main lead's mouth. The main lead and Nagisa's father went to see her at her new workplace and saw her being mistreated by some pervs so they stood to defend her (squad-deep style)! We get some bad news regarding the place where this title all started, the school, and it involves a little remodeling which infuriates the hell out of the main lead (understandably so). As things come to an end, we hear that the main lead already "sealed the deal" with Nagisa (^_^) and her wish may be coming true sooner than expected... Overwhelming ep...

Ep 15: Pain, Tears, and more Drama!!! My tears wouldn't stop flowing because this ep made me dig deep to find the courage to keep watching as I already know how painful it will become thanks to the movie. Nagisa is in trouble and all is not well. The pregnancy is too much of a burden for her weak body and she may not survive to see her newborn child. Everyone goes through hell as they contemplate all the different options but ultimately, the decision is up to Nagisa and she decides not to get an abortion (how's that for some slice of life elements)! Nagisa is a fragile as a twig and it just makes me want to protect her with all my being, so I feel like i'm right there with the main lead. The true pain starts now...

Ep 16: The event that the world has faithfully awaited (or fearfully dreaded) has finally occurred. Thanks to that cursed movie, most of us knew what would happen eventually. This ep should've had more of an impact on me, but the movie ruined any chance of that. I feel "cheated" of a special moment with my loved ones and friends as I watched most of them overcome with tears and all I could do is feel sad as I watched what transpired on the screen. Nagisa's struggle will NEVER BE FORGOTTEN and her story will be retold for years to come (especially when America picks up on this series). All that is left now is the most bitter part of the movie; watching the main lead destroy himself when the world needs him most. An episode that will go down in anime history forever...

Ep 17: Wait a second!?!?! Hold the phone!?!? What was that!?!?! There may still be hope left for this title after all!!! This ep did NOT follow the movie's events!!! That means the rest of the story still has a chance!!! I'm severely relieved at this turn of events as I presumed this story was effectively over already after ep 16! I guess there will be more to expect as we continue watching this legendary title.

As for the ep itself:
It can be best described it in one word - special! Not necessarily completely in a good way though. The main lead has become what we all knew all along but things didn't go as predicted. Fast forward five years (Damn, what the hell has been his driving force all this time). His daughter, Ushio, is now 5 years old and she has met her father on multiple occasions (though he never cared for her the way he should have). He has become a "@$@#" of a father and has completely given up on life in a general sense (wake, eat, work, eat, sleep, etc). Sanae hasn't given up on him though, and has devised a plan to make him spend some time with his only daughter. This is where the "special" part is concerned. We see him spending time with his daughter and she is as sweet as a button! She is so small and I found myself in the main lead's shoes for a moment as I gazed at their only child and gift upon the world. He ruins the atmosphere every time he opened his rotten mouth, but Ushio's kind and radiant soul would rekindle the mood. This process continued throughout the entire ep. Even though one character is gone and the other has become a scum bag, we now have a new character to pour our heart and soul into. I felt happy to see Ushio in good health and that she will be our new saving grace of the show now. Thank God! Special ep...

Ep 18: The tears flowed from a place deep inside me that I never knew was there. Once again, I was deeply moved by the excellent story telling of this title. The main lead and Ushio take a trip and they both find something very important that they lost (never had) that will change their lives forever. This ep was extremely heart-warming as we see more of the "saving grace" of this title, Ushio, and her scumbag of a father interact with each other and spend time with one another (it was very interesting to see how Ushio was raised all this time). The ep also revealed the past (maybe not all of it but it was close enough) and reasons of the main lead's father (!) and how he was greatly misunderstood. Seeing himself going down his father's path, the main lead finally decides to shape up and be a man. Lots of promises are made, memories rekindled, and the main lead seeking forgiveness for all time he wasted in regret and remorse. Looks like this title is determined to "squeeze out" every last possible emotion that a human is capable of experiencing! Heart-warming ep...

Ep 19: Words can't express how special this ep was. I will not do this masterpiece the injustice of trying to decipher it with words alone. The only way to understand this ep is to watch it for yourself. Outstanding ep that is too special to describe with words alone...

Ep 20: All is well and the story gets very heart-warming with tons of songs like the dango family, among others (a very magical song if you notice its intentional usage). We see one of the characters again (I kind of forgot all about her but it was nice to see her again I guess) and she is the teacher of the pre-school that Ushio goes to. Fuko wants to see Ushio again and play with her. Her visit is full of laughter as well as tears and pain as the main lead remembers Nagisa and all the time she is missing with her daughter. The water effects from his eyes were displayed from his point of view and it proves that this title is one for the record books (I truly believe that and I can even say that it will be incredibly difficult to argue otherwise). There is an event at school and the parents are required to participate so the main lead trains so not to look miserable in his daughter’s eyes. The days of training go by and on the final day, Ushio falls ill with a fever!!! Another episode that solidifies my award choice...

Ep 21: This episode was by far, the toughest ep to watch. It's as if the story is always ready to make you feel good and happy, but then won't hesitate to pull the rug from under your feet. "No matter how hard you try, you are always destined to fail", is the motto for this title. Things go terribly wrong again for the main lead as his last hope (the one true reason he is still alive after ep 16) fades right before his very eyes. He is completely helpless as he holds Ushio during her last moments, and he curses his very existence after the fact! The relationship between the robot and the young girl finally revealed their role in this story as the comparison is made abundantly clear. With all that this title has given us (the good and painful), can we really (emotionally speaking) take any more of this punishment? I'm still paying for the tragedy of ep 16 even now and then they throw this at me!!! How can anyone (truthfully) say that this ep did nothing for them in terms of emotions? I can't hope to watch any more of this (only a little more to go). Whichever way I think about it, whether you loved this title or hated it (in a good way), one thing remains sound - A masterpiece will stand on it's two feet regardless and will not be denied! The most painful episode so far...

Ep 22: This ep marks the end of the story (as painful as it was). I think I know what I have to say about this title to get my thoughts across. My final review will certainly be one to look foward to. There are still two other extra eps though, so I'll start wording the review together while waiting for them. It looks like KEY isn't quite through with us just yet... LOL ^_^

Ep 23: Those bastards! They had to finish on a happy note didn't they (trying to look like the good guys in the end). They took us through hell and back and for those who stuck around for it all were rewarded with this comedic-relief episode. It shows that they (the writers) still got it (so to speak). The ep takes us back to the past and it’s just before the main lead and Nagisa met during the first season. We get insane amounts of comedy as we see the male duo wreck havoc in the school (and the bread jokes played a role in this ep as well). Kyou goes through hell trying to keep him and Sunohara (delinquent days) in check. It ends with a prank that actually turns out to be the very source of all of Nagisa’s inner strength that helps her for the rest of her life. Nobody else could have pulled this episode off so flawlessly...

Check out my award list to see some of the best anime titles in the world!

Never forget Xenosaga.

Last updated Monday, March 23 2009. Created Monday, September 22 2008.

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