Clannad Episode 1: Sweet Bean Bread

It’s time to begin yet another rewatch from the list – Clannad.
After only one episode I’m already humbled at how incredible this anime is.
It’s been too long since the last time I watched this masterpiece.

nagisa bread.jpg

Synopsis

Tomoya Okazaki meets a girl having a nervous conversation with herself at the foot of a hill on the way to school. He eats lunch with her, and after they finish eating there is a disturbance in the schoolyard. Her name is Nagisa Furukawa. Nagisa was away from school for a long period of time, so she is repeating a grade and doesn’t know anyone. She mentions that she wanted to join the theatre club, but never did.

They find out that the club had closed down, but Okazaki pledges to help Nagisa start it back up. That evening Okazaki decides to stop by Nagisa’s family’s bakery. The bread was no good, but he ends up getting roped into staying for dinner. Afterwards, we find out that he was a bit unsettled by how close the Furukawas are as a family. He arrives at a small, trash filled home. His father is passed out in the corner of the room, but once he has woken up he apologizes to Okazaki.

Okazaki runs outside in frustration. We find out that his mother died in a car accident when he was little, and his father fell into gambling and alcohol.

He runs into Nagisa, who asks him if he would like to go to “a place in the city where wishes come true”.

nagisa family.jpg

Episode 1 Thoughts

What an episode. I’ll have you know writing that synopsis took a while, because so much happened in this episode. I ended up cutting many small details, like meeting Okazaki’s friend Sunohara, the Fujibayashi sisters, and Tomoyo. Even when watching the episode I couldn’t believe how much had happened in this single episode.

First off, I’d like to gush about Clannad a bit.
Get it out of my system with the first episode.

Visuals

The visuals are stunning. The episode opens in greyscale, when Okazaki first meets Nagisa. After he says some words to her, she looks up, and the world just FILLS with vibrant colours. It’s a very beautiful scene. And it doesn’t end there, because during many cuts between scenes we are treated with some beautiful imagery of the city, or surrounding forests.

There’s something else the anime does that I don’t see too often. The sharpness of the colours varies, from faded to sharp. Certain portions of a scene will be faded, and others sharp, or an entire scene will be faded, and become sharper… just shifts like this. What it does is guide your eyes as a viewer. Faded backgrounds with sharp characters in front, or a faded scene that becomes very sharp. The effect this has really amplifies the beauty of this anime.

In terms of colour / detail, Clannad looks brand new as far as I’m concerned. The only real difference between then and now is the artistic style, as anime girls were drawn a little differently back then (wide eyes, small mouths). I enjoy this style though.

nagisa.jpg

Soundtrack

If I had to choose, I’d say that Clannad has one of the best soundtracks in all of anime. Even after so many years, I can tell you now that I recognized every single background song that played in this episode. They’re just that good, and memorable. The songs in this anime are more than just background noise – they’re tied to such powerful memories of the anime. Music is amazing when it’s linked to emotional moments like that.

And even though I’ve got the “advantage” of knowing these songs already, I know that anyone watching Clannad for the first time would very soon find themselves experiencing the same nostalgia when hearing these songs. It’s a great feeling.

Nagisa Furukawa

I had forgotten how soft spoken Nagisa is. She really is such a sweetheart, and she has one of the best families in anime. I don’t have too much I want to write about Nagisa, but I couldn’t help but take several screencaps of her, so I figured I’d share some more here.

Remembering Some Details / Forgetting Others

I admit, I felt a pang of emotion when I saw Okazaki’s father again. I had forgotten how he looked / sounded. It makes me think that the Clannad rewatch will be more painful / emotional than the first watch! Maybe. I don’t actually remember a lot of what happens in the first season, on the slice of life side of the anime. So there will be a good deal of fresh content for me even though this is a rewatch. But of course, the overarching story will always be there… waiting.

okazaki dad.jpg

In Conclusion…

What can I say? Lot of memories coming back from this single episode. And it truly felt like a long episode, so much happened. Or maybe it felt long because I couldn’t help but take so many Nagisa screencaps? Either way episode 1 has me excited, and a bit nervous, for more Clannad. There’s plenty of time to prepare my heart for what is to come… right?

Until next time,
Thanks for reading.


Other Clannad Posts

11 thoughts on “Clannad Episode 1: Sweet Bean Bread

  1. darkdaemonpk2

    Ah, Clannad. When I remember that name, it reminds me of watching this out of the blue way back 2007 while picking it up randomly like a drunk person. Episode 1 did establish Tomoya’s strained life with his old man, his delinquent lifestyle, and Nagisa as the main heroine (groan). Yeah, they are slowly cooking up things here. Good review by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh wow, you’re getting ambitious. I haven’t seen Clannad in ages, and it’s actually the only one out of the Key/KyoAni trilogy that I’ve never rewatched. It’s too long and too gut-wrenching, at least for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m always very hesitant to watch anime that I know will break my heart like this one, but I’ve also been on such a huge nostalgia trip lately haha. Can’t stop this train!

      Like

  3. Ah, Clannad. What a great series, and a well written review. This sure brings back memories.

    I remember how the visuals were able to grab your attention, and how the story and characters were able to pull you in until there is no escape.

    Enjoy your re-watch.

    Liked by 1 person

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