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Monday, October 14, 2013

Clannad Analysis - part 1 - Tomoya Okazaki

So for those who know me, you know I love anime, and one of my all-time favorites is Clannad. On the surface, Clannad is your typical high school drama, wherin the main character, Okazaki, gets into all sorts of mischief and meets an excessive amount of cute girls. Now, after looking at Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby as part of school literature, I've come to realize that there are a number of symbols used in Clannad, one of the most obvious being the snow, the lights, and the girl and her robot friend. But before looking at the symbols, I wanted to look at the characters involved. And where better to start than with the lead character, Tomoya Okazaki.

Okazaki (though it's his last name, everyone uses it) is introduced as a poor person. He turns up late to school, he fights with his father, he apparently gets into fights with other people, and doesn't have much faith in himself. Now, the main thing about Okazaki is that he seriously grows up, much more so than the majority of other characters, anime or not. We soon see that he's really not so bad, unless his compatriot Sunohara is involved. Then someone gets hurt, and it's usually Sunohara. But you realize that even those two are actually good friends, when they always stick together when it gets serious. So while Okazaki is actually willing to help others out, as he does almost everyone (that's the premise of the game Clannad is based off), he's still not as mature as most of the girls in the drama club (but moreso than Sunohara), and lacks understanding of many things. He doesn't want to listen to anything his father has to say, and tries to stay the drama club's founder and his more-or-less girlfriend, Nagisa's house. There, he meets her parents, who I'll also give a separate section, as they're very important people, and Okazaki finds what he pictures as a normal family, compared to his lone, drunkard father. They're fun, bright, and most importantly, they put their daughter above all else. After meeting Nagisa, he begins to get his act together, in what is perhaps an effort to impress her, although Nagisa is already portrayed as someone you don't want to let down, because she's so naive and believes in everyone. We begin to see the more dramatic changes in Okazaki during the After Story. The following may contain spoilers, though I'll try not to ruin all the moments for you.
Okazaki's daughter, Ushio (yes, Okazaki also actually grows up and gets married, leading to issues with Nagisa's father, Akio) becomes Okazaki's lifeline when he goes through a hard time. He discovers how wonderful it is to be with her, and because of this, he comes to understand his father, and eventually makes up with him, and he also gains purpose, doing his best to help raise her.

I think I'll slowly get around to doing this series, though there's alot to talk about; the music; Nagisa's theme being one of the most important, the characters, the colour and settings, the symbols; the sakura, the snow, the lights, the hill, the some of the quotes; Tomoya's lines in the opening scene, the lines of Nagisa's play, and probably some others I'll think of while writing.
If you're interested, here's a link to the series on youtube. And whatever you do, don't watch the movie. It'll ruin the series and isn't very good at all. And don't read the comments, they can spoil the series.