The main Clannad storyline ends with a whimper not a bang, and then the OAV leaves the viewer wishing for an alternative that was never made.
The resolution to Nagisa’s story line is… OK I guess but never really rises above that. Given how long it took to get there, and the build-up to the ending, this really needed to be more.
The OAV offers a glimpse of an alternative storyline where the romance was between Tomoya and Tomoyo.
It is quite possibly the single best episode in the series.
There is a resonance in this relationship that was never there in the Tomoya-Nagisa relationship, and I have to wonder if Clannad would have been a stronger series if it had been the central storyline for the entire series.
The final verdict on Clannad? Like The Pilot’s Love Song I’m left with a feeling of “meh”, and a distinct lack of inspiration to write a more detailed review.
It’s possible that I’ll one day pick up Clannad: After Story, but I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for it.