Clannad (クラナド Kuranado?) is a Japanese anime film directed by Osamu Dezaki and based on the visual novel of the same name by Key. Toei Animation announced at the Tokyo Anime Fair on March 23, 2006 that an animated film would be produced, and was released in Japanese theaters on September 15, 2007. The film is a reinterpretation of the Clannad storyline which centers on the story arc of the female lead Nagisa Furukawa.
A promotional campaign took to the streets of Akihabara on March 10, 2007 transported in a large black bus with the words "Film version Clannad" (劇場版CLANNAD Gekijōban Clannad?) painted on the sides. A group of young women cosplaying in the female high school uniform from Clannad emerged from the bus to hand out flyers and pink and white colored thundersticks to passersby to promote the film.
Tomoya Okazaki (Kenji Nojima) is a male third-year high school student who does not feel at home due to a distant father who works a night shift, and a mother who died when he was a child. Due to this, he simply goes to school for no reason and does not have any interest in school activities. Tomoya meets a third-year girl from his school one day early in the school year named Nagisa Furukawa (Mai Nakahara). Nagisa is repeating her last year of high school due to having been sick most of the previous year, and this year she does not know what to do. Tomoya suggests she finds something new to do at school, and she comes up with restarting the drama club. By the time the sakura trees are done blooming, Nagisa has already started hand-making posters advertising the drama club's reformation. Tomoya, and his good friend Youhei Sunohara (Daisuke Sakaguchi), help Nagisa with putting them up around the school, but the student council quickly goes around and uses red paint to deface the posters and write 'invalid' on them. This angers Youhei greatly and he beats up one of the student council members.
Kouko Ibuki (Yūko Minaguchi), the teacher who had been the adviser for the drama club before it disbanded, gets involved by telling Nagisa that if she can gather more members that she will talk to the school about reforming the club. Tomoya and Youhei try again by this time making copies of hundreds of posters and putting them all around the school, but no one joins the club. In the end, Nagisa gets Tomoya and Youhei to sign up, and she reassures them that she will not ask them to act on stage. The drama club is reformed, and with a month left until the school festival, Nagisa decides to do a soliloquy based on a dream she has had ever since she was a child; meanwhile, Tomoya and Youhei work backstage with the music and lights respectively. Nagisa gets to writing the script, and invites Tomoya and Youhei over to her house for dinner, though only Tomoya can come due to Youhei taking up a part time job with an electrical company. At Nagisa's house, which turns out to double as a bakery, Tomoya meets her energetic parents Sanae (Kikuko Inoue) and Akio (Ryōtarō Okiayu), and even gets to stay overnight after being heavily persuaded by Nagisa's father.
Like Nagisa, Tomoya has also had a recurring dream ever since he was a child. In his dream, he initially is disembodied in a dead world where he is the only thing "alive". He finds a discarded human-sized doll and uses it as a body to travel around the world on an old bicycle. After some searching, he finds a large sakura tree known as the "promised tree" where he believes he will meet the person he has felt is with him in this dead world.
When the school festival finally begins, Nagisa reveals that she has not finished the script, but still wants to go on with the play since the story is still within her. Nagisa has her performance in the evening, so in the meantime Nagisa hangs out with Tomoya and Youhei. During lunch, she tells them that the reason why she wanted to do drama was due to her parents formally having been theater actors, but they both had to give up acting after Nagisa was born. Nagisa wants to do drama so as to continue her parents' dreams in her footsteps. For the play, Sanae gives Nagisa her wedding dress to use as her costume, much to the surprise of Akio. Nagisa starts with her monologue without a hitch, and during her recitation Kouko gives stage directions to Tomoya and Youhei via headsets. Gradually, Tomoya comes to realize that the story Nagisa is reciting is the same dream that he has had since he was a child, and is shocked to find that Nagisa also had the same dream of the dead world. At the play's conclusion, Tomoya realizes that he and Nagisa were meant to be together and confesses his love to her.
Shortly after the festival, Nagisa's health falters once again and she has to take another leave of absence from school for a year, meaning it is not until a year after Tomoya's class graduated that Nagisa is able to graduate high school as well. After this, Tomoya and Nagisa start living together in a small apartment in town while Tomoya works for an electrical company and Nagisa works part time as a waitress at a local family restaurant. Later, Nagisa becomes pregnant, and her doctor informs her family that if she gives birth to the child that she may die in the process. However, Nagisa's family chooses not to tell Nagisa about it. One winter night, Nagisa gives birth to a baby girl she names Ushio and Nagisa dies that same night. This causes Tomoya to go into deep depression for a period of five years, during which he does not go to work, or even visit his daughter who is being raised by Nagisa's parents.
Tomoya's friends and his father try to get him out of his depression, but Tomoya is very stubborn. Tomoya's father (Hiroshi Naka) asks Tomoya's friends to take him out on a retreat for a few days in order to break his depression, and they take Tomoya out of his house so fast he does not even know what is going on. Once they tell him on the train, Tomoya is dead set on going back home, and makes it to the train platform which would take him home, but anticipating this, Nagisa's parents were waiting for him with Ushio. Tomoya's friends block his escape route, and Tomoya turns back to see Ushio starting to run toward him. She trips midway which makes Tomoya leap out and catch her. Picking her up, he is able to see the continuation of his old dream once more, and sees Nagisa under the promised tree smiling lovingly at him and Ushio.
TV and film differences
Being done by two different production teams and having their own take on the story from the Clannad visual novel, there are numerous differences, both subtle and obvious, between the Clannad TV series and film. The series follows the original visual novel's storyline closer, while the film makes several changes from the original material. While both the series and film depict the developing relationship of Tomoya and Nagisa, the film presents their relationship as central to the plot. Due to this focus, the film downplays the other main heroines which played major roles in the series, such as having Kyou (Ryō Hirohashi), and Tomoyo (Hōko Kuwashima) playing minor roles, while Kotomi appearing only as a background character, and Fuko not appearing at all. Furthermore, Tomoya takes the place of the girl of the illusionary world and Kyou's sister Ryou does not appear in the film, though Fuko's older sister Kouko is in the film, and plays a major role. In the film, Kouko is still teaching at Nagisa's school, is depicted as athletic, and had been the drama club adviser (she was an art teacher in the series) before the club was dissolved, instead of Toshio Koumura as in the series. Also, Kouko's fiancé Yusuke (Hikaru Midorikawa) plays a bigger role in the film in how he helps Tomoya obtain a job at an electrical company and remains his friend during Tomoya's depression.
The relationships between certain characters and the characters themselves have changed in the film. For instance, Tomoyo and Youhei constantly fight in the series, but in the film they act friendly toward each other and work together to get Tomoya out of his depression later in the film. In fact, Youhei in the film is depicted less as a comic relief character as in the series, and is more serious about life, such as when he gets a part time job due to his family's financial situation. In the series, Tomoya's father is a lazy, unemployed drunk who mostly sleeps with piles of trash around him, but in the film he actually works a graveyard shift and usually sees his son in the morning before he goes to school. He also cares more about his relationship with Tomoya and even lets him reunite with Ushio to prevent Tomoya from becoming like himself. Kyou is seen as a close friend of Tomoyo in the film, and even helps Tomoyo with her election for student council president, but in the series, Kyou finds Tomoyo as a nuisance who gets in the middle of her plans with hooking up Tomoya with her sister Ryou. However, despite these numerous changes, Nagisa's parents Akio and Sanae mostly retain their roles and personalities as seen in the series, and original visual novel. In regards to voice acting, only the film-version of Tomoya Okazaki is voiced by a different actor from the TV series.
The film was first announced to be in production at the Tokyo Anime Fair on March 23, 2006 for a planned 2007 release. The original character design was conceived by Itaru Hinoue, the art director from Key who worked on the visual novel. This design was later used as a template for Megumi Kadonosono who provided the character art for the film adaptation. Kadonosono previously worked on two other animated films released in early 2007: Fashionable Witches Love and Berry: Magic of Happiness as the chief animation director, and the Kiddy Grade film, also providing the character design. The screenplay was written by Makoto Nakamura who had worked on the first Kanon television anime series in 2002, and the Air film in 2005, two other anime adapted from visual novels originally made by Key. Finally, the film was directed by Osamu Dezaki, who has been involved with animation direction since the first Astro Boy anime in 1963, and went on to direct the Air film.
A set of three DVDs packaged together contained preview footage and promotional material that was released on April 28, 2007, which came bundled with a promotional poster. The main feature was a nearly nine minute teaser for the film which provided a general overview of the important characters and revealed some of the plot. Another video is a short one minute, fifteen second piece compiling scenes from the film that come together as a backdrop to the original version of the song "Mag Mell" taken from the visual novel's original soundtrack. The last two videos included are short television commercials, one thirty seconds in length, and the second fifteen seconds. The DVD set was only available to those who pre-ordered film tickets. The film was released on DVD in three editions: the Collector's Edition, the Special Edition, and the Regular Edition on March 7, 2008. The Collector's Edition, retailing for 12,800 yen (about US$118), is sold in a specialized box including, with a Blu-ray Disc edition of the film, a special illustrated jacket, a picture label, and a deluxe booklet. The Special Edition, retailing for 8,800 yen (about US$81), was similarly released in a box set containing the film DVD, along with the special illustrated jacket and the picture label, but also contained a bonus drama CD, and a bonus DVD. The Regular Edition, retailing for 6,800 yen (about US$63), contained no special features and was sold in a normal DVD case containing only the film DVD. All prices are before tax. Anime licensor Sentai Filmworks announced that they have licensed the film and will release the film in both English-subtitled and dubbed format in March 2011.
A maxi single entitled "Mag Mell ~frequency⇒e Ver.~" (メグメル ～frequency⇒e Ver.～ Megumeru ~frequency⇒e Ver.~?) was released on July 14, 2007 by Frontier Works containing the two theme songs to the film arranged by Eufonius. The first track is an arranged version of "Mag Mell", the opening theme to the original visual novel, sung by Riya. The second track is an original song, again sung by Riya. The final track is an off vocal version of the first track. The music CD was only available to those who pre-ordered film tickets. An image song album by Lia named Yakusoku was released at Comiket 72 on August 17, 2007, but was only given to those who bought film tickets in advance. The film's original soundtrack was released on November 21, 2007 by Frontier Works.
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- "Toei announces a Clannad film" (in Japanese). Retrieved July 22, 2007.
- "Clannad film promotional campaign in Akihabara" (in Japanese). Retrieved July 24, 2007.
- "Image of a Clannad film promotional poster" (in Japanese). Retrieved July 24, 2007.
- "Megumi Kadonosono". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 24, 2007.
- "Makoto Nakamura". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 24, 2007.
- "Air (movie)". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 24, 2007.
- "Preview DVDs released" (in Japanese). Retrieved July 24, 2007.
- "DVD information at the film's official website" (in Japanese). Toei Animation. Retrieved March 7, 2008.
- "Sentai Filmworks Adds Clannad Anime Film with Dub, Sub". Anime News Network. November 13, 2010. Retrieved November 14, 2010.
- "Clannad film official website" (in Japanese). Retrieved July 22, 2007.
- Clannad film official website (Japanese)
- Toei Animation's official Clannad film website (Japanese)
- Clannad (2007) at the Internet Movie Database
- Clannad (film) (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia