A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Clannad is a funny but dramatic teen anime series with serious themes including death and moving on after tragedy. There are some intense emotional moments and some truly moving storylines, including the loss of parents, so be prepared for tears. All the teen female characters have exaggerated bodies -- thin with large breasts and short skirts -- and all are attracted to the main male character, Tomoya.
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What's the story?
CLANNAD revolves around Tomoya Okazaki (David Matranga), a depressed delinquent in his last year of high school. He wonders if things will ever change and when that change will come. On his way to school one day, Tomoya meets a strange new girl, Nagisa Furukawa (Luci Christian). Tomoya and Nagisa soon form a friendship and he helps her restart the school drama club despite not having any interest in the dramatic arts. Restarting the drama club serves as a catalyst for Tomoya to meet and get to know several other students. In turn, Tomoya helps each new friend and eventually finds a renewed interest in life.
Is it any good?
This is a nice departure from the typical anime experience with no monsters to battle or advanced technology or magic. Aside from a few supernatural and fantasy elements, the Clannad world is everyday Japan with regular people. Much of the plot of Clannad revolves around Tomoya being drawn in to his rather eccentric friends' problems and helping them cope with their various losses. He supports his friends through surprising ways by making them feel better and helping them move on with their lives.
If there is one major plot element in Clannad it is that all of the main characters have some terrible tragedy in their history. While many of these histories feel like authentic stories if grief and tragedy, others seem soley created to make viewers cry. The lovely music score helps draw out the tears, and you might wonder if there are any well adjusted normal teenagers at Tomoya's high school. Fortunately, there are also some genuinely funny laugh out loud moments in the series to help balance out the serious drama.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about overcoming obstacles. What are some of the setbacks you have experienced and how have you moved on or coped with these obstacles? How can friends help when you're in need, and how can they make things worse?
Talk about body image in the media. The girls' uniforms in Clannad are very short and the girls are all thin with exaggerated figures. According to media images, what does a normal woman or girl look like? How is that different from what most real women or girls look like? What kind of influence do media images have on girls' self-esteem?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love drama
Themes & Topics
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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