Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The School's Trees with Andy: A Roving Artist Has Joined Your Party!

Well hullo folks. I figure that y'all deserve a bit of a proper introduction to the folk known as me. CarpeGuitarrem, CG, Carpe, or you could just call me Andy. ;) Who am I? Well, where to begin? Writer, musician, geek, somewhat intellectual, aiming to be deeply spiritual, and I'm no stranger to kazoku. (You know the rules, and so do I...) I'm such a weird random conbogglement of stuff, I hardly know where to introduce myself. Generally, it's by finding common ground with my audience, we can start with that, and then move on from there.



I suppose that common ground is Clannad, isn't it? After all, it's somewhat the show that we've all gathered here to discuss and commemorate. (Gee, that sounds like the start of a eulogy...that's just not right...) Bear with me. I get random sometimes SQUIRREL! (Okay, I'm not that bad. Joking aside, I'll have to restrain my impulses to go on unrelated tangents, just a tad.) To the Clannad part, Robin!



My Introduction to Clannad

Was, admittedly, something which took a while. Once upon a time, Liam brought me over to his friend Marty's house, for something. Probably an RPG night. Or maybe we were playing Super Smash Brothers Brawl. Or both. At any rate, he wound up showing me the first episode. This was during his Clannad obsession phase, so I naturally was a bit skeptical. I will say that the first episode didn't do much to alleviate my skepticism. I was pretty weirded-out by the genre-bending comedy, and the fact that I couldn't tell if the show was serious or silly. I just couldn't relate.



I didn't pick the show back up, until some time later, when Liam was showing other friends. This was well after he had finished the series, and continued to rant on about its awesomeness. I picked up part of the way through the Fuko arc, and I decided that I liked the show well enough. Eventually I watched through the Kotomi arc. I think that was courtesy of Brandon, actually. I never got around to continuing the series, though. Other things to do, and other shows that gripped me more strongly. (I really hope I haven't engendered everlasting hatred with any of you by this point, but oh well. Too late for that.)



It took Brandon and another Clannad-obsessed friend to get me to finish the series, when they came to visit my house and introduced my siblings to the series. Well, they liked it, and we watched the entire thing over the course of the summer. And I decided that I really did like the show, in fact, that it ranked among my top anime. There were some things in the first season that really hit home for me, and sealed the deal. Then I started rewatching it with my university's anime club, and found out that it's a very elaborately written show. So, I've a lot of respect for it, even when it doesn't connect as much with me as with other people.



My Take on Clannad

Like I said, I know a lot of people who connect far more strongly with Clannad than I do. I think it's just a personality thing. Don't get me wrong--After Story twisted my gut like none other, it hurt. I didn't find myself moved to tears by the normal parts, though. While I like Nagisa's story, and find her to be a nice character, that's not (in a sense) where my Clannad heart lies. In fact, that'll be the subject of my posts to come.



I think that one of the appeals of the show is that it approaches its subject from many different angles. That's one of the benefits of the first season being a "harem anime", and of the source material being a visual novel. Some will connect better with different angles. Obviously, since Nagisa is the clear favored female character in the show (the others' material being greatly cut out, compared to the visual novel), most people relate to her best. That, and she's likeable to just about anyone.



Me, I'm a bit different. No, I didn't hate Nagisa. I liked Nagisa. It's just that...she never really jumped out and struck me as someone whom I could understand and connect with. It's possible that this is why I took so long to connect with Clannad. For me, it took a good amount of time into the series to find someone I really could connect with, and that's what my series of posts is going to be about.



You can guess, or you can just watch the following clip. As one of the first things I saw of Clannad, it kinda weirded me out. Now, I just think it's awesome.