The Casual Anime Fan: How My Anime Viewing Habits Changed Over The Years

Anyone who has been following my blog for a while will know I count Sailor Moon as one of my favorite animes (and manga) of all time. It set me off on a path to becoming a major anime fan. I just about consumed everything I could get my hands on. Usually if a series had an anime, it most likely was based off of a manga. Animes that were twenty-four episodes or longer, I managed to finish within a week or two weeks. The Japanese animation style and the stories kept me eager to watch a marathon of episodes after homework and studying was done, or when the weekend rolled around. These days, I can barely finish two episodes in a week.

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Anime Review: Clannad

The anime Clannad and Clannad After Story are the types of anime you would categorize as a slice of life high school story. It can also be seen as the usual harem genre anime where you have one guy surrounded by various gorgeous women to choose from. One guy amidst pretty girls with different types of personalities to potentially have a relationship with is a common plot device found in anime. Except when you watch both seasons of Clannad and Clannad After Story in its entirety you realize that this series goes much deeper than what is first presented on the surface. I’m going to review the first season of Clannad in this post and in a later post I will review Clannad After Story and give my entire opinion of the series as a whole in the later post.

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An anime Christmas moment with Clannad

I have been wanting to do at least one anime related Christmas theme post for this week and I decided to pick a moment from an anime I have seen fairly recently. I wanted to do one for manga, but I am having a hard time finding a Christmas scene from the mangas I own and have read. I can think up more Valentine’s Day related scenes and I at least know I’ll have plenty to choose from in a future Valentine’s Day post. Hurrah!

Nagisa & Tomoya of Clannad

My anime Christmas moment pick is from the anime Clannad After Story. After Story is the second season of the Clannad anime. For those not familiar with Clannad it is a high school, slice of life kind of story. The main character is Tomoya Okazaki and his journey from being a kid who kind of gets by life without really caring about anything or anyone to becoming a young man who starts to care about his life and the people around him who gradually become a huge part of his life. The biggest influence in his life and ultimately his soul mate is Nagisa Furukawa. Both seasons of Clannad charts Tomoya’s and Nagisa’s relationship from friends to becoming something more. It’s also a series about the ups and downs of life and how the many characters in this anime cope with them.

I could go into detail about this series, but this isn’t an anime review. This is an anime I plan on coming back to for a proper review. For now, I want to focus on my Christmas anime moment in Clannad.

There are actually two episodes with Christmas scenes in After Story, but the one I want to focus on is in the episode entitled Graduation. There is a nice moment where Nagisa and Tomoya are walking the streets in their small town in Japan as they are admiring Christmas decorations and window shopping. Tomoya is able to spend Christmas with Nagisa since he has no work. It’s a very sweet, romantic moment.

Nagisa's first taste of sake

The next scene cuts to a family dinner at the Furukawa residence. I’m assuming the family scene is still tied to the Christmas Day in Japan part of the episode since each episode in the series progresses in months, and seasons change rather quickly in one episode alone. Tomoya is also in attendance at this family dinner. The family scene is quite comical. Nagisa is having her first taste of sake as her parents and Tomoya look on. She sniffs the sake, which you see her cute face crinkle in maybe not quite disgust but displeasure? Then she goes in for the gulp and…ends up drunk pretty fast. Poor girl. Her first mistake is taking a huge gulp too fast for a first introduction in alcohol.

A drunk Nagisa equals a cute and loud Nagisa. In her drunken haze she wonders why Tomoya is so far away when he is sitting right next to her. She proceeds to inch herself super close to Tomoya’s face and says, “I like you this close,” or something like that. Nagisa’s mother comments on how lovey dovey Nagisa and Tomoya are being, but Tomoya retorts that lovey dovey is not how you would describe the scene between him and Nagisa.

Drunk Nagisa then thinks Tomoya is staring at her mother in a “I like what I see” way, which Tomoya vehemently denies. Nagisa’s parents join in on the fun and teases him about having a secret crush on Nagisa’s mother. A whole lot of Furukawa family craziness ensues with Tomoya caught in the middle of it all.

Why do I pick this as my anime Christmas moment? The Christmas scene is very brief in the Graduation episode, but it embodies the spirit of Christmas. It’s about family and being with the ones you love. If you are lucky enough to have a special someone in your life, Christmas also has a bit of romance in the air. Christmas in Japan seems to be more geared towards couples and is more of a celebration between lovers, but it does include familial love as well. When you gather together with your family there is a lot of warmth, joy, and love. There is a chance for crazy or embarrassing family moments during these holiday gatherings and it is part of the fun. It’s moments like these you can look back on and laugh at when you reminisce. Clannad is an anime that does a good job of capturing life’s little moments.

This is one anime moment that gets me in the mood for Christmas along with Christmas songs on the radio and watching the Charlie Brown Christmas specials on TV.