When there is a discussion of the best tearjerker anime, Clannad is guaranteed to be mentioned. Starting out as a slice of life series featuring romance, comedy, and drama, Clannad takes a mature look at the common high school anime life setting. The first season follows Tomoya Okazaki as he helps his classmate Nagisa Furukawa revive their school’s drama club. As the series progresses, Tomoya finds himself aiding schoolmates through various issues while he continues to bury his own. Unable to accept how his father ruined his life, Tomoya eventually moves in with Nagisa’s family later on in the series. For the first time, it is there that Tomoya feels a sense of home and happiness. He inevitably becomes closer to Nagisa, which further distracts him from his past.
In the second season, the series focuses on Tomoya’s efforts to once again help the friends he cares for. It also takes a deep look into Tomoya and Nagisa’s relationship as it progresses. Unfortunately, he is challenged by the universe to overcome more tragedies than the first season. However, the pitch black void Tomoya falls into leads itself to perhaps the series’ brightest moments. His character development is fleshed out immensely as he struggles to overcome his newfound obstacles. As the second season comes to an end, one can look back at the first season to see how far Tomoya has come. What was once a disinterested high school student is now a man who has learned to value life.