Diesen „First Look“ gibt’s nur in Englisch.
Another very expensive Blu-ray set by Pony Canyon that follows the tradition of the Kanon set. However I enjoyed Clannad much more than Kanon 2006 so this set was another must buy for me (another reason is that it has English subtitles). The first season of Clannad is a perfect example of a visual novel with different girls and their stories can be made into consistent story that works quite well in anime form. The production values seem to be a little bit lower compared to Kanon 2006, or perhaps the gorgeous snowy backgrounds of Kanon 2006 just had a better impact on me.
Clannad is very funny sometimes and has a lot of slapstick elements but it really succeeds in moving the audience in the right moments and the sequel After Story does this even better. If you want to watch a „harem“ anime with great and funny characters that can be sometimes very realistic (at least the male lead has a lot of depth), that also looks fine, I can really recommend it. It’s really a roller-coaster ride of emotions sometimes and probably one of the best anime of its genre. Kyoto Animation really showed here that they are probably one of the most competent studios that takes good source material and transforms it to something brilliant.
This Blu-ray set consists of the 23 TV episodes and the Tomoyo After episode that was part of the last DVD. The „After Story“ season will be probably another box set that should be announced soon.
The packing looks very similar to the Kanon 2006 set, but this time the main characters are on the illustration of the „binder“ that holds the BDs. The outside box uses now a matte „cardboard paper“ instead a glossy one which works better with the illustration.
They added the production credits of all episodes again as a booklet and they still use western characters – very importers-friendly^^.
There are 5 BD50s in the set and all seem to be region free – however I can only check A and B with my equipment.
The menus are simple but each disc has a nice background picture of one of the girls.
Here’s the background for Kyou (in all its 1080p glory) *_*:
The popup animation of the menu is really cute with the „appearing“ dangos. I can’t explain it but when I first saw the animation I had to grin^^.
The extras were added to the last disc and there’s only the creditless OP and ED, two promos and, a promo for „Tomoyo After“.
There’s also a gallery with 114(!) promo pictures.
Unfortunately, the DVDs had much more extras but I think they do this on purpose to give the DVD buyers at least some advantages against the Blu-ray set.
The characters look very sharp but the backgrounds aren’t always able to offer more details because of their drawing style, but it doesn’t look upscaled to me. It’s still a definite improvement to the DVD and it looks great for a TV production. I didn’t see any artifacts and no problems at all, but I only watched a few scenes, but I doubt that there are any flaws. The used codec is AVC. I’m totally satisfied with the quality.
I only checked a few scenes and because of the very dialog-driven nature of the show, it’s hard to find scenes that can make use of the new 5.1 channel mixes (PCM 5.1 and DTS Master Audio). For example the OP sounds great and uses the background boxes well and I also checked the play at the end and the a „Illusionary World“ scene, which offer some great ambient noises. Furthermore, the characters voices are also correctly positioned when it makes sense. Everything sounds very clear and I would say they made the best that is possible for such a type of series.
They seem to use the subtitles from the American release by Sentai and the songs and signs are translated. There are even Japanese subtitles.
All screenshots were created with DGIndexNV and were saved lossless as PNG.
The first set of screenshots are from the 1st episode and I tried to find matching frames from the DVD version for comparison. Please note that I didn’t „corrected“ the DVD screenshot to have the correct aspect ratio. The left screenshot is from the Blu-ray and the right from the DVD:
The following screenshots are from episode 17 but these are without comparisons: