Clannad Kyou OVA: Overly Abridged
As I mentioned many months ago, I was very excited about the release of the Kyou OVA for Clannad. As I mentioned earlier, she was the superior choice, amongst all the options Tomoya was presented with. So I ecstatically downloaded the episode and watched it. 23 minutes and 41 seconds later, I was done, so I stood up, grabbed a beer, and got to writing this review.
I usually don’t try to buy into hype as it often leads to unmet expectations and an unhealthy amount of anger. After the miserably mediocre Lucky Star OVA, I swore never to never have any sort of expectations when dealing with anime again. Some time in April, I decided to play Clannad after it became clear that Kyou’s story would never be told in the After Story. While I was playing it, I have to admit that I was sucked in. I genuinely enjoyed the experience of going through the romantic drama between Tomoya and the Fujibayashi twins. I finished Kyou’s arc, satisfied and grinning like an idiot, and just weeks after, the OVA was announced, and Kyou induced endorphins filled we excitement I swore that I would never feel again.
Now that I’ve watched the OVA, my greatest complaint was that everything felt rushed. The OVA starts with Tomoya and Ryou dating, which takes a while to get to in the game. There are flashbacks to scenes that occurred before this, but it feels more like pretty pictures to make boring talky scenes less dreary. The next problem is the pacing. Within minutes of them dating, Tomoya is already unsatisfied, and begins to have feelings for Kyou. The kissing practice scene above takes place 6 minutes into the episode, and that’s including the OP that feels like it was included to fill in for time. The emotional roller coaster is confusingly fast and not enough time is given for everything to settle in. It’s like stepping on a moving walkway moving at 45 miles per hour. If the whole thing had been given more time, it could have been told much better.
Compared to the Tomoyo OVA, the Kyou one is vastly inferior. While the Tomoyo OVA also starts with the two dating, how they got to that point isn’t all that important, and how they got there can easily be left to the imagination. Part of me feels that the Kyou OVA only makes sense if you’ve played the game due to how much was cut out. In which case, why not just play the game. Or if you’re short on time, just read the Wikipedia article.
Recommending whether to watch this or not is pointless. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already watched it and are just looking for other people’s opinions. If not, you’re probably just waiting for SS-Eclipse’s release. So did the OVA meet my expectations? No. Will I promise myself to never buy into hype again? Yes. Will I keep that promise? Probably not. Is Kyou still the best character in Clannad? Undoubtedly yes.