So I finally finished the entire Clannad VN, and it took me a long time but I enjoyed it greatly. Having watched the anime before I knew exactly what would happen in After Story, but I still thought it was a very worthwhile experience to read through the Visual Novel version too. I feel like I became a lot more familiar with Tomoya’s character when compared to just having watched the anime. You get to see his thought processes and inner workings a lot more than in the adaptation I think. He’s emotionally unstable which is highlighted in a few routes, and I thought he was a very interesting protagonist.
I also thought the handling of his grief ater losing Nagisa was realistic and it was painful to see how he had to go through that considering how she meant everything to him. Something that struck me as odd in the VN though was that they had Nagisa go through childbirth without any medical assistance despite the clear risks involved, I believe that the adaptation actually had them calling for a doctor but there he couldn’t arrive in time due to heavy snowfall. This wasn’t in the VN at all, and I just thought it was strange. And Tomoya taking Ushio outside for a walk instead of to a hospital after her fever had worsened seemed like a weird move too, but this was the same in the anime. I don’t want to criticize it too harshly for that though, and otherwise I had very few problems with the VN in general. It still remains one of my favourite stories ever.
Having gone through After Story made me realize again what great characters Akio and Sanae are. They are without a doubt my favourite supporting cast. As far as the other routes go I think Tomoyo’s is still my favourite, followed closely by Kyou’s and then Kotomi’s. I have Tomoyo After to read next, and I’m very tempted to read the Tomoyo route again to get the “feel” of it once more, despite remembering everything clearly. It’s just that going through all the other routes and After Story afterwards pulls you away from the feelings you had before if that makes sense. Speaking of which, after Tomoyo After I will probably read Kyou’s route again as well, just because she’s my favourite. I’m probably making this whole experience a lot longer than is strictly necessary, haha.