Finished watching the 2006 anime now, oh wow, I didn’t have the highest expectations but if I had I think they could have easily been surpassed. Firstly I have to thank the person that uploaded all the episodes as I would not otherwise have had the chance to see this with the original VA - I can only pray it 's available itsumademo or for the miracle of a Region 2 release. After seeing it for free I’d very happily buy the box set and the VN if an official English Language release ever appeared.
I don’t know how Key manage to create these fantastic characters that you can invest so much in; the wonderful winter setting, the mystic elements, the rollercoaster of the humour leading you in to the feels. Like Clannad, being talked about as a “Romance Story” made me wonder if it would be my thing, but it is so much more - with some pretty dark themes being explored. What struck me was the effect of neglected friendship - I must admit I have let many friendships go through my life without really thinking of the impact it might have on the other person, so this hit home quite hard.
I’d still place Clannad as my favourite Key work, largely because the VN can put so much more depth into the whole thing and it was my first Key experience; but with the exception of Refrain I’d put this in 2nd place above LB!
As for anyone who says this kind of drama shouldn’t appeal to us older folks - I will just reply
“I don’t like people who say that sort of thing.”