What Key work inspired you the most to do better in life?

Hello, Hello friends
For over a decade, Key has been responsible for so many things. Making us cry, laugh, and find new friends both behind the screen and in real life. Hell, I even met the love of my life because I had a dango sticker on my binder in High School.

I love Key a lot. The stories I learned from their works were kept close to my heart for as long as I remember. I believe that all of Key’s works inspire me in a certain way. For example, Little Busters! made me want to go out and create friendships which I will cherish my whole life. My childhood was gloomy. I thought that friends were not very important because I had all I need to keep me entertained which were books and video games. I lived with an abusive guardian so I shut myself from the world just like what Riki did. So middle of High school rolls around and that’s when I was first introduced to Key through Little Busters. It showed me how much of my childhood was just a blur. I realized then that friends are there to lift you up and provide the support you need to move forward. To make you happy and enjoy who you truly are no mater what.

Started to actively talk and make friends ever since

So, I bring myself to ask you all this, what work from Key has inspired you the most in terms of self re-evaluation and/or making a change in your life for the better?[poll]

  • Angel Beats!
  • Air
  • Charlotte
  • Clannad
  • Harmonia
  • Little Busters!
  • Kanon
  • Kud Wafter
  • Planetarian
  • Tomoyo after

CLANNAD is the way to go.

CLANNAD was my first Key-anime, or rather, anime in general, that I watched. I think CLANNAD had some of the greatest values that a story could have. Friendship, and family-issues were the things that stuck to me the most. It’s beautiful to see a story filled with characters that you love, with a beautiful story.

I especially loved Tomoyo’s Route/Takafumi’s route for pointing out the beauty of family. Family that are blood related, or family that are friends. How you can overcome obstacles as long as you have love, such as Takafumi, how he jumped off a bridge and Tomoyo’s family became closer

And Kotomi’s parents’ words that point out that Life Is Beautiful, and how you should live it the way you want to, to the fullest. It’s sad when you realized that they had died though.

CLANNAD is just filled with inspiration. Though there are other inspiring stories from Key, such as Little Busters! with Friendship, Rewrite with Humanity, Angel Beats! with Life, Charlotte with Reality, Air filled with Hope, and Kanon filled with Promises. CLANNAD is the one that takes all of that into consideration and expresses it beautifully. I think CLANNAD is by far, one of Key’s strongest works, and most inspiring work overall. The music is gorgeous, the character designs are beautiful (I mean, not as beautiful compared to Rewrite), the CG’s are great (for something from 2004), the story is well-thought out, and the anime was great for Anime-Only Watchers.

I feel like nowadays in Key stories, the stories are driven by plot instead, which is great, but doesn’t have the same emotions CLANNAD had. CLANNAD was driven by development instead, which was a great way of showcasing its beauty.


As always this is my opinion just based on anime cuz Im too shit to read the VNs (for now).

Definitely Clannad for me.
As I have watched it many many many times, I always remember the quotes n everything that gives me courage and inspiration to do something in my life, even if it is a little thing, I somehow remember Clannad’s scenes.
Especially when In afterstory Tomoya is working with Yoshino and tries his best to do everything by his left hand, yet yoshino still appreciates his works and says “Youre not doing it wrong, you try to overcome your weakness.” Those words have made me think in my past year to try and do things I wouldnt normally do (might be a bad example, but Im not good with fingers, and thats why Im trying to play osu!mania 7k as a practice).
There are ofc a lot of other examples, but not the ones I could think of right now.

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As much as I love all of Key’s works, CLANNAD has to take it for me.

As is the case with many other members, the anime was my first experience with anything Key, and was crucial in my being a Key fan.
Setting this aside however, I consider it an important moment in my life generally speaking, because I had never before been so intimately touched by a work of art. Not only was it overwhelmingly good from a critical point of view, but it was also something which conveyed something to me on a much deeper level, something that can’t be worded in any review or analysis.

In that sense, the first and only time I watched the show didn’t shape my love of it as much as the passing of time; the fact that I still think about it up to this day, and come to further appreciate how it inspired me are definitely the greatest tokens of how important watching CLANNAD was to me.

It brought me to Rewrite, Little Busters! and subsequently the other works by Key, and although I always deem LB! my favorite for many a reason, CLANNAD has to be the most inspirational for me, as it was the first time a work of fiction had such a profound lasting impact on me, something that I can claim to “carry” with me even today.

I’d like finish with a special mention for AIR though, as Misuzu is definitely the one most inspirational fictional character I have ever encountered.

This is a very difficult choice for me. It’s got to be either Tomoyo After or Little Busters, both made me more appreciative of and positive towards moving on and life in general. At the moment CLANNAD is a decent contestant as well since it’s more relevant and close to me now than it ever was before.

I’d have to think about it for a while, but off-hand I’d say Tomoyo After. It has what I’d consider the most powerful message of any Key game at the very least.

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Air. I have only seen the anime, but Air has been the most impactful and inspirational Key work for me. Part of it was just timing - I happened to be taking a Buddhisim in Japanese Culture course when I watched it and was actually able to use Air as a subject for a paper. I really got a lot out the opportunity to think about it from that perspective so it stayed with me more so than the others. Because I spent the time thinking about it it was the most edifying for me and helped me iron out some of how I view the self.

Beyond that though just exploring ideas of reincarnation and how the same or different you are from that past self is really interesting to me.

And it has Misuzu and Potato which are my 2 favorite Key characters. Misuzu was relatable to me because she is weird, likes people, but can’t deal with them.


Clannad, Clannad and then let me think. Oh Clannad.
Makes me think about my past (real world past) and present challenges, and somethings that aren’t related to me but it may be useful to understand better other people. It talks about Independence without cutting unobtrusive family ties, and one’s responsibility as a member of a community.

I also find AIR very inspiring.

Little Busters!

I don’t know if I was like this before, or just after reading LB!, but LB! strengthened it anyway. My need to be independent and strong. Since I’m gray-romantic, marriage and children do not attract me. However, I decided that after I complete 18 years old I’m going to move out and live by myself. I see the sad fate of many people that keep relying on their parents their whole lives, they get depressed and don’t go anywhere. LB! taught my I can rely on people I love when I need, but there will be a time I have to face difficulties by myself, and I’ve gotta be prepared for when that time comes. This is why I’ll try my best to become a mature and strong adult, even if that is not an easy task.

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Yet again, I’m going to have to go with Little Busters. Not even just in terms of Key’s works either, I genuinely can’t think of a single other game, anime, movie, etc. that had quite the same lasting impact on me that Little Busters did. I don’t even know where to begin listing all the things I’ve learned from it since I first read the VN 4 years ago. It has so many great views on friendship, loss, and reaching out for help from the people who care about you, all of which have impacted the way I live my own life.

Komari’s route in particular had the biggest impact on me, as I know I’ve said here before. I think all the routes have SOMETHING valuable in them, but in terms of stories that really INSPIRED me, Komari is on top. I think there’s a lot to be learned from her about being true to your own emotions, and the value of not lying to yourself just to make yourself feel better. Whenever I’m feeling down, I remind myself of that, that it’s okay not to be happy ALL the time. Eventually whatever is bothering you will pass, and you can find something new to smile about. But nothing will change if you ignore your problems, as I know I used to do a lot more often than I do now.

And then there’s her happiness spiral, of course, which I definitely try to live by. It really is true, isn’t it, there’s happiness to be found in making others happy? It’s such a simple concept, but Little Busters really put it into words, I guess, and I think it’s a great perspective to have when dealing with other people.

Also, to this day the VN itself serves as a sort of comfort object for me. If I’m feeling lonely, or upset, or scared about anything, I’ll go back and replay bits of either the common or Komari routes, and it never fails to cheer me up. I’m really a very introverted person, and I have a lot of trouble making friends with people outside of the internet, so there’s something really nice about having that group of characters that I can consider friends. The Little Busters have the sort of bond that, someday, I’d like to have even a fraction of with other people. They’re living the high school days I WISH I had had.

So yeah, as moving as things like CLANNAD or Air or Planetarian all were, none of them resonated with me in quite the same personal way that Little Busters did.


[quote=“SuikaShoujo, post:9, topic:2508, full:true”] I’m really a very introverted person, and I have a lot of trouble making friends with people outside of the internet, so there’s something really nice about having that group of characters that I can consider friends. The Little Busters have the sort of bond that, someday, I’d like to have even a fraction of with other people. They’re living the high school days I WISH I had had.


Same here. This is exactly how I feel about the Little Busters, the only difference is that I’m still in high school and maybe I can achieve that (but it’s very unlikely, since I can’t help getting irritated at teenagers, cuz Oregairu reasons)

I forgot to mention that on my post, but that’s also one of my life goals: having people like Little Busters, a group of real friends that accept me for what I am and with whom I can feel comfortable around. They’re all very different, and that’s a rare thing IRL, as most people tend to be friends just with people similar to them. It shows how friendship has no boundaries and that those differences actually complete each other to create something bigger. In that sense, LB! is also very inspiring.

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For my case, it would have to be CLANNAD. I could relate to the main character because I was also afraid of change in my life. The environment I was living in, making friends, as well as making decisions for my future. My high school life back then was all about getting through school with good grades, getting into a community college, and going to work. I didn’t have time to make lasting friendships and I went through life just existing. CLANNAD had taught me how important family really is and I have been doing the complete opposite of treating my family like they were shadows to me and I felt really bad about myself and I was afraid to decide how to become closer to them because we don’t talk that much, if only a little. I recall when in the VN where Nagisa had mentioned that change is necessary for us to move on with ourselves and Tomoya added that you need to find new different things in life. It helped me to see that I have to find other things to do that I could shed some new light on my personality and to think of others instead of selfishly think about myself and drowning in my self-pity.

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I’d say Rewrite has been responsible for the majority of my creative inspirations. There were a lot of different things going on in Rewrite that just seemed so interesting to me. Rewrite isn’t really my favorite work though, and it’s not the work that left the biggest impact on me. To me, however, it was probably the most inspiring, creatively. (It was my first Key VN too, iirc. That might have something to do with it. Will just have to see whenever the Rewrite bookclub happens.)

I say it’s “creatively inspiring to me” because it’s probably had the biggest influence in my writing approach out of all the Key VNs. Shizuru’s route and Moon are definitely the most responsible for that too. (I found Shizuru’s route to be just so romantically beautiful, and I found Moon to be so philosophically beautiful. Though I’m fairly sure I’ve already talked about those before.)

Now if we’re talking about something that was just “life inspiring,” or something like that, then the answer would probably be Angel Beats! (donate your organs after death; though I’ve always done that). Though I don’t really regard AB! that highly, I do think that the message I took away from it is worthwhile: You can make your life meaningful, even in the worst of situations. The approach here felt very different from most other Key works. (And since I watched it before reading LB! it was the most influential in that regard. Had the order been reversed, I’d probably my take away from LB! would’ve been more influential in that regard.)

To be clear though, neither of those are my favorite Key works. (Kanon is definitely top-tier for me, but a discussion here would be too tangential; just felt it was worth mentioning.)

Also, I think it’s worth mentioning that Charlotte has a lot of potential as far as inspiration goes, since it basically emphasizes what you can do yourself if you really put effort into it. (Though I feel they messed up a bit in their execution of certain things, but alas.)

Seems most people prefer Clannad or LB! though. >.>


There’s only like 12 people who commented though… But I think it’s due to 2 very important factors

  1. CLANNAD is really the anime that introduces people to Key. Yes, there are some individuals who were introduced from Kanon or Air or even later Key works, but CLANNAD is definitely one of the most influential to how big the community is. So of course, the majority would say CLANNAD.

  2. The theme of LB is Friendship and Adolescence. While it takes the Friendship theme to the heart, more than the Adolescence theme. CLANNAD focused on both the Family-Theme and Friendship-Theme, which would reach out to more people, since the Adolescence theme is something that not a lot of people like to wander off into, thinking about it, if that makes sense.

But at the end of the day, we all love Key so it doesn’t matter which one influences us the most :slight_smile: You’re more likely to love CLANNAD if you have family issues or value your family a lot. You’re more likely to love LB if you value your time and your friends a lot. You’re more likely to love Rewrite if you value our Earth’s environmental problems more. You’re more likely going to value Angel Beats! if you value life itself the most.

Though this might not apply to all. Key is very “strange.”
You can have zero family-problems but love CLANNAD a lot. You could have no friends and love LB a lot. You could care less about the world but love Rewrite a lot. You don’t have to value life, but can love Angel Beats! a lot. Key has something that reaches a wider variety of people. And those people can either like it, or not like it, for their own personal reason.

An example of this would be if someone loved CLANNAD a lot for their family-theme messages. The majority would love CLANNAD because they might have family issues. But there could also be people who love CLANNAD because they’re realizing how thankful they should be that they have a great family, compared to some of CLANNAD’s families.

Another example would be if someone loved LB. The majority would love it for its friendship-theme meanings and relate to it so much because they have their own group of friends. While there would also be people who might not have as much friends, or maybe no friends, that love LB because they might have hope that if a group of misfits (The LB members) found each other, then they might have hope that they’ll find friends someday.

Key brings us influential stories to a lot of people. It’s the way you look at it though, that determines who you want to be. Let’s all just take a minute to thank Key for their wonderful influential stories that help us, and continue to make us happy, with beautiful messages. I know that for sure, CLANNAD and LB actually did save some people’s lives (in real life). It was the way they took in the stories. Thank you Key for blessing us with your beautiful stores.


Asking me which Key work inspired me the most is like asking who my best friend is. It’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to decide because each has touched my heart in some form or another. I’m a man of technicalities rather than feeling, so crying or laughing has nothing to do with what my favorite Key work is or which inspired me the most. Almost all of the Key works I’ve read/watched are almost equally inspirational, and helped shape my life into what it is today.

That being said, looking back as far as the moment I picked up the CLANNAD anime, I don’t think I’ve ever been more inspired by a Key game/anime as I have with AIR. Yes, I think AIR is more inspirational than Little Busters, which I’m sure was everyone else’s choice on this thread. Why do I think so? Because I found it more relatable and, for lack of a better term, inspired than any other Key game. My experience with the Bookclub only made this more prevalent.

AIR is a reflection of what I used to be, what I am, and what I may become, all in one story. I knew that there was some sort of purpose set out for me but I only had a vague idea of what it was. I felt held back by physical and spiritual chains, and it took a while to realize just how much I needed friends. I never knew the true weight of self-sufficience until the responsibility was thrust upon me, and I broke down under the pressure. Only after did I realize how much I neglected what was truly important, and fought my way to gain the trust of a few friends. There were mistakes made, but I’m glad my efforts led me here, where new friends just keep coming. :stuck_out_tongue:

In addition, all of the routes touch on the relationship between mother and child, and in hindsight I can’t think of any greater person on this Earth than my own mother. She’s always there to cheer me on when I feel accomplished, and to pick me up when I feel like a failure. But she is also human, getting frustrated when things don’t go her way, or sad when someone close to her is lost. AIR’s characters and scenarios made me look back upon my past and wonder what exactly I did to cause my mother much joy or grief.

Finally, AIR is probably the only VNs that improved my outlook on life on a spiritual level. Perhaps it wasn’t the intention of the creators, but I don’t think the religious parallels in AIR weren’t thrown in there for nothing. I’m a big fan of redemptive stories, mainly because I’m on an eternally redemptive state for the aforementioned neglect. AIR in particular felt inspired by Christian morals and ideals, although the lore leans more on Buddhism and Shinto beliefs. I won’t go into detail as to how or why, but I definitely felt like some degree of truth lies in these stories.

I love every Key VN I read, and I feel the next few VNs from them will be just as great. However, there is something about classic Key that feels magical, ethereal even. Their stories aren’t perfect, but they have a subtlety to them that makes them feel emotionally powerful. I love Little Busters and I can’t wait for Harmonia, but if it weren’t for AIR, I feel that it would have taken a little longer to find my footing in life. :relieved:


I’m absolutely loving the discussion on this topic, everyone. I always love hearing stories about how Key works have touched people on a personal level, and reading all of your stories have just warmed my heart and reminded me as to why I appreciate Key so much.

However, the reason why I probably love hearing these stories is because I don’t have many to share on my own to begin with. A lot of the messages promoted by Key works are for dealing with problems or personal issues that I don’t have; or have already gotten over myself. While I still do have personal issues, they are of a different caliber than what Key stories attempt to inspire people over. As such, the messages of works like CLANNAD, Little Busters, and Rewrite, while all very powerful, simply can’t relate to me all that much.

However, if there is any one message from a Key work that I have, or at least am trying to, put to heart, it is that of AIR. I believe the final message of AIR is that of searching for one’s own happiness, without being brought down by the pressures of society, and it comes to me as I read it during a time that I am trying to chase my dreams, all while wondering whether it is worth it due to the sacrifices I have to make. And it reminds me, even as I type it, that yes, it is worth it, lest I let my regrets live on for 1000 more summers, not knowing where it could have taken me.


Yeah, I definitely agree with you on all those points. (Including me drawing a conclusion from a small sample set, heheh. ^^; (“There’s only like 12 people who commented though”))

[quote=“Totoro_Futaki, post:13, topic:2508”]
CLANNAD is really the anime that introduces people to Key
[/quote]I’m probably an exception but I was first introduced to Key through the Angel Beats! anime. I thought “Oh, I’m actually crying? Jeez, I’ve never actually cried watching something before.” Then when I looked through recommendations I saw Clannad and After Story listed a lot, which is what really introduced me to Key.

The family themes are certainly really strong and well done in Clannad, IMO.

[quote=“Totoro_Futaki, post:13, topic:2508”]
But at the end of the day, we all love Key so it doesn’t matter which one influences us the most
[/quote]Haha, yup. This. ^_^

[quote=“EisenKoubu, post:14, topic:2508”]
It’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to decide because each has touched my heart in some form or another.
[/quote]Definitely. I was weighing each of them and tried to figure out which ones best fit with the topic’s question. (In the end I picked two and mentioned a few extras.) I really should’ve pointed out AIR as well. Also…

[quote=“EisenKoubu, post:14, topic:2508”]
AIR is a reflection of what I used to be, what I am, and what I may become, all in one story
[/quote]That’s a really good way to put it. AIR definitely earns high marks from me for similar reasons.

[quote=“Pepe, post:15, topic:2508”]
As such, the messages of works like CLANNAD, Little Busters, and Rewrite, while all very powerful, simply can’t relate to me all that much.
[/quote]Mostly the same here, but I feel they can still be related to in the sense of a virtuous reminder, of sorts. (That’s how I took AB! for example.)

[quote=“Pepe, post:15, topic:2508”]
I believe the final message of AIR is that of searching for one’s own happiness, without being brought down by the pressures of society
[/quote]I think I may have mentioned it in the bookclub, but I really like that takeaway. Definitely this, man.


Definitely. It’s hard to pinpoint what is “the most inspiring” out of all the works from Key. Each has their shining factor which makes their title what it is. I chose Little Busters! more so on the fact of how much it shaped my character and outlook on people.


I’ve never thought of Air’s message as that way… But thank you for sharing. I’m kinda chasing my dreams at the moment, so giving me that insight really helped :slight_smile: Time to re-watch Air TV :smiley:

That message is actually very relatable to me at the moment. The dreams I have would mean that I have to give up my private life and move away for 2-10 years working hard everyday, with the possibility of getting dropped by the people there.

And let’s not forget about newer Key works, like Charlotte, which (though was executed bad), had great messages. I think that the fact about how people with abilities will be captured by scientist if they ever got caught (stated by Tomori every time the student council went and found some ability user who was using his/her ability recklessly), showed us humanity. It showed us that there are people in the world who don’t care for you, but just want to use you for what you have. I think Charlotte is something that inspires me to be someone who is NOT like those scientist. It inspires me realize how I should be thankful for things, like having a normal life at the moment.

Time to read the VN, more like it! The TV series doesn’t portray this message very well, if at all, and reading the VN is what made me realize it and want to put it to heart, more than anything


I thought Charlotte was pretty good. Although in the end, it did not meet up to my expectations ( for example how yusa and joujirou disappear for much of the series and suddenly come back around the end which bothered me a bit) (and a lot of missed potential with the capturing of gifted individuals). After a few episodes in, the series made me look back at myself and others how we too have “quirks” within our character just like our friends from Charlotte.

It felt like as though I less than average compared to many around me. There are many times I catch myself looking up to others and constantly think as if they are better than me in every aspect. But slowly I learned that no one can be the best, no one is perfect out there. Charlotte came around and it became that catalyst to make me believe that people use what they have as their forte and capitalize on that.