Which is your favourite Key series and why? (Votes Reset)

This topic is an updated version of an older poll which ran from 2015-2018. Here is the link the older topic Poll: Which is your favourite Key series and why? If you already posted your thoughts in the previous topic, and don’t feel like changing it, you’re welcome to copy-paste it into this topic.

No talk about any big or moderate spoilers without tags, as usual.

  • Kanon
  • AIR
  • Tomoyo After
  • planetarian
  • Little Busters!
  • Kud Wafter
  • Angel Beats!
  • Rewrite
  • Charlotte
  • Harmonia
  • Summer Pockets

0 voters

I mentioned this in my introduction post that Kanon is my absolute favorite Key work and I’ll go more in depth here. Kanon was the last Key anime adaptation I watched before getting into the visual novels and it completely changed my life. I have had horrible things happen to me in my life and it has had permanent effects on me. For the longest time, I would wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and ask myself “are you sure you can make it another day?” It might sound like I’m making too much of a big deal out of it, but without Kanon I might not have made it. I owe it my life. Kanon taught me to let go of my past, accept everything that’s happened, and find new meaning with the people in my life. Its message had a profound impact on me as a person, and it has shaped who I am today.

Emotional reasons aside, Kanon has more of my favorite characters than any other Key work. To crank out the numbers, Rewrite has Shizuru at my #2, Clannad has Kotomi at #3, and Little Busters has Rin and Saya at #6 and #13. Kanon has Makoto, Nayuki, Shiori, and Ayu all in my top 12, with Makoto reigning supreme at #1. Just ignore the fact that Mai is one of my least favorite Key characters ever…

Kanon also made me love winter somehow. I fell in love with the atmosphere of Kanon and now I find myself cherishing the cold. I remember spending school snow days at home reading the Kanon visual novel, and those are some of my fondest memories. If anything, Winter makes everything else even warmer. The warmth of home, and the warmth of huddling with someone you love are things I now associate with winter. And I can thank Kanon for that. Not to mention, the very idea of winter brings up memories of Kanon, and I’m always up for thinking about Kanon.

I’m not very good at going in depth on stories but the story of Kanon is fantastic, there you go. Each route, except for Mai’s, ranks at the top of my favorite Key routes. (I’ll edit this if I ever have something of value to say on the routes).

The soundtrack is my favorite Key soundtrack and maybe my favorite soundtrack of anything. Every track matches the atmosphere of Kanon perfectly, and they easily elicit emotion in me just from hearing them. When it’s cold, I like to take walks outside while listening to the soundtrack. Last Regrets is one of my favorite anime/VN openings, and Yuki no Shoujo is easily my favorite visual novel character theme.

I don’t know if I would say that Kanon is objectively better than Little Busters or Clannad, but I definitely connected to it in a way that is thousands of levels above any other Key work. It’s message quite possibly saved my life and helped me meet people who continue to change and better my life today.


Clannad. I originally didn’t plan on watching it because when I was a young inexperienced naive lad I got spoiled thanks to the LOVABLE people over at watchmojo so I was like eh not going to bother with it. But my friends who were super big fans of it forced me anyway and we streamed it together. Despite the spoiler it was still such a freaking god like show and me watching it with my friends made it ever better.

My favourite key serie is Angel Beats. It’s the first I watched and I fell in love with every character even if they weren’t all developed. The message that Angel beats gives to us is very important for me because I lost members of my family and I want to believe that I will see them again when I will be dead. Angel beats gave me that hope and showed me that life is wonderful no matter what can happen. I adored the relationship between Kanade and Otonashi and I related myself to Kanade who is clumsy to express what she feels or she thinks and she truly wants to help everyone to found their own happiness. Iwasawa, Yuri and Yui were awesome too and “My Soul, your Beats”, “Ichiban no takaramono” and “Theme of SSS” are one of my favourite songs. I’m waiting the VN to be translated in English to see the other characters’ routes and I have read the beginning of the manga Heaven’s doors which completes perfectly the anime.

I love Clannad, everything about the series is absolutely amazing, the music is the best from Key, the characters were so memorable and I generally liked all of the main Heroines, and the kyoani adaptation was in my opinion, very good! They (for the most part) stuck true to the story as best they could. Clannad holds a dear place in my heart, as it was the first source of media I had ever seen that made me so emotional, and so emotionally attached to the story, characters, and the music, oh the Music.
The diversity of the music that is pumped out from Jun Maeda in Clannad gave me an immediate respect for the Key Sound Label and his contribution to the VN. My love for the Clannad music carries over into Tomoyo After. Every piece of music in Clannad I thoroughly enjoy with the exception of 2 pieces, with my favorites being “Sunbeams Streaming Through the Leaves,” and “The Place Where Wishes Come True.”
Along with the god-tier music, the story itself is life changing for me, giving me a new way to look at things in life. I love the ability of Jun and the other creators to mix in humor and “feels” in the same episode, and maybe even in the same scene. the amount of comic relief in the show gives it a great way to almost forget that the show is such an emotional drain, and it makes you enjoy the show for what it is. I also think the writers did a great job on highlighting monotony of life in and out of high school, and making it genuinely entertaining to watch, even in the more “boring” sections of screentime.

I would like to add the rewatchability of Clannad, in the transition from High School life to actual real world life, you are able to connect with Tomoya in multiple stages in life, something truly unique and, again, well done from Key.

Of all the Key series I have seen, here is my ranking (Little Busters has been soaring though my rankings the past year or so);

  1. Clannad
  2. Little Busters
  3. Kanon
  4. Air
  5. Tomoyo After
  6. Planetarian

I am still waiting for some sort of way to watch Summer Pockets, barring the learning of the Japanese Language!


I’m probably late to this topic but I’ll respond anyway. My favorite Key series is either Air or Kanon 2006. Unfortunately I can’t place the Air anime higher because it didn’t have enough episodes so probably Kanon 2006 with Little busters refrain closely behind. There are many reasons I love Kanon but the biggest one is the chemistry between Yuichi and the girls is on point in Kyo ani’s adaptation and it added several memorable moments that weren’t in the visual novel- like Shiori’s birthday party. Kanon also features my favorite music, but this is always hard to pick because Key never disappoints in that department. I’m still convinced that tracks like “Winter Fireworks” and “Umaretate no kaze” are some of the best Shinji Orito has ever composed. Also I just prefer the winter aesthetic of Kanon and the countryside towns are always a huge appeal for me when it comes to Key. Clannad and Air also have wonderful country settings away from bigger cities but those are set in Spring and Summer, giving a very different feeling. Kanon had just the right amount of episodes and didn’t have much filler, every moment had me engaged in the story and it never spent too much time on any one plot.

I haven’t seen every key related anime by any means, but this is my rating so far

  1. Kanon (2006)
  2. Little Busters Refrain
  3. Clannad & After story
  4. Air
  5. Planetarian
  6. Little Busters (and esctasy)
  7. Kanon (2002)
  8. Angel Beats
  9. Charlotte (good opening I’ll admit)

I can’t pick a favorite :uee: I don’t have a favorite child. I honestly don’t think my mind can rank everything. I will say that they all have left a lasting impression on me. I don’t go through a day without thinking about one of these games.


I guess I’ll bump these to see if there are any last votes before the clock strikes midnight.
Still 3 series without votes. Actually, make that two series and one disease

Planetairan is my favorite Key series as its had the most impact in my life out of any story from any media.


Guess I will throw in my vote which is Clannad. Sadly my English isn’t good enough to put my thoughts into words. But the best I can say is I like how it’s a coming of age while also focusing on each character’s problems and also about Nagisa’s and Tomoya’s family. To me Clannad’s story feels “perfect”, I really cannot imagine finding a story that I can feel so attached to as much as Clannad.


Fuko thinks that more starfish could make the series better other than that fuko agrees.


I thought I posted in here like a forever ago and apparently I didn’t. I used to say Harmonia was my favorite but then it changed to Planetarian and all of this is absolutely the reason why.


My first one was Rewrite, which was my favourite for a while, although that was not hard since uncontested.

But little Busters gives me so much more. I don’t really prefer the cast as much as there is just a bigger one. More heroines, more close other friends. The setting is something I liked much more, and the themes are touching.
This is obviously just very subjective, so it’s hard to exactly put into words since I’ve by now nearly all Key works, and all of them are great, LB is simply what I enjoyed most.
The sheer amount of good content is probably a part of it.


Little Busters is probably the “best” in terms of quality. Everything so perfectly fits together, and it is a masterclass in how to use a chosen medium in order to tell a story. Despite that, I have to say that Clannad is my favorite Key series. This probably comes down to a couple of reasons. The first is that I find Tomoya to be a more interesting protagonist than Riki. This isn’t to say that Riki is bad; far from it. However, he really doesn’t come into his own until later on. (Little Busters) Yes, I know this is kind of the whole point, but it doesn’t change the fact that Riki after Refrain is a much more fleshed out character than the Riki before Refrain. Having a strong and interesting protagonist right off the bat wins a lot of points with me; after all, this is the character whose thoughts we will follow throughout the entire experience.

However, the greater reason that Clannad is my favorite is simply when I read it. Not only was Clannad my first long Key work, but I also read it during my last semester of university before receiving my Bachelor’s degree. The way it presents apathy towards studies, fear of change, and an inability to adjust to new circumstances perfectly encapsulated all of my own fears and insecurities. (After Story) I even had a serious girlfriend (now fiancee) for whom I had just purchased an engagement ring, so Tomoya’s struggles through especially the first half of After Story seemed all the more real to me. In short, Clannad felt like it was written directly to me. On top of that, it’s an excellent VN in its own right. Because of what it meant to me personally, I have to claim it as my favorite, even if I typically recommend Little Busters over it to friends (partially for the more accessible art style).


My favorite episodes of the series are, in this order:

  1. AIR
  2. Tomoyo After
  3. ONE & Kanon

Now I love all the other Key VNs I’ve read and each one of them for different reasons, some of the stories are the best I’ve seen by far. However, these 4 VNs are the ones I like the most.

I think I’ve talked a lot about the other VNs in the other topics but not that much about AIR. You can find my thoughts about it here (too long to post them here).

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