Monday, December 3, 2007

Between Clannad and Da Capo II ~ Part 1

Clannad and Da Capo II are both the front runner for best school drama of this season, and they happened to have very similar theme: a light drama/comedy could potentially turn into a tragedy.

Of course, it's a bit unfair to compare them side-by-side, because Clannad is a 24 episode series, while Da Capo II is only a 13 episode series. Having said that, I think there are still many criteria that these two could come to a head to head competition on. So forget about the length of the anime for now and take a look at them in details:

Main Character (male)

Both Clannad and Da Capo II took the approach of the main male character being a passive role rather than an active role. While he may be at the right(wrong) place at right(wrong) time and forced to make some decisions he may or may not like to make, he usually is not the cause of the majority events. He is merely a medium for things to take place around him.

Of course, the stories itself would be non-existent if the lead male character is not there. But if you think about it, while the role itself is important to be there at all time, it merely is a "glue" for all the events happened in the anime to come together. That's why I say the main male character plays only a passive role. In my opinion, it is more so in Clannad than Da Capo II.

Comedy/Drama to Tragedy Progression

While I can not yet predict what will happen towards the end of the series, the track record of both Key and Circus speaks for themselves. While all of their past animes started with light comedy, almost all of them ended up in some degrees of tragedy. It's not difficult to predict that both Clannad and Da Capo II would also end in some sort of tragedy. In fact, Clannad already starts to show the signs of it with its first plot segment.

Tragedies vary in degrees, so are comedies. Clannad is doing much better job on the comedy side because of the "moe" properties of all the female characters. The lack of "moe" does not hurt Da Capo, but makes it much lighter comedy wise compare to Clannad.

Segmented Plot Lines

Instead of using parallel plot development, both anime divides the plot into multiple chunks and develop them one at a time. (The opposite extreme is Baccano! which mixed not only all ongoing plot lines together, but also all the past and future plot lines.) The segmented plot line tells one side/part of the story at a time, without mixing in any unnecessary side plot lines. This makes the story very easy to follow. What you lose is the extra dimensions of the story (like the one Baccano! created). But school dramas don't really need them. Compare the two, Da Capo II is much more segmented than Clannad is because latter have a lot more side plot mix-ins.

No comments: