Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sean's Introduction: The Theology of Clannad?

Why Am I Here?

I’m fairly new to anime, and quite new to Clannad. So what in the world am I doing here? Actually, I am friends with Nathan and Wolfsbane, and, having recently finished watching Clannad and After Story for the first time, decided to read their blogs on the show. I suppose you could say I provide one more angle to this blog, which you will understand soon enough.

Why So Religious?

Clannad is a completely secular show, with almost no mention of God. So how could there possibly be a Theology of Clannad? Well, maybe I should tell you a little more about my self and what I’m doing here so that you can understand.

I am a college-aged, Roman Catholic male, who recently got interested in anime. In general, I look for truth and meaning in everything around me, particularly in stories. I tend to be attracted to stories with deep meaning in them, especially stories that touch upon profound truths of the human condition. So when my Nathan told me that I needed to see Clannad, I was interested. To be honest, I was hooked by the opening of the first episode. Not only did the anime speak truth, but it spoke a truth that I saw and struggled with: the struggle to love and embrace an ever changing world, to move forward even when the world is filled with sadness and uncertainty. By the time I finished the series, I found it quite moving and profound. However, I was then trying to explain my reaction to the show to my family. Showing it to them, I had to remind them that the show was not science, but poetry, that is was pointing to something deeper. But what exactly are these deeper messages in Clannad? For the show is surely about much more than simply the desire to find a spouse, and the high school dating environment.

My friend Nathan said that Clannad was about a young man’s search for family and for God. The family part was quite clear from the show, but God? The show hardly mentions God, and neglects to mention religion at all. So surely the search for God must be part of that something deeper.

While Clannad lacks mention of God and religion, the show still delves into the spiritual and fantastic. Some have described the show as a modern day fairy tale. So I will first look for God in the fantastic, spiritual elements of the show, in those moments that, while clearly fictional, still manage to touch us, and speak to our human condition.

So I embark now to find these deeper messages in the show, to point a finger to exactly what moves me about the show. I embark to look for God in Clannad.

“And so we begin… the long, long upward climb.”

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