It’s now been several years since Clannad completed its run, and even longer since the visual novel was released. Yet the series remains popular, largely because of the memorable characters, pretty visuals, popularity of the parent source, and the depth of the story.
Possibly the most important theme of the series is connected to its title* and relates to the significance of family. Apparently, Jun Maeda misinterpreted the word “clannad,” which is a portmanteau created by the Irish band of that same name. One part of the portmanteau is “clann,” which is specifically connected to kinship groups sharing a surname (Wikipedia).
The series demonstrates an important reality – families come in all different forms. Nagisa’s family is fairly traditional and very tightly knit (as is Tomoyo’s similar group). Later, the family formed by Tomoya, Ushio, and the in-laws is only slightly less traditional and it remains full of love. Tomoya also has another family – that of the friends he builds in the first part of the series, which is instrumental in changing his life for the better.
In my life, I have multiple families – my blood-related one, my church family, and my friends, including the community developed here on the blog and through the connections I’ve made in the blogosphere.
The first family in that list is the most obvious and one I’ve written about before.
The second has to do both with bonds of friendship and with the community of believers – the idea that all Christians are part of a universal (catholic with a small “c”) church. I’ve often complained about a lack of that bond in my own church, though I’ve certainly seen my community respond to our needs in the times when we need them most.
The last group is an unexpected one that I’ve developed over the past two years. But as part of my “family” now, I feel I should share with you a blessing in my life that I’ve already shared with the first two clans.
A few months ago, I spoke on my blog about being hospitalized. I went into the hospital with an aneurysm and dissection in a major artery in my neck. Because of the high risk of surgery in that area, my doctors decided to approach the condition with medication (which itself carried dangers), understanding that surgery could (and might likely) still occur sometime in the future.
A week or two ago, a CAT scan was taken of my vertebral area, and the news was good! Significant healing had occurred and it looks like I’m more than on my way to a (mostly) clean bill of health.
The point here is not about the healing though, and not about whether God did it (which I believe) or whether it was the function of the amazing human body and medication (which I also believe). The point is just simply this – this is an important event for me and one that I want to share with my families.
Digital one, included.
*The word is properly pronounced “CLAN-ehd” in the Ulster dialect (I know I always pronounce it “clan AHD”).