The first Key anime I watched was Charlotte. I got into anime when it was airing in 2015 and I remember looking forward to it every week. That was until the trainwreck that was episode 11, which left me badly traumatized (and I mean that literally, I had nightmares and shit) and made want want to drop it. Had it not been those last 3 episodes, best described as a rushed clusterfuck, it would probably be one of my favourite anime to this day.
My second Key anime was Angel Beats, which to this day holds a special place in my heart. It was the definition of a life-changing experience. For the first time in my life I cried not because I was sad, upset or in pain. I cried because it was beautiful beyond words. While it’s certainly has numerous flaws, (mainly caused by time constraints) and I recently dropped my MAL score for it down to 9, what I experienced then was nothing short of perfection.
My third Key anime was CLANNAD. It took me a long time to finish it, especially the first season. But by the time I got to the second half of the second season, I knew it was something special. By the time I was done, I was in the same state as I was after Angel Beats: spontaneously bursting into tears simply by thinking about it for the next three days.
It took me a couple months for me to learn to fully appreciate the beauty of CLANNAD. Once I did, it replaced Angel Beats as my favourite anime. After Story remains my 3rd favourite anime of all time, and I consider it to be the most important anime I’ve ever watched and the one anime everyone should experience at least once in their life. No anime has affected me as a person more than CLANNAD has.
The fourth and as of now final Key anime I’ve watched is Little Busters. And as anti-climactic as it is, the description I can give about it is “just good”. Unlike the other three, it just didn’t speak to me on a personal level. One of the things Key is excellent at is creating protogonist. Yuzuru and Tomoya (Angel Beats & Clannad progonists) are extremely relatable, at least for me. The me from year or two ago was basically a combination of the two. Yuu, (Charlotte protagonist) while not very relatable at first, has some incredible character development that goes a long way to sell him and his struggles to the audience. Riki, the protagonist of Little Busters, is completely unrelatable for me, which I think is the root cause for the show’s unimpressiveness.
Riki has a number of unrelatable qualities: he’s extremely feminine and suffers from amnesia, narcolepsy and a general lack of personality. As such I feel it hard to connect to the story through him, which lessens the emotional impact. That’s not to say it’s any means bad, albeit slow paced.
That pretty much sums up my general thoughts on the matter. I’ve been planning to watch Kanon and Air for ages but my massive backlog and rewatch crusade have left me no opportunity to engross myself in things I consider low-priority. I could honestly go on for ages, especially about CLANNAD, but I think it’s best I stop here.