I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT THE ANIME. I REPEAT, I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT THE ANIME!
Tomoyo after ~it’s a wonderful life~ is a VN made by Key (you know these people, they made Kanon, Air, and Clannad) in 2005. The original release was made for the PC and contained 18+ material, but later, a ps2 port with extra scenes, and slightly different ending, and no 18+ material was made. This is a sequel of sorts for the Tomoyo path in CLANNAD, but the author had clearly stated that he does not want Tomoyo after to be seen as a sequel. The game was very popular, even making it as the 4th best selling bishoujo game in 2005.
After Tomoya graduated from high school, he’s living a newly-wed like life with Tomoyo, who goes (very often) to cook and clean at his small apartment. However, their intimate moments are often interrupted by Tomoyo’s younger brother, Takafumi, who often drops by. That is, until more people comes along and completely eliminates any chance of the 2 of them being alone together. One of those people is Kanako, Takafumi’s ex-girlfriend; the other person is Tomo, the illegitimate child of Tomoyo’s father.
Slightly sarcastic person who has a bad relationship with his father and thus lives in his small apartment (though his girlfriend, Tomoyo, does spend a lot of time there), he’s kind to the people around him and works hard when he’s at work. I think that this Tomoya strays a bit (personality wise) from his Clannad counterpart, but it can be dismissed as people change when they age.
A hard working student who loves Tomoya, she’s talented at just about everything she does and loves children. When Tomo was brought to live with Tomoya, she took it upon herself to act like a second mother to her.
Tomoyo’s half sister who’s still in kindergarten. She’s very sweet and innocent. Her mother, the woman that Tomoyo’s father had an affair with, is mentally ill to the point that she left her daughter. Takafumi found her and decided to bring her to live in Tomoya’s apartment in order to keep the peace that his parents had finally gained.
Tomoyo’s lazy brother, and a source of many jokes. He used to be a talented runner but jumped in front a car in order to prevent his parents from getting a divorce. His is healed from his accident but hadn’t run since then. He’s very good at computers and loves to play games.
Takafumi’s ex-girlfriend and the daughter of his ex-coach. She dosen’t want to accept the fact that her mother is re-marrying and thus escaped from her house. After she met Tomoya she became a freeloader at his now very crowded apartment. She’s very sarcastic and is excellent at fighting.
The story is typical Jun Maeda: funny, sweet, sad, and guaranteed to make you cry your eyes out. It is split into roughtly 3 parts: the first part is the story of Takafumi and Kanoko; the second part is that of Tomo and her mother; and the last part, which is names AFTER, is an 8 day story involving Tomoya waking up in an hospital without any memories since middle school and Tomoyo, who is there to support him. The whole thing ties into themes of family and love, and while I don’t think that its quality matches that of Clannad, it is still very good.
HOWEVER, there are a few flaws, and the biggest flaw has to be the h-scenes. There are many of them at the beginning at the game, and they do nothing to the story. In fact, the beginning of the story was so focused on the h-scenes I felt like I had wasted 4 hours of my life. I think that many things could have been cut from the story, for instance, Tomoya’s fights. There is also a lack of closure, especially concerning what happened to Tomo and Tomoya at the end. However, I heard that the ps2 version fixes these problems.
Tomoyo after has gorgeous art made by the talented Fumio. (I don’t about you, but I MUCH perfer this version of Tomoyo over the Key version. well, graphically speaking anyway) The colors are very satrated and vibrant and all the characters look amazing. The backgrounds are warm and the few backgrounds that were re-used from Clannad were re-drawn, making the whole thing a treat for the eyes. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of event cgs.
Of course, there are flaws. In a picture, Tomo is shown to be at an normal height for a girl in kindergarten, with her head almost at Tomoyo’s chest. But, when she shows up in the game, she reaches Tomoyo’s ears. It’s not something that one really notices, but it just bugs me. Another thing is that some body parts are drawn in a way that’s impossible in real life. For instance, Tomo’s arms are much too short and Nanako’s waist is shockingly small.
Voice acting: 9/10
The voice actors were excellent and really added to the atmosphere. But, I haven’t heard any of them so anything that could promote this to a 10.
The music is excellent, and I would recommend that you go and buy the original soundtrack. The opening (light colors) and ending songs (life is like a melody) were both sang by Lia, which some people may recognize for singing the opening to Air, another of Key’s games. I absolutely adore the opening song and it’s one of my favorite songs of all time. The bgm was composed by Jun Maeda, Shinji Orito, Magome Togoshi, Yuki Shimizu, Miu Uetsu, and Kazuya Takase; and the many tracks include everything from a battle song with electric guitar to a soft song played with a piano.
The text box was stylish, there were many useful buttons, and pressing the right mouse key brings up a convenient small menu. The small m,nu contains one of my favorite functions in a game: the ability to return to the previous choice. The settings menu is pretty basic, but has the function of letting you change the color of the text box and deciding whether or not you want a small sign on the top of the screen which shows the date.
You can also unlock a special rpg after you’ve achieved the ending once, it is called Dungeons and Takafumis. I haven’t really played any rpgs and thus can’t rate it, but many people say that it’s pretty fun. The rpg also lets you unlock additional scenarios.
Voice acting: 9/10
Total: 86/100 A
A good game to play, especially if you like Tomoyo’s character. Sadly, the PC edition is now out of print, but anyone can go and grab a copy of the improved ps2 edition. If you do get it, make sure you also buy a box of tissues on the way. You’re going to need it.