I was never a Key fan and have never watched Kanon or Air, but seeing as how I've not found anything that I could really like just yet, I gave this a go and was pleasantly surprised. Being an anime based on a visual novel, the animator has the task to retain the original feel to appease fans of the game and at the same time cater to the general audience. Falling in the latter category, and without the high expectations from a fan, I somewhat enjoyed the first episode and will most likely see this to the end.
The story begins with Okazaki Tomoya, the male lead, lamenting on his mundane life who wishes for a change of pace. On the way to school, he encounters a strange girl(central heroine detected) who at first appears to be talking to herself, about how much she loves the school which they both go to, although it's hard for things not to change and that the happy moments will not last . Concluding that she is talking to someone in her mind, Tomoya suggests to her to seek out new and happy things. The girl is taken aback by this and after his urging, they both head off to school together.
In school, he finds his friend Sunohara Youhei being pummeled by the rugby team players but is then saved by the dorm manager, Sagara Misae. The two guys head back to Youhei's room where Tomoya attempts to provoke the rugby players, who so happen to live next door, much to Youhei's anguish. Seeing at how his friend reacted, Tomoya ceases to tease his friend and to him, another pointless day has passed.
The next day in class, he is approached by the class president Fujibayashi Ryou who tells him that he was late for class again and not to be so tardy next time. He brushes it off, prompting Ryou to take out a pack of cards to read his fortune. She tells him he will be late again the following day yet again, as he will lose track of time after having a romantic meeting with a girl. Cue Ryou’s older sister Kyou, who barges in thinking that Tomoya is bullying Ryou. After clarifying what just took place, Ryou gives a sarcastic smirk and wishes him good luck.
During break, Tomoya finds the strange girl that he met the other day and questions why she is eating alone. She doesn't reply him but instead tells about how she used to had plenty of friends and how she got along with the teachers, but due to the long break she took due to an illness, she is held back for another year, whereas everyone else has already graduated. She also lets Tomoya know about her desire to join the drama club but is unable to do so due to her weak body. Perhaps feeling for her plight, Tomoya encourages her to do so. The pair then head off to the field where there is some sort of commotion involving some bikers from another school. A long haired girl confronts them, and just as Tomoya was about to lend a hand, he is stopped by the girl's classmates, who tell him that the girl is Sakagami Tomoyo, a 2nd year student who had just transferred and can take care of herself. She proves this by easily dispatching of the bikers with a flurry of kicks.
Tomoya then tells the girl about how she and Tomoyo is in a similiar situation, although the latter is much more popular, therefore it's really depending on the person. Break time ends, and the girl formally introduces herself as Furukawa Nagisa. Later on, Youhei drags Tomoya to confront Tomoyo accusing her of orchestrating the incident earlier to make herself look good. Youhei lunges at Tomoyo, which prompts Tomoya to recall on a rumor regarding this strong girl that had showed up. Unsurprisingly, Youhei was floored by Tomoya with ease.
In the afternoon, Tomoya goes to the drama club where he meets Nagisa standing outside the door. She enters the room only to find out it was vacant. Patting her on the head, Tomoya tells Nagisa about how he had forgotten that the club has stopped their activities earlier in the year., but tells her it can be restarted later anyway. Nagisa asks him why he is being so kind to her, despite only having just known one another. Tomoya shrugs and tells her that he doesn't really know why.
Nagisa then invites Tomoya to the bakery that her family owns, which is also where she lives. After a hilarious exchange with her parents they sit down to have dinner together. Tomoya then tells her he found it strange that her family bonded with one another so well. Surprised, Nagisa tells him that it is something normal, not knowing what his family's condition is. Tomoya heads home only to find that his drunkard father had passed out and just as he asks him to lie down properly, Tomoya is disgusted by his old man and runs out. Tomoya reveals that his father has been this way ever since his mother died in a car accident. After running aimlessly, he finds himself back at the bakery where he sees Nagisa, who asks him if he wanted to go to a place where wishes are granted.
An eventful first episode, to say the least. Already I'm liking both Kyou and Tomoyo already, since they seem to be the embodiment of th tsundere archetype, which sits at the top of my fetish list. Apart from that, the story seems decent enough, although I have no clue where they're heading at, so I'm going to continue watching for at least a couple more episodes before deciding if this is a keeper. Shin out.