CLANNAD second season, named “AFTER STORY” is now airing. These 6 months seemed a bit long, but the wait was probably worth the deal.
As you all know, we were left with Nagisa and Tomoya, finally stated as “official couple”. However, this will be the mere trigger for the new events that will involve both of them, but also the plethora of characters surrounding them. We are now for the main dish of clannad, folks!
well then, here we go!
Some memories involving Tomoya with Naoyuki, years ago. Both are having a train trip then walking through some flowers field, happily. Tomoya is suddenly called out by Nagisa, as he is about to get hit by a stray baseball, though not as dangerous as she might think.
Usual antics with Akio, the latter boatsing about his baseball skills, but things go sour as he broke a window.
This scene was pretty interesting as despite what Tomoya pretends to be, he still has some attachments to his father and to some of his memories, though they seem far away. That said, considering how it was shown, it pretty much shows how his life with the Furukawa steadly change him and relieve his heart.
New Opening, 時を刻む唄, Toki o Kizamu Uta (A Song to Pass the Time)
Sung by Lia
I was kinda surprised they changed the OP into a complete new song (Toki o Kizamu Uta is actually based on 同じ高みへ, Onaji Takami e, to the same heights). While I found Mag mell fitting but lacking of some “punch”, Toki o Kizamu Uta was really nice. I really liked how Lia uses her usual “diva” tones here (while she was a more classic in Mag Mell). I will definitely look forward its full length version.
Now, as for the sequence: I think it was really stunning: some very nice animated arts of Nagisa at first, then our usual “spoiler/foreshadowing” scenes for each girl. I was pretty surprised to see some Illusionary World footage for Kotomi, though I don’t think it was a mistake or a random cameo.
Of course, the biggest interrogation was probably the complete absence of Fuuko in the “main heroine casting” though a faint hint demonstrates she won’t be forgotten for long. Missing Illusionary world? Well since the OP isn’t stingy about light orbs, we can say it will be even more implicated in the main plot, as these orbs are seen everywhere.
I liked the contrast of the “past” with Nagisa being all alone, then a stream of “happiness” with everyone’s sequence (special note: Misae playing with Shima was really cute). As a player, I can sense somme thrills with the future strong scenes Kyoto Animation will animate, as… they sure weren’t stingy with “spoilerish” scenes, though absolutely not effective without enough knowledge about these ^^”
Akio wants to play baseball, but Tomoya is completely uninterested. Though Akio is playing on an adult team, the opponents for the next match won’t be really easy, as they are former Koushien players.
Henceforth, to change the flow of losing streak, he insists on Tomoya’s participation. Though the later is completely clueless why Akio chosed him, Nagisa’s father comments about the drama club members and their teamwork during the previous festival, so it was a good opportunity for baseball.
Akio then uses again his forceful way, asking the favor again as the girlfriend’s papa XD. Of course, Tomoya still says his right shoulder is no good, but Akio disregards it, saying he has a gut feeling about his potential.
It is always so great to see both guys so “friendly” to each other. (Un)surprisingly enough, Akio say out loud and recognize both lovers as a couple, and abuse his position as a future papa-in-law to get Tomoya’s help XD.
Second term begins, and Tomoya is back at school, though he is still living under the Furukawa’s roof. He discusses about the little baseball match with everyone at the drama club room, attracting Kyou’s and Youhei’s interest.
Tomoya obviously uses his “manipulation” skills against him. Surprisingly, Kotomi would like to join them, though she only saw both Tomoyo and Tomoya playing that (see Episode 18 of Season 1).
Kyou asks Ryou about it, but she doesn’t seem confident. Nagisa isn’t participating either though she wishes Tomoya to do his best. Kyou comments how they look like a couple, teasingly.
Another clannad-ish scene. It is always heartwarming to see such close bunch of friends, taking the first opportunity to have fun together. I was kinda surprised to see Kotomi calling Tomoyo “Tomoyo-chan” despite she barely had any interactions with her, though it is so like her to be open after her arc.
The other interesting part is how they are still “openly” considering Nagisa and Tomoya as lovers. In a way, it is very great to see the whole group being together, without the usual drama or sneaky change because of such occurance.
Tomoya asks Tomoyo as well, though Youhei eats again some (uncalled?) punishment. Tomoyo is a bit taken off guard by their sudden request, and will join them should they manage to recruit Misae.
The good ol’ kick is back, and certainly working as usual. I was rather surprised that Tomoya only thought about Misae after Tomoyo’s condition, but thinking about it, it was rather more logical for him to ask for his direct circle of friends instead.
Tomoyo, Nagisa, Youhei and Tomoya bump on Yuusuke who is working on a electric power pole.
It seems he can’t hear them, so Youhei suggest that everyone clap their hands to call him out (the Yoshino call, back from his musician days). It is working… so well that he quickly rushes to them, embarassed about that.
Despite Yuusuke isn’t exactly free because of his work, Tomoya manages to strike some drama about Youhei being all full fledged fan of his, and so Yuusuke would like to give them nice memories, and accepts.
I always liked how Yuusuke had the weird “serious, cold and somehow dark” facade despite being overly creepy about love and other lame and cheesy topics. It is rather a relief they kept that intact in the anime version to the point they did it twice, though he learned from his previous mistake XD.
The four of them then asks Misae to join them as well, tough because of Youhei’s hasty and tactless intervention, she isn’t exactly fancying that. Tomoyo takes the initiative and asks seriously. As Misae wonders why Tomoyo wishes for such unlrelated activity to the usual student council topic, Tomoyo explains about how Misae is the person she would like to be, and also her rival. In the end, the dorm mother accepts as well.
Though the scene is very casual, they did a nice job in keeping both Misae and Tomoyo in touch. You can say it is a “ongoing background side plot” between the 2 characters. Shima, her cat, is still around and this little detail always give some more “life” around.
Last person is Mei-chan, but Tomoya is unsure about the possibility for her to come. Nagisa thinks it would be good to talk about that to Naoyuki, but Tomoya is not in the mood for that, and thinks it will be better for “the next time”.
Although it is pretty much giving away how Tomoya is still very affected by his relationship with Naoyuki, Tomoya still has some lingering regrets (pops to his seiyuu, Nakamura Yuuichi). This has quite some emphasis with the scenary and the camera angle (I actually liked how they “separated” Tomoya and Nagisa on the bridge. It gives proper impression there is still quite a gap between them when it is about Naoyuki).
The scene is also a very strong hint of Nagisa being always very sharp and caring for Tomoya, though the later has still trouble with his father.
The day has come and everyone gathered and some of them are having some “late” introduction, notably Tomoyo with Kotomi. Mei-chan is completely flustered to see Yuusuke, who seems to have some past relationship with Misae.
Akio gathers everyone for a little briefing for the victory, while Sanae, Ryou, Nagisa and Kouko are cheering for them.
Again, the little details might look trivial at first, but these are always good to give a quick understanding about some characters with mere seconds. Of course, I’m talking about Tomoyo and Kotomi quick scene, and the way how Yuusuke and Misae are acquaintances.
And of course, it is always good to see Sanae’s bread is still a rampant joke, though some characters are still clueless about that… people say ignorance is bliss, isn’t it? ^^”
The opposing team seems underestimating them big time due of the strong presence of female players, but Akio reveals quickly that his pitches are nothing to laugh at, to the point that our poor catcher Youhei is suffering a lot from the powerful throws.
Akio is… the perfect father or what? XD
Well, that being said, it is always Youhei having the short end of a stick… poor guy, he will keep his punching ball status.
It is time for the Furukawa Bakers to start the offensive. Youhei wants to deliver the first strike, but as he is swinging wildly, he ends up with a poor bunt, which failed miserably. After the usual antic with him, Kyou then takes the second step, and of course, to much youhei’s dismay, Kyou surprised everyone and hits strongly the ball.
Tomoyo is completely unsure about her skills as she only pitched before, but Tomoya give her several advices. As she is about to strike the third ball, she deliver a successful home run.
It is always fun to see Kyou and Youhei spontaneous rivalry. Meanwhile, more of some “continuity” between Tomoyo and Tomoya with baseball, and it is interesting to see Nagisa having a close watch at them, so she can learn from it as well (no, I would hardly see that as a jealous gaze).
They pretty much keep the usual issue with Tomoyo, as she doesn’t have much confidence for her feminine side, despite it is really misplaced considering the context XD.
Few times later, Akio is pitching. However, as the opposing batter fails to strike the ball properly, he loses the grip on his bat, the latter hitting directly Akio’s leg.
Things are looking extremely bad, but Akio, in his pride and GAR mode, decides to designate the new pitcher… Nagisa.
And of course, the complete bombshell for his decision, to the point of taking everyone off guard.
Akio is resting on Sanae’s lap, while Ryou is kinda worried about Nagisa. Our lead baker doesn’t seem all that worried while Sanae is cheering for her daughter, though he is actually considering that crappy pitches might give a better edge against their opponents instead of “moderately good” ones.
Of course, Nagisa’s pitches aren’t anything good, and the team relies on Kyou and Tomoyo’s reflexes to catch the ball.
Akio is merciless but at least, he isn’t delusional about Nagisa’s physical skills! XD
Yet, another demonstration of Tomoyo’s… monster strength? ^^”
Tomoya’s turn, however, because of his shoulder, he is completely unable to do anything proper and got struck out quickly.
Youhei is still pretty oblivious to Tomoya’s situation, despite he should know about his abandon for basketball. Either Youhei is giving him too much credits or is a complete fool (no news to us of course)… or both? XD
Kotomi is dead serious and calculate the very accurate trajectory and angle of the ball, so she is setting the proper location of the bat, as long as the force required etc, in a very interesting way.
Everything is left for practice and… in contrast with the theory, Kotomi swing awkwardly but manages to deliver a nice strike, and gets a base.
Pops to the very fitting yet overboard idea for Kotomi’s analysis. Well, she IS a genius girl anyway, but it is nonetheless scary.
Of course, theory cannot be over reality practice, but Kotomi can be a very surprising irregular in such kind of sports XD.
It is Youhei’s turn and manages to hit the ball but… it is a pitiful low ball, giving easy time for the opposing catchers. As result, double out, both he and kotomi are out.
That said, as they go for the changeup, Kotomi manages to catch the ball despite being helpless. Certainly a very happy moment for her, but so affected by it that she forgets to throw back home the ball.
Ah, Youhei… so much a handicap in fact, despite he is actually good/okay in basketball… I wonder if they will show his prowess for soccer.
Though I’m not that a Kotomi fan, I must admit she was pretty moe in her cheerful catch ^^”.
As the match goes on, Youhei is depressed about the fact only girls are doing something good on their side. Speaking of which, it is time for Tomoyo, but as Kotomi and Ryou encourage her, she is reluctant to do another home run, as it isn’t… “girly”.
Of course, the direct consequence of her “softening” reaction lead her to her loss immediately.
Tomoyo innocent wory about her girly side is really quite something. Yet another “lol” detail with Akio, sulking his head as soon as Tomoyo says about how it is difficult to get a girly strike XD.
Tomoya is trying his best, and decides to do a mere bunt in order to allow Mei to get another base. Of course, this ends on a very expected out for him. Next man on the way, Yuusuke, not so happy about his weak performances until now.
Our nice talker is preparing his move, charging his “aura” and leaving the 2 first balls completely free. He manages to deal a very nice swing, but instead of dashing to the base, he begins to deliver a… completely cheesy speech that cost him dearly.
Remember about what I said about Yuusuke being cold and serious? That is so much in contrast with his overly serious and cheesy wish to make good memories with “the children”. This scene was so priceless in the game, yet always succeeding to pull me a laugh but also a lot of embrassment ^^”
5 – 4
Nagisa is very depressed by her inability to give proper ease to the team. As Youhei is trying to comfort her, Kyou, Tomoyo and Mei remind him how he was actually the weak point of the team, with his ostentatious moves that cost them a lot.
More handicap because of Youhei’s jackass moves… I’m actually surprised that Kyou and Tomoyo were able to lessen the magnitude of his blunders, since the opposing team only get 1 point thrice, and “only” 2 points for a changeup. That makes his faults not as severe as they sound XD
Misae is out and it is Nagisa’s turn. Everyone cheers her and against all odds, she is able to land a proper strike and gets a base. Tomoyo is follow her lead and hits seriously, but it wasn’t good and the ball was way too low, catched quite easely, instantly putting her out.
Ahahaha, Tomoyo After Reference! Her OTZ pose sure looks too coincidental here XD
Yuusuke is then back at the batting box. Once again, he concentrates his aura and hits the ball hard. But… he AGAIN does his speech, granted he remembers about the game and gets the base and asks a little “time-out”, in order to continue his speech
Mei got extremely pumped up by this and as she is next, hits the ball nicely. Nagisa, Yuusuke and Mei are on every base, and it is time for Tomoya to give them victory.
More Corny speech! Yuusuke has the talent to make anyone embarassed after such kind of lame speech… ironically enough, it is still underwhelmed as he didn’t involve “love” and other very cheeeeeesy crap. At least, he learned from his mistake and could proceed his speech and ends with his cool pose.
Meanwhile, I was again satisfied with the several hints for Tomoya’s “issue” with his memories about the town and everything related to him before, yet, with a mere baseball match, his character is changing progressively well. Even if it doesn’t look like a miracle or something grandiose, pretty much like the basketball match, it gave some sense to Tomoya’s life, though it isn’t all that complete… yet. That is certainly a big step forward, especially in comparison with his very first mindset at the start of the first season and his laments during the basketball match.
Time to celebrate the aftermath at the Furukawa Bakery. Akio is pretty excited by the match and would like to do the same stuff in the future, which look to please everyone. On the sideline, Mei is asking a favor to Nagisa, as soon as Youhei mistook Sanae for Nagisa’s sister.
As they are celebrating with the usual kanpai, the scene switches back with Tomoya who managed to hit the ball, a home run to boot. The scenery then changes into the Illusionary world with
They started with a bang, now they finished with a bang. As usual, it is really great to see the “whole family” united (though missing some characters, like Fuuko, etc). It is again good to see some few details that can mean a lot. For instance, Mei’s reaction at the BACKGROUND when Youhei spoke about Sanae pretty much shows that she heard him which certainly worries her.
Even if Youhei was fooled, I guess it can’t be helped because of Sanae’s assets… remember: Tomoya, Kyou and Mei were fooled by her appearance as well XD.
Again, a nice touch with the ending scene, the slow motion similar to the victory during the basketball match, and then a scene with the robot from the illusionary world.
New Ending, TORCH
Sung by Lia
List of characters:
00) – - – - (this character has yet made an appearance in the anime series)
04) – - – - (This character has yet made an appearance in the anime series)
09) Shima (the cat)
16) Kotomi’s guardian (he still doesn’t have a proper name XD)
Pretty much like the OP, I was expecting dango daikazoku to be left intact for AS ED. Again, Lia’s performances are really nice, though here, the music feels a bit too “candy-ish” (ironically, it reminds me of CCS first op, “catch you, catch me”).
The choice of color (overly pink) is a bit debatable, but again, it is nice to see another emphasis on the “family” formed by the characters in CLANNAD, seen through the scenery of the town they are all living in.
Preview: Youhei centred. Nagisa asks if Youhei thought about his future, but he is completely uninterested, admiting how he is poor at grades and everything else.
He is however thinking that if he manages to get a girlfriend, it would mean he isn’t that worthless. This sparks an idea to Tomoya.
It was quite a very fitting episode for Clannad, as expected. The whole gang is regrouped for quite some fun, and it was really great to see them all healthy and cheerful.
As you can see, I don’t think it would be necessary to drag the thoughts long as I commented during every scene or so. But I’m quite satisfied in how Kyoto Animation uses the possible chemistries between some characters despite some don’t exist in the original game (notably Kotomi).
As result, it isn’t all difficult to get back in the track with Characters having fun with each other, while Tomoya is still on his way for his growth along with Nagisa.
From the looks of it, it will be 24 episodes long, and that is certainly giving justice to After Story. As a game player, I’m really waiting the best from it, so you can count on me to stick with the show.