CLANNAD ~AFTER STORY~, Episode 5

As Youhei and Mei distant relationship became finally cleared, Nagisa and Tomoya are paying to the blond joker a little visit. This will actually permit them to know more about the dorm mother, Misae.

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The robot is still contemplating about the lights floating around in this word. As he is unable to grasp them, he concludes these are “shadows” that are casted by sources from a possible other world. Meanwhile, the girl finished the seesaw she crafted with the junk pieces they were collecting so far. As they are having fun on it, the robot however realizes that if he wasn’t there, the girl wouldn’t be able to have fun as the seesaw was destined for 2 persons. He then wonders what she is thinking everyday, alone. As she is shuddering due of the cold weather, she mentions that even winter exists in this world. Contemplating the sky, the boy wonders if another world is connected through the sky, concluding another past self would be there.

This scene is extremely huge in term of messages behind it, and I liked it a lot (particularly the subtle bond between the girl and the robot).
Although I’m frustrated that I obviously shouldn’t point out the various foreshadowing points, I would however suggest you (for those who didn’t play the game yet) to pay attention to the WORDS they are using. It will be very important in the future.

Nagisa and Tomoya are paying a visit to the dorm, but as they approach it, Misae’s cat dashes outside and jumps on Tomoya, seeking shelter. As both lovers are puzzled by its reaction, they find out that Misae is punishing Youhei big time, once again.

I always liked how they animated the cat ever since the season 1, as it has a lot of quicks on its own (and now, the second OP scene is quite cute). It was always fun to see it having fun with Tomoya before, and you can see they kept a certain progressive playful relationship each other (too bad it didn’t meet Botan more than once >_>)

At Misae’s room, the four of them are discussing and Youhei was actually trying to sell the cat to a pet shop, even though he didn’t discuss about it with Misae. Nagisa wonders what’s its name, but Misae reveals she didn’t gave any, as she didn’t mean to make it her pet. As she explains that the cat was quite attached to her one day, she couldn’t help but take it in. Youhei argues that it is another reason to sell the cat or even put it into a pot, which obviously scares it big time, calling forth Misae’s impending wrath.

I swear, the animators are toying with my love for cats… Yep again, the little cat having fun with Tomoya then going all scared was a little quirk that didn’t fail to make me smile/grin.
I actually wonder if Youhei had any bad experience with cats, as… in the game, he once tried to scalp it, which obviously turned into a severe beat down by a furious Kanam… I mean, Misae.

Tomoyo then makes her entrance, surprising everyone but Misae. As she is herself surprised to see everyone there, Misae explains that Tomoyo often pays her a visit for some advice concerning the student council president duty. Coincidentally, her issue right now also concerns both delinquents.
Tomoyo then brings out the fact that when Misae was the student council president, she was actually the very first female president, and on the top of that, she managed to make everyone not late for a whole week. Tomoyo is really intrigued by such feat, but Misae remains modest, arguing the fact she didn’t do anything special.

Yep, another reason why I actually likes how the animators are actually making “every characters are living their own life and aren’t for sake of the ones with the full focus”. As Kotomi is having fun with both Fujibayashi Twins, Tomoyo is still busy as the council president and pays a visit to Misae times to times.
This is what I like in usual character driven anime plots: that most characters are not staticly used as devices, but rather interacts within their range of background and actions.

Suddenly, a dorm guy arrives, seeking as well Misae’s guidance. Misae talks with him outside, giving him an ad for a festival, as a suggestion for his date. In the meantime, Youhei is eavesdropping the discussion, much to Tomoyo and Nagisa’s indignation. As the guy is quite happy with the suggestion, he thanks Misae and leaves out. Instantly, Misae wildly barges back in the room, obviously about to punish Youhei for his wrong deed, confirmed by Nagisa.

Humm, that is certainly a very nice way to actually show how Misae is a well known councellor, despite she ironically feels not good for such role. I guess once is enough, as it would be quite ridiculous if they added Ryou (as Nagisa is not an option here XD). Those who played the game know what I’m talking about.
Speaking of which, I wonder how Tomoya could actually hide himself in the same room context in the game XD.

The other “nice” thing is actually how Tomoya is reacting to Youhei’s act. He is obviously not happy with that, but the expression can (well, that’s how I’m interpreting it) meanthat Tomoya is kinda resigned after all the efforts they did when Mei was around. Well, you can’t change anyone instantly like that, can you?

And of course: GERMAN SUPLEX ! When will she do her drop kick?! XD

As Nagisa and Tomoyo admire Misae’s guidance, the later remains quite modest, saying that lots of people are asking her advice. Tomoya mentions how she is popular among his classmates, but Misae wonders why considering she believes that she is stern. Tomoya mentions that despite she sure do scold people, her way to worry is good, and the rugby club members also mentioned her scent.
These 3 mentions make her remembering of a distant past, but as Tomoya tries to wonder what’s going, she stop spacing out, explaining someone else told her that before.

Huh, the change of the quote “scolding, worrying, nice smell” was actually far better than expected. I think the original game was a bit too sloppy about that as it was too convenient with the original quote from “that person”. Here, it is pretty natural especially that it is the first time that Tomoya entered in her room (well, supposedly), so the context is far better here.

As Tomoyo is apologizing for the trouble, Misae is fine with it and will be glad to welcome her again. As she leaves, Misae asks Youhei to go back to his room already, since she has some things to tell to Nagisa and Tomoya. Back in the room, Misae is actually suggesting the same festival to both of them, as Tomoya rarely set out a date with Nagisa. Of course, both are flustered about that matter but unable to argue back. As Tomoya is trying to deflect the topic, ranting why Misae is bringing this matter up, she is actually reminiscing about adolescence, which surprise both.
Althought Nagisa argues she is still young, Misae bears a resigned expression and explains it is her duty to take care of young people like them.

Misae then makes more tea to prolong the discussion. A little while later, Nagisa is still chatting with Misae but Tomoya is very drowsy and, as he falls asleep, stares at the cat, struck with some unknown memories.

Ahhh… finally someone is pocking at Nagisa and Tomoya’s relationship. Even if both are acting quite naturally, they are sure not going at a lightning speed, with such tiny steps.
Meanwhile, another good adaptation trick, with Nagisa talking with Misae while Tomoya has hard time to stay awake, with some obvious hints with the memories sequence.

We are following the perspective of Shima Katsuki, during the days when Misae is still an High Schooler. She is waiting for her love interest, Igaarashi,  near the school gates but as the said person arrive, he mistook Katsuki, who was waiting behind Misae, as her boyfriend.
Misae is angry and wonders who he is, and Katsuki then introduces himself.

Ahhh.. shima never had a design in the game, so it is quite a discovery here. Not actually how I imagined him (I thought he would be more like Kappei), he is actually “cute enough” and matching Saki and Yuki description in the game. The hat is a weird choice at first, but I guess it adds some “child” impression, somehow.

Despite declaring his honest gratitude towards her, Misae is still extremely pissed off by the misunderstanding he created inadvertaly and… uses her suplex skill on him. As she is going home, Katsuki quickly stops her and asks her to tell him her wish, pretending he has the ability to grant it. Of course, Misae is still annoyed and “wishes” him to disappear from her sight. Katsuki is of course not so keen to accept it as a wish and bears an upset expression, still saying that she helped him a lot before.
Unable to overlook his honest attempt, Misae stays with him on a bench. Katsuki explains that back when he was in grade school, he met Misae as she was visiting her mother. He explains she encouraged him when he was in the courtyard, holding a cat and sitting on a weelchair. She finally remembers but she still thinks she didn’t do anything special. Katsuki really insists that she gave him courage so he would like to return the favor.
Of course, she is fine with something trivial and asks him for some juice, but Katsuki argues once again that he has the power to grant her any wish. Of course, Misae has hard time to swallow that and comments how he has changed. She then stands up and states that she is not really into such things and hope the best for Katsuki.

Okay… Misae was sure very wild when she was in her teens. Ironically, Shima sure has a good endurance compared to Youhei here. And of course, they also shew how simple and modest she is.

The very next day, Katsuki greets again Misae, to much her dismay. Saki and Yuki, her friends, are wondering if she doesn’t know this boy. Of course, Misae is pissed and punishes him again.
Dragging him elsewhere, she tells him how rumors would spread if he continues to show up like that. Unexpectedly fast, Katsuki concludes that she loves Igaraashi, and even suggests her to make her confession already. As he says he would follow her for that, Misae uses another pro-wrestling move on him. Misae rants how he is supposed to grant her a wish yet he is always in her way. Katsuki then asks if her wish would be that she is engaged with Igaraashi, but Misae refuses as playing with people’s feelings is no good at all.

It is actually difficult to say if Shima is a fool or a complete innocent lamb. ^^”
Some alternative wrestling moves… No wonder why she can go against the whole rugby club XD

Afterschool, Katsuki is STILL waiting for Misae, earning again another punishment. Saki and Yuki explain to him that she has already someone she loves so if Igaraarashi shows up, bit would be a problem. Speaking of the devil, he is actually there and once again believes that Katsuki is Misae’s boyfriend.

A bit later, both Misae and Katsuki are on a bench. Although Misae is concerned whether Igaraashi understood the situation or not, Katsuki still think that Igaraashi will come to like her. Misae is commenting how strange is, as he doesn’t seem to be jealous or whatsoever. Katsuki is clueless and honestly believes that he isn’t interested. That comment is what Misae cannot dislike in him, as he is always speaking genuinly.

The bench scene was kinda scene I would say: it conveyed a specific mood between the two, without much gimmicks around. it is actually surprising to see Misae wondering if Shima was jealous or so.

Katsuki is once again waiting for Misae before lessons start, but this time, it is raining. Misae arrives with her umbrella, and is of course worried with his recklessness.
As she is drying his hair, she thinks it would be simply okay to make the rain stop for the wish matter, but of course, Katsuki disagree as it would be a pure waste so Misae should think of a wish for herself.
Resigned, Misae still wonders why he is so insistent in returning the favor even if both of them forgot what it was all about, but Katsuki believes it isn’t what she said, but how she did, believing it is thanks to her that he could hang on.
She then leaves for classes, while he will sneak out.

Amusingly enough, I had a little grin when Misae was drying his hair: the way how Shima was “struggling” made me think of a child being scolded by their mother/big sis here.
Again, Shima is still very serious about his wish.
Trivia: it seems that school sure has a lot of spare room (cf. fuuko). It is quite difficult to imagine, from my own experience.

As he is waiting for her afterschool, Katsuki meets Igaarashi who still believes he is Misae’s boyfriend. However, he finally clear the misundersanding and upon hearing that, Igaarashi asks him a favor.
Actually, he knew about her feelings, but he is already going out with another girl. Though he wants to tell her quickly he isn’t able to do that and asks if Katsuki can do that so she is hurt the least possible.

That was… well, roundabout, but at least Igaraashi wasn’t exactly unconsiderate. It is kinda explaining why he was so pushy with shima being her boyfriend trend.

Katsuki is very depressed and Misae wonders what’s wrong, ready to listen to his problems. As he remains silent, she randomly wonders if he fell in love, and unexpectedly, Katsuki might think so. Taken offguard by this blind bull’s eye, she is still concerned about his depressed state. He tells her that he has to tell to “that girl” something painful and explains that person is in love with a guy who already has a girlfriend. As she isn’t relating the matter with her own, Misae is cheering him as it might be his chance, but Katsuki cannot bear the situation and cries, unable to bear the possible sight of her in pain. Misae apologizes, but then notices from afar Igaraashi and finally connects what’s going on with Katsuki.
As he is still crying, she runs away.

I must say that, althought Shima’s reaction might look exaggerated, I think it is certainly good within the scope of his character: genuine and very honest, he has quite huge difficulties to keep his feelings in his heart. That was actually commendable as he wasn’t even thinking even once this could be a “chance” for him.

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Preview

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Overal Thoughts:

I’m really not a person that likes to repeat himself, but again, it was a good adaptation. Despite the restrictions, either time and context (notably that Tomoya is going out with Nagisa), they managed to convey a lingering regret/nostalgy effect on Misae.

Of course, this episode seems quite the stand alone compared to the other routes, however, the truth about Shima will be heavily tied to the light orbs, and by this extension, the Illusionary World.
The scripters clearly demonstrated they wanted to cover the whole cast for the global theme of the franchise, and I believe the gamble is working well.

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8 Responses to “CLANNAD ~AFTER STORY~, Episode 5”


  1. 1 Kaisos October 30, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    He really does look rather catlike…

    Probably my favorite character after Tomoya, Ryou, Nagisa, Akio, and Kappei.

  2. 2 Myssa Rei October 31, 2008 at 12:13 am

    Shima-kuuuun!

    Interestingly enough, Shima (the kid) doesn’t have a character image in the game at all, so it was fun to see how KyoAni portrayed him.

  3. 3 monir October 31, 2008 at 7:59 am

    I’m starting to worry. Will there be enough episode left to comprise a good run to flesh out THE story that matters? Individually, an episode does stand out now and then, but they don’t really contribute to the overall story telling. This is by far the weakest script KyoAni has worked with. This story is in shamble. I decided to raise my concern here rather than in the ASuki forum because I don’t feel like pestering the fans of the show by beating the same old dead horse. But you are different… :)

    Hi Klash!

  4. 4 Kaioshin Sama October 31, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Well if it isn’t Monir. Good to see you around these parts. I was asking Klash the same question actually, mosting regarding a possible time skip or montage to get to “certain parts of the story”, and he seems to think there’s nothing to worry about nor will they really need a time skip.

    As for a weak script, I don’t really know if I see it that way. Since I’ve never found any of Kyoani’s scripts to be particularly strong (not god awful, just not strong) I see Clannad After Story as par for the course really. Lots of faithful material that should keep the game fans happy with the occassional story event that reaches me as a casual fan, but for the most part just a show to pass the time when I’m not watching Sci-Fi. As such you probably won’t find me Clannad as much as the die hard fans, nor bashing it as much as the….errr..purists I suppose. Some people are never happy, some people are a little excitable, and somewhere inbetween you can maybe, just maybe, find me.

    Anyway, feel free to tease Klash as much as you want though. I usually give him a way harder time via MSN.

  5. 5 klashikari October 31, 2008 at 11:41 am

    The thing that I actually notice here is the mention of “weakest” and “script”.
    Regardless how the story is, I believe there is a big misunderstanding here: clannad should be seen as a whole, with all characters having their background on their own.
    Basically speaking, in this franchise, all the characters have a role or are living their own life and these tidpbits unfolded about them allow to have a certain mood and broad view of the whole cast.

    The thing is that all routes do provide information and such for the “main route”, be it directly or indirectly.
    This is the reason why you shouldn’t see Misae’s route as a stand alone, but rather well as another pieces of the whole play “clannad” here, as similar as Kotomi’s, etc regardless the style and conclusion.

    Misae will be rather important because they will begin to overlap with the “light orb” matter, which is heavily tied with the Illusionary World, hence Clannad AS true core.
    So actually, ALL episodes do contribute to the overal storytelling.

  6. 6 Myssa Rei November 1, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Just to throw my thoughts here about the ‘weak’ comment… If anything, that should be reserved for Kyou’s (game) route, and maybe Fuuko’s. The latter at least still has some focus on the theme of family (Fuuko wishing for her sister’s happiness), but Kyou’s route was heavily skewed towards the romance aspect, even more so than possibly Tomoyo’s.

    In Kotomi and Fuuko’s stories at least, when you cut out the romance aspects, still had a lot of material that could be easily be squeezed into Nagisa’s ‘core’ story without changing anything — which is pretty much what happened in the first season.

    As for giving focus on some of the secondary characters and their associated game sub-arcs, I think of it as one last look at them, as a lot of them will no longer appear once After Story hits its stride. A slight spoiler for non-gamers, but if you dislike Sunohara and Kyou (and Tomoyo, if KyoAni decides to squeeze her in like in the movie), well, bad luck for you, since they’ll be all that we’ll see of the cast from the School Life half of CLANNAD.

    Then again, maybe KyoAni will surprise us. Certainly, they seem to be preparing Kotomi (!!) for a role in After Story with Kyou and Sunohara.

  7. 7 monir November 3, 2008 at 5:55 am

    To quote Klash:

    ……..”clannad should be seen as a whole, with all characters having their background on their own. Basically speaking, in this franchise, all the characters have a role or are living their own life and these tidpbits unfolded about them allow to have a certain mood and broad view of the whole cast.”

    This is one view that bothers me a little bit that makes me believe game-players and anime-only viewers aren’t in the same page when it comes to perceiving the anime adaptation and the way the story is interpreted by the respective sides (anime-viewers, and the game-players that are watching the anime.) I suppose the difference in view comes from one party who already has a built-in perception on the story, character, roles, behavior quark etc by playing the game. The other side, on the other hand, is experiencing and in taking the story as it is being presented witout having any prior notion of how a character/role/story should unveil/play.

    As a result, the anime-only viewers seem to have a different perception of the story and its characters which is fundamentally different from what the game-players hold. For example, I read your take on Sunohara Youhei’s character and his selfish/less-than-reputable side, and like a few comments that have already mentioned, the anime seem to have built a different perception of his character that contradicted a lot of the points game-players such as yourself brought into view. Youhei had his darker moments, but those are all open to interpretation and never really clearly indicated considering the anime never really built on it. For some reason, the game players strongly (and sometime vehemently :)) disagree anytime such points are brought forward. I truly don’t understand why that is exactly. Reading the game-players take on a scene or a character, it almost seems they are preceiving something that is not there in the anime adaptation.

    The story is archaic. The archaic story still can contribute to the overall story telling and can be tied into the core story… if …. and only if the transition between these arcs properly executed. For Clannad, transition has been its biggest problem.

    When you say that:

    “Clannad should be seen as a whole, with all characters having their background on their own. …..all the characters have a role or are living their own life and these tidpbits unfolded about them allow to have a certain mood and broad view of the whole cast.”

    … the above is fundamental to any story that has been told thus far in anime/movies/sitcoms etc. However, it is difficult to see Clannad as a whole when the archaic mode pretty much separate itself from each other. For example, is it possible to connect Kotomi’s story arc to, say.. Fuko’s arc, or Kyo’s arc, and etc?

    I perfectly understand what the story is trying to do and how it is trying to set the mood for the primary subject of this show which revolves around Nagisa and Tomoya in the later part of the story. That doesn’t mean I’m unable to recognize the weakness this show as a whole has constantly suffered from and that is –transition–, or the lack of it.

    Went on a tangent here, but I think I’m not going to loose you too much on what I’m trying to say. :)

    [b]P.S.[/b] Is there a “preview” feature before submitting a post? I think I’m too spoiled by the vB feature. :)

  8. 8 klashikari November 5, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    “I suppose the difference in view comes from one party who already has a built-in perception on the story, character, roles, behavior quark etc by playing the game. The other side, on the other hand, is experiencing and in taking the story as it is being presented witout having any prior notion of how a character/role/story should unveil/play.”

    I believe this point does not hold much truth because actually, the scripters made many liberties that permit the cohesion and “life” in the cast. For instance, Kotomi is basically the black sheep: she is nowhere to be seen aside of the first choices of the common route and her own, she simply does not appear, even as a cameo outside. In many instances, they allowed characters to be explored much more without forcing them to go on a completely out of character or out of reach situation.
    While game players would obviously notice (and surely appreciate this) that adaptation, the anime watchers would actually feel it actually natural (many people noticed the relationship between Kotomi and the Fujibayashi Twins for example)

    As for Youhei’s point, it seems it is rather how the scripters were forced to not go too deeply with antics. Should they do that, it would make the whole deal worthing 72 episodes if we had to reproduct every detail whatsoever.
    As far as that debate went, the game players were able to connect Youhei’s “dark” side in the Sunohara siblings routes (anime version) because they had of course more “data” about Youhei. But that’s that: Like what I was arguing in the animesuki thread, most people just stick with the comedic aspect of his antics, but simply do not go farther than this facade. Whether it is funny or not, the characters didn’t meant to be joking. If a scene is funny, I would however hold some caution about the fact the character is actually messing around in good faith, or for the wrong reasons. And I believe Youhei was portrayed finely (albeit toned down) to have a slight jerk side.
    Using this reasoning, let’s use a simple example, the first I got is about Naruto and his antics with Sakura. Sure it is “supposed to be funny” when he is actually fooling around and clueless to her feminine side, yet it shows how he is dense and clueless about such kind of things, and he is serious about that.
    This is why slapstick can be detrimental to the characterization as people usually focus on “what’s funny” but don’t think about “why it turned like this”.
    Believe me, if they failed at that, the game players (and me included) would complain about that, as it would make the transition inexistant.

    “The story is archaic. The archaic story still can contribute to the overall story telling and can be tied into the core story… if …. and only if the transition between these arcs properly executed. For Clannad, transition has been its biggest problem.”

    I believe this argument is a bit unfair because you are expecting all the characters having a specific vector to be affected to each other backstory. But how is it even possible when the characters are just acquaintances, friends and family?
    Let’s take an example with Ef: Miyako/Hiro, Chihiro/Renji, Mizuki/Kuze, Yuuko/Yuu (and hidden couple: Kei/Kyousuke). In ef, the transition is even more lacking: none of the stories are even linked whatsoever, the characters outside of their own background don’t share any link except exceptions such like Kei and Chihiro, etc.
    In such way, in a character driven series, I believe it would be too predictable and coincidental if characters are conveniently linked to a certain extent in their background, which is not the case.
    I believe this is the best way as we are not on a “ongoing plot” except the growth of both Nagisa and Tomoya, and in such aspect, it wouldn’t make sense whatsoever to have only characetrs related to her. It would make the whole point meaningless as it would not cover her growth, nor the interactions with the rest etc.

    I believe the transition is a bit too much in such kind of storytelling, otherwise, you ought to criticize much more series that are affected by that kind of story telling. Honestly it would make the whole deal completely void of mood and characterization and stuck in a plot driven aspect, which is not the aspect clannad has until it is the true part of After Story.
    Again, this IS affected even normal romance that does not use the usual “triangle/one only couple” aspect: Ef has plot for each couple, but pretty much like Clannad, there is NO transition whatsoever.

    and no, there isn’t any preview in wordpress, unfortunately.


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