CLANNAD, Episode 4

Nagisa and Tomoya are facing the first difficulties in “their” quest to revive the drama club. How will they get over these… huh? Not so early, which is good for us. This week, we got a concentrated juice of comedy, which leaves the last episode in the dust…
Wooden Stars festival, strange persons riot, embarassing confession and more
“Youhei-being-completely-beaten-up” sessions !


CLANNAD, Episode 4:

Let’s find friends

Nagisa is back from the council office, and it appears the recruitement of members is prohibited. Tomoya doesn’t understand what it is mess about, and Nagisa explains him that since the drama club was dismantled for a while, there isn’t supposed to have any activity, so no recruitement flier is possible then. Tomoya is outraged by this, but she did her best and the council members just say “rules are rules”. Tomoya thinks about it and claims she shouldn’t give up, as there is probably another way, and if there isn’t any, they will make one. She is touched, while Youhei observed them from afar, amused by this.

At the dorm, Youhei believes he is helping the drama club because he is dating this girl. Tomoya is clueless about what Youhei implies and tells him that he is trying to get free bread like this, since Nagisa’s parents own a bakery. Thus, “he is trying to take advantage of it, so he can get delicious bread made by nagisa’s mother“. Youhei is sold with these explanations, and Tomoya suggests him to get back on his business with Tomoyo.

Youhei confronts again Tomoyo, who is very very fed up about this. However, he claims it isn’t for fight, as “Tomoyo-chan” is pretty. After that, Youhei is completely nuts, and overreact about the fact… he forgot “his breasts” for his next class. Both tomoy* are puzzled, and Youhei asks Tomoyo to lend hers. She asks why, while having a backstep move, and Youhei celebrates again his “victory”: due her answer, Youhei concludes her breasts are detachable. Of course, Tomoyo says otherwise, and is hardly fooled by such excuse.
The aftermath of this is predictable and Youhei flies high again.

Youhei (completely beaten up with some band aids on his face) and Tomoya are going downstairs and meets Fuko, who call the later as the “strange guy”. She is completely serious and quite outstanding.
Tomoya introduces himself, while Youhei wonders who she is. Fuko is taken off guard and states there are double weird person, which pisses him off. She explains in panic that he is weird because of the unnatural color of his hair. Youhei is speechless and comments how rude she is. Then, she asks “the weird person” to follow her, since she has something to tell him.

The three of them are in the garden of the school, near of the fountain and Fuko stops herself ready to speak up. Both wonder what it is, and Fuko panicks by seeing both of them with her. “The weird persons” tell her that she asked them to follow her, but she finally explains the “subtility” between them as Youhei is the person with strange hair while Tomoya’s existence itself is strange. Youhei isn’t exactly glad to hear it, and walks off.

Fuko keeps going with “strange person” meme, which annoys Tomoya. The later asks her to call him with his name, but she already forgot it. He repeats once again, and Fuko jumps straight in the main topic, as Tomoya is supposed to say something to her. However, he is quite oblivious and does a prank on her with the “one two” from yesterday, and she reminds him about the present, the wooden star. Tomoya doesn’t care much, flately thanks her and tries to leave. However, she stops him, telling him that her older sister will be getting married soon. She asks him if he will celebrate it as well. Tomoya is even less tactful and “felicitates” her sister right from the bat, trying to get away once again. Fuko still hold him, and explains she wants him to attend the weddings. Tomoya argues he doesn’t know her well, but Fuko begins to tell him some backstory about her sister: she was an art teacher at school, but she retired 3 years ago.
Fuko says that she wants the students to celebrate her sister’s weedings, so that’s why she is carving these presents.

Tomoya is boggling about the fact she is giving such presents indiscriminately. Fuko argues that if people receives such cute things, that would work. And speaking of which, she turns completely “MOE STAR” mode (well, let’s call it like it, shall we? ^^”).
Tomoya isn’t able to snaps her out of this… “trance”, thus he takes the opportunity and… inserts the straw of his juice box in her nose. Fuko finally reacts, but didn’t really get what happened, while Tomoya complains he missed the chance to shoot it in her nose.

Tomoya is then serious, and tells her it is impossible for such thing. He explains that since it has been 3 years already, her sister’s students probably graduated already, and so no one knows here then, and it is fairly safe to say that no one would bother to attend a stranger’s wedding. Fuko is a bit down, and he adds that seniors are already focused on entrance exams. That said, Fuko doesn’t give up and she will do her best so everyone will attend the wedding.

Once again, Youhei confronts Tomoyo, who is busy. Tomoya complains about this as well, but can’t really help.
Youhei assures he is different this time, but Tomoyo doesn’t buy it at all. As result, Youhei goes berserk, claiming again he is different, which makes him earn another kick (increment +1!) knocking him right on a wall. She runs to him, worried as she kicked him full force without thinking . Youhei still play “rough and cool”, and asks her to follow him for some stuff and it appears… it is the restroom for men!

Immediately a big SCREAM is heard, and Youhei is kicked so hard he is knocked far away outside the building, through the window.
She is pissed and embarassed, and yells at Tomoya, wondering what’s up with their mind. The later explains her that Youhei tried to check if she is really a girl or not.
This mentions shocks her as she was expecting that she acted like a normal girl until now. As she is saying she is trying hard to do so, she walks off.
Meanwhile, Youhei didn’t give up, despite being completely out in the tree.

Nagisa and Tomoya are in the club room, eating their lunch. She is a bit down, and Tomoya asks her to cheer up, but she can’t find a good way for the drama club. He suggests her to give directly the fliers instead of posting them, but the council members told her already it is prohibited as well. He concludes that a petition won’t work well either then. Suddenly, Youhei enters and seems interested by the story he just overheard.

Youhei explains them that he wants to help for the drama club as well. He slips out that he is fed up with the bread of the cafeteria (reference to Tomoya’s “true intention”) and Nagisa wonders about this mention, but Youhei quickly change the subject back to the main topic.
He is suggesting her a simple method: bringing the council president out, in an isolated place and beating him up. This shocks Nagisa, who can’t accept such thing method especially that the council members aren’t responsible of this. Youhei wonders about it, since it is the easiest way but she still says violence is no good. However, Nagisa is appreciating a lot Youhei’s “help”, the later tells her to let him care of things, which obviously not relieves Tomoya. As he is imagining what would happen if they were in a RPG, a full scale cameo of Little Busters! battle system is shown… Youhei being toasted right after his offer, due the fact there isn’t any option to “accept him”… rather only 3 hostile actions: Slay, Smoke Bomb, Magic !

Youhei suggests a good idea: asking to others first, as it doesn’t seem they will go far by planning things by themselves. Tomoya wonders if he has already an idea, and Youhei is conceit, as he wouldn’t bother with this suggestion if he didn’t have anything in mind.

Kyou and Ryou are outside and they are concerned because botan shows up and wants to play which isn’t good as they still have classes to attend. However, Kyou thinks she will simply let him under the care of Tomoya and Youhei then. Speaking of the devil, both of them and Nagisa are watching them. Youhei thinks they might get the help of the class president, but it would be though with her sister around.
Tomoya then suggests him to use the “confession” excuse, so Kyou will probably not follow around. Youhei agrees completely with this idea and goes on.
Nagisa wonders what it is about but Tomoya tells her to just focalize on what she has to ask.Meanwhile, Youhei is seen telling the stuff to Ryou, which surprises completely Kyou (and even Botan ^^”).

At the rooftop, Ryou is quite bashful, and Tomoya pats Nagisa’s shoulder claiming it is the person who wants to tell her something!
Ryou is completely caught off guard. Nagisa doesn’t know about the “confession detail” and introduces herself. As Nagisa is commenting how Ryou is admirable for being the iincho, the later is confused and embarassed, being completely modest and all. Nagisa claims she has something to tell her, and she asks if it is alright. Ryou accepts by surprise, and Tomoya comments “it is her feelings, so if possible, try to answer them”.
Ryou asks some break, as she wasn’t expecting that from a girl. Youhei comments it has nothing to do about gender and everything is based on feelings. Tomoya tags along, claiming Youhei can speak some sense from time to time while the later boats that it is because he is a nice guy by heart. Meanwhile Nagisa is still oblivious, and she asks her if it is weird that a girl asks for this.
Ryou assures it is not, and comments Nagisa is quite cute, but however… She isn’t able to tell things.

Nagisa is embarassed as well but doesn’t give up. Ryou is quite touched by such pure feelings, and both Youhei and Tomoya begin to be very uneasy.
The mood is at climax! Nagisa grabs her hands, she doesn’t know what to do, but she still wants her to listen to her. The scene is completely Yuri-ish, exciting so much Youhei that he is steaming, forcing Tomoya to calm him down with a punch.

Nagisa finally asks her to join the drama club, and Ryou replies yes, due the moving mood. She then realized this, and snaps out of the “eerie” atmosphere. The door collapse because of Kyou who was completley taken off guard by the true “confession” as well.
Result? she is enraged and strangle both guys, because of that lame prank.

The group is in the drama club room, and Kyou understands the situation. She wonders if she doesn’t have any other friends that “these”, but Nagisa says they are helping her a lot for the club.
Kyou suggests her to drop them and joins her and her sister, but Nagisa tells her that she can’t left them behind, especially after how much they helped her.
Ryou explains the conditions, as a class president: they have to be at least 3 members and an advisor to start the club. Tomoya comments that she is prohibited to recruit them, so it is already hard, but Kyou mentions the number is already alright, as Nagisa, Tomoya and Youhei form a group of three people. However, after a long silence, both demonstrate their negative answer, which surprises Kyou.

Youhei comments how they are certainly not interested in Drama club, but Tomoya is still thinking how to recruit, as posters and fliers are prohibited, but conventional means seem okay. Youhei is quite impressed by the seriousness of his fellow friend, but the later still claims it is because he wants the bread. Then, Youhei then thinks he should be serious about helping Nagisa out as well, as she seems to be a good and honest girl to him, which might turn school interesting for him then. He then claims he will hit a homerun against Tomoyo tomorrow, which leaves Tomoya quite skeptical.

Youhei is applying his “plan”, and he tries to approach Tomoyo “friendly” this time. Tomoyo is oblivious but very fed up of this predicament, wondering when it will end. Youhei claims that his view of her changed, and it appears that Tomoya “helps” Youhei to get her “good” side” so youhei is repeating what tomoya tell him. In fact, Youhei aknowleged her as a girl, so he is using this method to make her pay back after being close enough to her. However, since she hates him, he needs Tomoya’s help, since the later seems to be on the same wavelength with her, unlike the blond delinquent.
That said, the results aren’t brilliant, and Tomoya “suggests” various idiotic lines and poses, which make him anything but natural. Tomoyo is completely unaffected by his “moves”, and Youhei begins to freak out, wondering if all these lame things were necessary. Of course, they weren’t, and so, Youhei rants about it.
Tomoyo seems a bit disappointed and figures out he was just playing with her.

Falling flat, Youhei attacks her, and he is punished again. As the “corpse” is flying towards Tomoya, he reacts by reflex and KICKS BACK Youhei to Tomoyo! (Chain Link Combo !!!)
She resumes the combo (air juggle? ^^”), and Youhei is… hardy recognizable.

She walks off, but Tomoya asks her if she isn’t in a club. He tells her they are searching for members, and she can wears dresses like a girl. She is a bit interested, but she can’t because the student council president elections are near, so she doesn’t have time. She walks off, telling him to ask this to someone else.

Tomoya finds Kotomi in the library, and she is reading FAST some book. He tries to get her attention, but he isn’t able until he calls her Kotomi-chan.
She is asking him to join her in her reading and for lunch. After some time, Tomoya talks about the drama club and it isn’t an issue if she just writes down her name but she is more focalized on this thing, trying to call him “Tomoya-kun”. When Tomoya is about to take his leave, Kotomi once again greets him “see you later”.

In the afternoon, Nagisa and Tomoya talk about their efforts. They still need more people, but seniors are too busy, so maybe the freshmen and juniors might be interested but…
With the mention of freshmen, Tomoya has an idea.

Fuko is again in an empty classroom and Tomoya found her. After making her acquaintance, Nagisa asks her if she doesn’t have any club. Fuko doesn’t but she is quite busy so she has no time to allocate for a club. It appears Fuko is carving these stars for long period of time, to the point she stays at school after the lessons. Tomoya doesn’t quite believe her, but Fuko claims she is always at school. Nagisa and Tomoya are speechless, then he wonders if she didn’t run away from home, but Fuko is straightforward and admits she doesn’t know why she is at school to begin with. She explains that when she was on her way home back from the entrance ceremony, she was almost hit by a car, and she get at school just after that. After that, Nagisa is troubled and asks her surname. Fuko tells them hers: Ibuki. Nagisa realizes she is the little sister of Ibuki-sensei, which surprises Fuko, making her stand up.
She explains she had Ibuki-sensei as her teacher when she was a freshman, but something weird about her.

Nagisa and Tomoya are next to the door, and whispering. Nagisa explains that Ibuki-sensei’s sister was hit by a car, and has been hospitalized since then. This troubles Tomoya and Nagisa adds she also came yesterday, right after a visit to her sister. Nagisa asks him if he knows about the rumor of the ghost of a girl who was hit by a car, but Tomoya has hard time to believe this…



Thoughts :

This episode was probably one of the funniest episodes this series will ever have. Seriously, many golden moments popped here and there, and I was surprised such thing would happen like this, be it ridiculing the episode 3 altogether.

First, this week, a good amount of time was allocated to both Nagisa and Fuko. Tomoya is still on his “mission” to help Nagisa, most likely introducing the “main route” of the anime series: Reviving the drama club. The plot is substancial enough to involve the majority of the cast, and this is was well done in this episode, as Tomoya wasn’t slacking off with this.

And geh… I mean… Tomoya and Youhei are a fantastic duo: their antics are well blend in the heartwarming and “innocent/carefree” environement they have. It is first quite weird to see that Tomoya is always with Youhei, as both are clearly different and not exactly on the same wavelengths. That said, they are well portrayed as “comrades”, sharing many common belief and “boredom”. This “chemistry” is the cause of so many crazy and hilarous moments: mainly the “confession” and the “CHAIN COMBO” parts ^^
These 2 caught me litteraly off guard (especially the later), and you can tell they craked me up. Other special mention of “nice touch” like how Botan is acting… very much like Potato in Air, though i think his “pouhi” is slaughtering easily the “pico” meme. Another nice touch was that Little Busters! cameo. This kind of battle system was really hilarous in various instances of the game, and it hits the nail with CLANNAD: dango for Nagisa, while Youhei has his radio XD.

Despite this sheer amount of humors, many good development and interactions were portrayed, especially Fuko. Though her first scene was rather for some good comic relief, she foreshadowed many things already, which stirs the drama up with the last scene. The hints are ruthless: Fuko is probably a “Ayu MKII”: she is most likely the ghost. Why? Well she was hit by a car (matching the rumor) and she also carves a lot of wooden stars and give them indiscriminately, while guys in episode 3 claims the ghost girl gives cursed items. Also, considering her will and her intention, it is fairly sure to assume that because of the accident (probably a coma, considering what Nagisa said and how Fuko doesn’t know why she was in school), her wish to celebrate her sister’s weddings with many people just create a projection of hers.
Now the thing is… how the drama will be unfold, considering the start? It is quite different from Ayu, though it has the same base. We will see later on.

Meanwhile, Tomoyo displayed a nice character development as well, especially when she was shocked of being suspicied for a guy, and when she realized that Youhei and Tomoya weren’t exactly serious with the charm etc. I consequently think that Tomoyo really had issues with her HAX violent skills before (so transfer) and she tries to either redeem herself and/or changing herself after realizing something. So the attempt of being perfect (Student Council President).
As for the combo counts, I can understand why people think it is getting old. For me this isn’t any longer a joke, but rather a “consistant” part of her with Youhei. I can hardly imagine a situation where Youhei would be dad serious with the silver haired girl, so kick would ensue. Rather, they were shown very shorts and not that invasive (except the genius “chain combo”), demonstrating how it is an “habit” rather than a reused joke.

Kotomi didn’t have much screentime, but I think her fans already did a uproar for her moe action: slowly turning herself with her knees. That’s really a very very nice touch, as this small detail (such like when Tomoya lets some space for Nagisa in the end of episode 3) gives more “lively” impressions of the characters.

Kyou and Ryou were the main cake of the comedy with Nagisa, and their combo is on par with Youhei/Tomoya. Speaking of the 2… I’m wondering why they actually don’t enjoy comedy/drama considering how good they are XD.
That said, the Fujibayashi Sisters are directly involved with the main party, and I was glad to see how Kyou was befriending Nagisa already (botan too !).

As you can see, the pace and the content were pretty much great in my books: good amount of interactions with an obvious chemistry/bound between the characters, even in the jokes etc.
Characters themselves show different sides of each others (err… no, i won’t mention whetever relevant or not is the possibility that Ryou is bi XD), brithening and enlarging the potential of them (especially Fuko, who was surprisingly headstrong with the 2 strange guys)

Quality wise, it was slightly unbalanced, as several far sight still shot were not as detailed as usual. That is probably a budget balance, because OTOH, many neat animated and drawn moments were shown. Despite the lack of “Unknown Girl” sequence, there were various “all frames unique” animations sequences especially the confession one.

Sound wise, nothing to comment more about what it is: harmonious, nothing that oustanding, but rather homogenous with everyone going panzer in their own situation, especially Youhei. His seiyuu is really surprising to use many “fun tones” though they aren’t that generic (I liked his HOME RUN DA! and his “i’m a sweet guy deep down in my heart!”)

This episode was probably the best out of the 4 along with the first episode, scoring a 10 in my books as well. I don’t expect the same kind of episode in the future, but seriously, it was very welcomed ^^


2 Responses to “CLANNAD, Episode 4”

  1. 1 FlameStrike October 29, 2007 at 5:23 am

    The fact that Sunohara gets more screen time then some of the main girls is creepy. Heh well he’s funny most of the time though.

  2. 2 Hypertoast October 30, 2007 at 12:33 am

    awww… I remember that in the game, Tomoyo was feeling sad about the girl comment, and was telling Tomoya to touch her chest to prove that she was a girl, Tomoya then poked her face, saying something like “soft and smooth, the feeling of a girl” (san’t remember well, been a long time since I played). Then later the idiot (comon, you know who this is, right?) came and asked Tomoya what they were talking about, and he said “soft and smooth, the feeling of a girl”. At that poing, the idiot went “haa?” with a really halirious expression. I can’t believe thay didn’t show that part, one of my fave moments in the series.

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October 2007
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