CLANNAD ~AFTER STORY~, Episode 9-10

Everyone continues their school life, but as they barely started their second term, Nagisa is afflicted once again by her sickness, bedridden.
Tomoya will have to choose the right decision, but in the end, his plans for their future will be grand.

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Episode 9

In the Illusionary World, the robot and the girl are still working on the flying machine that will allow them to reach the skies, where other people that are living happily are supposed to be, according to the robot boy. However, as he is piling up the junk pieces, the girl becomes sleepy in her work. Despite this, they are working without any rest.
That is certainly a very special copter if you ask me XD.
As you probably saw, the situation seems not exactly all laid back right now.

On their way to school, Nagisa and Tomoya are discussing about their respective plans after graduation. Nagisa still didn’t find any university that would suit her tastes, so she will look for a job for the moment. Tomoya believes it is a waste considering her grade, but the discussion quickly shift onto Tomoya. Obviously not really good with that, the blue haired delinquent tries to brush it off, trying to ask what kind of present Nagisa would like. She is however not fooled easely by that, and can’t accept any present without any reason. Tomoya claims that he loves her, so it is fair enough, but Nagisa states that if it is enough, she would have done that everyday. Some awkward mutual blushing ensues.

Once arrived at school, Tomoya still argues that with her reasoning, one would only give a present during specific events, such like birthday and christmas. Ironically enough, it would mean only one gift for Nagisa, as she was born  on december 24.
Not really any good, Tomoya then suggests a date instead, which makes Nagisa happy. However, as he gets to his classroom, Nagisa still didn’t forget about the graduation matter, but fails to prevent him to run away with his sneaky method.

Tomoya is really really using his usual trick against Nagisa, but unfortunately for him, she got used with him using such changing subject stunt… though she got tricked in the end ^^”.
I really liked the gift topic, considering how it is a good way to learn about Nagisa’s birthday, but also how sweet the discussion turns out… I think Tomoya would be a very happy yaro if she starts to give him a present everyday 😄 (well he is already pushing his luck big time so far) so heh).

Youhei noticed that something is wrong with Tomoya, comforting him a bit with his usual carefreeness. Tomoya wonders what Youhei will do, and (un)surprisingly, he has the confidence that he will manage to be a model, for Mei’s sake.
Later on, Ryou made a prediction and it seems that Youhei “will become a model”. Of course, Youhei is quite excited by such “good” news, much to Tomoya’s skepticism.
A bit uneasy with everyone being third grader, Tomoyo asks if they all have plans after graduation. Ryou would like to be a nurse, while Kyou wishes to be a kindergarten teacher.  But as for Kotomi, she will study abroad in America, shocking everyone.
Everyone is going on their own except Tomoya, and the latter is still clueless about what he will do. Kyou tries to knock him some sense of urgency, but soon enough, everyone notices Nagisa’s feverish state.

I had the exact same grin that  Kyou had upon hearing Ryou’s “fortune telling”… it is ironic to hear your impending doom with such sugar coated way by a girl like Ryou.
Speaking of which… Ryou as a nurse always surprised me. Honestly, as a nurse student, I really can’t imagine a girl like her for certain things (situations with naked people, which occur a LOT, trust me).

Tomoya is staying at Youhei’s room for the time being, as a doctor is at the furukawa house. Youhei received a call from Mei, while Misae learns from Tomoya what’s going on with Nagisa.
Next morning, Tomoya checks on her before going to school. As he is leaving, Tomoya is still worried.

Again another interesting behaviour from Youhei. Not really that subtle, but he certainly worries about Tomoya with a good timing.
I was expecting Shima to pop and trying to comfort Tomoya but heh 😄

Also, the scene between Tomoya and Nagisa says it all, especially how they can’t really talk much and how Tomoya is already sulking when he is leaving for school.

At school, Youhei assures Tomoya that he is just worrying too much about Nagisa. As he is listening to his lecture, Tomoya then notices Botan roaming around the school once again.
Tomoya decides to check on the lil boar, but he is suddenly attacked by Kyou, who thought he was planning on eating Botan.
Ryou is concerned about what they will do with him, but it seems Botan really wants to stay with his master.
However, Kyou has gym lessons this afternoon, so she wants Tomoya to take care of Botan. Ryou argues the fact she can take care of him, but Botan weirdly steps back and refuses blatantly. It seems that ever since Ryou brought him in a bath, Botan thought she was about to cook him up as the water was too hot, so he is now afraid of her.
Therefore, Kyou counts on Tomoya and orders Botan to stay like a stuffed doll, one of his 7 secret techniques. Tomoya has no choice but to keep Botan, obviously casting on himself some dubious impressions from his classmates, and even from Youhei.

Youhei is still thoroughly keeping Tomoya in check, but Botan did a good job in sidetracking Tomoya’s worries even temporarily.
Meanwhile, Kyou’s strength is really really something not laughable. I really wonder what would ever happen if she has lethal projectile instead ^^”
One note as well: it is actually funny to see that Tomoya really kept Botan with him during classes. Not only because of the comedy factor, but as well for either one of these reason: either he doesn’t feel like stuffing Botan in a random place like some junk, or… he fears the possible retaliation that Kyou might punish him with, should he does that kind of treatment.

After school, the whole gang reunites and the girls would like to pay a visit to Nagisa. Unfortunately, she was headed to the hospital. Hence, they can only wish for Tomoya to take care of her. As he is leaving, they all notice how Tomoya is quite depressed.

Even if the original scene wasn’t meant to be used there, I’m quite satisfied that the scripters used this so that Kyou tried to cheer him up with something goofy, but as you can see, it didn’t really sidetrack Tomoya’s worries about Nagisa.

Speaking of which, the original scene was a tad overkill, as originally, Botan is unable to keep his doll form in a perfect manner and… farted during classes, which obviously put Tomoya in a very tricky situation.
If Tomoya still refuse Kyou’s request and throw Botan back at her, well… even with Kyou, Botan wouldn’t be able to stay discrete long enough and begins to roam wildly in classroom 😄 (originally, Kyou did not have a proper excuse to leave him to Tomoya as she had regular classes, not PE at that moment).

A month later, Nagisa is still afflicted by her fever. Even if she felt a bit better one day, her condition just degraded once again.
As everyone is now studying for the exams, Tomoya keeps company to Nagisa. She won’t make it in time for the exams, hence she asks Tomoya to have fun by himself, but he assures her he is fine and will wait. Nagisa wonders what he is waiting for, and Tomoya tells her he is longing for the day they can walk together, holding their hands.
Understanding what Tomoya wanted to convey, she states they are alone right now and asks him if they can hold their hands, which they ultimately do.

Melting mood, overkill?
No really, that is quite a scene that shows how well the chemistry between Nagisa and Tomoya is working so well. Their mutual undertsanding and care for each other are really nicely blent, and both are just “there” for each other.

Another month later, November, exams are drawing near, yet Tomoya still is concerned about Nagisa. Yukine lends him bunch of drama videos he requested for Nagisa.

Time flew fast and they are already in winter. Sanae and Akio have to announce to Tomoya that Nagisa will most likely not be able to graduate once again, for being unable to take parts of the exams and with her unsufficient attendance. Of course, this is quite a blow for Tomoya who feels frustrated for her. Sanae and Akio aren’t that worried about Nagisa’s academic record, though everything depends on her then. Ultimately, Tomoya can’t accept such situation and should Nagisa be unable to graduate, he will refuse to graduate as well. Akio calmly treats him like a kid, reminding him that this decision would pains her a lot as well. That was something he knew all along. Accepting his immaturity, Tomoya contemplated about how he was indulging himself with his friends and still couldn’t find anything to do for Nagisa.

Tomoya’s reaction was certainly understandable: it is so frustrating to see someone like Nagisa, who did her best during this year, yet got completely stuck due to reasons she absolutely cannot fight back.
Hence, Akio’s comment and Tomoya’s self awareness of his childish behaviour were really the highlight here: Tomoya still has a long road to go in life, and it will not be as easygoing as he thought.

Also, I was quite amused by the ending sequence here: not only this scene was strikingly similar to the very first one in season 1, but also that Tomoya is eating a sweet bean bun. He didn’t like or dislike anpan first, but you can expect anpan girl and her merry baker parents to make him switch his tastes a bit 😄

Everyone then celebrate Nagisa’s 19th birthday and Christmas at the Furukawa’s House. As Youhei is a bit too noisy in his celebration, Kyou teasingly reminded everyone that he really tried to be a model, but obviously failed to meet the agency expectation. Brushing off this harsh comment, Youhei doesn’t stagger, and states he will get a  job in his hometown.
After a good laugh, Tomoya then gives his present to Nagisa, and much to her surprise, he offered her a big dango.

“So…moe I’m gonna die!!!!”
Really a heartwarming and charming scene with Nagisa here: dango lover, to the very end.

Happily hugging it, she thanks everyone for what they have done for her, even though she doesn’t feel like deserving all of this. Of course, Akio and the rest insist once again she is part of their important family and friends, so everyone will be happy if she is.

That is really another proof of a huge development for Nagisa and her surroundings. Even if she is still very modest and humble, she is doing much better with people. And the picture is a proof by itself: the shy and lonely girl who could rely only on her parents have a LOT of friends. If that isn’t a big step forward compared to her previous self, I really can’t find another rightful example then.

It is spring and the day of the graduation ceremony  has finally come. Tomoya wonders if he might be forced to repeat if he breaks some windows with Youhei, but the later believes he would be expelled instead.
Then, Koumura arrives and congratulates for their graduation. Using this discussion as an opportunity, he also announces them he will be retiring this year, so both guys are the last students he had taken care of. Tomoya mentions that would be quite the end for the drama club, but Koumura has faith in Nagisa, claiming she is stronger than both of them. In the same way, he hopes that they will work hard and Youhei admits they would have been expelled long ago if Koumura wasn’t there.
And speaking of which, Tomoya speaks his mind and says he always wondered if Koumura didn’t plan for both delinquents to meet each other. Because they are so similar, they were able to get along which was the main reason how they could keep it up to attend school.
Koumura answers vaguely then leaves off, expecting them to be present for their final homeroom. Out of respect, both guys are bowing and express their gratitude towards him.

Koumura’s scene from his route was nicely chosen: there wasn’t any need to expand his career with Kouko (which was a bit superficial and forced in the original game): after so many developments for both guys, it is only natural for them to notice how lucky they were as they were taken under Koumura’s guidance.
And his words are right: surely, a teacher would be blessed and quite satisfied if he could “salvage” delinquents/no good guys into graduating boys like them.

The graduation cereminy has ended and all of the students are quite pumped up. Tomoya thanks both Yukine and Tomoyo but both are feeling the same after what he has done for them. He then tells them he will leave Nagisa under their care for the next year.
The rest of the gang will have a party, but they understand Tomoya has already plans for the day.

I was a bit taken aback that they didn’t involve Rie and Sugisaka much here, but considering they couldn’t really involve themselves as nagisa’s friends, unlike Nagisa’s original route (due to the already HUGE cast surrounding Nagisa in her anime counterpart route), it is fine by itself. It is however a bit a shame they didn’t show that Rie could be really a good friend considering how her passion was kinda similar to Nagisa’s love for drama.
At least, they still kept a natural support group, which is Yukine and Tomoyo.

As Tomoya is walking down the hill, he has some reminiscence about Nagisa during their eventful school year.
Once arrived at the bareky, he is surprised to see Nagisa waiting outside for him. As he is urging her to get back home already, Nagisa wished to see Tomoya in his uniform for the last time, then congratulates him for his graduation.
Stunned, Tomoya remains silent for a while then begins to let out his emotions he bottled up: how he hated school before, but also how he would long to do it over again if she was there as well. Crying, Tomoya was happy during this school year and regrets his graduation, thinking he should have repeated this year as well.
Nagisa gently encourages him to go forward. Happily smiling, she doesn’t lose faith and will repeat again, doing her best.
She then asks him if they could hold their hands. Still worried about her, Tomoya can’t help it and they walk, holding each other’s hand.

I love that remix track here (a AS OST would worth with only that track alone). I almost believe that it is far more effective than “Nagisa” track here: it gives a nice touch of resolution, beauty for both lovers.
Roles are slightly reversed, ironically: Tomoya became quite dependent on Nagisa’s presence, while like Koumura said, she became really strong.
Remember that girl who couldn’t face any difficult steps alone, without relying on little moves such like saying out loud “Anpan! Hamburger!” etc?
Well, now, she is going forward even in a very unfair situation. This scene was really the most touching of the whole franchise so far. And trust me, it is only the start.
There goes the “real end” of Nagisa’s route and the start of After Story.

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Overal Thoughts:

… This episode was fantastic, that’s certain. They weren’t frugal in efforts to bring up how Nagisa changed, and how her relationship with Tomoya evolved. Not only that, but they did a fair job into the impression of family and group of friends, which grew steadily over the course of the 32 episodes so far.
That is quite the continuity which suits pretty well this kind of story.

Following up with the real start of  “After Story”, the lifes goes on, with completely different issues and matters.

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Episode 10

The girl and the boy of the Illusionary World are still doing their best effort in crafting their junk copter. As the boy is collecting more junk pieces, he is still clueless what the girl meant that she wouldn’t be able to move when it gets colder. And as he gets back to her, he sees her, fainted.

While After Story made its true start in the “normal world”, it also started in the Illusionary World.

Tomoya is still dreaming about school. In a weird perception, he remembers approximately how the graduation ceremony went, with everyone parting in their respective path.
As he wakes up with drool, he is about to dress with his school uniform, only to finally snap out, realizing he already got graduated.

This dream was actually very important in a sense that Tomoya is subconsciously trying to get back in the past, considering how the clouds were moving, but also as he saw Nagisa congratulating him for his graduation in her school uniform. Even though he decided to go on, this is still some regrets, but also memories of his school year.
So much that he unconsciouly was ready to prepare himself to go to school once again, though it is no use now XD.

Tomoya is congratulated by Sanae and Akio and they are discussing with him if he has any plans for now. Obviously, he is still astray and can’t figure what he will do, now that he is finally a member of society. Upon hearing is undecisiveness, Akio offers him a “job” at the Bakery, “officially”, hence he will have a salary, albeit not as one would live off, but considering he already got sheltered, that’s fine. Sanae then calls him Tomoya-san, as now they are clearly a family. Tomoya tells the news to Nagisa, though he is still not good in depending too much on her parents. As for her, Nagisa is finally able to move freely. Both wish that Nagisa will end up with Tomoyo and Yukine.

Tomoya certainly got quite some luck to be supported by adults like this. Should he be still with Naoyuki, he would turn into a baito guy (or rather freeter) without much perspective or correct environnment to take his own independance properly.
Meanwhile, Nagisa’s dango felt almost enlarged here, but I guess this might be because it is stretched a bit vertically and she keeps it slightly in front of her.

Tomoya starts his “job” in the Furukawa Bakery, right at 5:00AM. Both Furukawa parents are teaching him the basis.
As he is sweeping outside of the bakery, Nagisa is about to leave for the opening ceremony, and Tomoya cheers her.

During the morning, the bakery crew got quite busy until 9:00AM. Starting the afternoon, Tomoya takes care of the bakery, while Sanae is giving some private lessons to some children. Akio, in the meantime, disappears once a while without much explanations.

Both Akio and Tomoya are spending their time idly. The later is worried about Nagisa, but Akio believes it wouldn’t change much if they think like this. As Akio is suggesting playing catch with Sanae’s jelly bread, Nagisa is back from school. Unfortunately, she is without anyone in her new class, but she confidently believes she will be able to make friends.
Akio cheerfully suggest a “snow”ball fight as they are now 3, but Sanae happens to be nearby and of course heard Akio’s mean comment about her bread. Usual chase antics issue between the couple, and both Nagisa and Tomoya are laughing to their heart content upon seeing this familiar situation.

Nagisa is now on her own, which is kinda depressing considering most of her support aren’t at school anymore. Still, she got her resolve clear enough.
Meanwhile, I wonder why Sanae just didn’t do the opposite pattern for her… bread… I mean, standard bread stuffed with jelly would be less ridiculous… I guess ^^”
Also, it is really good to see such scene again, even if it is rampant. That said, the “Sanae running away scene” is rather a checkpoint showing “everything goes well”, instead of true comedy sequence. And it is quite surprising but also nice to see Nagisa laughing to her heart content (did she ever did so to THAT degree before?)

The next day, Nagisa is very tense as she will have to do her speech on the drama club behalf. However, as she is back from school, her behaviour is way too fishy and Tomoya asks her to answer honestly about the situation.
The club orientation didn’t go well and her adviser is the track and field teacher, which doesn’t seem to be any good news. To make things worse, the deadline for the drama club survival will be next wednesday.
Trying to change the subject, Tomoya wonders how it is going with Nagisa and her classroom, but it seems she is unable to make friends, and her repeating a second time her third year is certainly a factor. Even so, Nagisa is resolute and wishes to continue the drama club and to share her fun times with Tomoya.

Nagisa certainly wanted to prevent Tomoya having “needless” worries, but considering her too honest personality, the fact she was seen through miles away by Tomoya isn’t any surprising.
Meanwhile, it was interesting to see Tomoya observing the ants and having quite some serious expressions here and there. It is quite relevant in fact: that you have to work in order to survive and such, and it seems it sparked even more his responsibility sense in him, instead of relying on Nagisa’s parents all the time.

However, things are really hard for Nagisa, as pretty much like before, her efforts to revive the drama club are in vain, with people gossiping around. Tomoyo is neither able to join the club (most likely busy on her side as well), so in the end, Nagisa is alone and cannot fulfill the conditions to establish the drama club.

The same scenario happens this year, and since Nagisa is a second repeater, the syndrome isn’t one bit surprising. Taking into account the peculiar scholarship consideration in japan, repeaters aren’t exactly well seen, so Nagisa is quite in a not so enviable situation.
It was heart rending to see her so easily isolated despite her efforts, and unfortunately, Tomoyo could probably not support her as a member or whatsoever. Back to square one of the first season? Well, not that much considering her efforts here.

One day, Tomoya meets Yuusuke by chance, who was working on an electric pole. Tomoya was just fufilling some errand so Yuusuke invites him to visit he and kouko once a while, though he is so busy, while “she” is still at the hospital. Tomoya still remembers that “Kouko’s little sister” is being hospitalized, nevertherless, Kouko and Yuusuke don’t give up hope.
A little while later, Tomoya checks  an apartment agency, but the rents are just out of his means.  As he is about to leave, Kyou and Ryou meet him by chance.
They have a little chat about how things are going respectively for them and Kyou goes nosy over Tomoya’s current situation and the latter acknowledge he cannot keep loitering around, but he can’t find a cheap place to rent. This reminds Ryou about a cheap apart that one of her acquaintance is about to leave, being the perfect opportunity for Tomoya.

Putting aside Tomoya trying to be independant, I really liked his silent reactions upon seeing many students around. Seeing so many young adults going on for their future, Tomoya is shown with some lingering nostalgia about being a student not too long ago.
The Fujibayashi twins sure had a very different aura… Aside of the slightly more easy going behaviour, their clothes and sling bags just add a convincing “university students” feel.

Tomoya dashes and finds Yuusuke who is about to leave. Recovering from his mad rush, he is begging Yuusuke for a job.

Then, once back home, Tomoya announces his decision to the furukawa family, quite resolved to stop freeloading.

Tomoya is still working a bit at the Bakery. As there isn’t any customer, both are spending their time throwing and catching some balls.  Tomoya decides to makes his step and asks Akio about the possibility of taking Nagisa with him.
Both guys are continuing catching the ball, silently and seriously.
Akio finally breaks that silence, claiming Nagisa is already an adult and can choose by herself. He then picks up his bat and orders Tomoya to pitch his best, but the aftermath of it will be another broken window.

I really liked how Akio and Tomoya were silently throwing the ball: they couldn’t afford showing any weakness and being all careful about their answer they might give.
Akio, sitll being the doting dad, didn’t brush his… “future son in law”, so it is a good sign 😄
.

The day has come and Tomoya finally moves in his apartment, with Nagisa and Akio lending him a hand for the furniture etc.
As they are done, Akio is leaving and Tomoya suddenly got tense as he is alone with Nagisa, in a totally different context.
Nagisa is cheerfully preparing some tea, which is making Tomoya downright excited over this situation.

If that isn’t faithful, I can’t get any other adjective for this… Please compare the first cap with this one.
And Tomoya is really a happy yaro, having a borderline “wife at home” situation 😄

As Tomoya sends Nagisa back to the bakery, Nagisa is bringing up the touchy subject about Naoyuki. Slightly taken aback by this matter, Tomoya agrees with her and will let his father know.
Nagisa goes back home and Tomoya begun to live alone. Tense, he is unable to get much sleep.
The very next morning, thanks to Nagisa, Tomoya somehow manages to wake up. Nagisa prepared his breakfast and will do the same for the dinner, though she doesn’t know when Tomoya will be back from work. Even so, she doesn’t mind and will wait for him.
As he is walking, the simple thought about it makes him quite happy.

More happy lovey lovey situation? It becomes a little frustrating not to see any Kiss for the moment, but heck… it is criminal they are such a match.
Things won’t be that happy go lucky/easy though

Tomoya made his entrance at the electricic work, but it seems the atmosphere is far less exciting as he might expect. Yuusuke waited for him and urges him to get dressed quickly.
As he got ready, Tomoya got a quick introduction with the boss.

Tomoya is then with Yuusuke for their first job together and Yuusuke mentions that Tomoya looks different, but still not a full fledged adult yet. Tomoya is a bit disappointed upon hearing that, but then notices a couple with their child walking around, which simply lighten his mood.

Seeing Tomoya staring at this little family is another big hint how he is moving forward, in order to get a future with Nagisa.
That is very far from the nonchalant delinquent who could barely care of anything around him.

They finally arrived at the location for their first work, and Tomoya quickly has to behave himself accordingly. As Tomoya is holding the lamp for Yuusuke, he has hard time to deal with the height and hesitate to shit his weight on the rope. It is now his turn to tighten some bolts, but he drops the spanner. Yuusuke scolds him over this blunder which could be disastrous if someone were below.
After the job done, Tomoya is suffering quite a lot, despite his confidence in his stamina. However, they can’t loiter around and they still have 4 places to go

As his first day is finally finished, Tomoya is exhausted and literally collapses as he gets back home.
Nagisa prepared the dinner for him and is quite happy that she is with Rie for music class, but Tomoya is completely dead tired and barely stay awake.

Lesson number 1 in real life: don’t ever think you will get easy time with real active life.
Tomoya just got a really slap on the face after such different context he got catapulted in for a mere “job”. It is quite interesting to see how he is reacting to the hardship he is about to get through, yet he still keeps it up.
I would say that Yuusuke certainly did a favor to him, thoroughly bursting Tomoya’s bubble as their job isn’t a field trip.

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Overal Thoughts:

An excellent follow up for Tomoya’s progression in active life. In such retrospect, it really allowed his character to get a proper mold for the many hardship he will certainly get through in life.
This is the reason why I (and certainly many other players) liked After Story segment, and I’m expecting quite a bunch, especially that things will go uphill from now on.
Hopefully, they will keep this touch and I’m confident that the next episodes will bring more highlight on a new type of “daily life” for Nagisa and Tomoya.

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