CLANNAD ~AFTER STORY~, Episode 11-13

My apologies for such belated and condensed entry. Due to many circumstances (holiday, exams, umineko patch, etc), it was difficult to bring myself blogging again. Obviously, I didn’t drop Clannad at all (I won’t guarantee this for Chaos head, however…). Here is a quick entry for episodes 11, 12, 13. Since the time lapse is quite huge, I assume you are all already done with these, so a digest pack of screencaps and comments will do.

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Episode 11

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Overal Thoughts:

Albeit a bit uneventful at the first glance, this episode set quite well how Tomoya is trying his best in his job. Even after the tedious and  first day, his efforts were pretty realistic. I certainly liked how things aren’t easy for both lovers, so the time they can spend together is quite strained (Nagisa is already acting like a wife right now anyway XD).

The segment with Akio was quite amusing I would say: the ridiculous Star Wars parody work wonder (see moonknives art), though considering his hobby, I was rather expecting some Gundam SFX.
And the little… bullying (?) scene with Sanae was WIN: it isn’t anything surprising both Nagisa’s parents are still quite “fresh” despite they are like in their thirties if they have such kind of activities (though I wonder how the hell Nagisa still doesn’t have any little brother or sister, considering Akio’s youth and love XD).

The later part was much more important and meaningful. Tomoya has shown an innate responsible and serious side that made him earn respects from his senpai and peers. The “previous” Tomoya, without any growth would be totally ignoring/overlooking such detail and goofing around despite his own mistake. Even if he is still very young, he realizes how he must work hard for Nagisa’s sake and his own, and being an adult isn’t an easy task especially if one is self centred. This decision, even if it might be in detriment of Nagisa and Himself, brought something more meaningful.
Nothing surprising when he is shown touched by Yuusuke’s CORNY speech and the brand new name tab for him.

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Episode 12

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Overal Thoughts:

This episode touched some important points regarding Tomoya and his past demons.
I must admit that Yuusuke’s past was a bit blunt here, but the meaning of his own story is pretty relevant to what is happening to Tomoya right now.  I was actually surprised they didn’t censor what happened to Yuusuke, so his fall into drugs is quite a sharp contrast to what he is currently.
Surely enough, it isn’t anything original at all, being a rockstar. But it is actually a good emphasis on the changes he went through.

And now, one of the most important trigger in this portion: Naoyuki screwing around. Tomoya bottled his feelings and resentment towards his father for ages, and now that it is affecting directly his future with Nagisa, his anguish and wrath drive him once again violent.

The whole proposal was quite touching, even if at the first glance, the timing looks a bit weird. But considering Tomoya mental state, it is the fittest actually.

Thinking back about everything so far, Tomoya always felt he was out of place, hating the city, his school life, his “family” and so forth.
Despite this, he changed and grew up quite steadly, made friends and a lover. However, he got a severe penalty that can affect big time all his efforts for Nagisa. And this incident was absolutely not his fault, but because of his father, the person he certainly doesn’t want to ressemble one bit.
Even if Tomoya tries to convince himself he has nothing to do with him (with his violent and aggressive replies, his attempts to run away each time it is possible, etc), he still has this unbreakable “family” link with Naoyuki, however how tiny it is. Despite his attempts to “wake up” his father that he is his son (seen at the start and thorough the 2 seasons), Naoyuki’s behaviour, especially his answer to Tomoya’s teacher and his mutism at the police office, just shatters him even more.

Then, with this event, there is no wonder how he exploded like this.

As an aftermath, he is almost on the verge of losing everything. Yet, Nagisa is still by his side, despite he is going totally berserk. The struggle continued a bit, and Tomoya realized that there is only one thing left for him, which is Nagisa. That is why I feel this is a nice timing, because Tomoya is still in his despair and self destruction mindset, so he want to confront the decision that might salvage or finish him off. Of course, no one would expect Nagisa to refuse it, but the meaning and the symbolism behind such question and answer are fundamental between the two. So both openly vowing to stay together forever is downright important in their relationship. This is actually much more convincing than most sappy romance that abuse the cliche mood for that.
Certainly a well rounded and powerful episode, with just a jerky pace with Yuusuke’s past.

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Episode 13

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Overal Thoughts:

Now that things are good between the two, Tomoya has to prove himself worthy in front of Papa Akio… which is not that easy.

But before that, I wonder… how someone as wise as Sanae can bake such kind of bread? I mean… banana, still NOT PEELED?
Nevermind the octopus one before, but this one look like she inserted the banana when she was still asleep or something. But what’s even more amazing is how Akio manages to chew them as it is nothing. Boy, this man is insane.

Speaking of which, Akio is probably one of the most mature character around, and only shows wisdom during the most critical parts.
Nevertheless his antics, Akio has shown so far that he has no trouble to read between the lines, figuring the extent of the mood quite accurately. Of course, Tomoya was dead serious, but Akio’s expressions and “method” are proofs that he is using some “nonsense” in order to give a proper “trial” for Tomoya.
Obviously, one would question why a father would force his future son-in-law to do such unrelated business, but this is how both are interactings each other.

Even so, Tomoya understands Akio doesn’t make light of his request, which means both acknowledge each other’s conditions and resolve. No wonder why Tomoya doesn’t start ranting how things are stupid after his loss or anything. Doing so would be missing the point and demonstrates that he isn’t “ready”.
From there, Tomoya’s efforts were noticed by everyone. For those who are wondering, swinging the bat without a ball DOES help, because the problem isn’t that he can’t aim, but how his shoulder prevents him to swing properly with enough strength and speed.

When Tomoya finally managed to hit the ball, his emotions were conveyed perfectly. Props to Nakamura, while the animators did a good job with the angles and Tomoya’s expression.
Akio’s behaviour was without any surprise, keeping his cool, despite it is obvious he had nothing against that to begin with. Still acting all though and all.
And then, Sanae’s blessing just reinforce how well this little family is.

Now, for some more relaxing scenes, I was very pleased to see Nagisa’s drunk scene adapted here. And yes, Sanae is that bold, so one would question if she won’t turn into a literal rival at this rate😄.

I will complain a bit that they were quite fast with Nagisa’s repeating fever, as the game actually stalled a bit the confirmation she will graduate. That said, it was still depressing to see her confined in her room, unable to enjoy what she was longing for 3 years already.

And this is the reason why I believe the “fake” graduation scene was one of the best in the whole story, and they didn’t fail to deliver the emotions behind it.
Nagisa’s speech might look very simple, yet all her feelings and life were conveyed with it. She worked very hard for her third grade, but she was unable to carry out things completely. Now that she finally got her graduation, she can express with all her might how she was happy, despite she had the best reason to be bitter with so many unfair obstacles that prevented her to fulfil her school life.
Tomoya understood it well, and the rest of the gang did as well (though it is quite a wonder how Kotomi could get back from America for this “little” event… well, if we allow some suspension of disbelief like her own route, we can somehow speculate that being a genius allow her to have a flexible schedule… probably).

And to finish this episode, Tomoya and Nagisa announce their marriage to Naoyuki. One might notice that he is actually “reacting” to this good news, despite he was a complete wall when Tomoya confronted him before. That basically hints quite well how he is actually trying to minimize the negative impact on Tomoya even if he is quite a miserable man.
Ahh, I never expected Nagisa to look so grown up with a change of hair style. That bun and expression make her look pretty instead of cute.

From now on, it is another “new” start.

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