The preparations for the next stage in one’s life journey was never going to be an easy affair, but the one thing that nobody could ever predict, no matter how well-informed and well-prepared they think they are for it, is that it would be quite so hard. How does it feel to be suddenly thrust out from the sheltered confines of school life, and finally have to take full responsibility of oneself? What are the adjustments one has to make, the sacrifices one has to make? How will attaining the status of a working adult, with all the responsibilities for oneself, affect an individual, and how will it impact his relationships with the ones he loves? How does one’s personality change when one starts trading in innocence for wisdom?
CLANNAD ~After Story~, Episode 10. The start of the true After Story.
The time spent with friends and companions while in school is usually good while it lasts, but alas, that is what they will all eventually become; a memory of things past, however sweet. Eventually, we will all have to part ways from people whom we’ve always believed to be friends forever, and make our first steps into society exactly the same way we made our first steps into schooling life; alone, and on the look for the peers who would guide each other through the next phase of our lives.
Oh, don’t tell me you didn’t see this coming, Tomoya. Of course they’ll be enquiring about the prospects of the boy who will soon be taking their little girl from them, no?
And as for Nagisa, she will have to walk up that long, steep slope of cherry blossoms for another year, this time, without even the hope of having Tomoya for company. She will have to try and make new friends, pursue her dreams, and generally survive the school year all over again….this time, without Tomoya there to help her along, or to give her encouragement.
Yeah, I’m wondering too; why is it that Akio has been disappearing from the shop every now and then? Is it something that will turn out to be plot-centric later on? Or is this just a red herring of my own making?
Hmmm. What do you guys think the "Jelly Bread" is made of? Konnyaku? Some kind of edible gel? Real jellyfish?
Hold on. Is that THE JAM right there?!
Unfortunately, it seems that Nagisa isn’t doing very well in her second attempt at her final year; particularly interesting is how her reputation of being a third-time third-year is preventing her from making any friends. I wonder if this is a case of prejudice against the not-so-accomplished, or is it simply that friendships are too solidified for newcomers to enter at that point in schooling life?
Unfortunately, Tomoya no longer has the luxury of concerning himself solely with school-life escapades, having reached the point where he must think about such things as developing the means to provide for himself, as seen by how he pays more attention to ants doing that very same thing instead of Nagisa’s recounting. It feels strangely sad, yet very real, how where there was a strong connection between them before, now there’s something of a disconnect between their mindsets, caused by their differing statuses in society at this point.
The room where so many happy memories were made. But these happy days….are no more.
Frankly, there’s a very strange feeling about seeing Tomoya appearing to take his future seriously, formulating the vague beginnings of plans for his future. It’s something we’ve never seen him done before, although perhaps those who have already spent some time in working society might be able to tell the rest of us who have yet to step into it; are these the same things we’re also going to have to think about, in time?
And with a last lingering look at what he used to be, but no longer, Tomoya finally faces up to the fact that he is no longer one of them, and that the need for him to take the next step in life is all but imminient. No more of the soft-cushioned reality of school life; for him now is the harsh reality of real life.
Okay, maybe this is just me; after all, it’s not as if we haven’t seen the twins look absolutely fashionable outside of school uniform before. In fact, this isn’t even them at their best….but do they somehow look more like tertiary students from their dressing? I mean, I can’t really pinpoint what it is they’re wearing that differentiates them from their highly fashionable casual wear in Season 1, but there is a difference there that subtly underpins their new statuses.
Finally, Tomoya takes one of the biggest plunges in his life; to take up a real job, and become a real shakaijin (member of society). To provide for himself, order his own life, and most importantly of all, stop being a dependent and becoming an independent in his own right. Somehow, I can just imagine two groups of viewers of this series - those who have yet to enter working society, and those who already have - and how they might interpret this transition of events differently.
Loved how, when Tomoya broached a topic which was bound to be most uncomfortable for Akio, both men shifted into the male idea of communication; lobbing balls at each other in silence, using the delayed time to carefully consider their next responses. I’m not sure whether it happened the same way in the game itself, but somehow it feels like KyoAni has their body language down pat.
And maybe once again it’s just me, but was there a fleeting expression of loss on Akio’s face before he picked up the bat? Almost as if he’s facing the inevitability of his only daughter leaving his care for this brat, and betraying a bit of his own emotion even though he’s been prepared for this moment since….a while ago, at least.
In any case, the day has come when Tomoya finally lifts himself out of his dependency of the Furukawas, and starts living for himself. You know, if I had just seen this scene by itself, it would probably be merely what it looks like on the surface; a young guy trying out his first steps in providing for his own needs, and perhaps in preparation for the needs of others in the future. It would be perfectly fine, except ever since I saw a similar, if superficially so, scene in the previous episode of ef ~melodies~, such a scene seems to take on a whole new meaning altogether.
….hold on. Did Akio just say what I thought he said? Did he just indicate that he’s okay with leaving his daughter alone with the brat? I mean, even if it’s not like she’s staying overnight, it’s also not as if nothing could possibly happen in the afternoon….LOL oh wow.
LOL at Tomoya being so blatantly moé. I guess it’s not just a female-exclusive term anymore?
Several theories about socialization over the life course have been formulated, and generally lay out a general set of challenges that an individual must face when they enter a new phase of their life. According to Robert Havighurst’s (1953, 1972)* model of developmental tasks, "A developmental task…arises at or about a certain period in the life of the individual"
, and different types of developmental tasks are associated with certain age-related phases in their lives. Two of the developmental tasks which are observed to usually appear in early adulthood, specifically getting started in an occupation and taking on civic responsibility, are just two out of several other developmental tasks he may face soon in his life.
* Havighurst, R.J. 1953. Human Development and Education. New York: Longman.
Havighurst, R.J. 1972. Developmental Tasks and Education (3rd ed.). New York: McKay.
What’s this? A dress rehearsal for the future?
It’s amusing to see Tomoya start off being all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, kind of like how everyone else was before they learned that the world outside isn’t all that great. Hitting the wall of reality in 3, 2, 1….
…and already he makes his first mistake on the job. Oh, and it just so happens to be the very same mistake that he saved Yoshino from a false accusation of in their first meeting, for additional ironic effect. Good times, good times…..that sure was one fat cat. Can they really grow heavy enough to dent car hoods?
The demands of working life can take a toll on a person, and unfortunately, that could spill over into the worker’s personal life, causing him to be no longer as sensitive to others as he used to be. It’s not going to be easy from here on out to pay as much attention to his significant other as he had used to before, and much adjustments will have to be made on both parties to accomodate each others’ emotional needs from now on.
There are many challenges that come with becoming an adult in working society, and many more to come yet. The idyllic nature of School Life is but fast becoming a distant memory, and this new phase of his life is just beginning. All in all, it has been strangely a rather different CLANNAD from what I’ve been used to watching, and it is clear as day that things within the CLANNADverse aren’t quite going to be the same again. As our characters learn to adapt with their changing surroundings, we who are the viewers may also have to gradually change the expectations we may have to this show. It’s only the first true episode, and already the After Story canon is shaping up to be subtly, but at the same time very much different from the School Life arc. The journey is just beginning.