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[Ascaloth] CLANNAD ~After Story~, Episode 19

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Though our beloved Dango-chan may be no more, life at the Furukawas have finally returned to as normal a state as it could possibly be, with Papa finally returning to the place where he belongs. Where, though memories of the greatest love of his life persists, the greatest memory of them all is the legacy that his Dango-chan has left behind for him, in the form of the Dango-chi he’s finally ready to live his life for. But though his long-overdue acceptance of his wife’s passing and his acceptance of their child is an important resolution in his life, it is far from being the only loose thread that Tomoya shall have to tie up before he can move on with his new life. And one of these shall come from Tomoya’s own past, the very thing which has held back his progress as a human being for so many years, even as he first found the motivation to become a better person for the girl who first believed in the innate goodness of his heart.

CLANNAD ~After Story~, Episode 19.

I guess what I observed about Sanae-san two episodes ago wasn’t quite on the mark; she hasn’t gotten over Nagisa’s passing after all, because like Tomoya, she was unable to. Unable to mourn for the lifelong dream she had just lost, because Tomoya himself, in a fit of angst borne of inexperience in the ways of life, made an all-too-selfish request of them with regards to the care of Ushio for five long years. An all-too-selfish request, which they agreed to anyway….simply because they are family. And family look out for each other, unconditionally.

But now, she can finally mourn, for the daughter she had invested all her hopes and dreams in. There is a Chinese saying that literally goes "the grey-haired should not have to see off the black-haired on the latter’s last journey", and it is a terrible tragedy indeed when it has to happen, just as it has for the Furukawas. And yet, despite sharing in the same sorrow and pain, despite the possibility that perhaps he himself felt very much like crying, it fell to Akio to be the pillar of strength in the relationship, and boy did he carry off that role admirably. That is the mark of a real man, a mark of true GAR.

But with both Tomoya’s and Sanae-san’s true feelings about the tragedy of five years ago finally able to find release, life is now able to continue as normal. In any case, it’s interesting how Tomoya himself recognizes how much he has grown as a person at this present moment from what he used to be, although I’m not sure why he said he would have gone nuts; the old Tomoya we’ve seen tended more towards apathy, than nutso. Hmmm, perhaps he was referring to the time when he got into fights aplenty before he first met Sunohara.

However, some things just don’t change. One of which is that Tomoya, being a Key male lead, still retains his innate ability for attracting a harem; except that said ability has actually evolved, such that instead of attracting a harem of Key Bishoujos, he’s attracting a harem of Key MILFs instead. Damned. o_0

Somehow, it seems to me that I actually know very well who Ushio’s teacher actually is. ^_^"

Yes, look and explore as much as you want, little Dango-chi. Take it all in, for this is the place which held the great love that your Papa and Mama had for each other. This is the place where your Mama belonged along with your Papa, and from now on, it will also be the place where you belong. It has been a long five years, but love has finally returned to the place where it first came to full bloom.

A great romance that shall never be forgotten, that lives on still in the joy they bore.

And a surprise return of a character we thought we would never see again. Fuu-chan!

It has to be said, though, that this Fuuko isn’t quite the same Fuu-chan we got to meet in the first nine episodes of the first season; apart from having no memory of the days she spent with Tomoya and Nagisa, which is reasonable in its own right, this Fuuko seems to retain some traits of the unsocial Fuuko that Kouko-sensei described her as once being. Of course, it seems that even an unsocial Fuuko can’t resist the bundle of cute that is our little Dango-chi. ^_^

I would imagine that watching over a young child in whose existence one has had a direct hand, would engender quite a weird feeling, to say the least. I just can’t imagine it. Seriously, which of us here can?

….and even after so long, Tomoya’s still wearing that wedding ring.

T_T

For as far back as he could remember, he might have always been running away, never willing to give his father the time of day for what the latter did, but for Tomoya, it is finally time for him to face up to everything that Naoyuki had sacrificed for the sake of bringing him up. Though the latter might not have done a good job for it, and though the specter of what appeared to be his ultimate failure might have haunted him for so many years, it must also have been the greatest relief of Naoyuki’s life that he had finished what he set out to do all these years ago, even if he didn’t know it then. I can’t say "good job, Naoyuki", because it was not. But, it is as Tomoya said, he has done enough.

And it may not have been a great job, but certainly it was not for lack of trying. It’s so sad that, for a lot of us, we can’t really realize how much we owe our parents, not until a point in time at which we’ll end up lamenting as being all too late. For the sake of the next generation, young men and women sacrifice their vitality, their dreams, and their youth, all in the name of that unusual, yet strongly affective concept of humanity which we call "love", and "family".

Too many years in coming it may have been, but at long last, Tomoya has finally found the resolution to that which has haunted his life for as far back as he could remember; his ultimately childish ambivalence towards his deadbeat father who he saw as having robbed him of the cherished dream of his youth, back then still wholly blind to why exactly it was that the incidence happened in the first place. Ultimately, it was but a tragic incidence, for which no one was at fault. It is an important resolution to the biggest anchor in Tomoya’s life, one from which he has now finally matured beyond, as he steps into the shoes of, and walks down the path which Naoyuki embarked on so long ago.

And this is but an image of just Tomoya, Naoyuki, and Ushio, at the moment of resolution. Yet, I swear….I see Nagisa. She is right there. Standing besides her man and their daughter. Smiling happily, for he has finally found closure in the great wound which he has carried around all his life, which she had striven to the end of her life to try and mend for him. And now, her job is done. Her man is now free.

The path to maturity starts with the recognition of one’s own blindness. So it is for Tomoya, who has finally seen how much he has taken his father, and all the sacrifices that the latter made for him, for granted. And yet, as he sees for himself the difficult path that Naoyuki had to wade through in life for his sake, does he realize yet that he’s bound on the same path? Just like his father, having lost the love of his life and left with a child, does he realize that he himself is about to walk down the same path that his father did years ago, in time to avoid the mistakes and pitfalls that the senior fell into?

And in time, will what Tomoya see here on this fateful day, be the same thing that Ushio would see when it’s her turn to experience such a day? Will she, having grown up under a satisfactory (or otherwise) upbringing under the hands of a long-suffering Okazaki Tomoya, think about whether her father was happy with the choice he made, to bring her up by his own hands no matter the sacrifices that had to be made? Will she see herself having taken those sacrifices made by her father for granted? Will she come to regret her actions and find a new appreciation in her father, just like the latter did this day?

As Okazaki Naoyuki walks off into the distance, having finished what he started so long ago, Okazaki Tomoya looks on as he prepares himself to accomplish the same thing his father did, by any means necessary. Once again, he’s walking up that long, long path. And though his beloved Dango-chan is not walking with him anymore, the just-as-beloved Dango-chi is. The journey continues on.

Ascaloth, out.

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13 Responses to “[Ascaloth] CLANNAD ~After Story~, Episode 19”  

  1. 1 Tado 1 comment

    Wow , Tomoya’s dad is hot.

  2. 2 Myssa Rei 12 comments

    There’s a bit of values dissonance at work in this episode, I think. In the Philippines, for example, it would be pretty much unthinkable to leave a five-year old child in a home, unsupervised… And Ushio was left to her own devices for most of the afternoon. Ack.

    No matter how well-behaved a child normally is, accidents happen, as their curiosity leads them to poke their noses into places they really shouldn’t.

  3. 3 Fhal 16 comments

    Awhile back I stated that I didn’t want that the show turned to the side of Tomoya being some kind of super-parent. Well… the way they handled this episode and the story so far I guess it can’t be helped. I just hope that they do it well.

    @Myssa Rei
    And here on Brazil, it is also a great deal of danger leave an unatended 5 year old child. It’s like asking for being sorry later. It’s represented in this episode how Ushio began to run around in the house as soon as her father was off. Good thing nothing happened.

  4. 4 Ascaloth 200 comments

    @Myssa & Fhal,

    It’s interesting that you both mentioned that, and I certainly see where the both of you are coming from. Yes indeed, leaving a 5-year-old unattended does seem quite dangerous….

    Yet it seems that in Japan, mothers leaving their children unattended in the house apparently is quite common. Take a look at this post I wrote in the AS forums:

    http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?p=2215503#post2215503

    ^_^

  5. 5 SnooSnoo 172 comments

    I cried buckets. ;_;

  6. 6 Fhal 16 comments

    One thing I just noticed now, is that at the ed credits they added a few characters walking. Last episode they added Tomoya’s Grandma, and in this, Tomoya’s Father. I think this could simbolize how Naoyuki finally can walk towards his own future. A great touch.

    @Ascaloth
    Couldn’t open the link you posted. My net is being a bitch today. –” But I know that it’s not that uncommon around there to leave a child alone, since children are encouraged, and at some points even obliged, to come and go to school alone, no matter how far it is. This could point that their culture take great pride in make the kids independent as soon as possible.

  7. 7 jazine 1 comment

    While I was in Japan I was shocked to see elementary school children walk home alone in quite a big city but then I started to notice that everyone around them makes sure that they get home safely. They did not see it as a big deal. I know that seems unrelated but I agree that in Japan it seems more acceptable to give children independence.

  8. 8 Tremere 28 comments

    If the picture of Botan is not clue enough, I’m sure another favorite character is coming back soon.

  9. 9 Sorrow-kun 26 comments

    “….and even after so long, Tomoya’s still wearing that wedding ring.”

    I’m glad you noticed this. I did as well, especially after raging at Kotoko from Itazura na Kiss for not wearing hers (although that’s probably more likely a case of the animators just not paying enough attention to detail). But Tomoya still wearing his wedding ring… that’s a profound symbol of itself.

  10. 10 Bingo 1 comment

    LOL Fuuko just can’t help her self from hugging Ushio-chan…kinda makes me jealous. Anyway, hope it all goes smooth with the rest of the 4 or 5 episodes left. I just can’t imagine how they(Key) will end the story… Any insights anyone?

  11. 11 Fhal 16 comments

    An adolescent/adult Ushio remembering about her parents at their grave would be a great closure to an anime that is about the life of a person. I think it would be a great ending.

  12. 12 lord_jagganath 14 comments

    i pray for your ending Fhal… cos that would work in a fanfic …

  13. 13 ithekro 4 comments

    The first image, of the family around the table…is a reminder that someone is missing. The empty place at one side of the table. Almost like there should be someone else in that shot.

Do not use any < and > for your own sake. It will end the comment there and then. Also, there is an automatic IQ filter which weeds out comments made by those who accidentally got transported from the stone age.

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