Every story has a beginning, but rarely do we ask what came before the beginning. Every romance starts off with that first spark, but should they have crossed paths prior, little would two fated lovebirds realise just how close they came before. Based off an audio drama
detailing some interesting tidbits one year before their fateful meeting at the bottom of a long, sloping path flanked by sakura trees, the Extra Episode treats us to a glimpse of what the characters we have come to love were like before, such that we can appreciate all the more how far they have come since then. Another life, another time, Another Story.
CLANNAD ~After Story~, Extra Episode: The Incident One Year Ago.
And so it seems that the first meeting of the duo with Kyou stems from this moment, and somehow unsurprisingly on not such a great note. Although the episode was based on the audio drama, it is said by some that the Kyou bits are entirely KyoAni originals. On the other hand, I’ve heard some of the game vets talking about a very good reason why Kyou is on first-name basis with the duo, which was covered in this episode. So….what gives?
Pre-Nagisa Tomoya seems quite different from the one we’ve seen for most of the entire series, bearing a couldn’t-care-less attitude with a side dash of hostility to him. What we’re seeing here is the Tomoya living in the washed-out world before Nagisa came to inject colour into his life, but to be honest, it’s kind of hard to reconcil this side of Tomoya with the one whom we’ve seen grow as a character to a practically unrivalled extent. Yet, on the other hand, it’s also not as if this Tomoya was "wrong" in any sense, somehow.
With the light balls traded in for a literally once-in-a-lifetime miracle, Ushio sleeps peacefully in the title screen even as we’re introduced to a time before she’s even supposed to exist. One wonders what significance, if any, her presence in the title screen is supposed to have, but let’s leave that aside.
That was…..disturbing. Let’s move on.
I think I figured out Sanae’s take on bread recipes, which is that she just stuffs entire foods unprocessed into a shell of bread, and calls it a day. It’s the case with the rice cracker bread she fed Tomoya the first time they met, and it’s also the case with the "banana bread". In that sense, the Rainbow Bread is actually something of an anomaly in Sanae’s repertoire….I wonder what she stuffed into that recipe.
It’s the bad boys who always gets the good girls. ‘Tis a fact of life. Nothing to do but to get used to it.
I wonder if there’s some kind of mathematical formula out there which can describe the rubber effect that Kyou’s punches apparently have on Sunohara? Maybe LianYL can come up with something.
Lookin’ real cute there, sugar. ^_^
A Nagislug is fine, too.
Or maybe at the foot of the long sloping path to school. Akio’s comment will eventually prove prophetic here, but it also gives some food for thought. Have we actually missed our soul mate passing us by, right under our noses, at some other place, in some other time? How many times have we actually turned left when we should have turned right
…..no comment. Let’s move on.
You know what would be awesome? I would dearly love to see an instance where Akio makes one of his usual ill-timed snarks regarding a relatively innocuous-looking jam bread….only for Minase Akiko-san to appear out of nowhere along with Sanae, start sobbing, and go "My jam is, my jam is…." while fleeing in tears. ^_^
The first ever glimpse we get of the Fujibayashis’ residence. I was almost hoping to see a stack of FMP light novels on the desk, and maybe a Bonta-kun sitting somewhere in a corner.
HinanoKyou-sama is awesome payoff for seeing her usual tsun-tsun attitude….
….not that said tsun-tsun attitude isn’t awesome enough in its own right.
It’s not just Tomoya; Sunohara is also subtly different, in that pre-Nagisa, he is for some reason actually the more active instigator when it comes to pranking, and in fact his ideas aren’t all that bad either, even if it doesn’t really come close to the godly trolling abilities of Tomoya later on. I mean, he pretty much did succeed in sending Kyou on a wild goose chase for most of the day, even if he did get caught in the end….a far cry from what he tried to pull with Tomoyo one year on, where he only got combo’d each and every time.
Open It Wide, Boys.
And of course, Tomoya just managed to K.O. the very girl whom he would later pursue a relationship with in the near future. I wonder what Okazaki Nagisa would have to say should she one day find out just who was the culprit behind this prank.
Close friendships can form out of the most unexpected circumstances, at the most unexpected times. This looks like it could have been the start of a very wonderful friendship, and who is to say that it isn’t, but as we all know, this friendship was one which we would see no traces of by the following year. It’s funny how life works sometimes; had Nagisa not been the type to take ill easily, she might have maintained a long-lasting friendship with the unnamed girl, but then we would never have seen the genesis of the incredible romance that was Okazaki Tomoya and Furukawa Nagisa. Different timelines, different worlds.
Oh yeah, I like this very much indeed. ^_^
Words that most likely were taken to heart by Nagisa, even as she ended up standing at the foot of the long sloping path to school one year later, asking herself whether she can still come to love a place even as everything about it has changed, overheard by a cynical delinquent about to pass her by, a turning point in her life that is yet to come. The beauty of the Tomoya-Nagisa relationship is how much they have to teach each other, even before they ever met for real, but that is another story, for another time.
As the preview of Ep24 appears to be a recap episode much in the style of the last episode of AIR (TV), more likely than not I won’t be covering it here. However, there will still be one last article with which I would cap my coverage of CLANNAD ~After Story~, so watch this space for it to come.