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[Ascaloth] CLANNAD (TV), Episode 04

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Popularity: 11% [?]

Gender doesn’t matter; the burning heart is what really matters. CLANNAD (TV), Episode 4.

Japanese entertainment media, from light novels to manga to anime, has always had a tradition of characters sporting all sorts of hair colours, most of it an impossibility for the real-life Japanese, or even for any race of humankind in particular. However, never before have I seen that particular dichotomy actually pointed out by the characters themselves. I don’t know whether this line of dialogue is a KEY original or a KyoAni addition, but this scene is great for that very reason.

The scene that the Fuuko Masters amongst the game veterans have been waiting for; the straw-up-the-nose prank. Personally, I don’t really see the funny in it; it only makes Fuuko look more retarded to me than she already is, and I’d imagine it’s a pretty nasty experience for the recipient of the prank.

Last season, we had a certain depressed hakama-wearing guy attempting suicide whenever he gets the opportunity. This season, we get Sunohara courting certain suicide whenever he gets the opportunity. In both cases, neither really seem to succeed in kicking the bucket despite their numerous attempts. Anime sure has come a long way since the days of the pioneering "immortal", Urashima.

If Nagisa suddenly blurts out "melonpan!!!", what sort of ripples would result in the otaku community? Write a reaction paper on this topic, of around 200-250 words. Include a brief explanation of the "melonpan" meme, its origination, and how the meaning of the word has subtly evolved over the last few years.

From the KEY game veterans, I have since learned that this scene is a Little Busters reference, and this has prompted talk about a KEY/KyoAni Little Busters anime in the near future. Without going into speculation on that account, I’d have to say that CLANNAD (TV) is shaping up to be one of KyoAni’s more ’stylized’ works (the "filtered colours" and Tomoyo’s combo counter comes to mind), as opposed to the generally naturalistic feel of the previous KEY/KyoAni collaborations (heck, even all previous KyoAni works, excluding Lucky Star). Not that I’m complaining; it helps to differentiate CLANNAD (TV) from its "KyoAni adaptation" predecessors, and it’s still nowhere near the level of SHAFT’s Shinbo-WTFness.

By far the best tag team in the KEYverse; despite being positive examples of male leads in a sea of weak male leads in the genre ("nice boat" merely being the new "worst of the lot"), it has to be said that Kunisaki Yukito and Aizawa Yuuichi suffered from having to carry the story by themselves, and not having someone of equal stature to play off against. However, the Okazaki-Sunohara tag team has shown just how much further comedy can be taken, when you have two guys dishing out the jokes, and not just one.

Ascaloth’s Caption Competition No. 2: Make your own caption for this picture.

Taking "Basic Instinct" to the next level; it’s interesting how they juxtaposed body posture in this scene, with Kyou assuming a dominant "empress" position by sitting in the chair and pointing nonchalantly with her feet, Nagisa and Ryou taking up "court official" positions slightly behind and to the both sides of Kyou, while Tomoya and Sunohara are both in a kneeling "supplicant" position to her. Clearly an indication of just where the balance of power lies, and probably a small but meaningful victory for the feminist movement in general. These are the kind of things you notice when you let Theatre Studies get to your head.

No, no, KyoAni!!! Guys do NOT go to the toilet together!!! That’s the kind of things only girls do!!!

(Yes, you may commence flaming me now for my chauvinistic/stereotypical/unenlightened/barbaric/whatever words.)

You know, I was planning to be critical about the repetition of the "Tomoyo combo" gag this week. I was going to comment that the joke was starting to get stale, how the "Lambda Driver" effects were masking the fact that Tomoyo was basically doing the same actions over and over, and how I hope KyoAni would mix things up a little next time by having our kung-fu girl do a "poke-juggle-juggle-Deadly Move-Dream Cancel-Leader Deadly Move" combo, so that at least we have something new to see.

Of course, as can be seen in this scene, KyoAni made the preemptive strike by mixing things up, having Tomoya participate in a combo-chain. It’s not a "poke-juggle-juggle-Deadly Move-Dream Cancel-Leader Deadly Move" combo, but it’ll do for now, and instead of getting to hear me say something even slightly critical, I’m afraid you guys will have to sit through another week of my "KyoAni fanboying". Too bad, I guess.

If Fuuko gives me the vibe of being mentally-challenged, Kotomi gives me the vibe that her consciousness seems to exist somewhere outside of this world altogether. I seriously had to replay this scene several times to get an idea of what she was trying to say, since she was talking past Tomoya so much. Of course, the task was made more palatable by the soothing quality of Mamiko-chan’s voice, and the high もえ level she exhibited through her leg movements didn’t hurt either.

What I was not expecting, was a revelation to hit so soon. But I have to say that this is brilliant storytelling; using comedy to soften up the audience, and then hitting them with the revelation when they are least expecting it, thus magnifying the overall impact. It is what KEY stories have always been able to do so well, and even knowing that this is the style I should be expecting, I still fell for it.

That said, indications point to Fuuko as being the "ghost of the girl in the accident" mentioned in earlier episodes, and by all accounts, her likely scenario seems pretty close to a certain Tsukimiya-san’s. I am fairly surprised that KyoAni has decided to go into the serious stuff so early though; then again, they don’t have the luxury of time like they had with Kanon (2006).

A significant number of Kagikko have tagged Fuuko’s route as being one of the more emotionally wrenching routes in the game, so I certainly am waiting to see what is it about her story that has captured the hearts of so many. Will next episode reveal the details? I don’t know, but I’ll be waiting to find out.

Ascaloth, out.

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7 Responses to “[Ascaloth] CLANNAD (TV), Episode 04”  

  1. 1 Mac (Kyuusai) 3 comments

    Guys don’t go to the bathroom? This is true. For white guys.

    Outside the US, it’s a mixed bag.

    /is white.
    /doesn’t talk to white people in the bathroom.
    /talks with a Korean friend while sitting on the toilet.

  2. 2 Sean G 1 comment

    I’d argue that the ORIGINAL anime immortal guy is Ataru Moroboshi. He got his ass kicked and jolted by lightning a good 15-20 years before Keitaro ever did.

  3. 3 Kaioshin_Sama 101 comments

    Kenshiro from Hokuto No Ken is the invincible hard man of anime. The guys took bullets, fire, punches, piercings, everything under the sun and it barely ever phased him. Sunohara has a long way to go from just having an S&M Fetish.

  4. 4 IJ 24 comments

    Dichotomy indeed. First thing that came to my mind when Fuuko-chin delivered her line was, “Wow, you’re certainly one to talk!”

    But yeah, that kind of snide remark had to some sooner or later (unless some other character did it in another anime series I’ve not seen before). And it HAD to come from someone whose own hair is… well, I leave finishing this thought as an exercise for the reader. ;)
    –IJ.

  5. 5 Ichiya 10 comments

    Caption Competition 2: Words fail me.

    After Sunohara saw something light blue in episode 3, I’m surprised Kyou would still want to sit in that kind of position with both guys kneeling in front of her. And pointing at them with her feet :S

  6. 6 velocity7 6 comments

    Just as a note, KyoAni didn’t make up that combo chain. It was in the game, too.

  7. 7 FlameStrike 52 comments

    Clannad keeps getting better, but I’ll save the fanboy rants. Hm Sunohara only has an endurance rating of 80? I guess he must have some hidden attribute or something. Heh I like how they put Nagisa’s effort rank at 90 while Sunohara is stuck at 40.

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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