Gwaaah! I just got DMCA-ed by some company in Singapore whose name rhymes with Fedex!!!
CLANNAD (TV), Episode 8.
"Look, bitch, I don’t want to hear any spoilers!!!"
"O RLY?! Well this is how it goes next…"
Yes, this is the episode where the shit starts to hit the fan, and probably the episode where the Tripeman would drop the series altogether (or perhaps, until the episode where I tell him that the comedy factor is picking up again). For my part though, I’m thoroughly enjoying the fact that CLANNAD is delving deep into the raw emotions of the Fuuko Arc now, and like many other CLANNAD watchers, I’m preparing myself to, more likely than not, go BAAWWWW next episode, where the preview indicates Fuuko’s story will end.
In particular, I especially like how there’s just so much social chemistry going on between all the characters, not just Tomoya and Nagisa like I mentioned earlier. While it is nearly indisputable that KyoAni are the masters at producing visual masterpieces ever since the FMPs, I’ll have to say that, on hindsight, their previous KEY adaptations have been hindered by the fact that the original VNs were centered around the male leads. CLANNAD really displays the maturing writing of KEY’s scenario writers though, and it can be seen in not just how there’s just so much more chemistry going on, and not just between The Guy and The Girl of Destiny, but between almost every character of importance in the moment. You have the camaraderie of fellow delinquents in the Tomoya-Sunohara boke-tsukkomi show, you have the light-hearted antics of the Furukawa family, and in this screenshot, you can really see the maternal side of Nagisa as she tries to comfort the despairing Fuuko. This is why I’m so hyped about CLANNAD; I’ve always had this preconception that Kanon and AIR may be KEY’s more famous works, but they were still lessons in progress, and CLANNAD is the true culmination of all the experience Maeda and Co have garnered in their years writing for KEY. Thus far, at least from what I have seen from the KyoAni adaptations, my preconceptions have held true.
On to the maturation of character archetypes. Shaped from the Kitagawa mould (from Kanon), Sunohara really shows in this episode that he’s not just the stereotypical boke; it’s really quite rare to see a supporting character, much less a comic, get half as much development as Sunohara does, much less throw him into the deep end of the action along with the leads.
Why the $@#% are you still using SmokedCheese Fansubs?! That Churuya-tan’s no translator, he’s a lying imbecile!!!
LOL at this screenshot; I can only imagine the misunderstandings that could come up if this image was released out of its context. Back to Sunohara though; he’s not just there to be kicked around anymore. Guy actually has an important part to play in Fuuko’s arc, and I admit, I actually choked when it came to this scene. It’s one thing for your typical もえ girl to get all emo at a crisis stage, but it’s another thing altogether when a comic like Sunohara, somebody whose sole role should have been to bring on the laughs, reveals that he actually has his own personality beyond being the joker. This might not be everyone’s cup of tea (in fact, I rather suspect it’s the cup of tea for relatively few people), but as far as I’m concerned, it’s proof of real character development that one doesn’t usually find in anime.
To have a "throwaway gag character" like Sunohara actually come across as being a far more complex character than might be seen from first impressions is real good writing, and for my part, I can’t wait to see how much further Sunohara might develop. He’s a far more interesting sidekick than most, the kind of character that Kitagawa should have been in Kanon, and I’m sure he’ll get even better.
As my exams are coming next week, I therefore pray:
Buddha/Allah/Jesus/ ハルヒさま, please give me an A+
Coming back to the story, Fuuko’s arc is not simply a rehash of the Ayu arc anymore; it’s becoming its own beautiful story, one that will definitely wring heartstrings anew at its conclusion. While I have yet to touch the CLANNAD VN, I can’t help but notice that a free VN I’ve played before, A Dream Of Summer
, actually reused the concept of Fuuko’s story, particularly the element of people forgetting an apparition whose time is nearly up. Even though not original by any means, it’s a pretty nice story in its own right; I do recommend this simple VN, although I’d advise people to stick to the Hazuki Mizuna path.
In any case, to see Fuuko getting progressively forgotten is not an easy thing to take; even worse was when even Akio and Sanae have begun to forget about Fuuko. It really drives home the point that Fuuko is on borrowed time; I simply cannot see how her story can end well, at this point. The question now is simply; does Fuuko have enough time left?
I don’t know, but all I can say is, get your tissue boxes ready. Ascaloth, out.