After all that initial hardship, things finally seem to be going well for Tomoya, with his abilities at the electrical company improving, and what's more his hard work has landed him the prospect of a promotion, hefty pay rise and all.
With these happy thoughts floating in the air, a big chunk of this episode of After Story is dedicated to the life story Yoshino, the rock star turned electrician. Far be it from me to pour scorn on his story, but... well, I'm going to pour scorn on his story. I know Clannad isn't exactly the bastion of entirely realistic and believable stories, but Yoshino's tale of working hard to reach the top of the music industry before losing his "mojo" on account of meeting some of his more needy fans, before turning to drugs and so on felt a bit trite to me, and didn't seem to have any real depth to it. Dare I say that there wasn't even much point to it, beyond its moral story of "choose your own path". Oooh, deep.
Anyway, from there we at least move on to some plausible drama (for a bit anyway), as Tomoya's father gets arrested, and as the rumours fly his promotion possibilites evaporate - A state of affairs which only deepends Tomoya's hatred and resentment towards his sorry excuse for a parent, and to be honest you can't blame him. The trouble is, reality is soon suspended once again, as Tomoya (after a bout of anger regarding his father) asks Nagisa to marry him - Not a concept completely out of leftfield I grant you, but consider this - We haven't even seen Tomoya and Nagisa kiss yet!!
Now, I have to admit that I seem to be having a bit of a "pick on Clannad - After Story" day here today, poking gentle fun at many of the things I've let slide in previous episodes, but I guess twelve episodes in (and that's ignoring the original series itself) some of these issues are starting to wear a little thin. That isn't to say that I hated this episode, or dislike the series in general (I'm still rather fond of it), but it has lost some of its lustre for me in recent instalments that I'm struggling to rediscover. At least on the positive side of things, I finally warmed to Nagisa this episode, as she actually stood up for beliefs and concerns somewhat rather than caving in to people at the first opportunity, and beyond that the story as a whole still has plenty of potential life left in it, so hopefully things will get back on track soon enough.