Friday, 6 February 2009

Clannad ~After Story~ - Episode 17

Following Nagisa's death at the end of the last episode, this instalment of was always going to be Tomoya's version of The Smiths' Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now, although thankfully the self-loathing was kept to a relative minimum here.

For starters, this episode fast forwards us five years into the future, and a world where all Tomoya does is eat, sleep and work, and when he has nothing better to do smoke and drink - Like father, like son you could say. In the meantime, young Ushio is being looked after by Akio and Sanae, so Tomoya barely sees her at all.

However, Sanae et al have clearly decided that this really isn't the way things should be moving forward, and thus Sanae draws Tomoya into a plot where he is left alone with Ushio, leaving him no choice but to care for her. Of course, he does this in a clueless, uncaring manner, just about scraping by at feeding and looking after his own daughter before the episode closes with him finally deciding to take her on the trip Sanae and Akio had intended him to take her on in the first place.

While I was more than a little relieved to find that this episode wasn't as relentlessly depressing as I was expecting, it was hard to reconcile the "new" Tomoya with the guy we've grown to love throughout Clannad up to this point - Somehow, the change from the really rather caring guy who he was into the asshole we see before us here is a little too hard to believe, even taking into account Nagisa's death. I realise his inner turmoil and hatred is supposed to be clear for all to see, and I realise that the parallels to his father are deliberate, but despite that it just doesn't quite feel believable to me. Aside from being distracted by Ushio's occasionally cute behaviour, it was this thought that bugged me somewhat throughout the episode - Perhaps I'll manage to resolve those doubts internally by next episode and perhaps I'm being too naive, but at the moment Tomoya's personality change just rings a little hollow as a step too far in that particular direction to me.


FlameStrike said...

This "new" Tomoya isn't unbelieveable at all. In fact all he really did was go back to becoming the "original" Tomoya from before Clannad season 1 started. You have to take into account that before Naigsa came into his life, this was exactly how Tomoya was after his fight with his dad. Even the colorless world and the "I hate this city" line returns. And the color comes back exactly when he sees/meets Ushio/Nagisa.

Since Tomoya's new reformed personality was all because of Nagisa, I can easily see him returning into a slump. His other friends aren't nearly as important to him as Nagisa, and I can make an argument that many of the arcs like Fuuko's in which he helped people might not have happened if he hadn't met Nagisa on ep1.

felicity said...

Good point, dude above me~ We've seen nice Tomoya for so long, it's hard to remember how much of an apathetic dick he was before Nagisa won him over. The cold way he treats Ushio is very similar to how cold he was to Nagisa when they met in season 1 though.

felicity said...

P.S. Excellent Smiths reference

Hanners said...

I guess that's true, I think it's just that my personal feeling is that after everything he'd been through in his past and with his father, anything suddenly reducing him back to that kind of state seemed unlikely to me. It is kind of hard to remember just how "bad Tomoya" acted though, it seems like aeons ago.

And no opportunity to reference a Smiths song should be missed. :p