Back in 2009, I wrote an informal post about Shiori’s Arc after I had finished it. I was disappointed that I haven’t gone deep enough in analyzing and adding my thoughts about her arc, so I decided to go through and redo the review as I attended. No, I’m not going to cover what was different in the Anime adaptation, but analyze the story and give my own thoughts along with it.
Shiori’s story was one of the most dramatic and realistic out of the whole visual novel mainly because of one thing; it focused on family problems, which was the most significant theme in the entire arc. The reason it was so important because of the incurable illness that Shiori had that causes her to become weak over time. We all know that it is very difficult to see a love one’s health deteriorates over time. For some, they can deal with it and hope for the best. On the other hand, there are some people who can’t handle the emotional pain from the hardship. Kaori, who was unable to handle the situation with her little sister pretty much ignored Shiori’s existence.
Through out the story, Shiori mentions about drama several times not because it was the only thing on television she could watch at home in the morning. It was representative with the situation that Shiori was going through with her sister. Since Kaori abandoned Shiori, Shiori goes into depression and wants to commit suicide. The reason Shiori felt that way because she was lonely thinking that her sister hates her for some reason. In spite of this, the encounter with Yuuichi and Ayu gave Shiori some hope and she ultimately decides against it. Later on when Yuuichi confesses to Shiori, Kaori is brought up once again. Shiori had Kaori tell Yuuichi the truth that Shiori is her younger sister and the condition that Shiori is going through.
As a result of Kaori avoiding her for a long period of time, Shiori lacked self-esteem and couldn’t believe in herself. This was the main reason why she couldn’t accept Yuuichi’s confession at first even though she liked him as shown below:
I love you, Yuuichi-san. I think I might love you more than anyone else. I know I mustn’t love anyone. I simply can’t open my heart to anybody. Because… I know… I know it’ll only hurt them in the end…
As you see next, Yuuichi gives Shiori some hope that helped her with her self-esteem.
Yuuichi is an important character in Shiori’s arc mainly because he supported and cared about Shiori. Even though he teases Shiori at times, he genuinely cares about her when he tells Shiori to rest up so she would get well. Later on, he grants her wish of being treated as a normal girl after they made the promise. Like in the Anime and the Visual Novel, they had a fun time by doing things like snowball fights, playing wrack-a-mole and go window-shopping for example. Still, the most important thing that Yuuichi does towards the end of her story is bringing the sisters back together. This happens when Yuuichi takes Shiori to the Hyakkaya Cafe. Later, Kaori and Nayuki reluctantly enter the cafe, but they stay. After the cafe scene, Kaori finally recognizes Shiori as her younger sister again, thus resolving the family problem between them. The last moments of Kaori saying those lines pretty much overwhelmed my feelings of hope.
Even though she was taken to the hospital on her birthday, she eventually gets cured from her illness. The curing of the illness signifies that Shiori changed her fate after she was reunited with her sister and she wasn’t ready to pass away. She had a purpose to live; to be with her sister and also, Yuuichi.
It was quite obvious in the end that Shiori remains as my number one favorite character for the reason. Her story was touching and it inspired a glimmer of hope. Even though things look though for her, the regained hope and support allowed her to remain strong through the tough times. Furthermore, I liked her personality and her tastes for ice cream since vanilla is my favorite favor.
Additionally, Shiori’s story becomes a basis for Nagisa’s story in Clannad where she has a similar illness as Shiori and lacked self-esteem since her friends had graduated and moved on. The main difference is Nagisa’s story impacted emotionally in an event that happens after graduation.
So, if you decide to play this arc, I have to warn you… It’s going to be very emotional and you will be crying like crazy. So, have a box of tissues because you are going to need them.
Last Notes: In the next upcoming days or weeks, I will go more in depth with Mai’s, Sayuri’s and Nayuki’s arc as I done with Shiori’s.