As the month of “Remembering Love” comes to an end, I will focus on the last part of Clannad After Story, namely Ushio and the ending. (Image Source)
From a glimpse of Episode 17, Tomoya unfortunately followed the same footsteps of his father with gambling and drinking. It’s understandable since he couldn’t take the loss of Nagisa that he fell into depression for nearly 5 years. However, the part that amazes me about him is his comeback. Sanae simply reunites him with Ushio and has him take her on vacation to his grandmother’s.
Just like any child, Ushio is rather cute and carries many of her mother’s traits. This is shown through her refusal of trashing the broken toy and her love for the Big Dango Family. Also, the children enjoy having her around, which is good. Although not as energetic compared to Hina from Papa no Iu Koto o Kikinasai, she is still adorable in her own ways.
In particular, Episode 18 was the most heartwarming in Ushio’s arc. While she searches through the field for the toy she lost, Tomoya visits his grandmother, Shino. Hearing the story of his father trying his hardest to raise him after the accident felt rather melancholic. It’s obvious that Tomoya doesn’t like his father because of the injuries, but it doesn’t mean he was a bad one. On the other hand, the story that Shino told to him had a big impact since it showed that he is a bad father himself for abandoning Ushio. This eventually convinces him to make up with his daughter and vow to raise her well, leading to one of the most heartwarming moments as they cry in the field. In addition, he finally resolves his differences with his father and relieves him of his duties as a father. So, does this mean that they will live a happy life together?
Not so fast since Key loves pulling the emotional strings! Believe it or not, I was not ready for a second round of tear-inducing drama in Episode 21 as Ushio comes down with the same sickness as her mother. Watching her gradually lose her strength and eventually die in Tomoya’s arm in the snow while they decide to take a second trip had brought me to tears yet again. That was just downright brutal. However, it was necessary so Tomoya can use the lights he gathered, push the reset button and get the good ending where both Nagisa and Ushio doesn’t die. Although some people got confused and/or upset over the use of a Deus ex machina, I think they executed it well since in the original visual novel, you are sent to the imaginary world that gets destroyed after you collect all the lights. After that, you start the After Story arc once again for the good ending.
In conclusion, Clannad After Story is a masterpiece. Besides Kyoto Animation’s gorgeous animation, the story had a mix of comedic, melodramatic and heartwarming moments that made it a very enjoyable experience. Also, I enjoyed Tomoya’s and Nagisa’s character development as they create their own family despite the challenges they face. For this reason, this remains my number one show on my favorite Anime list.
On the other note, I hope that Key decides to animate Tomoyo After visual novel one of these days since I’m quite curious of Tomoya’s relationship with Tomoyo after he graduated. Then again, that might be wishful thinking since they decided to have JC Staff animate Little Busters. Then again, who knows?
I realized that I left Episode 23 and Kyou’s After out even though it’s part of the second season. Technically, they aren’t part of the main story, which is why I decided not to include them in my posts. ¶