CLANNAD – 08
With Kouko’s wedding coming up next Sunday, Fuuko is making one more push to get people to come, but more people than ever are now ignoring her. Tomoya remembers how Sunohara had said that people are forgetting about her, however he tells himself that it must have been Sunohara’s imagination. When the three run into Tomoyo in the hallway, Nagisa reminds Tomoyo that they first met during the festival when Fuuko gave her a carving. Tomoyo doesn’t remember the carving until Tomoya shows one to her, and she finds it strange that she forgot about it. A little later, after teasing Fuuko some more, Tomoya notices Mitsui walking by and calls her over. She doesn’t recognize him, so he tries to remind her of who he is by using one of the carvings, but she doesn’t recognize that either, nor does she recall saying that she’d celebrate Kouko’s wedding. Tomoya tries to tell her that they’re talking about Fuuko, who’s right beside them, however it soon becomes clear that Mitsui can’t see her anymore. After Fuuko runs off by herself, Tomoya tells Nagisa the truth about how people are forgetting, and he suggests that Fuuko’s existence itself is starting to disappear.
In front of Fuuko though, Tomoya pretends that Mitsui was just joking or had misunderstood something. Despite Tomoya’s efforts to cheer her up, Fuuko remains depressed. She is noticeably happier at the Furukawa house while they’re all working on more carvings later that night, and it is now Nagisa who can barely keep back the tears. She confides to Tomoya that she’s worried about what will happen and wonders if the two of them will forget about Fuuko too. He pats her on the head to reassure her that it won’t happen and tells her that they have to support Fuuko until the end of her dream. After leaving the bakery, Tomoya heads to the dormitory and gives Misae a starfish carving as an invitation to Kouko’s wedding. He then goes to Sunohara’s room and finds out that Sunohara had taken off from school in order to investigate Fuuko. Sunohara has connected Kouko’s wedding with Fuuko and now knows that Fuuko’s family name is in fact Ibuki, but since Ibuki Fuuko is currently in the hospital, he questions who Fuuko is. He is considering going to the nearby town’s hospital to confirm Fuuko identity, and although Tomoya warns Sunohara to stop this, he doesn’t reveal that he’s worried that Sunohara will forget about Fuuko if he sees her.
Sunohara comes in to school during lunchtime the following day and tells Tomoya and Nagisa of how he found himself at the hospital with no memory of why he was there. Tomoya and Fuuko then try to give him a starfish carving, but they get interrupted when Kyou shows up to yell at Sunohara for his attendance record. Kyou notices the carving, and although she no longer remembers what it is, it triggers something faint in her memory. Tomoya tries to get her to see Fuuko, but no matter what he does, she isn’t able to remember. This leads him to realize that he might also forget about Fuuko someday, but he reassures Nagisa that she won’t forget because she’s so close to Fuuko. The next day, Sunohara is trying to get Tomoya and Nagisa to come to lunch with him when he inadvertently addresses Fuuko. They immediately catch onto this, but Sunohara struggles to remember anything more and can only say that he feels that there was someone like that. Fuuko is able to hand him a carving, but he immediately wonders why he has it and what it is. Unable to remember Fuuko’s name until Nagisa tells him, Sunohara admits that he doesn’t think he hated her, and Tomoya lets him go because he’s struggling with this so much.
On the way home, Tomoya asks Fuuko if she’s going to the wedding in her school clothes, and Nagisa thinks that it’s okay since the ceremony will be at school. Tomoya suggests buying an accessory for her, but he laughs after seeing her with an earring. They eventually buy Fuuko a birthday party set consisting of hats and streamers that she really likes. Because of this, Fuuko starts to think better of Tomoyo, ranking him just above sea slugs (which she likes a good deal). She also smiles when she sees Nagisa and Tomoya watching a lake fountain together. Unfortunately, when the three return home, they discover that Nagisa’s father has forgotten about Fuuko and can’t quite see her anymore, but Tomoya is nevertheless convinced that Akio hasn’t completely forgotten yet – just like Kyou and Sunohara haven’t. Nagisa’s mother meanwhile appears to still remember Fuuko, however it soon becomes clear that she can’t see Fuuko anymore. In tears, Sanae admits that she had gone to the hospital to find out about Fuuko being Kouko’s sister, and ever since then, she’s started to forget about Fuuko. After being reassured that Fuuko is still there, Sanae tells Fuuko that she can stay in this house and that they think of her as family. That night, Tomoya, Nagisa, and Fuuko decide to go to the school.
With everyone forgetting about Fuuko and her disappearance seeming like it’s imminent, I assume next episode will be the final one of the Fuuko arc. It still hasn’t been quite as touching a story as I hoped it’d be (my personal indicator is if it makes me really sad or feel like crying), but this episode has come the closest to that out of all the ones so far. I was a little surprised to see Sunohara struggling with himself in such a serious way since he’s normally the butt of the jokes. Both he and Sanae (and their respective voice actors) really got across how painful it is to forget about someone like that.
Anyway, like I said, I think it’s pretty much guaranteed that Fuuko is going to disappear. Everyone having a faint memory of her gives hope that she won’t be just forgotten completely, and I suspect that either they’ll remember Fuuko through the starfish carvings or else she’ll make her return through a miraculous recovery of her real body. I guess the former is similar to Makoto and the latter is like Ayu (from Kanon), so maybe they’ll surprise us with something different.