CLANNAD – 10
In the other world, the boy in the robot body finds himself in a field surrounded by lights. The girl in the white dress appears to ask him if the light is mysterious, and after confirming that it is, the boy realizes that these lights are a part of nature for the girl who’s always been here. The girl concludes that if he feels this is mysterious, then he must know of some scenery that is not. Searching through his memory, the boy recalls that he was in a different world either in the distant past or possibly the distant future. Back in the real world, Tomoya finds Nagisa waiting for him on the way to school, and right as he’s considering asking a certain someone to join the drama club, Kyou interrupts his thoughts by running him over with her moped. Seeing how concerned Tomoya is over if Nagisa is okay, Kyou comments on how well the two are getting along and how he’s calling Nagisa by her given name. Kyou thinks that they’re dating, but the couple embarrassingly denies it. After Kyou rides off, Tomoya wonders when he started calling Nagisa by her given name, and both he and Nagisa suddenly get a vision of Fuuko.
At school, Sunohara goes along with Tomoya to invite someone to the drama club because Sunohara claims that he loves Nagisa. Tomoya of course doesn’t believe him and baits him with the prospect of a mysterious and beautiful girl in the library who doesn’t have a boyfriend. Sunohara takes this bait and rushes to the library, but he quickly gets frustrated over how the girl completely ignores him. When Tomoya reveals that the girl is Kotomi, Sunohara recognizes her as the genius girl who he considers to be living on a different world than everyone else, and he immediately gives up. Tomoya’s secret to getting her to react to him is to call her Kotomi-chan, and he’s then able to talk to her about the drama club. He suggests that she meet the club president and reassures her that this person won’t bully her, so Kotomi comes with him to talk with Nagisa. Unfortunately, Kotomi is rather inept at introducing herself and has to be prompted by Tomoya. After one particular exchange of information between her and Nagisa where each reveals her favorite animals and foods, Tomoya stops them and personally introduces Kotomi as someone really smart who likes books and could be an ideal club member.
Because Kotomi gets sidetracked towards a dusty box, Tomoya suggests that Nagisa tell her about the drama club. Kotomi is more concerned about having to cry in a play, and because Nagisa insists that she has to do it if the scene calls for it, Kotomi wonders if Nagisa is a bully. She then notices the recruitment flier that Nagisa drew with all the dango and reveals that she loves the big dango family. Kotomi later admits to Tomoya that she was scared today just like she always is when she talks to someone for the first time. However, she now feels that Nagisa is a kind person and wonders if she’s Tomoya’s lover. He denies it again, and Kotomi quickly changes the subject to the a place she wants to visit on the way home. That place turns out to be the bookstore, and Tomoya watches in horror as Kotomi pulls out a pair of scissors to clip a part of an interesting book. He stops her before she’s able to do so and scolds her about cutting library or bookstore books. In the end, he decides that she needs to get involved with more people.
To help facilitate this, Tomoya tries to introduce Kotomi to Kyou on the next day, but Kotomi is quite afraid of Kyou, particularly because of the look on Kyou’s face during Kotomi’s introduction. Tomoya explains that he wants Kyou to be Kotomi’s friend, but Kyou points out that friends are made and are not something that’s given. Nevertheless, she does introduce herself to Kotomi before walking off. Tomoya recognizes that Kotomi still has problems with talking to people and suggests a more comedic approach, but that idea falters when Kotomi misses her cue. Tomoya then tries to get Ryou to be her friend, and Ryou offers to perform some fortune telling via a deck of cards first. After reading the three cards that Kotomi chooses, Ryou concludes that Kotomi can’t make friends, much to the dismay of both her and Tomoya. Still, Ryou admits that fortune telling can be off, and she agrees to be Kotomi’s friend. Afterwards, Tomoya writes up a script for Kotomi to follow for when she has to introduce herself, and he finds Tomoyo in the bear costume for her to practice on. Tomoyo also agrees to be Kotomi’s friend after she introduces herself, and this makes Kotomi so happy that she hugs the bear.
Tomoya then brings Kotomi by the bread vendor lady, and it turns out that the lady has heard of the Ichinose family. According to her, Kotomi’s parents are actually great scholars, but when Tomoya asks Kotomi about her parents being college professors or something, there is a pause before she confirms it. The two eventually get ambushed by Kyou who hugs Kotomi and proposes they get to know each other better by having Tomoya take them out somewhere. Unfortunately for Kyou, instead of going to karaoke or a restaurant, Tomoya takes them to the drama club room with Nagisa and Ryou. Kotomi once again introduces herself to everyone – this time using the lines Tomoya wrote for her – and each of the girls follows suit. Tomoya can’t resist the urge to interject that Kyou likes to bully weak people, and that earns him a kick in the face from her. With the introductions over, he suggests that all of them join the drama club so that they can have enough members to convince the student council to accept them. Kyou turns down the idea because she and her sister aren’t interested in performing in plays, but Nagisa still urges them to come have fun occasionally.
Kotomi suddenly hears the sound of music and gravitates towards where it’s coming from. In the music room, she finds a girl playing a violin, and seeing how Kotomi is looking at it, the girl offers to let her play it. The group thinks that she might be able to do it, but much to everyone’s shock, Kotomi’s playing is horrific.
Aside from the other world beginning – which we haven’t seen for a while and still doesn’t quite make much sense to me – I thought this episode did quite a good job transitioning from the end of last arc into the new one. The opening moments of the episode were so peaceful, and there was even the reference to Fuuko to show that everything hadn’t been forgotten. As for the new arc, Kotomi was very cute, especially when she hides behind Tomoya and asks about bullies. Based on the stuff this episode focused on, her story looks to be about her making friends/being afraid of bullies, her trying to play the violin, and her relationship with her parents. There’s probably more to it than that, and I’m not sure how significant that last one is, but Kotomi did seem a little depressed after Tomoya asked about her parents. Actually, they also appear to be setting up the Fujibayashi sisters’ story because there were several hints dropped that the main concern in Kyou’s life is Ryou and that Ryou has feelings for Tomoya. It made me wonder if Kyou’s arc is going to run parallel with Kotomi’s or if this is just stuff they needed to introduce relatively early on. Either way, Kyou is playing a bigger part than I would have predicted, and the preview for next week also has her deciding on a violin recital for Kotomi too.