CLANNAD – 12
With the recital over, Kotomi and Tomoya return the violin to the girl they got it from, and Kotomi makes a plea for her not to throw it away even though it’s such an old violin. Kotomi then goes through her formal introduction since she hadn’t done so yet for this girl, and the girl responds by introducing herself as Nishina Rie. Having a hard time leaving the violin behind, Kotomi starts crying as Tomoya is commenting on how it’s good that she made another friend. In the days that follow, Nagisa hears that Kotomi has actually started to attend classes instead of staying in the library. When she and Tomoya go to check it out, they see Kotomi helping out a group of girls with their math work. Later, Tomoya walks into the drama clubroom to find Kyou lecturing Kotomi on her comedy, saying that it’s impossible for Kotomi even if she was reborn a million times. In response, Kotomi tries out what she thinks is an incredible gag that she originally saw on TV, but it turns out to be funny only to her. Still, even though her jokes fall flat, the food that Kotomi made for everyone is a big hit.
In listening to what they’re all doing this weekend, Kyou realizes that no one has anything planned, and since she feels that they’re wasting their lives away, she proposes a group date. Tomoya ends up being the only guy present because Kyou rejected the idea of Sunohara coming, but the group still has a lot of fun. Ryou tells her sister at one point that it’ll be Kotomi’s birthday soon, so Kyou decides to get a present. Unfortunately, Kyou sets her mind on getting a giant anteater doll from a UFO catcher, and thirty-four tries later, Tomoya’s down to his last bit of cash. Since neither Ryou nor Nagisa want to try the machine, and since Kyou won’t let Tomoya try, she wonders out loud if there’s anyone brave enough to declare that they can get it. In response to this, Fuuko suddenly appears and asks them to leave things to her. When Nagisa thinks that she’s met Fuuko somewhere before, Fuuko says that Nagisa doesn’t need to remember right now because the day they’ll naturally meet again is sure to come. Fuuko claims to be a master at the game, and she does indeed manage to get a prize, but it’s not the giant anteater. Instead, she gets a star plushie, and Tomoya instinctively tells her that it’s a star and not a starfish. After Fuuko runs off again, he doesn’t understand why he mentioned that.
Due to that a failure, the group isn’t able to get another present by the end of the day. As they eat ice cream together that evening, Tomoya notices that Kotomi is looking depressed instead of admiring a contrail in the sky like the other girls are. Kotomi is looking a little happier by the time the group has to part ways, and she specifically thanks Tomoya because she feels that she wouldn’t have had so much fun if she hadn’t met him. She then gives him a book that she claims to have memorized all of, and she tells him that he doesn’t need to read it; he just needs to hold onto it. They don’t get a chance to talk more about it though because Kotomi suddenly hears someone coming and runs when she realizes that it’s the guy in the trench coat who was after her before. Tomoya hides with her until the guy goes away, but when he asks her about the guy’s identity, Kotomi stays silent. That night, Tomoya has a dream with a rabbit, a deer, young versions of himself and Kotomi, and a blue fire. In the dream, the trench coat man shows up to try to put out the fire and then says something to Tomoya.
The following morning, Kotomi surprises Tomoya by grabbing him from behind, but it was Kyou who made her do it. The humor turns to horror when Nagisa comes running to inform them of a traffic accident that involves the bus that Ryou normally rides on. Kyou refuses to believe that Ryou is a victim because she feels there’s no way something could happen to Ryou without her knowing, but she nevertheless rushes towards the site of the accident. Fortunately, Ryou is safe because she took a different bus, and it turns out that the bus that crashed was empty of riders anyway. Tomoya, Kyou, and Nagisa are relieved that nothing bad happened to Ryou, but Kotomi has a different reaction to the accident. The sight of the crash causes her she falls to her knees crying and screaming, and Tomoya can hear her saying something about being a good girl. After bringing her to the nurse’s office at school, they later find out that Kotomi has gone home early. Tomoya questions if it was okay to let her go home alone, but the girls reveal that they’d hadn’t been told anything more because it related to Kotomi’s privacy.
When Kyou and Tomoya go talk to Kotomi’s homeroom teacher, they learn that Kotomi had told her teacher she wasn’t feeling well before leaving. The teacher can’t tell them about the private matter and suggests that they ask Kotomi directly, but she does give them Kotomi’s home address. Because of all this, Kyou realizes that they might not truly be Kotomi’s friends yet. No one answers the door at Kotomi’s house, so the group decides to come back tomorrow, but during his time there, Tomoya can’t help but repeatedly notice a black butterfly and be bothered by something about the house. He ultimately returns there after everyone else leaves, and this time he finds the trench coat man hanging around the front gate. Tomoya is initially hostile towards the man, but the man then introduces himself as an acquaintance of Kotomi’s parents – a member of their research team who’s known Kotomi since she was little. Tomoya thinks that the man is here to see Kotomi’s parents, and he’s confused when this causes the man to realize that Tomoya doesn’t know something. The man decides, however, not to reveal the truth because he respects Kotomi’s privacy.
When Tomoya then asks the man about Kotomi’s parents being great scientists, the man launches into an explanation about how the space and time that they observe is not the only universe. As the world was taking its shape, a finely contained dimension fell away, and the man calls it a hidden world. Kotomi’s parents were the first to find the whereabouts of this world, or more accurately, they should have. The man was proud to have helped them with this work, but he decides not to say anything more to Tomoya about it. Upon learning that Kotomi still refers to him as a bad guy, the man comments on how she still thinks that way about them. Since Tomoya claims to be Kotomi’s friend, the man asks him to pass along a message: he and his colleagues don’t expect her to forgive them, but they still regret what happened back then. After the man leaves, Tomoya goes back to the house and gets a feeling of familiarity. He thinks about ringing the doorbell again, but he realizes that he never used the front entranceway before. Instead, he goes around the side of the house and finds a backyard that hasn’t been taken care of in a while.
Being here reminds Tomoya of what Kotomi told him about seeing a rabbit, and that in turn brings back memories of this yard back when it was tended to. Heading into the house, Tomoya goes upstairs and opens the first door he sees. Inside, he finds Kotomi sitting alone in a room with newspaper clippings plastered everywhere, and one of them blows to his feet. On it is a report of an airplane crash, and the victims had included Kotomi’s parents. Tomoya suddenly remembers the two from when he was young, and he also recalls a scene where Kotomi was crying in a burning room. Because of this, he realizes that he had met Kotomi before when they were kids.
The big “wtf” moment this week though was Fuuko’s appearance. That came out of nowhere, and she just as quickly disappeared again, leaving me wondering what the heck just happened. I think it really takes away from the Fuuko ending we got a few episodes ago, and any subsequent Fuuko return (temporary or permanent) now probably won’t have the same impact. Still, it was kind of amusing.
As for Kotomi, a lot more stuff makes sense now that we know about the accident, like why she didn’t look up at the sky or why she was so traumatized by the bus crash. Obviously there’s still more we haven’t been told yet (like what that fire was all about), but it’s the significance of the symbols that I’m most curious about – the rabbit and deer line (which I’m told is originally from The Dandelion Girl) and also the black butterfly. It didn’t seem like at first that Kotomi’s story had supernatural elements to it, but maybe those indicate that it does. I also assume that what the man said about hidden worlds will become important later on, particularly in regard to the girl and robot scenes they keep showing (though none this episode).
Unfortunately, there’s no episode of Clannad next week or the week after (which is the norm for anime productions at the end of the year). Episode 13 will air on January 10th, 2008.