CLANNAD – Extra Chapter 01
Spring has turned into summer, and that means it is time for supplementary lessons for the third-year students. On their way to school one morning, Tomoya suggests to Nagisa that they skip and go to the beach instead because he feels that studying for exams is pointless since he doesn’t intend to go on to a university. Nagisa, however, insists that they follow the rules and cites how this affects their school records. Hearing that she’s worried about him because he’s important to her, Tomoya asks to hold her hand, but before the two can do so, Kyou suddenly drives between them on her moped and teases them about what they were doing. Later during lunchtime, the other girls comment on how Nagisa still refers to Tomoya as “Okazaki-san” even though they’re now dating. At the same moment that the girls are questioning Nagisa on how far her relationship with him has gone, Tomoya is at the dormitory telling Sunohara about how he and Nagisa haven’t even held hands yet. Sunohara questions what they’ve been doing up to this point, but before he can dwell on it for too long, Misae comes by his room to tell him that there’s a cute girl wanting to see him.
Much to Sunohara’s disappointment, the girl is merely his sister Mei. She helps clean up his room again before heading with Tomoya to the Furukawa bakery, and Nagisa’s parents are more than happy to let her stay with them. Mei and Nagisa end up chatting for most of the night about Tomoya, and fortunately Nagisa doesn’t have supplementary lessons the next day. Instead, she, Tomoya, and Mei take care of the bakery so that her parents can have some time off. Business is slow though, so Mei decides to go outside to try to attract visitors to the store. Tomoya eventually notices that something strange is going on after various guys start showing up at the store door both surprised at the fact that it’s a bakery and happy that there’s a cute girl there. He rushes outside to see what Mei is doing and finds out that she’s been telling people that the store has a cute girl, but he doesn’t get a chance to stop her because Nagisa calls him back into the bakery to help. Mei thus continues advertising the cute girl, and a small riot soon develops in the bakery as tons of people come in and try to buy bread.
The result of this is a day of record sales, though what surprises Akio the most when he gets back is that all of his wife’s bread also sold out. Sanae notices that he’s implying that it’s natural for her bread not to sell, but Akio changes the subject by declaring that he loves her. This in turn causes Mei to suggest that Tomoya tell Nagisa that he loves her too, but both of them get embarrassed and avoid the topic. After seeing this, Mei tracks down Tomoya the next day and announces that she’s going to be a cupid of love. Tomoya thinks that she’s referring to her brother because she’s worried about him, and this leads to a pair of misunderstandings: the first of which has him imagining Sunohara and Mei in a incestuous relationship and the second of which has him imagining himself and Sunohara in a relationship where they run happily together wearing matching underwear. Mei eventually clarifies that she’s talking about Tomoya and Nagisa and how they’re not being honest with their feelings. She starts by asking him what kind of person he wants Nagisa to be and is happy to hear him answer that he wishes for Nagisa to have more confidence in herself.
When Nagisa then shows up at the door, Mei acts like it’s a big coincidence. Mei quickly gets out of the two’s way, and Nagisa surprises Tomoya by referring to him as “Tomoya-kun” and by asking him out for a walk. He’s even more surprised when she says – albeit uncomfortably – that he’s super-lucky to be walking with a cute girl like her, and it doesn’t make sense to him that she decides to head back to the bakery. There, she insists on acting like a customer and paying for the bread, though she actually wants Tomoya to pay for it. Nagisa’s odd behavior continues when they head to the park to eat the cinnamon roll that she got, and she makes him say that he wants to eat it too, only to then deny it to him. She claims to want to have him enjoy it in a different manner and exhales in his face so that he can smell the cinnamon roll instead. Tomoya finally figures out what’s going on after he sees Mei peering at them from behind a nearby tree, and knowing that her plan has been exposed, Mei excuses herself and runs off.
Since Tomoya now knows that Mei was responsible, Nagisa admits that Mei had convinced her to take the lead in the relationship due to how she’s older than him, and she did what Mei planned out for her to do. She thinks that Tomoya might not like her anymore because of this, but he takes her hand and suggests that they go for a walk. When he asks her where she wants to go, Nagisa confesses that she doesn’t care where as long as she’s with him, and she promises to always stay with him.
This was a very cute and funny episode that captures a lot of the charm of the series. It doesn’t do much to contribute to the overall story, though I think any of us were really expecting it to. I see it as a way to show Tomoya and Nagisa getting closer that bridges the gap to After Story. I kind of wish they had done more to make this episode feel special or significant (maybe with some sort of milestone in Nagisa and Tomoya’s relationship), but it was still pretty enjoyable to watch. It also makes me curious what extra they’re going to animate on the final DVD when that comes out in July.
Final Thoughts: It doesn’t feel quite right doing writing up final thoughts for a series that hasn’t really ended yet, but I wanted to assess what we’ve seen so far. By itself, this first series has been merely good – nowhere near bad, but also not great. To be able to compare with past KyoAni/Key shows (mainly Kanon), it needed more episodes to develop Kyou/Ryou, Tomoyo, and even perhaps the main Nagisa story. However, I also think of what we’ve seen so far as an incomplete story since (as I’ve been repeatedly told) a lot of the best stuff is yet to come in the After Story. That’s why I feel it’s useful to view things in the perspective of the larger series, and I’m looking forward to seeing if After Story is really as good as some people say it is.