CLANNAD ~AFTER STORY~ – 05
In the illusionary world, the robot questions what the lights around him are and thinks that they could be the shadow of something that exists in another world. The girl meanwhile builds a seesaw out of junk, and as the two ride it, the robot realizes that the girl couldn’t play like this back when he wasn’t there. This leads to the robot wondering what the girl thought about every day when she was alone. Afterward, the girl wishes that she could shed tears and – shivering from the cold – observes that even this world has winter. The robot then wonders if their sky connects to another world – a busy and warm world where he used to be. Back in the real world, Tomoya and Nagisa visit the dorm and are surprised when Misae’s cat comes running out. It turns out that Misae is at this moment punishing Sunohara for trying to sell her cat. She reveals though that the cat doesn’t have a name and that she started taking care of it after it started following her around some time ago.
Tomoyo then shows up at the dorm to get some advice from Misae on student council president matters. Specifically, her goal is to replicate something that Misae pulled off back when Misae was student council president: a week of no tardy students and no absences. Misae knows that this will be difficult given people like Sunohara and Tomoya, but Nagisa vouches that Tomoya is at least going with her to school now. Back when Misae did it, she had merely mentioned the idea to everyone and they went along with it out of fun. Her only advice to Tomoyo is to not try too hard and get too worked up about it or else someone will invariably rebel. Misae then gets paid a visit by a guy on the rugby team, so she hands him a flyer for the local autumn festival and suggests that it wouldn’t be a bad place for a first date.
Although Sunohara gets punished for listening in on this private conversation, everyone else is impressed by how much the students rely on Misae. She’s happy that she’s popular, but she’s also self-conscious of how she tends to scold and yell at others. Tomoya, however, points out that one of her good qualities is how she worries about others, and he also notes that she smells good to the guys. All of this reminds Misae of how someone had said something similar in the past. After Tomoyo leaves, Misae sends Sunohara back to his room so that she can talk with Tomoya and Nagisa privately: she wants the two of them to go to the autumn festival together because she had heard that Tomoya rarely takes Nagisa out on dates. Misae explains that the two of them remind her of when she was young, and she feels that her duty right now is to look after the young people.
As the night drags on and Nagisa and Misae continue chatting, Tomoya starts to get sleepy. It is in this state that he sees Misae’s cat staring at him. He also hears a voice tell him that a certain charm has a light in it that grants a single wish, and the voice wants him to take the charm to a certain person and grant her wish.
In a flash, time turns back to many years ago. Misae had been waiting at the gate of the school so that she could walk home with Igarashi – the guy she had a crush on – but Igarashi had mistaken another guy to be her boyfriend and left her alone. That other guy wasn’t a person that Misae recognized, but he had known who she was and had introduced himself as Shima Katsuki. At first, Misae hadn’t stayed around to listen to what Shima had to say since she was still pissed off about the misunderstanding, but Shima persisted through her violent reaction and revealed that he was there to grant a wish. He explained that back when he was in elementary school, Misae had come to the hospital to see her mother and had cheered him up as well. Misae finally remembered after Shima after he revealed that he was in a wheelchair and had a cat back then. Regardless, Shima wanted to return the favor and insisted on granting a wish for her, but Misae didn’t believe him and had gone home.
Shima didn’t give up though and was waiting for Misae on the way to school the next morning. Misae’s friends had mistaken who Shima was, so Misae once again got angry at him. Shima realized that she liked Igarashi and had suggested that she use her wish to get married to him, but Misae refused because she was against manipulating someone’s heart. After class, Misae had found Shima still waiting for her at the school gate, and Igarashi saw them together and misunderstood yet again that Shima was Misae’s boyfriend. Misae tried to deny it, and afterward, she worried if Igarashi understood. Since Shima was confident that Igarashi would come to like Misae, she had commented on how strange it was that Shima wasn’t jealous even though she liked another guy, but she had liked the fact that he was pure like that.
It rained the next day, and because Shima had waited outside, Misae had taken him into the school and dried him off. She thought that he could stop the rain if he had the power to grant wishes, but Shima had explained that he could only grant one wish and that it was only for her. Misae hadn’t understood why Shima was so grateful to her since he couldn’t even remember what she had said to cheer him up, so Shima admitted that it probably has more to do with the fact that she spoke to him with her positive attitude than what she actually said. Later that afternoon, Shima had run into Igarashi on his own, and when Shima explained that he wasn’t Misae’s boyfriend, Igarashi used the chance to reveal that he already had a girlfriend. He knew all along about Misae’s feelings and asked Shima to break the news to her without hurting her.
When Misae found Shima afterward, she noticed how downcast he looked and had tried to figure out what was wrong. She randomly guessed that he fell in love and was surprised when he said that he might be. Since Misae hadn’t yet realized that he was talking about her, Shima revealed that he was downcast because he had to report to this girl that the guy she liked already had a girlfriend. Misae saw this as a chance for Shima to comfort the girl while she was depressed from the shock of an unrequited love so that the girl would start to like him instead. Shima, however, declared that he couldn’t feel that way and questioned if Misae could if she were in his place. Misae tried to apologize to him, but she suddenly saw Igarashi walking with his girlfriend in the distance, and it caused her to realize that Shima was talking about her. In shock, Misae called herself an idiot and wondered why Shima was the one crying before running off by herself.
First things first, this didn’t occur to me during the Sunohara/Mei arc, but after such an emotional ending here, the upbeat way the ED starts feels really out of place. At least Dango Daikazoku from the first series was a slow song. Maybe if we’re lucky they’ll introduce a second ending song halfway through the series before the really good stuff (or so I’m told) takes place.
As for the episode itself, I liked how the supernatural element, which has been largely absent from the story since the Fuuko arc, appears to be back back with Misae’s cat giving Tomoya visions. It usually makes the story less predictable, though in this case, I think I might be able to guess some of what will happen based on the clues here and on what appear to be some parallels with Kanon’s Makoto. Since it seems pretty likely that Shima is Misae’s cat (I always wondered why they paid so much attention to it), I would think that he’s going to die or disappear and Misae’s ultimate wish somehow involves him becoming the cat so that he can stay by her side as the next episode title implies. More importantly, maybe the cat giving Tomoya the vision will allow him to help Misae out in the present since I doubt this will end on a really sad note. I’m curious to see how Kyoto Animation pulls it off since they’ve managed quite a few tearjerkers in the past.