CLANNAD ~AFTER STORY~ – 08
Since Yukine didn’t get much sleep, she, Nagisa, and Tomoya look up a charm that suggests resting her head on someone’s lap. Yukine remembers that her brother had done this for her when she was young, and so Nagisa suggests using Tomoya instead. Yukine falls asleep as soon as she tries this, and although Nagisa is a bit envious, she recognizes how tired Yukine has been. When Yukine wakes up a little later, a battered Sudou shows up and brings news of how the rival group has mistaken Sunohara for her brother. In talking with Tomoyo about it, Tomoyo reveals that there used to be rumor that Kazuto was the one who could face her. Tomoyo also warns that there have been a lot of fights recently and that the police will get involved sooner or later, so she advises stopping this foolish fighting or else risk mutual destruction. Yukine’s brother’s group, however, wants to keep fighting, so Tomoya and Nagisa ask Yukine about when Kazuto will be discharged from the hospital so that he can settle things down. Instead of answering, Yukine tries to go alone to negotiate with the rival group. Tomoya chases after her and questions if her brother knows about what’s going on and could talk with the others over the phone. Yukine’s silence on the matter is revealing to him, and so he accompanies her to see the rival group.
Everyone in the rival group is unwilling to hear Yukine out except for their leader Sasaki. Since he can’t let things be settled like this, he proposes a one-on-one fight between the two group leaders. Yukine has no choice but to agree to this, though since Kazuto isn’t around, their group has to use a substitute. They settle on Sunohara after hearing about how he was bragging about beating up four guys at once. When the time for the fight comes, things take a turn for the worst after Nagisa feeds everyone in the group – including Sunohara – some of her mother’s bread combined with some special jam. It knocks them all out, so when Sasaki arrives to fight, the only one left to face him is Tomoya. Tomoya is at first barely able to lay a hand on Sasaki and starts getting pummeled, but he endurres, and the fight drags on until after the sun sets. Right around the time that both of them collapse from exhaustion, the knocked-out guys start to wake back up, and they rush to Tomoya’s aid. This causes the opposing side to come rushing out too, and the only thing that prevents an all-out battle is the sudden appearance of Miyazawa Kazuto. Knowing what has to be done, Sasaki and Kazuto race towards each other, but right as Sasaki punches Kazuto, he realizes that Kazuto is actually just Yukine in disguise.
Insisting that she’s Kazuto, Yukine tries to fight Sasaki, but he easily restrains her. Yuu then reveals that Yukine had earlier left the scene to go get her older brother, however Sudou already knows that there was no way that could happen. When Sasaki questions why Yukine would do this, Tomoya yells at him about how she pretended to be her brother because that was the only way to end the fighting. In tears, Yukine questions why they have to fight and pleads with everyone to put an end to it, saying that her brother would want this too. In the aftermath, everyone goes with Yukine to visit the Miyazawa family grave, and while there, she admits that she had been afraid of her brother and her brother’s friends for a long time. However, when she saw them crying at her brother’s funeral, she had wondered why she hadn’t tried to understand her brother’s way of life more. Because of this, she found the courage to get closer to her brother’s friends and get to know them, and being with them made her feel like she was laughing with her brother. Kazuto had wanted an end to the conflict, but Yukine and the others were afraid that news of his death would prompt Sasaki’s group to attack, so they kept it a secret. Yukine had just wanted to realize her brother’s dream of getting rid of conflict in their city, and after seeing everyone praying together in front of the grave, she’s sure that her brother would be happy.
At this moment, Tomoya notices a light floating in the sky, and he’s almost able to reach out and touch it. Later, after Yukine thanks him, Sunohara, and Nagisa for everything, she explains their city’s legend: when a good thing happens or there exists a moment of happiness, an orb of light appears. These lights are seen as symbols of happiness, and if obtained, a wish can be granted. This last part causes Nagisa to make the connection to what happened with Misae. Yukine then reveals that less people have been able to see this recently, and she suggests that Tomoya might be special because he was able to see one. Still, she feels that Tomoya is still himself and her friend, and she considers herself a truly fortunate person because she’s supported by so many people.
Well, this was a nice conclusion with some very funny moments (Sanae’s bread + Akiko’s jam = a hilariously deadly combo), but the story never really drew me in, so I ended up feeling that Yukine’s story was overall pretty mediocre. Her brother being dead was an interesting revelation, but not terribly surprising, and I found her desire to prevent fighting kind of stale. The logic behind keeping her brother’s death a secret didn’t really make sense to me either. Surely she could have used that in some way to convince the other side that there was no point in fighting anymore. At least the fight between Tomoya and Sasaki was pretty well done, even if it did culminate in an amusing DBZ sort of way with that giant explosion of water. I didn’t expect to see that kind of fight scene in this kind of show.
Arguably the most important thing I got out of this episode was that the light orbs are symbols of happiness and can grant wishes. That appears to tie together what Tomoya saw this episode with the light from Misae’s arc and the lights in the title screen of each episode and maybe even the lights mentioned in the illusionary world parts. The ones in the title screen have been increasing with every arc, and I assume they’ll probably come into play again. For the time being though, it looks like they might be continuing with the main story sooner than I thought since the focus next week is going back to what Tomoya plans to do with his life after high school.