CLANNAD ~AFTER STORY~ – 10
In the illusionary world, the robot is gathering junk while the girl puts together their flying machine. With the sky getting cloudier, the robot knows that they have to take flight before winter arrives or else the girl won’t be able to move. The robot doesn’t understand that very well, but he realizes that it can’t be helped. Back in the real world, Tomoya dreams of everyone saying goodbye at the graduation ceremony. When he wakes up, he instinctively goes to get his uniform before he remembers that he’s already graduated. Since he doesn’t have a job yet, Akio and Sanae offer him work at the bakery, and Sanae starts calling him by his given name because they’re like family. As Tomoya learns the in and outs of the bakery, Nagisa gets well enough to go to school again. Her new class is full of people she doesn’t know, but she’s optimistic about making friends. With the challenges facing Nagisa combined with being around her parents all the time, Tomoya starts to understand that Akio and Sanae are always making Nagisa laugh with their antics.
Unfortunately, recruitment for the drama club doesn’t go so well, and Nagisa is given a deadlines to find more members or else the club will be closed. Nagisa wants to talk to Tomoya about happy school things, but as time goes on, Tomoya notices that this doesn’t happen, and he finds out later that no one joined the club. On his way home from grocery shopping one day, Tomoya runs into Yuusuke who’s working on a power line. The two talk briefly about how there’s a manpower shortage in Yuusuke’s line of work since it’s a demanding job and how Yuusuke and Kouko are still hopeful that Fuuko will recover. Tomoya then heads to an agency that lists available apartments, but he finds all the places too expensive for him. Seeing everyone else going about their lives starts him thinking about what he’s doing, and he then has a chance encounter with Kyou and Ryou. The two have been really busy with college, and when they ask about him, Tomoya admits that he’s still freeloading. He reveals that he’s looking for a cheap place of his own, so Ryou tells him of a place she knows about.
With this in mind, Tomoya rushes back and finds Yuusuke. Remember what Yuusuke had said earlier, Tomoya now begs him for a job. Yuusuke’s approval leads to Tomoya telling the Furukawa family that he’s moving out. Before he does so though, he has a private conversation with Akio in which Akio suggests that Tomoya can come talk to him if he needs help. Tomoya takes the chance to ask if he can someday take Nagisa with him, and after a long pause, Akio states that it’s her decision. Akio and Nagisa both help Tomoya move into his new apartment, and once they’re done, Akio heads home first. While Nagisa is making some tea and singing to herself, Tomoya wonders aloud if they’ll someday be able to live together like this, but Nagisa doesn’t hear him. Later, she brings up the topic of telling Tomoya’s real father about him moving. Tomoya claims that he will, and the two then go their separate ways.
Tomoya has a hard time falling asleep that night, and the next morning, he nearly gets up late. Thankfully Nagisa came to wake him up and cook him breakfast, and she wants to cook him dinner as well. His first day at the electric company Yuusuke works for starts off fairly well with a meeting with the boss. While they’re driving to their first job, Yuusuke notes that the atmosphere around Tomoya has changed and that he’s like a different person from when they first met. Yuusuke doesn’t acknowledge Tomoya as an adult yet, but he sees him instead as a child who’s struggling to become an adult. As for their job, Yuusuke is very serious about it and teaches Tomoya while he works. When Tomoya accidentally drops a wrench while high up a pole, Yuusuke yells at him because failure isn’t allowed. Yuusuke makes Tomoya realize that someone – such as a loved one – could have been under them and gotten hurt, so they have to be careful. The day’s work leaves Tomoya exhausted, and he collapses when he gets back home. As promised, Nagisa is there and has made dinner. While he eats, she tries to tell him about something good that happened in school today, but Tomoya is too tired to listen and falls asleep.
Well, it’s clear that nothing’s going to come easy for Tomoya or Nagisa, which I guess is as good a reflection on real life as you’d expect. The two make a good couple, but they’re a ways off from having the kind of relationship Akio and Sanae have. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tomoya has to ask Akio for help or advice at least once, if not more. It’s interesting to see how what could have been simply a happily-ever-after doesn’t always turn out that way immediately. I’m glad though that Tomoya didn’t wallow around for too long lamenting his own situation before he finally took action – in other words, it looks like they aren’t wasting time with unecessary things in the story.
It also (finally) occurred to me that the girl in the illusionary world is similar to Nagisa in that they’re both inactive during the winter. I’m sure that’s more than just a coincidence, but the actual connection between the two worlds is still unclear. Now that it looks like we’re out of the individual arcs structure of the story though, I wonder if we’ll get a look at the illusionary world every episode from now until they establish that connection. For the time being, it looks like the story will continue with Nagisa and Tomoya’s struggle into adulthood, and the Founder’s Festival is coming up again.