CLANNAD ~AFTER STORY~ – 12
「突然の出来事」 (Totsuzen no Dekigoto)
Episode at a Glance:
After getting praised by Yuusuke for his work as of late, Tomoya is surprised to learn that his boss would like to recommend him for a department head position in one of his old colleague’s company since they’re looking for a young individual. With the huge increase in pay, the decision weighs heavily on Tomoya who thought about sticking with his current job forever, but Yuusuke tells him to think about the future when he’ll have to support a family.
While purposely failing to mention that it’s about himself, Yuusuke tells Tomoya a story about a free-spirited teenager who did as he pleased and was into rock and roll. In his last year of high school, he met a girl (Kouko) who praised him about the lyrics in his love song. Despite being ridiculed by everyone except his teacher about going into music, Yuusuke asked Kouko to go out with him once he becomes a professional musician. Yuusuke only sung songs for himself while working towards his debut, but that soon changed when he came in contact with a lot of kids whose misfortune-filled lives were turned around by his music. With a new refined purpose to singing, Yuusuke found himself unable to write any music and his company put his career on a break. During the next six months, someone he met in show business committed a crime without Yuusuke’s music to calm him. Feeling responsible, Yuusuke made a comeback singing idealistic songs that he thought would help those who listened to his music; however, those songs weren’t well received because they ignored reality. Despite his continued drop in popularity, Yuusuke continued to sing those songs because he feared another incident happening more than anything else. Eventually, he fell out of the spotlight and succumbed to drugs. Returning home after the end of his career, Yuusuke ran into Kouko who asked him if he’s still singing. Recalling how she once told him that his dream will come true if he continues singing, he dropped to his knees in tears, having realized that he lost sight of how he started singing for her sake.
In his efforts not to lose sight of what’s important to him, Tomoya discusses his new job opportunity with Nagisa and decides to go for it. On the following day, Tomoya spends a day with Nagisa and her family in the park, and is excited about heading to the beach tomorrow for a barbecue. That same night, he gets a call from one of his father’s friends telling him that his father’s been arrested. As fate would have it, word of this spreads quickly and costs Tomoya his job opportunity. Feeling cursed by his father, Tomoya tries to convince Nagisa to leave the town with him, but she refuses to do so if it’s just running away from problems and not moving forward in life. The next day, the two of them pay a visit to Tomoya’s father in jail, who only listens on as Tomoya takes out his frustration. Unable to calm his rage after storming out, Tomoya punches a cement wall in tears while Nagisa tries her best to stop him. Out of the blue, Tomoya suggests to Nagisa that they get married. Much to his surprise, she quickly agrees.
Well that was unexpected. In what looked to be a fairly laid back episode, we got Yuusuke’s complete backstory as an artist, Tomoya’s father getting arrested, Tomoya losing his chance at a huge career opportunity, Tomoya asking Nagisa to marry him, and Nagisa accepting. Where did all that come from?
Unlike Omni, I’ve seen the CLANNAD movie sometime ago, so I’m aware of what’s (probably) coming up in AFTER STORY. However, when I first heard that this series is going to be 23 episodes long, I (like many people) wondered what they’d fill up such a long running series with. Seeing as the first good half of the series was spent on pre-graduation stuff, that pretty much answered that question. What I’m more interested in though is where things go from here, after graduation. To further develop Tomoya’s character, it was nice to see Yuusuke give him some perspective on life as he continues to tell him not to lose sight of what’s important to him. While we’re slowly getting “there”, I like how the story is focusing on Tomoya more since the movie simply glossed over a lot of this — particularly things with his father which weren’t resolved very well.
As for Yuusuke’s backstory itself, his aspirations in becoming a star, making it, finding a new purpose to singing, and finally losing everything because of an incident was reminiscent of the events in Tokyo Friends, which I recently watched. While I’m still unsatisfied by the ending the movie provided for that drama series, it’s still worth a watch for Otsuka Ai fans. (For those interested, please check out the Yumekui -Tokyo Friends ver.- PV). Given how the same story there “worked” for me, it was fairly easy to take in Yuusuke’s story despite how quickly they went through it all. Admittedly though, the guilt that he felt from indirectly causing someone to commit a crime was a bit hard to believe. In any case, the incident that caused Yuusuke to fall from stardom seems to heavily mirror how Tomoya’s father’s arrest cost Tomoya his huge job opportunity. On the same notion, Yuusuke realizing that Kouko is what really matters to him reflects Tomoya’s realization of how important Nagisa is to him, allowing him to take the next big step and ask her to marry him.
Next week looks like Sanae’s going to be the “family counselor” of sorts for Tomoya and his father, which will hopefully give us some closure between the two of them (or at least work towards one). The episode title “Graduation” still has me wondering if this is meant figuratively (e.g. Tomoya moving into adulthood) or Nagisa actually graduating from high school though.
…is really sick with a fever and a cough, but excited about Mats Sundin signing with the Vancouver Canucks today.
…is also looking forward to watching the series finales of Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka (no siscon please) and Yozakura Quartet today, so the post for CHAOS;HEAD 11 may be delayed.