CLANNAD ~AFTER STORY~ – 15
With Nagisa now two months pregnant and Tomoya vowing to protect the child, Sanae is reminded of how Akio had said something similar a long time ago. Tomoya knows that he’ll have to work to support a family of three now, and he wonders if his own father thought about this stuff before he was born. As the days pass, Nagisa becomes bed-ridden with morning sickness, and Tomoya does his best to take care of her. When she starts feeling better, she brings up the topic of giving birth at home instead of at the hospital, and although Tomoya is unsure about it, he wants to go along with her wishes. Sanae introduces the couple to a midwife named Yagi, and they all worry about Nagisa’s weak body, but Nagisa tells Tomoya privately that even if something goes wrong, she wants to give birth to this baby. Nevertheless, things seem to be going well, and the entire family even sings the dango song to the unborn baby at one point. One night, however, Tomoya returns home to find Nagisa sick again after having collapsed earlier, and she hadn’t called him because she didn’t want to bother him at work. She doesn’t want him to worry and is confident that they can make it through this together, with him protecting her, but Tomoya can’t help but worry more and more.
One day after work, Tomoya runs into Sanae, and the two go to a family restaurant to chat. Sanae reveals that the doctors told her that there’d be some risk to Nagisa during the birth, and they worry about the worst case scenario since Nagisa is prone to get sick. In such a case, Tomoya wonders if they should give up on having the child, and even though Sanae can’t answer that for him, she advises that if that’s what they’re going to do, then it’s better to do it sooner rather than later. Upon hearing about all this, Nagisa still insists that she wants to give birth, but for the sake of a safe delivery, she’s willing not to do it at home. Tomoya knows that Nagisa is anxious about this even though she doesn’t show it, and when he discusses all this with Akio again, Akio decides to take Tomoya to the secret playground that he always runs off to. It is actually currently a construction site for a new hospital, but the area holds special significance to Akio. Back when Nagisa was deathly ill as a child, he had run out here with her in his arms and had prayed for her to be saved. As the sun rose, Akio felt that the greenery wrapped around Nagisa, and she soon woke up.
Ever since that time, Akio has been coming to this place, and he thinks of it as like Nagisa’s other self. He now tells Tomoya that it’s impossible to always get a wish granted by praying, but if he gives it his all with his own power until the end, then the result won’t be that bad. Still, Akio notes that he can’t decide for Tomoya and Nagisa whether or not they should have the baby, and the person who should make that decision is the one who suffers the most. Addressing Tomoya by his name for once, Akio warns that there’s a lot of pain and sadness in the future, but he’s confident they can overcome it together as a family. Afterward, Tomoya and Nagisa go for a walk by the river, and Nagisa can feel the baby moving inside of her. She proposes thinking of a name, and the two settle on Ushio which would suit either a girl or a boy. Since the meaning of the name revolves around the rising and falling tide, they start talking about the ocean and how they weren’t able to visit the beach over the past summer. Nagisa admits to having wanted to go see the ocean with him, so Tomoya decides that they should promise to go next year with Ushio, and Nagisa eventually agrees.
I got a very bad feeling about the way this episode ended. The whole promise thing feels like something that’ll either be a final happy scene of the series (which is unlikely given how many more episodes there are), or something that will be broken and be the source of a lot of sadness because Nagisa or Ushio or even Tomoya won’t make it to that point. That along with Nagisa’s insistence on having the baby plus her history of being sick every year makes me think that bad things are coming. Having said that though, I’m sure that there’s a lesson to be learned in Akio’s story about Nagisa’s past. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tomoya has to pray for a miracle similar to that, and perhaps related to that is the legend of the wish-granting orbs of light that seems to keep popping up. For the time being though, it appears that the birth is coming next week, and it doesn’t look pleasant. Here’s to hoping Nagisa will be okay.
On a different note, I found it rather coincidental that this episode implied the option of abortion while airing on the same day as the anniversary of the landmark U.S. abortion court case Roe v. Wade. I’m sure it wasn’t intentional, but it makes for an interesting bit of trivia.