As he stands inside the room covered in newspaper clippings, Tomoya realizes that he and Kotomi had met before when they were kids. When he asks her why she didn’t say anything even though she had known him from the beginning, Kotomi explains that she had been really happy to see him at the library because she thought that the boy from back then had returned. However, she soon realized that he had forgotten about her. Despite this, he had become friends with her again, cherished her, and introduced her to a lot more friends, so she wasn’t sure if she wanted him to remember or forget the her from back then. Kotomi then begins telling about her past to Tomoya, staring with a quotation from her father. He had said that people searching for the truth shouldn’t be arrogant, that miracles shouldn’t be laughed at even though science has nothing to say about them, and that you shouldn’t turn your eyes away from the beauty of this world.

Back then, Kotomi had asked her parents why she was named Kotomi, so her father had turned her attention to the sky. He explained that the world was made of tons of tiny harps that couldn’t be seen, and harps in Japanese are called koto. Each harp had a different sound, and all of those sounds together created a single melody – that’s why he felt the world was that beautiful (aka. the mi part of her name). Her mother, however, had told Kotomi that her father had a bad habit of exaggerating, and what was really important was simple: Kotomi was Kotomi, and her name was made up of three beautiful hiragana. Kotomi then remembers that her world back then was made up of her house, her garden, and her mother and father. She had been practicing the violin one day when she saw a butterfly outside her window, and that led her to notice a young Tomoya staring at her from outside. In getting to know him, she found that he was a little different from the kids who went to her school.

When Kotomi’s birthday came around, she had asked her father for a teddy bear, though the truth was that any present would have been fine. However, her parents had to leave suddenly for a business trip, and Kotomi made a big fuss over how they had promised to be there for her birthday, along with Tomoya. She had called her parents liars and had said that she hated them, but that didn’t stop them from going. In the end, no one came for Kotomi’s birthday, not even Tomoya, so she was alone when the doorbell had rang. The man who worked with Kotomi’s parents was at the door, and when he found out that Kotomi hadn’t yet heard about what happened, he told her about how her parents’ airplane had crashed into a distant ocean. The very important thesis that they were carrying sank with them, and the man was here to see if her father had left any duplicates in his study room. Kotomi, however, had felt that this man was a bad guy and was trying to take away something important of her father’s, so she closed the door on him. She had then prayed to God to give her parents back, promising to be a good girl who’s not selfish and who studies a lot.

After running around looking for her parents and promising to be a good girl but still not finding them, Kotomi finally went into her father’s study. She had found an envelope on her father’s desk that likely had the thesis that the man had been talking about, and because she blamed it for the loss of her parents, she burned it. This is the ending point to Kotomi’s story, and having heard it all, Tomoya questions why she did that. Kotomi says that she doesn’t know, so Tomoya changes the subject to the newspaper clippings plastered all over the room. It turns out that Kotomi started collecting newspaper clippings about her parents as a way to atone for her sins, but she felt that that wasn’t enough, so she clipped book pages that mentioned her parents too. She had also studied a lot because she wanted to follow in her parent’s footsteps, and she now knows that her parents had tried to express in the most beautiful words how this world came about. It’s not something that anyone else in the world could copy, not even her, but she thinks that if she doesn’t, God won’t forgive her for burning the thesis. For now, Kotomi feels that she doesn’t want such sadness or to lose anyone important to her.

The next day, Tomoya learns from Kotomi’s teacher that Kotomi had phoned in to say that she’ll be absent for a while. Kotomi’s teacher also reveals that Kotomi had gotten the chance to go study abroad in the United States, and though Kotomi originally wasn’t interested, she now is. Tomoya later tells Nagisa about his past connection with Kotomi and decides to visit Kotomi’s house again, though when Nagisa volunteers to come too, he advises that she go to her classes instead. This doesn’t stop her from showing up at Kotomi’s house anyway after one of her classes became a study hall. Nagisa finds Tomoya working on Kotomi’s back yard with a rake, and his reason was that he wanted to do what he could. Nagisa notes that Kyou and Ryou had said the same thing in regard to Kotomi’s upcoming birthday, though she also thinks that Tomoya is the only person in the world who can get Kotomi to return to school. Tomoya ends up spending the rest of the day trying to weed Kotomi’s back yard, but there’s so much to do that he has to come back the following day. He eventually realizes that he won’t be able to finish without some tools, so he goes to purchase some.

Kyou, Ryou, and Nagisa later find him at sitting at a fast food restaurant reading a gardening book, and they show him the violin that Kotomi had played previously. They intended to give this to her for her birthday, but the problem is that it’s now broken. It seems that the girls were officially given the violin by the student who had originally left it behind, and they were on their way to get the violin tuned when a guy on a motorcycle raced past them, scaring them and causing them to drop the instrument. They’re now left with no choice but to take it to various shops to see about getting it repaired, and they find out that it’ll both be expensive and will take a long time – on the order of a month to half a year. A new violin would be cheaper, but Kyou insists on this old one even though they know that it won’t be fixed in time for Kotomi’s birthday and even though they are told that the violin might not sound the same afterwards. After handing over the violin to a shop, the four of them return to Kotomi’s house, and Kyou tries to call Kotomi out, but she gets no response. Tomoya sends the girls home because it’s getting late, however he personally stays behind to continue the gardening so that he can get it finished by Kotomi’s birthday.

As Tomoya pulls out weeds, he thinks about the childhood memories that are probably buried, and he eventually wonders if what he’s doing is pointless. He questions what he’ll do when that happens, but as if to allay his doubts, Nagisa, Ryou, and Kyou suddenly return. Nagisa had suspected that he’d still be working, and the three girls want to help him. As they start to work together, Tomoya feels that there’s nothing to be concerned about because he’s not alone. A short while later, Nagisa thinks she sees the curtains upstairs move, but when they all look up, they see nothing out of the ordinary, so they continue working on the yard.


Kotomi’s backstory is so very depressing… I’m told by a friend that this anime adaptation left some stuff out from the game that made it even more so, and I can only imagine how sad that was. Anyway, I find it interesting that Kotomi’s either fairly religious, or, more likely, she has a psyche that hasn’t developed much from when she was young, so she still thinks that God won’t forgive her if she doesn’t atone for burning the thesis. What I don’t get is how Kotomi manages to live alone all this time by herself. Shouldn’t the man who worked with her parents have done something after all these years? And whatever happened to Tomoya back then? Why didn’t he show up for her birthday? I’m also still wondering about the dream he had, and the rabbit/deer/you line that shows up again in the preview. Hopefully that’ll get answered in what appears to be the final episode of the Kotomi arc next week, which has the noteworthy English title, “Theory of Everything“.


  1. Woot! The triumphal return of Clannad is signified by this intriguing episode and none too soon either in my book. Seems that we are currently in the emotional section of Kotomi’s arc. Looking forward toward the subs. Till then, thanks for the screenshots. And Kotomi, please don’t die. >.

  2. Forget about this episode (Of course I will watch it), next episode is probable where everything unravels. Must be significant since the title is in English and is title “Theory of Everything.” Lol I wonder if they will tells us the secrets of the String Theory.

  3. One thing I can never understand about Key male protagonists is: how can they ever forget something so important that happened to them in their past? I still remembered people I was friends with when I was two or three years old. Why is always something that triggers their memory – AND THEN they remember… it’s kind of like… err… too late…

  4. It’s not like they forget in the game. Don’t forget that they put all routes together in one show – that’s really difficult to handle and you can’t always expect that much emotion towards past things from the protagonist.

  5. WOOOT its back!! However, i still don’t get how the violin popped out so easily…shouldn’t it have like at least 2-3 locks or something? like 2 buckles and a switchy lock? =/

  6. Kotomi’s story is actually is my most favorite in the whole clannad game, kotomi’s ending is so thouchie, hopefully they end it well, i haven’t seen this ep so i don’t know how they put it. btw thanks for the screen omni.

  7. Crev has a point, it’s a bit impossible to forget something like you had a best friend that fell into a damn coma (Kanon)
    And this is probably going to be some big crap that no one would ever actually forget, ever, unless they had mental problems.

  8. The main protagonist in kanon had selective memory (“selective memory” is a translation from my native language, maybe it’s way different in English), in a way that he keeps good memories and his mind tends to strip him of bad ones unintentionally. There are many parts in the anime that show this, particularly the scenes between the protagonist and Nayuki’s Mother.

  9. @Terry-Kun: Yes, sad stories for everyone. It’s a Key trademark.

    As for the forgetting, a lot of visual novels often have fairly heavy handed writing towards the melodramatic and that just happens to be one of the tropes. You kind of have to suspend your disbelief these days and go with it I find.

    @cbhl: 42

    And everyone should love lolis.

  10. Hmm…my guess is that Kotomi is a poltergeist, Ryou and Kyou are Banshees, Tomoyo is a specter, and Nagisa is the ring leader, Scary Spice >:3.

    It’s the secret 27th ending in the game.

  11. For people who wondered why Tomoya forgot Kotomi… You know, when you live something really sad or horrible, you just forget about it in order to protect yourself.
    In fact, “forget” isn’t the good word, because those memories are always in you but in your unconscious (sorry I’m French and I don’t know if it’s the good word in English…)
    If you live something similar of what you have “forgotten”, those memories just go back in your mind. Here, Tomoya saw the garden and the articles in Kotomi’s room and he remembered about her.
    I think there is nothing “strange” about that…

    Good episode.

  12. This was quite an emotionally well done ep…I give it a 10/10 for the drama and character growth.

    Fuko wasn’t in this episode, however, which is an automatic 9-point deduction.

    So, my overall rating for this episode is 1/10.

  13. Omni..u should remember, Tomoya started off this anime saying that he hates the town he lives in because its filled with memories he wants to forget, its not to surprising he has forgotten some, the only thing we know thats happened to him is that his mother died.

  14. Omni : I think we will see next ep. Remember his dream, with the fire and Kotomi crying…
    And if Tomoya’s mother was already dead when Kotomi’s parents died in the crash, it could have remembered him sad memories that he wanted to forget.

  15. Just so the perople who don’t have the game know…

    IN the game, Kotomi had a habit of sharing all her food with Tomoya, she would force just about everything into 2 pieces and get him to eat the other half (exept fot the raisin,or was it dried plums? can’t remember), Which caused a funny scene when she had him eat half of ther ice cream with nagisa and the twins watching.This is because when she realized that the food the the fridge is the last of her mother’s food, she decided to eat only half of some dishes so that when Tomoya comes, there’ll still be food left for him. When she realized that he’s not coming, she still kept only eating half of the things. She thought childishly that is she only ate half of the food, her mother’s food would never run out since there’s always the other half left. Really sad….

    I can’t wait for the next episode, since the show still have to go on, kyoani will probably make her get a scholarship and leave or something. Even so, I want to see the totally tear jerking ending. get tissues everyone!

    I apolojize for my bad english, it’s my third language…

  16. “Hi little girl your parents have just died, can I have that thesis?”
    *kotomi slams door*
    “Well I guess I should go now and leave that distraught little 8(?) year old all alone in a big house to starve or run away or burn down the house or something”
    Who the hell leaves a kid that age all alone!? Even when her parents left they should have had someone with her, they’re obviously going for a while.
    Though Kotomi did mention they had a maid she obviously wasnt around.

    About the theory of everything: Right now there are two distinct branches of physics one for the very big and one for the very small. Right now there is no theory that fully encoumpaces both. The problem is gravity is so INCREDIBLY weak compared to the other forced (‘Electromagnetic’, ‘strong’ which holds together the nucleus and ‘weak’ which is involved in radioactive decay) so none of the formulas can be transferred from one frame to the other, specially once weird quantum effects come in. The ‘best’ theory that encompases both at the moment is called string theory. Basically all particles are made up of tiny strings vibrating in 11 dimentions O.o. There’s your ‘Koto’ harps all vibrating together in different dimentions and making up the world.

  17. incidentally, anyone see the clannad movie preview yet or played the game?

    Warning! superduper hugenormouse spoilers ahead!! (maybe not that big…)

    Show Spoiler ▼

  18. @bowenarrow
    I think u are right there afterstory but nagisa has the 2ends in the after story Show Spoiler ▼

  19. Oh come on, when you have shit like your father being such a failure at life, and mother dead, and you never being able to play your favourite sport again, what’s so amazing about forgetting about some loli who looked sad?

  20. Kotomi arc ends next week…
    Not Kotomi end…what are they going to do with her then? Send her overseas so she won’t get in Kyou/Nagisa’s way?
    Ahrghhh *&()&#)(! *murderous intent*

    I think I am starting to understand how Nayuki fans felt when Kanon ended with Ayu end…


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