With the school festival coming up, the drama club members are going through some vocal exercises that Koumura gave them, and Tomoya can’t help but smile at how determined Nagisa is with all this. For their production, she is writing the script and will be the actress, Ryou and Kotomi are handling sound, Kyou and Sunohara are handling lighting, and Tomoya is directing and handling stage management. For costuming, they are relying on Nagisa’s mother, and even her father helps out by borrowing a video of an actual theatrical production for Nagisa to watch. She’s moved to tears by what she sees and feels that her own play can’t compare, but Tomoya thinks that it’s fine because, as long as she’s serious about this, it’ll reach people’s hearts. Afterwards, Akio helps Tomoya go through the stuff in the shed outside to see if they can find the book that Nagisa supposedly based her play on. Tomoya now suspects that it could also have been a play that she had seen in the past, however Akio doesn’t think that this is likely because he would have known about it. Akio eventually locates a photo album consisting of pictures from his and his wife’s past, but they don’t find what they’re really looking for, and when Sanae yells for them to be quiet, they hastily throw the boxes back into the shed.

The following day, Nagisa proposes to Tomoya that they use a song at the play’s climax. His advice is for her to do what she wants because this is a stage that she created, and since Nagisa wants to sing, she decides to include the song. At school, they consult Nishina Rie and the girls of the choir club about background music, and since Rie understands that this is a sad story about being alone in the world, she suggests Ravel‘s Ma Mère l’Oye. Tomoyo also shows up to check up on them, though the first thing that everyone notices is how she’s wearing glasses now. She admits to having bad eyesight, however she didn’t wear glasses before because she didn’t like how she looked with them. In any case, she surveys the drama club’s progress and vows with Nagisa to work their hardest on the upcoming festival. Patting Nagisa on the head for being a good girl, Tomoyo comments on how she’s glad that it was Nagisa, and this statement holds particular meaning to Kyou, Ryou, and Kotomi. Nagisa then decides to practice in front of everyone with the music playing, and as he watches her, Tomoya thinks about how she brought so many people into what was once an empty room and how they’re sharing the joy.

In the days that follow, the drama club members work just as hard as everyone else in the school to prepare for the festival, and Sanae finishes making a costume for Nagisa. The day right before the festival is devoted to rehearsal, and Nagisa spends almost all of her time studying her lines. She gets really nervous while waiting backstage for her turn, and when it’s finally time, the group puts their hands together for a cheer. Rehearsal ends up proceeding without a hitch, and Nagisa’s parents are happy to hear about it after she and Tomoya return home. When Tomoya comments on how doting Akio and Sanae are, Akio suggests that Tomoya would be the same way when he has his own daughter. Nagisa agrees with him, but her reasoning is that Tomoya resembles her father. Later that night, she visits Tomoya’s room because she’s too nervous to sleep, and when they start talking about how her parents will be attending the performance, Nagisa admits to realizing again how much she’s loved by them. However, she’s still caught up on the feeling that she did something bad to her parents during her childhood. Remembering how Akio had told him that Nagisa would think that they gave up their dreams for her, Tomoya tells her that she’s being too sensitive about this and with blaming herself. He suggests that she just concentrate on the play tomorrow, and Nagisa decides to take his advice.

Before going to bed, Nagisa prepares her bag for tomorrow and remembers that they need a flashlight for backstage. She finds one in the kitchen, but it’s batteries are dead, so she heads outside to the shed to look for another. In doing so, she accidentally knocks over the boxes that Akio had hastily stacked earlier, and all their contents spill out. A few hours later, Tomoya wakes up to use the bathroom and notices that the light in one of the rooms is still on. He finds Nagisa sitting over a bunch of photos, play scripts, diaries, and fliers featuring Akio, and she’s shocked because she didn’t know that her father used to be an actor. Just like Akio predicted, Nagisa blames herself for her parents giving up their dreams, so Tomoya tries his best to have her to not think about this and sends her off to get some sleep instead. After Nagisa slowly walks out, Tomoya notices an entry in Sanae’s old diary that talks about a riverside stroll with Nagisa, and Sanae had written that if she had continued to be a teacher, she didn’t think that she would have been able to feel such happiness. Right as Tomoya finishes reading this, Akio shows up in the doorway and, having realized what happened, he’s frustrated over how this is the worst timing.


As far as next-to-last episodes go, color me relatively unimpressed. Nagisa finally finds out about what her parents did for her, and while it’s a big shock for her, I was looking for something a little more emotional impact here. Part of that stems from how, even though I know it’s not entirely valid to do so given the different story structures, I can’t help but compare this to what the next-to-last Kanon episode was like. It just doesn’t feel like we’re headed for a particularly satisfying conclusion here. With only one episode left, short of any big surprises, I expect that Tomoya will help Nagisa get over her mental barrier, she’ll perform the play wonderfully, and that’ll be it. It’s entirely possible that it could still tug at our heartstrings, but for now, I’m just not feeling it. Several people have speculated to me that there’s no way Kyoto Animation isn’t going to animate more of this (the After Story) in the near future, and I really hope that they’re right.


  1. well, after I saw how the movie ended I don’t mind if the serie ends rather boring

    Show Spoiler ▼

  2. This episode is very important, as it’ll effect Nagisa in her play. It would seem the next episode should be the conclusion of Nagisa’s arc, I’ll say episode 24 should be about the after story which maybe Usio will appear. That’ll be nice to see how good KyoAni will animate that.

  3. Everyone expecting the After Story to be crammed into one or two episodes…

    …you do realize that After Story is the length of a full route, don’t you? It covers several years… Kyoani trying to cram it into one episode would be dreadful…

  4. Wow she finally finds out, It was only a matter of time. I wonder what the end will be. Just a few more episodes. Hope we get a happy end if not, After Story would be nice to see.

  5. i have just seen the movie literally today… DAMN. congratulations for Clannad to be the first anime in all 8 years of me watching anime (since gundam wing and dragonball z were on tv in britain on Cartoon network) for being the first anime to ever make me cry (i am a guy… no really honest :p)

    WingZero zxt
  6. oh wait my point was i really hope the same thing dont happen again a in the movie though it def wont have the same impact as everything in the series so far has sort of bounced of me to be honest

    WingZero zxt
  7. WingZero, I highly, highly doubt the things in the movie will occur in the anime. When the movie is criticized for trying to fit things (note that the timeframe it did emphasis couldn’t fit everything), it’s virtually (or rather is) impossible to do After Story in one episode.

    Though yes, if it ends up open ended like Kanon, that seems entirely believeable. I think episode 22 would conclude the play, and “finish Nagisa’s route”, as in non-AS portions.

    I would not be surprised if 22 had graduation (considering how I think the “extra” was “summer” which more or less could imply post graduation.)

    And as blundering as some may think of the movie, some points here and there were actually true. Also, because the approach is in dire contrast to the anime, the chances of the anime establishing similar things that the movie did I think is unlikely.

    Funny how the portion that makes the Tomoya x Nagisa relationship truly beautiful … probably won’t be animated given one episode left. Though for that same reason it makes it a little weird that it was established in that manner that it was (since it obviously the original way it was established). Well, Kyoani in previous key works did extract more or less everything (like AIR having 3 segments), so since after story exists, it’s entirely possible for them to animate it. Kyoani wouldn’t run a bad ending, but would they run *that*? Then again, if they didn’t, it would cheese out the success that contrasts *that*.

  8. Everyone still lists this series as 24 episodes. And the episode title for 23 is out already.

    The Events of Summer
    Natsuyami no Dekigoto
    Summer Vacation Chapter

    So no, this show doesn’t end with 22 episodes. I don’t know what Omni is smoking.

  9. Call me conservative/Kyoto-fanboy. After watching the series done by Kyoto, I cannot bear to watch the movie.

    Believe me, I cannot even watch pass the part where Tomoya and Nagisa meet.

    Still, Clannad is not a series that is all about dying and disease. Though it bears the same atmosphere as Kanon, Clannad is more light-hearted . And as you guys appreciate Kanon for its tragic storyline, I think Clannad should also be appreciated for its light-hearted manner.

    Love both Kanon and Clannad, anyway :3

  10. I don’t know but the words on the preview clearly says final episodes, 23 24 might be some extra story like Code Geass with 22 episodes shown on air but 2 extra episode on DVD.

  11. For Amoirsp’s eyes only since it involves spoilers:
    Show Spoiler ▼

  12. Personally, I hope they never animate After Story. It was good writing all the way through except the ending. The ending for that part and the illusion world really disappoints the fans with how sad they are. At least i think the rest are because i can’t say i liked what happened to them.

  13. As far as i know, they are going to make a remake of the movie. I believe it is going to be about Nagisa & Tomoya and their child. Nagisa will die and have the child. Tomoya depressed because Nagisa is gone will repeat his father’s footsteps. Or though is what i think is going to be about.

    Yes, i agree that this episode did not give any impact at all. Like i said before, Clannad was great for the Comedy but so well they made it that it was hard for them to make it serious. Or at least they spoiled too much before the surprise making it really tasteless.

  14. To appease the numerous Kyou fans, KyoAni will pull off a surprise ending! It will be about how Tomoya will dump Nagisa and realize that Kyou is the one whom he truly loves…….

    The Cappinometerr
  15. Considering that they’ve already animated a few certain parts of the After Story in the OP,like Fuko looking at Ushio, its almost guranteed that they’ll do an OVA series or something.

  16. Hm Nagisa was awesome and more Tomoyo was good, but where the plot is heading has me thinking “Meh is that going to be all?” I heard the best part of Clannad/Nagisa’s route is the After Story so I hope kyoani will do it justice.

  17. Looking at the OP you can see that KyoAni did plan the whole thing to end in the next episode all along. Look at the part where Nagisa is introduced in the OP and you can see the same shot of her younger self passed out in the snow waiting for Akio as with in ep 20. Also 2 shots of Ushio (she was running when the clannad title comes out and at the end she was under a tree) means that we will still get Nagisa After

  18. Incidentally, for those confused about the episode count of the show, it’s 22 Episodes of the Main Story (last episode airing next week) + 1 Side-Story Episode (airing in two weeks) + 1 DVD Bonus Episode, content unknown (on DVD 8 in July). So it’s *like* there are 23 TV episodes and 1 DVD episode, but the last one airing isn’t labelled “23”.

  19. I have to say i am pretty disappointed with how the story is turning out to be. It is just getting plain old boring. I had high hopes for this series since Kyoto Animation was doing it but seems like even they can succumb to disease called lack-of-a-decent-plot. All in all looking at wheer this is going i would rate this series 7.5/10. Even the animation is starting to feel old, unlike Haruhi Suzumiya whose animation looks crisp no matter how many times i have watched.

  20. i have to admidt i am feeling pretty disapointed in clannad right now…i feel like this series is not nearly as dramatic as the other key series…by the second to last ep on kanon and air there was an enormous amount of tension built up which was what made the series so awesome…
    that being said i have to say that i think it would have been far more dramatic to have had tomoya tell nagisa about her parents past, breaking the families trust because he thought she needed to know, and then he gets kicked out of the house and the last ep having to do with patching up the relationships between nagisa, tomoya, nagisa’s family and tomoya’s dad…
    although that might have ruined tomoyas character as a good hearted guy that i have totally fallen in luv
    it would have been more interesting tho…
    i just find it stupid and boring that nagisa gets so freaked out about her parents giving up their careers for their kid…i mean thats not that big of a deal…many people in real life do it today…i guess its sort of a shock that she never knew that side of her parents, but not a big enough shock to end the series on…

    but that is just my opinion…

  21. Are there less comments on all of the anime posts because Smash came out? or is it just me..

    Anyway, I look forward to the animated Akio scenes because I’m not sure about the rest of you, but it seems like Akio’s voice actor is doing much better in the anime than in the visual novel. I’m hoping he does his lines better in the next episode too, because I felt he could have done much better in the visual novel’s scenes Show Spoiler ▼


  22. I kind of agree with Whatchamini. With the way this is going they better do the after story, I mean are they going to end this without resolving the illusionary world, not hooking up Nagisa and Tomoya, and leaving everything inconclusive?

  23. @Convael

    Show Spoiler ▼

  24. +1 for Akio in General, +1 for Tomoyo’s appearance in glasses and Kyou’s face after hearing she’s scared of contact lenses.
    -1 for being quite boring… -1 because I really can’t see where they’re going to end this…

  25. I love Clannad; But honestly, I thought it started out strong- but slowly started to die down.

    The most impressive story was Fuuko’s
    Followed by Kotomi’s;
    And I wish they hadn’t skimped down on Tomoyo’s.
    But, oh well.

  26. seems like the ending for the series will be a lot different than the MOVIE one…. because episode 23 sounds like one of those OMAKE EPISODE (where they all just go out and have fun)… anywayz, keeping my fingers cross and hope that the last episode is not rushed…

    akio-san wa KAKUIIII…!!

  27. Frankly, I found this episode to be a bit of a disappointment. Comparing this second-to-last episode to its AIR and Kanon counterparts, it lacks drama. Even Fuko’s second-to-last episode of her individual arc demonstrated a bit more emotional tone than this. Moreover, as a person who is completely oblivious to the plot of the original game, I am even more disappointed to the fact that this episode made absolutely no connection with the inexplicable dream sequences.

    As some have previously mentioned, it seems as if KyoAni is merely trying to get Clannad over with, so it may concentrate its efforts onto its next project-preferably Haruhi season II.

  28. You shouldn’t underestimate Nagisa’s story and Clannad like that, there’s a reason Clannad is considered by a lot of people as Key’s best game. Anyways people will probably be surprised by what is to come later, a second season is pretty much unavoidable right now.

  29. FF: Yes, that was part of it. *that* actually meant what happens a bit later, but that’s too much fastforwarding.

    Perhaps I like bittersweet endings better. :3 Though, in this anime Kyoani made it such that in every route used (Fuuko, Kotomi, Nagisa) they used most of the characters to assist in the resolution of each one (I’m guessing Nagisa’s would, when the entire series ‘ overall sequence of events links to supporting her cause).

    Though Kyoani isn’t really the type to run bittersweet recently. Something happy or neutral-happy is far, far more likely, as it was clear they wouldn’t run bad endings (and to fail other good endings or not present routes, I just call it truncation.)

    Though I do need to realise one thing, that the preview wasn’t fascinating momentum, but the content might be a much different feel (like episode 17). If 17 was the one with the flag, and it runs like that, then it’ll be conclusive. Or at least happy (since they have everyone helping out, in effect).

    Though it doesn’t seem surprising at all that Kyoani is giving completely “conclusive” vibes. Yes, Kanon 24 was “conclusive” and the last episode of AIR was like a recap. Makes me wonder why they went into the visual novel medium. And predicting that Tomoya and friends will help Nagisa through with performance struggle is like one of those happy tales that’s somewhat guaranteed. (In effect, Tomoyo running for student council was the same. Normally getting that position isn’t easy, and there’s drama within it, but with Kyoani cutting the aspect that makes the running very difficult, it wasn’t all that struggle-some.)

    No wonder there seems to be a lack of drama. The resolution of it is too obvious (note that Fuuko’s was probably predictable, but the struggle was more obvious.) The other thing is that all the process to making the drama club work all worked according to plan with like no failure. That means that retaining the club’s strength is too clear in the anime, so the drama can only exist with Nagisa’s emotion.

    And even then it seems a bit odd. If there is personal issues and support is required to get over the struggle … well in the anime’s case you have like virtually every single character available to assist. Since the number of things to overcome is very limited, the resolution of it is also very limited. Then it will feel like something is missing despite being conclusive.

    That is unless Kyoani decides to put an input that portrays something into the future.

    (I find it funny that if you think of the chain of events, and the sources, you could realise that a lot of causes stemmed from the simple fact that Tomoya used to go to the reference room to take naps, though the anime didn’t state that specifically. Because he used the room before for whatever reason prior to the 3rd year, he used it later when helping Nagisa, which lead him to meeting Miyazawa, which lead to the book with the basketball thing to indirectly convince Nishina to share Koumura, then the other book of thoughts that gives Tomoya realization of Nagisa thinking of him.)

    So in that sense, that was pretty good. Some methods of foreshadowing and links I must say, Kyoani did well. (ironically it shafts such characters with more personality impact, due to the romance being unable to coexist, or coexist in an unusual fashion.)

    Blah too much rambling by me, probably lost train of thought an hour ago.


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