This recap episode was actually better than I thought it’d be, and I’m a bit impressed that they managed to get through so much of the main story in one go. It’s framed as Tomoya telling Ushio the story of everything that happened before she was born, starting from when he met Nagisa. It’s original narration with Ushio sometimes asking questions, and Tomoyo talks about all the friends he had and how they helped Nagisa with her play for the first half. The second half covered the important parts of AFTER STORY, but what was interesting to me was how the “official” timeline was presented since there was that miracle to account for. When Ushio falls asleep during the recap, Tomoya admits that he has a strange memory that he hasn’t told her about. It’s the story of how she was born and Nagisa died and all that, and at the point where they’ve collapsed in the snow, Tomoya recalls that something happened, and the next thing he knew, he was suddenly back to five years ago when she was born. He still believes that everything that happened was real, and he finishes by talking about living in the city where everything in his life has taken place. The very end was the only original animation in this episode, and it showed Tomoya trying to wake Ushio and Fuuko up, and Nagisa calls out to all of them.
In short, they did a good job depicting this recap as a story Tomoya tells Ushio, and I enjoyed hearing their voices again. It’s probably not worth watching the entire thing though unless you’re a huge fan of the series. I was also hoping for an announcement commercial after this episode for a new Kyoto Animation and potentially Key title, but there was only a commercial for the Gundam 00 finale and for the already announced K-ON! show (which I’ll talk about more when I post the Spring Preview in a few days).