Clannad 01

クラナド Episode 01

SPOILER Summary: (Names in Japanese order.) Okazaki Tomoya is walking to school and Sunohara punishedmeets up with a girl who’s talking to herself. After speaking with her, he ends up walking to school with her. Back at his dorm room (and I’m not sure if this is a flashback or not), Okazaki’s best friend (I thought they might be dorm mates, but Okazaki has a home so…) Sunohara Yōhei is being punished by the rugby team for playing his music to loudly. He smarts off to them and asks Okazaki to help him. Okazaki refuses and after the rugby team has used Sunohara as a rugby ball for a bit, the dorm’s resident manager Sagara Misae arrives and kicks the team out. However, she has no real sympathy for Sunohara as he brought it on himself.

Okazaki arrives at school late and the somewhat timid class inchou (representative) Fujibayashi Ryou tells him he should come properly. He gives her a hard time about it, leading other Kyou defends Ryouclassmates to speculate that Ryou’s twin sister (who’s aggressive and the older twin) will soon come for Okazaki making Ryou cry. Ryou says she isn’t crying and offers to perform a reading with a deck of cards since she dabbles in fortune-telling. As she attempts to shuffle the deck, she loses them to the floor. However, a few cards show face-up and from them, Ryou states that Okazaki will have a romantic meeting with a kind girl on the way to school, forget about the time passing, and will then be late. He’s impressed by this but is attacked by Ryou’s sister Kyou for picking on her twin. Seeing that Ryou was giving him a reading, she smirks at its meaning.

Okazaki heads outside at lunch to see the girl he met on the way to school. She’s eating anpan Nagisa and Okazaki(sweet bean bread) and won’t speak with him until she’s finished eating. So he waits and then when she’s done, she tells him a bit about herself. She’s repeating her 3rd year of high school because last year, she had to miss so much due to illness. As such, all her friends have gone on and she doesn’t know anyone. Okazaki encourages her to make friends and even join the drama club if she wants. They finally introduce themselves to each other and her name is Furukawa Nagisa.

The two head back to the school and see some punks out on bikes making a nuisance of Tomoyothemselves. A group of students are watching this and 2nd year transfer student Sakagami Tomoyo walks out to deal with this problem. Okazaki is going to help her, but is told that Tomoyo won’t require assistance and that he might just get in her way. Indeed, when the punks refuse to leave, she performs an impressive array of attacks which takes them out as well as their bikes. However, from the “spectators” perspective, they couldn’t see this as the fight was over in a flash.

Sunohara decides to confront Tomoyo because he doesn’t believe she can defeat guys. He smarts off and Tomoyo has him attack her so she can have a self-defense claim. She defeats him easily and suddenly, Okazaki remembers the rumors of a girl who could defeat guys who caused problems. Sunohara tells Okazaki to provide this information sooner.

Nagisa is outside the theater club room when Okazaki decides to join her. However, the room is Okazaki and Nagisanow being used as storage as the club has been disbanded. The two talk for a bit after school and then walk home together. She tells him where she lives and whether later that night or some other night (I can’t tell), he decides to accept her invitation to stop by for a visit. Her parents run a bakery and Nagisa’s mother offers him her new creation. It is bread with a rice cracker inside. He doesn’t care for it and says so, which has Sanae-san (Nagisa’s mother) fleeing in tears. Her husband, Akio-san, is not amused and verbally takes it out on Okazaki until he learns he’s friends with his daughter.

So, Okazaki is over for dinner now with Nagisa preparing the meal. Akio-san gives him a hard Dinnertime and Okazaki thinks that maybe he shouldn’t get involved with this family. But he stays and eats with them before heading home, Nagisa walking him part-way there. At home, his father has passed out from drink and when he comes to, Okazaki flees. We learn that his mother died some years ago and his father has been pretty worthless ever since. Okazaki sees Nagisa in a field surrounded by light and making an offer to take him to a place in the city where wishes come true.

Thoughts: Well, having watched and liked Kanon and Air, which were also done by Visual Art’s/Key, it was only natural that Clannad join the mix this fall. Indeed, this feels very much like Kanon in that it is set in a city and a school. However, I can tell that short of the writers really hosing this one, I’m likely to enjoy it a great deal. I expect some sniffles down the road as well, but none now. Instead, there were some nice humor moments, like when Nagisa made Okazaki wait to answer his question until she’d finished eating, or when Tomoyo takes out some punks.

The difficult part was the apparent flashbacks all over. So it was hard to tell what was the present time and what was a recent flashback.

Update (17 Feb 2008): I replaced all the 4:3 images from the show’s initial airing to the widescreen ones. I also added captions, which I wasn’t doing back then. ^_^

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