Clannad 13

クラナド Episode 13

SPOILER Summary: Okazaki realizes that he had known Kotomi-chan when she was a little girl and that she knew it all along. Kotomi-chan recalls aloud the time when she was a little girl, her parents, and the little boy (Okazaki) who one day was in her yard chasing butterflies as she practiced the violin. She was without friends and he became one for her and apparently came by often to play. Kotomi was very gifted and when her birthday approached, she requested a stuffed “bear-san,” not so much because she wanted one, but because she had read that girls went for that kind of thing.

However, her parent’s job forced them to make a sudden trip overseas, meaning they’d be gone on her birthday. She’s very upset by this and tells her parents she hates them, refusing to be consoled by the fact that her birthday party would proceed as planned with Okazaki and friends coming. They leave and on her birthday, the maid got sick and no one came to her party. A knock on the door is from a strange man (the one Kotomi-chan refers to as the “bad man”) who’s looking for an important document from her parents. He also tells her the tragic news that her parents died in a plane crash. In anguish, the young Kotomi-chan goes through the house looking for her parents before ending up in her father’s study. On the desk is an envelope with what she believes are the papers the “bad man” is looking for, so she burns them. After that, Kotomi made it her mission to follow her parent’s footsteps and become very smart while at the same time, collecting every scrap of information on her parents.

The following day at school, Kotomi isn’t there and Okazaki learns that from a teacher that she’s suddenly decided to accept an offer to study in the U.S.. Okazaki discusses this with Nagisa, and tells her to inform Ryou and Kyou while he plans to return to Kotomi’s house. Seeing the overgrown yard, Okazaki decides to start pulling the weeds and the grass. Nagisa pops by and lets him know that she, Kyou, and Ryou are planning something special for Kotomi’s birthday on Saturday, giving them four days. However, she won’t say exactly what it is they are planning.

The work is slow for Okazaki and so the following day he decides to get some proper gardening and yard tools as well as a book on the subject. Nagisa, Kyou, and Ryou find him studying at a burger joint and they have their surprise. They are now the owners of the violin that Kotomi had played at school, only to have the handle broken when they were nearly run over by someone on a motorcycle. So they spend the rest of the day trying to find someone to repair it, only to learn that it would be cheaper to buy a new one, something that is unacceptable to Kyou. They finally find a shop where the guy says he can repair it, but it will take a month to six-months to do.

The group discusses this on the bus ride back to Kotomi’s place. Kyou tries to get Kotomi to respond to them, but fails. The girls offer their assistance to Okazaki, but he turns them down saying that their parents will be worried and that he’s just going to clean up and go home himself. They leave but he decides to do some work after all. A few minutes later, the girls return as Nagisa had told Kyou and Ryou that she felt he wouldn’t actually go home. This time the girls stay and help. As the work on the yard, Nagisa thinks she sees the upstairs curtain move a bit. Kotomi never shows, so they all decide to keep working.

Thoughts: I see an overgrown yard and my first thought isn’t to pull up all the grass and weeds, even to restore the yard to a nice look. But then, what do I know?

Kotomi-chan’s story is pretty sad and yet I kept thinking, “How does a little girl like that manage to stay in her parent’s home alone after the death of her parents?” Kotomi-chan knowing more than she let on surprised me a bit.

The episode was sad and nice at the same time. The writers decided to avoid an obvious joke on Kyou with the motorcycle incident (she having run into Okazaki twice with her scooter bike) and avoided humor altogether. While I have certainly enjoyed the humor in this series, I felt the writers made the right call by leaving the humor out of the episode. And I like how the writers don’t just have Okazaki being the lone hero (which we’ve already seen) but is having it be a group effort, with Nagisa being a central pillar of the group. Good stuff.

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