Clannad 22 (finale)

クラナド Episode 22 (finale)

SPOILER Summary: Nagisa is still depressed at learning her father had been an actor and had given it up for her. As Nagisa and Tomoya walk to school, she frets about how her parents gave up their dream for her and then she’s got everyone else doing things for her dream. Tomoya reminds her that everyone in Theater Club are there because they want to be and if she quits, it would mean that all their work is for naught. The Theater Club meets and Nagisa sits off by herself. Her demeanor is picked up by the others, so Tomoya tries to cover for her by saying it is a case of nerves.

To try and help Nagisa out, Tomoya takes her around the school festival, where they visit many booths. Nagisa is still depressed and somehow the two of them get separated. Tomoya is looking for her when he runs into her mother, Sanae-san. After talking a bit, he takes off to continue his search for Nagisa, who in turn has entered the resource center. Yukine is there, so Nagisa inquires about old videos of previous school events since her father had been in the Theater Club at this high school. She’s watching video of her father’s performance for which he won an award when Tomoya finds her (having been told of her location by Yukine). At the end of the video, the young Akio-san loudly proclaims his dream of being a professional actor.

After Tomoya gets her to leave and come to the auditorium for her performance, when the curtain goes up, Nagisa says nothing but instead starts to cry. The other members wonder what they should do with Tomoya reluctant to lower the curtain again. However, it is Akio-san screaming from the back of the theater that brings her round. He tells her that her dream is now his dream and that if she fails to perform, he’ll be very disappointed. Sanae-san backs him up and Tomoya races down from the control booth to further encourage her. With that, Nagisa collects herself and begins her play.

Nagisa tells the story and we see that in the Mystery World, Mystery Girl and Junk-bot bury the other junk doll-robot as it never came to life. Because Junk-bot remembers a world that he came from (I guess its soul) that had people and was a warm place, he convinces Mystery Girl to come with him so return to that place. After the play, Nagisa and Tomoya are sitting outside where he compliments her. Since he never flatters people, that means that he truly believes the play was good. She reveals to Tomoya that she remembers more of the story. Apparently, Mystery Girl and Junk-bot go on the journey, after which they sing. As such, Nagisa feels it was right to sing a song at the end of the play, even if it was about dango. Tomoya’s father comes by, having been invited by Nagisa, and after he talks with Nagisa, Tomoya offers an olive branch to his father.

Once his father leaves, Tomoya asks Nagisa out on a date before Kyou interrupts and gets them to come to the Theater Club room for the celebration party. They attend the party and then the next day, Nagisa and Tomoya go on a date, doing different things including the arcade. At the end of the date, Tomoya goes to the school with Nagisa, where they visit the Theater Club room. It is now that Nagisa finally notices where Tomoya wrote her name on the chalkboard for being the person on duty. So, she adds his name to the board, after which Tomoya confesses his love for Nagisa and his desire to continue to date her. She’s surprised by this and then tears up, happy to hear this from him, knowing he truly means it.

Thoughts: Hmmm. This final story didn’t have the emotional impact I was expecting. After the super-sadness of Fuko-chan’s story and the sadness of Kotomi-chan’s story, with Nagisa getting ill as she had done, I really expected that she’d come close to dying, but the story didn’t go that route. So while I felt badly for Nagisa, I didn’t feel choked up. I am glad that she and Tomoya are now a couple and that Tomoya and his father made a tiny step to reconcile, but with the producers ending things at 22 episodes (not counting the special and OVA for the DVD release), the date the two had got a brush over and so Tomoya’s finally confessing didn’t have the impact it should have. That’s a shame, really.

Next is the summer special, which appears to take place during the summer break. The rumor mill is that there could be a sequel series in the works since the game continues with Nagisa and Tomoya in the future. I hope this happens because there are still unanswered questions. It seemed like the place that Mystery Girl and Junk-bot came from was real. Indeed, I had thought that maybe Nagisa was the Mystery Girl (as she was in the play) and Tomoya was somehow the Junk-bot. That might explain how they both knew the story and yet no such story could be found. I figured that maybe Kotomi’s parent’s research would tie into this somehow. That’s still possible with a sequel.

Also, there’s Fuko-chan, whom I expected to “come to life” as it were by series end.

Overall, I really enjoyed the series, though it didn’t end quite the way I expected.

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