Clannad Tomoyo Chapter

(クラナド) もうひとつの世界 智代編
Clannad episode 24 (OVA)
Another World Tomoyo Volume (Arc)
Mouhitosu no Sekai Tomoyo Hen

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: It is just before the student council elections and Tomoyo and Tomoya are in love. Tomoyo wins the election and they are a happy couple. However, students begin to talk about the terrible delinquent Tomoya hanging out with Tomoyo. Teachers begin expressing concerns about this to the couple. Even fellow student council members are disturbed, pointing out to Tomoya that the only problems Tomoyo has had can be traced back to Tomoya. Tomoyo has great potential and Tomoya is seen has holding her back. As such, Tomoya decides to break up with Tomoyo. She initially refuses to accept this but then agrees.

Time passes and Tomoya and Sunohara hang out as usual but it isn’t the same without Tomoyo around. Tomoya doesn’t skip class and as the school year proceeds, Tomoyo is able to save her precious Sakura trees. Tomoya and Sunohara (with his hair now black) begin looking for jobs and one winter’s afternoon, Tomoya meets Tomoyo on a road. They talk and Tomoyo confesses she still loves Tomoya and feels her accomplishments have cost too much. She wants to be with him. Tomoya initially refuses because he doesn’t want to hold her back but she tells him it is her choice and that she will go where he goes. As such, Tomoya decides that he too will go where ever Tomoyo goes. With that, they are a couple once more with Tomoya working his job and Tomoyo finishing high school.

Thoughts/Review: I was hesitant about watching this. I like Tomoyo, but this being an alternate reality episode based on the game’s path where Tomoyo and Tomoya are a couple made me uncertain. I guess I’m too attached to Tomoya being with Nagisa.

As to the episode, we jump right into the melodrama of Tomoyo and Tomoya having great difficulties maintaining a relationship with everyone talking about them, with the student council work she has, and with the teachers opposed to them being together because “Tomoyo can be so much more, but every problem we’ve had with her is because of Tomoya.” So, everyone dumps on Tomoya. Boo hoo. *sigh*

I know that this theme of high expectations is common in Japan due to their society but it isn’t one I really enjoy. Besides, part of the joy of Clannad wasn’t that is was a depressing anime, but it managed to mix depressing elements with elements of fun too. Sunohara, usually the comic relief, wasn’t funny here, even when he had to return his hair to black in order to get a job after high school. The writers tried to insert a traditional Sunohara comedy moment with Tomoyo but it didn’t work for me.

In the end, this came off more as a “who cares” episode to me. Yes, it has a happy end and if you were a fan of the visual novel and followed the Tomoyo path, I’m sure this made you happy. For me, as much as I like Tomoyo, the relationship aspects between her and Tomoya just didn’t feel right. As I said earlier, maybe it is because I’m such a fan of the Tomoya-Nagisa romance.

So what would have made this better? A complete reboot. Make this a multi-episode OVA, ignore all the previous girls from the TV series (and game), and then start the story from scratch. That way, the audience can warm up to this Tomoyo-Tomoya romance and it will have impact when they break up and get back together.

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