Clannad After Story 20

クラナド アフターストーリー Episode 20

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Tomoya takes Ushio to school to meet her teacher and is amazed to see a giant boar waiting for them there. Ushio apparently loves the beast, calling it the class pet and she addresses it as “Nabe.” He remembers the piglet “Botan” and his thoughts are confirmed when Kyou shows up and introduces herself as Ushio’s teacher. Tomoya is taken aback and doesn’t know how to respond, so he goes formal which tickles Kyou. They talk for a bit, Kyou mentioning that she, Kotomi, Ryou, and Youhei had thought of visiting Tomoya back in January but decided against it. She’s glad that Tomoya has taken over as Ushio’s caretaker.

At work, Yoshino tells Tomoya that Fuuko-chan wants to pay a visit to Tomoya’s house, specifically to play with Ushio. Since it is rare for Fuuko-chan to be interested in others because of her shyness so Yoshino wants to encourage Fuuko-chan’s getting out more. Plus, Fuuko-chan is still rehabbing physically from her long stay in the hospital, so the exercise to get to Tomoya’s place will do her good. Tomoya agrees to the visit on Sunday. Tomoya leaves to pick Ushio up and drop her off at the apartment before returning to work. Ushio takes off and goes for a walk, ending up at the new hospital that had been built on the field where Akio-san took Nagisa as a child when Nagisa was about to die.

Ushio returns home before Tomoya gets back. As he cooks dinner, he asks if she minds having a visitor — Fuuko-chan. Ushio says she’s happy to have Fuuko-chan over. That night, Tomoya sings Ushio to sleep (“Dango” song) and the next day, Fuuko-chan arrives to make Ushio her little sister. Since Tomoya is against this, Fuuko takes it as a challenge to win over Ushio. She produces bread from the Furukawa Bakery, which Ushio loves. This makes Fuuko-chan very happy. When Tomoya offer to make lunch for Fuuko-chan, she suspects he’s trying to win her over and even wonders if Tomoya sees a bit of his wife in her. The two bicker, which Ushio finds amusing.

Fuuko-chan breaks out a deck of cards but since Ushio is only a kid, Ushio gets to pick the game — “Sevens.” As they play, Ushio plays a card that helps Fuuko-chan. Fuuko-chan declares this means that Ushio loves her more than Tomoya. Tomoya looks at the picture of Nagisa and imagines life with Nagisa still alive and the family playing cards. He apologizes to Fuuko-chan for spacing out for a minute there. When Fuuko-chan asks Ushio about her mother, Tomoya tears up at hearing Ushio’s words. Fuuko-chan offers to come over anytime Tomoya wants, but then says it is only so she can spend time with Ushio. Before leaving, Fuuko-chan tries once more to slip off with Ushio but is foiled by Tomoya. Fuuko-chan says she has Ushio’s scent and that Tomoya better be careful.

The following afternoon, Tomoya arrives at Ushio’s school to pick her up and finds her playing slide on Botan’s back. Kyou tells Tomoya about the handout she gave Ushio regarding the forthcoming sports festival at school. Tomoya heads to the Furukawa residence to invite Sanae-san over. He learns that Akio-san is participating in the sport festival with the teachers and so Tomoya is forced to participate and challenge Akio-san. So Tomoya throws his all into it and even starts practicing running during his break time at work so as not to look bad in front of his daughter.

One afternoon, Ushio is alone in the apartment and bored, so she goes for a walk. She’s encountered by Fuuko-chan, who walks with her. Fuuko-chan thinks that Ushio shouldn’t be walking alone and asks if Ushio gets scared by walking alone. Ushio says she is not afraid and this impresses Fuuko-chan. They arrive at the new hospital but Ushio doesn’t have an answer as to why she wanted to walk to this place. Meanwhile Tomoya trains with Ushio helping but one afternoon at the Furukawa residence, Ushio interrupts Akio-san and Tomoya challenging each other when she’s revealed to be very sick.

Thoughts/Review:

Leave it to Key — you can’t use too many tissues in a story. How in the world Kyoto has managed to make the audience tear up, laugh, tear up, laugh and tear up all in one episode is an amazing feat. Then to end the episode with Ushio ill and for all I know, about to die (’cause we are getting toward the end of the series and thus there has to be one more heart-rending, tear jerking moment before all is said and done) — man, just a whole lot of emotions to go through. However, that’s what makes this series so special.

On the upside, there’s Fuuko-chan’s much lengthier appearance in this episode. I absolutely enjoy her return to the franchise and her bickering with Tomoya is always a hoot. Her final attempt to steal Ushio away from Tomoya made me laugh. At the same time, I couldn’t think but feel a bit sad that Tomoya has no memories of Fuuko-chan’s spirit since it was she that Tomoya and Nagisa worked so hard to help. Part of me half expected Fuuko-chan to spout out some tidbit of information that no one could possibly know save for Tomoya and Nagisa (from the time Fuuko-chan’s spirit was with them). That didn’t happen and unless there’s some change, I’m going to guess that Fuuko-chan has no memory of her spirit wandering from years ago either.

I loved Fuuko-chan’s remark about having memorized Ushio’s scent. Since we’d been seeing Ushio walking alone in the afternoons while waiting for her father, I figured that Fuuko-chan would find her. Indeed, I felt a better after Fuuko-chan found Ushio because frankly, I had started to become convinced that Ushio was going to get hit by a car or something. For the life of me, I cannot understand why Tomoya leaves his five year old daughter alone for hours. Why not have Sanae-san or someone take care of Ushio until Tomoya gets off work? That would seem the logical and responsible thing to do.

That brings up an interesting question — why is Ushio visiting that new hospital? I’m guessing there’s some tie to Akio-san taking a young Nagisa to that place when it was a field and her life being spared. Is Nagisa’s spirit around there? That doesn’t seem likely, but then again with all the supernatural stuff that has happened (including the Illusion World), anything is possible. Otherwise, I can’t see what would draw Ushio to that spot.

While filler, the Dango song was a nice touch I think. Actually, there were two musical interludes to kill time with in this episode but both worked to convey an emotional message. The Dango song has been one I liked well enough (not enough to buy though) but this time, its impact was much greater with the imagery of Nagisa used and Ushio’s happy face falling asleep to the sounds of her father singing her mother’s favorite song (the playing of the actual song rather than have the audience just listen to Tomoya sing it) provided more emotional impact I think.

As expected, Kyou is Ushio’s kindergarten teacher. I liked the throw away line that indicated that Kotomi, Youhei (and Kyou called him “Youhei” instead of “Sunohara” which is something I found interesting), and Ryou still get together. I guess it would be too much to have Tomoyo also be involved but she was a grade younger than them.

Anyway, seeing the adult Botan (or “Button” if that’s the real name) was a treat. I love how Ushio calls him “Nabe” (a Japanese “hot pot” or “stew”) and it is funny seeing Ushio ride this huge boar.

One final note — I loved Ushio’s reaction when Akio-san came into the room when Ushio and Tomoya were visiting. Heh! Ushio is such a cutie and that’s why it will be another tissue event if she’s killed off.

Well, no matter what happens, I’m here until the end. ^_^

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2 Responses to “Clannad After Story 20”

  1. mastermack0 says:

    You have NO IDEA how many times i replayed the part where Ushio turns and says AKII!!

  2. AstroNerdBoy says:

    I can believe it. *lol* She’s so precious.

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