Clannad After Story Episode 03
unwrapping the history of the Sunohara siblings
Posted by tai on Oct 19, 2008 under Clannad, Observations

First off, another quick reminder that all of my blogs relating to Clannad After Story are non-spoiling, meaning that I have not watched the movie, read the manga or played the visual novel. Obviously, I will be talking about the episode at hand, but rest assured that only facts exposed in the original series and the After Story series up to the current episode will be mentioned.

An unusually powerful aura for a supporting imouto character.

An unusually powerful aura for a supporting imouto character.

Episode 03 was a good turn-around from episode 02 and feels much more on route. I was not too impressed with the first bit of the episode where the two going out since it seemed a dry carry-through of the previous episode, but it really did illustrate Youhei’s awkward social manners and overall immaturity and depression. The story finally starting to kick itself back in in the playground scene through parallel events where Youhei and Mei’s histories start revealing themselves. We are reminded of the certain issue that prevents Youhei from playing in the soccer team, this was only mentioned once in a brief scene in the first season. The tensions further In Mei’s rant in the dorm at 11:11, I believe that it is none other than her brother that she is referring to, or at least the version of her brother that now exists only in her memories. Like I complained before, this arc is focusing on the minor characters, but even as minor characters I am finding Youhei as a character with a reason of existence for purposes other than comic relief, and Mei as a more and more powerful individual and no longer just “Youhei’s random sister” like she was in the first season.

I noticed both Mei’s voice actor and KyoAni’s use of camera angles to be superior this episode. I’m not an experienced seiyuu critic, so I’ll just point out a few lines I found particularly effective. At 14:14, Mei’s line “Gosh, he’s so hopeless…” is one of the most emotional lines, perfectly expressing the feeling of laughing one’s problems off. Compare to the same line at 10:19 which is said much more neutrally. Another particularly good script sequence is at 11:11 in Youhei’s dorm: “That’s right. But that’s not all” and the crepe/photo-booth lines are full of imouto goodness. I think the breathing has a lot to do with effective voice acting, I’m noticing a lot of little gasps and puffs and hiccups that make Yukari Tamura’s voice acting (for Mei amongst many other roles) much more effective and realistic.

On towards the camera angles, I find the choices excellent for isolating characters to show the feeling of being left-out. This is mainly Youhei in this episode, and going through these snapshots it really provokes one to think about how much he is hiding when he is his usual perverted smug self. I disabled the subtitles since I want to focus on the animation only; these are presented in chronological order.

Ending remark: What’s Ryou doing in the next episode preview? Everything so far seems unrelated to her…

  • On October 21st, 2008 at 21:07,
    jiff wrote:

    I like what you said about the camera angles catching Youhei at a distance from the others – the cap at 11:47 displays this especially well. BTW, I like the layout of your site, very warm colors 🙂

  • On October 24th, 2008 at 14:44,
    TheBigN wrote:

    It’s good that they show that Sunohara has more sides to him than just being everyone’s punching bag, though frankly, I would like it if there was less random beating down on him to begin with.

  • On October 25th, 2008 at 10:27,
    tai wrote:

    @jiff – 11:47 was the one I thought excelled over the others. KyoAni sure knows how to make good use of fisheye perspective.

    @TheBigN – It’s nice to know Sunohara’s side, but I don’t think the communal punching bag could have been avoided. There was just too much background to cover all the characters in the first season, so Sunohara, Mei, Misae, Yukine, etc. as supporting characters had to be pushed to the second season.

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