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clannad after story 14-16
Posted by tai on Mar 16, 2009 under Anime, Clannad, Discourse

I just recently got a solid connection to the net, so at last I can start catching up on all the anime I’ve missed the past two months. Obviously, the first thing I started catching up on was Clannad.

Clannad has taken quite a big turn from the standard visual novel genre, as I watch on it seems to be shifting towards those Korean dramas where peoples’ lives grow and fade intermittently. The characters and we, the audience, are caught between emotions. The coinciding uncertainty as to whether one should smile or cry is a very hazy emotion, yet Clannad is able to capture it spot on.

Clannad After Story 15 09:27Clannad After Story 15 15:02

However, as accurately as Clannad captures these emotions, I find it harder and harder to sympathize with the characters—the transition from love story to life story is leaving me behind in my youth. Unrequited love is something I am familiar with (and surely most others, too) and in the situations they presented to me my mind jumped through my past experiences and absorbed itself into the Clannad world. But as the story progresses from unrequited love to mutual love, from mutual love to marriage, and from marriage to family, the situation drifts farther away and I no longer have a vantage point from which I can get a clear, close view of the situation. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but Clannad’s cohesion with my own life that was so eminent in the former parts slides ahead of me. It seems like these closing episodes will be something I will learn to understand over time, as I progress forward in my own life and gain the experiences necessary to make the connection. As it stands now, Okazaki & Co. have grown up ahead of me and show me how much more I have to go through.
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gangs and the theatre club
Posted by tai on Nov 17, 2008 under Anime, Clannad, Discourse

Misae’s arc has now concluded and we move on to the next supporting character Yukine Miyazawa. All the moonwalk-characters in the ED have now been introduced to us, and I take this as a sign that After Story will return to the original characters; Tomoya and Nagisa most importantly. I personally am getting a bit weary of these two-episode mini-arcs that, albeit being touching nonetheless, don’t really fit into the grander scheme. But back on topic:

Yukine is a no-bias humanitarian figure who will never fail to care for anyone regardless of their history. She is reputable between both dominating clans, and is seen as a mothering figure. If you haven’t noticed already, one of the biggest themes in Clannad is the need and result of having a family. Tomoya moved out because he was having problems with his father, Nagisa had that incident where her parents reformed themselves for her sake, Kotomi is orphaned, Tomoyo was on the verge of having a broken family, and now we find out that Yukine is assuming a parent-like role for her brother and his entire gang. The theatre club is just a family within the student body as a substitute or supplement to their blood family; the members aren’t there for the theatre but for each other.

Likewise, with a gang, they aren’t there for the fights or parties, but for each other. It’s natural for different groups of people to have disputes with each other regardless of whether we call them “gangs” or not; the Theatre Club had a conflict with the Music Club over the issue of the teacher-supervisor. Gangs are generally comprised of male members, and males are generally less sensitive and easily aggravated, so they are more prone to physical solutions. Regardless, disputes, physical or not, are the main reason why people join hands and team up, and the way these disputes are resolved is what strengthens or weakens the bonds between the members. With Yukine’s brother in the hospital, Yukine is the keystone for her brother’s gang as a primary caregiver and role model, much like how Tomoya was the key member to the theatre club during its founding days.

Currently, the theatre club has no particular figure of dominance, and judging by the next episode preview when Yukine’s monarchist gang runs into leadership issues we will learn why an even-authority status is best in family relationships. It’s my bet that Tomoyo Sakagami will play a big part in this arc due to her experience with gangs and family problems, and that she and Yukine will be on anything but good terms with each other.