Clannad

Season 1
Season 2

Clannad is an anime adaptation of a PC game. The title name means “family” or “clan” in Irish. Thus, the story of the anime revolves around the value of having a family.

The Clannad girls

The Clannad girls

SEASON 1:

The anime aired between October 4, 2007 and March 27, 2008, containing twenty-three aired episodes out of a planned twenty-four

Tomoya Okazaki is a delinquent due to family problems. His mother passed away when he was young, leaving his father to raise him. His father turned to alcohol and gambling to ease the pain of losing his wife, and in doing so, became a dead-beat parent to a son who really needed him.

A chance meeting on the first day of school at the foot of the hill, brings Tomoya and Nagisa Furukawa together. Nagisa is born weak and because of that has to repeat her final year in school the second time. Because of this, she does not have any friends.  Meeting Tomoya changed everything for her.

Eventually, Tomoya leaves the Okazaki household and goes into the care of the Furukawa home – Nagisa’s family.  Her parents, Akio and Sanae welcomes Tomoya with open arms.  Tomoya and Nagisa go through the challenges of high school; making new and lasting friendships, and resurrecting the theater club.

The gang having a swell time

The gang having a swell time

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SEASON 2: After Story

October 3, 2008 and March 26, 2009 with 22 episodes and 2 OVAS (episode 23 & 24 – recap)

This season expands on life for both of them as a couple and years after that. It starts with a baseball game with the entire cast, headed by Nagisa’s father Akio Furukawa. Tomoya and Nagisa are still in school.

Tomoya graduates but Nagisa falls sick once more and has to repeat the last year again.  After the third try, she graduates, even though she becomes ill yet again and never makes it for her own graduation.  When she has her health back again, Tomoya recreates the graduation ceremony for her, with all her dear friends and teachers present.  Her very supportive parents attended the gathering too.

Tomoya finds a job as a repair technician and strives very hard to achieve something for himself and Nagisa.  His manager, seeing his potential, offers him a new position in a bigger company. Unfortunately, Tomoya’s father gets into trouble, and in a little town where bad news spread like wildfire, the position is withdrawn.

In desperation, anger and utter lost, Tomoya asks Nagisa to marry him.  Without hesitation, she says, “Yes.” She tells him that she is meant to be with him always.

Tomoya goes through the process in asking for Nagisa’s hand in marriage from Akio. In response to that, Akio says, if you can hit my fast balls, I will listen to what you have to say and accept it. Of course he misses thoses balls, but he doesn’t give up.  For days on end, he practices his swing, till one rainy day, after Akio tells him that THIS is the final throw, he hits the ball.

Sanae tells Tomoya at this juncture, “Nagisa is our dream.  From today onwards, you are our dream too.”

They go on creating a new journey as a married couple.  Soon Nagisa becomes pregnant. The doctors, knowing her weakened state, gives her a choice of ending or keeping the pregnancy.  She decides to keep the baby, albeit a difficult pregnancy.  She goes into labor on the day that Japan is snowed in, with no cars or trains moving.  She falls in and out of consciousness but finally gives birth to a baby girl, named Ushio. After she takes a last glimpse of her baby and Tomoya, she moves on.

Nagisa and Tomoya walking home from school

A chance meeting for Nagisa and Tomoya

Tomoya is heart-broken. He blames himself for her death (forsaking his new born baby in the process).  If they never met at the foot of the hill, she would never had known him. They would never have been a couple.  He would never have made her his wife.  She would never have had the baby.  She wouldn’t have died.

For five years, little Ushio is cared for by Akio (Akki by Ushio) and Sanae.  Finally, Sanae “forces” Tomoya to go on a trip with Ushio.  There he meets his paternal grandmother, who tells him that his father worked really really hard to bring him up, unfortunately he was down on his luck on everything. His father didn’t have friends, family and a wife for support.  When Tomoya’s mother died, so did his father’s hopes and dreams.  But he still went on, because he had a child to live for.  He realized that his father never forsake him.  He was always there for him.

Tomoya & Ushio

Tomoya & Ushio

After this, Tomoya realizes that at least his father tried.  He, on the other hand, was just hiding from reality.  He mans up, and brings little Ushio home with him to raise.  He also reconciles with his aged father and sends him home to his grandmother, who has been waiting for his return.

Tomoya finally has a family – with Ushio.  Just as he finds happiness, tragedy strikes again.  Ushio falls sick – like Nagisa.  Except her fever doesn’t break for months. He quits his job to care for Ushio 24/7.  Tomoya asks Ushio what she wishes for, and she replies that she wants to go on the same trip that they first went to.  After repeated rejections, Tomoya agrees to take the ever weakening Ushio out.  On the way out, it starts snowing.  Tomoya asks Ushio if she loves the snow.  “Daisuke desu.”  (very much)  Ushio turns to her father and asks him the same question.  He was going to say, “no” – seeing as how he lost Nagisa in a snowy night, but looking at the ill Ushio, instead he replies, “Yes.”  Ushio collapses, ask Tomoya if they are once again in the train on the way to the field of flowers.  He lies.  She tells him that it’s getting dark.  Perhaps it’s midnight now? He lies again and says yes.  Ultimately she looses the fight.

Can fate really be that cruel?  Tomoya goes into a dream-like state, while calling out Nagisa’s name.  In it, he sincerely wishes he never spoke to or met Nagisa at the bottom of the hill.  He lets her pass by.  But he yearns to have once been a husband to Nagisa and a father to Ushio.  With tears in his eyes, he yells out to Nagisa and runs toward her, never wishing for her to leave his sight again.  “Yokata,” Nagisa says (thank goodness).  “I really thought you were really going to ignore me.”

The cries of a baby wakes him up from his dream.  He is brought back to the day that he looses Nagisa to childbirth.  Or did he?  She stirs, and looks up at him adoringly.  The midwife brings little Ushio to him for the akachan’s (baby) first bath.  All’s well that ends well.  It was a choice to make. Without knowing sadness one can never know real joy.

Nagisa, Ushio & Tomoya

Nagisa, Ushio & Tomoya

Akio once said during Nagisa’s theatrical debut, “To be a family means to share each other’s dreams.  We gave up our dreams so that you can live your dream.  And now, your dream is our dream.”

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