Wow I didn’t realise it at first but it’s been 3 months since I finished reading CLANNAD… I didn’t realise how much of a fast reader I was until I look back to see most people that I was reading along with are now reaching the conclusion… Which is great!
I have a lot of questions relating to After Story, some of which have left me puzzled after I finished reading, most of which @Karifean mentioned in his previous post, which I’m going to try to answer here.
But my thoughts on the “route” as a whole; I’d describe it metaphorically as a big stratified ice cream sundae with numerous flavours that create one giant family of desserts. The point being that it consists of not just Nagisa, but all of the people most important in Tomoya’s life and it creates a package which intertwines with the majority of ambiguities which have been presented in the past routes that we’ve already read through to mesh together in one final explosion of emotions.
So to begin to piece together my understanding of all the bizarre otherworldly events in After Story, I’ll give my interpretation of the major concepts and events.
The Illusionary World
From Kotomi’s route we learned from the Ichinose’s research that this world came to existence when the real/human’ world was materialising into it’s current form. The Illusionary World can be seen as a husk left behind from when the human world was taking shape which is sealed away as a ‘hidden world’.
So we can establish that when one world takes form, it leaves behind another which is parallel to it’s counterpart.
The Light Orbs
Finally we get some detailed perspective on these things!
We learned from Yukine’s route what the light orbs are. They are thought to be symbols of happiness which when gathered by someone who can see them (which requires a heart which loves the town) can grant any 1 wish.
In the Illusionary World countless light orbs float around in the environment and these are said to be manifestations of the happiness of everyone in the real/human world. They are described as shadows or counterparts of the people’s happiness that they represent.
In relation this, the light orbs seen in the real/human world are said to be the feelings and happiness of Ushio/The girl in the Illusionary World which explains largely why it is Tomoya who has been ‘tasked’ with collecting these orbs through creating happiness among the people of the town he has grown to love.
The Junk Robot
Knowing the information about the Illusionary World, and the light orbs we can piece together from all of the prior Illusionary World sequences that Ushio, (The girl in the Illusionary World) created the Junk Robot using Tomoya’s light orb by inserting his ‘happiness’ in the pieces of scrap metal, which allowed the Robot to gain consciousness.
Ushio / The Lonely Girl in the Illusionary World
Here is where things get annoyingly confusing, but I’ve tried to gather my thoughts in a way that may possibly make sense.
The peak of my confusions stems from one critical ambiguity which is never truly explained…
How did Ushio manifest in this world, if we are told no new life can be born into this world?
Considering the previous question, how and why is it Ushio who somehow becomes this almost deity-like figure, is described as being a representation of the entire Illusionary World? (Meaning she wasn’t born/created in that world, she simply is that world, a manifestation of an entire world)
My Theory inspired by popular past theories
While I find it pretty far-fetched, the only way I can find some kind of understanding in this is if we use the popular theory of Nagisa being connected to the town established by her resurrection (so to speak) after Akio’s prayer in what we can assume is… “the place in town where wishes come true”
This so -called “place in town where wishes come true” is described as being Nagisa’s double by Akio, if we think of it in terms of that theory, it explains why Nagisa faces illness so frequently because when changes in the town occur to that particular area in After Story (the construction of the new hospital and the winter season) we also see Nagisa’s health subsequently deteriorate.
Also going by the interpretation of that popular theory, Ushio inherits the same connection through simply being Nagisa’s daughter and gains the same condition as Nagisa and ends up dying because of it.
So if we think about it in this way we can understand how Ushio came to be a manifestation of that Illusionary World… kind of…
To put it simply
Nagisa = The town = connected to the Illusionary World
Ushio = Offspring = Illusionary World girl manifests in the Illusionary World as a result of Nagisa’s childbirth.
The rest of the illusionary world transcending time, and weird shenanigans is probably just facets of the ambiguities of the Illusionary World which I don’t think I want to explore to save myself the effort of typing 5000 page long thesis.
So in conclsuion these are the theoretical components of Clannad from my knowledge which allowed Tomoya to gather the orbs of light, the happiness of the people of the town, in order to create a miracle where the combined love of the people and home that nurtured him granted a well deserved wish.
You’re probably thinking… “Zak!! Oh my god, you are overthinking this way too much, just stop!”
(As people have told me in the past when I spoke to them about Clannad)
And you know what… you’re probably right!
However in the words of Ichinose Kotarou, Kotomi’s wonderful father:
"One who explores the truth must not be arrogant".
"One must not scoff at miracles simply becuase they cannot be explained through science".
"One must not avert one’s eyes from the beauty of this world".