CLANNAD - After Story Arc Discussion

Discussion topic for the After Story arc of CLANNAD. For character discussion, refer to the following topics: Tomoya, Akio, Yoshino, Sanae, Naoyuki, Ushio. Feel free to discuss the entirety of CLANNAD without spoiler tags, but please tag any references to outside works with [spoiler], with adequate context provided in parenthesis.

This topic also hosted CLANNAD Bookclub discussion from this post onward, and was referenced in our After Story Podcast.

What would you rate this arc?

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0 voters

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Well I finally finished Clannad yesterday.

All I can say is…

It feels nice to finally understand how the ending actually took place and why it works now!
(Thanks anime adaptation for omitting very important lines, and causing me 4 years of confusion)

But seriously;
So very glad I read this VN. Beautiful experience. I’ll save my actual criticisms and fine tuned thoughts for a different post, but for this one all I can say is that After Story is one of the most inspiring things I’ve ever read, and it thoroughly reminded me of how and why I fell in love with Key to start with.

Unforgettable.

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I also just finished CLANNAD yesterday as well. I really, really loved the After Story route so much that I was so happy and yet sad at the same time. I can’t describe how I loved the characters so deeply like they were part of my family too. I also re-watched the scenes from the After Story arc in the anime and it gave me so much feels that I literally cried in those scenes that moved me a lot. I can’t wait till the podcast review for this final route. CLANNAD taught me so much about how important the meaning of family is and I want to share that with those in the Kazamatsuri community.

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Finished Clannad a week or two ago and I have to say that it is without a doubt one of the best Visual Novels I have ever read (and first KEY VN I’ve finished). Despite being mostly slice of life, it kept my attention throughout the whole 80+ hour experience without ever waning. It’s honestly something I can say hasn’t happened for any other visual novel.

The fact that it had writers whose writing styles I could stand (unlike Rewrite) is probably the reason.

Now about After Story itself…

It took everything I loved about the first half of Clannad and made it that much better. I truly cared about Nagisa and her family throughout and it really hurt when Nagisa died, so much so that I completely understood why Tomoya ended up doing what he did. They felt like real people and I’m so happy things eventually worked out in the end, despite the tragedies that led up to it.

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So I’m reading this, and…

Four times in a row. Four times in a row, I was brought to tears. During the childbirth scene, then during Naoyuki’s backstory, then during the field of flowers scene and aftermath, then during Tomoya and Naoyuki’s final farewell. And I know it’s certainly not over yet.

After Story just doesn’t let up, does it.

Edit: Also, no rating in this topic? I guess it’d get flooded by 5’s but still.

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After Story is, without a doubt, the highlight of Clannad.

Tomoya finally experiences serious character development as he transitions from a cynical teenager to a working adult. The message of family and friends truly hits home here - there’s no doubt that Tomoya would have failed in this transition without the support of not only Nagisa, but her family and even certain side characters such as Yoshino. The brief collapse of his character when he loses Nagisa, followed by the profound “bounce back” because of Sanae, Akio, and Ushio results in what I think is the most touching scene in all of Clannad. The scene in the field of flowers where Tomoya decides to take Ushio under his wing is incredible, and one of the most heartwarming experiences for me in fiction.

I will say that the way Tomoya reconciled with his father wasn’t especially well done, and it probably could have used a bit more focus, but I think that’s a very slight black mark considering everything that After Story did well.

Nagisa and Tomoya’s relationship also really feels alive in the first half of After Story - you can tell that they are mutually supporting each other and that it’s not a one-sided relationship in any way. Just as in the school arc, Nagisa still repeatedly pushes Tomoya to reconcile with his father, and she also becomes his most substantial pillar of support as he becomes a working adult. It could easily be said that Nagisa is the stronger of the two in After Story, and I think it’s evident that Tomoya is actually leaning on her more than the other way around at this point in the story. This only becomes more clear when Nagisa dies, which I think served a fantastic dual purpose of paralleling Tomoya to his father as well as showing just how much stronger Nagisa had actually become prior to her death.

Also, Ushio is absolutely adorable.

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I finished the three playthroughs of After Story last week. The relationship building between Nagisa and Tomoya was adorable and touching. Nags rocked in this route. I cried when Nagisa died giving birth to Ushio. Ushio is beyond adorable. But really I had trouble with the rest of the route because I was pissed off at Tomoya so much. That was not a brief lapse in growth - that was 5 years of your daughters life, and with all the complaints you had about your dad and your general refusal to try to be sympathetic towards him until your grandmother hit you over the head with his perspective - Tomoya should have done better. I know that this will probably be an uncommon reaction, but I figured I would be honest about it.

I had figured Tomoya’s Dad’s problems stemmed from losing his wife and not really being able to keep it together afterwards. He tried, but when him and Tomoya started to clash and he ended up hurting Tomoya, he probably felt like he failed in the one last thing he was supposed to do. It was pretty obvious that Tomoya had never taken the time to consider life from his dad’s perspective, but I was understanding of that. Tomoya was in high school for most of the game and it is not the kid’s job to to coach the parent, and his dad was not a good dad even if he was trying. I was really sad when his dad got arrested and how it cost Tomoya the promotion. I was angry right along with Tomoya at that point.

But when Nagisa died, and Tomoya left Ushio with Sanae for 5 freaking years I got really mad at Tomoya. If Tomoya was going to begrudge his dad for so long he should have been willing to out-do him when the time came. Instead he was even more absent. The trip with Ushio and Tomoya was painful to read. I wanted to slap and eventually just punch Tomoya.

I did really like the scene with Tomoya’s grandmother, and I was glad he finally got to understand his dad, and that he was ready to step up and be Ushio’s dad, but I was still too pissed off at him to feel any sympathy towards him as things started to play out on that front either.

As far as the true ending goes, there were parts I really liked but parts I was kind of confused by. In the first playthrough when Ushio dies it is revealed that she was the girl in the Illusionary World, and that she has to die because she is the will of that world. But when you go back and playthrough to get the true ending both Nagisa and Ushio are okay. It is implied that Ushio doesn’t die in that route. So what is Ushio’s tie to the girl in Illusionary world? Was she really that girl, or was she just kind of tied to her?

Two stray thoughts, I know Sanae meant well, but I feel like Ushio must be traumatized having only been allowed to cry in the bathroom for 5 years. That feels really screwed up to me.
Also, I spent a lot of time thinking about Kotomi’s route after this because they both had a lot of conflict spurred on by adults being really bad at stepping up and being adults.

At the end of this rant-y post I want to clarify that I think the route was good. Tomoya failing as a father is not really something I am faulting the story with - it was believable and emotional. I don’t know what I would rate it right now - I still need to digest it more - but I would rate it high. I was just angry for a lot of it.

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i just broke right now

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I think it’s interesting how different the Remembering scene was in the anime vs the VN. I can’t decide which is more poignant, actually… Though it’s remarkable how KyoAni was able to capture the emotions of ten minutes in a 4 second shot.

Though I haven’t read the new translation yet, since the physical copies haven’t been sent out yet :frowning:

Oh boy, THIS.

Literally where do I begin.

I’ll do Tomoya later. Just characters for now because this it’s going to take forever to make.

Yoshino’s Character

Yoshino is a cool supporting character, his story is nice and self contained, and his nature as the cheese king is always good for giggles. He’s definitely a good addition to the story, if not a mandatory one. One scene that really struck out to me about him though is when he traded Screwdrivers with Tomoya after he quit, hammering in the solid friendship between the two.

Nagisa’s Character(As of After Story)

EH YO NAGISA YOU GOT TO THE GYM BETWEEN THESE ROUTES, BECAUSE YOU GOT STRONK. When they first met, Nagisa needed Tomoya more than Tomoya needed Nagisa, in After Story, it’s absolutely reversed.Nagisa’'s Strength growth is fantastic and she’s worth training for the endgame(note: remove that, that’s idiotic) It’s really wonderful to see her grow, if as she remains so innocent and naive, into someone so utterly admirable, along side Tomoya undergoing similar changes it really helps give the sense of progression of time and their personalities and stands out and absolutely fantastic writing.

Naoyuki’s Character

DUDE GOT BROKE.
There is not a huge amount I can say about him, because he’s just a shell, not the real man for basically the entirety of his screentime. He was weak and he broke, Tomoya suffered, but god damn he TRIED, and that’s admirable enough.
He did better than Tomoya did anyway.

Ushio’s Character

I’M SORRY USHIO YOU’RE WONDERFUL AND LOVELY BUT YOU’RE A FIVE YEAR OLD AND HAVE SO LITTLE DEPTH. She has her mothers strength though, and her values are in the right place because she was raised by the best people ever
SPEAKING OF WHICH

Sanae and Akio’s Character

MOVE ASIDE, TOMOYA, NAGISA. THE TRUE HEROES OF CLANNAD ARE RIGHT HERE.
These people live to make people smile and that’s absolutely wonderful and I cannot even compare. That picture I posted a few posts up, that was posted as soon as I read it, I broke, I had to take a break from reading so I came here and posted that in the meantime, I just cannot deal with how wonderful and loving Sanae was being there, and Akio would have course felt not different. That line just had me done, even more so than the infamous ‘daddy’s arms’ line that had effected me so very many years ago, I was just hit by a train of the wonderful people that are the Furukawa’s.

I cannot even think of the words to express all the things I want to say about how amazing these two are. The love between Tomoya and Sanae is deeper than most couples in fiction, a deep and wonderful love that is only not romance because there is someone they both cherish just a little bit more, Tomoya often says he cannot handle Sanae and she is always miles ahead of him and I can understand his sentiment exactly, his constant remarks about how he’ll never be able to repay them for what he’s done because they do so much at such frequency, while to them they see it as nothing more than loving someone as much as their would their own child. They’re just outstanding.

And while I spoke about Sanae plenty in that paragraph, Akio is just as untouchable, perhaps even moreso than Sanae his life is devoted to making people smile without even thinking about AND JESUS CHRIST THAT’S SO WONDERFUL. Aside from that, he’s the father Tomoya yearns for, and the best friend Tomoya can shoot the shit with after Sunohara goes poof. Say nothing if the immeasurable strength he has, he and Sanae both, they raised a child in the wake of their beloved daughter’s death while also trying to support the man who threw her on them as he wallowed in grief.

“Hey Kanon, where’s your ‘flaws’ boner for these two ‘perfect’ people?”
I DON’T KNOW! It should be there, it’s probably just some kind of huge respect I have for them. The VN, and they themselves, never parade the fact around, Tomoya does because he loves and respects them so much for influencing him to such a huge extend, and in his eyes, it’s completely understandable, but I feel the writing does not.

I could go on forever about these two, they are truly the heart of Clannad for me.

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I have a lot to say about this route, but before I go deep into it I have to throw some questions out I’d really like people to answer with their own interpretations, if possible. The final scene of the normal ending does shed some light on these points, but I feel it doesn’t give a conclusive answer either, so I’d be glad to see some discussion regarding them.

  • What do the orbs of light - both the ones in the illusionary world as well as the ones in the ‘real’ world - represent?
  • How exactly are the illusionary world and the ‘real’ world interconnected?
  • How do the events and story of the illusionary world relate to the overall story of CLANNAD?
  • What does getting the good ending in After Story mean for the illusionary world?

And then there’s just a few points which if discussed I hope will help me appreciate this route even more…

  • What do you think was the purpose behind having the story lead into Ushio’s death? Was it just “cheap emotional manipulation” or was there more behind it?
  • What do you think we can take away from the latter third of After Story (the story beyond Nagisa’s death), and does that conflict or synergize with the good end in any way?

I’ll give my own thoughts on these questions in due time, for now I’ll just put these questions out there and hope you guys consider them.

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  1. Well it was stated that light orbs were people’s happiness a bunch of times. It’s also a sign of hope and miracles.

  2. Hmm. Key magic. Best thing to say when there’s time travel stuff. I mean, given the information about how the light orbs can grant wishes, I think we can just assume she just used it as her way.

  3. I thought the things that occurred in that world was occurring in the real life world to. The whole point of the illusionary world was for a place where people’s happiness could be kept, and a place where Tomoya could have his wish. “Happiness” is a theme Jun Maeda seems to always want with his stories.

  4. In my personal opinion, I think getting the good ending means that the world itself, combines with the real life world, explaining why we saw light orbs in the city, cause if you think about it, the light orbs we’ve seen have only applied to the city they lived in.

  5. I remember reading theories about this, how in Nagisa’s route Nagisa had that illness and Akio took her to the mountain place, where he asked the Gods to let Nagisa live, so Nagisa was living again. But the thing is that her life force was being shared by the town, which explains why she gets sick during the winter time, so after she died, the town needed someone else (p.s. I forgot when After story starts, so some of that spoiler tag might be part of after story) which basically leads to Ushio sharing that life force. I think it was a clever idea, but most moe-haters will probably diss it anyways cause they decide to not research it.

  6. Sorry. I don’t understand.

Note - I’ll edit this another day. It’s late at night but I wanted to answer the questions anyways. :blush::blush::blush:

And while we’re on the topic of after story, does anyone else prefer the anime Tomoya than the VN Tomoya during After Story ? I remember when Tomoya meets Ushio in the anime, and they’re at Sanae’s and Akio’s house, he goes to the store to buy some food he can cook. Along the way, he meets a woman who looks at Ushio and praises Tomoya and Ushio for spending time together. While in the VN, when the lady came up and praised them, Tomoya had a reaction like “WHY THE HECK ARE YOU HERE?!” to Ushio, Making the woman walk away nervously.

Hopes and happiness I suppose.

This is something I have been trying to figure out. For me, right now at least, this is one of those times where I enjoyed the mystery more than how I understood the reveal. I think the Illusionary World must exist independent of time (world lines?) because I don’t feel like you are supposed to think that Tomoya is ever time traveling as you play through different routes. I think the scrap robot in the Illusionary world is what connects Tomoya to all the possibilities of happiness in the town.
Maybe the light orbs exist in the Illusionary world independent of rather you have played that route, and if you get a light orb in the real world, Scrap Robot kind of gets to hold it and his connection to Tomoya means Tomoya himself kind of still has access to them? But the mysterious girl is trying to make only one the possible endings a reality and time has stopped there for that time for that reason. Maybe if time starts flowing in the illusionary world that is the path that will become the true “path” and it is the will of the girl that keeps guiding you toward what we know as the true end but Tomoya needs to have found all the happiness light orbs to create a miracle big enough to fufill the ending the girl is looking for (I just thought this through as I wrote it, so I might need to verify parts)

I don’t really know. I think it probably changes quite a bit. Now that its will is kind of aware of itself I feel like it probably becomes a more “alive” feeling place

Asides from the implication that Ushio is the girl in the illusionary world I thought this felt a bit random. I was too mad at Tomoya to even be sad when this happened though so I also don’t think of it as manipulative.

The last third I think feels a bit disjointed from the true ending. Honestly if they did not have the epilogue CGs in the credits I would probably be upset about it. For me, I kind of felt like Tomoya had a lot to learn even in the normal ending and it made me feel like the true ending was not particularly hard fought. And a miracle like that needs to be really hard fought. Not to say he didn’t go through tough times and resolve some major problems, so much seemed to happen just because of the flow of time and not because Tomoya particularly did the right thing that when I went through and got the true ending I felt like it was like him getting a cake for not getting fired. I was more happy for Nagisa and the fact that she would get to be a mother to Ushio than Tomoya.

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! :stuck_out_tongue:
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…

Why Ushio?

  • 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! :stuck_out_tongue:
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".

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I think this explains how Ushio could be The Lonely Girl, but I am still really left wondering how Ushio could both be the girl who decides to stay so that the illusionary world continues, and then somehow in the true ending lives happily ever after with Tomoya and Nagisa.

I know Tomoya proposes that change hurts the town, but that doesn’t really make sense, does it? Both Nagisa and the girl talk about how change is inevitable albeit not in the most positive of ways. In the end, there’s also the whole ‘The town wants the people to be happy’ thing.

PART II OF MY GREAT AFTER STORY POST OF OUR TIME: ROUTES TIME

First off, for the whole thing, it has some nice comedy sprinkled around, mostly Akio related, but it otherwise settles into this calming but also, how to put it, busy? atmosphere which I think is perfect for the story and extremely effective.

Cohabitation Arc

MUUUUUUUUUUH NATURAL PROGRESSION FROM NAGISA. Tomoya, in his infinite debt to the Furukawa rushing to grow up to not have to relay on them so hard, his fear of confronting Akio about taking his daughter away, and their effortlessly accepting of this, because they’re amazing and Sanae says cheesy shit like ‘you shouldn’t feel bad about taking her away because you’re the man she fell in love with’ and MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. During all this a scene that stuck out to me was Tomoya realizing how happy Akio makes everybody and being like ‘Well shit, I wanna be a man like that someday’, to his face even! Also daily reminder of how amazing the Furukawa couple are because they ship the fuuuuuuuuuuck out of Tomoya/Nagisa, even if Akio needs to be Tsun Tsun about it.

Next up is Tomoya’s job. Yoshino comments at the start how Tomoya is completely different, going from ‘a child’ to ‘a kid giving it everything he’s got to become an adult’ which is spot on and it’s real interesting to see Tomoya determination his way though Yoshino’s harsh training, the student Tomoya, the one without Nagisa, would never do that. LOOK AT THAT, CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT HYUU HYUU.

Can we talk about how the background of their room slowly changes and new BGM come along and Nagisa changes her clothes AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH PROGRESSION LOOK AT HOW NATURAL AND WELL CRAFTED THIS IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIS.

Last thing here is Nagisa making Tomoya confronting his father, that’s one hell of a finely crafted scene, the tense atmosphere is real, Tomoya losing his shit is real, and at the peak of it all, Nagisa casually strolls in, holds his hand, Nagisa starts playing, Tomoya just deflates and shits maaaaaaaaaagical
And then we get part 2. We get to the part where Tomoya breaks so hard even the magical wall of Nagisa can’t get though to him instantly, where even Nagisa has to try to get Tomoya to listen to her. AND THEN HE PROPOSES AND IT’S JUST EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

Last off, we get Nagisa’s Graduation, there is nothing outstanding about Nagisa’s speech, it’s plain, it’s telling known facts, and IT MAKES ME FEEL TINGLY BECAUSE CLANNAD JUST NAILS EVERYTHING SO PERFECTLY. It’s the perfect ending…To begin of the climax of Clannad.

Akio Route

“BY THE WAY GUYS AKIO IS AMAZING.” the route.
How do I put this, this is weird, totally in character for Akio and all that, but it’s maybe a bit too…dramatic for Clannad? I do appreciate that it’s optionalish so I didn’t have this weird bus hijacking in the middle of my main reading of After Story but I feel it doesn’t really do anything we don’t already know.

Sanae Route

“BY THE WAY GUYS SANAE IS AMAZING” the route.
Ok ok, I don’t feel like this part shoved that in your face like I feel the Akio part did, but think about it, Sanae has been inspiring people for so long that one of them has grown up, got a bunch of fancy degrees, made a school and the first thing he does is go back to her.
There is one point in this route that stands out to me a lot, when Sanae asks Tomoya if he loves her, I feel it’s the most natural thing in the world to have Tomoya say he does flat straight up, the confession is the most genuine shit from both of them even though they both have a lover they love dearly, I think it’s just, really really nice how they can still love each other completely and openly with that fact.

Yoshino’s Route

Nice.
It’s there, it makes Midorikawa say ‘Love and Spanner’. It gives you the strong sense of friendship between the two.
I’d say the best part of it all is it once more. perhaps more than with the Furukawa, stresses how much Tomoya can’t deal with that people might just want to help him to help him, like in how he refuses to let Yoshino do jobs difficult for him with his shoulder, and mostly how in he scene where Yoshino is covering his fuck up, how he runs there begging to do it himself. Yoshino being all like ‘fuck sake faggot you’re not alone, just keep being a good person and people will want to help you’ was a great scene. It’s something Tomoya often needs to be reminded of, even by himself, and probably stems from that period of his Father not being someone who could cover him because WHEW BOY, WRITING!

Part III of this post will come at some point!

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See I interpreted that ending quote as part of the meta-narrative of the story of CLANNAD, and a lot of Illusionary World connections I feel links into that too.

To quote


Nagisa:
If this town has a will and a heart, just like a person
“and if it wished for the people who live in it to be happy.”
“If it really thought that way.”
“Then perhaps the town is responsible for this miracle”
“But actually I guess that wouldn’t be a miracle.”
“People who love the town, live in it… And the town loves those people back… Those kind of thoughts come from the emotions that we all have.”
Not just this town. It’s true for any town.”
We love the town, and the town nurtures us. That’s what I think.”

Tomoya:
“Would you say that the town is one big family”

Nagisa:
“Yes, the town, the people, we are all family. A big Dango family!”


Notice how Nagisa implicitly refutes that any of the events happening are even a miracle to start with. Whenever she refer to “the town” what I honestly feel like this is referring to is the people and connections that she’s made.

A piece of social commentary if you will, ultimately saying that miracles are something don’t really exist. Good fortune, and prosperity in life are extracted from showing love and remembering the people who nurture you. The concept of “family” is stretched not only to simply blood relations, but to every single person we meet in our lives.

Change occurs, it affects our lives substantially at every milestone we reach. Whether it’s graduating from school, starting a relationship, getting married, finding a new home or having children,
We can’t combat the influence of negative impacts of change on our lives. We may not like it and we might even grow to hate our environments and circumstances.

If we allow those changes take advantage of our lives and begin to forget the good of other people’s hearts then chances are our lives will deteriorate.

Now that I think about it… Perhaps Nagisa’s illness isn’t something which ever needed an explanation?
If you think about it, Nagisa from the very start loved everybody she met and worked her hardest to make everyone happy.
So she sees the good fortune of her life being returned to her as a natural part of “the town” nurturing her due to her reciprocated love.

She turns to Tomoya and says “Isn’t it time you started loving the town too”?
Because he was the one who needed to realise that. And because he did throughout his journey, “the town” returned the favour.

The Illusionary World could be seen as a testament to Tomoya’s life and his journey to discover that realisation for the love of the town and its people which Nagisa ultimately taught him through their time together. Linking back to the Junk Robot being made from his happiness in that world, and the reason for being tasked with collecting the light orbs.

In a way it all comes full circle if I think of it that way.
However in a more literal interpretation, things start to come across as extremely convoluted.

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I like this way of looking at it.

I do think the Illusionary World ties deeply in with idea of Tomoya’s Journey to happness. If you think of the robot as holding Tomoya’s Light orb, you can think of the events that play out between the girl and the robot to be what needed to happen in order for Tomoya to reach his own light orb. And it still ties that Tomoya needed to find other people’s light orbs for the robot and girl to complete their journey.

I am starting to want to reread some of the parts of After Story and some of the other routes again. I wish I had been better at strategically saving.