This was my favorite arc in the anime mostly for the emotional impact; I’m not quite sure now that I’ve re-experienced and appreciated better the other narratives, but I still like it even now but much because I just do. The initial SoL was draggy as most initial SoL scenes Clannad has, but once the story got to the Fuuko pranks, everything was nothing less than entertaining. The only jokes I couldn’t like were the ones involving deep wounds: I like my dark humor sometimes, but that was a bit disturbing for me. XD
I also used to hold Fuuko as best girl, but I guess my tastes have changed over time. Of course I still adore her – she’s this socially awkward girl who’s doing her best not just to make friends, but also to achieve her sister’s happiness. It’s sweet, but she also has a surprisingly strong personality, which has been touched upon here before.
While reading this route, I was pretty much prepared to agree to the criticism that a lot of the drama felt like they were just happening for no particular reason other than being a drama fuel… right until one of the dialogues mentioned about “dreaming…” and HOLY SHIT SOMETHING DAWNED ON ME. (I’m not sure if this sort of discussion happened in the bookclub… sorry if this turns out to be merely redundant. )
Do you know the feeling when you have a dream, and when you wake up, you begin forgetting about it?
That’s it! That’s exactly it!
Because Fuuko’s physical body is still sleeping, her experiences as a manifestation in the school grounds is her physical body’s dream, and so is her existence as such to people around her. So when her physical body suddenly inched closer to death, her current dream and her existence as a dream was disturbed, and that was why people were starting to forget her – at that point, she was being a dream about to be forgotten.
And that also perhaps explains why people who see her physical body no longer see her dream – those people were already in her reality side of things, something like that.
Fuuko’s story at this point comes off to me as a story of a girl who wishes for her happiness while dreaming, but because she wishes for her happiness to truly happen, her dreams spill over to reality. It’s weird, but I kinda like it. (potential After Story spoilers?) Maybe I’m getting somewhere about this being her dream world thing to the entirety of Clannad’s narrative… let’s see. :))
I think I can give this a score of 4.25: a bit too much plot holes, but enjoyable all throughout.