My experience reading this episode was kind of spotty. I absolutely admire Goto-P’s artwork in this episode, but I had to skip half the bath scene because it was making me uncomfortable. I shouldn’t have missed enough to impact my opinion on this episode, though.
I feel like half the reason it was hard for me to understand Kyou as a character in CLANNAD was because I didn’t know what things were like in her eyes. For that, I’m grateful that this chapter makes Kyou the focal character, making it much easier to understand where she’s coming from. In this story, Kyou is coming to terms with why she can’t be friends with boys her age. She tries her best to convince herself that she doesn’t like men because they think they have to be lovers with her in order to be together. For that reason, she uses her anger to distance herself from them.
Then she starts developing feelings for Tomoya, and that’s when things start getting complicated for her. To make matters worse, while talking about it with Ryou, Kyou receives a fortune from her saying that someone will confess to a wonderful person the next day. Since Ryou’s fortunes never come true, this obviously never happens, but Kyou still holds on to the hope that it could happen. For the moment, however, she intends to play things safe until the right moment, staying friends until the day someone wonderful does confess to her.
I thought this route worked well as a supplementary for Kyou’s route, something to help justify her behavior in CLANNAD’s common and her route. Unlike the previous chapter, though, it’s interesting and enjoyable to read, which is a nice bonus. If I could expect this from the rest of these short stories, it’d make the whole experience pretty nice. We’ll just have to wait and see…