This is quite a nice epilogue or ending for the whole CLANNAD franchise. We get some emotional relief seeing how both Nagisa and Ushio are alive and without health complications, we see how everyone is connected with each other happily, we see how Tomoya isn’t a kid, we see how Ushio isn’t a kid… wait what?!
What the fuck! MAEDAAAA!
Well, once I got that out of my chest, let’s talk more calmly about this. Hell, fuck being calmed who the fuck thinks it’s fucking fine to leave your 8-12 year old daughter go alone on a maturing trip all around the world?! (apologies for all the swearing, but I’m really altered by this whole setting). And I’m not talking about Tomoya, at least he was concerned about it. I’m talking about the whole Furukawa family, including Nagisa, who didn’t even show a tiny bit of concern towards it being remotely dangerous or a bit too hasty.
Aaaaaanyway… Insert Kamikita Komari’s “let’s pretend nothing happened here” reference.
This is a great opportunity for my metaphor-explorer self to… (invent?.. nah, discover sounds way better) discover some hidden message in here. Here I go then.
Ignoring Ushio’s age I see the following: the fact that Ushio goes on a trip to mature and that the whole town mature reinforces the message that we all mature with time, that we should mature. This is the main message I could find in the whole CLANNAD, CLANNAD After Story and even some CLANNAD Side Stories. Therefore, this main message reinforcement in an epilogue/ending episode was great and had a great effect.
Now, onto my next theory. This time, I won’t ignore Ushio’s controversial age. This also has to do with maturing. I’m thinking that what Maeda wanted to say with this is that no matter the age, we should all aim towards growing as people, experiencing more and getting out of our comfort zone to do so. If we go one step further (maybe a bit too much) I’d say that Maeda is trying to say that we should grow as people, regardless of what happens to us or our surroundings. In After Story Tomoya undergoes a lot of character development, but most of it is initiated or forced by natural forces he can’t control. Somehow, what this Side Story might want to say is that we should wait for tragedies to happen for us to radically change and mature. That we should seek tragedy in the form of leaving our comfort zone.
Well, maybe this was a bit too far fetched, but I think that it still holds some sense deep inside it.
Metaphors aside, I’d like to speak my mind about some things you guys brought up.
It’s because of the CGs and the voice acting that I can’t imagine Ushio being older than 10. This is what I found the worst in this whole Side Story.
I’ve got to agree with you here, even though this would crush my explanation of that possible second message. The fact that Ushio’s age doesn’t feel just right is way too distracting from what I think the Side Story tries to tell us.
Never assume a troll, always looks for some ridiculous theory or message behind it.
And with all this said, I’d like to bring up a question that I thought someone would have brought up before I finished this episode: Where the fuck does the money for Ushio’s trip come from? I thought Tomoya wasn’t struggling with money. In fact he says he has the money for a normal trip overseas, but I highly doubt that he earns enough to sustain a trip around the world…
Finally, to end this obnoxiously long post for a rather short piece of writing, I want to say that even though the flaws this episode may have had (I really can’t find any beyond Ushio’s age and the money issue) Chiisa na Te no Hira fixes them and provides a sense of closure similar to the one After Story brought to CLANNAD’s vanilla VN. It brought appeasement to both my heart and mind. Usher was happy, Tomoya was happy, Nagisa was happy, the Furukawa bakers were happy.
All’s well that ends well.