CLANNAD - Kotomi Ichinose Route & Character Discussion

1 Like

I just finished the route but I have this feeling that I missing something now that I’m analyzing the route. Tell me if there’s anything wrong with what I’m saying:

Basically, there are three big things that stood out for me at the end of her route:

1.) Her last words to her parents, “I hate you.” I guess that’s one thing that’s hard to live with. But was there anything…more to this? She talked to God saying how she regrets saying that and that she actually loved them. After that, iirc the route shifted its focus to…

2.) Her parents’ research papers. So I noticed that the papers show two things:

  • Her regret burning her parents’ “research papers” because it was an irreplaceable work that would’ve benefited the world.

  • The papers being her link to her parents, which is why she gathers any info from articles about her parents, and why she also keeps on studying to finally be able to understand her parents’ work.
    *Actually, now that I’m writing this and rereading her climax, I just realized something. There was a part where she said that studying would let her understand her parents’ study, thus hearing their voice. But at the end of the route, she talked to the teddy bear. Is this where she realizes the connection through her parents isn’t only(?) through their research but also through the gift?

So, my question is, is the reason why she’s studying so hard is because of the first or second bullet point?

3.) So when she was a kid, she was already “different” from other kids which led her to being secluded in her own home, having only Tomoya as her friend. I guess that explains why she liked him very much. I guess this is why it was easier for her to become friends with him the first time they met, which also explains why it’s much “smoother” than her interactions with the other heroines.

Her being alone was further amplified when the tragedy happened: when the adults showed that the papers were more important than the lives of her parents, as well as, her being truly alone for the next few days (damn you Tomoya for now showing on her birthday and not even bothering to visit her). I guess this is why the outside world is “scary” for her.


1.) Is the reason why she’s so scared of bullies because she’s scared of the “outside world”?

2.) Why did she break down? Did she bury the incident deep in her heart? If she broke down, does that mean she never got over it? <- Not exactly what I want to say but, if you recall a sad event in your life (I haven’t so I’m just guessing this is what would happen) you would be sad (of course) but not break down like that. Because I kinda find it hard to imagine her being able to live all this time while not being able to come into some accord with that incident, unless her way of coping is really just forgetting about it and hope she doesn’t remember it.

I’m sorry if some things aren’t clear. I’ll clear the things you find vague if you point them out.

1 Like

I’ve been thinking about this for a few days, and largely this corresponds to my own feelings so I’m not sure that you’re missing much.

Now this is why I would have liked the Kotomi based side story to have at least given us some snapshots from her past. As it is it just seems a bit of an irrational trait as I can’t recall that it was ever addressed. Was she warned about bullying and took it too much to heart? Or was she a victim before being given license to pretty much take care of her own education outside class? Or was it simply such a lack of social skills and friendship that everyone came across as a potential threat? Probably the way she was treated almost as an afterthought by adults when needing counselling directly after her loss contributed - but without seeing more than we were shown we are left guessing really.

I haven’t played AIR but I did read that one character in that VN also went through similar? Maybe this is just a cool dramatic device, but…

[Long sentence alert!] While I’m no psychologist, if Kotomi didn’t really complete the full process of grieving, with loss of both parents at a young age being a major trauma, and we assume she simply diverted her grief into a drive for finishing her parents work; then faced with the sudden (possible) unexpected loss of someone she had grown close to then maybe this triggered the anxiety attack. She has after all been fairly sheltered from the “real world” for a long time and likely not close to anyone so maybe it is not a delayed reaction to the past but the coming to terms with the present which manifests as PTSD?

I hope this makes some kind of sense!

1 Like

Kotomi is now one of my favorite routes, it especially made it more lovable and heart wrenching when Tomoya and Kotomi were actually childhood friends.

I just remembered wanting to talk about Kotomi Ichinose’s theme, Étude Pour les Petites Supercordes, which Clannad Wiki translates to “Etude for Small Superstring.” I’m not going to dabble too deep on the Superstring Theory because that’s some high-level Physics shit and high-level Physics shit gives me headache every time. Rather, there’s some double-meaning behind the title that I find amusing (though someone here seems to have figured it already).

For non-French speakers like me, “etude” is a word that is quite familiar to those who listen to Chopin’s music, but it literally just means “study.” That’s why we can sometimes find in the names of universities/colleges in France. In that sense, the title of the song is just literally talking about a scientific study on small superstring, whatever a small superstring mean in Physics – though I’m guessing it’s related to the Theory of Everything stuff that Kotomi’s parents were studying.

Meanwhile, in music, they’re (typically) solo pieces meant for performers to learn a particular skill or set of skills. For example, Chopin’s Winter Wind Etude (mild Shigatsu spoilers) is apparently intended to be a study for “stamina, dexterity, and technique.” (I’m taking Wikipedia’s word on this.) In that sense, the soundtrack is treated like a study on whatever violin skill it wants to impart… maybe double stops? Idk I don’t violin…

…I said they’re typically solo pieces? Idk, I guess it’s like how @VyseGolbez explained in this thread before about being a symbol of Kotomi’s growing circle of friends. I’ll also add that musical etudes are traditionally boring pieces not really meant for concert performance. So we can interpret the piece as something Kotomi initially have for violin solo, something to learn in private, until other people, say Tomoya and co., started adding other parts into it.


Hmm, if we take it from the solo aspect and originally meant to learn something, my best bet would be that this teaches both legato and staccato, as this piece has two distinct parts, one with short notes played in staccato, and one with a more flowing melody where the notes are played in legato. Both of these things are very basic, which fits the whole “Kotomi really is a beginner in terms of playing the violin”, so that’s even more attention to detail there.


Actually the intro is also played “Spiccato” where the bow is allowed to bounce off the strings. I’m not sure if we are supposed to read that as Kotomi-chan being a bouncy character though! “Releasing and adding tension…”?



It has probably already been done, but could someone please explain to me Kotomi’s “amazing joke”? The one where she pokes her elbow and then tries to pull her head off.

I was never sure if:

  1. There is no joke except that Kotomi thinks it’s hilarious for reasons no-one else can understand
  2. There is a joke/some obscure popular culture reference but Kotomi is awful at telling it

Does anyone know what Kotomi’s infamous quote means?

The Day Before Yesterday, I Saw A Rabbit
And Yesterday, A Deer
And Today, You

There must be a metaphor or symbol in it that I’m not understanding.

I’d recommend that you read the short story from which it comes, ‘The Dandelion Girl’. It’s a pleasant story and I think you might be able to pick up on why the Key writers used that quote as an allusion for Kotomi and Tomoya’s tale.


Like many people, Kotomi is one of my favourite routes from Clannad. The message is so beautiful, the end always makes me cry and I like Kotomi so much, as much as Nagisa and Tomoyo. Her theme " Étude pour les petites supercordes " is my favourite theme from the game and TOE makes it even better. This route learns us that even if we aren’t with the people we love they will always watch over us and the most important thing in the life is the love ( I think Kotomi could fit well in Kanon with that aspect and the fact that she was a childhood friend of Tomoya ). Also, what makes Kotomi’s route so likeable is the interactions with other characters and its " friendship " side.

1 Like

I’ve wanted a Kotomi after story (Does she go to school in America or since she has tomoya she stayed in town?) (Does she keep learning and pursuing the multi-verse theory her parents were reserching?) A bunch of question that should probably be answered. But while there are unanswered questions, it’s the only “happy ending” in clannad (this is including the after stories for Nagisa and Tomoyo but at the same time I just know that something bad will happen in the after story. So should there be an after story for her or should we just leave it as is?

Tomoyo is best girl but Kotomi deserved it the most.

  • Kotomi should have an after story
  • Leave it at where it ended in the original VN

0 voters

This route was suggested to me to be read first. It is a pretty individualized route, and I had been told you could pretty much read this route at any point during Clannad, but it is a good first route as it gives you a good taste of some of the main cast.

They were right. This route was wonderful, and I really appreciate what it did to introduce me to the world and characters of Clannad. It was a little long-winded, but my first reading of Common probably did not help with that feeling, lol. I loved the interactions of Nagisa, Kotomi, and the sisters. I really enjoy slice of life, and Clannad had some of the best, especially in this route. The story of the suitcase I found very hard to suspend my disbelief towards, but the message and the “point” of it all won the day, and I cried in the end.

Kotomi herself, I feel, is honestly pretty good. She was a strong character to start with, and she was my favorite character in the visual novel for a long while, but as you don’t interact with her often in the rest of the routes, the lack of exposure took its toll. But she is still great, and I felt her history and romance with Tomoya was very natural feeling. It reminded me of a certain route in The Fruit of Grisaia, and as someone I know would say, “Clannad did it better.”

Suffice it to say, this is one of my favorite routes in the visual novel.