CLANNAD - Mei Sunohara Route & Character Discussion

Something about this route hit me emotionally, though I can’t really pinpoint exactly why. Maybe it’s because I’m also a little sister, though my relationship with my brother is a bit more distant, especially now that we’re adults. That scene with the soccer club and the fight afterwards were what got me the most. It was a very emotionally charged scene, and I think the voice acting was solid in getting the feelings across.

Sunohara’s main faults in this route are his stubbornness and his cowardice, but I also feel like part of what leads to the drama is that he does care about his sister and he respects her independence despite how young she is. He doesn’t try to be a controlling big brother, telling her what he can and can’t do, probably because he knows that she’s responsible and mature for her age. He’s an interesting character because he is both an idiot, yet not an idiot. Self-aware yet oblivious. It kind of depends on the scenario.

Also, Sanae for best girl?


Technically speaking only the first half of this route is Mei’s route, and the second half is based on both of the Sunohara siblings according to save file route title :stuck_out_tongue:

Just thought I’d mention because the thread title is for Mei, but yeah.

Good route. I won’t spoil anything but I love how well the latter half connects with the upcoming Koumura route. Very clever integration.

But aside from that it was nice to see another dual route where 2 characters are the focus (Kyou/Ryou) Youhei has always been a personal favourite character of mine because of how much he reflects how I used to behave as a teen in school.

Granted I wasn’t a delinquent who skipped school, but I was very hot headed and arrogant in that I didn’t like to open up and show my emotions even when it involved something/someone I care about.
I’ve always found Youhei to be a relatable character for me on a personal level.

Saying he was spineless, and showed a huge level of cowardice in this route would be 100% correct. But to me that was the selling point of this character here, by how much he genuinely reflects a lot of male high school students.

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Well this was a lot better than I remembered.

First off, this was probably the route that made me laugh the most so far. The comedy was absolutely excellent, from the finding a fake girlfriend part through the meeting Mei part all the way over to the date sequences. Absolutely hilarious through and through.

The way the top of the window says ‘Mei’ and the Tomoya x Mei ship is continuously pushed throughout the first half made me feel like they wanted to make the player think this was actually going to be a romantic route with a 13-year-old. But then the shipping ends pretty abruptly when things get more serious. Which I’m pretty fine with tbh ^^

I’d say this route shows us both the best and worst sides of Sunohara. On the one hand he’s an idiot, he easily gets caught up in his own fantasies, neglecting important realities, and he’s a coward. But he’s a damn good friend. I’d like to have his direct perspective on the latter half on the route, really. He knows Tomoya well enough to know he definitely wouldn’t harm Mei, but the way they act seems to go in the other direction which is probably what leaves him in his confused state when he’s out of sight for a longer period of time near the end. But he’s not leaving Mei alone because he’s a terrible brother. He’s leaving her alone because to the best of his knowledge Tomoya is with her, and he trusts Tomoya more than anyone. And he’s not wrong either! Tomoya certainly isn’t the kind of person he’s acting out to be. Sunohara just doesn’t get Tomoya and Mei’s intentions in their act, that they want him to interfere.

And that’s ultimately the conflict and drama of this route, isn’t it? Tomoya and Mei try putting on an act to force Sunohara to care, but Sunohara isn’t easily convinced by a bad act (because he’s actually damn perceptive and knows both Tomoya and Mei very well) but also too caught up in his fantasy with Sanae to read deeper into it and realize what’s going on with them. At least that’s how I interpreted it.

Many characters got a chance to shine in this route. Obviously there’s Mei who’s more or less the focal character of the route. She’s so damn likable and I don’t think I even need to go into detail about that. What stood out was seeing her try to interact with Yusuke. Seeing her trying to wish him all the best while having inevitably brought up a part of his life he’d rather leave behind was endearing. And Yusuke is the best anyways so he genuinely thanks her. Yeah I really liked that scene.

Then there’s Sanae who has some standout moments as well. She’s incredibly kind-hearted and positive and exhibits several traits I admire. Every scene with her in it was just pleasant. Not to mention the scene where Tomoya talks to her about Sunohara’s poor priorities and how he’s getting carried away made me appreciate her even more. She’s not just blindly supporting Sunohara with being his fake girlfriend; she’s actively thinking about how to support him best and what should be done. Major props to her.

Finally we have the butt monkey himself, the male Sunohara. He’s an idiot. He lazes around all day every day. But when it comes down to it, his days with Tomoya are filled with those small joys that add up to a fun school life neither of the two could’ve had otherwise. And while there’s not much he can get invested in, when he does care about something he sticks with it to the bitter end. Lest I forget he still has quite a keen eye for others’ feelings (although that didn’t shine much this route). Overall he’s a good guy and quite the bro. Not on the Little Busters’ level in that regard, but right behind them.

I didn’t remember this route being quite as good as it ended up being for me, but ultimately I ended up giving it a 5/5.


So, let’s have a quick discussion about theming. Throughout this entire arc there’s this recurring motif with the Sunohara siblings pretending to be something they’re not. Moreover, we have this contrast between the siblings of faking for the wrong reasons (personal gain) and faking for the right reasons (in the interest of others).

Before the proper route begins Sunohara tries to fake being a guitar player for Yoshino Yusuke. Sunohara’s aim is simple, he wants to trick Yoshino into revealing his past as a famous musician so he can get an autograph or something else out of him. While he ostensibly wants this for his little sister, it’s pretty clear that Sunohara is doing this all for himself. Unfortunately, it falls apart almost immediately. Not only is Sunohara too much of an idiot to fake knowledge beyond the most nascent guitarist, his fingers lack callouses, a sure sign that he’s never actually played guitar.

Mei gets a similar moment in one of her optional scenes. When she finds out that Sunohara wasn’t lying about meeting Yoshino Yusuke, she immediately wants to tail him. When Mei and Tomoya catch up with Yoshino, she pretends not to know anything about his past as a musician, but ultimately fails. While Yoshino’s initial response is very negative (he’s ready to just walk out on the conversation), Mei’s heartfelt desire to show her appreciation for his music and see that he’s doing okay keep him there to give her his blessing. We see that for Mei, pretending not to know of Yoshino’s past was at least partly driven by a desire not to bother him, and to check on his well being without being intrusive.

The theme also carries to the primary plot. Sunohara’s fake relationship with Sanae is largely predicated on his desire to not worry his sister. Not necessarily because he doesn’t want to see his beloved sister worry for him, but because it would be a bother to him if she stuck around for too long. Mei doesn’t really fall for it. She thinks that Sanae is too good for her brother (harsh), and his act doesn’t really convince her that he’s doing well or living his life correctly.

Mei also carries on a fake relationship, this time with Tomoya. But where Youhei was trying to deceive his sister for his sake, Mei is trying to force her brother to better himself, or at least reveal his more admirable side. This doesn’t work. When confronted with Tomoya pretending to be using Mei, Youhei doesn’t do a damned thing, and even worse he abdicates some of his responsibility to protect his sister on the pretense that it’s Tomoya’s problem now. Ultimately, it’s Mei’s sincere actions to help her brother (shown by her interactions with the soccer club) that end up getting Youhei to reveal that small part of him that isn’t scum.

Something I find interesting about this theme is that lying never works. The only lie that isn’t immediately seen through is Mei’s fake relationship with Tomoya, but even that doesn’t achieve the desired effect of making Youhei stand up for his sister. In the end, things only work out when honest feelings are shown, and are shown to be noble. An interesting point is that the difference between the siblings here is shown in their character design. Where Sunohara’s hair is dyed an unnatural blonde (commented on a few times), Mei’s hair is still its natural color. Sunohara is fake, all the way down to his character design.


I was pretty disconnected from this route; I couldn’t really get behind what was happening. The reason for this being Mei. Her main issue with the situation at hand seems to be that Sunohara isn’t her onii-chan anymore. Not that I approve of Sunohara’s life choices, but people change. While reading, I just kept thinking that she was being stupid and stubborn. I guess my real problem with this is how the route paints the issue as black and white when I think there’s more to it. They also don’t really address Sunohara’s position in life which is where the whole mess starts. Mei’s epilogue does go into how she wanted Sunohara to come home but now accepts his living in Hikarizaka, but that doesn’t really change how I experience the whole route up until that point. The route felt like the search for an answer to a problem that I don’t understand why it exists, also there was an awesome Yoshino scene in there.

Don’t you think it would be a good thing if Sunohara straightened up?

Yes, but in the epilogue, Mei seemed fine with him being an idiot that fails school. As I said, they don’t address that issue in any way. Sunohara is just as likely to get a job in this route as any other.

Another way to interpret this is that Mei has a larger context for Sunohara’s behavior. Mei has known Sunohara for her entire life, and everyone at school has known him for a little over two years. So far as everyone else is concerned, Sunohara has always been a feckless troublemaking poser. But Mei has seen that while Sunohara has always been a bit of a troublemaker and a fool, he used to have an earnest noble side to him. She saw that he used to be a confident (maybe even hard-working) soccer player, but now he’s lost all ambition and just lazes about his room reading manga.

I’m going to be honest, that sounds less like an organic change in personality, and more like the onset of depression. Mei isn’t concerned because her brother grew up, but because he’s stuck in an emotional rut that no one else recognizes because they think he’s always been that way.

Maybe I need to revise my earlier negative statements about Sunohara, because I’ve just realized this entire arc is about an intervention for a person suffering from a psychological disorder.


This is how I took her concern too. While I am sure there is some little sister nostalgia going on too, I think Mei just really thought that he was stuck, spiraling down, and wanted to help. When she saw that even if he was not living what most would consider a respectable life, but he was moving forward and enjoying life in his own way and should be left to that.

As a real aside, there was a crazy fandub that I think came from 4Chan for the date scene between Okazaki and Mei that was amazing in that it is terrible but you want to watch it again anyway. I was unable to dig this up on YouTube and wondered if anyone was familiar and new where I could watch it. (hopefully referencing this is not too out of line, I just cant look at Mei with the fandub version of Mei yelling about strawberries going through my head)

In the epilogue, Mei has seen Sunohara be the kind of brother she’s used to seeing. One that stands up for her and cares for her. One that isn’t exactly the total miscreant that you normally see him as.That combined with the fact that she now knows that he has a good friend in Okazaki is probably why she can accept Sunohara’s existence here.


See, what I thought the issue was was that Youhei was being a complete and total asshole. He’s an idiot, sure, and he’s always been an idiot. But as you step into this route you start to see just how self-centered he is. And that is something that I believe they wanted to and were able to fix by the end of the route.


Sunohara’s Character

Fucking idiot. Spineless dickhead. But shit dude cherishes his relationships and that’s tight as fuck.

Mei’s Character

Man I don’t remember Mei being like this at all, Mei is fuckin’ leeeeeeeeewd. Pretty standard stuff though, she’s got the contrast with her brother, she’s mature unlike him, her flirtiness with Tomoya doesn’t feel out of place and they have absolutely excellent banter because of it. She’s an extremely strong character thanks to this making her personality shine hard.

The Route

What the fuck do I say about this route when the route is written in such a way that it says everything I want to say itself?
Sunohara is a fucking IDIOT, the FUCKINGEST IDIOT OF ALL, the route says this, the route parades that fact around. And I see a lot of people embedded that message above all else and came out of this route with more a disdain for Sunohara than ever. But it didn’t act like Tomoya and Mei’s actions were the perfect course either and made sure to let those characters know that whenever they fucked up. But I don’t dislike Sunohara after this at all, Sunohara is a fucking dickhead idiot of a tool, but he’s a harmless idiot dickhead of a tool, his dumbass escapades are usually small and often just centered, like his ego, around himself.

…for the most part.
He done fucked up when he let Mei go off with some strange man in his 30’s. That’s not cool dog, and I could even argue to defend him with he was having an internal conflict until Tomoya went in his place and then choose to trust it to Tomoya, I do believe he isn’t slimy enough that he wouldn’t have gone if Tomoya didn’t go first. I mean, that IS what happened later, when the FOOTBALL Club were being the dirty Chavs they are, he was trusting Tomoya to protect his ‘girlfriend’, I can almost get behind his logic for not jumping in there, trusting Tomoya to make the first move(Unless he was there while they were outright hitting her, then he’d be a total piece of shit, but the writing didn’t seem to imply that to me, I took it as he only showed up after the practice had finished).
But NO DAWG, when she was off to meet this random dude, I don’t care if Tomoya went, you fucking don’t ignore that, you piece of shit.

For real though, the bro levels are absolutely great, his sheer trust of Tomoya in letting him take his sister even when Tomoya was saying all sorts of sketchy shit, and trusting Tomoya to protect Mei even with the shit flinging she was getting, that’s just so tight as fuck.


Just read the route if you wanna know anything I have to say about it, nothing that needs to be said goes unsaid. Absolutely excellent in all regards, Sunohara is a dense piece of shit/10.


It’s not the football club, it’s the soccer club! :smiley:

I know what I said.


Not sure how to feel about this route honestly.

Characters were all good, situation and overall scenario was a bit silly for me so that’s going to have to be something I can’t ignore. The whole Sanae thing is just really out there lol.

That said the highlights here for me are Sanae and Tomoya, with a great broment and a lot of perception playing.

I’ll agree to a 4/5 for me at best, but it’s certainly great in a lower caliber than other greats, but I guess it doesn’t really need to be. SHRUG.

Didn’t have much time this week, so I’ll make it short.

Choosing to have Sunohara ask Kyou out, I really wanted to see Kyou’s expression when Sunohara stormed into her classroom, shouting “KYOU! YOU’RE CUTE!”
Even if it’s just Sunohara getting the wrong idea, she should have appreciated that moment more. I mean, did any other guy ever say that to her?

(Not sure if this counts as an After Story spoiler, but:) Sunohara stays out of his sister’s business just like how Tomoya’s dad stays out of Tomoya’s business.


Or perhaps Youhei is too much of an idiot to even notice something like that :kyouevil:

I’m having a hard time strictly calling this Mei’s route, because this route has just as much, if not more, focus on Youhei’s development and character. Thus, I’ve decided to split this post in two for the sake of keeping discussion for each character balanced. To see Youhei’s side of the character discussion, look here.

Mei is a character toted as a stark contrast to her older brother, although she has her own quirks. She’s quite playful and girlish, but a large part of her is no-nonsense and intent on correcting her brother’s mistakes. She genuinely cares for Youhei, and wants to do as much as she can to set his life straight.

The route itself reminds me a bit of Kyou in terms of how the conflict is set up, namely in that there’s an established paradigm that shouldn’t exist in Mei’s eyes. Like how everyone notices how unnatural and wrong it was for Steve to remain in a relationship with Ryou, most everyone, including Youhei himself, understand how it doesn’t seem right for Youhei to act like the loser he is. It pains her to see her brother acting like a delinquent, even if in reality he’s only doing what he does with the best intentions. Even though almost nothing comes out of what she does, she does gain an assurance that her Onii-chan is still the person she remembers. In fact, no one experiences a significant change in this route, but I’d be a liar if I said everyone came out the experience without learning something important about each other.

I’d be doing Fuko next, but I’ve already read the route and written a post about it, so…

Next up is Koumura! :slight_smile:

I found myself liking this route a lot. This route really hit me with its rollercoaster ride of emotions. And MEI man she’s now an addition to my list of best girl candidates in Clannad now, I just like her and her no-nonsense personality so much!

I like to think that this route is rather a character exploration of Youhei Sunohara, in which Tomoya and Mei slowly understands who Sunohara is. He’s dumb, really freaking dumb, but he does care about the people around him. But he’s so dumb that this kindness doesn’t show well. He lets Tomoya date Mei because he trusts him? Comes off as him not caring about his sister lol. I’m not sure if there’s any indication of this being the case, but it’s also possible that his faking a girlfriend is simply him not wanting to worry Mei.

Sunohara starts dumb and ends dumb, but that wasn’t what the story was trying to develop out of him. In the end, Sunohara was at least finally able to show his innate kindness that has been obfuscated by his stupidity. And we also realize that he does cherish his high school days, even if it doesn’t look like it.

On Tomoya’s side, it’s him realizing that Sunohara really is his friend, no matter how much he wants to deny it.

And I agree that the comedy is gold! Seeing Tomoya go full lolicon was hilarous.

4.75/5, solid route imo.