Tomoyo After - Takafumi Arc Discussion

Discussion topic for the second arc of Tomoyo After: ~It’s a Wonderful Life~, focusing on Takafumi & Kanako. Feel free to discuss anything from this arc without [spoiler] tags, but please tag anything from later arcs or from CLANNAD, providing adequate context in parenthesis.

This topic also played host to Tomoyo After Bookclub discussion from this post onward.

How would you rate this arc?

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Just finished this! It was great. I love Takafumi so far as a character. He went through a lot and he’s still a usually bright and happy young man in spite of that. Also, how old was he three years ago?? Goodness that young man had some stuff going on. I was glad to see more of him and see that he isn’t always so happy-go-lucky, that he struggles, and to see him overcome that was very fulfilling.

I liked the ending although I don’t much like Kanako. But I’m happy for him anyway!

Other notes:
-It’s cute watching Tomo parent everyone.
-How is Kanako so thin when her entire diet consists of ice cream?
-It was nice to see Tomoyo so encouraging of her brother.
-The story kind of quickly went off the deep end with the “give up” option. And then they like tell you repeatedly “If only I’d made a different choice!!!” and it was kind of ham-fisted.

Overall I really enjoyed the arc and I was glad to learn more about Takafumi and see some things from his perspective!


This arc was amazing. Every emotional beat was hit perfectly. I found myself tearing up when Takafumi told his life story. Maeda’s skill at evoking pathos is fully on display here.

I even started to like Kanako a little more. I always thought she was entertaining, but some of her more jerkish moments did get to me. Getting to see her kinder side in this arc really redeemed her in my eyes.

I don’t have much for complaints. I will say that they might have spent a little too much time on Tomoya and Takafumi’s typing competition. It was odd to emphasize Tomoya persevering and becoming a stronger person right after what happened towards the end of the previous arc. Also, it would’ve been nice to see a little more of Kanako and Takafumi’s interactions before they became a couple three years back.

Other than that, though, I loved it. I’ll give it a 4.5/5.


I just finished Takafumi’s arc a short while ago. I have to say this arc was really up to par re-reading this again and it makes me realize how Takafumi is an interesting character considering all of the pain he’s been through those three years ago. I think it gave me deep respect with his character as the comic relief around Tomoya, Tomoyo, Kanako, and Tomo how much he lives his life everyday being with the ones who were always having fun together.

I think what impresses me with this arc is how Tomoya had to decide how he was going to get Takafumi to tell him about the incident by making a punishment game where the loser would have to do everything that the winner says. I like how Tomoya was determined to go at it by getting Takafumi to see who can type on a keyboard the most as a contest and how he took the time and effort and studying each day on how he to keep going so he can beat him at his own game. Takafumi’s backstory was rather sad as he explained how he felt his life was idling around when he followed other students who didn’t know how to live life itself until he met his Sensei who taught him everything to sports, studying, and making friends. He was the talk of the town when everyone took notice of him and how he was able to have fun with the field and track team, including Kanako. I felt for him when he was able to confess to Kanako and how he was going to try hard to run as hard as he could to make his Sensei realize he really loved Kanako. As I was re-reading it, it still feels heart-wrenching that he was willing to do anything to get his teacher to understand and then that incident happened. Even when Kanako was talking to Tomoya out on the street, I do really think that Kanako had wanted to see Takafumi before when she left her home that she still had loved him but couldn’t say to him after that whole time that was lost.

The race was the part that got me going and wanting to cheer him up as he was about to go on that 15 kilometer run at the forest park. I loved how Tomoya and Tomoyo had to run with him and encourage Takafumi that he needs to push himself enough as if his life depended on it. I couldn’t imagine myself in a marathon having to deal with the blistering heat from the sun, the ground scorching as your feet hits the pavement alongside the road, and the stamina that’s needed to keep going without collapsing. :sweat_smile: The scene afterwards is what really drives home as Takafumi struggles and decides he can’t go on anymore with that curse placed upon him with his teacher looking at him and Takafumi had said that he did his best while running all of his might so he could say what he couldn’t for all those three years that he truly loved Kanako. To this day, that scene with Kanako holding out to Takafumi as she says “I forgive you” really struck tears out of me as he no longer has to run anymore and that was something he needed to hear out of the one that had been by his side to know personally how she felt about him. :sob:

I really enjoyed this arc a second time around as now I think Takafumi is one of my most favorite characters in Tomoyo After. Kanako has also started to grow on me a bit as she came through for Takafumi in lifting that curse from him and she had gained my respect despite her tomboyish ways. I’ll give this arc a 4 out of 5 and I’ll look forward to reading Tomo’s arc! :smile:


This may just be me stretching parallels a bit, but Takafumi’s journey in his arc feels similar to Tomoya’s in the previous arc. Both feature their title characters forced to reach goals they thought they were unable to in response to adverse circumstances (Takafumi and the punishment game, Tomoya due to his shoulder injury and the impending danger Tomo and Tomoyo are in), both suffer damages to their physical and emotional well-being, and at the climax, consider giving up. But in the end, it’s the motivating factor of seeing their loved ones’ happy faces as they acknowledge how hard they’ve worked to earn their approval that their journey is emotionally satisfactory. In this arc, Tomoya serves the role of being a stubborn, yet caring older brother who wants to get to the core of Takafumi’s emotional distress towards Kanako’s presence in order to persuade him to mature as a human being and move forward from his past trauma. It’s thematically fitting, then, that Takafumi’s journey hits many of the same broad beats as Tomoya’s.


I felt during my reading of the Tomoya Arc that Takafumi was probably the strongest-written character in the story, since everything about him made sense. He’s cool with Kotori dating his sister, his desire to protect his family’s union is the most admirable thing about him, and he’s relatable because he sits in front of a computer all day talking to people online and stuff. :stuck_out_tongue:

So it makes sense that Takafumi gets his own arc, since everything seems to build up toward a character resolution for him, starting with Kanako’s arrival. Turns out he has unresolved regrets of his own, which he can’t fulfill because he isn’t confident in his ability to run anymore. He chose his family over his personal life, and it cost him his dream of impressing Kanako’s father and marrying her.

Since neither Kotori nor Tomoyo are willing to let this slide, they resolve to help him achieve that happiness which he could not reach way back when. I found it especially interesting that Kanako decided to help as well, as it shows that she still had some ounce of compassion for Takafumi. However, it wasn’t until Takafumi found a reason within himself to continue running that he finished the race he was running in. Although he didn’t come in first place, that wasn’t the point. The point was to resolve Takafumi’s internal struggle to be perfect for someone else, when he really didn’t need to. He just needed to be there for the people he needed most.

I felt this arc came close to reaching the same emotional impact I felt with AIR, and if things get any better from this point on, I’m starting to feel excited for what’s coming next. :smiley:


I think this arc was a very “safe” arc. It shows a fairly decent story, with good buildup, and a climax that tugs your heartstrings the way Key does so well. It gives nothing too hard to stomach, and continues on with the message of perseverance and not giving up both for Tomoya and Takafumi.

This may explain why there is so little discussion up til now. There isn’t much to discuss, after all! It’s not controversial, but it doesn’t bring up much deep and interesting points either. It’s definitely an average route as far as Key stories go, but is in no way mediocre. Which is why I gave it my average Key rating of 4/5 :stuck_out_tongue:


You make a good point. In all respects, it is a standard Key character route. It doesn’t do much to innovate or stand out.

But for me, it does such a good job of elaborating why Takafumi is the way he is and of tying it into his behavior in Clannad in an organic fashion. The resulting emotional climax, where Takafumi runs through key moments in the time he spent with his Coach, his team, and Kanako, is extremely powerful because of how effective the build-up is. We feel for Takafumi as he struggles to deal with a past conviction that ended up destroying the life he’d built up until then. Although he hides it extremely well, part of him wants to find a way to make amends, and I love the way Tomoya, Tomoyo, and especially Kanako contriubte to that.


Just finished this. Not bad! Definitely left a better taste in my mouth than Tomoya’s arc did, but as Pepe said, that may be because of how ‘safe’ it feels. It was a nice story with a nice message and nice delivery.

Biggest gripe would be how Kanako was treated here. This definitely isn’t her arc; it’s Takafumis, which leaves me feeling like my favourite character has been wasted a little. I was expecting a lot more introspection from her and talk of how she feels about everything, but I guess all received was a few brief lines throughout the common arc. But that’s just me upset that the game isn’t catering to what I wanted, nothing it did wrong itself.

I do like the whole turn here about how Kanako is gradually beginning to believe in an eternal love, and feels like Takafumi’s problems could be solved by Tomoyo and Tomoya. But in the end, it’s Kanako herself who’s the only one who can truly save Takafumi. Well, she couldn’t have done it alone, and without the run it wouldn’t have gone right, so everyone can be thanked for achieving this outcome. But in the end, it was Kanako who was able to reach Takafumi and forgive him.

I do wish this was a bit longer though!


This was a really nice arc. It’s always nice in these stories when a perspective change happens. And it was really used to great potential. It showed Takafumi’s internal struggle even as he was running on that Sunday, and it showed how he felt alone, and then Kanako breaking through to him by saying “I forgive you.” was really nice. That moment also made me a bit teary eyed, so I’ll remember this spot for the tears confessional, as soon as I’m finished with the whole novel I’ll write there, because knowing Key, this was probably not the last moment tugging at your, or in this case, my heartsstrings.

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I agree with @Pepe, this arc took a very safe path to Takafumi’s problem. There’s nothing that is badly done, but nothing is exaggeratedly good enough for me to think that this was a great arc. Overall, I gave it a 3/5 because it lacked “personality”.

That said, there isn’t much to say, and, unfortunately, I foresee a boring podcast (let’s hope it doesn’t end up being that way). If anything, I’d like to highlight one of the themes in this arc, and it is one that is directly mentioned by Kanako at a certain point (excuse me, I forgot to screenshot it). It goes something like this (Inaccurate quote warning):

"I want him to quit field and track because he wants to quit, not because he tries to run away from what happened 3 years ago. It’s like he left it unfinished."

I’m very fond of this message. One should do whatever he is doing until the end or until he wants to quit, but quitting because of something unexpected just feels wrong, it’s as if you are running away from dealing with your problems in life. Of course, if he had been rendered unable to run again, I could understand it, but Takafumi had to clear his mind and see how track and field, Coach/Kanako/Takafumi relationship and Sakagami’s family where all different matters that had to be addressed separately.

Yeah, I feel a bit like you. I mean, it wasn’t that Kanako was treated badly in this arc, but an arc for her or more backstory about how she dealt with that whole situation would have been greatly appreciated and it could have been enough material for a great arc. If some emotional scenes were thrown in that backstory, combined with the OST track “memories”, I can assure that this route could’ve easily been a 5/5. A route similar to that of Kyou in CLANNAD or Matsushita in Angel Beats! First Beat.

The more you advance in the Tomoyo’s After the more clear the message of the VN appears to the reader: Kanako is the true MVP. (Or that would have been my opinion if I hadn’t finished the whole VN. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)

Anyway, to sum it up, it was a decent arc, and, while it didn’t do anything wrong, it lacked the ambition some other routes in other KEY VNs have. Unfortunately, the fact that it wasn’t ambitious and that the arc was pretty understandable and straight forward is something horrible for the bookclub, since interesting discussions are unlikely to pop up. Even then, I hope that this thread will gain affluence and replies before the podcast!

Your post made me consider something; was Kanako’s issue with her parents ever really resolved? I mean, she does explain at one point that she’s going to give her new dad a chance, and Takafumi and Kanako talk briefly about the time they visit, but it’s odd that the narrative doesn’t give her reconciling with that sore spot more time in the lime light. I can’t remember when she comes to the conclusion she’s accepted her mother’s decision, but I know it’s a pretty brief scene. Since it’s the whole reason she’s spending so much time in Tomoya and Tomoyo’s apartment, shouldn’t that resolution have been giving more time so it made an actual impact?

Yeah, you are right. The problem is that Kanako’s problems aren’t fully explored and things like her relationship with her mother are left somehow unfinished, as if they raced from the start to the finish line without actually running the race (see what I did there? :yum:). That’s why both Aspi and I think that her character could have been developed a lot more in this arc and how she is slowly becoming a great character with a huge amount of wasted potential.

However, I don’t think that the only reason she spends time in Tomoya’s house is because of her family issues, but rather because she still wants to be with Takafumi. She wants to be close to him but doesn’t quite express it explicitly. She kinda always wanted to go back to Takafumi and maybe she didn’t know that she wanted to, so the situation at home with her mother was an easy excuse to run away and end up looking for Takafumi.


At first I thought it was wrong for Tomoya to help them get back together. I completely understood why Takafumi separated from Kanako (seeing how her personality is), but when I saw their story together… It was too much… His heart was broken not by her or because of their relationship, but because of his teacher. This was unfair for both of them, so that’s when I realized that he never had a real reason to stop loving her.

I really know how it feels when a teacher has high expectations from you, and how scary it can be to fail to them. Imagine now that obtaining the hand of a dear one also depended on them. Seriously, the pressure was too much. He recurrently had this dream where he disappointed him, and I’ve had those kind of dreams too. This route probably hit me harder than it should have… (Should this go into the Key Tears Confessional topic?).

Still, it was very inspiring to see Tomoya powering through everything to achieve his goals (well, to help Takafumi find happiness). (Clannad & Tomoyo After’s end) This moment would be worth a light orb, and goes very well with the message at the end of this novel: “Those of you who have found your meaning in life, please help others find theirs next.”


This was a really strong arc, and despite its diminutive size it feels like a complete story. I personally really enjoyed seeing Takafumi’s backstory because we didn’t know much about his past over than that he threw himself into traffic for the sake of his family.

She definitely was unhappy with how things ended with Takafumi and wanted to patch things up, but I think she also had some actual issues with her mom. Given that she was awkward and quiet around her stepdad even after working things out with her mom, I think that she really wanted to get out of there and the story just did a poor job of portraying that. It might have been about 50/50 not wanting her mom to remarry and wanting to see Takafumi.

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