Just finished this part of TA. I didn’t take notes, so I’ll just talk about this as thoughts come to me.
Let’s start with the prologue. I had little idea what to expect with Tomoyo After, although I thought it made sense for the story to start with placing Tomoyo in every conceivable fetish possible for her. Fortunately, it seems like they did a good job writing around where the sex scene in the original used to be, although TomoyaKotori’s newfound pervertedness doesn’t help things. Still, this story feels like it could stand alone from CLANNAD so far, and that’s a big plus.
The Tomoya Arc seems to focus a lot on comedy and establishing the characters before anything else. For those who’ve read CLANNAD previously, there’s not a lot new to Kotori or Tomoyo. If anything, Tomoya is pretty much going through some of the same motions he went through in After Story, and Tomoyo is pretty much there to keep his childish behavior in check. That aside, it’s the newer characters - Takafumi, Kanako and Tomo - that makes Tomoyo After what it is.
Takafumi was mentioned and even seen at one point in Tomoyo’s route in CLANNAD, but we didn’t get much from him besides the fact that he really didn’t want his family to split apart, which caused him to throw himself in traffic. Now that he’s back to health, he’s a full-on computer nerd who hangs around Kotori’s place in the evenings, although he hasn’t forgotten how much his family means to him. This leads him to bring Tomo, his illegitimate half-sister, to Kotori’s place for him to take care of.
Tomo is an adorable little loli girl who, despite her naivete to most things, knows enough about relationships to understand that fighting is never good, and doesn’t want what happened to her mother to happen to her new ‘mama and papa’. Tomoyo takes her in immediately following Takafumi’s advice, and the three of them become a sort of dysfunctional family.
Then a piece of Takafumi’s tragic past appears in the form of Kanako. Her voice and mannerisms felt similar to Haruka from Little Busters at first, but it quickly becomes obvious that her actions are more mean-spirited in nature. Apparently she’s under the belief that true love doesn’t really exist, because her family’s in a terrible situation and Takafumi refuses to acknowledge her after her dad died. It’ll be interesting to see how Kotori proves her wrong, if it ever happens.
Anyway, the actual plot of the Tomoya Arc involves Kotori street fighting to keep Tomoyo and Tomo safe, despite the chronic injuries he receives every night as a result of the fights. It’s pretty formulaic until Kanako starts training him in self-defense, and then the fights go by quickly. I do feel that this arc spoke a lot about how determined Kotori is, but little else is accomplished for any of the other characters. I think it’s a harmless first start, and it does make me want to read more, so I’m fairly impressed.
I can only hope it gets better from here…