This episode picks up with Kyou, Ryou and Nagisa stopping by Kotomi’s house on their way to school, Tomoya’s still there working on the yard and they ask Tomoya if they should skip school to help him out, he tells them no, but it’s the thought that counts. After school they return to help Tomoya with the yard work, and cheerfully continue the helping him. Tomoya works through the night to get it done, in the morning he sits down and starts reading Kotomi’s book but falls asleep, and he dreams of his youth and his friendship with Kotomi.
After telling her he would attend her birthday party and bring friends with him he gets embarrassed because he couldn’t get anyone else to come so he skips her party, and then out of guilt he goes to her house to see her and finds her burning he father’s papers and the fire spreading throughout the study. He tries to put out the fire but it keeps spreading, then the “bad men” show up and they put out the fire, Tomoya goes home and tries to visit Kotomi later on, but he never sees her again and his memories of her fades like a dream.
When Tomoya wakes up Kotomi is waiting for him and she tells him that she’s always waited for the boy she liked to come for her, a tearful Tomoya tells her that he’s come for her and he takes her hand and leads her out of the house. The next day at school, Tomoya, Nagisa, Kyou and Ryou are waiting for Kotomi at the school’s gate where they greet her warmly. Later in the afternoon they are going to celebrate her birthday in the theater club’s room where Kotomi’s godfather “the bad man” gives her a briefcase that belonged to her father. At first she is afraid to open it but with the encouragement of her friends she opens it and finds the large stuffed bear that she wanted for her birthday gift. Then he tells Kotomi that she never burned the other copy of her parents’ paper because there never was a second copy, all she burned was a catalog of stuffed animals, then he tells her that they discarded their paper and placed the stuffed bear inside the briefcase along with a note telling her that they loved her and that the world is still beautiful even if includes sadness and pain. Then Kotomi has a flood of memories about her parents and a vision of her parents telling her that they love her and she should enjoy life and make friends. Later on everyone meets at Kotomi’s house for a real birthday party where she’ll get the repaired violin and spend time with all her new friends. That’s all for this episode, below are some screen shots.
This episode of Clannad for all practical purposes finishes of the Kotomi storyline nicely and with Key’s usual emotional weight. Kotomi was a girl trapped in the past by the crushing weight of grief and a need to atone for lashing out as a child in act of sadness and anger. Kotomi was frozen at the same emotional and social level as she was at on the day her parents died ten year earlier. And what causes the lifting of these great weights and the breaking of the chains binding Kotomi to the past? Well, this is where the title of this episode comes into play “theory of everything”, as far as I’m concerned Key’s “theory of everything” is love and compassion.
In the Clannad universe, love, compassion and friendship are the greatest powers in the world, these powers can transcend the boundaries of space, time, and reality to effect all those coming in contact with it. Also in this world the power of love also increases with each person it touches, as it touches one person it gathers strength and intensity before moving on to touch the next person. But one thing I’ve always liked about the other Key titles including this series is that they always stress that’s it’s always better to move on, to move forward, to move towards the future, staying in the past leads to stagnatation and nothingness.
In many current anime, such as in the movies of Makoto Shinkai the characters express a longing and a need to connect with the emotions and feelings of the past, while these anime are great in their own right they feel almost sad and depressing in nature because they don’t offer the main characters the hope of a break from the past and a path to a happy future. In Key’s anime, characters like Kotomi are able to finally close the door to the past and move on towards a more hopeful future, while her past may be filled with sadness and pain you get the feeling that in end her future happiness will taste all the sweeter.