This episode begins with Youhei skipping some classes at school and at lunch Nagisa and Tomoya explain the Mei and Youhei situation to the other girls. Kyou thinks that it’s a bad idea to have Youhei try to rejoin the soccer team, and it’s basically confirmed that the soccer team is a bunch of bullies. Later that afternoon Tomoya asks Mei again if she’ll reconsider the situation and she says “no”.
So, Mei decides to go to the soccer club to ask them if her brother can rejoin the club, and Tomoya and Nagisa go with her. When Mei asks if her brother can rejoin the club they insult Youhei, and then they insult Nagisa and Tomoya. Later the three of them go to Yukine for some advise on the situation and she asks why was there problems between Youhei and the soccer team, so Tomoya tells her the story of how Youhei was bullied as a first year student until he snapped and got into a fight with the upperclassmen.
Later that afternoon Youhei shows up to school and Tomoya asks him where he was at and he says that he was doing what he wanted to do. Tomoya tells Youhei that Mei was worried about him, and he says that he doesn’t care because she’s with Tomoya now. Youhei also says that Mei no longer cares about him, at hearing this Tomoya grabs Youhei by the shirt and starts chewing his ass out. A fight almost breaks out between them but it’s broken up by Kyou, Ryou, and Kotomi.
Later, Mei wants to go back to see the soccer club again, and Tomoya tells Nagisa to go home and he’ll go with Mei. Nagisa refuses to leave even though Tomoya says that a fight or something else could happen, she says that she wants to be there for Mei. So they go and ask the team president for permission to have Youhei rejoin the club, Nagisa and Mei plead Youhei’s case and even Tomoya bows his head pleading Youhei’s case, after listening to their case he tells them to shag balls.
As the team is training they kick the balls wildly on purpose trying to wear out the three of them, and eventually Mei gets hit by a ball that was targeted at her on purpose. After practice is over Mei goes to see the upperclassmen and they basically reject the idea of Youhei rejoining the team, and they keep insulting him again. Then the president tells Mei that her brother knows exactly what is happening and he won’t do anything, Mei breaks down in tears and they continue to insult her.
Then the president grabs Mei and begins to hurt her, just as Tomoya says he’s had enough and goes to fight the club members, Youhei shows up and kicks the president for hurting his sister. So all the members that are left in the club room start fighting Youhei. Tomoya tells Nagisa to take Mei and run as he jumps into the fight. After the fight is over Tomoya and Youhei are laying on the ground pretty beat up and Youhei asks if they won the fight but Tomoya says he doesn’t think they lost. Tomoya tells Youhei to apologise to Mei because if he did the right thing none of this would have happened.
They start arguing and Youhei asks if Tomoya is picking a fight and Tomoya basically says yes, they get up and face each other and neither Nagisa of Mei can stop them. They start kicking the crap out of each other and hurling insults and accusations towards each other and finally Mei and Nagisa break up the fight.
The next day on the way to school Nagisa and Tomoya run into Youhei, and after a few seconds of staring at one another Youhei and Tomoya start laughing at each other. A few days later Youhei receives a letter from Mei and it seems that things are patched up between them. Then Tomoya takes Youhei to meet Akio, “Sanae-chan’s father”, it’s pretty funny to see Youhei’s and Akio reactions when Akio thinks that Youhei is there to steal his wife. Then we get shown a montage of how Youhei and Tomoya first meet and how they became friends. Well, that’s all for this episode.
Well it was interesting to wrap up the Youhei/Mei story arc, even though this episode patched up the relationship between Youhei and Mei I’m still kind of pissed at him. I didn’t buy his relaxed attitude towards the suggestion that Tomoya was dating and most likely sleeping with his younger sister, the whole it’s OK because it was you and I knew you would take care of her didn’t make any sense to me. I could have bought this line of thinking if Mei was say 17-18 and Tomoya was like maybe 20-21 but it’s totally different because Tomoya is around 17 and Mei is maybe 13, that’s really pushing it.
But in the end Youhei showed up and did the right thing in defending his sister from the soccer club, and he also did the right thing when he fought Tomoya because he thought Tomoya should have defended his girlfriend Mei. I also like how Tomoya and Youhei were back on good terms the next day, many times in my life I have had bad fights with my friends only to be drinking beers with them in a day or two.
But what stands out to me about the first few episodes of the ~After Story~ is that they almost have the feeling of being filler episodes. We all know what the real meat of the ending of Clannad will be, but it almost seems that the creative team couldn’t fill out 24-26 episodes dealing with the final conclusion of Nagisa/Tomoya/dream world storyline. Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying the ~After Story~ episodes so far but what I’ve seen doesn’t strike me as being very important to the final conclusion of the series. Another series that I really loved had the same kind of problems, In Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water there were the infamous “Island episodes”, those episodes were know for their poor animation quality (no such problem with Clannad ~After Story~) but they were also considered by fans to be there for filler purposes only, as nothing in them really advanced the story other than allowing the series creators to extend a planned 26 episode series to a 39 episode series. Well, I’ll hold my judgement on whether the ~After Story~ needs 26 episodes or only 13 episodes.