February 2009


 yayoi-and-touya-embracing

       This episode begins with Rina finishing the first part of her recording session, and everyone says it went flawlessly. Eiji tells Touya that there’s really no reason for him to be there if Rina’s recording, but with Yuki it’s another matter. A short while later, Touya rushes past Rina to exit the studio, Rina walks in to see that Eiji played some of Yuki’s raw vocals for Touya. Rina goes outside to see Touya and asks him if Yuki really sounded that bad? Touya can’t really say whats good or bad, but he tells Rina that he understands why Yayoi and Eiji don’t think that Yuki has time to waste on him. Rina’s only real reply is that she’s no longer her brother’s favorite plaything, Yuki is.

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       Then we see Haruka being harassed by two low life’s, she seems too out of it to put up a fight, and then at the last moment Mana (Touya’s student) rushes to her aid. Mana starts to scream and yell that perverts and molesters are attacking them, soon the guys rush off, and Haruka passes out after they leave.

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      later, Rina tells Touya about her relationship with her brother, Eiji quit singing because he felt that he reached his peak and he didn’t like the idea of not being able to change, so she became his project, he could watch her change and improve. But Rina tells Touya that Eiji now feels that she is complete and she as reached her level of perfection, so now he needs another project (Yuki) to excite him. Rina also tells Touya that no matter what he thinks Yuki is still with-in his reach. She also asks Touya to nolonger consider her a goddess, because tomorrow she might be a devil, and she also hands Touya a copy of her work schedule and tells him to stop by and watch her anytime he feels like doing so.

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         Then we flash over to Mana and Haruka, as Haruka walks home Mana tries to get her to talk, but has very little success. In  the end, Haruka mentions Touya’s name but when Haruka looks back she sees that Mana has disappeared. Then we see Touya helping Misaki helping with her costumes, and Misaki asks if the women she saw Touya with was Yuki’s senior, is she really famous? Then we see Yayoi getting a call at her office, and we see Yuki not being able to reach Touya and wondering what happened to him?

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       The next morning, when Touya returns home, he finds Haruka sleeping in his bed, she says she’s OK and lets herself out when he leaves. As the days go by, Touya continues to help Misaki with her costumes, and Yuki keeps trying to reach Touya with no success. It gets so bad for Yuki that she calls Touya’s father’s house and Misaki answers the phone, Misaki doesn’t help clarify the situation by telling Yuki what’s going on. Later, Mana starts following Touya and Misaki around as Touya is searching for a gift for Rina-chan’s upcoming birthday, she still thinks that Misaki is Yuki.

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       Then on Rina’s birthday Touya shows up at the studio, Yuki sees Touya there and she wants to know why? Eiji says that it’s a complete coincidence and Yayoi, Rina, and Eiji leave Touya and Yuki alone to talk. They don’t say much to each other, Yuki tries to get Touya to do something on Saturday but he’s says he’ll be at his school’s festival. Yuki takes Touya inside the recording studio to watch her work on her song, Touya is confused as to why Yuki’s singing the song that he saw Rina working on. After a while, Yayoi asks if Touya is going to stay for the whole thing, if not, she’ll drive him home.

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      So, Touya accepts Yayoi’s offer of a ride home. While parked at his apartment, Yayoi starts to ask Touya about his actions, Touya says that she can say anything she wants to about him. Yayoi says that it must have been like punishment for him, and she moves over to his side of the car and begins to kiss him. Unlike the previous time she embraced him, Touya doesn’t push her away, he embraces her back with passion, and he says a silent apology to Misaki because he’s going to be late. Well, that’s all for this episode.

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       Well, I found this episode enjoyable and enlightening for several reasons. First, Rina’s talk with Touya cleared up many questions I’ve been having about the whole Eiji/Rina/Yuki relationship like; what does Eiji see in Yuki, what’s the deal between Eiji and Rina? When Rina explained to Touya that Eiji quit performing because he knew he reached his peak and could not see any further growth he then decided to perfect Rina, and it made me understand why he now wants the flawed Yuki. When Rina performed in the studio, both Touya and Eiji understood that her execution of the song was flawless, Eiji said that there was no reason for him to be there. So, without having a untrained product (Yuki) to work with, Eiji has no purpose or meaning to his life. If only Yuki could see her future, she’s nothing but a pet project for Eiji, nothing more, when he gets her to where he wants her, she’ll be put aside just like Rina.

       It was also very interesting that when Touya decided to cheat he chose Yayoi, the woman who he said had the lips of a lifeless doll. Well, since this is a harem anime I give my +’s and -‘s for each woman/girl and rate them in the order that I would have chose them.

#1 choice. Rina.

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Pluses– self-assured and self-confidant, sexy and mature

Minuses– her career might just cause a problem with available alone time just like Touya has with Yuki, and her weird relationship with her brother could be a pain.

Availability– above average, despite her self-assured demeanor she seems a little lonely, so she just might be open to a little after work action to spice up her nights.

Intangibles– when Rina said not to consider her a goddess anymore because she just might be a devil next time, really got me wanting to she her demonic side, in my bedroom, of course.

#2 choice. Misaki.

misaki

Pluses– has a calm and gentle personality, educated and refined, very attractive in a understated way, possibly the best wife material.

Minuses– seems to become frazzled when put under pressure, need to speak up for herself when other people try to take advantage of her.

Availability– above average, doesn’t seem overly lonely but she seems like the type that was born to have a boyfriend walking next to her.

Intangibles– after learning Misaki’s interests, she would be the perfect girl to curl up with in front of a warm fireplace while sharing a nice bottle of wine with some classical music playing in the background.

#3 choice. Yuki.

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Pluses– the pure and virginal girl next door, the girl that you’ll remember fondly when you get older and look back at the past.

Minuses– at her point in her career it would be very difficult to have a fulfilling adult relationship with, Eiji’s and Yayoi’s constant surveillance would drive any guy nuts.

Availability– extremely high, she’s all but said that she wants to knock boots, but see above.

Intangibles– Yuki has that eternal cute girl next door look, she’ll probably look just as good at 40 as she does now, plus with Yuki it’s possible to have that whole high school sweethearts to husband and wife story.

#4 choice. Yayoi.

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Pluses– when Yayoi wants something she just comes out and goes for it, she has the best body in the whole group.

Minuses– if your with Yayoi you really don’t know if you mean anything to her other than a booty call.

Availability– extremely high, while she says that she’ll take Yuki’s place when needed, she seems like she has no life outside work so what might seem like a job duty might turn into something more.

Intangibles– while she might seem to “have the lips of a lifeless doll” there’s something to be said for just giving in to raw desire for desires sake, as the old saying goes; “the only bad sex is having no sex”.

#5 choice. Mana.

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Pluses– the ever popular schoolgirl, cute and sassy, self-assured with a touch of vulnerability.

Minuses– as she’s shown in previousepisodes Mana tends to jump to conclusions without knowing the facts, and if your with her be prepared to ride the emotional roller coaster of youth.

Availability– above average, parents work all the time, and you spend more time with her as her tutor than her parents do

Intangibles– see the pluses entry. Also this famous quote from Dazed and Confused  says it all ~ That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older and they stay the same age.~

#6 choice. Haruka.

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Pluses– athletic and sightly tomboyish, you’ve been friends forever, she’s always stopping by your apartment.

Minuses– Haruka’s a emotional train wreck since her brothers death, she needs counselling more than a boyfriend. If you did start sleeping with her you wouldn’t know whether your really her guy or just some weird brother substitute. But, if things went wrong with your relationship with Haruka you wouldn’t know if she’d just up and kill herself inside your apartment or jump in front of a train.

Availability– the highest possible level, she’s at your apartment almost everyday, sometimes she sleeps in your bed when your not home, if your were a dog, getting with Haruka would take about 1 minute. 

Intangibles– if Haruka managed to get her head on straight, she’d make the perfect girlfriend for a guy who likes doing outdoor activities, like hiking, biking, tennis, camping, and so forth.

 

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      We start off by seeing the schoolgirl who was following Touya and Masaki around head home, she returns to find a empty house, and a note from her mother telling her to eat the food she left for her and to expect a new tutor tomorrow. Then we see Yuki getting very emotional after she finally finishes the recording of her single to the Eiji’s satisfaction.

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      Then it seems that Rina and Eiji has some sort of plan that she’s putting in place involving Yuki and her relationship with Touya. Then the scene switches to Touya’s father’s house, it seems that Touya has gotten his father to let them use his late wife’s sewing machine and a spare room to complete the costume manufacturing. As Misaki and Touya work on making the costumes, the phone in Touya’s apartment continues to go unanswered.

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      When morning comes, Touya awakens to find that Misaki is gone, and he’s running late for something, so he has to rush off. We then see that Touya is starting his new tutoring job, and his student turns out to be the schoolgirl from earlier (Mana Mizuki) . Touya’s tutoring job starts off roughly, as he tries to get the Mana to tell him what she needs to work on, but all she wants to talk about is Touya’s relationship with Yuki. She asks him if the girl from last night was Yuki, and when he says it was a friend she calls him unfaithful for seeing another girl. During Touya’s whole session with Mana no actual studying gets done, she just sort of insults Touya and keeps telling him that he’s making up the whole idol as his girlfriend thing.

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      Later that evening, Touya and Misaki are having dinner at Echoes when Rina-chan walks in on them, she sees Touya with Misaki and walks off. Touya follows her, reminding her that she wanted to speak with him, so she takes him to the “inner chamber” of Echoes, where he also finds Eiji waiting there. Touya starts to get pissed because Rina assumes that Touya is dating other girls, and when Eiji and Rina start discussing Yuki and his relationship, he says that every one’s meddling is messing everything up. But before anything can get cleared up, Eiji says that he’s running late so can they continue this at the recording studio? Well, they all pack into his car and head off to the recording studio, and Rina and Eiji continue on about Yuki’s relationship with Touya.

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       Then the scene changes to Yayoi and Yuki at a television station, Yuki again has some problems with that idol group, and when Yayoi is about to intervene it seems like Yuki stops her.

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      Then we see Haruka standing outside Touya’s apartment door, she keeps ringing and ringing his doorbell until a neighbor tells her to cut it out, can’t she tell he’s not home? Haruka then sits outside his door and begins to cry, she starts begging for him to open the door, and she cries for her dead brother. Then we see Haruka walking her bike home in a daze, she bumps into people and take no notice to anything or anyone around her.

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      Then we shift to a recording studio where we see Touya watching Rina-chan doing a recording session with Eiji doing the production. This episode ends with Rina-chan recording her song.

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     Well, another slow paced episode filled with lonely people, nothing new here unless you consider that a new girl was added to the harem that Touya doesn’t deserve. OK, so the high schoolgirl from the other episode is back as Touya’s tutoring student, and it’s quite obvious that she’s another lonely girl. Mana returns from her night of following Touya and Misaki around to a empty house with no prospect of her parents showing up anytime soon, so it’s only natural for a series of this type to have her fall for Touya (plus what harem anime worth it’s salt doesn’t have at least one high schoolgirl for the guy to choose from?).

     The only character I really feel sorry for is Haruka, she clearly needs some grief counseling for her unresolved issues about her brother’s death. To me, it seems like every time Haruka feels depressed over her brother’s death she heads off to see Touya, I don’t think she’s attracted to him in a romantic way, he’s just a brother substitute for her. The only question I have about this series is that since Rina-chan, Eiji-san, and Yayoi all think that they are acting in Yuki’s best interest, will they will do her more harm than good by trying to manage Yuki’s love life? 

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      This episode begins with Tomoya and Ushio returning home from their trip, and Tomoya’s and Ushio’s new found affection for each other is apparent. We see Ushio and Tomoya praying at Nagisa’s home shrine, and doing other father-daughter things. When Tomoya is in Nagisa’s room he remembers some of the good times he and Nagisa shared. When Tomoya and Sanae talk alone, Tomoya thanks her for raising Ushio, and he apologises for being a bad father, and he promises to make it up to her by raising Ushio to be strong like Nagisa. Ushio enters the room and tells Tomoya that Akio would like to play baseball with him.

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     As they are preparing to play, Sanae asks Ushio who will win this match? Ushio says Akio, to Tomoya’s annoyance. Tomoya gets the best of Akio this time, and afterwards they all settle down for drinks and conversation. Later that night, Tomoya is roused from his sleep with Ushio to hear Akio and Sanae talking. Tomoya hears Akio tell Sanae how tough he knows the past five years were on her, and that she’s never cried over her loss, and now it’s OK for her to cry because he’ll be there for her no matter how long she needs to cry. Tomoya hears Sanae finally shedding tears over Nagisa’s death. 

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      As Tomoya is taking Ushio to live with him, Sanae and Akio wish them luck, and Tomoya says he knows to stop by often with Ushio and Sanae and Akio also agree to drop off and pick up Ushio from school if Tomoya’s work stands in the way. After Tomoya drops off Ushio at school he hears some women gossiping about him and his relationship with Nagisa’s parents, in the old days he would have gotten angry but now he pleasantly introduces himself as Ushio’s father, and the women seem to like like him. At work he apologises to Yoshino for making him worry and he says that compared to what Sanae and Akio went through his problems are small, but just the same Yoshino says that if he has any problems, he and the company will help him.

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       Later, Tomoya picks up Ushio from school and drops her off at his apartment before heading off to work, and Ushio starts to get acquainted with her new home. When Tomoya finally gets home, Ushio sees that he has brought her clothes and lots of other stuff from her old house, and they begin to organize things, such as where to place Nagisa’s picture.

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      Later, Ushio and Tomoya go for a walk and they run into Kouko (Fuko’s sister, and Yoshino’s wife). After Ushio properly introduces herself to Kouko, we find out that Fuko has recovered and has been released from the hospital. When Kouko introduces Fuko to Tomoya and Ushio, Tomoya starts messing with her in a playful way. Then Fuko takes a instant liking to Ushio and wants to adopt her as a younger sister, Tomoya asks how old Fuko is? Kouko tells Tomoya that she’s the same age as him, but because she spent so long sleeping she still has the mind of a first year high school student.

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     As Ushio and Tomoya are eating dinner, he tells her that he took a day off from work and he asks her if she wants to spend some time with daddy? That night, as Ushio is about to drift off to sleep hugging a stuffed Dango, Tomoya asks her if she likes the big Dango family? Ushio says that Sanaetold her that the stuffed Dango’s smell like mommy, Ushio says that they smell nice as she drifts off to sleep. The next day Tomoya takes Ushio to visit his father, and as they approach his apartment they can see it’s a wreck.

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       When Tomoya and Ushio enter the apartment, Tomoya tells his father that he’s home now, and he introduces his father to his granddaughter, Ushio. Tomoya tells his father about his trip with Ushio, and his encounter with with his grandmother Shino. He tells his father about all the things that Shino told him, all the things that he remembered as a child,  he tells his father that he knows that he sacrificed everything for him, and that he’s done enough. Tomoya tells his father that it’s now time for him to rest, time for him to go back to the country and live with his mother. When his father looks at Tomoya and Ushio he finally realizes that his job is done, Tomoya is now a fine and proper young man. Tomoya helps his father clean up and he also helps him ready himself for his trip home.

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       Tomoya thanks his father for all the love and effort that he put into raising him, Tomoya tells his father that he’ll work hard at repaying his kindness, and he wishes his father a long life. As Tomoya is watching his father leave, Ushio notices a orb of light floating down from the sky to enter Tomoya’s chest. When Tomoya sees Ushio looking up at the sky he asks her what she’s looking at? The light, Tomoya assumes that she means the bright sun, so he moves her into the shade. Well, that’s all for this episode.

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          After watching this episode, I feel that this was the best episode of the whole Clannad series, so far. After watching so many episodes filled with sadness and foreboding, this episode left me with a feeling of  joy and triumph. The events of this episode  put many things in their proper places, and restored the proper flow to the river of time.

Things as the should be, and restoring the flow.

        By the end of this episode there were almost too many things restored to their proper places to cover here, but I’ll give it a shot. Most importantly, Tomoya assumed his proper role as a loving and caring father to Ushio, it always was his duty, his unspoken promise to Nagisa, to protect and raise Ushio as a celebration and a confirmation of their mutual love. Secondly, Tomoya has matured from a insecure child into the proper man that his father sacrificed everything for in hopes of creating. He apologises to Sanae and Akio, to his co-worker Yoshino, and to his father for not living up to their expectations (no, they never said it out right, but he knows that until now he has been weak and failure), his duties as a man, and for letting his disinterested, gloomy, zombie-like behavior effect those around him. Once Tomoya put things into their proper order he breaksfree the dam the was holding back the flow of time that had become frozen with Nagisa death five years ago.

        Nagisa in earlier episodes had said that she felt frozen in place while the world around her move forward, but when she met Tomoya and gained other friends that she felt a part of the normal world, she also told Tomoya several times that nothing can stay the same forever. So, while Tomoya wanted nothing more than to remain in his unchanging world with Nagisa, she moved forword through life. Love, marriage, children, things have to move, while Nagisa wasn’t strong of body, she was strong in character, she never let the fear of the future stop her from reaching her goals. Five years ago, Tomoya’s actions froze everyone around him, but now the river has broken free. Now, Sanae and Akio can become the loving grandparents they were supposed to be, Sanae was finally able to shed her extra responsibility and can now properly grieve for her lost daughter. Tomoya’s daughter, Ushio, can now have normal relationship with her father, he can now pass on some of Nagisa’s love, and her inner radiance that touched so many people on to Ushio, it was sweet watching Ushio falling asleep while hugging the Nagisa scented Dango. Tomoya was also able to  move his father out of his dark place and put him back on a path to the normal world.

Tomoya having “to carry that weight”

       The other day, I was listening to the Beatles’ Abby Road album, and I was amazed at how well that the Golden Slumbers~Carry that Weight~The Endmedley is following Tomoya’s story. In Golden Slumbers, a lullaby, you’re telling a child not to worry or be burdened by the fears and uncertainties of the world around you, sleep will kindly take you, and you’ll awake to be surrounded by happiness and love. Those have always been my feelings and wishes for the adorable Fuko; the kind and gentle Nagisa, who I prefer to think is just dreaming in another world; to Ushio, the legacy of Nagisa’s dream; and finally to the lonely girl in the other world, don’t worry someday you’ll awake in a better place.

      Then in “Carry that Weight’, Tomoya is being told that he must bare the burden of immense loss and sadness, but the pressure of this burden will also forge something good out of all his pain, like how the unyielding pressure of the Earth forms a diamond out of carbon.

       Then finally in “The End“, Tomoya will be able to take all those diamonds (the orbs of light) (the love he makes; through the happiness he and Nagisa created) living inside his soul, and cash those in. “And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make” He’ll be able to balance the equation, or at least I hope he’ll be able to, kind of like the equivalent exchange from FMA. Well, that’s enough ramblings from a Clannad fanboy.

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