This episode begins with Tomoya and Ushio continuing the process of learning how to live together as father and daughter. Soon, Ushio’s school break is over, Tomoya walks her to school, and to his surprise he sees Ushio run over to a giant boar and give it a hug. After Tomoya’s shock wears off, he hears a voice from his past, Tomoya turns around to see that Kyou is now Ushio’s teacher. After Kyou and Tomoya formally introduce themselves to each other, Kyou asks Ushio if she knew that her teacher was good friends with her father back in high school? No. Tomoya then tells Ushio that her teacher was really good friends with her mommy back in their high school days, Ushio looks at them in wonder.
When Kyou and Tomoya start talking, Tomoya finds out that Sanae asked her not to tell Ushio the full story until Tomoya was back in the picture. While sitting on a bench, Tomoya tells Kyou that he’s sorry for causing any trouble. Kyou then mentions how funny fate is, Imagine how unlikely it is that she would be the teacher of Nagisa’s daughter. Kyou also tells Tomoya that no apology is necessary, and that it must have been rough on him?
Then Kyou tells Tomoya that everyone was very and worried and concerned for him. Ryou, Kotomi, and Youhei all thought about going to see him but they all felt that it would be better if they left him alone. Tomoya thanks her. She asks if the loose ends are tied up now? Yes. Kyou also tells Tomoya that if he ever needs help, just ask. OK, Tomoya agrees to rely on her if he needs too. The whole time, while Tomoya and Kyou talk, Ushio hangs out with Botan, she is on much better terms with the Botan that Tomoya ever was.
When Tomoya gets to work, Yoshino tells him that Fuko wants to visit his place, he explains how difficult it’s been for Fuko to adjust after leaving the hospital. She seldom wants to meet new people, let alone talk with strangers, so Yoshino feels that if Fuko wants to visit Ushio it would be good for her. After Tomoya picks up Ushio from school and drops her back off at home, he has to go back to work. We than see that Ushio leaves the house and wanders around the city going from place to place and even stopping by the field where Akio prayed from Nagisa’s salvation, the new hospital now stands in it’s location.
When Tomoya gets home from work, he cooks dinner for Ushio, and he also tells her that Fuko will be visiting them tomorrow. Fuko wants to play with her, is that OK. Yes, Ushio says she’s happy. As Ushio and Tomoya are getting ready for sleep, Ushio asks daddy to sing her mommy’s song for her. Tomoya says OK, but quietly, since it’s bed time. While Tomoya sings the big dango family, Ushio slowly drifts off to her golden slumbers. Then we see some scenes of Nagisa with Ushio as a infant, and we also see Tomoya, Nagisa, and Ushio together. Tomoya soon drifts off to sleep with tears in his eyes; were those scenes a vision of the future, or did those visions materialize from inside Tomoya’s heart as his greatest wish?
The next day Fuko shows up for her visit, she almost at once begins to try and win over Ushio as her younger sister. Fuko even feeds Ushio some starfish bread that Sanae baked for her, and oh my god, Ushio likes Sanae’s bread. Soon, Tomoya and Fuko are going at it just like old times. Then Fuko asks Tomoya if he sees a sliver of his wife in her, of course Tomoya says no way. But, soon Tomoya starts day dreaming about how life would have been like if Nagisa had lived. Fuko then triggers Ushio into recounting the stories she’s been told about her mother, as Tomoya hears these stories he begins to tear up and has to apologize because he says that Nagisa comes back to him every now and then.
When Tomoya picks Ushio up from school he finds out from Kyou about the upcoming school sports festival, it requires the relatives to participate along with the kids. When Tomoya and Ushio visit the bakery he finds out that Akio and Sanae already know about the festival, and Akio will be on the teachers’ team, so Tomoya has to train or look bad in front of his daughter because he’ll be on the parents’ team.
While Tomoya is at work, Ushio goes for one of her “walks” where she runs into Fuko, so they both walk together. As they walk, Fuko asks Ushio if she’s afraid to be out alone, afraid to get lost, or afraid to get frozen and unable to do anything? No. Ushio leads Fuko to the new hospital where she just stares at it, Fuko asks if she likes it? Yes, just because.
As the days pass, Tomoya continues to train for the festival. As the festival approaches, the man to man tension between Tomoya and Akio grows. But, during their visit to Akio’s and Sanae’s place, Ushio start feeling ill, and collapses into Tomoya’s arms, Ushio is burning up with a fever. Well, that’s all for this episode.
First, I have to say that it was very pleasant seeing the return of Kyou to the series, if only for a while. Kyou has matured in to a fine and proper adult woman, while her tsundere traits are still there they have been tempered by age, and experience. Out of all the other Clannad girls I always felt that Kyou would have been the next best match for Tomoya (sorry Tomoyo fans). In the old days, Kyou would have been all over Tomoya about his bout of depression. But the new Kyou can sense that while Tomoya might be back, he still carries a sadness within him, and she offers him her support instead of a over aggressive pick yourself up speech.
Also, seeing a good deal of Fuko really lighten the mood of this episode, while she maybe the same age as Tomoya and the rest of the crew she’s still a little girl at heart. But for all of Fuko’s silliness, she’s also matured somewhat. Before everyone goes crazy about this comment, let me explain what I mean, while she’s still acts like a silly girl, Fuko’s perceptive enough to know when to back off, and I feel that she was perfect in her timing about asking Ushio about her mother to set the mood just right. The fun that Tomoya and Ushio had playing cards with another girl/woman inside the house triggered Tomoya’s feelings of what his life should have been like with Nagisa sitting in Fuko’s place.
My happiness level with Fuko’s return.
Now, to get down to brass tacks. First, it seems that my theory about Nagisa being linked to city looks like it’s highly probable. When Akio told Tomoya about how he took the dying Nagisa to the field and prayed/begged for her life to be spared, and for some reason it worked but it linked Nagisa to the land/city. More than likely Nagisa should have died as a child but for some reason the city spared her, so this made Nagisa subject to damage as the city changed around her. I don’t think that it was a coincidental that Nagisa’s illness always returned as winter approached and the land starts to go dormant and life fades during the winter, and how Nagisa got better and grew stronger as life returned to the land as winter changed to spring then summer.
But, with this theory there’s still hope for Ushio, Tomoya, and maybe just maybe Nagisa. As Nagisa lay dying, Tomoya brought up her promise that they would always be together, and her death made him think that the vow was broken, but I don’t think so. Nagisa had vowed to always watch over Ushio like waves that lap along the seashore, she didn’t break her promise. Nagisa in death is now linked to the land, a part of the land, and a part of the city and I feel in my heart that Nagisa really watching over Ushio and Tomoya.
Ushio being young and still not fully of the impure world we live in can feel her mother’s loving presence in the city and is drawn to center of it all, the feild where Akio’s prayers for salvation were answered. This is the reason why Ushio is never in any danger when she walks around the city, Nagisa and the city are watching out for her, she flows through the city as if she was a part of city, like it’s breath. That’s also the reason why Ushio could fully see the sphere of light enter her father’s body, she’s still young enough to see the magic that flows between and through the various worlds. See the chart below for a brief explanation of this principle.
This is where I’m placing my hopes for Ushio’s and Nagisa’s salvation, in certain Japanese and Shinto beliefs, a spirit doesn’t have to leave this world entirely when it dies. If the spirit feels that it has unfullfileld guri (obligations or debts) it can inhabit the place between the sacred and impure world (the other world) and can influence our world because it has knowledge of the scared world. Also, in Shinto, places such as mountains, forests, rivers, and maybe fields and cities can have power and should be given their proper respect and due. So, I think that the illusionary world is the other world, and Ushio and Tomoya are the girl and the junk doll, and that since Tomoya already has one of Yukine’s spheres of light (it’s supposed to grant a wish) Tomoya will be able to wake the great power that lays dormant in himself and the land and get his wish granted, a normal life with his wife Nagisa, and their loving daughter Ushio. His wish is a simple one, not greedy one or a selfish one, it’s a wish I think that we all yearn for, to love someone and to be loved back by that person. Hell, if anyone ever deserved to catch a break it’s Tomoya.