In this post I’ll just be reviewing episode 22 and it’s content, but I’ve got a very large meta review of Clannad/Clannad ~After Story~ in my drafts bin. So, in one to three weeks (hopefully), I’ll be posting the meta review and it will cover Clannad, magic, and the art of storytelling.
This episode opens in the dream world with the junk doll holding the hand of a unconscious girl, and he wonders where he is? The doll soon remembers that he’s always been with this girl, and they’ve always been alone in this sorrow filled world. As the girl is being covered by the blowing and drifting snow, the Doll asks himself if it would have been better if he had never taken the girl on this journey, if all he’s doing is making her suffer?
Then in Tomoya’s mono-colored world he also asks if it would have been better if he never had called out to Nagisa on that fateful day? Tomoya asks himself if Nagisa had never had met him maybe she would have …….(?). Then back in the dream world, as the Doll and the girl are about to be buried in the snow, the doll asks himself if this is the end of the journey? No, he doesn’t want to give up like this, he doesn’t want her to die in such a cold place.
Then back in Tomoya’s world Nagisa turns around and walks past Tomoya, while in the dream world the doll begins to drag the girl onward through the snow storm. The girl awakens and comments to the doll that he’s still here, he says he’s always with her, she thanks him, and tells him that now she can finally hear his voice. She tells him that she had a dream and now she understands their relationship, and that soon she won’t exist for much longer. She tells him that they are both from another world, close but maybe far away, he tells her that they should leave together, but she says that she has to remain behind. Why? Because I am this world and if I leave, this world will disappear and the lights will fall into despair.
He asks her if she means those lights they saw? She tells him that those lights are the feelings of the people from the other world, and she tells him that even he is one of those lights. She tells him that he exits in both worlds and that he passed through (between) the world so that they could meet. She tells him that he will soon lose fall asleep in this world and will awaken in the other world where he’ll meet lots of people and that they’ll meet again. She tells him that when she disappears she’ll disolve into bits of lights. Like those lights? Yes, my feelings also show up as those lights, those lights may seem small but if you gather them they’ll create a mysterious power. As the storm starts breaking, the girl begins to hum the dango song. The doll tells the girl that he knows that song. Yes, it’s the one you always sang to me. A great blast of energy strikes the dream world, and as the doll and the dream world are being torn apart, the girl tells him “goodbye papa”, then she disintegrates into balls of light.
Tomoya awakens to a color filled world, he turns and screams out Nagisa’s name, and he runs to Nagisa and embraces her. Nagisa tells Tomoya that she’s glad he called out to her, she was afraid that he would have wished that they had never met. Tomoya just embraces Nagisa even tighter as she tells him that she’s glad that they met and that she enjoyed her life. Nagisa tells him no matter what happens please don’t regret that they met, a tearful Tomoya says that she’s right, and he embraces her again.
Then the world turns blurry and we travel through the school and other places as Nagisa asks Tomoya if she can take him to the place in the city where wishes come true? Tomoya says yes, this is where the long journey ends. Tomoya awakens to Ushio’s cries, and he’s holding Nagisa’s hand. Tomoya calls out to a unconscious Nagisa, but this time she awakens after giving birth to Ushio. Tomoya asks her if she’s really with us? Yes, of course, I’m always with you, just like we promised. The midwife tells Tomoya that he no longer has to worry about his wife or child, and Sanae suggests that he give Ushio her first bath. Following the instructions of the midwife, and under Nagisa loving gaze, Tomoya bathes his daughter for the first time.
Afterwards, Nagisa says that she would like Ushio to grow up strong, and Tomoya tells her not to worry, she’ll be strong of mind and body. Nagisa tells Tomoya to look out the window, and as he opens the shades he sees many orbs of lights rising from the city. As Tomoya and Nagisa sing the dango song to Ushio, orbs of light continue to rise from the city, and Nagisa says that perhaps the city has the same will as it’s peoples’ hearts, and if we bring happiness to the people who live here than maybe the town made this miracle? If we love this town, maybe it will love us too. Tomoya makes the observation that maybe the town is like one big family, Nagisa says, yes, like the big dango family.
Then we flash through time with Nagisa, Tomoya, and Ushio experiencing the joys of living together as a family in their town. Nagisa, Tomoya, and Ushio take a train trip to the flower covered field, and they take great joy in watching their daughter playing among the flowers. The we see a little bit of what happened to Nagisa’s and Tomoya’s other friends; Kyou is still Ushio’s kindergarten teacher, Ryou has become a nurse, Kotomi is traveling in America, Youhei is learning to drive, Mei has grown up and is hanging out with friends, Tomoyo looks strong but alone, Yoshino is singing again, Sanae and Akio are the same as ever, Yukine is still looking after her gang friends, Misae is still with her cat, and Tomoya’s grandmother seems to be doing fine.
Then we see Kouko and Fuko walking down the street, and Fuko is complaining that she’s tired of people treating her like a child, Kouko tells her that she’s small and she’s not as adult as she thinks. Well, Kouko tells Fuko that if she stopped calling herself Fuko and used “I” instead she might sound more adult, but Fuko having none of this. So, they decide to stop at a restaurant after Fuko has her medical examination, of course Fuko wants to eat instead of having the exam. As they approach the hospital, Fuko stops in her tracks and says she smells something, …..something cute, she smells someone who wants to meet Fuko. She says that there’s someone who’s sleeping out there and waiting for someone to wake them up. Fuko rushes away from Kouko saying that there’s someone sleeping under a tree waiting to meet Fuko. As she moves through the woods we get a vision of the girl from the dream world, and as Fuko gets closer we see that the girl is Ushio, Fuko says that all fun things start now. That’s all for this episode. The next episode preview looks like it’s a episode about Nagisa’s prospective of meeting Tomoya (?).
Well, I for sometime I was worried about how Clannad would end, would it be bittersweet like Air, would it be like Kanon with Ayu and Yuichi having a lot of work ahead of them, or would it be sad, leaving us fans in tears? But, Kyoani managed to wrap up Clannad in a very sweet, gentle, and loving way. By the end of the episode, I was giving a silent cheer for Nagisa and Tomoya, justice was delayed but not denied, and I felt that all was right with the world, the only thing missing from the closing screen was the phrase “and they lived happily ever after”.
The moment of possibilities, and the place where dreams come true.
It seems that after Ushio’s death, the world held it’s breath, and Tomoya temporarily existed in both the real and the dream world, he had sort of reached his Omega point. We discover that the girl from the dream world is his daughter Ushio, and she probably came into existence the moment Tomoya and Nagisa first spoke. When Ushio admits that she’s also a orb of light (an expression of happiness) it all fell into place for me, Ushio was Nagisa’s orb of light, her happiness, her expression of life, and her fondest desire.
When Tomoya first met Nagisa she stood rooted at the bottom of the school hill, she loved the town and school but she wished of change, she wanted to move forward, make friends, progress, but she was filled with the fear that nothing would change. So, when Tomoya spoke to her it was her fondest desire, time began to flow, nothing can stay the same forever, Nagisa began her path to happiness creating the dream of Ushio in the process.
I feel that Nagisa’s and Ushio’s relationship with the city was very different from Tomoya’s and the other city dwellers, when Akio begged for Nagisa’s salvation the land and the city granted his wish, but at a great price. Nagisa, and her daughter were linked to the rhythmsand emotions of the city, while this might not seem like a big deal, it was, Nagisa and Ushio are after all only made of mortal flesh. Everything requires balance, when Nagisa was saved without Akio using a orb of light, something had to be payed back in order to balance the equation, did Nagisa and Tomoya create enough happiness (orbs of lights) to pay the city back, or as the Beatles put it, “And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make”
When Tomoya shouted that he didn’t want this to happened, and for Nagisa to save Ushio, he actually held an orb of light in his arms (a dying orb) and Ushio reacted to Tomoya’s cry. When Tomoya fully enters the dream world he reached the point where all things are possible (the Omega Point) with the right choices. Because Ushio died in the real world and Tomoya is thinking about not speaking to Nagisa at the bottom of the hill Ushio’s ability to maintain her existence and the existence of the dream world was fading, and the only thing she could do to help Tomoya was to confirm that his and Nagisa’s love did mean something and was worth cherishing.
So, if Tomoya chose let Nagisa walk back home alone there would have been no Ushio, no dream world, no multiple orbs of light, Nagisa would have still died in the future, and Tomoya would have continued to live in his mono-colored world of misery. But, because Tomoya confirms his unconditional for Nagisa and finally throws away his doubts, the world let out it’s breath. In Omega Point theory the universe is considered to be a computer and all it’s living creatures, information inside the system, and when you reach the maximum informational and computational capacity, all things are possible, life and death, reality and fantasy become meaningless. So, once Tomoya reaffirmed his love for Nagisa he ensured the creation of Nagisa’s orb (Ushio) and all the other orbs and he was able to hit the cosmic reset button, Nagisa lives and she and Ushio’s illness is wiped out.
If you think that this is too far fetched, just consider the possibility that all of Tomoya’s pain and suffering from the moment of Nagisa’s death only occurred in his mind, in a dream, he just lived through all that possible pain in an instant. His wish might have been granted the very instant when he held Nagisa hand and thought she was dead, Nagisa lives and Tomoya’s vision of a horrible future fades like when you awaken from a terrible nightmare to find yourself safe under your covers.
All this is just my speculation, my stab at making sense, either way Clannad was a great series, bravo. Look for my meta review of the entire series in one to three weeks.