The character most prominent in my mind after watching CLANNAD 24 is Tomoya. Is writing for Impz finally having an effect on me?
Sure, the episode has made me like Tomoyo more (a lot more, in fact), as she gets more screentime and we well and truly see what she’s like. The art is still as beautiful as ever, and though I’ve seen people complain about the animation I didn’t notice anything peculiar. There is no Fuuko, which is a blessing. None of the rest of the cast, apart from Sunohara, got to make an appearance either, but with this sort of time constraint I can’t complain. But in the end I still thought mostly about Tomoya. OMG DID I CATCH TEH GHEY?!
Ahem. Of course not, I was more interested in how Tomoyo and Nagisa respectively affected Tomoya. Totally not gay.
So, even though I liked the Tomoya in the main body of the series, I could not bring myself to like this Tomoya. This Tomoya is a weakling. He doesn’t display the strength or the activeness of the Tomoya during the rest of the show, and this makes him infinitely less likeable. I got to wondering… is this who Tomoya really is? Or rather, is this who Tomoya was, before he met Nagisa?
The Nagisa-Tomoya was a strong person who would act and get things done. He would strive to achieve much, and did achieve much, for the sake of Nagisa. This pathetic and apathetic Tomoyo-Tomoya(-Tomoye-Tomoyi-Tomoyu…) is an eyesore. There is nothing left of the man after Tomoyo was taken away, just as he was when he left himself with nothing after his shoulder was injured.
In my mind, Nagisa’s effect on Tomoya is much more positive. Nagisa lacked strength, so he became her strength, and in the end they made each other stronger. Whereas with T-Tomoya, because Tomoyo herself is such a strong person, Tomoya remained stationary and did not grow as a person, and as a result he did not have the strength to stand up to the pressure against their relationship.
I hate this kind of relationship, and more so I hate this kind of break-up. The same thing happened in I”s (the manga – there IS no I”s anime), where Ichitaka was forced to break up with Iori because it would affect her image as an idol. Though it made for spectacularly touching finale, as it did here, I don’t like relationships where the couple has to make pointless sacrifices.
I know some people think that this kind of relationship is more beautiful, but they are only beautiful if they succeed (some people like them even if they fail – I can’t share that sentiment). I feel that if Tomoya was simply a stronger person, he could’ve put up more resistance and showed that the relationship could work. It’s not like his being a delinquent was something that couldn’t be changed. He showed that he could become a better person after he broke up with Tomoyo, but as he said himself, it’s a little late. It caused them both months of misery, and if Tomoyo is not as strong as she is, their relationship could very well have ended in complete failure.
If it was N-Tomoya, he might’ve told the teacher that he would study hard and become a better person so that their relationship would not become a problem for Tomoyo. Similarly, he would not have been made speechless by that student council member, because N-Tomoya is much more confident of himself.
I have always liked Nagisa more (don’t ask me why, I like weird girls?), and if I factor in the effect of Nagisa and Tomoyo on Tomoya (the dynamics of a couple mean as much to me as each individual character), then it’s clear to me that Nagisa is the better choice, both for the anime and for Tomoya.
NAGISA BANSAI! \o/
P.S. SUCK ON THAT TOMOYO FANS. Watching your OVA only made me like Nagisa more! HAHA!