Wear your hair like this all the time, please. I will love you forever.
After last week’s one-off baseball episode, it looks like the show is settling into a new arc focusing on Sunohara. It’s about time! He spent last season as the butt of every joke, and deservedly so most of the time, but with Tomoya’s attitude change towards the end of last year I was hoping for just a tiny bit more respect for his friend. Plus, with graduation just around the corner, I am curious to see what Sunohara does with his life. As anxious as I am to get to the after story portion, I would still have been upset if they had jumped right in and left the fate of all the rest of the cast in question. Thus we arrive at this week’s episode: Clannad ~School Comedy~
This episode starts with another look at the dream-girl’s world. The girl and her robot buddy are in the fields looking for junk, and the robot notices that there are some small sheep roaming about. The girl picks one up, but then lets them free, commenting on their sweet aroma.
When we get back to reality, it seems that Sunohara’s sister has come to visit, as she is worried about Sunohara’s life and the direction it will take once he graduates. Wanting more to appease his sister than actually get his life together, he latches on to Tomoya’s plan to fake a relationship in order to trick Mei into thinking he has some sort of direction.
He sets to finding a suitable candidate, someone “obedient” in his own words. After the requisite shut-downs, including a gut-busting one where Ryou startes crying just thinking about pretending to date him, Sanae decides that she really wants to help by pretending to be his girlfriend. Of course, Sunohara thinks that she is Nagisa’s sister, and also that he has a shot with her, which leads him to dress up in a ridiculous tux and act anything but natural around her. The last shot is of Mei looking thoroughly unconvinced…
Who the hell is this guy?
For the first few minutes of this show I was starting to get a bit down, thinking “why does it always have to start this way? Sunohara is kind of a douche, but he doesn’t deserve this.” Just when my pity was at its peak, the situation took a turn for the hilarious. The shift, subtle as it was, came just after Ryou’s waterworks and Kyou’s subsequent ultra-violence; Sunohara recovers immediately from Kyou’s abuse and nose-dives back into his usual, loathsome self. They say KyoAni has access to a /cry switch in our brains, but I think we can safely expand that to a switch for every emotion we posses.
Sunohara’s brush with Tomoyo was awesome, deepening my respect for her flippant attitude. I can totally imagine Sunohara believing they have a “rivalry.” The dream sequence where she comes to challenge him pretty much summed up his knowledge about girls. But these were simple one-liners compared to the joke that will be visited upon Sunohara next time, as the meat of this episode came in the setup of one very huge, very awkward situation. Not only does Sunohara think he has a chance with Nagisa’s “sister,” setting up some serious heartache, but Tomoya reminds us of Akio’s less-than-gentle demeanor. I wonder if he’s going to find out?
Furthermore, how is Mei going to be fooled by a simple schoolgirl outfit and some glasses? Hasn’t she been staying with the Furakawa family every time she’s been in town? I think she should be able to recognize Sanae. This episode, though funny, has left me scratching my head in a few places. Under this comedy, isn’t there supposed to be a drama show? Where could all these plot points be leading? I am glad we got to see so much of the dream world at the beginning, but this episode seemed rather short in the end, like not much happened. I am expecting a train wreck next episode, so I’ll hold my tongue on the criticism.
As for Tomoya and Nagisa, their relationship seems to be coming along nicely. They are still in a rather “new” stage, and it was adorable to see Nagisa’s jealousy when she thought Tomoya might be attracted to her mom. She has become confident enough to call him out on things, like pointing out that he was taking the joke a bit too far with Sunohara. Also, did I mention how cute she was with her hair pulled to the side? I can’t stop thinking about it ;P
About the beginning dream sequence: I haven’t gotten to the big reveal in the VN, so please forgive my ignorance and indulge me for a moment as I try to guess what this is all about. As Nagisa chose that story as the play she would perform, it seemed obvious that this was a dream she had been having for a while. I think, though, that Tomoya shares the same dream with her, but he is the little robot guy. The metaphor of them being alone in the world, but needing each other fits, especially the bit where Nagisa creates Tomoya, but he wants to be born into the world at the same time. At the time in Tomoya’s life that he was at his lowest, hating school and life in general, this dream girl comes into his life, and through the choices he consciously makes, allows himself to be transformed into something new – though he is not yet able to express himself. This parallels the robot’s inability to talk, as well as his stilted movements. When I first watched this show, before I had heard of the VN or anything like that, the brief dream-world interludes infuriated me, but now they are quickly becoming a favorite part of the show for me. With each scene getting longer and longer, I wonder if the conclusion will clock in at a whole episode’s length, or maybe an OVA?
Next week: Hearts that do not converge
We all know that this situation is headed for conflict, and all I can say is that I hope this stays on the light-hearted and comedic side of the equation. Unfortunately, the preview images for the next episode show a very distraught, even depressed Sunohara. I like Clannad the Drama, and I like Clannad the Comedy, but I will be unhappy if the drama starts all of a sudden with the current situation – cruelty is never acceptable, and Sunohara doesn’t deserve any actual heartbreak :’(
And now, a few more shots of super cute magical clippy girl Nagisa: