It’s episode 22, and Nagisa gets depressed over ruining her parent’s dreams when she was little. However, she still has to perform her play – the realization of a dream which Nagisa feels like she’s no longer entitled to.
The highlights of this episode:
- Nagisa and Okazaki head off to school, but Nagisa is still depressed from what she saw the night before, saying that she has no right to pursue her dreams when she kept her parents form pursuing theirs
- Okazaki and the others try to cheer Nagisa up (even if Okazaki is the only one who knows why she’s down), but to little avail. Nagisa gets separated from Okazaki and eventually wanders into Miyazawa’s resource room and finds some recorded plays.
- Okazaki then runs into Miyazawa, who tells him that Nagisa is in the resource room watching plays. Once he arrives at the room he finds Nagisa watching a video of play Akio was in. At the end, Akio out that he loves theater and wants to become a pro actor, which just makes Nagisa feel even more guilty.
- Once it’s time for Nagisa’s play, she walks out onto the stage, but can’t start, and thinking back on what she found the night before and the video of her father yelling out that he loves theater, she starts to break down crying.
- However, Akio then arrives and yells out to Nagisa that she didn’t ruin her parent’s dreams because a child’s dreams becomes their parent’s dreams, and so if she gives up on her dream, then she gives up on her parent’s dreams as well. Okazaki then runs down to just off stage and yells out to Okazaki that Nagisa fulfilling her dream is also for him and Sunohara, who couldn’t fulfill their dreams.
- This finally convinces Nagisa to start her play: the story of the girl in the world with no birth and no death, who creates a machine out of junk to be her friend.
- Afterwards, Nagisa tells Okazaki that she rememberd the rest of the story: the girl and the doll decide to leave the world to go to a “warmer, livelier world far away” and in the end they sing. She uses this as confirmation that singing at the end of the play was the right thing to do, but Okazaki points out that singing “Big Dango Family” was a little weird to sing.
- The next day, Nagisa and Okazaki go out to the town to hang out, but end up going to the theater room at school at the end. There, Okazaki tells Nagisa that he doesn’t hate going to school anymore. Okazaki then asks Nagisa if she’ll go out with him, and that he loves her, and Nagisa agrees with a smile…
And so that’s the end of CLANNAD, at least of the main story, though we still have two specials to go after this – one airing on TV and one on the final DVD.
To be honest, while this was a reasonably touching end, it kind of felt it was both overly-sappy and too low-key for a finale, especially for a series like this. We never got a resolution of what, exactly, the girl in the world with no birth and no death is, though one could give an educated guess. We never really had a resolution between Okazaki and his father, though there may have been a bit of an opening there in their relationship at the end.
That’s not to say that the story overall wasn’t pretty good, but there didn’t seem to be any real ending, except that Okazaki and Nagisa finally confirm their relationship (and we didn’t need 26 episodes and 4 other girl’s quasi-arcs to get there). I was also expecting some sort of resolution for Fuko, and it never came.
Unfortunately, unless a second season comes along, I almost feel like classifying this as one of those series which could have been more than it was (guess what: We’re getting a season 2). Also, the two girls most removed from the series were the ones who got full arcs while the two girls which seemed to get the most air time had the shortest arcs.
As I said, it was still good, but it could have been better in my view.