episode 23 Extra Episode #1, and Nagisa and Okazaki have been dating for a while, but still can’t even get to the point of holding hands, to say nothing about anything else. However, help is on the way as Mei stops by over summer break.
The highlights of this episode:
- Nagisa and Okazaki walk to school to take supplementary college-prep classes over summer break (even though Okazaki has no plans to go to college) when Kyou suddenly rides up between them on her scooter, of course causing Okazaki and especially Nagisa to get all flustered.
- During lunch that day, Okazaki has gone off to Sunohara’s, leaving all the girls to eat together. However, Sakagami notes how Nagisa is still calling Okazaki “Okazaki” instead of “Tomoya” even though they’re dating.
- Meanwhile, over at Sunohara’s, Sunohara can’t believe that Nagisa and Okazaki haven’t even held hands yet. Misae then shows up and tells Sunohara that “a cute girl has come and wants to see him.” Sunohara predictably shoots out to see what cute girl has come to see him and, equally predictably, it’s his sister Mei.
- The next day, Nagisa, Okazaki, and Mei work at the bakery, giving Akio and Sanae a break, but before they leave, Sanae gives Mei some of her bread to try. But in a brilliant out, Mei gets by by saying that Sanae’s bread “looked good” and Nagisa and Okazaki take note of this brilliant move.
- Once Akio and Sanae leave, very few people come to the store due to everyone being out for summer. However, Mei gets an idea and suddenly runs outside. All of a sudden hordes of people (mostly males) start coming into the store. Realizing something’s up, Okazaki runs outside and asks Mei what she’s telling people, and she tells Okazaki that she’s just telling people that there are cute girls in the bakery. When Akio and Sanae come back, they remark how they’ve never sold that much in day before. Even Sanae’s horrifying bread sold out.
- The next day, Okazaki is hanging out at Sunohara’s when Mei comes by and asks to speak with Okazaki alone. Mei says that she’s decided to become the Cupid of love – with Okazaki thinking Mei means for Sunohara. Sunohara remarks how he doesn’t think anyone would be a suitable partner, but Mei says that one is right there. Okazaki goes into fantasy mode thinking of a hot and steamy Sunohara x Mei brother-sister relationship before Mei finally pulls him back to reality, asking him “not to imagine such a terrifying thing.” Okazaki then realizes that the only person left “there” is him and he suddenly starts imagining him x Sunohara and is extremely put off by it.
- Finally Mei corrects him and says that she means Okazaki and Nagisa and the fact that their relationship hasn’t progressed at all despite dating for weeks. Mei asks Okazaki how he thinks Nagisa could be better, and he says that she should be more confident, and Mei agrees. Then Nagisa “just happens to” come by and Nagisa, who decides to start calling Okazaki “Tomoya” go out. However, Nagisa starts acting strangely in accordance to “the plan.”
- Finally, Sunohara catches Mei spying on them and confirms his suspicion that Nagisa’s behavior was her idea, but Mei ends up running off, having been caught. Nagisa explains that Mei told her that since Okazaki is a delinquent, that he can’t be proactive, so Nagisa should try being more assertive instead. However, with some day still left, Okazaki decides to go with Nagisa on a little walk until dinner.
This was a cute little episode, even if it didn’t really add anything to the main story (as we kind of expected as it was an “extra”). I guess if anything, one could look at this as After Story Episode 0 or something.
I’m not really sure what there is to say other than I thought Mei was brilliant in this episode. She’s kind of like the ultimate little sister character. I love how she mischievously was like “we have cute girls in our shop!” to get more people into the bread shop.
We also satisfied our siscon and yaoi fans in this episode thanks to Okazaki’s imagination, and I had to laugh at both Okazaki’s “I’m getting so turned on” as well as Mei’s “stop thinking of such horrifying things” comments in relation to the Mei x Sunohara fantasy. The only thing we needed was a Kotomi/Ryou scene or something to make the yuri-fans drool as well. Well, maybe we’ll get that in the DVD-only episode.
As for when After Story will come out – I kept expecting that Haruhi 2 would air this Spring, but that obviously isn’t going to happen. I guess the next expectation would be Haruhi 2 in the summer and CLANNAD: After Story in the fall both as probable half-seasons.
Summer makes sense for Haruhi 2 as well given that most summer series start in July, July 7th is Tanabata and, of course, Tanabata is an important day in the Haruhi timeline. I wouldn’t be shocked if it premiered on July 7th (a Monday), especially since the Tanabata event is rumored to be in the first episode. Then assuming Haruhi 2 is a half-season like the first season was, then After Story would be on track to start in the Fall 2008 season. I’m not sure when we might hear what or if KyoAni will air something in the summer, though.
In any case, luckily I can still consider this series incomplete, and thus can still hold off on rendering a judgement, which is good because if you read my last episode comment you’d see that I thought this series was missing quite a bit as it was.