CLANNAD: After Story – Episode 21

It’s CLANNAD: After Story episode 21, and Ushio remains sick, struck with the same illness that plagued Nagisa.

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The doctor arrives as the Furukawa’s house and diagnoses Ushio with the same disease that afflicted Nagisa, but just as with Nagisa, he can’t determine what the cause of the disease is. Meanwhile, in the world with no birth and no death, the girl and robot continue on their journey…

Ushio’s fever lasts for months on end, just as Nagisa’s did, causing her to miss school, and eventually leading Tomoya to quit his job – over Akio and Sanae’s objections – so that he may spend more time with Ushio. However, on this last day, Tomoya and Yoshino swap screwdrivers, pledging to return them once Tomoya returns.

Ushio’s illness drags on and Tomoya starts running out of money. He also starts having visions of a desolate, snow-covered world. Meanwhile, Ushio grows increasingly insistent that she wants to go on a trip, until one day, she begs Tomoya, saying that “it must be now.” Sensing the inevitable, Tomoya finally relents, and starts walking Ushio to the train station, but after just a few steps, Ushio collapses and dies in Tomoya’s arms, causing Tomoya to fall back into his deep depression, thinking it would have been better if he and Nagisa never met. In the meantime, the girl in the other world also collapses into the snow…

As Tomoya remarked at the start of the episode “she was just running around a moment ago” and now Ushio is gone too. I’m starting to believe Tomoya when he says that the town he lives in has it out for him. Ushio’s death wasn’t as powerful as Nagisa’s, just because we knew Nagisa for 40 episodes and we only knew Ushio for about 5 and, having already experienced one death, it wasn’t so much of a “holy crap” moment, and at least I had a feeling that this was going to happen for pretty much the whole episode.

The preview said that the next episode is the final episode of the series proper, so we don’t have a heck of a lot of time to do…whatever is going to happen. I thought we would see more of Kotomi, but that seems increasingly unlikely now, and I’m kind of afraid of a sort of dues ex machina ending now, given the short amount of time. We had the thing with the glowing balls, but we’ve only seen one as far as I can tell. Obviously the girl and the robot in the other world are some sort of analogy, but I’m still not sure exactly what. I think the girl may actually be analogous to Tomoya, but I’m not sure who the robot is supposed to be (Nagisa maybe?). But to what end, I don’t know.

Ushio helped Tomoya come out of his depression the first time, but he doesn’t even have her now. I almost half-expect Tomoya to throw himself off a bridge or become a suicide bomber blowing up the hospital just to be reunited with Nagisa in death, or something. I’m not sure how this series will end in a non-lame way, and I think I’ll feel cheated in some way if it’s just kind of like “ta-da! Everything is suddenly better now, just because!” But, I guess we’ll have to wait for the last episode to know for sure.

I presume we’re going to get at least one more bonus episode like we did with the first season, with perhaps a 24th episode on one of the DVDs.

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18 thoughts on “CLANNAD: After Story – Episode 21

  1. I actually think the girl in the other world is Ushio, and the robot is Tomoya, reborn into this world to finally be with Ushio…but things aren’t happy even though he tried to find happiness in this rebirth world…
    At the end of episode 21, I believe it foreshadows Tomoya getting a second chance with Nagisa.
    Maybe Tomoya will be reborn into once more into a alternative world, like Kotomi’s parent’s were studying, where Nagisa would live through birthing Ushio, and Ushio would live as well…
    There’s so much to explain in this next episode. sigh.

  2. Also…another thing that backs up my Ushio being the girl in the other world theory is that part in episode 17 where Ushio is running through the field with the robot Tomoya got her…definitely a resemblance haha.

    Also, one last thing, when winter comes, the girl in the other world could not move. At first, the girl in the other world represented Nagisa. Just as Tomoya made Nagisa stronger, the robot made this girl stronger…for a while, until winter came, and it got harder to move.
    When the girl can no longer move, it’s winter once more in Tomoya’s world, and Ushio dies…at the same time the girl can no longer move.
    Both robot and Tomoya are left hopeless and alone in the world, with nothing left to live for
    so maybe this girl in the other world isn’t ushio, but just a strong represenation of Tomoya’s life.

  3. But I think one could argue that the weak one in the “real” world is actually Tomoya, from a will power point of view, and that Nagisa, and later Ushio, helped Tomoya keep “moving on.” Well, we only have a week more to speculate…assuming this is actually answered in the end.

  4. damn.. cant say i didnt see it coming when ushio insisted on going on a trip that was going to happen. I wouldn’t even be able to believe it. Tomoya’s life is epic fail. if the series ends like this i will be very disappointed.

  5. Just one more episode people and all our questions will be answered…hopefully. I just hope Key won’t keep the tradition to end everything in drama and death or instant vanishing, crow transformation etc. T_T

  6. I feel so incredibly cheated in this anime. I was so happy for them for like 35 episodes? and then they decided hey lets screw with everyone’s emotions by killing everything that made the anime good. I mean, seriously? wheres the happy ending? i know it sounds cliche to have one but i would’ve loved the anime ending with that light bringing back nagisa and they have a happy little family again. It better not end with one of those realization episodes where hes like ” I should live my life for the both of them” or something, if they do that, then this anime wasn’t worth watching the end in my opinion.

    • Yeah, I’ll probably start writing my review for CLANNAD after this next episode (though I probably won’t post it until the final episode comes out, whether that’s on TV on DVD) and I’m really trying to decide how good it is. I mean, it’d kind of unfair in a way to judge an entire 48 episode series on one episode, but that’s almost what it’s come down to.

      • I’m not really judging the whole anime this way, i just fee a little cheated out of my emotions that i built up for the characters you know? I mean for the past few episodes I’ve done nothing but cry and that’s good that they can get this rise out of me, however it almost feels like they got bored so they decided to do something drastic, don’t they know that most everyone is mad for the show to end up this way? Also, do you really think the anime will end well seeing how they only have about 22 minutes to fix everything they’ve messed up?

    • I would actually disagree with that point. The fact that they can kill the characters show that they’re mortal, they actually CAN die. Everyone living happily ever after is too cliche, havent we seen a shit load of those already?

  7. They can’t possibly squish the true ending and all the other stuff that was supposed to happen in that one epsiode. T-T They may have an extra episode and prehaps and OVA again but the OVA may be some random pairing again and if the Extra Episode was a continuation, I doubt it would be an extra ending. I’m really curious to see how this may turn out…
    After a while during the series, I always got flashbacks from the first episode. It was weird how it replayed here again. Those words Nagisa said were very… foreshadowing in a way paralleling the entire series. Hmm… the episode preview doesn’t explain much. That’s good in a way to avoid spoiling.

  8. they totally f***** this up, killing nagisa was a huge negative to me… mainly b/c this actually happened to me. so i’ve been crying non stop ever since. all i know is they better fix this some how.

  9. if you played the novel, you would know
    SPOILER
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    that tomoya killed himself after this
    and the girl in the alternate world is Ushio and the robot is Tomoya

    Later, the girl gives Tomoya a second chance to live…… and save Nagisa
    thats what happens in the novel anyway

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