Clannad | 01

by

Spoilers ahead.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Screencaps, avi, mkv

I had no intention of watching it, but I did, and was hooked in the first 30 seconds. It’s because of Okazaki Tomokya who talks about the city he hates, the banality of routine life, and troubles at home. Who hasn’t felt that way at one time or another? Bet the show snagged an entire audience with that empathy alone. He obviously suffered some kind of trauma in the city (it’s full of memories he wants to forget) so viewers can look forward to an explanation along with why he hates going home.

The desaturated intro punctuates Okazaki’s state of mind. As the U2 song goes, he’s “stuck in a moment” and tired of it. He asks himself if change will ever come.

As you know, fate is a godly force in anime. So who should Okazaki meet on his way to school but an odd girl who exclaims, “Sweet bean bread!” then proceeds to talk to herself. He decides to stay and finds himself jolted by her words, “They can’t all possibly stay unchanged,” and splotches of color appear around her as she says it. At this crucial junction in life, he talks to her. The moment he reaches out to her, the world flashes into brilliant color. I interpret this as his first step toward change.

I never get tired of the monochromatic to color technique. It’s a variation of the exploding color in FFVIII, when Squall is lost in time and Rinoa rescues him. Or like in Princess Mononoke when San and Ashitaka finally return the Forest Spirit’s head and the dead land revives. Besides looking kick@$$ it can symbolize rebirth, life, or salvation.

OP at Youtube.

I became a full Clannad convert after the OP credits because that’s when the episode does a 180 and jumps into a bizarre, comedy worthy of Haruhi Suzumiya and beyond. A lot of characters are introduced to set up the story. Unlike the gloomy first impression given off in the intro, the spirited people around Okazaki are actually extraordinary. Yes, even his best friend’s idiocy is remarkable. It’s hard to imagine Okazaki bored (this is why hobbies exist, kora!) hanging out with people like that but he’s good at masking that side of himself.

Some of the funnier moments:

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us 1. Okazaki’s friend and fellow delinquent, Sunohara gets a hilarious beating from the rugby team for playing his CDs too loud. Later he attempts to assert his authority over Fujibayashi. He fails miserably. Okazki recalls she’s a legendary fighter who beats up delinquents for bothering people.

2. The formidable dorm mother, Misae breaks up the disturbance. Sunohara seeks sympathy from her but she has none for him.

3. Class Representative Fujibayashi advices Okazaki to be more punctual (looks like she has a crush on him). She reads his fortune with a deck of playing cards by dropping it all over the floor. He thinks it’s an accident but it’s actually her way of fortune telling.

4. Fujibayashi Kyou, is the class rep’s older sister. She thinks Okazaki is bullying her little sister and almost takes his head with a book she turns into a projectile weapon.

5. Sakagami Tomoyo protects the school grounds from delinquents in an amazing display of fighting prowess.

Why does Furukawa Nagisa say “hamburger”? She’s not acting crazy. Furukawa says the name of food whenever she’s nervous to give herself a confidence boost. Ah, maybe this will remind people to not pass judgment on others without getting to know them first.

Throughout the school day, Okazaki hangs out Furukawa whenever he gets the chance. She bluntly asks what many viewers are thinking, why? “Why are you kind to me when we’ve just met?” (Cuz you’re weird and different! Save him Furukawa! He needs rescuing from himself.) He doesn’t know either. Har har. But she’s charmed and they’re officially friends.

After school, the camera follows Okazki around the city. This quiet moment actually says loads without saying a word. I can already imagine the irritating dialog if this was created for the English market. Basically, he’s avoiding going home. He hates it that much.

The best scene is when he meets Furukawa’s lively parents when he takes up her earlier invitation to visit her family’s bakery. Example: They start a conversation on renaming Okazaki. The mother comes up with “Okazaki Tomoya Eternal”. The father then abbreviates it to “Ethanol”.

Okazaki thinks the family is weird but secretly seems to enjoy their company. Its strange for him to pass judgment on another family, given his own family situation.

All is finally revealed. After his mother died in an accident his father became a gambler and alcoholic. Finding his father a mess and passed out seems to be a regular occurrence but it’s tough for him to deal with it. No wonderer he hates going home. It’s not mentioned here but in the video game, his father roughed him up when he was inebriated in the past, dislocating Okazaki’s arm. It was severe enough to prevent him from playing sports (so he’s not a lazy bum). Ever since, his relationship with his father is strained and awkward. It’s no wonder he’s become a listless delinquent. These are probably the memories he mentions in the intro.

The show ends on a surreal note. Okazaki finds himself back at Furukawa’s family bakery and she’s outside waiting for him. “If you wish, would you like for me to take you? To a place in this city where wishes come true?”

ED at Youtube.

Parting Thoughts

– Want to spotlight a great technique employed in the story telling: the way time overlaps frequently throughout the episode. Think it’s used to show Okazaki’s detachment from real life. Notice he’s often in a daze as one scene quickly becomes another.
– Contrary to his bleak thoughts, Okazaki acts normal at school and especially enjoys torturing his friend, Sunohara. Confused? Think he’s trying to fill a void in himself but the fun never lasts. His problem is dealing with the time between the entertaining moments.
– A strange puzzle is dropped on the viewers. A young voice (boy?) talks about a girl living alone in a world that’s “ended” and time doesn’t exist. That has to be Okazaki but how it relates to him in the present is unknown.
– I pray the action comedy will continue… this is just another cheesy shoujo without it.

Tags:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: