Clannad ~After Story~ Ep. 2: Search for Fake Love

I can’t remember the last time in a Key anime that I’ve laughed this much.  Sunohara is pure comic gold, and having an entire episode devoted to his antics can certainly go a long way.  I really like this sidestep as we get into a short(?) Sunohara and Mei arc before we hit the main plot with Nagisa and Tomoya.  It’s a shame the entire series won’t be as funny as this, but for now, we can at least enjoy the lighthearted moments we get.

Summary:

In the Dream World, the robot is with the girl looking for junk to repair stuff with.  The robot finds itself all alone, but follows a sheep looking thing back to the girl.  The girl thinks that the sheep had a very gentle smell to it.

Back to the real world, where Mei is with the Furukawas again so she can keep an eye on her delinquent brother who has no idea what he’s doing in the future.  Sunohara jokingly says if he had a level-headed girlfriend Mei would leave him alone, giving Tomoya quite an idea: finding someone to act as Sunohara’s girlfriend for a day.  Ingenious, Tomoya!

Of course Sunohara quickly buys in and asks the first girl: Ryou.  However, timid little Ryou breaks down in tears as it’s too embarassing, and her tears causes textbooks to come flying at Sunohara.  Kyou immediately dispenses some justice on both Sunohara and Tomoya before leading her sister away.  Next target: Tomoyo?  Scared out of his wits, Sunohara calms himself and tries to get Tomoyo’s attention.  However, she’s not having any of it, instead addressing Nagisa only.  Although Sunohara tries so hard, all he does is manage to get himself kicked into the middle of the baseball field.

Continuing their tries at school, Sunohara asks Kotomi and Yukine, but unfortunately, the two are also no good.  Kotomi would rip Sunohara’s eardrums apart with her idea of “fun”, and Yukine is apparently dealing with a few problems of her own.  The school day ends, and the three leave for home with nothing gained.

Tomoya tells Sunohara he should try to pick up some girls, so Sunohara approaches a high school girl passing by.  However, he does so in a very sketchy way, causing her to run screaming.  Tomoya gets a bit of a laugh out of it, but Sanae overhears their problems and suddenly asks of she can help.  Sunohara thinks Sanae is Nagisa’s older sister, so Tomoya again plays a dirty trick and allows him his little misunderstanding.  Nagisa isn’t too thrilled with the idea, as it’s her mom going out with her classmate, making for a very awkward situation.

Sanae practices ‘dating’ Sunohara, but he’s pretty frozen up the entire time.  She’s really intent on helping him get on the right path because in spite of all his errors, he’s a very kind person.  The appointed day arrives, and Sunohara has been waiting all night for his ‘date’ to show Mei what’s become of him.  However, his use of coffee means a toilet break, during which Sanae, dressed in Nagisa’s uniform, arrives, complete with glasses and twin-tails.  Even Tomoya is taken aback by her appearance, and Mei has to wonder who her brother is dating.

Impressions:

  • Oh god the hilarity.  Poor Sunohara getting rejected by every girl he knows and even one he doesn’t know at all, and getting approval from one who can shatter eardrums and Nagisa’s mom.  Awkward moments indeed, but you gotta feel for the guy.  Sunohara really has nothing going for him, and has an overly protective little sister.  In a way, this reminds me of the Tomoyo Chapter, where Sunohara is fated to go and be a salaryman, stuck by himself and working for the rest of his early years.  On the other hand, you can’t stop yourself from screaming “YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG” at each of his approach tactics.  Kind, but socially awkward; it’s quite possibly the worst combination ever.
  • Sanae is having way too much fun with this.  The cosplay section is quite fanservice-y, but it goes over the top with her final costume: Nagisa’s uniform.  As much as I admire her willingness to help a struggling Sunohara, though, this clearly isn’t the right way to do things.  I fail to see how the three of them – Tomoya, Nagisa, Sanae – think that deceiving others will actually help Sunohara in the long run.  In fact, this might be considered in the next episode, but we’ll wait and see.
  • Ryou, Kyou, and Kotomi all haven’t changed much, have they?  Ryou is timid as heck, Kyou is still rambunctious, and Kotomi is…well, Kotomi.  No ill effects from any of them having a close connection with Tomoya.  The one exception is Tomoyo, who clearly address Nagisa in their conversation, but completely ignored Sunohara and Tomoya.  Maybe there’s a bit of a grudge there, or maybe I’m remembering too much of the Tomoyo Chapter.  Either way, her actions with Tomoya around are completely different than before.  I also hope that Sunohara’s asking Ryou “out” won’t affect the Fujibayashi’s friendship with Tomoya…
  • Nagisa might be the most insecure girlfriend ever, and if this keeps up, she’s going to break down (NOTE: I have never played through After Story).  She’s even fretting that Tomoya is blushing over her MOM.  Seriously, have a little bit of faith here.
  • Illusionary World still makes no sense to me whatsoever.  What is up with the sheep appearing out of nowhere?  I thought they were all alone in the world?  I’m so confused.

In all, one of my favorite Clannad episodes just for the hilarity factor, but there are some subtle themes here.  Obviously, asking a girl out requires a bit of tact.  However, one of the big concerns I look at going forward is how they’re going to explain themselves out of their deceiving Mei and Sunohara, as something like that can really destroy trust and friendship.  Things could really take a dive towards seriousness from here on out.

Oh what a tangled web we weave.  Moral of the story: lies are never good.

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