Clannad (visual novel)/WMG

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Key Visual Arts are a bunch of sadists.

Let's recapitulate: Tomoya's mother dies in his early childhood. His dreams of being a basketball player are shattered by his father who accidentally breaks his shoulder. Then, Tomoya's father, full of angst, drinks and wastes his money at gambling. Then Tomoya marries Nagisa, sees her dying by childbirth at home while a snow tempest blows outside. Then he leaves his daughter Ushio to her grandparents until he wakes up five years later and takes her back from them so they can finally cry for their daughter. And finally, Ushio, who was pretty healthy until then, suddenly becomes ill and dies in the street in his father's arms (under the snow, of course). At this rate, a third season of Clannad might feature the Furukawas' bakery burning down to the ground (with them in it), a major earthquake crumbling down the whole city while Tomoya is hunting starfishes at the beach, and end with a homeless and drunk Tomoya dying, eaten alive by boars. And more snow.

  • And all of this before that cute and upbeat ending, not to mention almost every single character is painfully cute, too. You know they love to do this. Gainax is nice near Key. They aren't only sadist about their characters, but about their public. They like to jerk our tears.
    • On the other hand, they could have improved the series by making Fuko die in the anime and Kotomi becoming homeless.

The reality where Nagisa died really happened, despite Tomoya getting a Reset Button opportunity.

Think about it. In Clannad After Story 24, the recap episode, Tomoya tells Ushio about the events that led up to her birth. When Ushio falls asleep however, Tomoya muses about another memory/reality where the Nagisa in that reality died in childbirth. He recounts that after seeing Ushio die in his arms, he also collapses onto the snow, and the next thing he knew was that he was right beside Nagisa again, giving birth to Ushio. This time, Nagisa survives, and the Light Orbs are subtly hinted at by Nagisa when she comments about the beautiful sky.

  • Does this mean Ushio dying happened as well? So somewhere out there is an universe where Tomoya's entire family died, and Sanae and Akio live tragically alone in their failure to protect their daughter, their son-in-law, and their granddaughter? Uuagh....

Nobody fully remembers Fuko's Story Arc ever happening.

All that everyone remembered of the wedding concerning Fuko was that she was just the younger sister of Kouko Ibuki, and that she had been in a coma ever since being hit by a car. No one else remembers the exact things that happened, that Fuko was running around the school giving wooden starfish to everyone as an invitation to her Onee-chan's wedding. Not even Tomoya, Nagisa, Kyou, Ryou, and Youhei.

It's interesting to note that, when Tomoya (with Ushio) met Fuko after she had woken up, Fuko did not recognize him at all, despite him and Nagisa being her closest companions in the events leading up to Kouko's wedding. Tomoya himself did not recognize Fuko as the girl he helped seven years ago to invite people to Kouko's wedding. Given the emotional attachment between Tomoya and Fuko at the time, it's safe to assume that if they knew each other, there was no way one wouldn't recognize the other.

Even when Fuko finally wakes up in the second reality (where Nagisa lives), there is no indication of her knowing who Tomoya and Nagisa were beforehand, and vice versa, as indicated by After Story 22 and 24.

Thus, it is safe to say that Fuko's Story Arc has been effectively erased from everyone's memory, with no chance of them truly remembering what happened.

Tomoya pressing the Reset Button via the Light Orbs coincided with Ayu Tsukimiya waking up.

In reference to one of the theories on the AIR WMG page, here's an idea that Yuuichi or Mai obtained a Light Orb from Ushio or Tomoya when the Illusory World collapsed. As a result, Ayu wakes up from her coma after ten years.

Fuko was the Chekhov's Gunman who informed Illusionary World Ushio of her and the Garbage Doll's true identities AND is the most important character after Tomoya, Nagisa, and Ushio.

Explained in more thorough detail here.

Fuko basically owed Nagisa and Tomoya the key to her sister's happiness: Nagisa and Tomoya both went out of their way to help Fuko invite people to Kouko's wedding with Yusuke. As a result, Fuko became eternally grateful to both of them.

We see the scene in After Story 22 where the camera pans on the Girl in the Illusionary World, then when it pans out and back in again, when Fuko asks what the girl's name was, Ushio is seen instead. This means that Fuko knows that the Illusionary World exists. Since she is able to project herself into the school even when she was in a coma, it's safe to say that she can effectively travel between the real world and the Illusionary World. Using the Haruhi definition, Fuko is a Dimensional Slider.

According to the linked article above, Fuko is the sheep we saw in After Story episode 2, the one that helped the Garbage Doll find its way back to Illusionary World Ushio. She slid into the Illusionary World, knowing both Illusionary World Ushio and Garbage Doll/Tomoya's true identities. In After Story 20, Fuko explains to Tomoya that she has memorized Ushio's scent; two episodes later, when the True End has taken place, Fuko is able to find Ushio because of her scent.

When exactly did Fuko inform Ushio of her true identity? This cannot be pinpointed, but as we all know, time does not exist in the Illusionary World. So, it is safe to say that when Nagisa, then Ushio and Tomoya die, Fuko becomes aware of this, slides over to the Illusionary World, informs Ushio of her true identity, thus enabling her to send the Garbage Doll/Tomoya back in time to the bottom of the hill, where Tomoya first meets Nagisa. The blurred scenes in the middle of the final episode indicate both Tomoya and Nagisa reliving their senior year, this time, however, they know that they were destined to be lovers, and they were aware of Ushio's powers (Light Orbs), therefore, Tomoya is able to prevent Nagisa from dying in childbirth by invoking the power of the Light Orbs. This is subtly referenced in the second scene that Nagisa gives birth.

Nagisa: "Tomoya-kun, take a look outside the window. It's beautiful."

Tomoya draws the curtains back and sees light orbs rising into the night sky.

You now ask, why does Kyo Ani spend so much time on Fuko, even after her Story Arc had been completed in the first season? Fuko held the key to Nagisa and Tomoya's happiness. Fuko was the first one who gave Nagisa and Tomoya the vital first push on their journey to pursue each other (the scene where Fuko wants them both to call each other by first name). Fuko helped the Garbage Doll find Ushio in the Illusionary World, and without her, Illusionary World Ushio might never have known her true identity, and if she didn't know her true identity, she wouldn't have been able to send Tomoya/Garbage Doll back in time to save both her and her mother. Without Fuko, Tomoya would have done a true Generation Xerox by living in permanent grief like his own father.

To quote the article above:

When Tomoya and Nagisa decided to help Fuko and her sister's wedding in their senior year, they had created a foolproof plan towards their ultimate happiness.

The entirety of the story is Operation: Make Tomoya Happy

"If a city has a heart and mind like people do, and if it's trying to make the people living in it as happy as possible, then a miracle can be something the city accomplished."

So, let's suppose the city, or rather, the embodiment of the city does have a mind of its own... So, Tomoya, unproductive member of society, asshole delinquent, meets Nagisa. And it transforms his personality. All of a sudden, he becomes kind, makes friends, helps them out of trouble - sometimes big trouble. The city wants to pay him back, not least for his sucky childhood.

But there's four problems: 1. The city can only grant wishes. And Tomoya doesn't have any wishes. In fact, in times of grief, Tomoya will only turn inwards and wish stupid self-destructive things that the city doesn't want to grant. The city wants to grant wishes that make people happy. 2. Nagisa, Tomoya's beloved is doomed. The city granted the wish that saved her life a while ago, but it was a wish granted without a light orb, and so inherently limited. Part of her life is sustained by the city, and that has to be returned eventually. 3. The city cannot communicate with Tomoya directly. And light orbs are not easily drawn to or be collected someone like Tomoya, even though the city makes them visible to him. 4. In fact, the power of the light orbs are very limited - wishes can only be granted using a light orb to someone who is dying - though the wish can be transferred afterwards. (See Shima)

So... the city has a plan. Time for a Xanatos Gambit!

First, Nagisa has to have a child, before she dies. This is Ushio. The city pulls strings, maybe using Nagisa's wish, to ensure Ushio survives, at least for a while. It pulls the same trick it did with Nagisa, infusing Ushio with its spirit. Tomoya makes the wish that he and Nagisa would never meet, but the city has cunningly kept the light orbs out of his reach, plus he isn't dying, so the wish is not granted.

But Tomoya is determined to be alone and self-destructive. Fortunately, before the time on Ushio's life runs out, the two reconcile. Ushio's presence is sufficient to break Tomoya out of his cycle of regret. (Note the difference in the monologue in ep 21 vs the one in ep 16) Whatever happens, Tomoya will not hate himself and city and his meeting Nagisa. Ep 19, Tomoya collects his one and only light orb. (The rest fly off into the sky and end up on the title screen)

The clock runs out, and Ushio dies. Tomoya dies, but at last, he can use his light orb to make a wish. To the city's relief, Tomoya wishes for "Nagisa, someone, save Ushio." This wish is granted, and the result is the creation of the Illusionary world, with Ushio within it. The illusionary world is pieced together from Tomoya's memories of Nagisa's play, Nagisa's field and nearby woodland (where the city's powers were strongest), and the flower field that Tomoya had promised to take Ushio to. (Hence the junk, from Ushio's memories of the robot being still in the field somewhere) Ushio had died as well, and either she has collected a light orb, or she could use the one which are plentiful in the Illusionary world, so Ushio wishes for her Papa to be with her, thus reincarnating Tomoya as the robot.

But of course, Tomoya is still determined to be unhappy, even in the peace of the illusionary world. His unhappiness means the memories of Ushio's death re-emerge, and so triggering the coming of winter. The girl, because she's imbued with the city's spirit, knows what this means, and maybe she always knew. The illusionary world lets the father and that version of the daughter say goodbye. So the city moves the final part of the play into action.

The human part of Ushio gives up her life. She's not going to have her father with her, so her wish is cancelled, and she's sort of dying too. The spirit part of Ushio returns to the city, and the light orb reappears from the robot's body. This leaves the city with one wish left, and all the necessary conditions satisfied. And it passes the decision back to Tomoya.

But what would Tomoya wish for? The scene with Nagisa is a test - it's not really the past, and the Nagisa Tomoya sees is the spirit part of the Nagisa that died. (Remember, Nagisa too was saved light-orb-lessly by a wish) But, thankfully, Tomoya does not regret meeting Nagisa any more. The spirit Nagisa says goodbye to Tomoya, and finally uses the remaining light orb to complete Tomoya's new wish, to be reunited with Nagisa. Thus the healing is completed using a true wish. (Though because the wish is granted by proxy, Tomoya does not understand how it is done.)

Spirit Nagisa and Spirit Ushio show the rising light orbs, to show their happiness at a mission completed. Tomoya had lived five extra years that no one else has, and remembers it all too clearly. His memories of the Illusionary World are erased, though. Nagisa and Ushio are cured permanently. Fuko detects something odd about Ushio - probably that they still had traces from their contact with the embodiment of the happiness in the city. The end.

Akio Furukawa is Keiichi Maebara as an adult.

Well, look at them. Akio [dead link] looks exactly like Keiichi.

== Nagisa is Rena Ryuuguu whose parents never split up and never moved to Hinamizawa ==. Based on previous WMG. Just listen to them. They sound exactly the same, and they both love cute things. They're also both in after-school clubs.

  • That means Keiichi is Rena's father!
  • Alternatively, Rena is Sanae. Keiichi and Rena survived the Hinamizawa disaster in this world and went on to a different town to start over, with new names and a new life.
    • FUCK YES. Look, Akio even has a huge friggin' bat just like Keiichi!

Yukine Miyazawa is actually her brother Kazuto after a sex change.

Point the one: no-one has ever seen them together. Point the two: they look so much alike that Yukine can dress as a man and deceive everyone present, at least until someone gets close enough (a few meters, that's not much). Therefore (bear with me, this will be quite lengthy):

Kazuto became a gang leader (and a good one, at that) out of grief at his situation (he was Desperately Looking for a Purpose In Life, but didn't realize what he was "missing"). Once he realized it, however, it was too late: if he backed down from the gang scene, the people he'd come to care for would be in deep, deep trouble.

He started the transition. Once it was time, he faked an accident, and was rushed to the hospital, where he underwent the final procedures. Kazuto had "died", and Yukine was "born".

All the while he'd begun dropping casual remarks about his "sister" Yukine, who didn't approve of his lifestyle, so no-one was surprised when she showed up at the "funeral" (also faked, obviously).

That's when she made a mistake, however. She'd been meaning to use the "accident" as a way to retire from the gang scene, but still leave her gang in a position where they wouldn't run into trouble ("Don't you dare touch us, or when Kazuto comes back he's going to beat you all up!"). She didn't realize, however, how much she'd come to care about her True Companions, and when she spoke to them at the funeral (allegedly trying to get to know her brother's friends, in reality because she missed them) it was too late: she was drawn to them once again, becoming their Team Mom.

Meanwhile, however, the other gangs started to wonder when exactly Kazuto would be released from the hospital; sensing the coming trouble, she tried to negotiate peace, because in the event of a fight her friends would be in deep trouble, but failed. Therefore, the events of After Story episodes 7 and 8 are precipitated.

  • Only one problem though: Why was she a crappy fighter when she faced the rival gang leader? Hell, a tired Tomoya was able to restrain her.
    • Can be Handwaved away in one (or both) of two ways:
    1. she was out of shape, having not fought or trained in almost a year;
    2. it was a Xanatos Gambit to get the other gang's leader to back down and listen to what she had to say for a change. If you watch After Story episodes 7 and 8, you'll notice the members of the other gang dismiss right away, without pausing to consider the situation, what she's trying to tell them (i.e.: "we can avoid this meaningless fight"). How do you get a manly-man to listen to what a "weak girl" has to say? Secret weapon!

Kyo and Ryo are Doppelgangers of Kagami and Tsukasa Hiiragi.

Misae Sagara is the daughter of Kaname Chidori and Sousuke Sagara.

It makes sense!

The light orbs featured in this series are actually part of the Everlasting Sakura tree of Hatsunejima.

The orbs grant wishes, so it makes sense that the light orbs are connected to the Sakura tree. After the tree first whithered, the number of light orbs in Hikarizaka dropped considerably, which is why they aren't seen like in the town's old legends. When Ushio is born for the second time, this is when Sakura makes the Sakura tree bloom again, thus triggering the massive light orb appearance. Because the new tree is imperfect though, no more light orbs appear in the town.

Koumura Toshio (the old teacher) is the Author Avatar

He doesn't appear much, but is the one who made Tomoya and Youhei meet, and seems to be the one who knows what happens, and the only one who remembers Kouko's weeding.

Ushio Okazaki is Mikuru.

Compare Mikuru and Ushio's future appearance. They look pretty much identical.

  • I look forward to Okazaki beating the shit out of Kyon, then...
    • Just Kyon? I'd think Haruhi would be the more obvious target of Tomoya's fatherly vengeance.
            • Oh god, somebody, SOMEBODY please write a fanfic about this.

The Reset Button Ending is Tomoya's Dying Dream.

Think about it, a Gainax Ending in the form of Deus Ex Machina? No wonder it was called the Illusion World.

Kotomi went to America to work at Black Mesa.

It's true! She's a genius, she promised to follow in her parents' footsteps and continue their research into parallel worlds, she went to America, where else would she study such theoretical physics? The resonance cascade was probably caused by her violin practice!

The city is the sadist.

If we are to personify the city and make it seem like a character, then we might as well consider this option as well.

  • Time for an elaboration. The city gets it's satisfaction when people cross the Despair Event Horizon. When Nagisa was nearly dying, the city knew that her death will only affect her parents and thus will not satisfy it. Around this time, they also noticed Tomoya's depressing relation with his father. It decided to have Tomoya follow in his father's foot steps. So what do they do? Time for a Xanatos Roulette! First, the city gives Nagisa some of it's life force to keep her going until she meets and eventually falls in love with Tomoya. Soon during After Story, when Nagisa is preggers, the city decides it's time to kill her off. Bonus points if you can consider the city may have the power to control the "WEATHER!" (sorry, couldn't resist.) After being satisfied with the death and grieving, they decide to bother Tomoya's life when he reunites with his daughter by taking her life force away. This winds up killing Tomoya too. So that reset button ending? It was Fuuko behind it all, and how does Tomoya clearly recall the downer ending? Because it's like being traumatized, you can never block it out of your mind.
    • Now that this troper's explained it, the city is probably more of a Troll.
    • Alternately, an Incubator is behind it all, trying to harvest despair without turning people into Magical Girls.

Fuuko is a Karas

Both Fuuko and Otoha are in a coma yet can project their bodies to certain places. It makes more sense with the other WMGs suggesting Fuuko is a Chekhov's Gunman.

The high school's basketball team are NBA players.

Think about it. Tomoyo can get easy hits off of a Nationals level pitcher in the first episode of After Story. She gets a home run in her first at bat, doesn't try in the second, and hits an extremely hard line drive out in her third. Tomoyo also beats all the other school teams' challenges easily. When she plays against the school's basketball team in the VN, she struggles. Yes, she's playing with Sunohara and Tomoya, but Tomoya is a former basketball player who's just a bit out of practice and can't shoot. Sunohara is also an athelete so he's certainly not terrible. They're not even playing a full game so fatigue can't be a problem. Yet, they get completely destroyed.

    • I wouldn't caall three years equal to "just a bit" out of practice.

The entirety of Clannad is actually the After Story for Tomoya's father.

After Tomoya's mother dies, his father falls into depression, epically screwing over Tomoya's life and throwing him into the same cycle he just experienced (wife dies, child abandoned, etc.). Just when he manages to finally built his relationship with his son, Tomoya dies in a snowstorm, clutching Ushio. When Tomoya's father returns to his own mother (Okazaki Shino, Tomoya's grandmother), he manages to obtain the light(s) needed to save himself.

There's one problem though: Tomoya instigates his own personal Reset Button, which removes his opportunity to reconcile since Tomoya is preoccupied with the now-alive Nagisa and Ushio. However, the epilogue clearly shows Tomoya's grandmother greeting the family, meaning Tomoya will reach the same understanding and reconnect with his father. Then, he finally receives the light(s) necessary.

The ending shot with Tomoya and his father walking through the fields? That wasn't a motif shot - it was Tomoya's father instigating his own personal Reset Button and starting his life over. Having collected the lights, Tomoya's mother doesn't die, Tomoya grows up as a well-adjusted person, notices Nagisa around several times alone when in his third year, and befriends her. Since he actually gives a damn about things now, he does well in his studies; Nagisa is not sickly enough to repeat another year and the two end up going to university and marrying, with Tomoya getting a stable job to support them and Ushio (who also grows up properly).

The Illusionary World is really the world of Minecraft.

Think about it. In Minecraft, there is almost no life at all and yet there is an abundance of plains, fields, mountains and materials. In the Illusionary World, the only life in the entire world is one girl, a robot and a random sheep. They too have an abundance of plains, fields, mountains and materials. Not only that, but in order to survive, one must craft things out of the junk into usable items. Why else would the girl have a house in the middle of a field? She punched enough trees to get enough wood to make it! It all makes sense!

Nagisa and Ushio have AIDS.

AIDS disables a person's immune system. Nagisa's body is always weak and she gets sick easily. Clannad takes place in nineties (there were no cell phones and computers.) so AIDS could be an unknown disease in that time. Nagisa could get AIDS through a used syringe. AIDS can show it's effects anytime. And Ushio can get this disease through her mother. Reset button may remove her disease.

  • This troper has thought this too, but replace AIDS with Lupus. It helps that Asian women are more susceptible to Lupus then others.
  • This also might be your average snow anemia.

Clannad broke the forth wall in episode 22 of After Story.

The wish wasn't only Tomoya's wish. It was the wish of the viewers to see a happy family together.

Nagisa was saved twice by a reset button.

The second time is what part of the After Story is about. The first time would have been when she was five and her father brought her to the field. It was said to be a miraculous recovery, but perhaps she didn't survive it the first time through.

CLANNAD is a corrupted retelling of The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time in a Magic Realism setting (a.k.a. Tomoya is a reincarnation of Link).

Think about it. We have a guy who goes through absolute hell in life after not one but two people close to him die, and all the while, he goes around and helps people out. In the end of the series, when he himself meets his end, the universe decides to show him a little mercy and send him back in time and into a parallel timeline to the original one, assuming this analysis is accurate. From this new timeline, he lives out life the way he really deserved.

Now, consider this show's Fridge Horror entry:

"Nagisa and Ushio die and go to the after-life. Tomoya however goes to the alternate universe when he dies instead of after-life. Which means that there's now a universe in Clannad where Nagisa and Ushio are together in the after-life without Tomoya and they will NEVER see him again."

At the end of Ocarina of Time, something similar happens to Link: He gets sent back in time to before he went to sleep for seven years so he can live the rest of his childhood, which leads into Majora's Mask. This has the unfortunate side effect of erasing him from the "Adult Timeline"; now there's no Link to stop Ganon from trying to take over Hyrule again, convincing the Goddesses to flood Hyrule, which kicks off the setting of The Wind Waker.


The reason Nagisa and Tomoya forgot Fuko...

Is because while they were sleeping, a closed space enveloped their school, and the world was reset/recreated/what-have-you.

Time is meaningless in the Illusionary World/it has its own dimension of time

It's not that far fetched to imagine that a world existing in another dimension would run on it's own time. This means that puzzling out the order of things is not so important, because we time travel is irrelevant to inter-world events.

Effectively, since the Illusionary World doesn't share time with the real world, it theoretically connects to all times and places (but apparently only within the town).

Thus there is no real time travel when people move between the worlds, and Ushio has always will be watching over the town.

  • Another way to think of its time is that the illusionary world is called into existence by Ushio's death (episode 21), but ends with Ushio's birth and Nagisa's survival (chronologically episode 16, revisted and altered in episode 22). It's a paradox: the event that creates the Illusionary World happens after the Illusionary World ceases to exist.

Ushio was the one who saved the young Nagisa

Ushio seems to be the will of the other world, with the power to save people and grant wishes. Taking the WMG above further allows us to say that Ushio was able to save her mother before she was born, as time in the real world doesn't matter in the illusiory world.

The revist of Tomoya and Nagisa's first meeting didn't technically happen

In this meeting Tomoya is presented with a choice: Choose the same actions that ended in Nagisa's death, or avoid all that pain by not calling out to her. Strangely in this situation, Nagisa is fully aware, at the very least of the future time when she and Tomoya are a couple.

This doesn't make sense if you consider it a true reset. Either way it may be one of the following:

  • An illusion, or some sort of alternate world designed purely to get Tomoya to realize that it isn't truly the choice either he or Nagisa wants.
  • A transitory world, that Tomoya or his other self stopped at before returning to the point where Ushio was born

Tomoya appears to have no memory of it either way. The only wish that was truly granted was that the lives of his daughter and wife were saved.

Even Fuko has a crush on Okazaki.

Why? Because everyone else does.

The "Another World: Tomoyo Chapter" episode is a vision Tomoya experiences in the main timeline.

The first season ends with an alternate-universe story where Tomoyo wins, and tells the story of how Tomoya is made to break up with her so that she can succeed as student council president without his bad influence. At a few points, we cut to a shot of a railway gate raising on a sunny day. At the end of the episode, we see Tomoya waiting behind this gate to encounter Tomoyo on the other side, who has brought a box lunch for him. A happy future in this timeline? No! In this timeline, Tomoya gets a lousy office job at a recycling facility, and wears a suit as he rides the train to work. But in this scene, Tomoya is wearing his power company work clothes, which is the job he gets in After Story on the main timeline. So, it's likely we're meant to read this episode as Tomoya seeing Tomoyo and having a fleeting fancy of "what could have been", seen as the events of the alternate timeline.

Mei is Okazaki's sister, not Sunohara.

I mean, just look at her. She has the same blue hair as him! My theory behind this is that Okazaki didn't want his little sister to grow up with the crappy life that he has, so he had Sunohara's family look after her, and Sunahara's parents just told him that she was his sister. And he's stupid enough to believe it.