The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

The Event from One Year Before

One year before the events of the beginning of the story, Tomoya is beginning his second year in high school, while Nagisa is starting her third year. Nagisa is having trouble making friends as usual, while Tomoya and Youhei are busy being delinquents and carrying out pranks at Kyou’s, and inadvertently Nagisa’s, expense. After Nagisa is knocked out by a falling metal pan that Tomoya and Youhei had set up as a prank for freshmen, a classmate of Nagisa’s finally finds the chance to talk with her and they become friends. Nagisa keeps the banner from the prank, one with the message to instill confidence written by Tomoya, because she feels it attributed her to making a new friend.

  • Tomoya and Youhei get busted by Kyou for attempting to cut classes. The instructor then notices, and the two are sent to perform chores as punishment.

  • Kyou Fujibayashi’s personality is a direct parallel to Lucky Star’s Kagami Hiiragi in terms of personality, and the two share similar appearances. Both also have a twin sister with shorter hair and a shy personality. According to fans, it is impossible to decide who inspired whom. If we go by release dates alone, Lucky Star precedes the release of the CLANNAD visual novel.

  • Nagisa experiences considerable difficulty in making new friends, and while she attempts to take some of her father’s advice, she cannot bring herself to embarrass herself like he suggested.

  • Despite being rigged as a prank for the freshmen, Nagisa somehow becomes ensnared by the trap and pulls it open, only to get splattered by the metal pan. While Youhei had originally intended to write something offensive on the banner, Tomoya decides to write something a little more encouraging. The message encourages Nagisa to do her best and not lose to the hardships to come, subtly hinting that he will eventually be willing to help her out.

  • Gundam 00 was the first anime to be animated in 1080p HD, a widescreen format with a 16:9 aspect ratio. CLANNAD was released the same year and was also animated in widescreen, fully capturing a scene’s tenor where the 4:3 version cannot. The widescreen edition generally feels more harmonious, with better cinematographic balance. However, the only channel broadcasting in widescreen back in 2007 provided substandard colouring and released episodes 3 weeks after they were originally aired. Thus, for fans back in 2007, the only option was to watch the 4:3 versions to keep on top of things. Since then, HD versions have been released on Blu-Ray, allowing me to provide high quality images that even my original image supplier could not acquire.

This bonus episode was released a week after the ending of CLANNAD After Story. The story gives insight into how Nagisa and Tomoya were connected even before their first meeting, and indirectly allowed the former to make a friend. Following the emotional events in previous episodes, this one is decidedly more lighthearted and also gave the side characters an opportunity to play a larger role than in other episodes. In particular, Youhei and Kyou’s interactions are particularly amusing, returning to the comedy that was present in the earlier episodes. An enjoyable watch, the episode implies that fate plays an unusual role, and so, Nagisa finds herself pranked by Tomoya and Youhei before they even meet in proper, although the message that Tomoya inscribes does indeed reflect his wishes for her, making the episode clever in this regard.

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