Dr. W's Space Travels
2021-06-02 01:12:00 (UTC)

Space Cadet Cries His Nuts Off

[WARNING: major Clannad spoilers ahead]

Dr. Wood XXXI

It is 1:17am on a work night/morning. I am allotting myself exactly 13 minutes to type out all of what I feel right now. I am 98 hours into the Clannad VN… and I am overwhelmed with emotion. Expect major spoilers for Clannad (particularly Clannad After Story). I’m warning you, the reader – major spoilers ahead.

I am broken. In the span of less than a week, I finished a humongous chunk of Clannad After Story. I saw Tomoya and Nagisa begin living together… Nagisa graduating… Nagisa getting pregnant… and little Ushio being delivered. And emblazoned in my mind is the CG of Nagisa right after childbirth… and her passing… I am so broken. It’s an oddly cathartic kind of broken, I’ll admit. But my god… I cried so much. I cried so freaking much. I am on the verge of tearing up again right now, assuming I’m not already all cried out. This is the most beautiful gaming experience I’ve ever had, if “gaming experience” is really something I can call it. I know people warned me that the anime of Clannad After Story was one of the saddest things ever… so the VN I figured would be even more so. I remember trying to think of the ways that it could be sad, thinking “how crippling could it be”. It blew my expectations away. The VN has pulled every heartstring I could think of so far (yeah, ‘cause I’m not done yet… I’ve been informed that there’s more to come… fudge…) I think of the recurring anxiety Tomoya has with things changing, and with not wanting his rock – Nagisa – to slip away. I feel like while I don’t plan on dating again, I could empathize with that. It resonated hugely with me as I try to hold onto moments of my life. The passage of time is such a brutally bittersweet thing to me. And that’s something that he experienced in deep effect as he transitioned from being a boy to being a man. He did what he could to consciously freeze those moments with Nagisa, and with the town that he grew up in. And it changed nonetheless. It’s inevitable, save for the suddenness of Nagisa’s death. And then… Tomoya living in depression as Ushio grows older… until finally Tomoya is able to look forward and become a good father to her, after five whole years. The immenseness in strength needed for that is profound. But god… I just can’t stop looking back at what he had to go through. I have such attachment for the characters after spending over four whole days playing the game. It hurts so much.

I have two minutes left, and I NEED sleep. I’m sure I will write about this again when I’m completely finished. I have three more days of work left until my June vacation starts. I’m excited about that… very much so, actually… but right now, I need to feel this sadness. It’s a sadness removed from me, though, so it’s a constructive emotion that keeps me in touch with my otherwise stone heart. Anyway, I’ll leave it at that. Time to go to bed and not try to let this keep me awake for too long.

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