*Oh hey, spoilers*
If you ask me, if Clannad After Story didn’t exist Clannad would just be an above average Harem. Without the addition of the second season there really isn’t a whole lot of depth there. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed Clannad, but I enjoyed After Story so much more. That’s probably why I this particular death had such an impact on me.
The death I chose is not Nagisa’s. To be honest I didn’t expect her to live. She was always sickly and they made this point several different times throughout the show that I knew there was no way she was going to live through childbirth. I must also admit that more than Nagisa’s death, what fueled my tears during this situation was Tomoya’s total abandon of Ushio.
I have always had some strange connection/problem dealing with stories in which parents lose a child in some manner. I had this same crying fit when I watched Wolf Children because even if she was happy she still had to be lonely. She didn’t get enough time with her children. She may know she raised them right but not being able to see them has still got to be an indescribable pain. This same problem can be applied to the ending of Air. The entire last segment destroys my life with the mother. I can’t take scenes like these. I feel almost more awful pain for these mothers than I do most other characters. I don’t know why I have this extra connection with these stories but I do and it makes them hurt that much more.
So when Tomoya sank into a depression and didn’t raise, or even see, Ushio, I cried. Heavily. I knew he would live to regret that action, that he would regret his choice to grieve and waste his time instead of picking Ushio. I didn’t hate him for his actions. In fact Tomoya’s reaction to Nagisa’s death is completely understandable. I just knew that he would live to regret not realizing sooner how important Ushio was and would be to him now that Nagisa was gone.
Now imagine my terrible surprise when not long after Ushio gets sick. I was so upset when this happened. They weren’t seriously going to do that to him, were they? But they did. Not only does Ushio get sick not long after she and Tomoya make up and get a happy life, but she dies. In the middle of the street, while it is snowing, she passes out and promptly dies.
Let me just say I was glad no one was home when I watched this. I blubbered after this scene. They couldn’t really be that cruel. It just had to be a lie. No matter what the show did after this point could they honestly fix my broken heart. It felt like they stabbed me in the back. “Oh everything will be fine,” they say as they take my kitchen knife and impale me with more awful times.