Clannad: Unscene

You may or may not have noticed that I missed yesterday’s post. This is because my laptop’s screen died last night. I’m typing this on my new desktop computer, poorer but irreverently thankful for Sunday trading. I’ve an essay due in shortly and needed something fast, although I had been wondering about buying a desktop in any case. This isn’t what I’d choose if I had time and money, but I’m reasonably content.

I’ll get back to these posts once I’ve finished migrating from one machine to the other, but since I have a broken screen on my mind it seems fitting to give a passing nod to the impact of a scene that I never saw, from an anime I didn’t watch. I’m referring to two Clannad characters’ brief sojourn in a P.E. equipment shed, ‘the moment that froze the otakusphere.

I don’t have much to say about the scene itself, partly because it’s been well-covered already and partly because I haven’t seen it – although if you collected every screencap of the scene that I’ve seen, printed them all out in sequence and stapled one edge to make a flick book, you would, I think, have an accurate, if low-quality, reconstruction.

It’s pleasing that the whole incident is brought about not by a wish on Tomoya’s part, but by a book of charms, as though Clannad itself is a more cynically self-aware member of the Key-adaption family. Is a storage room lock-in a staple of the genre, or something that a normal schoolboy might wish for? One wonders what else Yukine’s book can do – if, that is, it was responsible in the first place. Not knowing any details, I can’t help imagining that it might actually be a book chock-full of charms to bring about hackneyed anime situations. I’m sure it’s much more mundane, but that’s an amusing thought, and as I go through the rigmarole of transferring my existence from one computer to another, I have to savour whatever amusement I can get.

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10 responses to “Clannad: Unscene

  1. Apparently the dark, humid atmosphere of a shed with a ton of dirty, odorous sports equipment turns cartoon characters on. This must be where a man’s and woman’s excretory juices are released into the air creating some aphrodisiac mixture.

    I think this is bullshit and advocate nurse’s offices instead.

  2. Nice title wordplay, I see what you did there.

    A gym storeroom lock-in last happened in Kodomo no Jikan, and as far as I know it’s what caused the self-censorship from Seven Seas. It’s too bad they decided not to bring it over, really–they’re bleeding money over their light novel range, now, so it was a rather misguided decision finally on their part, if you ask me.

    Trysts of the exchanging-bodily-fluids sort usually happen in a gym storeroom, so I don’t see why they wouldn’t milk that common (hentai) trope for all its worth. It had a pre-made sexually-charged atmosphere to begin with, all they had to do was reach out and grab it.

  3. “I can’t help imagining that it might actually be a book chock-full of charms to bring about hackneyed anime situations.”

    Best idea of what I guess this makes last year.

  4. @ madeener: I don’t know. There’s a kind of clinical atmosphere in a nurse’s office which is, to my mind, very offputting.

    @ Owen S: Well, I still disagree with you on KnJ. After Itsubun posted about it, I read the first few chapters myself, and broadly agreed with her that it has some value. But publishing it in America would have been handing certain lobbying interests a big knife to stab the US manga industry with. I forget why Seven Seas made their decision, but whatever their reasons, the decision itself was definitely the right one.

    @ Shiri: I’m flattered. I’ll have to store the idea away for future reference.

  5. Shall now regard Yukine’s book with as much esteem as the Bible.

  6. Hmm, I guess that depends rather a lot on how much you hold the Bible in esteem.

  7. “A book chock-full of charms to bring about hackneyed anime situations”…oh man, I want to see a post now about which charms such a book might contain. Given Clannad, it’s probably just things like “awkward moment during which hands touch, but both parties are too embarrassed to actually hold hands,” or “brief glance into one another’s eyes before promptly turning away, thoroughly red-faced,” or “oh shit, Sanae’s bread — head for the fallout shelter!”

    You’re on to something, though, in that it might be nice to see some meta in these VN adaptations.

  8. Hmm. This did feel to me (from what I’ve read) like a comment from Clannad on its own genre – but only a potential one, requiring more effort from us to make it notable. I don’t know if I’d necessarily want to see more explicitly ‘meta’ content, though, as I rarely find it interesting or amusing.

  9. But publishing it in America would have been handing certain lobbying interests a big knife to stab the US manga industry with.

    Doesn’t that follow the assumption that there wouldn’t already have been knives to begin with?

    I see where you’re coming from, but KnJ would’ve been a stronger case by which to end all this hue and cry over 2D ‘obscenity’, if you ask me, since it’s not-porn and yet offensive enough to certain quarters to get noticed.

    There’s already been two cases involving loli porn, so a non-porn loli example would’ve been better, if you ask me. We all know how well prejudiced first impressions go.

  10. I don’t think it’s really a question of legal cases (if that’s the sense you’re using it in – correct me if I’m wrong!). It’s more about public campaigns and emotive rhetoric.

    In fact, the fact that KnJ is not quite porn might have told against it. I can see people thinking ‘If this is what the normal stuff is like, then how bad is the real porn?’ And besides, my impression of the state of things in the US (which could, of course, be wildly wrong) is that there are plenty of people who would happily ban everything which they feel is obscene, not just stuff that’s obviously pornographic. Consider the furore over Janet Jackson’s nipple (‘Nipplegate’) which, looked at from the home of the Page 3 Girl, seemed very odd indeed.

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