Monday, January 31, 2011

The Hero

Hey guys, long time no post! I know it's been a while, but I've got a minute from moving into my new school to come back to my favorite blog. What have I been up to? Why, watching Clannad of course! What else would I be doing, besides iconography, moving into school and getting to know a whole bunch of new and cool people, and a good long distance relationship? That doesn't include 16 credit hours or three RP campaigns, of course. Not busy at all. But back to Clannad.

I just got done watching Clannad for the seventh time, this time with my father. For many reasons it was a beautiful thing to do, because I'd had a similar epiphany about my father that Tomoya had, although it wasn't for anything halfway as serious. Either way,it was wonderful to watch the show with one of the major people in my life. As I watched this time, however, something stuck out at me. It's been percolating for a while now, so I thought I'd write on it, and see how people reacted. This time I want to write specifically on Tomoya.

In The School's Trees post on Tomoya we'd stated that Tomoya is the common man, that he's the least likely person to be a hero, because he's...normal. And I agree with that (I mean, hell, I helped write it), but I found that I missed something in this wonderful show after the seventh time. Part of this has to do with the fact that I finally played a portion of the Visual Novel, and walked in Tomoya's shoes for a bit. That changed my view of the anime completely, because I bombed out within the first twenty minutes.
Yes, I flunked the Visual Novel.
I did it one more time before noticing the trend. The good things wouldn't pursue you, the plot wouldn't come and find you. Oh sure, the plot invited, but the plot never pursued. Ever. There were just hints of the good things to come that I knew from the anime so well, but nothing ever came of it. Why? Because I never went after it. Tomoya must grab life in the Visual Novel, and never let it go. Ever. Watching the anime after that gave me a new appreciation for the character of Tomoya, because, once he made this decision:

He never, ever, but never backs down from it until the death of Nagisa. He goes at his  goal with an iron will, with the impossible determination of a man who believes that there is meaning out there, and that even if he can't see it, even if he can't feel it, he knows it must exist. What led him to that conclusion? The answer is a bit silly, but it's true: sheer boredom. Tomoya was bored. He wanted a full life, and wasn't getting it, so he went out and lived one. He faced the darkness and walked right into it, daring something that most of us will never do.  The fact that he ran into such sadness with little to nothing to guide him and went through it anyway, only to quit when Nagisa died, says a lot about Tomoya's strength. His fortitude, which is enormous, couldn't make it through that alone, and would have to wait five more years for Ushio. But remember that when Ushio was ready, Tomoya found the strength again. Like his inability to cope with Nagisa's death or not, I doubt most of us would do half as well with the circumstances Tomoya had bulldozed his way out of. Tomoya never gives up.

After that I found myself a bit of a wimp after watching him for this seventh time. Tomoya's will is iron, quiet, and purposeful. Mine is not. But I know I can be like him, because, as we'd stated, Tomoya is the everyman. He is us. He is us because he tries, and when he doesn't get it the first time he tries until he gets it right. The fact that the everyman can only get what he wants by trying every possible situation as much as he can is something I know I don't think about often.  But it certainly is helpful to think about, isn't it?