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Fridge / CLANNAD

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As a Fridge subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

Fridge Brilliance

  • The ending theme: the two dango that made the baby dango are slightly different colors than the two dango that are holding it (a pink and blue pair followed by a more reddish/orange and green pair). However this actually makes sense since Akio and Sanae end up raising Ushio instead of her real parents, Nagisa and Tomoya.
    • For those who don't quite get the symbolism in the last part, the blue dango = Tomoya; the pink dango = Nagisa; the baby dango = Ushio; the orange dango = Sanae; and the green dango = Akio.
    • And the elderly dango with squinty eyes could well be Koumura-sensei.
    • Sanae tells Ushio that the only places where you can cry are in the bathroom and in her father's arms. Guess when was the first time she ever cried? Seconds after she was born...being held by Tomoya, because her mother was dying.
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    • Nagisa's play, based on a story she only partially remembers, obviously parallels the plot of the girl and the garbage doll in the Illusionary World. In the end, Nagisa recalls that it ends with a song, which she improvs in her performance. Tomoya chides her that the song at the end of the story probably isn't "Big Dango Family". Actually, it is! It's hummed by the girl to the garbage doll as the Illusionary World is torn apart at the end of ~After Story~.
  • A common complaint about the ending parallels the ending to Nagisa's play. She sings a happy song at the end and Tomoya says it ruined the emotional buildup. And at the end of the series. All of the bad things that happened to Tomoya in AS was reversed. Some people didn't like that, because the series had been so sad up until that part and then since it was reversed it kind of ruined the emotional buildup according to some people. This is Fridge Brilliance because it may have been intentional. Nagisa brushed off Tomoya's critique because in the end she wanted the play to end on a brighter note. And the creators wanted the series to end on a brighter note too. And for every person that didn't like that, there was a lot more that did. It was the correct choice since the series isn't trying to be sad, it's trying to be touching. We see the good and the bad of their lives and we become inspired even. Ending the series like that or with Nagisa and Ushio still dead would just make the series depressing rather than touching. It would make the series nihilistic rather than hopeful.
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  • The reason Kotomi insists that people spell her name with three hiragana is that her name is a portmanteau of her parents: Koutaro and Mizue, who died in a plane crash. She wants to make sure to honor their memories.
  • More like Fridge Hilarious, but in the Visual Novel Kyou complains about all the love letters she's getting from other girls... This is probably the result of Tomoya (falsely) declaring that she is bisexual in front of their whole class at the start of the story.
  • In Episode 2, Kotomi smiles upon seeing Tomoya. While on the first viewing, this seems rather unusual, on repeat viewings, you'll come to the conclusion that she recognized Tomoya.
  • Viewers who played the visual novel would know how the anime would end up (to be more exact, who would Tomoya END UP with). A subtle hint is in the episode 10, after Fuuko's subsequent disappear, when the two first meet in the morning, this song plays briefly. Guess what? It's the arrangement of Ushio main theme. And since Ushio is the daughter of Tomoya and Nagisa... At this point, stop having any hope for other girls you would like to ship.

Fridge Horror

  • Nagisa dying was a horrible blow for Akio and Sanae, but they were able to continue on knowing all their efforts and sacrifices allowed their daughter to be both happy, even if for a short time and also give birth to Ushio. But if the Episode 21 ending timeline continues as a spilt timeline, or in some fan's opinion, as the real ending, then they. Have. Lost. Everything. The daughter they raised is dead, their granddaughter is dead, their son-in-law is dead and they are too old to have another child. Everything that kept them going through their struggles and lives is gone. They will wake up in the morning to find that their dreams are totally shattered and have, more then anything, only each other, which as so many couples who have lost children can tell you, can simply not be enough sometimes.
    • Tomoya's father is just as done. He has now also had every single sacrifice he made become totally pointless. His son and granddaughter are dead and he will without a doubt descend right back into his depression, if not outright killing himself.
    • The World of episode 21 is simply a path of heartbreak and destruction, that is rightly solved by episode 22.
      • But even then, the fact that the ending shows an alternate timeline split off from the point where Nagisa died...this essentially means that what we got is just an alternate ending. In the original timeline, in the original world, Tomoya and Nagisa and Ushio are all still dead, and we are left wondering just how their friends and loved ones are going to deal with all of this...
  • Yoshino and Tomoya exchanged their work tools during Tomoya's resignation, assuming that Tomoya could return to work one day. What would happen to Yoshino after he found out about Tomoya's family tragedy?
  • What if Akio's smoking habit was a cause of Nagisa's health issues?
  • This video suggests that the Running Gag of Sanae's bread being bad is actually a hint that her bread infected Nagisa and Ushio with Aspergillus Fumigatus, which wound up killing them due to their weakened immune systems.
  • There is a theory about the ending, saying that time did not turn back to save Nagisa and Ushio, but rather that an alternate universe was created where they lived. This is all well and good… until you realize that Nagisa, Ushio, and Tomoya are still dead in the primary universe.

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