Hello again. Two nights ago, I ran through Misae’s route. I don’t have too much to say about it, but I figured I’d jot down a few things. For those who have forgotten her, Misae is the very attractive, very competent, twenty something dorm mother for the boy’s dorm (where Sunohara lives). Interestingly enough, I almost played through Misae’s route when I was making at attempt at Tomoyo, but accidentally veered off course and ended with a no girl bad end.
Note: I am going to say quite a few negative things about this route, but overall I did enjoy it! Also note that Misae’s route doesn’t properly end until you beat Tomoyo’s. I haven’t done that yet, but I doubt my feelings will change once I do (and if they do, I will just make note of it).
Bad thing about Misae route: Tomoya
Unbelievable. I never thought that criticism of Clannad (from me) would involve Tomoya, but alas, here we are. There are two things that differentiate Misae’s route from the other girls (from what I have seen anyway). The first is that the route is very short and you sort of “enter” on to it very suddenly with very little lead up. The other primary difference is that Misae, unlike the other girls, doesn’t fall in love with Tomoya.
This combination of short length and Misae’s lack of love means Tomoya ends up very aggressive in his approach. You know, he starts entering her room without her permission (granted he never does anything bad in there) and he keeps listening in on her consultations (admittedly with her knowledge). His gravest sin though, is his obsession with her past love. DUDE. Leave the poor lady alone. Being jealous of a former love that occurred years back is really dumb. I can understand the VN made him do that just so we could transition into a flashback, but there were better ways of getting us, the readers, interested in Misae’s past!
All of this felt like a major slight to Tomoya’s character. This is probably the most anti-Tomoya route. Like, very little of his sarcasm, apathy and general viewpoint came through here and that is a shame because Misae is a very smart and intelligent person. If there is anyone that could have helped Tomoya get through his problems just by talking and spending time with him, it would have been her.
Sorta bad thing about Misae route: One true love
This is related to Tomoya egging Misae about her past love, but is sort of a running theme in general (and is probably related to the larger “innocence” related ideas present in the VN). According to Clannad, you can only ever have loved once in your life, or at the very least, that is what Tomoya’s questioning and Misae “not getting over her past love” seem to imply. I am not against the notion of a one true love, but here, it just felt way overdone.
The reason why it is only a sorta bad thing though is because once the epilogue finished, I understood Misae’s feelings. And well, I can sort of understand why she chose to stay behind and wait for someone who will never come back. Tomoya gets better right at the end as well (which is frankly a bit bizarre), so all’s well that ends well, I guess.
Sorta good thing about Misae route: Emotional impact
Most of Misae’s story plays out as a long epilogue of sorts. The story is serviceable and not bad. Clannad’s “mystical/magical” elements tend to be kinda unnecessary and it sort of shows here too, but like I said: serviceable. Shima’s perspective and his dialogue was kind of boring to be honest, but it did carry some emotional impact.
One of my favourite things about this route was the three way choice Tomoyo had to make before the epilogue started. You have to make three decisions relating to why you like her. I was following a guide, so if there is only one correct path, then this decision making is tricky! Either way, when you pick your choices, Misae starts crying and you are left wondering why. Then you forget about it and watch the epilogue and right towards the end, those same options appear and it is just like BOOM. So, that is why she cried. Great moment!
So yeah, I didn’t cry during this route, but it had its emotional highlights. The lost wish thing and Shima leaving her did actually make me sad.
Excellent thing about Misae route: Misae
If you play Nagisa’s route, you play it for the route itself and not so much Nagisa. Not saying the plot there is particularly good or anything, but the main draw of a few routes, like Nagisa’s, is Tomoyo’s resolution and how it comes about. Misae’s route isn’t like that. The main draw of the Misae route is Misae. I didn’t hate the story, but I pummelled through the route because talking to Misae is a lot of fun. Misae is an underrated gem.
Misae doesn’t get much in the way of actual character development or growth, though she does learn from her past love and becomes better at recognizing the feelings of others. That said her core character is really strong and amazing. She is the only Clannad girl with any actual common sense. She is probably the only non-idiot in the cast (including Tomoya). She is not dense about matters of love either. She can see through most of Tomoya’s deceit which is impressive given that almost no one else in this VN can. Misae is a very cool person and if she were real and non-fictional, I’d love to meet her.
Oh and a good part of why I like Misae is so much is the voice work. Satsuki Yukino does an amazing job.