Like I've mentioned before, Sakagami Tomoyo just sorta snuck up on me, but in the end wound up making Clannad something I could truly relate to. That's a bit of a strong statement, but it's true. Actually getting to that point took a while, though. So, without further ado...
The Beginning: A Very Strong, Beautiful Girl
And thus was one of the first solid introductions I received, regarding Tomoyo. It wasn't much, relatively speaking, but it was something. I wasn't incredibly hooked, to tell the truth. Tomoyo: girl who could literally kick Sunohara's butt. Action girl. Yeah, like I hadn't seen that before. I honestly really didn't pay much attention at that point. There were far more interesting situations to look at.
In other words, I was a Fuko fanboy. Remember that horde of guys who would trample over anyone who posed a threat to the little girl? That...yeah. Could I help it? She was cute, she was persistent, she was kid-like, she was devoted...I liked her. So, my attentions were diverted for that bit. Kotomi's arc, that was when Tomoya's character got fleshed out. Then, something quite unexpected changed my tack on Tomoyo's character.
A Most Unanticipated Event
You know personality quizzes? Those ones like "Which character are you?" and "Which CLANNAD girl are you destined to be with?" Those silly little things. Well, I took one of them. It turns out that this was to totally change my approach to the show.
My quiz result was Kyou.
Those of you who know me in person can bring your eyes back to normal size now. I'm joking. You probably already knew, though, that I got Tomoyo. Well, it made me bug out a little, because I was totally, utterly confused. So...the character who was my closest match was the girl who beat people up? I mean, sure, I had this image of myself as the silent guardian type, but...it really didn't seem like a fit.
Liam told me that, actually, considering the development of her character, it wasn't necessarily all that far off. I kept that in mind, and it sort of colored my viewing for the rest of the series. I decided to start keeping an eye on this Tomoyo character. Well, that just happened to be perfect timing, because right after Kotomi's arc is when she starts to come into prevalence.
I soon discovered that there was a lot more to Tomoyo than I'd previously observed. There was something strong, truly strong, behind that coolness. I began to sense that there was a deeply caring heart in her, and that there was a lot going on. As she slowly began to take interest in Tomoya, I could understand her. I really started to admire her. She had her ambitions, but she was reserved as well. Prudent. Of course, she quickly demonstrated that she wasn't above taking action, either.
Then came the real meat of Tomoyo's arc: the opposing female lead, Kyou.