Monday, June 25, 2012

The City's Lights: Nagisa

My apologies about the long hiatus, work shifted around and I needed some time to adjust. Oh, and it doesn't help that I don't have internet at my house either. Here's the next part of the The City's Lights.

Nagisa really is the heroine of Clannad. No matter what you may think of Tomoyo and Kyou, Nagisa is the lady that Tomoya comes back to,  time and time again. A lot of people wonder why in the world Tomoya chose Nagisa, of all people, to be his wife. The sheer amount of Tomoyo and Kyou ecchi on the interwebs is enough proof of the fact that people think Tomoyo and Kyou are much much sexier than Nagisa, and the fact that there's an entire game about Tomoya and Tomoyo proves that Nagisa really doesn't have to be the one for Tomoya. In fact, come to think of it, there's pretty much no obvious advantage that Nagisa has over Tomoyo (sorry Kyou fans, but she's not really in the running at this point.  Nagisa and Tomoyo are too awesome). In fact, Tomoyo has much more in common with Tomoya than Nagisa does, especially at the beginning of Clannad. The two start at a very similar point, wishing to redeem themselves of their former life of being delinquents.

And that very well may be the reason why, come to think of it.

As of recently I've been discussing analytical psychology with my friend, Marty (the guy who introduced me to Clannad, ironically enough). We talked about the fact that everyone has what's called "the shadow" side of their personality. Essentially it's the underdeveloped part of someone's psyche that starts to get developed as part of a person's maturation. Essentially as you grow up you start to work on the parts of yourself that didn't get so much development as a child. The trick is to let  the shadow develop while not abandoning the rest of you, and to let them both integrate. This is essentially the reason why a lot of opposites attract: they're not really opposites, but emphasized different parts of a very similar personality to such a radical degree that they're now trying to cross back over, so to speak.

Which is why Nagisa and Tomoya are perfect for each other.

Throughout the entirety of Clannad, Tomoya and Nagisa affirm each other's strengths and weaknesses in ways that are... well... pretty damn cool. While they're not always patient with each other, Nagisa and Tomoya always accept the other in the end for exactly what they are, and since they're more similar than anyone else in the anime, help bring out the underdeveloped parts of each other into the light for other people to see. Tomoya helps Nagisa realize that it's OK to be her strong but prone-to-tears self, and vice versa. Hell, Tomoya cries just as much in Afterstory as Nagisa does in the first season! While Tomoyo does help him develop in a similar way, there's a vulnerability that Nagisa shows at the beginning that is enough to get Tomoya right off the bat.

This touches upon something that I think people miss a whole lot: the nature of what makes a good spouse. Notice that it isn't the one who's sexy, the childhood friend, the annoying little girl who tickles our parental instinct, or even the best friend, but the one who is always there. The world is so caught up with the touchy-feely of true love that it forgets that friendships break, sexual attraction wanes, loyalty can be broken, and even the parental instinct can be warped! On the flip side, all those things develop over time, so the question is, will that person be there tomorrow? Cause if they will be, and if they're not trying to hurt you, that's what's important. Nagisa was the only one of the bunch who did this every step of the way.

No wonder Tomoya missed Nagisa so much, she was the only person who ever helped him love all of himself, good, bad, strong, and weak. There's a bond there that goes so much deeper than that of any friendship that it really is a stroke of genius that those two wound up together. In the end, those two are the only ones who can be there for each other. No one else will do.

Which is one of the points of the anime, really. Some people are irreplaceable, so much so that, after a point, they are the only ones who can reach you.

Excuse me, I need to go cry. Again.