Galge Review: Tomoyo After ~It’s a Wonderful Life~ CS Edition

I decided to take a break from otome gaming (thanks to Amnesia Crowd) and while playing RO2 on the side I also picked up Tomoyo After. I’ve always been curious about the game in the past and when I found out the PSP port has the protag voiced by Nakamura Yuichi I figured why not? It’s only 1 route, since it’s really just like Nagisa’s after story in Clannad except this time, it’s for Tomoyo. Sadly, unlike Nagisa, Tomoyo does not get her happy ending or any kind of miracle. Major story spoilers ahead so skip to my final thoughts to avoid them.

tafter002After the route in Clannad, Tomoya is dating Tomoyo while he works his part time job at the repair shop.  He’s graduated from high school, so he’s working while she is still attending school. Tomoyo visits his apartment  daily if she can and cooks him dinner. Her brother Takafumi stops by once in a while and makes fun of the 2 of them being all ichaicha. Tomoya is apparently now a huge hentai and constantly makes Tomoyo dress up in weird cosplay outfits to satisfy his perverted fantasies (i.e. cat, waitress, teacher, swimsuit…) So basically the game  turns into a daytime soap opera of the life of Tomoyo’s family problems. Her parents both had lovers but broke up with them except the fact that the dad knocked up his ho. Her name is Tomo and her mom dumps the loli at Tomoyo’s house and runs away. Takafumi is afraid that their  mom will find out that their dad had a secret love child so he brings Tomo to stay with Tomoya instead! They hope her mom will return but they all know that most likely she just abandoned her child since I guess Tomoyo’s dad don’t wanna pay child support or something. Eventually Tomoya runs into Tomo’s mom and tells her that since she sucks as a parent he’s gonna take over the parenting duties and their bonds will grow stronger than any “blood related” connection she may have. Anyway after this Tomoyo gets permission from her family to basically live with Tomoya and they act like parents to Tomo. Takafumi has to still live at home but he comes over pretty much daily to hang out with everyone. If having Tomo wasn’t enough, one day Tomoya runs into Kanako, Takafumi’s bad mouthed ex-girlfriend. She’s run away from home because she was pissed off that her mother who was divorced, has now planned to remarry. Tomoya’s forced to house her yankee ass too and on top of that she’s a freeloader.

tafter003One night a bunch of guys gather to fight Tomoyo since she used to fight a lot but Tomoya doesn’t want her getting involved in that shit so he takes a beating in her place. Kanako finds him and agrees to pretend and lie to Tomoyo that she was the one who beat him up instead. After this he comes to fight these idiots every night to protect Tomo but turns out that Kanako can kick ass like Tomoyo and she beats up the guys better Tomoya. Tomoya feels like his masculinity is being challenged, since he has Kanako and Tomoyo around him but he’s a pansyass who keeps getting his ass beaten! The guys he’s fighting won’t let him quit until he defeats their entire gang. Tomoyo catches on to his and Kanako’s lies and knows that Tomoya’s getting beat up for her and Tomo’s sake. Well turns out that the gang had absolutely nothing to do with the pedobear who was stalking Tomo. In fact, not only that but the pedo bear isn’t actually a pedo bear but was the father of one of Tomo’s friends near her old apartment. Apparently the friend was some loner and after Tomo stopped hanging out with her, she had no friends. The dad then wanted Tomo to come see his daughter and hang out with her once more. HEY DUDE IF YOU JUST SAID SO I’M SURE TOMOYO WOULD BE MORE THAN WILLING TO LET THE LOLIS HANG OUT TOGETHER. Lol Japan etc. Also lol Tomoya got his head beaten to a pulp for no reason lol. With this out of the way the next thing to resolve in their bootleg family is Takafumi and Kanako. Tomoyo tells Tomoya that Takafumi and Kanako broke up 3 years ago which was when her father died and when Takafumi had gotten into that accident. Takafumi finally opens up about his past to Tomoya and says that Kanako was really popular among the dudes in his track team. After she rejected all the guys on the team, they all knew that she loved Takafumi. While he was happy he was scared that the rest of the guys would hate him and single him out of their friend group. Eventually he confessed to her in front of everyone and she agreed. They even agreed to get married after graduating college but then shit hit the fan when instead of winning the track competition, Takafumi attempted suicide and jumped in front of a car. His coach (and Kanako’s dad) then said that someone like that doesn’t deserve Kanako and ever since then Takafumi couldn’t bring himself to be with Kanako anymore.

tafter004It was around that time that her father then died as well so pretty much the whole thing was left as an “unresolved curse” for both Kanako and Takafumi. Additionally he’s had dreams that he’s running and winning the track competition and being able to be with Kanako. After finishing his story Takafumi said that everything he said is in the past and his wounds have “healed” with time. Additionally he said he’s pretty much over his crush on Kanako. Tomoyo hears this and starts crying so she’s determined to make her lil bro happy by trying to have both Kanako and Takafumi get back together again. She suggests he enter in an upcoming race and starts training with him daily. In the end, Takafumi doesn’t win and in fact gets into 31st place. Takfumi then passes out and has a dream about running again and he tells the coach in his dream that he still loves Kanako. Since he says it out loud, Kanako hears it and tells him that she “forgives him” and he no longer has to run and win in his dreams. Takafumi then breaks down and cries in Kanako’s arms cause the 3 year old guilt rock’s off his back. After this Kanako returns home to talk things out with her mom and Takafumi goes along for moral support. Tomoya’s apartment becomes quieter now that it’s just him, Tomoyo and Tomo once more. While they resolve things, Kanako and Takafumi return to spend the rest of summer break at Tomoya’s place anyway. Also apparently Kanako’s new step dad is a fun guy and apparently looks exactly like Takafumi. After this, Tomoya decides he wants to find Tomo’s mom and ask her why the hell she abandoned Tomo cause clearly he has nothing better to do with his life. They eventually figure out where she is and go to some inaka to find her but with only Tomoyo, Tomoya and Kanako. They find her in some old hospital like place where she pretty much confined herself because of her mental illness.  She explains that basically she worked at some soapland job and that’s where she met Tomoyo’s dad. Obviously they screwed and she got preggo and had Tomo. She tried her best to pay for the bills with having a new child but well you can’t really do those kind of jobs when you have a child. The other moms found out and obviously looked down on her so she had a mental breakdown and decided to dump Tomo and run off to this place as a “safe haven”. In additioin to this, she was dignosed with Key Aids some uncurable disease and she’s destined to die sooner or later anyway. Tomoya tells Yuuko (Tomo’s mom) that if she still loves her daughter then they should live together.

tafter005Yuuko says that this place is empty and it’s unfit for Tomo to live in. Not knowing what to do or say, Tomoyo & co. stay at the hospital like a hotel for a few days. Kanako suggests that if they want to make an appropriate environment for Tomo, they should build a school there. Tomoyo says that since Yuuko’s gonna die soon, it’s better for Tomo to be apart from her and forget her than to be with her and have her die and abandon her once more. Tomoya disagrees saying that Tomo should be reunited with her mother. Tomoyo’s like “why the fuck do you wanna put Tomo through such misery” and Tomoya just goes on blah blah she’s always thinking of her mom so she must want to be with her. Tomoyo then thinks that Tomoya is just pissed that he hasn’t gotten laid in so long and offers to take one for the team. Tomoya refuses it (though I bet he accepts in the R-18 version) and asks Kanako to watch over Tomoyo for a while. Tomoyo gets pissed and says she wants to return home so she can spend more time with Tomo, but Tomoya calls her selfish. Yes Tomoya let’s bring the loli to live with her mentally ill and dying mother who abandoned her. U SUCH A SMART GUY BRAH! The next day Tomoya gets injured working on the school building, but despite his injuries he goes and convinces Yuuko to let Tomo come and live with her.  Since the work on the school isn’t done, Tomoya asks his boss for more days off and promises to work even harder upon his return. Tomoyo eventually gives in and decides to help out with the school building but because she’s embarrassed, she puts on a bear suit to hide herself. A few days later they finish and Takafumi comes bringing Tomo with him. Tomoya tells Tomo that she can live with her mother here but it won’t last long because her mother is going to die soon. Tomo chooses to be with her mother, and everyone says goodbye – except for Tomoyo. Tomo then gives Tomoya a small stuffed mascot to pass on to Tomoyo so they can play again in the future. Suddenly Tomoyo shows up in her bear suit and gives Tomo a flower hair band. She then takes off the bear mask and they say their goodbyes. (ಥ_ಥ)(ಥ_ಥ)(ಥ_ಥ) (and I bawwwedd forever.)

tafter006Two weeks pass after Tomo leaves and now Tomoya and Tomoyo are back to being alone together at his place. However, things start looking bad for Tomoya because his body begins breaking down and he starts losing feelings in his hands during work. On top of this a few days later, Tomoya gets a phone call that Tomo’s mother is in critical condition. Everyone drops everything and rushes to the inaka to see them, but on the way Tomoya’s health also takes a turn for the worse. He loses feeling in his body to the point that he’s unable to speak and then he completely passes out. When he wakes up all he can remember is his own name but has no idea who Tomoyo is. When she tells him  they are lovers, he has no idea why he can’t remember ever being with her. On top of this, it seems like his brain has lapsed to when he had just graduated middle school. I guess getting beat up by an entire gang non stop + the accident while building the school really took a toll on his body. He also doesn’t realize how long he’s been in a coma and thinks that he’s only been hospitalized for a day. After he’s released from the hospital, Tomoyo takes him to the places of their past and then to his old apartment to try and rekindle his memories. At the school he attempts to play little basketball and Tomoyo tries to stop him because he’s forgotten that he injured his arm back in middle school. When he attempts to shoot he notices some arm pain but ignores it figuring it’s just because he hasn’t moved in a while. Unfortunately when he really goes for the shoot, he gets horrid shoulder pain and asks what the hell’s going on. Tomoyo then tells him that he’s never played basketball because of that injury, and instead spent his high school years being a delinquent when he met her.  A week after constantly going to school and around town, Tomoya’s memories never return and instead his headache returns, right where his head injury is. After Tomoyo explains to him the story of how she  tried to save the cherry trees by the school to keep the memory of her brother, and how Tomoya’s memory loss isn’t the end, but a beginning. Tomoya then tells Tomoyo that he loves her and while Tomoyo is happy she breaks the truth to him: he’s going to lose the memories of everything they did together this week. She adds that it’s been 3 years since he first lost his memories and this cycle has been going on over and over every week ever since.

tafter007She then tells him that 3 years ago, he passed out and fell into a coma but when he awakened he had no idea who Tomoyo was and his memory lapsed back to him graduating middle school. The doctor said it might be a temporary thing, but once again a week later, Tomoya’s head began to hurt and he lost all his memories again. So basically Tomoya’s brain got so screwed up that he can only keep enough memories for a week. The doctors then run a cat scan and turns out Tomoya had a stroke because of a brain hemorrhage. Everyone tried their best to regain his memories but like a repetitive cycle, they would just vanish and reset a week later. After a while Tomoyo can’t deal with this anymore so she escaped to the internet looking at some bulletin boards for advice. She told herself that she’s alone and pretty much avoided Tomoya who’s hospitalized. After being a week without him Tomoyo realized she can’t make herself forget him so she rushes to the hospital crying and realizing how he’s all alone there without any memories. (ಥ_ಥ) Tomoyo then says that for 3 years each time he lost his memories he would just tell her thank you, but this time he had finally said he loved her. Now that he said this, she tells him that his memory loss can be cured with brain surgery, but the success rate is only 50% and he could die. She says she’s been scared to lose him so she’s waited for 3 years in hopes it would return on its own. Tomoya tells her that he’ll take the surgery and then asks Tomoyo to marry him. They go to visit his father to tell him that Tomoya will get the surgery and that they’re now married. Tomoya notices that when they come to his old house, it’s very clean even though they didn’t tell him they’d be coming. After they leave, Tomoyo tells Tomoya that his father’s been cleaning the house every day just incase his son would stop by. (ಥ_ಥ) (ಥ_ಥ) Before Tomoya’s surgery, Tomo comes to visit and tells him to do his best. Unfortunately even though he makes it through surgery, Tomoya dies a short time later. Tomoyo writes her story on one of those message boards but concludes it with the fact that she will continue to live on without being in despair.  And so many years pass and Tomoyo gets old and dies, reuniting with Tomoya once more. 。・゚・(ノД`)・゚・。 うえええん This is the most horrible ending since Air. Why can’t you ever give Tomoyo a happy ending JUN MAEDA (ノಥ益ಥ)ノ 彡┻━┻ Why must you make her suffer with her brother, and Tomo and then Tomoya. It’s a wonderful life? More like it’s the most miserable life.

If you clear the game once and start over, on July 20th Kanako asks you to play an RPG. If you hit yes, you will unlock Dungeons & Takafumis mini game where you go around with all the chars in pixel form killing stuff RPG style XD. Sadly I got to floor 5  before giving up because I really don’t understand these turn based RPGs and why the hell the chars get stuck into a corner and sit there taking hits and dying. ( ≖Д≖;)

finalthoughtbanner

tears

Oh my god man if you thought this game has a happy ending: NOPE. Alternative title to this game: The Melancholy of Sakagami Tomoyo. Remember Misuzu’s route in Air? PRETTY MUCH SAME THING HERE GUYS. l|ilガ━━Σ(´Д`il|li)━━ンl|il  I think having Tomoya voiced probably made it even more painful because of the voice acting you could hear the suffering and emotion in Tomoya that may not have come accross in the same way had it been silent. Additionally being the CS edition, they took out all the porn so I was able to take the game a lot more seriously. I saw a CG pack of the R-18 game and I could “possibly guess” where the ero scenes might have been and all I can think is “oh god why would you want to see porn here this is SAD T__T”. I always think porn in key games is so pointless because they are so story and emotion driven that the porn just destroys the flow of things! 😆

ともおおおちゃああんん(´;ω;`)
ともちゃんマジ天使(´;ω;`)

Even though at one point Tomoya made me wanna punch him in the face, by the end I was just bawwling everywhere and I couldn’t hate anyone. щ(ಥДಥщ) My tear jerking moments were definitely the parting scene with Tomo, and pretty much most of the ending arc with Tomoya and Tomoyo. I wasn’t crying for Tomoya, I was crying for Tomoyo who had to go through so much shit in the past and now in this game. My only slight gripes were the fact that Tomoya and Tomoyo felt different than their Clannad counterparts. The asskicking seito kaicho was no more and Tomoyo was so deredere she was willing to put up with whatever hentai play Tomoya threw at her. Tomoya also became this huge eroGGE even though he’s like only 19 at the start of the game. I don’t remember him being such a huge pervert back in the day, in fact that was usually Sunohara’s role! So yea while the characters felt like they were totally different, I just got used to it and almost forgot the “connection” with Clannad until the end.  Even if you’re not a huge fan of Clannad or you never played Clannad, you could probably play this as a whole new game since a lot of backstory is explained along the way. Either way I can definitely recommend this along with the other Key games that I’ve reviewed on this blog. It’s only 1 route so it won’t take up too much of your time but every scene is well written starting from the comedy at the beginning to the bittersweet outcome in the end.

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20 thoughts on “Galge Review: Tomoyo After ~It’s a Wonderful Life~ CS Edition

  1. Wahh… T^T
    Poor Tomoyo,,,
    WHY YOU NO GIVE THEM A HAPPY ROUTE!
    While I thought it was sad, I think since a ton of otome games where the person need to get some you have blah, blah percetage to live, and of course the person lives… But he lived, then died…

    1. yea I didn’t expect him to die and leave her forever alone (´;ω;`) It seems like at least Kanako and Takafumi had a happy ending but since the story is about her I guess we only got to see her being sad and lonely.

  2. You know, one reason I don’t play Key games anymore is that they’re so arbitrarily sad. I don’t deny that their games are super high quality, it’s just that there is ever seldom any story reason for the tragedy except ‘the author wants it to be tragic’. I know that does happen in real life, shit happens, but when your tragedy is ALWAYS because shit happens, it starts to be a little bit………..もうそんなのやだ after a while. I prefer the ‘approaching trainwreck’ method of tragedy these days.

    1. lol I agree with you on that as far as this game goes but!
      At least Clannad and Kanon all had happy endings for the “main heroines”. (Can’t speak for some of the side characters but overall it wasn’t 1 giant ball of depression.)

      Air however was bloody sad and Tomoyo After pretty much followed suit. Though you know what lol I’d rather be playing something that makes me bawl because it’s so damn realistic, than the grasping for straws/milking bullshit otomate has pulled with Amnesia Crowd on me -_-;. This was definitely a good refresher for me after that game :lol:.

      1. Which is why I don’t play bullshit cash cows. Though, considering that it’s an anticipated game and you run a review blog and I don’t, that’s a bit of an easy/unfair thing for me to say.

        Anterograde amnesia isn’t really common enough for me to call it realistic, though! XD And Clannad had an eventually happy ending, yeah, but some of the angst that happens in between is sort of just there for the angst. Again, I’m not saying it’s not GOOD, I’m just saying the method is not my cup of tea. I’m finr with 鬱ゲー, though.

        1. I don’t mind cash cows if they can pull it off. Sadly 99% of the time none of them can or bother to. It’s sad because I think “oh yay a sequel to my favorite game/series!” but on the other hand I need to start telling myself “oh great another pathetic attempt to stretch out wrongly fitting shoes” xD

      2. I’m primarily a PC/core gamer. I’ve been burned by cash cows WAY too many times so I’ve learned to stay away from them once a project starts to look like one. XDDD (Geez, Highschool Hakuouki? Taking advantage of the doujin scene much?) FDs are inherently cashgrabs by nature, but I’m fine with FDs as long as they stick to just one or, if they make a lot, price them accordingly. They’re a good way to say ‘Thank you for the good work, I like what you did with game X!’ and give them more money so the studio can notice their good work. But if the studio, instead of giving them new A-list projects, make them churn out crappy full-priced shovelware because they make money…..eh.

        Fortunately not too many companies do what Otomate and Quinrose are doing, i.e. making multiple fandiscs with too little content to justify the price and the equivalent of Scumbag Day One DLC for otoge. So my solution is not to buy those, not because it’s crappy for me, but because I dislike those practices and will vote with my wallet.

      3. well there is a reason for this the writer for key/visual art games writes most of this characters to have bitter sweet endings but has to write happy endings for mainstream appeal. Air and tomoyo after where the two games where the said writer could finally write the the way they wanted to and not b.s. the player.

        Still with that said this is a very depressing/sad visual novel and I really don’t recommend it if you have a deep connection with the characters from playing or watching clannad first.

        1. I didn’t really have a deep connection with Tomoyo (she was actually my least favorite character) but this game made me bawww anyway \( ^o^)/

        2. I have read the warning somewhere about its sad ending, but of course I don’t buy it when the title itself says “Its A Wonderful Life”~
          But as soon as I finished the game, the name JUN MAEDA and KEY popped up in my mind~! I was like “Owh God, what have I done” ( ≖Д≖;)

          Yea, you’re right. I shouldn’t have played this, but the game’s title is SOOO misleading (ノಥ益ಥ) ノ

  3. I played this game months ago but never finished it lols. And omg why for sad ending TAT, lost his memories for 3 years and later he died orz . www you are playing Sakuragatari too?

    1. lol oh really xD; Well now you know the sad ending so I guess not much motivation to finish eh xD;;

      and yea I just started on Sakuragatari! =D It doesn’t seem too long and I have a lot of time before Norn9 arrives!

      1. lol yeah kinda lost the motivation to finish but well sometimes I like angsty and sad ending so maybe I’ll continue my play xD Haha I’m waiting for Norn9 too and when I got my game I’ll abandon my backlog and play that game instead lols xD

  4. I’ve always wanted to play this but I didn’t know whether or not it’s good. Thanks for the review! I’m convinced now. xD

    You’re playing Sakura Gatari? I’m surprised. I haven’t played it yet but I heard from my sister that the story isn’t really good and that it has some rape scenes? I’m not sure. Will anticipate your review for that as well!

    1. I didn’t think it would have as much rape as say stuff by Mirai/Smelly Cheese/Sugar Beans but yea the Amazon reviews weren’t that great for it? I kinda like the thick skulled tomboy heroine though XD I figured it would be a good time killer in between and I liked the illustration/cast. I guess we’ll wait and see – I’m nearly at the end of Makoto’s route the game is shorter than I anticipated.

      I once read a review about how Tomoyo After isn’t really that great so I dismissed the game but I’m glad I gave it another chance!

  5. I thought the CS version added a happy (or at least somewhat happier) alternate ending. Was that not the case :(?

  6. ;-; omg that ending. I think this is almost worst then Air. Since at least with Air the curse ends up being broken so even though they don’t get to be happy, the next incarnation does. With this it’s just, horray Tomoyo and Tomoya get to be miserable. ;-; This is really sad for me especially since I liked Tomoyo best in the series. I can pretend they can still be happy I guess. Sob sob

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