Thanks to Kurogane, I discovered that one of the puzzling lines Kotomi utters (“the day before yesterday, I saw a rabbit, and yesterday a deer, and today, you.”) in the past couple of episodes of Clannad actually comes from a short story by Robert F. Young called “The Dandelion Girl.” (Full text of the story here.) It was a science-fiction short story written in 1961, and published in the Saturday Evening Post. The author apparently wrote for both that publication and also for America’s premiere “soft” science fiction and fantasy magazine, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (F&SF). I remember longing to have one of my own short stories published in that prestigious journal. I’m impressed some writer at Key knows his literary SF.
I encourage you to read that story. It’s not only well-written, it is also quite moving. In fact, it’s like a Key story in many ways, involving time travel, unrecognized love, and a despondent man who discovers something about life that he’s forgotten. The Japanese, according to the Hayakawa SF poll, seem to have a particular affection for this story, so I suppose it’s no surprise that tales of this kind show up in Key productions and even in RahXephon.
Since we’re now talking about literary science fiction, you know what I’d love to see? An anime adaptation of Flowers for Algernon. They could make Algernon really cute, shoot all of Charlie’s scenes from subjective shot angles like in ef, and make the love story contained in it real tragic. SHAFT should do it. Damn right.