I just finished Rihoko’s arc in Amagami SS Plus and I’m pretty happy with the results. Junichi (Juiichi?) finally manned the fuck up and told Rihoko how he felt (though it was after he overheard her confession, so I guess that kind of nullifies any manliness). My main issue with the way he did it (and my main gripe about the series in general) is that he told her that he’s always loved her, and just realized it now. And he’s gonna be with her forever, blah blah blah.
Assuming the alternate universes in this world do not diverge too much, then Junichi is simultaneously in love with Rihoko and other girls! Of course, that’s possible but it kind of ruins the romance if you think about it too hard. Junichi should just make less blanket statements and be a little more realistic. He is a manwhore, after all.
Oh, and the next arc is the swimmer girl, Ai. I can’t even remember what happened in her original arc. Some kind of little brother issue? Or a dog issue? Beats me. This one will probably be boring as heck.
I did a marathon sprint with Amagami SS and finished the whole series last night. I thought I should write up my thoughts about the show while it’s still fresh in my head.
Amagami SS is a typical bishojou game to anime conversion in many ways, but in others it is quite unique. Most galge conversions (at least all that I’ve seen) only cover one girl’s arc (and maybe a second girl’s in an OVA). Or they take some time off the main route to focus on another girl for maybe 3-4 episodes. Amagami SS takes the unusual approach of having a 4 episode arc for a girl in its entirety, then doing a reset so Junichi can get with another girl.
I think this forces the anime to be a little bit more self aware as it needs to concede to the fact that alternate realities are going to pop up. In a pseudo Back to the Future / Groundhog Day way, we see how Junichi’s actions (and inactions) affect those around him. In a way, it’s really sad to see alternate futures, because Junichi seems a pretty integral part of some of the girls’ lives.
For example, Junichi coaches Sae from being painfully shy to becoming a waitress at a popular cafe. In another arc, Junichi tutors Ai so she can avoid after school classes and remain on the swim team. In Rihoko’s arc, Junichi saves the Tea Club. In the final arc, Junichi exposes Tsukasa so she can be confident revealing her true self to others. This only happens in each girl’s respective arc, though. I think the series tried to mitigate this by showing scenes where the other girls were obviously not lonely, but I kind of wish they had played up the essentialness of Junichi. “Oh, you didn’t hear? Ai dropped out of school and became a prostitute.”
Another thing that bothered me was how Junichi could be right for all of those girls. Obviously this guy is a man whore himself. I never noticed him saying anything like, “you’re the only one for me,” since that would have set off the fourth wall alarm.
The final episode pokes fun at the causality of Junichi daing all the girls by having a final girl who meddles with his relationships. He just goes from Morishima to Kaoru to Sae to Ai to Rihoko to Tsukasa, just like the series progressed!
All analysis aside, I really enjoyed Amagami SS. There were a slow arcs, but towards the end I couldn’t stop watching. The Tsukasa arc finally brought what the series what it needed all along: some actual drama. There was finally a character who you didn’t quite understand, who had surprisingly more to her than first glance, and who might’ve been a bit dangerous.
I suppose it was the series quick 4 episode arcs that enabled me to finish, but I also enjoyed the characters and the humor in the how. The arcs themselves could have been done better. There were too many untied loose ends, like Ai’s little brother and Tsukasa’s book (and secret?). Overall, it was a fun show that was easy to take in small chunks and had a really interesting few final episodes. These days I hardly finish any anime, so it’s a pretty good indicator that I got all the way through this one.
I’ve been working a bit on Anime Nano, which has led me to watch some more anime. I found that Amagami SS was the easiest thing to pick up again since it comes in nice 4 episode chunks of resolution. Even though I thought that the Morishima arc was kind of weird (though also the best at this point) and the Kaoru one was awkward, I figured there’d be a better arc coming up.
This arc features Sae, the shy girl who’s friends with Miya, Junichi’s sister. Sae (which even rhymes with “shy!”) needs help being more assertive so she can grow up to work in food service for the rest of her life. For reasons even Junichi doesn’t understand, he helps her by becoming her personal life coach. After a lot of training and some accidental groping and leering, they both come to the conclusion that they are in like with each other. Pretty much zero conflict, unless you count Junichi becoming a lobotomy patient and not realizing that he liked Sae until close to the last episode…
I suppose that what I like about Amagami SS is that they’re keeping things fresh with their show direction. This one had an omniscient narrator chipping in about the characters’ secret intentions. There are parts that are genuinely funny, like when Miya suggests that Sae try out for the Santa Costume Contest and the music stops as everyone realizes what a trainwreck it would be.
Finally, I will say that if they made a spinoff of Amagaii SS that only featured Morishima and Hibiki, doing what they do off screen, I would watch every single episode of it (and maybe make Morishima wear glasses or something)!
Also, I am really just waiting it out for the fat girl arc, as I predict it will be the best.
So after last week’s rejection, Junichi falls into a depression. But it doesn’t last long because Morishima is back to tease him some more. Junichi thinks it’ll be mega awkward talking to her, but it turns out she doesn’t really even care that she rejected him. So he’s super happy to just go back to normal.
Later, Junichi and his buddy meet up with Morishima and her… caretaker? Her pal seems more like a mother or something, keeping her out of trouble. Junichi’s friend does a horrible job as wingman as they walk home from school together. He should’ve neutralized the threat and left Morishima and Junichi alone together…
After a note throwing fight with the big hair girl, Junichi is stuck with cleanup duty, but is quickly convinced by Morishima to help her find a swimsuit. Then we get to meet the hot swim team frosh. Oh, and then they go to the library so Morishima can talk with his debu osananajimi. Personally, I think she could be drinking whole milk if she wanted to.
Back at the library, Morishima falls asleep, so like a good tool, Junichi waits for her to wake up, then confesses again! Protip: wait at least another day to confess to the girl who just rejected you. Morishima then agrees that it’s okay for Junichi to like her. WTF? She gives him a kiss on the forehead, which is like the kiss of death that is banishing Junichi to the friend zone forever. Only he doesn’t realize it yet. I kinda feel bad for him.
I like that Morishima lists the traits she finds appealing in men, and none of them describe Junichi at all.
If Morishima keeps up using random English, she could be the next TK.
Junichi needs to back off a bit, since he’s basically being a tool to Morishima. He should hit on his fat friend a little to make her jealous, then break it off and rebound onto Morishima.
I actually sorta feel like I could relate to this Junichi guy, but I also feel he’s doing pretty badly. This is probably why Amagami SS is so entertaining for me to watch. It’s like watching a train wreck, but one that resets and starts over and over again!
Amagami is the other Summer season anime that I decided to check out. It’s a pretty standard dating simulator to anime conversion, though apparently it hits each girl’s arc, so you can see what the main guy would do in alternate timelines. Either that or he’s just a major player.
Junichi starts his day off in his closet panic room planetarium. He can’t get over being stood up two years ago on Christmas eve. Note: Christmas Eve is sort of like Valentine’s Day here. You need to have a date, otherwise you’re a loser who just waits for Santa to bring you stuff.
A variety of the six girls who appear in the OP show up in this episode, but the arc belongs to Morishima, the school idol and class president. Junichi does something nice for a freshman, and Morishima notices. What follows is a bit of luck and a bit of stalking (by Morishima, actually). Junichi is probably too gun shy to hit on Morishima, but she makes it easy for him by running into him at the library and jumping onto his back (literally).
There are a few warning signs that Junichi is headed into the Friend Zone, though. Morishima keeps saying he’s a nice guy. FRIEND ZONE! She also uses him to carry books and whatnot. She’s just testing how much she can get away with by messing with him. Probably self esteem issues or something. When she mildly suggests that he might have taken a liking to her, Junichi jumps the gun and confesses. He obviously should have acted like a douche instead, because Morishima tells him she prefers older types. This sends Junichi back into his closet planetarium fetal zone for the count. Or at least for the episode.
I’m guessing that Junichi will use his persistence to prove to Morishima that he deserves to play in the major leagues. I don’t envy him though, as getting out of the friend zone is an uphill battle. Probably better to just hit on one of the other girls.
As far as the episode went, I liked the art and the character designs. I noticed that the characters all seem to have pretty large waists. It’s probably a more realistic design, but they seem kinda awkward. Also, there is no megane character as a love interest. Unless one of the girls develops an astigmatism, I will be very unhappy. Amagami SS is generally pretty cliche, but I think it could be worth it given the quick turnaround per girl and cute character designs (Nice choice grabbing Morishima first, Junichi)!