Fall 2010 Round Up: Amagami SS

Alright, I really wanted to comment on each arc, so it turns out longer than I've intended.

I believe I've never watch any series that uses an "omnibus" (new term in anime?) format before. I do not resent it since shorter stories like some of the OVAs I've watched works out fairly well in only ~4 episodes, which is the length of each arc in Amagami SS. I liked the idea that (almost) each heroine gets their own happy ending without having the protagonist to ditch the other girls, but this format had prevented any serious development of the plot or characters. Maybe the series could have been linear for the first ~13 episodes, followed by a couple of episodes for each characters? Maybe there would be a series that uses this format in the near future.

Morishima Haruka's Arc
I know plenty of people who turn into Amagami fans because of the back-of-knee kissing scene, and I know plenty of people think Haruka's arc is one of the better arc in the series, but to me the whole story is just terribly awkward. From the knee-kissing to the role playing to the "please peep at me" finale, the show even made me, the viewer, feels awkward. Not to mention how much of a coincidence is it for them meet the first couple of times. I loved how cute Haruka can be when she is so attached to Junichi even as a "lapdog", but with her kind of personality I would have responded with just raised eyebrows, school beauty or not.

And expecting the rest of Amagami to be like this, I actually dropped the series for a month.

Tanamachi Kaoru's Arc
Luckily I still picked up Amagami in the end, because Kaoru's arc turns out to be my favourite arc of all. I think that only Kaoru's arc has a genuine "play" of emotions and actually made me feel a little depressed halfway through her arc. Its funny how not many bloggers actually commented on Kaoru's arc as compared to Haruka's, Tsukasa's or even Ai's arc, probably because Kaoru's story might actually be the most common kind of romance stories you see anywhere else.

Maybe it's because Kaoru's traits hit all my right buttons; cheerful, energetic, childhood friend, slightly obsessive over main character, sexy, and VOICED BY SATOU RINA.

Nakata Sae's Arc
Sae's arc is pretty boring, and in a way similar to Haruka's. Instead of treated like a lapdog, it's the other way around this time... Junichi treats Sae like a pet, and that comes with a lot of role playing and lessons and experiments which I could only react with a facepalm. Not to mention Sae is a stereotypical moe character; Shy, soft-spoken, huge breast that always gets commented on/molested, innocent, airhead, trying to break out of her shell... I wish there was more to her personality but sadly the writers did not try to make her any different from the stereotypes. And her seiyuu fails at being soft-spoken; it sounds sooooo fake. Reminds me of Nogizaka Haruka. Grrr, I hated that bitch, but even she voiced better than Sae.

Nanasaki Ai's Arc
One of the better arcs in the series, but I keep getting the feeling that the writers is not sure what to do with this character. Were they trying to portray her as a stoic character that comes on strong, or an unexpectedly shy character? If they were trying to do both, I really could not see that chemistry between the two sides of her personality and seriously, Yukana (her VA) is not helping. I think that Yukana is not really suitable for such a passive character and it feels like she herself is confused on how her character should be like. Ai's arc, unlike the others, had a better storyline but is lacking in the character department.

Sakurai Rihoko's Arc

I was looking forward to this more than Tsukasa's since it features CHILDHOOD FRIEND. But sadly, after nothing happened for three episodes she got LJBF'd. Then again, seeing how Junichi can man up and fall in love with a girl almost instantly, it's not like all hope is lost for poor Rihoko. Perhaps, in a way, it's a pretty good end after all?

Ayatsuji Tsukasa's Arc
Tsukasa's Arc is a good example of how character and plot development suffers due to the number of episodes. We have never got an explanation of her second personality, the contents of her notebook, or the reason she had a bad relationship with her family. And if you take away the screen time used on Haruka and Miya trio, all you got left is the relationship development between the two. As it turns out, the most anticipated arc in Amagami turns out to be quite a disappointment.

Amagami and Kimikiss, due to their origins, had a lot in common. Both take common characters and put them in a simple but cheesy, childish romance setting that is most certain to come out as a good end, at least, that's what happens in the game and the manga. And that is what I liked about Kimikiss. Unfortunately for the Amagami, the omnibus format doesn't allow any serious plot or character to take place, which would have covered up the series's weak point: the stereotypical characters. Had there been enough time to allow the plot to take the characters further, Amagami would be more worthwhile.

Plot/Concept: Did not work out as well is it should
Story Style: Fair; lack of development fails to keep me interested
Audio/Visual: Good
Value: 6

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