Amagami SS+ plus – 13 (END)
The omnibus finally parks next to the curb and lets us out. However, a bunch of sweet girls give us parting gifts before we finally end our journey. How bittersweet it is~.
Now that a week has passed from Haruka’s arc, I can now appreciate why the final impressions and poll should reside here. The girls of Amagami have all gathered to give their last minutes of showtime their bare best, allowing us to see much of the cast before we say goodbye.
It was quite nice seeing a more broad range of interactions between the characters. It’s reflective of what the series would’ve been like without an omnibus format. The characters would get into shenanigans with each other, and Junichi would stay on the sides as he eventually would get with no one, but also everyone at the same time. Kaoru and Tsukasa would compete all the time, the flat-chested girls would get jealous of everyone else, would be there to keep the situation stable, and Risa would stalk everyone else from the shadows.
But that’s not what brought me to Amagami. It’s sweet seeing the characters interact like this, and I would’ve wished such interaction was more intertwined in the series, but Amagami is meant to be an Omnibus. It exists to serve as many characters as equally as possible, which is the catch that first caught my attention to the series. During the Summer 2010 Preview, I thought it was a novel idea at the time to tell a bunch of mini-stories like a VN in order to give each main heroine proper attention and closure. It’s like combining the selection a VN gives with the production values of an anime! Yes, it would be a shame that my favorite character wouldn’t get a full show of development, but all the other characters I appreciated wouldn’t be losing out either ^^.
For the most part, the omnibus format worked. Although it did sacrifice time for character development, almost every character received their emotional endings during the first season, living happily ever after with our dear protagonist. Some arcs, like Tsukasa and Haruka’s, wrapped up nicely and were not in need of a second season. Others, like Sae, Ai, and Kaoru’s arc wrapped up fairly well, but left something to be desired in my opinion (illustrating the risk of omnibus). Lastly, poor Rihoko got stuck on a cliffhanger, thus in desperate need of a second arc to rectify this atrocity.
Thus Amagami SS passed, and Amagami SS+ plus came to wrap up the loose ends. Let’s look back at this season and see what’s happened before we close the curtains on this series.
Unfortunately, SS+ plus started off rocky with Tsukasa’s arc. There wasn’t much in the way of developing either Junichi or Tsukasa, and the challenge they faced was resolved way too quickly than I had hoped. I believe that if any of the arcs should’ve stopped at season one, it would have to be this one. Tsukasa just handled the situation way too cleanly, although it kept within the bounds of her character, and Junichi…let’s not even mention it. The only surprise this arc was that Junichi had yet another secret crush tailing him, which I believe would’ve been a better catch to introduce early rather than appended at the end.
However, next we saw the redemption of Rihoko, which worked really well. Their commitment to keeping their childhood relationship alive: admirable. All that happened whilst they still tried to adjust to the romantic feelings they had for one another. To see a Junichi that isn’t a complete blockhead (see above) is one I can bear to watch, making the many subtleties in this arc a treat to see. To also see her final victory in the last episode, making all the other main character cringe, made me smile bunches, as Rihoko always seemed like the underdog.
Next enters Ai. The way I felt about her episodes was how I felt about her first season…lots of potential…but somehow misses it. Her character is great, believe me. Her quiet attitude is alluring, her reflections and daily life setup a workable setting, but her conclusion lacked that fizzle and bang that other arcs manged to produce. It wasn’t that her arc was bad, but that it could’ve been done better to the potential that it contained. I suspect it’s because her type of character requires more airtime to develop properly, but that’s a factor that comes with the package of an omnibus :(.
Kaoru definitely needed this arc to complete the couple’s development together. Their realizations of each other’s attitudes towards one another outside of school was an important topic to explore. Kaoru and Junichi finally started showing their dere to each other whilst also coming to terms with their public friendship. Personally, stories like this where friends have to go through that awkward process of becoming more than friends are such adorable and heartwarming things to see, which is why I feel Kaoru and Rihoko’s resolutions resounded the best. They both explore that aspect of relationships that rings true for many people.
Sae however, misses that boat of changing character. The arc had set itself up for so much potential but yet…the conclusion episode reversed on that. Sae was finally getting independent and getting stronger in her character, Junichi was finally easing off whilst also getting a bit jealous, but all that reversed as soon as Junichi decided to play cameraman again. She did keep those cute moments which provided for excellent screencaps, and the narration was excellent as always, but that ending, though included with timeskip, didn’t feel fully natural.
As for Haruka…I think my last post said it best. Wao~ ^___^
In closure, Amagami’s anime adaptors took a real risk when setting the show up like this, but for the most part it saw success. Sure, not every character arc was as well-executed, so there still existed some imbalances in development, but that’s probably the best you can get without devoting extra screen time to other characters. The show also leaves off a very high demand for the other characters as well, such as Risa, Maya, Miya, Umehara, Kanae, Hibiki, Ze-Jessica *cough*, but hopefully at LEAST one of these secondary characters gets covered in a BD release.
But what Amagami set out to do, it did well. That fatal flaw in an anime where the secondary characters get no ending has been rectified to an extent. Now, after (6×6)+3 episodes, we finally reach the biggest ending of all, something that has been a treat to watch (and in the end blog). It’s…kind of hard to say goodbye :(.
ED7 Sequence & End Card