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Seiren – 02

「常木耀 第2章 ヤマオク」 (Tsuneki Hikari 2-shou – Yamaoku)
“Tsuneki Hikari Chapter 2 – Deep in the Mountains”

Houston, we have flirting. And fetishes!

Seiren is, if nothing else, clear in its purposes. It’s not trying to be subtle, nor clever. It’s trying to be the vehicle through which viewers, and primarily male viewers, live out a fantasy where cute girls with exciting, varied personalities pursue them and/or give them plenty of opportunities to do the pursuing. The leaps of logic that make Hikari keep putting herself into situations that titillate poor Shouichi are often contrived. Why does she delight in wearing his sweats and pretending to be a “bitchi”? Why did the deer attack? Why must the midnight snack be eaten at midnight? Some of these can be explained by character (she likes to flirt, she’s bored), but for others, the reason is more mercenary: the fantasy must continue, by any means necessary. Subtlety is for people who give a shit. Seiren does not.

All of which would be a harsh condemnation if that wasn’t what the series is clearly going for. I feel like storytellers should probably always reach for greater heights, and not be content with a lesser goal when something greater is within reach . . . but, well, sometimes it’s okay, right? Sometimes it’s fine to go for the comfort food, the bowl of ice cream, the slice of pizza—or the sandwich made with white bread, rather than the healthier rye, wheat, or pumpernickel. Is this the bigotry of low expectations—or rather, or low aspirations—to be satisfied with this?

Maybe, but fukkit. This is what we’re here for, so we might as well judge it on those merits. Long live the fantasy! The fantasy must go on!

So this episode consisted of Hikari plenty of contrived Shouichi x Hikari time, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it. She’s the flirty one, and flirting is fun, even if it’s vicarious. Shouichi is still largely uninteresting, though when Hikari and Ikuo were agreeing that he’s fun to tease, I found myself liking him a little more. At least there was something to separate his character from other male romantic leads, even if it wasn’t much! And, yes, this was mentioned last episode too, but repetition is important in these things, as is showing rather than telling.

If I had any criticisms, it’s that it isn’t clear which fetish this arc will center on, if any. Is it scents? Is it navels? Is it feet? All three? This is inexcusable! If I know anything about fetishes—and I don’t, because I’m not the ecchi author—it’s that clarity is needed. Don’t muddy the waters with conflicting fetishes! Besides, we already did the navel fetish in Amagami SS—though, well, I could go for round two. Bring it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m hungry. My omelette will not be Spanish, but it will be yummy, and you don’t get any. So there!

Random thoughts:

  • Rapid fire disabusing of weird, pervy, and/or problematic young boy things: abduction isn’t sexy (without consent), there’s nothing good about girls bathrooms (they’re bathrooms), it’s illegal to molest a vending machine in 87 countries (I made that up), and it’s impolite to impose your will on someone (refusing to let her leave) for selfish reasons, navel boy. Stop propagating the patriarchy! (Also, she could probably outrun your lazy butt.) Oh, and really, while he’s on the toilet?? Gross.
  • This. This is important. Very important. (And this? Only time will tell.)
  • Or maybe it’s Hikari who has the scent fetish, and she’s deflecting by claiming that Shouichi has it. That sounds like someone else we all know. (No puppet, no puppet, you’re the puppet!) Here it is, our post-truth reality—for fetishes. What madness have we wrought?! *falls to knees and weeps*

My SECOND novel, Freelance Heroics, is available now! (Now in print!) (Also available: Firesign #1 Wage Slave Rebellion.) Sign up for my email list for exclusive content. At stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: Why I never give characters temporary names, Conflicted feelings on the Electoral College, Voting Reform: Single Transferable Vote, and They didn’t feel heard. I don’t feel heard. This is a problem.

Full-length images: 02.

 

Preview

January 14, 2017 at 8:58 am
24 comments »
  • January 14, 2017 at 9:42 amgusto

    Conflicting fetishes? How are navels and feet conflicting? Every little piece of a female body is a piece of art, and it’s totally possible to love both landscapes and portraits.

    • January 14, 2017 at 3:14 pmmac65

      Amem to that!

  • January 14, 2017 at 10:25 amVelvet Scarlantina

    http://randomc.net/image/Seiren/Seiren%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2002.jpg
    My dear ecchi master Stilts-kami sama… That ain’t leg feet fetish… It’s thigh and calf fetish in all it’s glory!

    http://randomc.net/image/Seiren/Seiren%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2013.jpg
    Basically we’ve watched enough hentai to know where its going

    I would say hat Hikari’s fine but she’s no Morishima Haruka. The latter out ranks Hitaki by leaps and bounds.

    Speaking of Ikuo, I kinda like him more than Juichi 2.0. Maybe because Ikuo’s related to the best Amagami girl and he has the snarkiness of her glorious sexy seductress Ai onee-chan

  • January 14, 2017 at 10:26 amVelvet Scarlantina

    They should rename AmagamiSeiren to Fetish Carnival

  • January 14, 2017 at 11:08 amzrnzle500

    In my experience, focusing on one fetish is not necessary. Not to say that trying to stick in too many can’t fail.

    Conceptually at least, feet and scent don’t seem conflicting, given it is one of the main odor producing areas. Though I’m not into that combination myself.

    If I might take issue with anything, it is having a screenshot intended to show a foot fetish and showing everything but the thing itself.

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • January 14, 2017 at 11:52 amgiovanny

    I think there has been worse that has come out from japan in the past. Still, I’m curious to see where this goes.

  • January 14, 2017 at 12:33 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    …..since no one else has said it, I might as well….

    Dat ass. XD

    http://randomc.net/image/Seiren/Seiren%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2012.jpg

    I demand a GIF of this IMMEDIATELY! XD

    Hikari is already best girl to me. Also drew out a bit of Haruka with the sudden engrish, lol.

  • January 14, 2017 at 4:16 pmAex

    As much as I don’t like girls that use people and lie like there’s no reason they shouldn’t, at least this one’s damn hott.

  • January 14, 2017 at 4:52 pmJohnGwynbleidd

    Tsuneki makes me so. damn. hard. Another bonus is that she’s voiced by Sakura Ayane who is also the voice of Iroha from Oregairu.

  • January 14, 2017 at 5:21 pmDeano

    TL;DR ahead.

    Short version: I liked, and think it’s quasi-criminal that Stilts didn’t talk about the character nuances and subtle developments as he could have. Seiren is proving itself quite able to tell a character story without having to narrate it to the audience.

    TL;DR begins:

    So, the White Bread of anime romance returns. I’m not sure why that’s raised as a pejorative, but then I enjoy white bread as much as any other kind. It’s all about what you’re in the mood for. And in this case… I’m not sure it’s actually appropriate. Call it over-thinking if you want, but I was actually impressed with the character development. Distance yourself from the animation and ero, and there’s actually a good deal of non-explicit character development going on here.

    Aside from the toilet scene, which was uncomfortably weird- maybe a Japanese culture thing?- I thought this was a decent episode for what it needed to do- developing the heroine and establishing tension. Also kept the ‘responsibility’ angle for the protagonist, which was his strong point last episode. While you can criticize the episode for feeling a bit scripted at points, given the meta-context (and the time alloted for each heroine scenario to play out), that should be more expected rather than disappointing or contrived.

    What I think the episode did do well was developing Hikari, as a character and a context, by the right amount of tell and show. I know some people believe it should always be the later and not the former, but I think having both is important to Hikari’s character- a girl who’s not entirely open and honest, and so has rumors surrounding her that she’s come to expect and play off rather than defend and deny. Her having a limited roll last episode- where Shouichi hears and sees the rumors from afar- was the right decision if this is the angle they’re going for- that of an isolated girl separated by rumors and suspicion. Last episode, Shouichi was the ‘typical’ guy she’s known- friendly, but put off by the rumors and choosing not to get involved. Now Shouichi is stepping across that gap.

    I think it’s clear that Hikari is socially isolated and her upbeat demeanor is as much compensation as anything else, and I’m willing to bet that the next two episodes will develop that more. Pretty much every white bread character moment so far, for herself and Shouichi, has actually emphasized this point.

    Think last episode: Shouichi is aimless and decides to apply himself to studying. What happens? He does well- he gets surrounded by people, praised, and held up despite not actually being all that bright himself. He’s normal, middle-of-the-pack when it comes to the study camp, but constantly seen with friends and has a good relationship with family who supports him.

    Now contrast that to Hikari. Hikari studies with him, and what happens to her? She does middling, but not enough to be publicly praised. It’s not that she’s lazy- her keeping a part-time job is proof of that- but she just doesn’t excel or get recognized in a good way. Her reason for applying herself- a chance to go on a mixer trip- gets revoked by her parents, who force her to go to a mountain trip with no one she knows, and where she is one of the two official dunces. Where the only ‘friend’ she has to get along with is her fellow official idiot.

    Think on that mixer trip specifically- Hikari applied herself diligently so that she could go on an outing with possible/quasi-freinds, to go meet new people, far enough away that her reputation likely wouldn’t follow her. And instead of that escape, her family- whom she hides her job from for unclear reasons- forces her to an isolated area where she’s immediately the subject of new lurid rumors.

    I think it’s clear that Hikari is supposed to be a pretty but pretty isolated person who expects the worse from others, and has learned to cope with social isolation by compensating. She’s not always happy- look at how she lacks her sunny and cheerful public demeanor when she’s with Shouichi in his room, or the lighting effect at the end when she’s preparing to leave- but she’s consistently so in public. Shoichi reflects in the washerroom that she seems to be able to be upbeat and cheerful any time and any place, but I suspect the Hikari we see at the start and end of the episode- gloomy, not smiling, not cheerful- is the ‘real’ her.

    But also look at how she perceives the teacher with the sunglasses and bamboo sword- she dislikes and is intimidated, while her fellow dunce- clearly the ‘intuitive’ one- is at ease and can tell that he’s not a bad man. Hikari’s dislike is a projection of what she expects from him, because that’s what she expects from most people, even though he’s just being a disciplinarian. On the other hand, the line she gives to Mako during the dinner- ‘everyone seems to like you, don’t they’- can come off as wistful or envious.

    Or consider how she responds to the rumors of her being a bitch- she doesn’t even deny it, or try to explain, but goes along with it- even infront of the girls spreading rumors about her. You could say that she likes to tease, but consider when she stops playing to the charade- when Shouichi is the one who expresses discomfort at the rumors.

    She’s probably correct when she says she likes teasing him, but Hikari doesn’t take Shouichi somewhere private when returning the clothes so that she can tease him more- she does it to put him at ease, the opposite of a tease. She does it so that he won’t be seen in public with her, because he- not she- is the one discomforted by the rumors tieing him to her. That is what makes the night snack more important than it seems, why it reads like a final farewell dinner, down to her intent to leave the camp for good. Because that is what it’s intended as- drawing out what’s been a good memory for her (a casual friend, helped by a nice guy who stood up for her despite the rumors) as a final good memory of this trip.

    Hikari staying behind and insisting on cleaning dishes isn’t a contrived shipping moment- it’s Hikari giving a personal farewell to Shouichi. For what? Not just helping her the previous night, or the clothes, but for standing up for her. They just had a four-person dinner with witnesses that can attest that it was nothing untoward, but the dishes is a private and personal thank you before she’s gone. Before she leaves, and doesn’t bother him anymore with her rumors.

    That’s why Shouichi’s resolve at the end to not let her leave is significant as a romantic moment- it’s an affirmation that he isn’t turned away by the rumors, and doesn’t want to be distant. There’s something to say, as a general rule, that guys shouldn’t be pushy and refuse to leave a girl alone… but I think it’s clear that, given the context, Hikari doesn’t [i]want[/i] to be left alone. She’s leaving because she must (clothes), and because she she feels she should (she won’t be a problem for him), but she doesn’t want to- look at that shading, and how not-eager she is. Her frown is not just about the weather.

    But because someone wants her around- someone who’s shown they aren’t put off by the rumors that surround her… maybe she doesn’t need to leave and try and go back to that mixer trip after all.

    Maybe she doesn’t need to go far away to find someone not put off by her reputation.

    This is good character development- especially because there’s not a monologue or exposition dump in site as to her feelings- and infinitely better than most romances in anime (or other fiction). This is a character-driven connection between an isolated girl looking for connection and a responsible boy rising above petty gossip, and I definitely look forward to seeing it continue. Even if Seiren probably won’t play it for angst, I expect things will get better before they get worse- that Hikari’s hidden troubles will come out as a final obstacle- as the two get closer.

    Not bad for the White Bread of anime romance.

    • January 15, 2017 at 3:50 amStilts

      First of all: starting off by saying my not mentioning something is “quasi-criminal” is not a good way to get me, or anyone else, to read what you wrote. It reads like an attack. That’s why I had to wait a day before I read the rest of your comment, because that comment got under my skin. Just a heads up! That rubbed me the wrong way.

      As for the rest of your comment, which I did read, good points. I’ll note again that I actually wasn’t criticizing the show for being overly-scripted, as much as pointing out that it’s clearly manufacturing ways to give Shouichi x Hikari more chances than are perhaps natural—which is something that happens with all stories! That’s what plotting is. I do the same thing in my books, only I manufacture ways to give excuses for more explosions. It’s just that sometimes you can see the strings more, and they’re clear enough in Seiren. But since that’s the whole point of the show, it’s not much of a problem.

      The rest are all good points which, if I weren’t always so damn tired, I might have caught more explicitly. I may mention some of them in the next post, if your suppositions hold true.

  • January 14, 2017 at 6:24 pmDeano

    Also, for anyone who’s not familiar-

    Most romance stories follow a general 7-beat structure in developing a romance. It’s not an absolute or a narrow prescription, but a good concept of understanding romantic drama in a narrative structure. It’s easy to see these in a lot of seemingly divergent works.

    Keeping in mind that the beats are not allways distinct or ever the same length- they can be short or long- the general 7 Beat Romance Structure is…

    (Forgive the partial copy paste…)

    ///

    1. The Setup/Hook

    A scene or sequence identifying the exterior and/or interior conflict (i.e., unfulfilled desire), the “what’s wrong with this picture” implied in the protagonist’s (and/or antagonist’s) current status quo.

    Sometimes described as ‘why the protagonist(s) needs romance.’

    2. The Meet/Inciting Incident

    The inciting incident brings man and woman together and into conflict; an inventive but credible contrivance, often amusing, which in some way sets the tone for the action to come.

    Usually very early, and not always entailing immediate romantic interest. Also not always entailing man and woman, obviously.

    3. The Turning Point (First Obstacle)

    Traditionally occurring at the end of Act 1, a new development that raises story stakes and clearly defines the protagonist’s goal; most successful when it sets man and woman at cross-purposes and/or their inner emotions at odds with the goal.

    Also the ‘first obstacle’ test- where an immediate obstacle keeping the pair apart is seemingly overcome, allowing them to come closer.

    4. The Midpoint/Raising the Stakes (False Happiness)

    A situation that irrevocably binds the protagonist with the antagonist (often while tweaking sexual tensions) and has further implications for the outcome of the relationship.

    Also called the false happiness stage, the romantic protagonists are closer and becoming happier together but with things still unsettled between them. Often some known but unresolved problem remains that will, eventually, break them apart- a hidden secret, a lack of security… but for now, the pair accepts the current status quo.

    5. Swivel: Second Turning Point (Last Obstacle)

    Traditionally occurring at the end of Act 2, stakes reach their highest point as the romantic relationship’s importance jeopardizes the protagonist’s chance to succeed at his/her state goal—or vice versa—and his/her goal shifts.

    Basically the ‘real’ problem that prevents the False Happiness stage from being real. A hidden truth revealed, or outside force intervening, or just plain character conflict comes up and disrupts the false happiness. Things go from good to bad.

    6. The Dark Moment/Crisis

    Wherein the consequences of the swivel decision yield disaster; generally, the humaliating scene where private motivations are revealed, and either the relationship and/or the protagonist’s goal is seemingly lost forever.

    The Black Moment is basically the dramatic climax, when things are at their worst. Defeat is certain, or time is running out, and the protagonist has precious little control. Everything hinges on a key moment, and everything could be lost.

    7. Joyful Defeat/Resolution

    A reconciliation that reaffirms the primal importance of the relationship; usually a happy ending that implies marriage or a serious commitment, often at the cost of some personal sacrifice to the protagonist.

    Not always a happy ending, but the ending, that brings catharsis to the experience.

    ///

    If you apply the formula to the current arc of Seiren, episode 2 just completed Beat 3. We’ve had

    1. The Setup/Hook

    A scene or sequence identifying the exterior and/or interior conflict (i.e., unfulfilled desire), the “what’s wrong with this picture” implied in the protagonist’s (and/or antagonist’s) current status quo.

    -Basically the introduction: Shouichi is aimless and unsure of what to do with his life, while Hikari is a seemingly happy girl with dark rumors and a hidden side.-

    2. The Meet/Inciting Incident

    The inciting incident brings man and woman together and into conflict; an inventive but credible contrivance, often amusing, which in some way sets the tone for the action to come.

    -This one kind of has two. The first encounter is on the desk- when Hikari is talking to girls about one’s (lack of) plans for the future. Thematic parallel about ‘the future’ there, but Hikari doesn’t go into detail about herself. Instead, one of Hikari’s first lines to Shouichi- ‘You’re so honest’- seems teasing at first but plays into her character issue of dishonest people… further seen when she catches him looking at where she had been sitting with a literal look behind her back- ie, she watches her own back (because trust).

    Their next first encounter- the first with real dialouge exchange- begins with Hikari asking Shouichi about the nature of rumors surrounding him (about his future career intentions). Note that Hikari’s ‘friends’- who are benefiting from her VIP table on a busy day- immediately go into gossip while Hikari’s face is hidden. Hikari, however, asks if the rumor is true. Then, Hikari raises a dirty pen-name for Shouichi. Again, this seems a tease- but note that the dirtyness comes in its relation between him and her. She’s warning(?) Shouichi that his reputation will fall by association with hers, while her friends immediately talk about H-manga. Again, note the friends- Hikari to porn- and how the camera points away from Hikari (hiding her expression) when Shouichi tells them not to decide his future for him like that (on the basis of rumor). And, again- Hikari’s ‘friends’ speculate about if Shouichi is gay just because he’s studying with a male friend. We’re establishing that Hikari is surrounded by ‘friends’ who freely and carelessly slander Again- Hikari (watching from the side) asks if it’s true. Again, Hikari seems to be teasing… but she says she’s believing that he needs to study, not that he’s gay.

    Despite the gentle/non-malicious nature of the teasing, Shouichi ends the scene reflecting that he couldn’t enjoy the taste of his good food- an unknown parallel to Hikari’s experience. IE, rumors and gossip can ruin a ‘good’ life and experience.

    -The other inciting incident isn’t the first or second encounters- they were more of the first impression- but the actual incident that brings conflict/closeness. This is studying for finals. Note some of the retrospective wordplay choice- Hikari is ‘just like Shouichi’- who just lost a good meal because of rumors and gossip- while also needing help on a subject.For Shouichi, this is a chance to apply himself and turn himself around. For Hikari, it’s the chance to go on the mixer trip- which she lies claims is a family trip.

    The conflict here- and it is actually conflict- is that Shouichi doesn’t actually want her there. It’s a chance for him to focus, and time studying with a friend. Hikari butts in, making Nanasaki-bro uncomfortable, even as she leans too close and bribes on the basis of hear-say. Note that this plays to her bad reputation, which Nanasaki knows of. Shouichi assents, but he’s not happy that there’s a pretty girl talking to him. Shouichi starts to learn more of her- and Nanasaki drops a good line of ‘being [teased] is better than being hated’- but is mostly distant. Shouichi doesn’t approach her, or try to clarify rumors, and keeps a distance. This is how the exam ends, and Hikari isn’t even there for the test results.

    3. The Turning Point (First problem)

    Traditionally occurring at the end of Act 1, a new development that raises story stakes and clearly defines the protagonist’s goal; most successful when it sets man and woman at cross-purposes and/or their inner emotions at odds with the goal.

    This is basically episode 2. The turning point isn’t actually Hikari climbing in through the window- it’s actually the transition of Souichi’s thoughts on Hikari and her reputation. Hikari’s reputation is the Initial Problem to be overcome, culminating with Hikari resolving to stay at the study camp rather than try and go to the mixer trip again.

    All of episode 2 is basically the development of understanding Hikari for Shoichi to change his earlier discomfort with her reputation. The small initial crisis is when Hikari realizes that her reputation troubles Souichi, and so intends to leave. However, this cross-purpose- with Hikari intending to leave to stop bothering him and Shouichi intent on not letting her because she doesn’t- leads to the resolution of Souichi wanting her to stay. Knowing that she’s wanted, and that her reputation doesn’t bother him (and that he stood up for her), the two are closer.

    That’s where we are now. Next point will be the False Happiness phase-

    4. The Midpoint/Raising the Stakes

    A situation that irrevocably binds the protagonist with the antagonist (often while tweaking sexual tensions) and has further implications for the outcome of the relationship.

    This has some overlap with the end of episode two- where Shouichi telling Hikari to stay raises the stakes- but we’ll probably see the False Happiness phase next episode. Time at the summer camp, teasing, and rising tension. Thing’s will be good… but they won’t be True Happiness because Hikari’s hidden truths still have to be revealed. Things will be close until the end of camp, but expect trouble shortly after returning. Rumors will spread- an echo of the third beat that Shouichi will demonstrate rising above by rejecting- but the True Problem will be something Hikari hasn’t told him. Something relating to her parents, her job, and why she kept the later a secret from the former. This will cause the True Crisis- the issue that genuinely threatens the relationship- for the Black Moment before the end crisis.

    Next post, I’ll hit on how one of the Amagami arcs used the 7 beats as a comparison.

    • January 15, 2017 at 5:26 amtheirs

      Good points. I really didn’t notice all of them, but felt something was off with her in some of those scenes. Lets see if they will follow that formula. If your theory is correct, this’ll be an enjoyable ride. I personally love girls like that. XD

  • January 14, 2017 at 6:48 pmDeano

    Because why not…

    A (brief) example from Amagami. Specifically the Haruka arc, which I at least half remember.

    1. The Setup/Hook

    A scene or sequence identifying the exterior and/or interior conflict (i.e., unfulfilled desire), the “what’s wrong with this picture” implied in the protagonist’s (and/or antagonist’s) current status quo.

    Jounichi’s backstory- heartbroken and afraid to love. Haruka being an amazing, out-of-his-league upper classman who’s loved by all.

    2. The Meet/Inciting Incident

    The inciting incident brings man and woman together and into conflict; an inventive but credible contrivance, often amusing, which in some way sets the tone for the action to come.

    The first meeting establishes friendly, flirtatious nature of Haruka. Jounichi is soon smitten. The first conflict comes from Jounichi trying to deal with his feelings, confessing… and being turned down.

    3. The Turning Point

    Traditionally occurring at the end of Act 1, a new development that raises story stakes and clearly defines the protagonist’s goal; most successful when it sets man and woman at cross-purposes and/or their inner emotions at odds with the goal.

    Jounichi is turned down, but does what no other guy has- he doesn’t go away. Jounichi comes back, is still friendly, and liked. Even though he confesses again, and is turned down again, he doesn’t give up being close to sempai.

    4. The Midpoint/Raising the Stakes

    A situation that irrevocably binds the protagonist with the antagonist (often while tweaking sexual tensions) and has further implications for the outcome of the relationship.

    Jounichi sticking around in the friend zone with Haruka. Jounichi’s commitment and affection are clear, but Haruka’s refusal is accepted. Instead of being pressured or annoyed, Haruka starts to enjoy his company, teasing him for fun. It’s an unstable false happiness, as Jounichi tries to restrain his feelings while Haruka doesn’t admit her growing one.

    5. Swivel: Second Turning Point/ Final Obstacle

    Traditionally occurring at the end of Act 2, stakes reach their highest point as the romantic relationship’s importance jeopardizes the protagonist’s chance to succeed at his/her state goal—or vice versa—and his/her goal shifts.

    Haruka’s feelings start to change from affection to love. After a phonecall with Hibiki, Haruka is more open to accepting Jounichi’s feelings, while giving off signals of her own interest.

    Unforutnately, Jounichi is still in the friendzone. Despite her effort to drop hints- such as the love compatibility game- Jounichi doesn’t make the first move like he’s supposed to, which was part of their relationship understanding from early on.

    6. The Dark Moment/Crisis

    Wherein the consequences of the swivel decision yield disaster; generally, the humaliating scene where private motivations are revealed, and either the relationship and/or the protagonist’s goal is seemingly lost forever.

    The Christmas date and shower, actually, though only from Haruka’s point of view.

    Haruka invites Jounichi on a Christmas data- making the first move herself- on the pretext of meeting her family. However, despite having a good time, when she reveals that the family won’t be there and that they have a private room, Jounichi doesn’t pick up on the atmosphere.

    Haruka takes a bath, hoping/wanting Jounichi to peek so that he can take that first step needed. When he doesn’t, Haruka is faced with fear and self-doubt. Why didn’t he peek? Why isn’t he interested in her? Does he no longer love her, even though she now loves him?

    7. Joyful Defeat/Resolution

    A reconciliation that reaffirms the primal importance of the relationship; usually a happy ending that implies marriage or a serious commitment, often at the cost of some personal sacrifice to the protagonist.

    The post-bath scene, where Haruka confesses, Jounichi reciprocates, and they end up together. Jounichi is committed, but it’s actually Haruka who has to give up something personal- her pride, which had insisted on having Jounichi be the one to confess to her again. After a school life of receiving confessions, Haruka breaks and confesses on her own accord, assuring happiness.

    And so on. If you include the Amagami SS expansion, you can repeat or extend the seven beats to that too- where Haruka graduating is the True Obstacle, her family coming to take her to England (forever!) being the Black Moment crisis, and the graduation-proposal being the Joyous Defeat.

    • January 15, 2017 at 3:53 amStilts

      Great write-ups. Nice to see the framework I implicitly understood explicitly laid out. I’m gonna save that for my storytelling notes, for later use.

  • January 14, 2017 at 7:11 pmhaseo0408

    Let me see if get this right, when I was Shouichi´s age I also went to a training camp to get ready for college entrance exams but somehow Shouchi ends up with the cute girl, most likely girlfrind before the end of summer and you bet she´s going to be the one true love of his life; me, on the other hand, only got in in a good college, how is that fair gods!? I demand justice!.

  • January 14, 2017 at 8:01 pmsonicsenryaku

    This is an ok series; i find some enjoyment in it although i will admit that the MC is bland and kinda hampers the show a bit. I do like the fact that the show illustrates that he’s a healthy teenage boy with raging hormones without making him out to be some lewd pervert. For me, tsuneki is the key reason to watch this show. Her ability to be upfront and confident is something i think a lot of people can learn from. The moment when tsuneki’s friend was telling her about the nasty rumors being spread about her and she just plays along rather than turning it into some unneeded dramatic pity party sold me completely on how great of a girl tsuneki is.

  • January 14, 2017 at 11:14 pmToto

    More ero than Amagami, but less contrived (and with less creepy voyeur factor) than Photokano. This one might just be looking to strike a balance… Except for the fact that Shouichi is pretty dullsville.

    Was anybody else kinda wishing that this were a love story between Ikuo and Mako? They seemed to have pretty good chemistry during the snack scene.

    • January 15, 2017 at 8:48 amStilts

      I’m always a fan of B-couples, so I had the same thought.

  • January 16, 2017 at 10:02 amYanDaMan

    She is current best girl, because of butts :3

  • January 16, 2017 at 11:20 pmMarty Phoenixlord

    The series aren’t that bad. I say they’re pretty good and it’s worth of watching

  • January 19, 2017 at 10:26 amewok40k

    Hikari is either incredibly perverted or completely innocent to so blatantly feel-check her male counterpart butt…