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「桃乃今日子 第3章 カクセイ」 (Touno Kyouko dai 3-shou – Kakusei)
“Touno Kyoko Chapter 3 – Awakening”

Damn this was stupid, and problematic to boot.

Let’s talk about being friendzoned.

As a wise man once said, “friendzoning” is an imaginary misogynistic way of looking at relationships (watch the whole video), and if you want to argue with me about that, kindly piss off. I have no interest in getting into it with some dumb ignorant MRA, so let’s not waste any of our times. However, it’s true that a lot of people (particularly men) still believe that friendzoning is a thing, possibly including the man who wrote this series. Why do I bring this up?

Because as much as I think the friendzone is bullshit, it sure feels like Shouichi is getting relegated to it. Why? I think the reason is two-fold. One, that’s probably what was intended. Like I said, this was written by a guy—not that a woman couldn’t have done the same, but c’mon—and he probably thought that’d be a good conflict. The problem is that he was wrong. The difference between this and the Kaoru or Rihoko arcs—yes, I’m going to bring Amagami SS up again, because it’s way better—is that neither Kaoru, Rihoko, or Junichi were ever friendzoned. They were friends. That’s different. Their struggle was moving from their current, comfortable relationship to a new, romantic relationship. Here the struggle is that Shouichi already wants to make that move, but Kyouko does not. Which is totally fine, except we know it’ll happen! Which ends up making it feel like her “fault.”

That’s the second issue, by the way. We know they’ll get together, not only because she spent the whole damn episode throwing out conflicting signals, but as a basic conceit of the genre. That means the writer’s key job is to avoid, wherever possible, it seeming like it’s one or the other’s “fault” that the relationship doesn’t progress, as opposed to both of them/the situation. Think of Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun—if Nozaki being dim was the only problem, it would have been his fault and we would have hated him, but since Sakura was also a wuss, it worked out and we could love them both. Here, that’s not the case. The Amagami girl who fell most into this trap was Haruka, which is why I’m told some people didn’t like her initially. The difference there is that Haruka could skate past on pure charisma, and Junichi is a good main character, whereas Shouichi and Kyouko are as interesting as empty pizza boxes.

They even dragged Ikuo into this. (Side note: it’s Tooru who suddenly, inexplicably, and pointlessly entered the plot this time. Way to go, guys.) He’s tired of being “just friends”—and well, I can sympathize with you, bro. Only it’s not your decision alone! If you want it and she doesn’t, that’s it. You’re single on Christmas, my man. Have a good whine and then get over it.

And look, I get the frustration—not only does it suck to be denied what you want, sometimes a little determination is rewarded, and that’s how you get the girl! It worked for Junichi and Haruka, and it’s worked for plenty of real life couples too. The issue is that being persistent is a dick move outside of romantic comedies—or really, even then, though it’s often rewarded. This is one of those parts of dating that’s utterly confusing, most definitely in real life too—I’ve run afoul, and screwed it up, myself.

Alas, we’re not getting anything like an interesting treatises into the vagaries of modern dating. Instead, Kyoko is going to realize that she loved Shouichi all along because the plot demands it—and because he saved her from a truck, what is this crap, the most flawed episode of Ore Monogatari!!, but way worse?—and Shouichi is going to be rewarded for being pushy, and the linchpin is going to be a pair of wool underwear, and just because she put a hole in the front he feels like giving it another shot and SHE DOESN’T THINK YOU’RE BIOLOGICALLY A WOMAN, YOU DAMN IDIOT! SHE JUST THINKS YOU’RE COMFORTABLE TO BE AROUND! GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS, GODS!

Whatever. Let’s get this farce over with, and if there’s a second season, I’m not even bothering. Ample chance has been given; let’s do one more episode, then take this series out back and put two bullets in its skull. It’s already dead, now let’s bury it.

Random thoughts:

  • Amagami SS rewatch update: I only got one episode into the Rihoko arc since last week. That one episode did make it clear how different the Junichis are—he was oggling a Rihoko-esque nudie models, which would presumably conflict with his end girl choices in other arcs (though all people contain multitudes, and that includes their fetishes). Really though, it just reminds me of how utterly likeable all the Amagami girls are, and how failed the Seiren ones are. Rihocchi would crush these girls under her not-actually-that-overweight big butt.

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: Guardians of the Galaxy, Glee, & Firesign; That’s not supposed to go there . . .; The Carcer Principle; and Fire, further.

 

Preview

March 19, 2017 at 2:25 am
27 comments »
  • March 19, 2017 at 3:45 amAn_chan

    Trucks are dangerous.

    ・ ・ ・ ・ ・ ・

    Hey, wait a second!!!

    • March 19, 2017 at 4:37 amVelvet Scarlantina

      Remember kids, look left and right before crossing. Even at a crossing junction.

      • March 20, 2017 at 8:09 amBakapooru

        It’s right-left-right in Japan. ;)

    • March 20, 2017 at 6:30 amIncognito

      (*Points at avatar*)

      Well, at least it wasn’t an ambulance… AFAIK, those vehicles (as well as fire trucks and police cars) are allowed to beat the red light in emergency situations. (Also the reason why they have loud sirens and flashing lights.)

  • March 19, 2017 at 4:41 amVelvet Scarlantina

    “Amagami SS rewatch update: I only got one episode into the Rihoko arc since last week. That one episode did make it clear how different the Junichis are—he was oggling a Rihoko-esque nudie models, which would presumably conflict with his end girl choices in other arcs (though all people contain multitudes, and that includes their fetishes). Really though, it just reminds me of how utterly likeable all the Amagami girls are, and how failed the Seiren ones are. Rihocchi would crush these girls under her not-actually-that-overweight big butt.”

    Would Nakata Sae blow Seiren girls out of the water?

    Though Haruka, Ayatsuji, Ai, Sex Hair, Nishihi Imouto and Amagami Sensei will totally devastate Seiren girls. The only one that I see that can potentially rival the Amagami girls is Miyamae though she’ll still be totally floored by Sex Hair.

    • March 19, 2017 at 4:52 amStilts

      Sae-chan and Rihoko are both better heroines than any Seiren girl, and that includes Tooru.

      It’s not that Tooru didn’t have potential. She did. But I think a lot of people are imbuing her with undue favor because of that potential, when we didn’t see jack squat of it. She’s the best Seiren girl, but that’s a lot bar, and her arc wasn’t FUN. Bad utilization was part of it, but she couldn’t bring it to life, whereas both Sae-chan and Rihoko WERE fun. Tooru is, sadly, overrated—squandered potential, next to the gloriously realized reality of the Amagami girls.

      I guess what I’m trying to say is, ideas are dime a dozen. It’s what you do with them that matters.

    • March 20, 2017 at 6:35 amIncognito

      Forget the main Amagami girls, even Hibiki Tsukahara (Haruka’s BFF/swim team captain) by herself would wipe the floor with the Seiren girls (and yes, including Tooru). Or even “yandere stalker with a crush” Risa Kamizaki.

      That said, is that the Blu-Ray version of Amagami SS and SS+ you’re rewatching, Velvet? Don’t worry, I’m not asking for the sauce. I have a fair idea on where to look. However, I do want to know what new scenes were added to the broadcast version.

      Show Spoiler ▼

  • March 19, 2017 at 6:01 amzztop

    Seiren’s head writer IS a dude – Taiwanese-originating Li Singhao/Takayama Kisai, who started as the character illustrator of the Amagami VN series. Seiren’s his debut in actually writing and composing an anime, which likely explains some rough patches in the writing, and the VN-like structure of the plot.

    • March 19, 2017 at 9:04 amStilts

      I know, I said the writer was a dude.

      Also, there’s rough patches, and there’s completely missing the boat. Not that the guy is a failure, I wouldn’t say that of anyone on their first attempt, but he needed a better editor.

    • March 19, 2017 at 10:30 amNishizawa Mihashi

      Or, y’know, maybe he needed someone like me! * \ ( ^ O ^ ) / *

      Ten-tene-NEHN!!!

  • March 19, 2017 at 9:09 amMediafag

    “Let’s get this farce over with, and if there’s a second season, I’m not even bothering. Ample chance has been given; let’s do one more episode, then take this series out back and put two bullets in its skull. It’s already dead, now let’s bury it.”

    Huh? What? What anime re you talking about?

    You know what would be good though? An Amagami sequel. Maaaan, that would be really great. Imagine all the new girls we’d see, the fun arc, and maybe even some cameos! I sure wish that was real right about now…

    • March 19, 2017 at 9:36 amMediafag

      “Instead, Kyoko is going to realize that she loved Shouichi all along because the plot demands it”

      I think you’re underestimating how much this hack of a writer may be willing to swerve us. Remember, he threw us a fucking curveball with Tsuneki’s ending, so who knows what dastardly contrived bullshit he’s will to do for Kyouko.

      • March 19, 2017 at 9:39 amMediafag

        You can tell I’m drunk from all the typos I’ve made. Seriously, fuck this series for existing. Fuck it into the ground.

  • March 19, 2017 at 10:10 amArche

    Here’s hoping Souichi gets stood up next episode…

    …And that the despair is so great it causes his mind to be flung back in time to a Christmas Eve years prior, revealing Junichi was actually Souichi this whole time

  • March 19, 2017 at 11:24 amHalfDemonInuyasha

    …..yea-no.

    I’d rather have episodes around not-Ruriko and not-Manaka.

  • March 19, 2017 at 11:40 amblueskydreams

    I really like how you are provided a retrospect/re-watch of Amagami SS which shows just how well Amagami SS does at everything despite it’s flaws. I really wish that this wasn’t a “successor/sequel” to Amagami SS because all I can think of is that show, how good it was, and my pure annoyance in how this is an abysmal followup that ruins both the setting and all of the connections that this show “has” with Amagami SS. I remember people hating on Rihoko’s route and Photo Kano which was also considered a “spiritual successor” as well, but those were fucking masterpieces compared to this! My hate is over 9,000!

    On another note, I am curious what the Japanese opinion of this show has been like. What are the chances of this getting a 2nd season anyway?

    • March 19, 2017 at 12:17 pmMediafag

      “I remember people hating on Rihoko’s route and Photo Kano which was also considered a “spiritual successor” as well, but those were fucking masterpieces compared to this!”

      > Rihoko’s route and Photo Kano
      > masterpieces compared to this
      > Photo Kano
      > masterpiece

      Bitch I will cut you. Photo Kano was just as bad if not worse than Seiren is now. The only show that Photo Kano is better than is Kimikiss.

      Official Enterbrain Anime-adaption Ranking: (this is non-debatable)

      Amagami >>>>> SHIT >>>>> Photo Kano >= Seiren >>> WET DOGSHIT >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Kimikiss

      • March 19, 2017 at 10:41 pmSeya-san

        Kimikiss was good for my taste. Much better then Amagami.

  • March 19, 2017 at 3:50 pmArchiepiscopus

    “As a wise man once said, “friendzoning” is an imaginary misogynistic way of looking at relationships (watch the whole video), and if you want to argue with me about that, kindly piss off. I have no interest in getting into it with some dumb ignorant MRA, so let’s not waste any of our times.”

    Aaaaaand this is why people are abandoning feminism in droves. Look at how toxic and condescending this vitriol is.

    • March 19, 2017 at 7:35 pmStilts

      Condescending? Oh, sure, I can cop to that. I have no patience for neanderthal thinking, and I’m not a politician, so I don’t have to get 50%+1 votes. But is someone being a bit of a dick a good reason to reject ideals of equality and justice?

      “Man, I’d be against those Nazis, but those resistance guys are so condescending. Better round up some gypsies.”

      I ain’t here to win hearts and minds. I’m here to discuss anime. So yes, if that bothers anyone, kindly take it elsewhere. I ain’t interested.

      • March 20, 2017 at 10:55 amKiritsugu

        Really!

        Internet 101: Every discussion will eventually see someone pulling the “Nazi-like” approach :v Confirmed!

      • March 20, 2017 at 2:07 pmMediafag

        It’s called “Godwin’s Law”, Mr. Emiya.

  • March 20, 2017 at 7:08 amIncognito

    http://randomc.net/image/Seiren/Seiren%20-%2011%20-%20Large%2009.jpg

    Sorry, this whole (hetero) “couple shopping at a lingerie store” scenario was way more entertaining to watch in Date A Live… (#KurumiBestGirl)

    Well, last chance for Shouichi to zip up his man-pants and for this show to redeem itself next week. Get your drinks ready for either a celebration, or to drown your sorrows… (Heck, might even get a bit of schadenfreude if Shouichi fails the “Amagami challenge”…)

  • March 20, 2017 at 11:18 amKiritsugu

    They could have pulled the friendzone approach (either one believes in that or not) if they knew how to manage the situation. If we had seen her worrying about the idea that stepping into a relationship might ultimately ruin the precious friendship that they have, this might have worked…
    However they chose differently – as stated in this review – she simply is not feeling it.

    In this case they could have make Shouichi take the ‘Junichi approach’ in Haruka’s ark (Even if you say no, I’m going to keep loving you.) This might work. What won’t work is taking her words literally and then steel your resolve just because some underpants have a male characteristic. (That’s the comedic approach of a Dumb and Dumber’s sequel! Horrible!)

    This show has crashed down horribly and the fact that they have chosen this girl’s arc as the last of a season that should end with a bang and leaving the viewers wishing for more, only shows the poor discernment of everyone involved in this… This has to be one of the worst ‘fall in love with a childhood friend route’ that I’ve seen.
    The masochist in me, still wishes he could see the “Haunting ghost-like girl” Ruise’s arc… However, after 11 bad episodes, I lost all hopes of anything goodc oming out of that.

  • March 22, 2017 at 4:52 amkilin

    ai: senpai, my brother is an idiot…what should i do?
    junichi: emm…let’s give him this mask, at least not many people will recognize him
    ai:wuaa…thank you senpai! luv u!

  • Yesterday at 1:52 pmSarcastic-sama

    Oh Stilts..

    How the mighty have fallen.
    I remember when you were a light-hearted, carefree dude who just loved anime.
    You liked ecchi and were proud of it and your posts were honest and a joy to
    read. Now look, you clearly lost the ground. Using big words and over-analising
    a romance show like it’s trendy hipster literature.
    You should quit while you’re ahead. Go write your own shitty novels and watch
    others torn them to pieces because we know that’s what made you this bitter.

    • Today at 12:41 amStilts

      Pfft. I ain’t bitter, and if I wasn’t willing to let people tear my books apart, I wouldn’t have written ‘em. And have you been reading my KonoSuba posts? I still love anime, unabashedly.

      What I don’t like is BAD anime. Or really, I’ve lost my ability to enjoy them as much as I used to, because I’ve seen so much anime since then that the bad stuff feels like a waste of time. That, I’ll certainly cop to. I’ll still gush over anime all day, but when this is one of the 5 worst cours of anime I’ve ever covered, of over 50 at RandomC—and yes, I counted—well, yeah. If it’s bad, I’ma call it out. Nothing in this show works, and I’m not going to pretend otherwise.

      I do that BECAUSE I’m a writer, and because I have standards. And I expect other storytellers to do the same for me. We don’t use kid gloves, because honest feedback is how we get better. Now why don’t you stop trying to shame someone on the internet and go do something creative yourself? Or maybe you already are! Channel your energy into that, rather than complaining on a blog. It’s a better use of your time.

      Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll take my own advice. After I edit the season preview.

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