「棚町薫編 最終章 シンテン」 (Tanamachi Kaoru-hen Saishuushou – Shinten)
“Tanamachi Kaoru Final Chapter – Progress”

Well the end of this arc sure was different. Not only did it leave out a time-skip to show how Junichi and Kaoru are like in the future, it also put a very sweet touch on their development that I was thinking we might see — Kaoru confessing to Junichi. Before things got to the Christmas Eve date that Kaoru also took the initiative on, I was honestly left wondering if we were going to get the “stay as friends” type of ending where their relationship only progresses a bit. A lot of time was invested in what the other characters were doing for Christmas, including Rihoko’s seniors, Yuzuki Ruriko (Satou Izumi) and Hiba Manaka (Harada Hitomi), which really didn’t leave much for Junichi and Kaoru. However, that’s only how it felt while watching this final episode in Kaoru’s arc, as those miscellaneous scenes only took up about a third of the time.

Of those, the ones that actually had some importance were Keiko and Masayoshi’s friendly help getting Junichi and Kaoru together for Christmas Eve. One thing absent from Haruka’s arc was this whole friends hooking up friends bit since she didn’t know Junichi prior to the start of it, so I really couldn’t consider the opening portion a complete wash when it provided that in light of Junichi and Kaoru’s middle school history. The focus was still spread a bit too thin early on to give a sense of the Christmas season, but wasn’t a horrible use of time since it got the ball rolling for the rest of the episode. The one thing I didn’t have any qualms with though is Haruka showing up in a skintight Santa girl outfit that was clearly too small, yet looked amazing on her for that very reason. Is it time for Christmas cake already?

Try as she might to steal Kaoru’s thunder in her own arc, Haruka’s Santa girl suit wasn’t as lovely as Kaoru’s confession to Junichi atop of the Port Tower in my eyes. It was nice how the dating spot they talked about in chapter one came up again and became the perfect setting for her to convey her feelings. As for Kaoru’s confession, I love how she seemed to have it all planned out and executed it impeccably. She wasn’t aware of Junichi’s fear of heights at first, but used that as an opportunity to join hands with him and show him the spectacle below his feet. While she probably didn’t count on the weather being on her side and providing a white Christmas for her confession, she was even able to use that as a seamless lead-in to telling Junichi how she feels about him.

The best part of it all was how it looked like a high school wedding with their hands joined and Kaoru saying her vows of first, which were very sweet because she talked about their relationship as “inseparable bad friends” and how she didn’t want things to remain like that. In reality, she was earnestly telling Junichi how she fell in love with him, which takes a ridiculously amount of courage that any guy could probably take a page out of. I particularly liked her line about how she can probably think of a hundred things bad about Junichi, but a hundred and one that are good. Her confession was firm and steady too, which spoke volumes about how serious she was about her feelings. Still, she was so soft-spoken during most of it and unbelievable cute that all I could think of is how I’d be screaming, “I do Kaoru! I do!”, if Junichi was dumb enough to turn her down. Luckily he didn’t and made her one of the happiest girls I’ve seen in anime in some time. They even sealed their “vows” with a kiss, reiterating the whole wedding idea I had running through my head.

Quite honestly, the arc could have ended there with a time-lapse showing how they are when they’re married, but I kind of liked how it didn’t stick to the same format used in Haruka’s one. As two middle school friends who grew closer together during their high school years, this period of their lives is what I wanted to see more of. Consequently, Kaoru’s stopover at Junichi’s place when she missed her last bus could almost be seen as a honeymoon of sorts. It was somewhat befitting that Kaoru fell asleep while kissing Junichi, keeping our image of them fairly innocent on screen. I gather it won’t be long before they actually do get intimate seeing as Kaoru had already prepared the flashy underwear for this date, so I didn’t really care to see it just to be sure. Some things are better left up to the imagination. By the time the “~fin~” shot rolled around with the two of them taking a stroll on the beach, I was almost expecting to hear Hatsukoi Limited‘s “Have you ever fallen in love?” line. I almost wish it did too, because it probably would’ve prompted an uncontrollable outburst of, “Not like this! This is 2-D! 2-D!!!”

Argh, screw it. I can’t deny how cute Kaoru is with her perfect blend of outgoingness and timidness even if she is 2-D. Compared to Haruka’s raunchy hook-up, I love the whole “friends to lovers” bit we had this time around. It definitely has me wondering what we’ll be in store with Rihoko, the childhood friend, who has much more history with Junichi than Kaoru does. Next up is Junichi’s junior Sae though, so it looks like we’re going older, same age, younger, then younger, same age, same age with Ai, Rihoko, and Tsukasa since we’re out of seniors. I’m kind of sad to see Kaoru’s arc end (just like when Haruka’s did), but I’m looking forward to seeing the other girls after learning that each arc can have a dramatically different feel. Go omnibus format!

* Interesting enough, I’m going to be busy in the next few days helping my friends with their wedding, so expect some delays in posts between now and Sunday. In fact, I need to run off right now for rehearsal stuff so Kaichou wa Maid-sama will come later.




  1. Well, that’s another “best ending”!! Even if their Christmas Eve wasn’t the same as Haruka’s, it was still really cute and sweet. Felt more appropriate for this pair, and who knows if Kaoru really fell asleep or not *wink wink*. Don’t like the lack of time-skip though, was counting on that as like a constant epilogue for all the girls. Even if it wasn’t 10 years, 2 or 3 would’ve been nice. Ah well, can’t really complain that much. On to the moe underclassman!!

    Sidenote: Haruka in a Santa outfit should be illegal. Seriously. The sexiness could cause traffic accidents.

  2. Ah damn!,I’ve spoiled myself..,I forgot to watch this…,ah well.Going to watch right now…,the ending seems ok though.for a minute there the preview made me believe it’s “C.C.’s” (Ai’s)turn already next week,but on a second look it’s actually Sae’s(Kogami Akira LOL).

  3. Kaoru’s arc was much more laid back but lovely and cute in it’s own way. I have to say though, Sexhair straddling Junichi in bed after pulling him under is an unbelievably envious position to be in. Coupled with the earlier “flashy underwear” comment my mind was near explosion…… 2-D 2-D!!! ARRRRRGGG 2-Dify me…

    Overall, I have to say that Amagami is what all harem’s should be. I know people categorize harems as having multiple partners, but in this case Junichi (whose shoes the watcher puts on) wins every single girl. Way better than those harems with very obscure endings. Also you could say that it’s more “fair” per say than a harem as it is difficult to really give each girl equal attention. But in Amagami, every girl gets 4 episodes to “win”. In the end you can say which girl you prefer more over the other, but you can’t say Junichi prefers any of them more than the other making it a TRUE HAREM.

    I sincerely hope that more game adaptations take this route in the future.

  4. Anybody else feel this was just, I’m not sure if I can put it into words, a bit unfulfilling? Much of the arc was based around flash backs and all in all, the ending especially, it felt a little bland.

    I loved Kaoru’s character and personality, but the execution of her storyline was just not done well enough. Maybe I was just too intrigued by Lovely Haruka (dat santa suit).

    1. I felt the same way. It didn’t feel as complete as Haruka’s arc did with the timelapse as well. When they showed the Fin, I was left staring at the screen going “Oh, it’s over?”

      And yes, Haruka’s cameo was one of the best parts of the ep. ;D

    2. +1 to that too. It felt like they were really holding back…what happened to their energetic banter? I mean, the story is very sweet, and I swear, when the song “Silent Night” was playing in the background made the scene, but overall it felt a bit rushed going from energetic friends to…a lukewarm kind of banter.

    3. Definitely needed a time-skip, even if just a few years to show them living together in college or something. With Haruka we got 10 years and a marriage photo, here we got “they woke up the next day and kept going out, hoping more good times were in their future”. Very weak in comparison.

  5. Friends to lovers is probably the most heart warming kind of romance. Animes and mangas these days should really have more of these plots instead of girls pursuing jerk ass super bishounen athletic player characters who initially disliked them.

    Suppa Tenko
  6. Very nicely told arc, imo. The ending wasn’t as tense as I thought it would be, as typical of a dating plot kind of anime. But it showed very well the relationship between Kaoru and Junichi. Very lively and spontaneous. But this ofcourse is all coming from their past. So I’m guessing the only time we’ll see something like that again is with Rihoko.

    It’s back to a more meet-a-stranger type plot for now, and i’m a little curious how it’ll turn out. Junichi dating his sister’s good friend.

  7. Haruka in a Santa costume caught me off guard. ^^

    Haven’t seen it yet but I’m glad Kaoru’s closure was done nicely. If this ending told me anything, it’s that each girls’ route will develop depending on their relationship with Junichi and will end in a different note each time, which makes it much more interesting.

    Overall I think the strongest point in this arc, is just like you said, the transition of their relationship from close friends to lovers. If I had to compare this to Haruka’s, I think I enjoyed Kaoru’s more. Don’t get me wrong I loved the whole teasing and flirting in Haruka’s arc but Kaoru introduced a better (and more realistic) relationship.

  8. This ending was so much more natural that Haruka’s. Even without the time skip (which was just quite a stupid baka-couple skit for Haruka’s arc), I liked this ending much better.

    Still…no balls…the chick is already in your bed and making out with you and you can’t round to homebase!! Pshh…

  9. Well that was a nice way to end the arc. Though I was kinda expecting Kaoru to fake out Junichi again and then pull him towards her, giving Junichi another kiss or something.

    I dunno the sudden ‘fin’ image at the end, Kind of felt like they just threw it in because they couldn’t think of a way to end it. I mean seriously, they didn’t have to do a time skip to in this arch. But they could have at least shown/ implied that the two’s relationship was going to progress further after the arch was over.

    Instead we got a ‘oh we’ll always be friends’ ending.

    Then again, i enjoyed this arch more then the Haruka one. (I almost dropped the series do to Haruka one.) So i guess a ‘friend’ ending isn’t exactly a bad thing. Plus we didn’t get a ‘OMG I LIKE YOU!’ twist at the end like we did with the Haruka one. (Though we all were kind of expecting those two to get together at some point, since it was her arc.)

    Though I still think they should have some other then a still ‘Fin’ image at the end, but then again that just my opinion.

    1. Umm yeah, they’re definitely going out at the end. They both confessed at Port Tower, and the ending line of “We’ll have even more fun from now on, right?” along with the last scene is definitely lovers as opposed to friends.

  10. Well, I think I like Kaoru’s arc better because it was so realistic and sweet. Haruka’s arc was okay but too idealistic, or too “this-is-how-I-want-my-Christmas-date-should-be”. I love the scenery when the both of them were walking at the tower port park. And her confession was so honest, like her emotion was overflowing and yet she carefully took her time to tell him exactly what and how she felt.

  11. And so begins the start of the underclassmen story arcs. Sae and Ai. This episode was absolutely awesome. I loved it, loved it, loved it.

    Even though I had no way of knowing how it was going to end, this was one of the endings that I had in mind for Kaoru. I’m glad that AIC ended it the way they did because if they ended it the way they ended Haruka’s arc.Then we would know that the rest of the arcs would end the same way. One of the things that I really enjoy about this show is the endings and I prefer wondering how it will end until the final episode of the arc.

  12. The last part of the episode feel…. rushed. I actually like the pacing of the episode except the last part. They should have cut out or shorten other girls cameo and make the last part better instead. All in all, it was a great arc. Pacing was fast, just like Haruka’s arc, but somehow it seems better here since they kinda have a history before the story begin so they don’t have to show the progress from the beginning like Haruka’s. Still, they really should have made this omnibus format 6 episode each and settle for 36 episode 😛

    1. Hmmm…Yeah I think I have seen a image like that somewhere before. Actually sometime from not that long ago either. Your question is vague so I have no idea if this is what you are talking about.

      I think everyone remembers this cute couple. Right?


      Interestingly enough, this image is from a rather omnibus format episode, one of two actually. Which is also a “friends to lovers” story as well. Notice how similar the image above and this one are so similar. They even end the same way too storywise. Could you imagine what three more episodes to this episode would have been like?

      I have a question, is Kaoru considered a Tsundere? The reason I ask is because I never really got that Tsundere feeling from her all that much. If she is then she really is a step above your typical Tsundere. At least to me she is.

      I believe thatShow Spoiler ▼

      is a Tsundere.

      1. She’s a totally different level from Tsundere >_>… infact, most of my friends classify her as a pseudo-yandere. I really not sure where I would put her my self though… it’s a mix.

        Sora no Kaze
    2. Now I remember, it was from the Kyou Chapter. As to where I saw a similar image from. Thanks BlueSky. Wow these two images are so alike, its really something else. Yeah, now that I think about it I do wonder what three more episodes would have been like if they made the Kyou Chapter longer. It would have been EPIC to say the least.

      Hey it looks like you know how to do spoilers now. Its good to see that “you don’t need to be a Computer Wizard to know how to read a block of text above the comment box that explains how to add spoilers”.

  13. Nice arc, very nice ^.^

    The last parts could be considered a short epilogue like ‘after 1 month’, I guess.
    Keiko x Masayoshi is kind of interesting. A side arc perhaps.

    Can’t wait for the next arc to start.


  15. “Sidenote: Haruka in a Santa outfit should be illegal. Seriously. The sexiness could cause traffic accidents.”

    -inserting “The Matrix Still Has You” reference:
    TMSHY!Morpheus: “Are you listening to me Neo? Or are you looking at the woman in the red dress?”

    TMSHY!Neo: “Can’t…Look…Away… [beat] Must…Stare…”

    TMSHY!Morpheus: “Woah.”
    -end reference

    Talk about Haruka being a scene-stealer! I guess that’s payback for Kaoru being a (memetic) spotlight stealing girl… XD

    Anyway, another arc comes to an end (I’m gonna re-watch this episode though – and the rest once the series is over). I would have liked to see more of Kaoru seducing the heck out of Junichi in various ways (and she can with dat hair), but fortunately this scene satisfies. (You go, cowgirl!)

    If all arcs are going for the “Best End” for each girl, then hell yeah, all the more reason to support this show’s omnibus format.

    Up next: Junichi’s buxom kouhai, Sae Nakata… Though I already have an idea on what her “Best End” is, I still want to see how her story goes…and what her “sweet spot” is (as opposed to Haruka’s back of the knees and Kaoru’s navel)…

  16. Go Omnibus Format!!! I was so into Kaoru’s arc here that when it ended and the ending character song started playing. I suddenly felt really really sad that it was all over with. If there was a word that I can describe this episode as well as this arc, it would be INCREDIBLE. May Amagami SS pave the way for more Visual Novel adaptations to be done in Omnibus Format!!!

    BTW:I love the full version of Kaoru’s ending song. I want to share it before we all transfer to Sae’s story arc next week. I can’t wait.


    1. I will have to admit, I too was sad when Kaoru’s character song started playing for the last time. I really did enjoy this arc a lot. So thanks for the song link, its nice to hear the full version of it before the start of the next story arc next week.

  17. What I enjoyed most about the finale was how comfortable Kaoru and Junichi were. Their entire date until the confession was all about how well they know each other. Other than Junichi’s fear of heights the whole thing came together with no stumbling, stuttering, awkward pauses or some random comedic moment to ease the tension. They just went there and confessed in a very straightforward manner with a few lighthearted jokes they’ve always done.. It’s such a simple direction yet it’s something I’ve rarely seen in a romance.

    I liked this arc much better than the first, largely because Kaoru was fun to watch and I found Junichi here *coughcoughlikablecoughcough*. Hopefully he will be this interesting in the next few arcs.

  18. My short assessment of this arc. Overall I liked it as much as the first one, but the ending was a bit sudden.
    On the other hand it’s nice with some variation (no time slip) and as mentioned above might be some more material on the DVD/BD release.

    Time for the next girl, onwards with the show!

  19. So tired to put a msg last night. ONE MORE HEROINE BEFORE AI, MUHAHAHAHAHAHA. Anyways, this was cute and sweet. I was honestly hoping for a ten years after, but oh well. At least we get a nice scene of Junichi trying to figure out what to do and Kaoru ending up falling asleep. Umehara and Tanaka should become better friends >_>…, they’re seem kinda cute together, but that’s just me. The entirety of Kaoru arcs seems to hit much closer to home, just because it makes so much more sense, other then the random kiss on the bellybutton part which is meant for private rooms… not a library. I’m kinda glad the Miya didn’t ruin their sleepover, despite nothing happening. It’s nice how they dive into the oh, what if I got stood up again aspect, as it was a serious matter in the first part. It just makes me wonder, as I notice someone else said, does that mean he never ran into Kaoru the first arc right after he got stood up and did he never meet Haruka on that park hill.

    The fear of heights was kinda hilarious. I mean we were definitely alluded to it in the first arc, but we got to see the full extent of it in the second. Also, it seems that possibly for the next, if not last three arcs, some parts of the date will occur within the school.

    But anyways, back onto Kaoru, I kinda wish that the story lasted a bit longer, well at least to see a happily ever after 10 years down the road. It’s kinda amusing that someone pointed out that the previews before the episode started were never shown…, hopefully it’ll be more complete. Anyways…. with out further a due, we have Sae coming up, a shy girl that probably… a gem to find now a days let alone that cute, at least within the American school system. It also means we get to see more cameo of Ai, and more funny scenes with Kaoru just as a friend as well as some Haruka Santa… I mean Haruka antics.

    Sora no Kaze
  20. Kaouru was my best pick, next in line? Ai Nanasaki, but somehow this show keeps me there watching even if the girl is not of my interest, let’s check out Sae’s Arc!

    Ah yes, loved Haruka’s Lovely cameo (derp)

    Lectro Volpi
  21. It was kind of lacking something, aside from the lack of time-lapse. They should’ve just cut off the unnecessary scenes at the christmas eve festival preparation. But still, I was hooked up on their love story.

    I’m not really excited about the next arc. Maybe because I really don’t like Sae’s voice.

  22. I honestly believe that the end image was actually a time skip. Junichi in it looks like the older Junichi at the end of Haruka’s arc, but that could just be me. When he is younger his face seems shorter and rounder, but when he is older it tends to be longer and more angled. Comparison shot from the last scene of Junichi during Haruka Arc and last image of Junichi at the end of Kaoru: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v342/DuoMatrix/JunichiComparision.jpg

    By the way Kaoru was my favorite.

    1. I was wondering if that was the case as well, but Kaoru’s in the exact same outfit as their date, so I’m leaning towards it not being a time-lapse. It could have just been the very next morning in fact, when they decided to take a stroll on the beach together.

  23. It’s a great episode on its own terms, as is the whole arc, but the original game handled the material better.

    The drama with her mother was better integrated in the game. She doesn’t get over it in one day, he has to comfort her more than once (actually hugging her), and in bed, she compares her need for him to her mom’s need for another man in her life. I would have liked to see that instead of irrelevant fanservice cameos by other characters.

    According to my sources, the game doesn’t detail what they get up to in bed, only that “neither of them get any sleep that night”.

    The final scene of her best ending path in the game also ends with her taking him to meet her mon and stepdad. It’s a crying shame they ended the episode when they did.

  24. I was a fan of this arc=). More so than the first one. A couple things about this series though. I found it interesting how in each of the arcs I can really feel a connection between the chosen female and Junichi, but every other character seems so disconnected from him. I like the way it’s done and not just “every girl is after him and he chooses one”. I find it weird after each arc though seeing the interactions between the previous girl, and not having anything between them. Sort of like they are just pretending nothing ever happened hah.

  25. I really loved this arc. To see good friends go to lovers, and the progression of those two to get to that point. It was fantastic. Kaoru was amazing in this arc. The emotions she felt throughout those four episodes, her boldness and courage form start to finish. How can anyone not turn her down?

    I loved everything about this episode, as well. The confessions and vows, the bedroom scene, and the beach scene. That was great how it ending… before the ED sequence.

    I was kind of hoping that after the ED and just before the preview they would show a short clip of their future. Then again, if not executed well, it would give a feeling of cookie-cutter endings and maybe lessen the impact and emotions the episode did so well to convey.

  26. this was a great episode. I loved evrything from start to finish, from the confession and vows scene and the execution was handled simple yet wonderfully. While I’m a bit sad to see Kaoru’s arc end, I’m looking forward to the rest of the arc and what we have in store for. Thank you Divine for making this wonderful post, I will continue to follow and read more of your astounding reviews

  27. I forgot the name, but whenever I hear that girlfriend of Junichi’s younger sister talk (the one with the light brown hair) I feel the need to cover up my ears. I really dislike the voice 🙁


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