「桜井梨穂子編 第一章 オモイデ」 (Sakurai Rihoko-hen Dai Isshou – Omoide)
“Sakurai Rihoko Chapter 1 – Memories”

The childhood friend arc has arrived, and with it a much cuter Rihoko than all the previous ones had me believe. I guess it’s true what they say about how one’s perception of someone can drastically change once you get to know them. As this is only the first episode, I’m nowhere near jumping on the Rihoko bandwagon just yet, but can definitely see some of her cuter charm points. For one, you can never go wrong with a sporty girl who loves to eat, even if it’s the cause of the resounding personality trait we’ve seen thus far — her self-consciousness over her weight. It’s not something that I really thought much of in the previous girls’ arcs, but found it really helped show the innocent and earnest side of her. Her decision to go on yet another diet was prompted by her feelings for Junichi after all, whom she’s had an unrequited love for all this time. As a result, I could get a real sense that she wanted to make herself more attractive in hopes that Junichi will finally see her as something more, and couldn’t help but want to support in her pursuit of happiness.

Incidentally, the above is in connection to the endearing aspect of her character that I took an immediate liking to this episode, where she exudes an almost child-like behavior with the way she wears her heart on her sleeve. It’s usually not too hard to figure out what’s on Rihoko’s mind, which both her good friend Itou Kanae (Matsuoka Yuki) and even Umehara easily picked up on and helped her by setting up an ice skating outing with Junichi on the weekend (i.e. next episode). At the same time, she isn’t one to speak out and say what’s truly on her mind, even when Junichi asked her to go out with him one time, only to find out that he wanted help picking out a gift for the girl who would later stand him up and leave him heartbroken. Given how she didn’t seize that opportunity to be there for Junichi, Rihiko probably isn’t the most assertive girl (nor a terribly graceful one either), but that in itself is what stood out the most to me. She’s fairly simple-minded and always means well, but can’t bring herself to tell Junichi how she feels about him since she knows he doesn’t see her that way. In short, she has all the makings of a girl that one wouldn’t be able to leave alone and would want to take care of (or help along), which may be an inadvertent charm point but a charm point nonetheless.

As for some episode specifics, this came off as mostly an introduction to “all things Rihoko” and featured a lot of the other girls crossing paths with her in some way to help contrast their differences. During all that, there was a pretty prominent comedic touch from Rihoko getting stuck in the fence when she tried to sneak onto school grounds for being late, as it was the only time we got to see how she and Junichi get along when they’re alone together. In light of how their relationship is very sibling-like both past and present, it’ll be interesting to see how that finally develops into something more. Rounding all that out was the Umehara and Junichi combination who mean business when it comes to whatever they can get their hands on with naked girls in it (even if it’s from the library) and the sight of Miya when she was younger. Lastly, there was Tsukasa, who I’m starting to believe is really perceptive of everything that’s going on around her yet always keeps it to herself. This includes how she was probably aware that the envelope she picked up had one of Umehara’s adult magazines inside. After all the foreshadowing of her character, I’m curious as to how Junichi will “handle” the class president in the last arc, but it’s Rihoko who will be getting his complete attention for now.

It’s a new arc and we have a new ending theme by Shintani Ryouko to commemorate it. Judging from the sequence, I think it’s probably safe to say that if Rihoko has gained some weight over the years, it’s the kind on top that any girl would be happy to have increasing. The song itself, “Love Isn’t in a Rush”, came off a bit too cutesy at the beginning, but sounds a lot better later on. Strangely, my opinion of it seems to keep improving the more I listen to it too. On a completely separate note, I’m thinking Kanae would’ve been an awesome heroine and can definitely see how she took first place in the Miss Santa contest at the end of Ai’s arc last time.

* The opening sequence has been updated with Rihoko near the end as expected.


ED5 Sequence

ED5: 「恋はあせらず」 (Koi wa Aserazu) by 新谷良子 (Shintani Ryouko)
Watch the 5th ED!: Download, Streaming ▼



  1. “I guess it’s true what they say about how one’s perception of someone can drastically change once you get to know them. ”

    Got that right sir!!
    Am not excited about this arc, but damn the story is very funny and cute!!

  2. YAY! Rihoko! It seems like she isn’t as popular as the other girls, but she’s #1 in my book 😀
    The whole ‘childhood friends’ aspect can work wonders in developing a relationship. Loved this episode, and can’t wait for the next.

    1. I guess that’s beacuse the stories are quite plain. They lack innovation, they are simple love stories. I don’t mean that’s necessary bad, but when you play the game it doesn’t feel as plain as the anime, probably because in the game you are the active part.

      The omnibus format is refreshing but it doesn’t leave so much space for more elaborated plots. At least for me is the part I don’t like in this anime. Personally I have to watch every arc in a row beacuse watching it by separated episodes bores me.

  3. man, now i know why rihoko got 3rd place in the poll.SHE’S SO CUTE!! and i find her chubbiness so appealing.L0L. i guess she ties with miya now as my 2nd fav amagami girl.X33 aahhh! chibi! XDD and like kanae too.

    BTW, agreed. tsukasa’s intriguing nature would only make you think how her arc would go.hmmm..pretty unpredictable.

    1. Well, it’s kinda given that Tsukasa is more then what meets the eye. Considering the certain aspects about her within her story itself.

      Anyways, woot Rihoko. Well, at least none of those girls mentioned her breast as part of her weight problem lol. What’s interesting to note is that it seems that Junichi does take some interset in her actually, or at least definitely not against the idea of going out with somebody “chubby” (I feel like they emphasized it more in this arc a bit which kinda distracts me by actually making her a bit more fatter). Either way, she’s cute and awesome.

      Sora no Kaze
  4. Rihoko is also a lot more likable now since she’s getting A LOT more attention than she used to as a minor side character in the other arcs where she’d only get a couple lines in something like 1-2 episodes and then never seen again, so we never really got time to appreciate her presence I think.

  5. First mention of a bandwagon, and it had to be on Rihoko. :/

    Meh, I’m gonna get a alotta hate. But it seemed, the wagon was more so, all over Ai and her arc. Granted, her personality is close to perfect. Her story was just.. uh, alright.

  6. Color me surprised. Rihoko’s arc immediately was able to make me smile, and as a heroine I really feel like rooting for her too. Nice ED, entertaining story points, and Rihoko herself is quite likable. I like it when a arc that I wasn’t anticipating turns out to be unexpectingly good.

    I can’t wait for next weeks episode.

  7. “Lastly, there was Tsukasa, who I’m starting to believe is really perceptive of everything that’s going on around her yet always keeps it to herself.”

    These early impressions of Tsukasa will be funny when her arc comes around.

    Show Spoiler ▼

  8. Chubby Rihoko exceeded my expectations.

    Rihoko was in love with Junichi since childhood, does that mean we’ve had 4 heartbroken Rihokos?

    Rihoko’s bust size is second only to Sae… and that is impressive!

    Her ending is cute but hohoho! “Kitto ashita Wa…” is still unbeatable for me!

    Lectro Volpi
    1. I should not get my hopes up about… this being better than the matchless Haruka’s arc. I guess that honour belongs to Tsukasa’s arc.

      Anyway, just because it’s not better doesn’t mean it’ll be bad!

      Lectro Volpi
  9. tsukasa’s arc is special since they started dropping hints to her personality inside ai’s arc to this. i must say,the events where she’d been shown,might be related to the development in her arc.say,they’re in her POV during those scenes w/c would explain why she was lookin’ at ai in the library that way.XD

  10. ahhh this is the one i been waiting for i think i got a taste of how all the Ai fans felt last time, really pleased with the pacing and comedy, also looks like the tea club might be a mission of sorts for this arc later on, LOL at Junichi fixing the fence for Rihoko, if she only knew, the reaction to getting thinner all of a sudden was priceless though i roared! i’m also thinking Kanae is a kind of contrast/staright man for Rihoko, or at the very least eye candy for the picky ppl 😉

  11. at first i was thinking to myself who is that girl dancing around the slide in the “flashback” scene but i immeadity recognised it was miya when she laughed.

    man that laugh is gonna be stuck in my head just like the “rich oujo-sama laugh”

  12. I know I’ve said it before, but Hibiki needs her own arc. Add to that Kanae, and we have a second season in the works. We just need another… hmm… what was Kaoru’s friend again?

  13. How does ones butt get stuck in a slide? o.O I guess Japan makes their slides thinner then everyone else does.

    anyway, it looks like we finally get to the ‘childhood friend’ arch. Hopefully it will be on par with the others, maybe even surpassing them.

  14. Personally, I enjoyed listening to her ED song more than any of the other preceding EDs of the other female leads(even if I’m in the “Ai’s Boat” area). Maybe it’s because it’s the most upbeat ED theme so far.

  15. Wow… she’s just too cute!! She’s got that whole “innocent puppy” feeling too her that just makes you wanna cuddle and root for her! Ai is still my favorite, but Rihoko is definitely the cutest!! Plus I finally get to see the childhood friend get the guy! Looking forward to more!

  16. I’d have to say her “fat” is mostly imaginary (all in her mind). She’s *on her way* to a problem — but still early enough to get a grip on weight management. I happen to like small, petite women but Rihoko is clearly cute and attractive and we support this fictional character’s attempts in working to stay that way. 🙂

  17. Rihoko is adorable as heck. I don’t mind her being a bit chubby neither for some reason…I think her cuteness factor pushed that aspect aside for me. Up to now, I wouldn’t know who to choose as best girl. I’m just wow’ed by each of them.

  18. ugh! sae’s voice!! why, oh why does she always have to be included?

    nhoo… i find rihoko more charming than cute. i must admit, i didn’t like her as well when she was just a side character during the other arcs. im glad that perception didn’t spill over when it’s her story’s turn. was thinking i might have to skip this one like sae’s. glad to be proven wrong. 🙂

  19. As per the usual habit, “We have entered an endless recursion of time…”

    If you guys say “Chubby” (or “Fatty”), I say “Healthy.” I’m sure we’ve seen our fair share of “healthy” pin-up girls on magazine covers anyway.

    As much as I wanted to skip this arc, her proper character introduction (told from her POV, no less) in this episode convinced me otherwise. Not to mention that we might be getting lots of funny moments in this arc as well.

    Episode-wise though, Sae is still not safe from lampshades about her “tracts of land.” A little after this scene Sae worries that her beverage has lots of calories, while the shot focuses on her assets (making it obvious where those calories are going).


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