「桜井梨穂子編 第二章 テツダイ」 (Sakurai Rihoko-hen Dai Nishou – Tetsudai)
“Sakurai Rihoko Chapter 2 – Helper”

Thus far, Rihoko’s arc has definitely been one of the more unassuming ones. Because of their childhood history, not a whole lot has been developing on the relationship front; however, I’m still anticipating the “big moment” to creep up on me amidst all the Tea Ceremony Club stuff. While things slowly work towards that, what’s noteworthy is the vastly different progression that takes place because of the friendship that Junichi and Rihoko already have. To me, it comes off as one of the more believable high school relationships, because it’s the hesitant pairing that all their friends are trying to help along. Continuing on from their efforts last time, Kanae and Umehara were two key individuals in that regard, while the seniors Ruri and Manaka pretty much took over from that point on. I don’t think anyone was expecting to use Rihoko’s voluptuous breasts to open Junichi’s eyes to the prospect of seeing her as something more, but it was pretty funny to see how that worked out. To a hormone-pumping teenager who’s trying to stay respective of his friend, that was nicely followed up with the one-two kimono knockout punch combo, care of Ruri herself. Personally, I was wowed by how good Rihoko looked in that kimono with her hair up just as much as I was by the flexibility she displayed. I still find that she doesn’t quite have the allure as some of the other girls who started off much more detached from Junichi, but as a childhood friend character, she’s definitely made me take notice to a lot of her cuter points in these past two episodes.

Coming fresh off of Ai’s arc, I couldn’t help but notice how she was working the oden booth alone during the Founder’s Festival. As a clearly biased individual towards her, Miya and Sae’s short visit spelled nothing but “missed opportunity” in my mind. Much along the same lines was seeing Kaoru at her part-time job, who seems to be sidelined more than the other girls in the other arcs. All that reiterated to me though was how the omnibus format really does make one appreciate each of the characters more, which is something that would’ve been highly overshadowed had this been adapted into a single storyline. Admittedly, the more I see of how it changes my perspective on romance/drama series, the more I’m leaning towards it as my preferred adaptation style. Yosuga no Sora has followed suit with its slightly different take on multiple endings, and much like Amagami, it has me looking forward to future arcs just as much as the current one. On that note, Tsukasa continues to ramp up her cameo time in the arcs leading up to the big finale involving her own, and it turned out to be pretty funny this time around because her perceptive nature didn’t save her from Rihoko’s dearth of administrative know-how. While that clearly doesn’t bode well for the future of the Tea Ceremony Club, the sight of Tsukasa in a less than perfect state has me looking forward to what will become of her composure in the face of a “wild animal” like Junichi. 🙂 (He had boobs on his mind at a young age it would seem.)

As for Rihoko, it looks like her story will continue revolving around he succession of the club and how that brings Junichi into the picture. On the surface, it still feels like a somewhat slow and unromantic approach, but I originally felt the same way about Kaoru’s arc and her problems with her mother and that ended up being one of my favorite endings so far. As such, I’m looking to the childhood friend character pulling a big surprise before this is all said and done, during which her playfulness should make things more interesting. Rihoko, faito!




  1. Hmm, either the pacing of this one is really slow and we’re going to end it past the holiday or the Christmas Date which is supposed to be the end point of each arc is going to be two episodes long. Since Christmas Day (well Midnight at least) tolled already in the second episode of the Rihoko arc.

    1. Seems this arc is playing out more realistically with childhood friend as loe interest and slow-paced romance development. As rest of the arcs starts with strangers (minus Kaoru) in the mid-October and by the Xmas we have end, it is the other arcs that are going a bit too fast.

  2. So this time the story doesn’t end in christmas? In the game all the story pretty much ends in christmas since christmas is the recurring theme in the series with how Junichi getting dumped also in Christmas.

  3. It’s a bit strange that we are now past the point where the other arcs ended and we have two more episodes to go in this arc. It still seems a bit unrealistic that she needs to work out so that she will look sexy enough to attract the guy.

  4. i really like rihoko more than kaoru,sae,and ai for some reason.i mean,she’s just so adorable-looking!! and her personality so relaxing.L0L. i want to hug her! XDD

    and *cough* nice breasts *mauled*

  5. While Ai was my favorite up to this point, I think Rihoko is definitely growing in my book…
    What really got me is her care for Junichi, it is definitely something fresh from other girls so far… even though the gloves didn’t fit perfectly, it is her efforts that count 😀
    Looking forward for next episode between cake and Junichi’s fingers…
    ps. Junichi, your love for breast… don’t want to comment for that… 😀

  6. GRAH! Why didn’t she ask for a kiss?! That would’ve made this episode so worth it! Apart from introducing how everyone now wants Tachibana and Rihoko to get together, this was a fairly slow episode.

    Honestly, I was like “KISS! KISS! KISS! KISS!” at that last scene.

  7. Rihoko shouldn’t be allowed out of the house unless she has a scrunchy in her hair. That look is criminally good. At least the style looks vastly better than her “Lost a fight with the lawnmower” hair she has normally.

  8. rihoko is so nice to watch 😀 makes me happy watching this arc 😀 … so far it goes morishima > rihoko > ai > kaoru > sae …. morishima just come top cause i know shes hinagiku tho.. i think >.< and sae never had a chance.. i actually detest timid girls… i suspect tsukasa will be my favourite tho… i've been a sucker to class rep type … *ahem* hinagiku *ahem*

  9. I like seeing Umehara and Junichi doing something other than reading gravure together (like racing each other, playing video games, etc). Makes the little trio of friends way more charming (Kaoru was already cool after all)

  10. Rihoko for the win!
    She’s my favorite so far.
    I appreciate the way the animators dealt with the relationship between Rihoko and Junichi. Just as Divine said, without the ‘big moment’ anticipated during the tea time. Very natural, as you could find in daily life.
    btw, it’s hilarious to see that Junichi was already a pervert when he was a child.

  11. The Rihoko arc is moving in the right direction. Everything so far feels like the events could happen in real life, not unless some weird “kissing body part” scene appears, than it’s not believable.

  12. Long time reader first time poster as it were.

    So far though this arc is becoming a bit of a sleeper hit with me – could turn out to be the best one. But like most other people ive been waiting for Tsukasa’s arc since episode 1 =)

    Oh the ED in this arc, not the best but its cute, but then again after the absolutely amazing ED for Ai’s arc thats to be expected.

  13. This is a really nice arc to be honest. Compared to Sae’s ark, Rihoko’s as a nice fuzzy feel to it and that’s what made this Christmas-esque episode work a lot better than the other ones.

    Jason Isenberg
  14. I like to compare this arc, as mentioned in the summary, to Kaoru’s. Both girls already having a friendship from the start (Rihoko’s even longer than Kaoru’s), thus there’s obvious (and more believable) tension and hesitation on both sides on risking that working friendship on trying something more later on.

  15. Wow, Rihoko’s arc is proving to be full of surprises! And I’m quite pleased with how it’s turning out so far (so pleased that I don’t mind waiting for Tsukasa’s arc now). If I were to compare her to watching a Gundam series, I guess she’s like watching Turn A Gundam. A little underwhelming at first, but give it a chance and it grows on you.

    It helps that she’s one of the few girls in this series (besides Sae and possibly Haruka) who can decently give Junichi a dose of marshmallow hell. And with that sweet, ditzy personality that even Tsukasa couldn’t handle, you can’t help but want to cheer for her as well. (Rhyming unintended.)

    Go get him, Rihoko!


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