「橘美也編 イモウト」 (Tachibana Miya-hen – Imouto)
“Tachibana Miya Chapter – Younger Sister”
The eagerly anticipated extra chapter centered around Junichi’s little sister is finally here, and it starts off strangely similar to Risa’s one that came before. The key difference is that when the progression verged on some dangerous incestuous territory, it held back just enough to remain innocently sweet. It was surprising to say the least, simply because I anticipated this BD/DVD-only episode to tease us with the idea that Miya would start seeing her seemingly hopeless brother as something more. I just can’t help but associate bonus episodes with some element of fan-service these days, so kudos to Amagami for going against that trend and ending on a lighthearted note about what its title means instead (i.e. play-biting).
Most of my amusement came from Risa’s involvement, as she tried to get Miya to get see her as her future sister to no avail. There was something really cute about how disappointed she was when Miya didn’t call her “Nee-ne”, which quickly reminded me of the very sweet moments at the end of her chapter. During the middle portion of the episode, I was probably watching more for Risa than Miya, though the latter did have the funniest moment when she thought that Junichi is gay. A part of me figured Risa would speak up about how she hasn’t really made it easy for Junichi to hook up with any of the girls, but I did like the way Miya learned firsthand that it’s not easy for everyone to just jump into a relationship. I wouldn’t say it was an overly profound discovery on Miya’s part, but it did change my perspective of this brother-sister bonus episode from that moment on.
In comparison to Risa’s single-episode chapter, Miya’s did come off relatively more aimless. The whole stray cat bit at the end was undoubtedly a setup for the eventual play-biting, plus a means to improve Miya’s image of Junichi as a dependable brother. As such, it felt a bit tacked on and segregated from everything else that happened, despite the inclusion of Miya’s teary-eyed look that we got to see for the very first time. Of all the scenes, the one where Junichi patted Miya on the head to console her was my favorite, as it marked the start of Miya seeing Junichi in a better light. Naturally, they had to go back to some awkward bathroom scene to annul most of it, but I’ll wager that Junichi still moved up in her books.
Overall, this episode didn’t quite have the same conclusive impact as Risa’s chapter, but is commendable for not indulging in brotherly complex ideas for the sake of fan-service. What’s more, it is the same ending from the Amagami game. Animation-wise, I did have some minor qualms with the shoddy faces on distant shots in an otherwise good-looking production though. As for Miya’s ending theme, I had listened to the single for a while now so the real treat was how cute it is with the sequence.
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