「桜井梨穂子 前編 ユウグレ」 (Sakurai Rihoko Zenpen — Yuugure)
“Sakurai Rihoko, First Chapter — Evening”

I don’t approve of an overly perverted Junichi taking advantage of younger girls like we saw in Sae’s chapter, but when it comes to Rihoko, I have to concede that the hornier he is the better. That is, if she has any hope of getting out of the dreaded friend zone. Junichi took notice to her rapidly developing bust size before, so being reminded of it here was a good thing for Rihoko, even if she’s too innocent to realize what’s going on in his mind. What’s worrisome — at least for someone who wants to see Rihoko get the ending that she was so cruelly deprived of in season one — is that Junichi still doesn’t seem to see her as anything more than a childhood friend, judging from how he’ll tease her about her weight (i.e. one of the most taboo things to do to a girl). While we saw a glimpse of something more, there wasn’t much to suggest that was anything other than a one-off perverted thought. The romance element simply isn’t there and it doesn’t look like Rihoko’s going to be brave enough to throw herself at Junichi anytime soon, which already has me fearing a repeat of what we saw before.

What’s keeping things interesting (and my hopes alive) is the inclusion of desperate yet driven Makabe (Kawabe Shunsuke). He was rather forceful with the way he asked Rihoko out on a whim, but didn’t come off nearly as conceited as he originally had me believe. It looked like he more or less gave up when Rihoko said she has someone she likes, so I don’t think Junichi will have to step in next time and save her from getting hit on. What I’m hoping though is that this opens Junichi’s eyes to the fact that other guys see Rihoko as a very attractive girl and makes him curious about who she likes. I gather he didn’t make out what Rihoko said with the train passing overhead — much like we didn’t — but did catch the lead-in portion about how she already has someone she likes, meaning it’ll be a topic of discussion when she comes over to cook for him and Miya next time. If you ask me, I say it damn well better be with Kanae (Matsuoka Yuki), Ruriko (Satou Izumi), and Manaka (Harada Hitomi) taking a very hands-off approach in encouraging Rihoko.

At the moment, Rihoko’s biggest enemy is time. There wasn’t really anything in this first half to suggest that they’re headed toward a couple’s direction, so unless they really hit it off at dinner, I can’t see things ending well for Rihoko. The preview doesn’t really give us any indication one way or the other either, which means we could be in for a pleasant surprise or another big disappointment. The mere thought of that already has me a bit antsy. I know the whole childhood friend bit is overused in anime, but come on! It feels so wrong to only have the childhood friend left out — and in Amagami’s omnibus format no less. AIC better pull through for me next time or my post will be on how heartless anime producers can be.

* Full-length images: 10, 24, 28, 30, 33.
* I really hope there are Rihoko fans out there, because cap 30 took me the better part of 20 minutes to redraw and put together.



ED2 Sequence & End Card


  1. It’s like there’s someone out to steal either Junichi or the current arc girl in Amagami SS+ Plus (Noriko in Ayatsuji’s arc, Makabe in Rihoko’s). The smell of attempted NTR is in the air.

    Rihoki, your sempais have given you all the support they can give. Please get out of the dreaded Friendzone!

    P.S. Ruriko and Manaka are still hawt. Wish they had arcs in the Amagami SS season 1.

  2. Cap 30 and that outfit. If that didn’t showcase how beautiful Rihoko can be, then I don’t know. Pity that, aside from the kimono from her previous arc, she really didn’t get any opportunity to demonstrate that she is an attractive young woman.

    I really hope Rihoko gets her man this time!

  3. Well that was a bit disappointing. Nothing much happened other than more ship teasing. Especially the flashbacks, those things are supposed to be heartwarming, but then it came of as weird when it just portrayed shota-Junichi as a horny kid. Didn’t really fit the mood.

    It was fun to see the (Former)Tea Club members though. I find it funny how they are more interesting than Rihoko herself.

  4. I really don’t see Rihoko as having any extra weight over the rest of the girls…
    Junichi, a piece of advice, from my own experience: provided a plump girl accepts her own figure she can become very active in the more, erm, steamy elements of the romance.

    1. Good advice there!
      Honestly, with the stereotypical image of a cute Japanese girl being slender and all that, the fact is that Rihoko is quite attractive. So what if there’s a bit extra? It’s not that much, AIC! She certainly doesn’t look like she let herself go or something.

      I think everyone’s in agreement that Rihoko deserves her happy ending. Where’s my cute childhood friend who eventually falls in love with me?? (Never mind that.)

    2. He is a moron, you don’t EVER tell a young girl she is getting fat. Even if she says “Do you think I’m getting fat”? you lie and say no. Telling her she is fat is the quickest way to not being friends any more with her.

  5. I was a Rihoko fan from the very beginning, and words can’t describe how disappointed I was with her ending in the first season. She really deserves more. If anything, the childhood friend should get the best ending, IMO. I pray that it ends well here!

    And thanks for screencap 30 🙂

  6. Thanks so much for Cap 30, Divine!
    When I saw that scene for the first time, I went, Wooooooooow, I truly made the right choice 😉 I truly love honest and down-to-earth female characters like her and Ai.

    C’mon Rihoko, you can do it! One more episode to prove yourself!

  7. totally a Rihoko fan here… Thank you so much for that cap 30, Divine!!!

    and this is exactly what I feared… things aren’t going to go anywhere… though they could have set a stage for Junichi to step in and save Rihoko 🙁 guess that was too cliche?

    and please give Rihoko a happy ending! a Childhood friend that is innocent and faithful like that is rare even in today’s anime world! (plus that godly look) don’t let a treasure like Rihoko rust :3

    and Junichi is a pervert since 5th grade… and a stupid pervert at that… only a great girl like Rihoko wouldn’t say much to strike back… Be nice to your innocent childhood friend!

  8. I’m really trying to love Rihoko and I admit that she’s grown on me after this episode but, why, why are the writers so cruel to her? That’s all that happened after an episode? Perv Junichi is all that we get from him? And the next episode is the last one for her? If this continues she’d forever be on the bottom 3 for me.

  9. *Puts on Kenny Loggins tune*


    I kid. I hope Rihoko gets an actual good end this time ’round. She’s simply cute as a button, this girl. The way her friends are about the whole thing, they might as well be stripping her naked and shoving her into Junichi’s direction, yelling at her to jump his bones.

  10. Feel so bad for Rihoko. Friendzoned last season, find out Junichi’s been perving on her since childhood, and now some guy is hitting on her in a really creepy way. That is a trifecta of just awfulness there. Really hope she gets some sort of happier ending next week.

  11. Okay, I was fearing this! They better give her a good ending! I mean, I was kind of shocked when they didn’t give her a half decent ending in the first season, if they do it again; I don’t know. Let’s hope for the best though. 2 episodes is just cutting it too close. If they didn’t even start the development of the relationship where is it going? 20 minutes left on this arc…hmmm, sudden feelings burst forth from Junichi and he falls in love with her? I would be satisfied 😉

  12. I think it’s pretty obvious what Junichi’s feeling now. As they say, you never know what’s truly important to you until you lose it. Especially when you keep taking her for granted. I would say Junichi must be pretty flustered hearing that Rihoko has someone she’s interested in, not knowing that someone is him. I believe the real question is not whether Rihoko will only get a normal ending, but whether it’s Rihoko or Junichi who will confess first and lead us to the happy end.

  13. Fans: “We would like to order a Rihoko arc, and please upgrade it from friendzone to lovers.”
    AIC: “Sorry, we’re out of lovers, but we took the liberty of upgrading it to NTR.”

  14. Best episode of SS+ by far. I just hope Rihocchi won’t get friendzoned AGAIN, she’s too adorable for such cruel destiny. Ganbatte!

    I raged hard at first after seeing end of episode but something good can come out of it~

  15. I really don’t get the fat jokes. Why is Rihoko considered fat? She’s actually the most normal-looking girl in terms of body shape. In fact, it’s the other girls who are “abnormal,” because some of them are so skinny that they’d be considered ridden with eating disorders in real life.

    Also, please let her have a happy ending. I’m a Harukafan myself, but I like all the girls and want them all to be happy.

  16. Rihoko may not be my top favorite, but I may very well rethink things. A girl with Rihoko’s looks and especially personality is the kind you’d be an idiot to let go of. Even with slim chances I’m hoping it won’t be a friendzone conclusion. C’mon anime staff you gave stalker girl Risa Show Spoiler ▼

    a pretty decent happy ending with Juunichi at their expense. Why is Rihoko getting the short end of the deal here? Thanks for fullpic #30.

  17. “* I really hope there are Rihoko fans out there, because cap 30 took me the better part of 20 minutes to redraw and put together.”

    That sounds so wrong! Hahaha!

    You have 1 more episode to give Rihoko the ending she deserves. Funny, they can give Rihoko her proper ending or become the anime trolls of the year!

    Moar Manaka-tan please!

    Lectro Volpi

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