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Amagami SS+ plus – 04

「桜井梨穂子 後編 フウリン」 (Sakurai Rihoko Kouhen – Fuurin)
“Sakurai Rihoko, Second Chapter – Wind Chime”

Forget “check my soul”, someone needs to “check my pulse” to see if I’m still alive after this episode. With the way things were progressing, I had all but given up hope that the long-awaited moment would come and save Rihoko from her cruel fate in the first season. As the remaining minutes ticked away, that moment finally came — and in the very last minute no less. At that point, I was filled with both a sense of relief and disappointment, as I was happy to see that Junichi took the initiative and Rihoko reciprocated, but clamoring over how a kiss is all we got. When someone’s been as patient as Rihoko has, she deserves so more than that to make up for for lost time.

While I can completely appreciate the depiction of how being forward with one’s feelings is a lot more difficult when it comes to childhood friends, and the believability behind how Junichi didn’t see her as anything more until Makabe came along (and simply backed off like I anticipated), I still can’t overlook how agonizing it is from an outside perspective to see the likes of Miya just totally killing the mood. Yes, it’s just like high school all over again where there’s some mutual interest among friends and some people are trying to help while others are unknowingly getting in the way, but that doesn’t make it any less irksome to watch. It’s an all-too-real scenario that’s in desperate need of a character like Remon in Ano Natsu de Matteru who’s well beyond her years and knows how to force the “issue”, but Amagami SS chose not to go that route with Kanae, Ruriko, and Manaka taking a hands-off approach.

The end result is a conclusion to Rihoko’s follow-up arc that’s fairly sweet but lacking intensity. It only makes sense that Rihoko wouldn’t hit it off with Junichi as passionately as the other girls — or they’d be dating already — but it does leave me wondering why things didn’t develop to this point in the first season so that this second season could expand on it. If I were to compare Tsukasa’s plus arc to Rihoko’s (since that’s all I have to go on at the moment), it’s easy to see that the former had the luxury of reiterating the heroine’s appeal while the latter was only starting to show some of it. Rihoko really could’ve benefiting from being put into more scenarios that highlight her childhood friend charm, some of which we saw here when she was genuinely happy to hear Junichi praise/thank her for her cooking — helping paint a rosy picture of the ideal future wife — and showed just how close they already are by borrowing some of his clothes to sleep in. (The latter was very alluring in its own way, but it would’ve been even better if she borrowed a dress shirt.) As such, I’m just going to chalk this up to Amagami SS’ way of illustrating how the childhood friend doesn’t always have it easy in anime, and just be grateful that it didn’t make an example of Rihoko completely like the original season. (Thank goodness for that.)

Next up is my favorite heroine in the series, Nanasaki Ai, so you can be rest assured that I’m excited to see what other bold moves the cool swimmer pulls off. It’s not every day we get to hear the sultry Yukana in a high school romance role, so that’s another huge plus about Ai’s character.

* Full-length images: 09, 14, 15, 21, 28.

 

Preview

End Card

January 26, 2012 at 1:48 pm
62 comments »
  • January 26, 2012 at 1:57 pmDdadain

    Ahh, the age-old dilemma of the “friendzone” and “can a guy and girl be just friends”.

    May childhood friend romances blossom!

  • January 26, 2012 at 1:58 pmAnimesetsuna

    Rihoko’s Chapter finished. Ai’s Chapter is on next week. I can’t wait to see her chapter.

  • January 26, 2012 at 2:02 pmMissingnomer

    Wow, this was good and bad, just like Divine said. But we all now wait for the most anticipated! Ai! I am super excited about it. Though, will they do a ten years later for the arcs that didn’t do it in the last season? We all know Rihoko’s was gonna end somewhat like this, but with Ai’s and the others, they might just pull a ten years later on all of them? Maybe?

  • January 26, 2012 at 2:17 pmRukia

    Skipped the last two episodes. Just not that interested in the character. What am I interested in? Nanasaki Ai.

  • January 26, 2012 at 2:29 pmPot Noodle

    I fist thumped the air at that moment. Finally! Very sweet way to end it I thought.

  • January 26, 2012 at 2:59 pmMediafag

    Where are them delicious images?

  • January 26, 2012 at 4:09 pmJusuchin (Military Otaku)

    Finally. Frankly I just can’t wait for Kaoru. Ai is alright, my -ignore for two weeks- is Sae.

    • January 26, 2012 at 5:04 pmKarmafan

      I like Sae. Its all good actually as we get to see many different girls and different scenarios. If every girl was the same and had the same storyline the series would be boring. Be happy that we get 6 different girls.

      • January 27, 2012 at 11:59 amJusuchin (Military Otaku)

        Aye, it’s what I like about Amagami.

  • January 26, 2012 at 4:35 pmThe Moondoggie

    WTF?!? We are cock blocked again? I want more!!! D:

    Well anyway, everything’s sexier with Ai. Can’t wait next week’s episode.

  • January 26, 2012 at 4:42 pm0927123

    Uh oh, someone’s not going to be happy with this episode. Again.

    • January 26, 2012 at 4:54 pmDizzy

      lol that is brilliant. Why have I not seen this before?

    • January 26, 2012 at 10:29 pmMaimeDaifuku

      You get so many internet points! I literally ROTFLed!!

  • January 26, 2012 at 4:55 pmDizzy

    So from the little bit I read we got an “ending”, just not a satisfactory one? Still waiting on the subs.

    Ai Next!

    • January 26, 2012 at 5:19 pmDivine

      We got a definitive ending, but it was a rather weak one.

      • January 26, 2012 at 7:39 pmHelvetica Standard

        I politely disagree. You just expected too much..
        It’s Rihoko we’re talking about.

      • January 26, 2012 at 9:35 pmThe Moondoggie

        ^Even so, this IS an original. Rihoko needs a more happier ending.

      • January 26, 2012 at 9:51 pmfragb85

        God forbid, we EXPECT an Amagami girl to get a story arc that isn’t mostly padding. Even if I don’t like Rihoko I still think she deserves more than these two dull episodes.

      • January 28, 2012 at 4:41 amlushcka

        Rihoko does deserve a happier ending. While they did get together I couldn’t help but feel like it was tacked on in the end. It was sweet but could have been so much more. They should have spent less time first season on the tea club activities and more on developing a romantic relationship. Where they ended here is where they should have ended last season. And I love Miya but she was probably too prominent in this episode.

        The reason why I’m looking to forward to Haruka the most besides her being my favourite heroine is because she probably got the most conclusive ending with the time skip to them being married. I’m very curious if they’re going to play on the time skip or whether it’ll revert right back after they got together.

  • January 26, 2012 at 5:51 pmRakkyo

    Is it just me or there are no caps other than the preview ones?

  • January 26, 2012 at 6:16 pmGaze of Providence

    Earn your happy ending.

  • January 26, 2012 at 6:17 pm0927123

    Note: Images pending. I won’t have time to get to them until much later tonight and I’m not going to put up a bunch of low-quality caps

    HERE, JUST FOR YOU.

  • January 26, 2012 at 6:26 pmYanDaMan

    Been waiting for Ai’s chapter~!

    My favorite of the 6.

  • January 26, 2012 at 7:04 pmnagi

    I’m only happy because it’s Ai next episode! not saying that I don’t like Rihoko, I DON’T LIKE how the writers treat her :(

    Anyway, what’s up with those who thumbs-down almost all the comments (even neutral ones) on this review?

    • January 27, 2012 at 6:36 amritsuka

      It’s not only this review. I see people thumbing down even for neutral points in a lot of other posts/shows too. Easily offended? I don’t know. I like to balance it out by thumbing them back up though because I am petty like that.

  • January 26, 2012 at 7:18 pmfragb85

    That was a dull arc finale. Much like last episode it was mostly ship tease and awkward and it just felt like padding. It was especially annoying when Miya unintentonally killed the romantic mood. Junichi does get points for taking the initative and the mood for the confession scene in nighttime was great. But then just when they finally confess and kiss and it looks like more will happen the episode ENDS! It was really underwhelming.

  • January 26, 2012 at 7:19 pmbillng

    Ai’s arc will be good, but what I’m really anticipating is Kaoru’s arc

  • January 26, 2012 at 7:34 pmHelvetica Standard

    we should all be happy that she got her guy, no? I can picture you all raging if not.
    i bet she couldn’t be happier if she tried.
    i expected “friend zone” again, yet i was pleasantly proven wrong.
    Rihoko’s SS was pretty much like this since first season (least romantic of all arcs)
    and the fact that the romance is a lot more subtle and sober adds an interesting mix to the variety.
    oh and btw: STOP COMPLAINING.

    • January 26, 2012 at 9:41 pmThe Moondoggie

      But we want more. Like how the other girls get.

      She get’s Junichi, they have sex, she get’s pregnant and we get a future shot of her with her own kid, happily married with Junichi.

      Or at least a shot of her in a wedding dress.

      At least show us more that she did earn her happy ending.

  • January 26, 2012 at 8:46 pmGX-9901

    close enough.png good job rihoko for making my blood pressure shoot up the roof! and junichi, finally, youve finally seen whats in front of you ALL this time.

    now, if only we can have a nice manga adaptation like tsukasa’s and kaoru’s…

  • January 26, 2012 at 8:49 pmDelwack

    I liked it =/. A slow, steady, comfortable romance, the polar opposite of the firebrand/impulsive type. It’s a bit slow, but it is sweet in its own slow and steady way. It’s also sorta awkward in it’s own way, not in the typical sense. I found it fairly refreshing. I think the rage from the last season is still driving people crazy. With these two eps it feels like her arc is finally done. If you look at it from that point of view I suppose they cheated you out of the extra 2 eps, but I think it was rather well executed if you take it in all at once. Not a lot of people seem to like this style, find it underwhelming. I enjoyed it though.

  • January 26, 2012 at 9:17 pmgecd

    I literally screaming FYEAH when they are kissing

  • January 26, 2012 at 10:06 pmAnimesetsuna

    I’m sure Amagami SS+ BD version will get additional scenes… Just like Amagami SS.

  • January 26, 2012 at 10:24 pmFencedude

    I can actually buy this relationship, unlike basically all the others in the series. I get why Rihoko and Junichi would be in love.

    That being said, its not particularly interesting and they are both completely lame. So…eh, whatever.

    The 5 second cameo of the best couple of the franchise (Haruka and Hibiki) was the best part of the episode.

    • January 26, 2012 at 10:58 pmBeckett

      Haruka’s cameo’s are ALWAYS the best part of the episode ;).

  • January 26, 2012 at 10:27 pmbelatkuro

    One season overdue and pretty lacking in the ending but still better than being friendzoned again.
    Hitler is pleased :)

  • January 26, 2012 at 10:53 pmredjuicefan

    “nani o tsukurou kana?”
    playing too much Atelier Meruru and Atelier Totori will make u react to this phrase. at least it did to me Xp

  • January 26, 2012 at 11:00 pmBeckett

    Welp that was boring. The last minute was pretty good because even though I think she’s a boring character, Rihoko still deserves a conclusive ending like the others. But I’m betting this will be end up being the least interesting arc of the season, just like in season 1. Luckily Ai is up next and she is my third favorite girl so there’s that to look forward to. Now if only <3 Haruka's <3 episodes would hurry up and get here.

  • January 26, 2012 at 11:32 pmHegent

    Wow!

    Thank you for the write-up Divine. Rihoko’s arc is heartfelt as always. I really thought they got over the “friendzone” last season.

    Ai’s arc is awesome. I loved her from the first season and frankly she’s my most favorite among Junichi’s harem. She does things a bit unexpected and puts your heart into a badum-badum moment as always. Expecting something ordinary from Ai is not gonna happen anytime soon! Let’s see what she has in store for us next week.

    I can’t wait!!

  • January 26, 2012 at 11:34 pmewok40k

    Miya the …blocker!
    But the kiss was alright, if not a moment too soon…
    Rihoko earned her happy end.
    Next up, my fave, Ai! (I got something of a swimming girl fetish, totally unrelated to swimsuits… in fact just like certain swimmer prodigy from Umisho I prefer them skinny-dipping)

  • January 26, 2012 at 11:59 pmmafias

    I feel bad that they’ve taken too much time recapping what happened last episode (The beginning and tea club senpais). Those three minutes would have been better if used to show the game’s BEST ending. (We get to see a different Rihoko too!)

  • January 27, 2012 at 12:03 amMrTerrorist

    I’m….I’m crying. T_T

    Finally, after getting “Friendzoned” in the 1st season, i thought it was going to happen again. But thankfully at the last minutes, they finally confess their love for each other! Kyahhh!!!!!! ^v^ ^v^

    I’m proud of you Rihoko. You finally got the boy you loved. I’m so happy crying right now. I feel like a parent seeing their daughter finally getting the person who truly loves her.

    Excuse me, i going to go cry together with the Rihoko fans.

  • January 27, 2012 at 12:24 amThe_Magus_Killer

    http://randomc.net/image/Amagami%20SS/Amagami%20SS%20plus%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2009.jpg

    ^ These girls should get their own routes ASAP -especially Ruriko. HNNNGGGGG.

    Congrats Rihoko, for you have finally gotten out of the friendzone. I’m sure, somewhere in an alternate universe Nazi Germany, the fuhrer would now be calling his generals inside his bunker in Berlin to discuss this episode on YouTube.

  • January 27, 2012 at 12:43 amjackxu

    I think one of the main factors which made this arc not so satisfying was the way they let both Junichi and Rihoko’s indecisiveness takes its full course as well as like how Divine mentioned; where the supporting characters were not made to directly force the issue.

    Besides that, I think that some of the flashbacks used throughout the arc were well implemented. But it’s a shame that they weren’t used effectively enough to reinforce with the eventual confession.

    Also, I felt that the confession itself came off a bit unnaturally as if there were some missing parts/dialogue in between.

    Overall, the arc was successful in providing a unity. Just not a very heartwarmingly solid one.

  • January 27, 2012 at 1:04 amJhacks

    As much as I like a lot of kinky episode in Amagami, I found this episode very pleasing. This episode stands out as being really different from the other because it’s just simple, pure and pretty sweet. For some unknown reason I really have a soft spot for Rihoko. I just find something about her very appealing.

    And I agree with you Divine, maybe if they have this in their dinner, things will go much more naughty. ><

    • January 27, 2012 at 2:14 amjackxu

      OH NO! And then they’d go with the King game afterwards with only three people? I’m not sure if I want to imagine what’d happen. It may as well turn into to a whole new genre.

  • January 27, 2012 at 3:09 amSeishun Otoko

    Yay for Rihoko!
    That end card screams fuwa fuwa indeed ;)

  • January 27, 2012 at 5:51 amBenigmatica

    Well, I’m glad that Rihoko didn’t stayed in the friend zone!

    Oh well, time to wait for Ai-chan next week.

  • January 27, 2012 at 5:58 amNexusM78

    checked my pulse. i don’t feel anything, or my nerves are all dead O__________O

  • January 27, 2012 at 7:00 amBreedo

    Rihoko is my favorite since the start…(Hibiki didn’t get a route!?) I feel like they wrote this arc for me, it was perfectly teased out and the little moments where Junichi looks at her almost like he imagines her the wife continued. I think when he was looking at her in the kitchen cooking it occured to him again how nice it would be to have this everyday. I can see how it isn’t the perfect path to take for a Haruka or a Kaoru but we all know those girls wouldn’t wait for Junichi. This is the Junichi we get when he doesn’t have a sempai advantage and a relationship of comfort and respect that creates a ..veil i guess. I think this is probably one of the most realistic arcs of all of them and while it isn’t high drama it’s really how it happens alot of times. That sudden realization of why not. I think it has it’s own excitement. For her i felt the scene with Makabe was also necessary to push her to think “I can say it to him why can’t i to Junichi?” This was my kind of arc and keeping with the Amagami tradition of something different for each girl.

  • January 27, 2012 at 11:53 ampedobearmatt

    Detective Miya, I found some evidence that the two break the friend zone barrier beyond the normal. Since both of them shy away like that, it appears Junichi and Rihoko committed something more than kiss.

  • January 27, 2012 at 12:01 pmMasterDragonKnight

    I wonder if they are going to make another OVA for Miya.

    You can never have too much nishishi~

  • January 27, 2012 at 3:15 pmanna

    Tch. She totally should’ve just gone out with Makabe and be like “Sorry Junichi, you snooze you lose.” Poor girl deserves better.

  • January 27, 2012 at 10:35 pmmtle

    Justice has been served!

  • January 28, 2012 at 3:45 amShizuo

    Sweet ending, loved it!

  • January 28, 2012 at 4:23 amc2710

    Frankly speaking…. I want a similar ending as well but its hard to read my friend’s mine…

    Yea we know each other in kindergarten but there was a 10+ yrs of absence

  • January 28, 2012 at 10:02 amZhinvu

    Yes! What hasn’t been said already over here? Rihoko finally gets her happy ending. Even if I don’t see visually what happens to them after, just seeing that they both finally confessed is good enough. I chuckled and wondered a little after Makabe tried to hit on Haruka. Do Haruka and Hibiki really have such intimidating presences that he’d be so terrified and run away?

  • January 28, 2012 at 2:15 pmLectro Volpi

    Watched the episode! Justice for Rihoko!

    Brief but served it’s purpose. I will wait for Kaoru’s arc; it’s easy when you like all the girls.

  • January 28, 2012 at 9:48 pmMatroid

    Personally, I think Rihoko deserves someone better than Junichi. If this romance continues, Junichi is waiting to be killed by his girlfriend who is ten times smarter than him. But I guess a galgame character can always somehow get away with it.

  • January 30, 2012 at 12:21 pmSora no Kaze

    Ai.. Ai… Oh how I love that girl. And yet again I’m always cheering on the side of Junichi. Either way, Rihoko finally got what she wanted and that’s a romance with Junichi. They really did fix it up, even though I was expecting them to do this much much sooner rather then later.

    For next week, Nanasaki Ai!!!! Oh how great this next 2 weeks is going to be… as long as that girl who shall not be name finds out that (She hates me comparing her to Nanasaki Ai lol).

  • February 4, 2012 at 12:07 ammakubex

    Fat people dont get happy ending. Period

  • February 5, 2012 at 6:23 pmNolan

    I wonder what they were doing off-screen in between the kiss in the middle of the night and the tea time in the morning.