Amagami SS – 23

It’s clear now that Amagami SS has chosen to end it’s run with the most interesting arc since the first one. But while the Haruka arc was sexy and fun, this one is altogether dark, disturbing and even a little scary. Just like its featured girl.

I laughed at the yandere speculation as applied to Ayatsuji, but after this episode I’m prepared to give it at least a little credence. In some ways she still represents a textbook “Type B” tsundere – the split personality, the cheerful overachieving public face with the hidden nasty side. It’s really almost too spot-on – anime 101. But that’s where things start to get interesting, as we get a few clues that this dual nature might cross the line into “disorder” territory.

There were three scenes of principal interest here. The first and arguably the most well-staged was the classroom confrontation, where Ayatsuji confronted the three bitchy girls who had caught a glimpse of her flirting with Junichi. Their barbs were petty, mean-spirited and childish – classic schoolgirl torment. But when Ayatsuji hit back, she hit back hard – her counterattack was truly vicious. She cut them to ribbons and seemed to enjoy doing it – even Junichi thought she’d gone too far. It’s clear that her act over the years has rubbed people the wrong way by the way the three girls in the classroom use the opportunity to try and give her some payback.  

The second notable moment was when she “proposed” to him at the shrine. No shocks here – Ayatsuji has at this point proved herself as a creature whose moods can and do turn on a dime. “I want you to be mine” is a somehow fitting way for this frightening girl to ask a boy to be her boyfriend – implying a hint of the danger Junichi faces by saying yes. Which of course, he does – this version of the character being a somewhat guileless and understandably horny guy. They kiss, and that seals the deal – she even burns her notebook, saying that she doesn’t need it now that she has Junichi to confide in.

Finally, we have the moment when Ayatsuji tearfully apologized to her tormentors in the classroom and begs them to come back and help with the Founder’s Festival, winning them over with her act. The followup conversation with Junichi is truly unsettling, as he rightly points out that she slapped him earlier for suggesting she ask for help with the festival. Ayatsuji at this point refers to the girl who did that in the third person – quite literally, mind – and claims that girl is no longer in charge of things. Junichi, to his credit, appears to have enough wit to him to realize something is amiss and wonder what he’s gotten himself into.

That was certainly the most interesting ep since the third of the series, the “knee-kiss” episode. It will be very interesting to see how this ends. The writers have done a good job in suggesting that Ayatsuji has some real and serious issues going on – I hope they don’t cop out and give us a low-key happy ending. This arc is fascinating not so much for the romance, but as a character study of the girl – by far the creepiest and most complex of any so far.

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