Amagami SS+ plus – 02

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The trouble I’m having with Amagami SS+ is that while the experience of watching it is pleasant enough, I’m not really sure why it exists, apart from making money.

 
The Ayatsuji arc concludes in a very low-key fashion, which I think is both a strength and weakness of this season so far.  The fact is, the dramatic imperative behind the first season – developing the romantic relationships with each girl in turn – is pretty much gone.  I appreciated Ayatsuji’s somewhat sensible and low-key reaction to Kurosawa’s kiss ambush, which could have been a forehead-slapping cliché moment.  But it does point up that there’s not much relationship drama here – the couple has already been established, and with two episodes to work with instead of four there isn’t time to throw any real obstacles in their path.  We don’t even get the arc-ending consummation scenes, at least not in this one – the bath scene (school swimsuit?  An unintentional metaphor for the watered-down nature of the season so far there) was very tame compared to some of the first season.

In place of this, AIC has seemingly decided to try and create “plot” drama instead, and I’d call the results so far mixed.  The election story wasn’t unpleasant, but it didn’t have all that much kick to it.  We had the usual extraneous look-ins from the other girls – including the God-Queen Haruka – that were loosely tied-in with the election plot.  We had some light service and low-key humor.  What we didn’t have was any real spark, at least for me.  Ayatsuji herself was much more reasonable than she was in the first season, and again, while I like that in a way, that dangerous streak was what made her above-average among the heroines.  And her winning the election can’t have come as a surprise to anyone.

Next week, we have Rihoko’s arc.  I wasn’t wile about her first-season story, which was probably the second-weakest after Sae’s.  This is one of the weaknesses of the omnibus format of course, as some arcs inevitably drag compared to the best ones.  It’ll be interesting to see if the relative non-drama of Ayatsuji’s arc carries over to the others.  I ‘d really like to see something more here – more slapstick, more sex, more angst, more something – to give this anime-original sequel an identity.  Right now, there’s really nothing about it that stands out.

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7 comments

  1. S

    I don't think we're supposed to put too much thought into a show like this. It's just a feel good anime with some of the best looking female characters. I hope Rihoko gets a better ending this time :)

  2. I agree Seishun, but it still has to entertain, right? So far, that's kind of a mixed bag for me.

  3. K

    I liked the 2 episode arc. This series was created to make money as well as give us a 2 part look at how each girl is doing. I have no problem with what we have seen per se.

    I guess what I'm saying is I didn't expect this series to be another Ano Hana. Its pretty much what I expected it to be.

  4. T

    Mixed bag, eh? I guess it's because you were hoping for more from the plot/conflicts.

    I guess I had no expectations to begin with for the plot of this sequel. I mean, the 1st season was pretty conclusive with regards to everybody's relationships (excluding Rihoko), so there obviously wouldn't be much else the series could do with two episodes per heroine.

    Even if this is anime original, SS+ is trying to keep in line with the canon of the 1st season. Thus, I pretty much got into the mindset to ignore every last bit of drama to this show, because it would be pointless in the end anyways.

    In other words, SS+ is all fanservice. But hey, I guess AIC might be able to surprise somehow, and create a substantial plot/conflict in this 2nd season.

    But with Rihoko's arc next, somehow I'm not so sure if it will happen…

  5. I think you're basically right, but if that's the case – let's ramp up the fanservice. School swimsuit – in the bath??

  6. T

    Haha, well as Junichi said, swimsuits are appealing in their own way 😛

    I'm not a big swimsuit guy, but it was still fun to watch Junichi's hyperactive mind kicking it into high gear during that scene.

  7. K

    But her wearing a suit to wash his back was keeping in line with her character. Now if it was Haruka's arc she might have gone into the bathtub wearing her birthday suit…

    I'm looking forward to Rihoko's arc. She got robbed the last time and maybe this time will make up for it.

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