Amagami is interesting in that among it’s 6-heroine omnibus format, we have not one but two osananajimis. Of the two, Rihoko had the least interesting first season, and she seems much more hopelessly mired in the friendzone. Rihoko is an almost comically childlike figure, her crush on Junichi seeming to be her only concession to adolescence – most of her time is spent worrying about food and the tea club. That’s why the flashback to she and Junichi as fifth-graders was interesting, because it shows how little she’s really changed – she even had a bust then – and how Junichi was, if anything, more interested in her then. He even managed to cop a feel by talking her into a chest-measurement contest in the nurse’s office – a feat he repeats in the present, proving he’s not totally above seeing her as a sex object.
The one we see with Rihoko isn’t my favorite incarnation of Junichi’s character. I don’t especially care for the way he mocks her about her weight, and he’s incredibly dense in managing not to pick up any of the signals she’s haplessly throwing at him. Frankly, I tend to think this is one of those “friendship couples” that should probably never be anything more, because there never seemed to be much chemistry between them and the romantic interest seemed completely one-sided. Oddly though, the chemistry seems a little better this time around, and perhaps it’s payback time for Rihoko never getting to consummate her arc like the other heroines did.
Indeed, we seem to be making some progress on that front, though they’ll have to hurry with only one more ep to work with. Rihoko invited herself over to cook dinner for Junichi when he shows signs of “heat fatigue” – first time I’ve heard it called that – and his parents conveniently out of town. And she even got some relationship advice from her two tea-club senpai, not university students packing eels. It even looked as if Junichi might find out the truth when he stumbled upon Rihoko fending off a confession from Makabe (Kawabe Shunsuke. debut performance), but alas the hackneyed old cliché of the train going by just as Rihoko “confessed” her love for Junichi negated that. Makabe’s presence was an interesting (and rather random) addition – I found their scene very tense, and his behavior a little alarming.