Amagami SS+ plus Overall Review
As you’ve probably noticed, I cover a lot of sequels, this being one of them. But did it fall into the same trap that many sequels end up in, which ends up making it worse than the original?
Note: I don’t think there’s too much to spoil, even if I tried. Oh there’s Rihoko and Haruka’s arc, but…
Storyline and Plot
In answer to the question above, yes it did fall into the sequel trap, and the two fatal mistakes were to make it a one-cour (12 episode) series, and to make it a direct sequel of what happened after Junichi got together with the girl. Okay, I guess AIC couldn’t really help it with the latter, but it still wasn’t a good idea.
I really looked forward to this season’s Amagami, and while the Tsukasa arc’s storyline wasn’t too bad, it just deteriorated from then on, with Rihoko finally getting together with Junichi (which should have happened a year ago), Ai-chan spending Christmas with Junichi and Sae becoming the festival committee president. Haruka’s arc was a really nice change in the sense that it had an amazing finale, in which their relationship did progress to that next stage and there was a strong sense of closure that we really should have been getting for all the other arcs.
Much of the tension and excitement from a romance comes from the budding relationship, and us as viewers will watch two people grow closer together and eventually confess, all while overcoming challenges posed by society, jealous rivals or even themselves. But in a “pure” romance series, what happens after? Amagami SS+ plus tried to show us that, and while it was still nice to see Junichi and the cast of girls get closer, with nothing more than two episodes allocated to each girl, nothing big could happen. Ecchi obviously also helps, but again apart from Tsukasa’s arc, there wasn’t anything more ecchi than her bath scene with Junichi. Come on, I’m pretty sure you’ve had sex with Ai-chan (and Haruka too I guess) from the looks of last season, act more intimate at least! With Sae, it was more like a good-friends-but-not-quite-more situation, until they kissed near the very end of her arc.
Overall it was still nice, just a little lacking for my tastes. A letdown compared to the first season, though.
Characters and Development
AI-CHAN MY WAIFU
Ahem. The characters are all unique, each with their own traits and personality that Junichi eventually falls for in the different arcs. Some on first sight like Haruka, yet others not until the end of their arc this season, like Rihoko.
Speaking of Rihoko and her development, I guess what was stable was that this season was all about Junichi and character development with the different girls. My problem with it is that all the arcs were on different scales – apart from Rihoko and Haruka, development wasn’t too great in the other arcs. I know it’s hard for AIC to plan something good without source material on what happens next, but they could have come up with more inventive ideas than being Student Council/Festival President or going on a trip. In terms of the Miya one-episode arc, I’m not sure exactly what I wanted from it but a hot springs ep seemed like the easy way out, as much as I liked the fanservice. Overall, I’m going to be pretty lenient and give it an okay score.
Animation and Music
Music from the Amagami series is always peaceful, and both Check my Soul and Kokuhaku were good enough for me to sit through both of them before and after each episode. There’s not too much to say about the animation since it’s one of the strong, stable things about the show – AIC has done a good job with everyone’s character designs, scenery and just animation in general.
If you enjoyed the first season and want to see more of your favourite girl, then watch this by all means. In terms of as a standalone series, the first season was obviously much stronger so you really shouldn’t be expecting too much – it’s nice for something to watch when you want a bit of fluff or romance though.