With the start of a new Amagami arc and in light of recent developments, THAT’s Amagami Monitoring Group has prepared this rundown of recent events in that Ai arc. Now that a new arc has begun, the situation has changed rapidly and much is yet undecided. Indeed episode 13 has introduced a plethora of new elements and dynamics that have yet to form a coherent picture. But using our trademark methods, seasoned analysts, and access to a wide range of sources, Amagami Watch brings you the most complete picture possible of unfolding issues of strategic romance issues.
– During episode 13, roughly one month before the start of the Founders’ Festival, a new Junichi appeared with a moderately different personality from past iterations. This ‘fourth generation’ Junichi has many characteristics similar to the standard, much less interesting male lead. Features include uninteresting perversion, wandering into flags, and other typical behavior. Subject expert Crusader would call this the “loser harem animu male” type of character.
– Nanasaki Ai has recently entered the scene as the dominant actor in the high school region. Previous arcs kept her well to the sidelines, but now it is apparent that she is taking a much more active role in events.
- Following an encounter at a nearby playground where Ai accused Junichi and Umehara of being perverts under the pretense of a deadpan joke, Ai continued to act in a surprisingly forward manner by teasing Junichi later in the day. Venturing outside before swimming, she allowed Junichi to ‘peak’ under her skirt, only to reveal that she was wearing her swim suit.
- Another recent entrant into the regional strategic picture is a black cat that has started wandering the campus. THAT sources involved in the region have indicated that it is known for its shiny, soft fur and goes by the name of ‘Pooh.’
A reliable source claiming indirect access.
- The most striking development has been the sudden move to openness by Ai. While previous accounts always noted her timidity, for unknown reasons she proceeded to ask Junichi to come shopping with her, ostensibly to collect tickets for the shopping district prize drawing. This was followed by a walk on the beach where she revealed her past involvement in cleaning up the shore along with the rest of the swimming team.
This week has presented us with a large volume of information as well as a number of mixed signals. Ai at first appeared to be something of a deadpan character, and this was in line with her previous introverted nature. But then it wasn’t long until she teased Junichi by revealing her swimming suit and then asking him to come along with her while she went shopping. It feels as if she’s half one character, a quiet kuudere type, and half another, someone more outgoing and open. Given how she’s just met Junichi, this is especially puzzling. There is also the matter of her revealing that she does all the housework because her parents both work, and combined with her initial encounter with Junichi when she was preoccupied with giving her little brother a Christmas gift, points to some potentially troublesome trends. It is our opinion that Ai could have come off as a more interesting character had she stuck with the quiet introverted behavior for a little longer, or just dispensed with the act from the beginning and started acting as the sort of ‘responsible but lonely’ character she came off as in the latter half of the episode. There seems to be a lack of consistency in her recent actions, though perhaps this rapid change is due to operational time constraints.
Not exactly what you’d expect given her previous appearances.
- The new ‘fourth generation’ Junichi, hereafter referred to as J4, appears to lack to more distinctive traits of his predecessors. He has yet to show any sort of motivation or guiding influences such as J1’s Christmas-induced lack of confidence, J2’s casualness with Kaoru, or J3’s sense of humor or obliviousness. As of our most recent intelligence, J4 has yet to distinguish himself from the much despised “loser harem animu male.” J4 even turned down Umehara’s advice to help out Ayatsuji Tsukasa for no apparent reason. He wanders into ‘flag’ situations repeatedly and inadvertently, act perverted but in the falsely embarrassed sort of way instead of a more interesting or open fashion, and doesn’t seem to have any qualities that would attract Ai to him. Given past experiences with J1-J3 we hope and expect this situation to change. But as of this writing there is no substantial indication that he will be as interesting.
Opinion (guidance for interpretation beyond our analysis)
The hell is wrong with you Junichi? I suppose my lovely Tsukasa will have to wait for the final arc.
- This little encounter was just the sort of missed opportunity that I hope the Tsukasa arc will start out on. And while I know this is the Ai arc, I just couldn’t help thinking “so close! It’s right in front of you!!!“
With a look like that, this cat must play some sort of role in this arc.
- While I was rather underwhelmed by how disjointed this first episode felt, throwing out all sorts of elements and character changes without much structure, I did see a bit of promise (likely comedic) in the introduction of the cat that’s been roaming campus. I don’t have a good reason why other than Pooh being pointed out as being there, but I think some fun could be had with the cat as a plot device.
- Despite how quickly Ai seemed to drop her quiet, introverted, deadpan demeanor, they couldn’t have tried channeling Ayanami Rei any more during the ED sequence, could they? The poses, the expressions, the multiple Ai clones in this shot. Just put her in a plugsuit already and be done with it!
Ai and Kamille: both girls’ names.
- Hey, I’d be up for a Zeta Gundam ending! It’s about time we had a less than GOOD END to an arc. Sarah Zabiarov to be played by Miya, Tsukasa as Haman Karn…