After some delay of the subs for episode 20 due to some sort of raws DORAMA, we have the conclusion to the Rihoko arc. (A note on subs, the TL is accurate for the [GRUNNER] subs, however there are 3 or 4 simple lines that didn’t have subs and 1 or 2 timing mistakes. [UTW] subs still not out at the time of writing, but if you can deal with those couple of small mistakes, I can attest that the [GRUNNER] subs are accurate translations.) Going several months past the ending of every arc but Haruka’s, there’s something of a resolution over the long term. Though I can’t say that I wasn’t a bit disappointed in the indirect method of ending the arc. Even so, it was still as fun and sweet as the rest of the Rihoko arc.
Recipe: Episode 20 – Goodbye
2 graduating senpai
1 tearful goodbye
1 marrying off of daughter
3 intervening characters, to ship the main couple
1 box chocolate-filled choux cream
1 beastmaster Haruka
1 club membership application card
A dash of ominous(ly great) things to come in the next arc
Begin by having your intervening characters approach the couple from various angles. Add the characters to a crock pot or other slow cooker. The 2 graduating senpai should be used heavily throughout to promote the Tea Club. Concern for the future of the club should begin to boil, reduce to simmer and allow to cook slowly. Add the club membership application card about halfway through cooking. Add the beastmaster Haruka long enough to produce some comic relief, but remove after this to avoid Haruka scene stealing (a common problem.) Once you get to Valentines Day the choux cream should be homemade by Rihoko and stirred into the pot. Hold this scene until an indirect kiss occurs between Rihoko and Junichi. Also during Valentines Day, throw in a touch of Ayatsuji Tsukasa disgust over Umehara begging for chocolates. It should look something like Haman Karn for a moment before returning to a seemingly friendly exterior. (Tch!) Allow time to pass until graduation and then it’s time for the tearful goodbye and for Ruriko and Manaka to marry Rihoko off. It may take some time to finish this dish, beyond just one arc, but everything is now in place. Let the dish cook slowly for a long time as time spent together and feelings grow.
Taste Test and Review
The Tea Club Forever!
Awwww, so sweet.
Time didn’t jump forward as much as I was hoping for, but taking the arc all the way out to April and May really helped center it on Rihoko’s friends in the Tea Club. Given the screentime they’ve had, their impact on the story, and the focus on continuing the club, it’s almost like Ruriko and Manaka’s story was just as central as the developing romance between Rihoko and Junichi. It even had a pretty emotional send off too, really emphasizing how this group of friends care for each other no matter what. The club was almost disbanded since they couldn’t match beastmaster Haruka in animal husbandry in an attempt to get her to join. Though fortunately Junichi came in and finally volunteered to join, which seemed to surprise even the graduating members. The visit by the former members at the end was also nice, bringing this whole heartwarming club tradition to a new generation. (And I don’t care how sappy that sounds, for I am composed entirely of mush underneath my hard, mecha-loving exterior.)
Ruriko would do well in the politics of medieval Europe.
Take note, for this is the only arc where Haruka didn’t outshine the main girl in her own episodes.
The Joy of Cooking
Now she just needs to offer Junichi “How about dinner? Maybe a bath? Soretomo wa-ta-shi…”
Rihoko has certainly been upping her osananajimi game, though so far no one has seemed to top Ore no Imouto’s Manami in recent memory (even if you’re not watching the series, go watch episode 06. It’s great and there’s barely any Kirino.) Still, the cooking scene was pretty cute, and it seems to be all the rage as Miya, Ai, and Sae all made their own chocolate even if they had no guys to give them to. Of course, this all feeds into Miya’s master plan to build her own yuri harem.
Somehow, I feel like we’ve met before…
The Shape of Things to Come
Amai! Hopefully the next arc will also involve Quebeley.
(No manga or game spoilers in the comments please.) Increasingly we’ve been given some hints of hostility by Tsukasa towards certain people, and although the Ai staredown didn’t really seem to have much context to interpret it with, there was a scene in this episode that was quite clear. Umehara goes around begging for chocolates since he’s so depressed on Valentines Day, first getting shut down by Kaoru. He asks Tsukasa as well, and while she seems all nice about it at first, observe the changes to her expression as she turns her back and leaves the room. Definitely a moment of strong annoyance and/or disgust with Umehara. Perhaps she doesn’t like the idea of people turning to her all the time, especially after she wasn’t Umehara’s first choice and was just ‘the girl who happened to be there.’ And/or maybe she just has a particular dislike of desperate guys like Umehara. She even gets a smirk on her face in the last frame as she walks away after turning him down.
Tsukasa arc is going to be fantastic!
I Now Pronounce You Husband and Wife
I’m still wish that we had gotten to see the final resolution of Rihoko and Junichi’s budding romance, but I am quite happy with the way that things were ‘handed off’ to the new members. Starting their senior year they’re both left to spend time together managing the club, and their shipping allies have either left (Ruriko and Manaka) or eased off the direct pressure (Kanae) now that they’re seniors. The club is now there’s, and now Rihoko has become confident enough to go after Junichi alone, even if she’s going so in a slow, gradual way. Things are looking good, she just better not take things too slow lest some brash new girl come in and Rihoko suffer the fate of most poor childhood friends.
Looks like they could have just come from their wedding ceremony.
DDDDAAAAAWWWWW. To Rihoko and Junichi mark V! May their days be filled with happiness equal to the happiness they’ve brought to this arc of Amagami!