Amagami SS ep 24, Tsukasa arc part IV – One Arc to Rule Them All

Thus concludes what I consider to be far and away the best arc of the series. My old favorite, the Haruka arc, has been dethroned by Ayatsuji Tsukasa. The story was dramatic, funny, cute, and well written. It didn’t feel like there was a wasted or slow episode in this one. My faith in Tsukasa from back at previews time was not misplaced and I’m glad that the writers were on their game again. Junichi has to confront Tsukasa’s sudden self-imposed personality change, and Tsukasa herself faces this. There’s cute moments, an afterstory, and even a good bit of time given to the other characters. All in one episode. Thank you for the early Christmas present, Amagami.

Oh Miya, you could star in your own arc-format show.

How’s that for a start? As I mentioned above, the secondary characters and the other girls all get a good share of time this episode. And all without compromising the resolution of the main story. Haruka makes her stage debut in the Miss Santa contest while Hibiki nearly facepalms. Kaoru takes the stage as an announcer, and later on goes to karaoke together with Keiko, Umehara, and the defeated Axis. Umehara’s parts especially struck me, both in his role as Junichi’s friend and as him trying to get a girlfriend. He’s never seemed as important as he was this arc. From the very start he was there to cheer up Junichi one year prior, he was there throughout, and now in this final episode he really shows a more open and thoughtful side than before. Actually, he really made the whole Junichi X Tsukasa thing possible. His support the year before prevented Junichi mk I’s planetarium closet withdrawal for one. The encouragement he gave back then prompted Junichi to develop the motivation to volunteer for the festival committee. But things could have derailed at the current year’s festival when Junichi was feeling confused and down by Tsukasa’s personality shift. And again Umehara was there, himself in a downbeat moment, to spur Junichi on. Umehara, I hereby bestow upon you the Order of the Anime Bro and the ‘Bro of the Year 2010′ award. *salutes*. May you hook up with Keiko promptly and crush the hearts of those former Axis girls who seemed to have taken a liking to you.

Haruka DAZZLING THE STAGE!

Yeah, the fact that you didn’t get an on-screen kiss…

Sae and Miya had a Christmas night together that went on forever and ever.

Don’t beat yourself up over something from elementary school.

I demand a karaoke episode!

Umehara X Keiko OTP! Just look at that smile!

The main story went perfectly as well. For the first time in the arc we really have the burden of confusion and decision upon Junichi as he starts to withdraw from Tsukasa. I can’t blame him for not being able to adjust to the change, since she really is acting like a different person. Though I was expecting her to break the silence first since she had to notice how Junichi wasn’t as comfortable around her lately. It just shows how much she was willing to give up to maintain that image she wanted. Certainly it worked on her classmates, even bringing in the Axis girls to her side. But continuing with the pattern of much of the focus being on Junichi, he has to take the initiative and confront the problem. Talking to Tsukasa alone was a good idea since she wouldn’t have opened up with anyone else anywhere around. Though she ‘opened up’ with a combo worthy of  a fighting game! At that point everything came out, and it confirmed the theory of her misinterpreting Junichi’s words the last time they were alone in a classroom. Junichi held firm even under physical attack though. It was so cute to see him tell her how happy he was to see that side of her again, and kind of sad but sweet to hear her let it all out. Explaining all her reasons was interesting even if she definitely developed those original motivations into something almost on the level of a psychological complex. And then came the afterstory. I love, love, LOVE any series that gives you that perspective and knowledge of how things turned out later on. The denouement really enhances my enjoyment of a story, and this one was quite sweet. Ten years later the couple returns to the tree at the Founder’s Festival with their daughter, to the same spot where they completely committed to each other. SO MUCH DDDDAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!

Tsukasa is a student of the School of the Undefeated of the East!

Junichi mark VI, greatest of his line.

Junichi mark VI is all about the mushy romantic lines. I can identify with that, and my hat is off to you, sir.

I do believe this arc has had more kissing than any of the others.

Nice. Very nice. Has all the colors that represent each girl/arc in a mix between watercolor fading and that ‘light bubbles’ technique fro the background. Almost makes me think that I’m watching Kimi ni Todoke with the art style used here.

DDDDDDDDDDAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!

And as a final note, let us not forget Maya’s cupid moment. Stumbling around, accidentally finding the couple as Tsukasa is crying and Junichi hugging her on the floor, Takahashi Maya puts her students first! She could have broken it up or even gotten them in trouble. But no! She is a shining example to educators everywhere in caring not just for grades and rules and such, but for the lives and happiness of her students! Takahashi Maya, I salute you! *sheds single tear of respect.* For your exemplary service and continued personality-looks-actions attractiveness, I hereby award you ‘Teacher of the Year 2010.’

DAT LIAR’S SIDE GLANCE!

But you have given them hope!

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13 Comments

  1. Tama
    Posted December 19, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    As haruka fan i admit that epilogue surpassed haruka arc, Last episode of tsukasa arc really emotional and well written, kudos for j6 to love tsukasa wholeheartedly & accept every aspect of her. Now maya chan officially my favorite sensei for 2010 & tsukasa Arc definitely my 2nd favorite behind haruka Arc. Ps: Thanks for review & cant wait yandere stalker risa kamizaki action this week :)

  2. Posted December 19, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyable arc for Tsukasa I liked hers the most! bbecause it actually has a ending :D this would be my second favorite arc. Next episode looks random but might be interesting to see.

  3. Posted December 19, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Undoubtedly the best arc in Amagami by far. At the same time, I feel that it’s rather… incomplete. Tsukasa’s personality wasn’t fleshed out enough, and I don’t think we ever got the reason why she holds such animosity towards her sister. I really would have liked to see more of Tsukasa, even giving up those two additional episodes of the “secret character” arc for her. Oh well.

  4. Posted December 19, 2010 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    OH, YES!! Finally, AMAGAMI has already finished! but wait… no it hasn’t! Kamizaki Risa is next! be prepared Junichi VII! :D

  5. MrTerrorist
    Posted December 20, 2010 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    What? No comment about Hibiki’s late night lovers call with Haruka?

    And where was Hibiki’s in a sexy Santa suit suit 2 episodes ago?

    Forget Umehara X Keiko, i support Kaoru X Keiko!

    Oh how i wish there were some mini arcs for the other girls.

    Anyhoo, next episode is that girl who’s name i don’t even know but i seen in the OP.

  6. Posted December 20, 2010 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    Takahashi Maya, I salute you!

    Amen! Takahashi-sensei scores another win. It’s a shame all her good deeds seem to go unnoticed and unrewarded. Alas the thankless jobs, keep fighting the good fight, Takahashi-sensei~

    I love, love, LOVE any series that gives you that perspective and knowledge of how things turned out later on.

    Yeah, I really liked that in the Haruka arc too, but UGH, why why WHY did you cut DAT HAIR, Tsukasa?!

    I’m also so disappointed that we got denied seeing Hibiki in a bikini santa outfit. Y U DO DIS?! Man… I was SO looking forward to that too.

  7. Posted December 20, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    This was the best ending, I’ll admit. Still not the best arc though (I might be a little very biased here, but that goes to Kaoru). But yah, that was pretty sweet.

    And have to disagree that this Junichi is the best. He has all the typical positive Junichi qualities, but also the big negative too – he’s as dumb as a rock. Fortunately for him this time, he has some very bro Bros to back him up and make it happen. Again, I’ll have to go with the second arc and say that Junichi was better – again, all the typical Junichi positives, but he actually seemed to be able to think with the head not in his pants, and use past experiences to reach conclusions to a complex problem (and not merely find out where Kaoru ran off to, but the best way to help her out of her funk).

    But anyways, good stuff, and I am seriously looking forward to the next ep – there’s only two ways it can end, and they’re both pretty extreme.

  8. Lectro Volpi
    Posted December 21, 2010 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    Hello ladies (?) and fun guys, Lectro Volpi here.

    This is my final ranking for Amagami SS, the Lectro Volpi Academy Award went to:

    1.-Morshima Haruka: Tsukasa’s ending was the best IMO but when it comes to a full-check, Haruka’s still the champion. We had “Troubled past”, “confession and rejection”, “Fight for your love”, “Kinky kissing”, “Finale”, “10 Years Later”. Loved it.

    2.- Ayatsuji Tsukasa: Last episode was a heavy hitter, no doubt. But still not enough to fight Haruka’s arc.Then we have her ending that is way better then Haruka’s IMO (my third favorite). A really hard decision.

    3.- Tanamachi Kaoru: My favourite girl (not whoring on her!) her arc was the very reason why I watched Amagami in the first place: No Kaoru, no Amagami for me. Her arc had a lot of consistency but could not reach the top, dunno why; maybe the third episode because the first and last were amazing. Her ending is my by far my favourite. I Love Kaoru!

    4.- Nanasaki Ai: Had a lot of expectation for this one (not higher than Kaoru) but it got short. Third episode was horrible and ruined most of the arc. Last episode was good but the damage was done. Still a good arc; the ending was my second favourite.

    5.- Sakurai Rihoko: Man… I love Rihoko. Her arc was a big “Strive for what you want”. Friendzone on her own arc was, as I said in Randomc, the eight Capital Vice as Rihoko deserved a 100% happy ending. Her ending song however, was my last pick.

    6.- Nakata Sae: I liked a lot this arc and must be because I was not really expecting anything. I disliked “Alpha male” Junichi and his “Strip for me!” training.

    Ah yes:

    Kanae x Umehara = No.
    Kaoru x Umehara = Maybe when hell freezes over… Not.
    Keiko x Umehara = Yes.

    Thanks for the review and what!? a boyfriend!? Maya – chan deserves her own arc! that was my reaction after I knew there was a “Teacher” ending in Myself; Yourself.

    • Lectro Volpi
      Posted December 21, 2010 at 4:03 am | Permalink

      I forgot:

      This version of Tsukasa is a nicer one, she just lost dirrrectionnnn.

      The manga version was a bad one that needed dirrectionnn (Dog kidnapper, hate-my-sister-though-it-is-not-her-fault-for-being-an-idiot and most of people in this world, etc.)

    • Zorapup
      Posted December 24, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Seriously, Umehara deserves someone too.

      Although in the Karaoke scene at the end, he was in a room full of ONLY women…Umehara harem :O

  9. Merq
    Posted December 21, 2010 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Loved this arc. My ranking

    1) Haruka – It was just fantastic all the way through. It reminded me in some ways of my own love story. Plus, I just like her.
    2) Tsukasa – Great arc. It was very close. Tsukasa literally kicked ass. The first arc just had a tiny bit more going for it as it was able to tastefully incorporate kink and the first Junichi was a little more clever and daring. Tsukasa’s “10 years later” was way better, though.
    3) Rihoko – Even though I hate hate hate hate all the fat jokes and friendzoning, it was sweet and well written. I really was rooting for her.
    4) Kaoru – It was good, not great, but good. Maybe I just expected so much more because I feel really let down by her arc. It just didn’t come together as nice as I would have wanted.
    5) Sae – Seriously, the only thing that saved this from being last was the heroine had some guts and she really put in some work. That voice…I can’t.
    6) Ai – Really unfortunate that it was the train wreck it was. I’m still having a hard time putting it last because there were some moments that I liked, but overall it just didn’t come together. Plus WTF with the haunted mansion scene. They just took an already dying arc and beat it with a stick. Not cool.

  10. Eternith
    Posted December 22, 2010 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    They should have just cut out the Rihoko and Sae arcs to give Haruka and Ayatsuji more screentime. :3

    • Zorapup
      Posted December 24, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      I agree. Or at least cut out an episode.

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