Nanasaki Ai: the most boring Amagami girl…in the world. /Clarkson, cue the music.
So we’re back to Ai, my least favorite girl and arc from Amagami SS. Last time her arc was so horribly written and planned, I wasn’t sure if it was written or planned. At all. Fortunately with Ai’s afterstory arc in Amagami SS+ the writing seems to be coherent and there haven’t been any randomly appearing talking bowls of ramen…yet. Though better writing has exposed the other big weakness of the Ai arc: she’s dreadfully dull. I know there are lots of Ai fans out there, and I really did try and find the appeal of her character. But I just can’t. Come at me, bro-tachi.
Yes, it’s almost as if something stirred them…
Junichi Mark IV is probably the worst of the Junichi variants, so he’s lucky to have any girlfriend at all.
Seems that BROMANCE is still alive in SS+
I don’t even know Kaoru. Umehara Mark VI seemed to be the only sensible version. (Btw, can’t wait to see if Kaoru’s afterstory ends up a bit more interesting than her main arc.)
So it’s one year later and Ai and Junichi have continued on as a couple. The anniversary of their Christmas Eve date is approaching but Junichi attending cram school so he can get into a university is taking up a lot of his time. Ai, for her part, has become the captain of the swim team after Hibiki retired to a life of yuri bliss with Haruka. Umehara seems especially desperate to complete the Amagami Challenge and find a girlfriend by Christmas, which sets up a small subplot for the arc. With their anniversary coming up, Ai is wondering a lot about where to go and what to do for their anniversary. There is also the lead-up to the Founder’s Festival keeping Ai busy, and the couple don’t get many chances to spend time together. This leads Junichi to stop by the pool near the end of swimming practice and caught undermining Ai’s authority with a personal visit.
So, Junichi’s punishment for suspected peeping is to…be brought in front of the whole team so he can leer at them up close!
Miya is not so forgiving. She tricks him into covering his face when she said he had a pervy look to it, a nice troll. She’d make a good Baltimore homicide detective.
Later on, Umehara seemed to be trying to appease Miya into releasing Sae to him…
And now it’s time for the weird affection scene, straight out of the first season of Amagami SS. Junichi has been spending all his time studying, to the point of staying up late into the nights to study. Or so he says, we all know from the previous arc that he’s been up studying some less-than-academic materials. Whatever the case may be, he’s been in the infirmary a bit lately and Ai finds him one day. She straightens out the blanket and tucks him back in, which wakes him. He then gets the weird idea into his head that since Miya fell asleep on her dad’s stomach when she was really little, that he would sleep well if he did the same with Ai…while she sings a lullaby. And if that wasn’t creepy, Freudian-mother-issues enough, by ‘sleep with his head on her stomach’ he means ‘sleep between her legs.’ Freudianisms don’t seem quite as creepy when they’re the usual drills or swords as penises thing, but this return to the womb thing is SUPER CREEPY. After…this…things move forward towards the day of their anniversary. Junichi makes a simple mistake on his practice exam, probably because of all that lack of sleep, so he will have to attend a special study camp on the 24th. There’s still time, and Ai keeps planning for them to spend time together on the 23rd, but it’s clearly something she’d rather not have to plan around the inconvenient study camp. But then things change again when Junichi is told he has to attend the extra special camp that starts a day earlier because he messed up his practice exam so badly. Ai is then left worrying about what, if anything, they’ll be able to do together anytime near their anniversary.
It should be plenty embarrassing that you see it.
Junichi Mark IV, you’ve got some issues, dude. Seek professional counseling.
I like the idea of Tsukasa as evil taskmaster of the cram school.
Ah, Takahashi-sensei. It’s a crime that there isn’t more screentime for you.
Looking good, Hibiki.
Ask Kaoru out! I’d ship it.
Midnight raid, forced impressment. Seems that the Taliban runs the local cram school.
Final Thoughts: - Yeah, still can’t get into Ai as a character. She just doesn’t seem to have much personality other than that she worries over Junichi and kind of takes care of him like he’s a little kid. Though to be fair, this iteration of Junichi seems the dumbest of the lot.
- At this point I’m more interested in the Umehara subplot. I wish him well. On another Umehara note, either he’s not aiming for college or he’s smart enough not to need cram school. Hmmm.
Crusader’s Come On Man
So after rectifying the crime of the century it falls upon Ai-chan to carry two episodes by herself. Fortunately for her while her Junichi is of an inferior grade she has plenty of support from her true love Miya Miya. While I am left thanking Zeus that Ai uses contraception and that Junichi isn’t an STD carrier, all is not lost as Miya Miya will always go into the breach and prevent Junichi from sinking this arc. I don’t understand the quaint and licentious habits of Junichi, but since Ai seems to like him for the lecherous toad he is I suppose I can’t be too harsh. Such is the necessity of covering every path even if some paths are invariably superior to others. Miya Miya might not be able to shack up with Ai but at least she had the foresight to join the swim team and be the power behind Ai-chan’s captaincy, so even if Ai-chan and Miya Miya are not meant to be for this arc Miya Miya can make up for in quantity. I must applaud her for throwing Junichi under the bus and casting herself as their heroic defender, and even better she goads Ai into delivering a more heavy handed punishment.
Junichi seems to be less dedicated than other iterations and it was pretty pathetic of him to flub his test and let cram school eat up his time. I am an advocate of “do it once and do it right” which sadly is not something Junichi cares much for, I hope he regrets his lack of studiousness when he realizes he could have done more queer and curious things with Ai-chan. Instead he got to go on a midnight ride to a re-education camp where he will study all the things that are expected of him for his rehabilitation while he kneels on broken glass. I hope he did not impart to Tsukasa that he thinks her a taskmaster otherwise she will gladly accept the role of camp Kommandant and make him pay dearly. While Ai probably the least adventurous of our heroines, at least Haruka and Kaoru are having fun with their chosen life partners and are out and about. Seriously though Junichi wants us all to believe that his lousy test scores were due to a column shift? Come on man…