I was one of the few that really liked Sae’s first arc in Amagami SS, so I was excited to see how her afterstory arc would start off. And I was not disappointed. Amagami can do comedy really well when it tries, when it goes full-tilt for comedy, as the Sae arcs do. Nakata Jouji is back as the fourth-wall busting narrator, Junichi doesn’t seem quite so dumb as the last arc, Sae is wonderful in both comedic and moe form, and the relationship actually feels like it’s advanced too. Everything I could have hoped for and more!
Everyone looking jealous, except Umehara, who later on will continue to earn his bro status.
Nakata Jouji makes everything dramatic…and slightly comical.
But Miya is still here to keep things down to earth.
In the time since the first arc, Sae has become much more comfortable at school and outgoing, though she’s still a bit afraid of big dogs. But otherwise she’s normal, and the new school idol after her debut at the couples competition. Junichi is feeling a bit insecure about all the attention he’s getting though, since most of the guys that see them together can’t imagine that he’d be fortunate enough to be dating Sae. To try and remedy this he decides that he’s going to prove to everyone how well he knows Sae and how cool he is by ordering lunch for her in front of everyone…he just doesn’t have a clue what she likes. Luckily he paid enough attention to her to catch her talking about the omurice, though it takes Kaoru, Rihoko, and the lunchlady’s intervention to get him to decide on what to order. So that part falls apart, as does the looking cool part since he’s just held up half the school in line while he decided. But it’s not all bad for him. He at least was smart enough to order two omurice, one with each kind of sauce, so he can let Sae choose and take the other for himself. Things seem to be going well for the couple in general lately. Things seem to be going well for the couple lately, and they even have time for a short trip to a nearby shrine, with plenty of cute Sae moments for the viewer.
I half expected Junichi to go into Gundam SEED berserker mode there.
The first save, courtesy of Kaoru. Where would Junichi be without his friends?
The Japanese-style dressing tastes better anyway. Thousand Island is for reuben sandwiches, and that’s it as far as I’m concerned.
To be fair, you can’t really expect Junichi to know which salad dressing, out of half a dozen choices, his girlfriend would want.
The main conflict in this episode comes about when Miya runs in and tells Junichi that Sae has been set up on an omiai, an arranged meeting with a suitor often used when families try to arrange marriages. This plays into Junichi’s worries about him not being good enough for Sae, but he doesn’t take this lying down like some emo loser. No! He gives a rousing speech that prompts Miya to volunteer herself to the cause and he goes running after Sae. They arrive at the hotel and start searching, which leads to some humorous run-ins, the best of which is Junichi mistaking a bride at her wedding for Sae and starting to yell before Miya yanks him out of the doorway. Eventually they do find Sae, standing together with an unknown guy. Here, Junichi proves, much like a smaller-scale Commander Shepard, that even a hero needs a team to back him up. When Junichi and Miya see Sae, Junichi gets despondent about his chances. But luckily Miya is there to give him that little push when he feels down, and in a moment he’s up and running at Sae. Until she and the guy turn and are both holding puppies. Something’s not right here…
One pair of “evil clutches” at a time, Junichi.
“Stop the we-…oh, right then. Carry on.”
That guy looks an awful lot like Umehara, but they never comment on it or have him speak so I guess not.
There was some miscommunication involving Miya, to put it generously. Sae told her all about her plans, but Miya only caught the omiai part after the fact and then ran screaming to Junichi instead of recalling that Sae was arranging a meeting for her puppy and another. I loved the 3-2-1-0 countdown during the panels, as well as the use of chibi characters in recalling the scene with Miya and Sae, just another example of how the Sae arcs can be so creative, using completely different techniques to make the arcs more comedy-romance than the others’ more dramatic approach. Miya goes off to watch the puppies frolic while Sae and Junichi have a nice moment to themselves. Junichi’s fears are alleviated when Sae talks to him, and she even lets him in on her wish from the shrine, where she wished that they could always be together. Overall it turns into a nice afternoon together. The episode winds down back at school the next day, and the setup for next time is revealed. Sae has been asked to head the committee for the next Founder’s Festival, since apparently the school thinks popularity = competence. But with Miya and Junichi pledging to back her up, she ought to be well prepared for the challenge ahead.
Lots of Sae goodness. Pity the poor, misguided souls that can’t get over her voice.
Awww, Junichi tearing up when Sae told him about her wish.
Oh, I think it could lead somewhere….
Ship ship ship!
Final Thoughts: - This has definitely been my favorite episode aside from the Rihoko arc episodes. In Amagami SS+, Sae has even managed to outdo Tsukasa, who reigned supreme in the first season. I loved the humor, and really just the tone of it. Sae is such a sweet character, I think it would be kind of hard to have a serious arc about her. The humor is a nice contrast and accompaniment to her natural niceness. Things can be crazy and funny and then she’ll laugh, say something sweet to Junichi, and all is right with the world.
- That said, I don’t recall Sae being so cute the first time around. But there definitely are more DDDAAAWWWW moments this arc.
- Umehara X Tsukasa: I ship it. I think they’d make a pretty good couple too. When Umehara gets serious and activates bro mode, he’d make an excellent comrade-lover to Tsukasa. I could imagine them staring down the whole student council AND teachers, not giving a fuck and getting everything they want from them just from pure presence!
Crusader’s Come On, Man!
I kind of wished I shared EO’s enthusiasm for Sae, as it was though this was the beginning of garbage time for me when the first season rolled into the kouhai arcs. Different strokes for different folks but I confess my head hit the desk a couple times and my eye did roll to the back of my head and back again more than once. Sae is pretty much going to go for the two steps forward, one step back method of personal progress, though at times it feels more like one step forward three steps back. She is never going to be her own hero in this life so Junichi better work on his intelligence and decision making since he’s being called upon to lead. Yes poor Junichi is treated like that sorry sack of potatoes that no one really cares about, most of the school thinks that it is impossible that he is with Sae. This is very much his fault for accepting the title of senpai instead of going to a first name basis, Junichi should have tossed the flattery to make clear to the rest of his competition that Sae is spoken for. Sadly this thought has yet to occur in that gaping void between his ears.
I guess it is cute in an insipid root beer kind of way, but good grief it’s been one year and Junichi has not been paying much attention. While the Sae arc is probably going to rank near the bottom for me, unless they make a complete debacle of the Haruka arc, Miya Miya was most refreshing. From stealing Sae for a Yuri Triumph, to Miya-tan it was great to see her take a more prominent role even if I lament that she had to shove Junichi into the line of fire. Still for knowing next to nothing about Sae is bad enough, but Junichi fucking crashed some one else’s wedding… I fail to see the resemblance between the bride and Sae, the hair was all off and I would like to believe that Junichi at least knows what Sae looks like. It seems that I am tragically wrong though. You don’t make your relationship public and you nearly ruined a happy day for a couple who never did anything to you? Really “Instructor” Junichi? Come on man…your solutions were shit this week, I know who needs a pop quiz and it ain’t Sae.