I smell an endorsement deal.
Sooo, yeah. Things progress pretty well with Junichi and Kaoru this week after Kaoru’s standing up for Keiko brings them together for a talk on the roof. Kaoru has fully realized her feelings, try as she might to dismiss them, and goes about trying to bring this to Junichi’s attention in classic tsundere manner. But then we have, at least in my opinion, a series of ups and downs in the story’s development. While it does have that certain something that the Haruka arc did, I’m not so sure it works quite as well in this one. But then at the end we have an unexpected development that may make things more interesting.
Hidamari Sketch xSS? Shuwa shuwa!
Kaoru lays down the law against those who would mock True Love and Friendship.
Ayatsuji “I am [final] boss” Tsukasa comes in to survey the situation and issue her summary judgement.
After Junichi steps into Kaoru’s fight and then Tsukasa officially ends it he follows Kaoru up to the roof where she’s cooling off. While their advice to Keiko failed, it did reveal what a jerk the guy she liked was. But it’s not long before Kaoru guides the conversation to the matter of what their relationship is, not too subtly trying to let Junichi know that she likes him. Unfortunately for her he’s still oblivious at this point, so she moves boldly into a pre-kissing hold on him, though it goes farther than planned and a loss of balance brings about that anime staple, the ‘accidental falling kiss.’ She’s very tsun tsun in trying to recover from the surprise, though not so much that she shuts down any future attempts to move their relationship out of the friend zone. And later on in the day Junichi, in a mix of the strategically incomprehensible but tactically brilliant moves, gets things in motion. He says that he wants ‘payback’ for Kaoru stealing his first kiss, something that seemed to come out of the blue. Meeting in the library stacks he first wavers about kissing her whether she likes it or not or getting her permission, and she plays around with him like he’s a puppet. But she is surprised when he pulls a page from Junichi mark I’s playbook and draws instant inspiration from the cover of an anatomy book. He decides that he’ll kiss her bellybutton. And my laughter did not abate for many minutes.
>Kaoru’s face when Junichi still wasn’t getting it. She’s actually had some pretty great reaction faces in this episode, though the queen of such expressions still resides in Occult Academy.
Once again Kaoru takes the initiative.
Kaoru’s been playing a pretty classic tsundere, especially in this scene. And by classic I mean the sort of original kinds of tsundere character before it became a hyper-defined character archetype that fluctuates wildly and violently in temperament.
You know she tease ‘em, punch ‘em, love ‘em, leave ‘em cause she don’t f—in’ need ‘em.
Don’t worry about me, I have my own arc Miya.
Excellent tactical creativity reminiscent of Junichi mark I, but rather unexpected given the ongoing development of his feelings for Kaoru at this point.
Amagami presents: fetish of the week! Also, I think Jinx said it best.
Caught in the act by the potentially yandere imouto! This has got to lead to something good, at the least some good blackmail.
After the library scene the two walk home and come upon two kids whose badmidden birdy is stuck in a tree. Kaoru volunteers to help, though she needs Junichi as a platform to reach it. The scene didn’t really contribute much to the episode though, other than letting Junichi have a quick moment of having his head between her thighs as she rode his shoulders. Junichi does have his final moment of realization of feelings for Kaoru, but still it could have been done in a scene that added more to the story. But at the end is the scene that caught my interest the most. Kaoru is on her way to work when she sees her mom off in the distance (though sadly we barely see her, which is a damn shame because Sexhair’s mom is likely hot as hell.) She’s about to run to her and calls out when a man she doesn’t recognize meets her mother, puts his arm around her, and walks off with her. Kaoru is obviously distressed, and seeing how this impacts her and plays out presents a very interesting potential for the next episode(s.)
As if there wasn’t enough innuendo.
These two realized it faster than Junichi mark II.
Final Thoughts: - For how strongly Kaoru’s arc started last week and how well this episode went up until the end of the rooftop scene, I felt that the rest of this episode was fairly lacking. It was played well at first, but the way Junichi went for the bellybutton kiss didn’t really seem to have anything behind it since he was still conflicted about his feelings. Furthermore, Kaoru seemed awfully willing to go for it despite Junichi still seeming clueless. It was, as Shinn wrote, a brilliant example of Junichi’s environmental awareness and ability to improvise. But it didn’t have the personal or relationship context that the knee kiss in Haruka’s arc did. Haruka and Junichi mark I had already been past the point of confessions of feelings and were established as quite kinky individuals. Where this came from, other than a desire for creative fanservice, was rather lost on me.
- Which raises a concern I now have for the series. The kinkiness of the Haruka arc was central to how those two characters interacted. It was a part of their personalities. And because it was unconventional it grabbed viewers attention while making Junichi mark I and Haruka unique. But if kissing at some non-standard spot is a part of every arc it will lose these two kinds of effectiveness and feel repetitive. Perhaps it only has a prominent place in these two consecutive arcs, but as great as the kneepit kiss was, I don’t feel something similar should be in each arc.
- That is not to say that I felt the episode was terrible or anything, just a let down compared to last time. The arc can easily recover from this bump in the road, and the ending of the episode provided an interesting angle to work on. Kaoru and her relationship with her mother and whoever the unidentified man may be could provide some good drama and situations for Kaoru to deepen her relationship with Junichi. I’m looking forward to that development more than how the next fetish will be worked in when (at this point and with these characters so far anyway) it doesn’t really seem to mesh.