That’s what I was wondering when they announced a new Amagami so soon. But everything went better than expected.
So after trying the first two episodes of the many good shows this season, in the end I had to come back to Amagami. It seemed odd to make another adaptation so soon after the original aired. I’d originally feared that it was a desperate attempt to patch up relations with fans who were upset at their particular girl’s arc not being handled well. *cough* Ai arc was rubbish *cough*. But instead we’re in for something better, it seems. Amagami SS+ is something like an AfterStory season, a continuation of each arc after they ended. So not only do we now have hope for seeing Rihoko’s BEST END in animation, things start off with what was probably the best character arc of the original season: Ayatsuji Tsukasa.
Starting things off with a dream, and a prophetic one at that. It also adds some immediate fanservice hook the, shall we say, less romantically-oriented viewers, heh.
Here’s where things started to make sense, when the after story premise was made clear.
Tsukasa knows what you dreamt last night, for she can see into your mind, Junichi, nay! into your very soul!
The other re-introductions continue, but for me, it’s all about Takahashi-sensei. Welcome back, Maya~
After the introduction we get down to the heart of this two episode arc: the student council elections. Things on the Junichi X Tsukasa front are in good order, but now it’s time for some outside drama. In a way this reminded me of Kimi ni Todoke, where the romance part takes something of a back seat to the drama and machinations of those who would oppose the OTP. Four people are running for student council president, including a surprise candidate, Sae. All seems well until the running mates are revealed. Tsukasa chose Junichi, which seems a bit nepotistic, but the queen must have her king to rule beside her. The surprise comes when the previously unheard of Kurosawa also names Junichi, to his surprise. Needless to say there was a bit of Ironside going on in the schoolyard between Tsukasa and Kurosawa. But this was just the start. For Kurosawa has hidden her true name, one that becomes evident as she employs her own Dirty Tricks Squad. Kurosawa-Nixon will use any underhanded tactic, any corrupt practice, to win this election and steal Junichi as a bonus.
She’d capture the crucial kneepits vote.
The gauntlet is thrown down, victory will be Tsukasa’s!
Pouty-angry Tsukasa is not quite as I remember her, but cute nonetheless. I guess it’s a sign that she’s grown more comfortable around Junichi.
And I want to say this to the school audience: I made my mistakes, but in all my years of student council life, I have never profited, never profited from school service. I’ve earned every yen. And in all of my years of student life, I have never obstructed justice. And I think too that I can say that in my years of student life, I welcome this kind of examination. Because people have got to know whether their student council president’s a crook. Well I am not a crook. I’ve earned everything I’ve got.
The dirty tricks start not long after things begin. Turns out, Kurosawa-Nixon has political connections via her father, a local representative, and she manages to wheel and deal to get her previously unknown name out there and win the first poll. She’s also assembled her Dirty Tricks Squad, a group that would make Vichy-tan proud. The bribes and lies continue, but her main effort hinges on breaking up the future first couple. Kurosawa-Nixon attempts to employ a version of the honey trap against Junichi, using one of her minions to lure him into a staged ‘confession’ behind the school. And Junichi was naive enough to just head into the situation without suspicion, *facepalm*. Things went according to script for Kurosawa-Nixon, with Junichi caught off guard. Honestly, I’m surprised she didn’t go for something besides a kiss, like knocking him to the ground and jumping on him while her minions took pictures, maybe something like the blackmail scene in the first episode of Great Teacher Onizuka. Tsukasa’s smarts and good timing ended up saving the day though. Before Kurosawa-Nixon could get her kiss Tsukasa showed up to drag Junichi away, not believing the ruse for a minute. She takes him back to the shed, yes, that shed, for some ‘corrective measures’ that turn out to be rather sweet. Junichi still comes off as sort of scared of her, but he’s not so hesitant that he can’t ask for a second kiss, heh. Good man. Back to work, they feel confident that Tsukasa’s shoe rubber campaign has reestablished her lead, and the speech given before the assembled students seems to seal the deal, though sadly it lacked a resounding chorus of SIEG ZEON! at its conclusion.
Believe in the Tsukasa that believes in you!
This is what happens when you hire Miya as your campaign manager.
Cue the Emperor’s Theme.
She had a good messenger and signal system, but in the end there would be only one kiss that day!
Ok, maybe two kisses.
The rest goes just as well as initially expected for Tsukasa. Much like the Iowa Caucuses, the initial polling was dead wrong about the outcome of the elections, and even Sae’s experimental candidacy turned into a solid second place finish. Tsukasa assumes her rightful throne with Junichi by her side, and another step on the path to them both getting into the same university in a year’s time. Kurosawa-Nixon is routed and disgraced, cursing the heavens for not winning and failing to take Junichi just for her shallow sense of besting Tsukasa rather than because of any real affection. She can go cry FALSE TEARS that were cast down by Saint Noe, and may she forever wander the Earth without knowing peace! Meanwhile Junichi’s dream comes true, literally, when he gets soaked on the way home after a run-in with a dog and a river. Tsukasa has him come back to her place to wash up and comes in to wash his back. Not exactly the flattery-filled dream he had at the start, and with less nudity, but a very pleasant reward all the same. And in one last moment of DDDDAAAWWW, Tsukasa is the one going for the extra kisses this time.
Best couple (though I’ll have to see if Rihoko is given the ending she deserves in the next two episodes.)
Scream all you want, for the gods to not listen to the pathetic cries of those without honor.
So cute together!
Final Thoughts: - Two episodes isn’t a lot of time to tell a story. The writers kept it pretty simple, so it didn’t feel rushed, I just felt like it seemed a little light on content. Making a satisfying, self-contained story in two episodes probably can be done but it’s certainly a limitation. Overall I was happy with this extra Tsukasa story, almost like it was an OVA episode or something. I just hope that future arcs will have a little more to them.
- Kurosawa-Nixon was pretty well done for an antagonist just introduced in these episodes. The arc got to the point quickly about her animosity towards Tsukasa and the lengths she’d go to to try and win. I was appraoching KimiTodo-level hate in no time.
- Rihoko is up next and I’m really looking forward to that. Not only is it a chance to right the wrong of not giving her her BEST END during the first adaptation, it’s also just more Rihoko. Her arc last time was very sweet, it just needed a different ending. Now we ought to get it, or if not I shall rage eternally.
Crusader’s “Come on, Man…”
Amagami is is back and while Junichi probably got dumber during the interlude (I hadn’t thought it possible until now) life is good now that Miya Miya is back. I am surprised they are adding two additional episodes per arc, but in the case of Tsukasa and Haruka we already got a glimpse of their respective BEST ENDS. Still it wasn’t all out terrible aside from Junichi falling for lamest political gambit of all time. I guess common sense is not so common, as Junichi went to the back of the school at the request of Kurosawa. There are only two possibilities if you are going to the back of the gym/back of the school either its confession time or beat down time. So unless Junichi was looking to kick Kurosawa’s ass (though in all honesty Kurosawa would kick his ass up and down the halls) he really should have politely declined instead of try to get Kurosawa on the side and play ignorant.
Clearly Tsukasa is way too good for Junichi and was willing to forgive him, still I hope Tsukasa keeps Junichi close or at least within throttling distance in case she needs to choke him out to remind Junichi who she is and what she is capable of. That Kaoru even warned Junichi of the possibility simply reminds us all of who carries this show, everyone but Junichi. The only moment that Junichi had a glimmer of intelligence was when he conned Tsukasa into a photo shoot. I did feel cheated though when Tsukasa was not allowed to deliver the epic speech, but I am sure it had something to do about how Kurosawa is EXHAUSTED. Still Junichi you damned fool you were going to ditch Tsukasa for Kurosawa? KUROSAWA?! Come on. man…
Good to see that Miya Miya was active during this arc and I commend her for trying to get Sae elected so that she could be the power behind the throne. Perhaps next year when Tsukasa graduates the reign of Miya Miya will begin, but at least if nothing else Miya Miya had the good sense to not cross Tsukasa. Next arc will be Rihoko’s and for me it may well make or break this series, it can either be nothing more than a fluffy if iffy diversion or it can redeem one greatest crimes ever committed in anime.