Wow, it’s like the writers who were on their games for other arcs weren’t told to come up with something in ten minutes for the Ai arc this time around. I get the feeling that this is how her arc should have played out from the beginning, without the writers being under the influence of…something. As I’ve said before, two episodes isn’t much time to do things. But the writers this time around have kept things focused on their central theme, in this case, separation and loneliness due to school activities, instead of throwing darts at a wall of the original VN’s content and yelling “ANIMATE THAT NEXT!” While Ai is still my least favorite Amagami girl, at least now it’s because of my preferences in characters and not (mostly) because her first arc was a wreck. Keep it up, AIC, Amagami SS+ is going a lot to fix mistakes made in the first adaptation.
That look on Hibiki’s face, that is the look of a proud mentor.
I’m sure that Miya had a Takarazuka-style Romeo and Juliet planned for some time, provided she could convince Sae to join.
Meanwhile, Ai is not having such a fun time of things with Junichi away on the anniversary of their first date.
Ai is still preoccupied thinking about Junichi when Miya tries to recruit her into her ‘sleepover’ (time: 8pm until forever and ever), and almost goes along with her and Sae until she realizes that she still has to pick up a gift for her little brother. It seems the gods took pity on her for her terrible first arc, and by coincidence Junichi ends up in the same shopping area after escaping the testing center retreat. He rushed to finish his practice exam (after only taking 5 minutes, it seems) and booked it out of there, some hilariously stereotypical hired goons in hot pursuit. They meet up and go shopping, Junichi having already picked out a coat that he wanted to buy her for Christmas. And as they wander about, Umehara sees them in passing as he mopes around, cursing his fate for failing the Amagami Challenge. Two of the cram school’s private investigators ask him if he’s seen fugitive Junichi, and after a moment’s hesitation, he misdirects them. For Umehara did not succumb to petty jealousy of Junichi’s success, no!, he was a True Bro and helped defend his friend’s happiness. And as the gods were watching when they took pity on Ai and Junichi, they were also watching when Umehara performed such a noble deed. He would be duly rewarded, in time.
Yes, just a sleepover. Totally not an attempt to start a yuri harem. You can trust the Nishishi.
Moments like this one were good for driving home the point, since we’re seeing things more from Ai’s perspective this time around.
Have to say, Sae looks a lot better with her hair down.
Junichi must have some money saved up, I imagine a coat like that, in a store like that in Japan, would cost quite a bit.
Yes, nothing unusual going on at the Tachibana residence.
The couple’s wandering seems to take them to their town’s little version of Kabukicho, and things get awkward for a moment in the light of the love hotel signs. It was getting a little less awkward since Ai can be a bit forward, she almost seemed like she was about to suggest they go to one, but then Takahashi-sensei walked out the door of the spa they were standing in front of, prompting them to run. I’m always happy for any scene with Takahashi Maya~ in it, so this was kind of the highlight of the episode for me, heh. Umehara then comes by, directed by the Fates to his reward, and calls out to the beautiful woman with her back turned to him. He hails her as “oujosan”, which grabs Maya’s attention quickly, and turns around while he’s asking if she’s like to go have tea…and then they recognize each other. I like to pretend that after that moment of awkwardness, they actually do go have tea and commiserate about being single on Christmas after the scene cuts away. And then, by the time Umehara graduates, things develop between them into a wonderful ship. The shipping portion of my brain was in overdrive. Elsewhere, you know, at the main part of the plot, Junichi and Ai run until they come to the park overlooking the city and share a moment together. Ai is worried about how much time they’ll have, and what will happen when Junichi goes to university, but he reassures her (and probably himself, if he had time to think with all the cram school) that things won’t change. As the conveniently-timed snow falls, they share a kiss and Junichi asks Ai to hold on to a key for the apartment he’ll rent once he goes to university. As a final denouement, things fast forward to the summer, with the two of them watching fireworks from the window of Junichi’s apartment.
Great minds think alike, and enjoy the occasional spa.
I ship it.
Ah, the naivety of high school relationships.
Ai got her GOOD END last adaptation, but this time she actually gets a GOOD ARC.
And thus concludes the Ai arc, once ruined by terrible writing, now decently produced.
Final Thoughts: – While this arc hasn’t convinced me to like Ai much, I’m glad that it was as well made as the others. Every character has her fans, and it must have really sucked to have been an Ai fan during the first Amagami adaptation.
- Miya’s slumber party antics were…um…yeah.
- Next up is the Kaoru arc, which was a surprise to me (good catch, Crusader, I don’t usually watch the PVs) since they’re deviating from the reverse order they’ve been using. But I’m excited to see her arc, since it was only so-so the first time around and she’s a character, like Rihoko, that I felt deserved more than she got last time.
Crusader’s Come On Man…
I guess that we can now declare that the Ai arc has been redeemed though it wasn’t because Junichi did much. I just want to take this opportunity to congratulate Miy Miya for getting a night of just her and Sae that went on forever and ever. Granted I was a bit disappointed that Miya Miya decided to play along with Junichi’s lame prank. I really wished that they would go for more than redemption and make it EPIC. It would have been most EPIC if Miya Miya had feigned ignorance and called the cops and told them that Ai-chan had been abducted. Junichi has his whole life to make it up to Ai-chan and certainly Miya Miya deserved a night of Sae and Ai, but alas Miya Miya is not that vindictive. Besides what is a little jail time to Junichi anyway Ai gets to see him for a bit and not feel alone or that he did not care; so no loss there on the Ai front. Unlike my compatriot I am not too thrilled with the idea that Umehara and Takahashi-sensei had a bit of miscommunication while I wish Takahashi lifelong happiness and BEST END I am suspicious of Umehara’s ability to provide that for her. He was going after every unaccompanied girl and I am wondering just how he ended up heading to the local Mizu shobai district. Maybe something happened maybe it didn’t, I am all for shipping I am just more discriminating and won’t ship any contraband. Besides if Umehara definitively wins the Takahashi-sensei sweepstakes I am sure there is a legion of fanboys out there who would be none too happy with that. I would prefer that Takahashi-sensei find happiness with Rihoko, and yeah I’d ship that overnight.
Next week is Kaoru and I cannot be more thrilled since at least AIC is tacitly admitting that back to back kouhai arcs amounted to back to back garbage time in the first season. I trust that they will redeem Sae’s arc but I approve of putting Kaoru next since she got short changed last season though not nearly as bad a Rihoko. Also Miya Miya had by far one of the best Romeo roles of all time. Still Umehara you couldn’t remember that timing and location are everything and tried to pick up Takashi-sensei at the red light district? Come on man…