Monday, January 24, 2011

Amagami SS Thoughts (spoiler free as possible!)

I remember about a year ago (?) hearing about this anime coming out and seeing the art and thinking about checking it out, but I couldn't find anywhere to watch it.
Well a year later (2010 ;P) while looking for a place to watch Bakuman I found Amagami SS in their playlist thingy.
I started to watch it a week before Christmas and the story kinda revolves around Christmas (which I thought was cool considering) because on Christmas Eve our main character Junichi.
Just read the description below to find out why.

 About the series:
It's a romantic anime series that follows the story of a second-year student named Junichi Tachibana who's afraid to love and doesn't like Christmas because 2 years prior to the series start,
a girl stood him up on a date on Christmas Eve and broke his heart.
But this time around, he'll meet six girls
from his school named:
Haruka Morishima, Kaoru Tanamachi, Sae Nakata, Ai Nanasaki, Rihoko Sakurai, and Tsukasa Ayatsuji
and get a shot at love with each of them and will finally have a "Merry" Christmas again.

Read my thoughts about this series after the jump!

What I thought:

For a romance series it's pretty good and unique.
I like it's way of story telling: giving each girl getting an equal a chance at romance with Junichi Tachibana with each getting a 4 episode long story arc, instead of having them all over him at the same time like in harmen.
Also I like how all the stories are connected (or interwoven) in one way or another. It's pretty cool.
Though it's kinda hard for me to put in words, you'll have to see for yourself. ^^;
It's cast of characters (and side characters) are all pretty and cute (well the girls at least) and have their own distinct personalities.

The main character Junichi Tachibana is pretty much your average guy you see in most of these kind of series.
He does seem likable and he does have a bit of character even though he has his share of weird fetishes (you'll see!). ;D
I'd say I like him more ,then say Tsukune from Rosario + Vampire.
I don't think the guy characters are too shabby either.
Masayoshi Umehara  (the only other male character in the series and best friend of Junichi) had his moments. :3

Even when there's a chance for something like a "panty shot" to come up they manage to censor stuff like that without it looking forced or out of place and in creative ways. Honestly I don't mind since it would possibly make it a little hard to take the story as seriously ( I'm looking at you Rosario+Vampire!) and I think it was in good taste on their part.
But that doesn't mean there isn't any fanservice because there is and it's usually for comedic purposes.

The animation was well done throughout most of the series with a few things looking a little "off" in a few instances.
Funfact: Amagami SS was animated by the same studio that animated Sora no Otoshimono.
I didn't know that, did you?

Now I'll talk about the rest of the characters and their respective story arcs

Haruka Morishima

She's very pretty and popular and is an second year student (while Junichi's a first year student).
She has a playful personality,acts a little immature at times, and like dogs.

I like how they had that bit of chemistry when they were with each other even though she was the popular girl and he was just the average joe (no he's not a joe or named joe).
There was definitely some funny moments between the two of them. Sometimes getting them odd looks from other students.

I liked the ending, I thought it was sweet.
Haruka's story arc was my favorite.
She's also my favorite character. ^_^

Kaoru Tanamachi
She's a friend and fellow student of Junichi's who likes to tease him a lot and
as you might have guessed, their relationship begins to change into something more.
She struggles with the idea at first but then slowly gives into her feelings.
Even though she's a generally happy person, she has her share of problems that she tries to deal with on her own.

Her story arc a had little more drama this time around which I liked because it added a little more realism...? Zest...?
Well I' don't know, but I liked it anyway.

Sae Nakata
She's the cute and shy type with some assets (if ya know what I mean ;P).
Yeah...her body's matured her chest area in particular. X )
Sae is a friend and fellow classmate of Miya Tachibana  (Junichi's younger sister who's also pretty cute and mischievous)
She really grows as a character as does her relationship to Junichi.
There was a little bit of that forbidden love thing going on because he's older than her and all.
But it wasn't like he was being a pedo or something, thankfully.

Also there is one thing that was kinda annoying: It's got nothing to do with the characters or the story itself but how it's told.
It has to do with the narrator in particular...
Not sure if they were trying to be funny but it didn't work, it just sounded dumb and out of place.
Don't worry though because it doesn't happen again.
I guess they learned their lesson. (what lesson?) (I don't know...)

Even so, I thought her story arc was adorable and is one of my favorites.

Ai Nanasaki
I thought she was going to be the more silent plain-hard-to-get type (she was kinda hard to get), but I was wrong because she actually is a sporty-athletic type who's also friends with Miya Tachibana and Sae Nakata.

She's a little shy,likes to tease Junichi a little, and looks pretty swell in a school swim suit (which she wears because she's part of the swim team that's couched by Hibiki Tsukahara who's Haruka's best friend).
It's kinda funny how even though she's younger than him she's actually more mature than he is.
But that doesn't mean she didn't act her age sometimes.

I'd say she's one of my fav characters and that her story arc was enjoyable.
 Also the ending was HOT. You'll know what I mean when you see it. ;)

Rihoko Sakurai

She's cute n' clumsy,a little chubby (really?),and childhood friend of Junichi.
Rihoko's a bit self-conscious about her weight yet she has a hard time dieting because she loves to eat and she likes to bake sweets.
Maybe she needs a bit of an incentive?
Like our main protagonist Junichi.

She's a kind hearted person and good friend to Junichi. Though it would seem Junichi likes to tease her a little.

Her story arc was alright ,but I was kinda disappointed with her ending because it wasn't as romantic as I would have liked.

Tsukasa Ayatsuji
Her personality surprised me the most because outwardly she appears to be the responsible,confident, leader  type character, but there's more then meets the eye to say the least ( and without spoiling it).

I think it was interesting to see how their relationship grew as she opened up to him by showing him that otherside of herself bit by bit and as he grew to like her for who she really was.

I liked the ending of her arc and it's one of my favorites.
Maybe even my favorite. -^^-

Last episode (25)
Truthfully I thought this was going to be an episode where Miya (the little sister)
would be the love interest of Junichi (incest! D8), but it was not.
Sorry if I got your hopes up in case any of you like that kind of thing...^^;
Anyway, I'm not gonna tell you exacly what happens (don't want to spoil it of course ),
but I'll tell you this much:
If you still wondered about something after seeing all the previous episodes (1-24)
you most likely won't after this.
It was kind of interesting and I thought the ending was kinda cute. -^_^-
It may have felt a little rushed but considering the time restraints (only 1 episode) I think they did a good job.
Also she was kinda cute...kinda reminded me of Mizore (from R+V)...


I liked the series and I think it's one of my fav romance series (anime wise).
 It had it's ups and downs but it was a really cute romance with some pretty good storyline and a unique way of telling those stories.

Though I've gotta admit, I wish this series could have lastest longer or had more seasons in a way but it's ending wasn't abrupt and I don't feel like there's too much left to tell.
There was closure, and that can be quite important.
I've seem plenty of anime that either had no closure, rushed endings, and others without any real ending at all.
I wonder if other studios might consider making other anime series like this since I wouldn't mind watching something like this again.

It was as fun and romantic ride and I'll glad I finally jumped on.
So with that all said, I'm gonna give it a 8 out of 10
and I'd recommend it to someone who likes

Cute Characters
Interesting Story
Short series
An Anime that isn't really long (like Bleach,Naruto, etc...)

So I hoped you liked reading my (nearly spoiler free) review of Amagami SS and hope you all give it a try sometime.

Thanks for reading. : )

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