If you don't know where you're from, then you don't know where you are, and you don't know where you're going. It's a fairly trite adage, but like most old sayings there's an element of truth to it. When it comes to visual media though, such sentiments seem to go out of the window, across the fields, and off into the wild blue yonder, especially where adaptations are concerned.
So where does that leave Amagami SS?
A number of people may already be familiar with the fact that the series is yet another adaptation of a dating sim, and given that this is the spiritual successor to
Kimikiss, it's only natural that Enterbrain would attempt to emulate the relative success of the latter game and its anime adaptation. Unlike its predecessor though, Amagami SS decides to take a different approach with the storyline, and breaks things up into bite-sized relationship pieces that supposedly makes them easier to swallow, which works ... kind of.
The series is split up into six short stories (and one "special" episode), that recount Tachibana Junichi's quest for high school love, and how he finds it with six different girls (and before you ask, no, this isn't School Days all over again). Along the way various relationship shenanigans ensue which cause the usual misunderstandings, reconciliations, attractions, repulsions, etc, etc.
Now on the surface Amagami SS looks like the common or garden harem romantic comedy (but with the harem aspect applied in a different way). The plot follows the game's methodology by offering up multiple heroines for the protagonist to pursue, and while some may find this a refreshing approach, it's not really original as the series attempts to mask its shortcomings by adopting different narrative styles from one tale to the next.
The biggest problem with short stories is that there needs to be enough content and context within the plot to justify the actions, thoughts and emotions of the characters, and it's surprising that Amagami manages to offer some semblance of a storyline over the course of each tale. Then again, the majority of development points where both the plot and the characters are concerned have really been done to death in anime and manga, so it's no surprise that there's at least a half decent story in there.
After all, if you give enough monkeys enough time they can apparently produce Shakespeare (although it does make one wonder where they keep him).
Each individual tale is pretty decent in its own right, but when one considers them as part of the whole a different picture begins to appear. What emerges are a series of contradictory actions and behaviours that don't really seem to make sense. Now these could be explained away by assuming that people act one way with one person, and another way with someone else, and so on, and one could easily view Amagami in this light. The problem is that this assumption ignores the portrayals of the characters in the previous stories, effectively making them little more than blank canvasses. To further compound this, certain characters seem to be clueless about the circumstances around people they've known for years.
Still, if one simply treats them as a series of short stories then they can be entertaining, but the plot for each is nothing special, and the formulaic approach to each tale is, at times, a bit too familiar, and offers very little in the way of innovation, and rather a lot in the way of predictability.
It's pretty obvious from the artwork that there is a large degree of genericism inherent in this anime, and Amagami does nothing to break away from the stereotypes. The high school setting, town and surrounding environs are nicely designed and detailed, but when it comes to rom-com anime, once you've seen one high school, you've pretty much seen them all. Granted there are a few exceptions to the rule, but in general there's not much difference between the various depictions on offer.
The design principle is a little bit strange in one respect (which I'll come back to in a bit), as the characters are nicely envisioned, but are also as generic as they come (much like a lot of things in this anime). That doesn't mean they're poorly realised though, as they're clearly based on Enterbrain's designs from the games, and coupled with some decent animation and backgrounds, they do give the show a familiarity that can sometimes be mistaken for quality. The acid test occurs when one compares the series to its spiritual predecessor, and although Kimikiss was produced by a different animation studio, there are a number of similarities that stand out, not the least of which is the look of the heroines.
But simply looking like another show doesn't mean that the design and animation is substandard, and in all honesty Amagami does manage to hold it's own in the visuals department. It simply could have been better than it is, and it's puzzling why this isn't the case, especially for such a popular gaming franchise.
One of the better aspects of the series is the music, specifically the manner in which it's used rather than the actual tracks played throughout the anime (which are fairly routine affairs, but that's pretty much expected by this point). There are far too many shows out there that play music for no specific reason, so it's nice to watch a series that treats silence as golden for a change, and this is something that works in Amagami's favour as it allows the viewer to focus on the characters without having to suffer through tunes that sound a lot like the music played in just about every other high school rom-com/drama ever made.
That said, the music in itself isn't bad per se. It's simply ... generic (there's that word again), and even with two opening themes and six ending themes (sung by the lead actress from each character arc), there's little on offer that really stands out. Granted there are some decent enough songs (the law of averages and all that), but in all honesty this is probably nothing more than "when you're given lemons, make lemonade", or in this case, when you're given a romantic comedy drama, make a cheesy love song.
Which leaves only the acting, and in this respect Amagami is a bit of a mixed bag. Maeno Tomoaki plays the role of Junichi rather well (even though it's a bit like playing the role of a wet paper bag at times), and the strength of his portrayal gives much needed support to the lead actress roles.
See, here's the problem. No matter how good the seiyuu are, there's a limited amount that can be achieved in four episodes. Granted the actors and actresses have cameos throughout the series, but it's nowhere near enough time for them to truly come to grips with their characters. In this respect Kimikiss is actually superior, as by the end of that anime the seiyuu had grown accustomed to their roles and were able to play their parts with a confidence that, with the obvious exception of Maeno (who plays the only continuous lead character), none of the seiyuu in Amagami can match.
All of which leads to the characters themselves, and in a nutshell they're as generic (I seem to be using that word a lot these days), as they come, but once again that doesn't automatically mean that they're bad. Junichi could very well be a poster boy for harem lead males, and fits just about every stereotype going, especially the ones about nice guys and being a little slow on the uptake. That said, he's a pleasant enough character, and as the only lead in focus throughout the series there is some development to be had, but the nature of the story dictates that this tends to be repetitive.
Unfortunately the female leads aren't as clearly defined, and the reason for this is the relatively small amount of screen time they get. While they also grow as characters, this is tempered with a necessary urgency that precludes any substantial development. The supporting characters also suffer from the "resetting" of their personalities as this leads to repetitive behaviours and actions that simply don't go anywhere, and add nothing more than inane by-plays to the main narrative.
Amagami SS isn't a bad show though, and it does have its plus points. The relationship mechanics are handled in a reasonable manner, and the characters, especially the male lead, aren't as wishy-washy as some I could name. The problem is that instead of trying something original, director Hiraike Yoshimasa and AIC have opted to follow a "tried and tested" method that will yield results when it comes to DVD sales and merchandising, but only in the short term, and this makes one wonder why a hugely popular game franchise like Amagami has an adaptation that is only passing good.
The series is enjoyable to a degree, but it's still nothing more than one amongst many romantic comedies in anime, especially where schools are concerned.
Given the popularity and fervour surrounding the games one would expect AIC to expend more effort on making the anime adaptation better than it is, especially where things like plot and design are concerned. Granted there's only so much one can do in that respect, but the overuse of stereotypes means that the whole series plays out like nothing more than a glorified advert for the game(s). Like so many other game adaptations, the producers, director, animation studio, and just about everybody else in the making of this series have failed to realise the what fans really want. Instead of offering something that is an evolution of the franchise, we're treated to nothing more than a vapid retelling of the same old story. Even though the Amagami tries to be a little different with it's approach, one cannot laud the attempts to hide this anime's failings, especially the overtly generic design and plot, characters that don't really get the kind of attention needed to raise the level of the series, and an almost blind obedience to formula.
In a very odd way, Amagami SS is a clear case of too many girls, not enough time, and the decision to make it in the first place seems to have had little to do with wanting to tell a story, and more to do with letting everyone know how good the games are.
I suppose I can chalk this up as another "victory" for the marketing department.
To put it simply, the combination of each of the heroines to the main protagonist is like a fireworks show. All of them are pretty.
The Story: 9/10
The story starts with our main male protagonist Junichi Tachibana being stood up on a Christmas Eve date which occurred two years ago. Having a hard time warming up to others, he does not have a girlfriend. In the seven arcs which comprises of four episodes each,(except for Risa Kamizaki who is given one episode) each arc is given one main heroine girl in which Junichi is their personal love interest. Each
arc is set in a parallel universe, so the jumps from arc to arc do not follow up. Each arc is unique in itself. Not only are you given a different girl for each arc, but the circumstances and problems encountered are all different for each girl. This brings a little more flavor to the anime rather than being around the same issue. The only thing that affects the main story line that isn't changed in each arc is the fact that Junichi was stood up, so each arc starts from the same point as all the other arcs do with the characters being in the same relationship with Tachibana each time unless it is the heroine girl. The pacing of the story is about the same in each arc, but there would be times where you’d have little segments from the past being put in and the switches are noticeable so don’t worry with not being able to keep up. Each of the arcs endings are very satisfying.
The Art: 9/10
The art in Amagami SS was fluent and definitely consistent. The art style was about the same for each character, though their physical appearance may look quite different the outlines are still the same - it doesn’t become annoying though. The color shading was very neat and precise, the backgrounds astonishing. There were some sweet lake scenes where you could really appreciate the art. Color overall in the anime went very well with the atmosphere created by the main girl's emotion. There were times where the background would blur a little bit but you rarely take much notice of it. The art was not up to the particular par of Kyoto Animation (known for Clannad) but was very watchable for an anime aired in 2010. Overall the art was very fitting for the story in Amagami. The use of colour at different angles makes each scene enticing and memorable.
The Sound: 10/10
Sound in Amagami SS was very crisp and clear. The OP, 'I Love' is an immensely addicting song for a romance anime. The EDs were sung well, and one thing to note is that each main heroine sings her own version of the closing song. The voice acting here was very smooth. Each of the main girls’ voice suited the type of appearance and personality they had. Another thing to note is that Amagami SS does not come in a dubbed form- for all those dubbed watchers out there-, from what I have searched. There might be a couple of fan dubs but it is doubted they’ll be any better than subbed.
The Characters: 9/10
The characters were all unique. We are presented with Tsukasa, Haruka, Sae, Ai, Rihoko and Kaoru as the six main girls and Risa as the seventh. Each of the girls has their own unique traits, hobbies and personalities, of which all of them are very entertaining and likable (depending on what type of person you are). Tsukasa appears to be a kind class representative, Haruka the popular senior, Ai and Sae as Miya’s friends, and the two childhood friends Rihoko and Kaoru. Junichi, the main male is kind, thoughtful and slightly perverted, but this side of him always ends up to be used in a form of comedy which ended up being very repetitive- overused until it just wasn't funny. The supporting characters do not have much effect on the story line; in fact, they don't really do much at all. There is little-to-no development of them at all, but it does not get agitating, unless one of them was your favourite character. In the Kaoru arc, there was a narrator speaking what was going on in Junichi’s mind sometimes. This was only slightly bothersome though, but it’s assured some people just won’t like it.
The Enjoyment: 10/10
If you are new to romance or drama Amagami SS might be a good choice to be introduced to the genre, if not it might all seem a little cliché. But I don’t care; I’m a sucker for cliché. Amagami SS first started in the form of a game, which was the adapted into an anime. I’ve seen some manga of Amagami, and it goes into a little more detail than the anime- not that the anime hasn’t touched on the subject at all but that it shows what is occurring at an event much better. Re-watching this anime definitely added to my personal enjoyment of the series. The satisfaction in seeing your favourite pair come together in the arc is what makes me come back to it. The anime was very memorable, even a few days after I had finished but I have to admit that it’s very less in my mind now as with all the other awesome anime I have watched.
Thanks for reading my review, or even parts of it- I don't blame you for reading all of it, but again, thanks you.
Bwahahaha! This anime is starting to be pretty fun, to say the least. I didn’t expect such awkward, but interesting events. Usually one would expect the typical stereotypical actions set in a high school environment, but recently I’ve been surprised.
As this is based off a dating sim game, my first impression was that this anime may be similar to a "harem scenario" like in Ichigo 100% only with no ecchi or Clannad. Even though it is far too early to make such a claim, every other female seem to see the male protagonist only as a good friend, not a romantic candidate seen in
most romance harems. But then that claim is faulty since the female the male protagonist was interested in saw him only as good friend but soon changed later after the male protagonist started to pursue her. Courting goes a long way, not surprisingly.
So far, the story has been somewhat unpredictable, in terms of the events in the relationship of the couple. You'd think you'd get the hang of it the first and a little bit of the second ep, but then this anime throws curve balls. You don't really know quite what to expect, like the kind of unpredictability similar to Nishino-and the male protagonist in Ichigo100% with a good dosage of crazy weird fun. In addition, in a dating sim game, the player has the choice to court a number of females. The same concept applies in this anime, only a different female is courted by the male protagonist in each arc. Because of the number of girls that "seem" to be possible choices based from the OP/Intro, we'll probably see a lot of interesting relationships. I think this "date all the girls" is somewhat of a smörgasbord of different relationships that everyone may try to enjoy, if that isn't too offensive, female reviewer readers. [It's not like there are any "dating sim" animes based on a female protagonist's perspective. For example, a female dating each of a bunch of guys.]
--- [I stand corrected. There are female dating sim games.]
This is not the kind of stereotypical story that you'd find in many high school stories. Boy meets girl, boy courts girl, boy woos girl with many romantic attempts. For the most part, only the latter doesn't match. Due to the awkward personality of the female that Tachibana is interested, the story takes an interesting but embarrassingly giddy turn. (Like, if you see a couple doing something completely embarrassing and stupid out in public, you just squirm uncomfortably thinking "Oh lord, please stop.") Yet this is only the Tachibana-Haruka arc. There are still other arcs to go, possibly even "funner" than this one.
Art is pretty decent. Very clear and refined. I don't mind art too much as long as it's satisfactory. You won't find anything irritable like gigantic eyes or any weird facial shapes. For the most part, people are drawn to be as realistic as an animated show can possibly allow.
With the embarrassing, squirmy atmosphere starting to happen, the sound goes a long way. It is no doubt exquisite. Each piece with its respective instrumentation fits the atmosphere perfectly. No worries here.
As for the characters, the two main characters of interest in each arc (At least based on the Tachibana-Haruka arc) develop nicely, although in a "new" way. I say new because there's the interaction between a naive female and the somewhat experienced male. Typically, it's the other way around, the female leading a relationship with the inexperienced and stupid nervous male. The "supporting" characters though stick to their same old self, hardly any development, but their time will come with the upcoming episodes. They don't seem to provide significant obstruction, competition, except maybe support. Understandably, the somewhat experienced male protagonist does make sense since it may be compared to the main character, who seems like a guy that knows how to date a girl excluding the "user" factor, in the game.
Overall, this isn't what I expected at all. I thought it would be a pretty quaint story since most dating sims follow the same "plot line." Meet the girls, choose one, court her, and well, what comes after that varies. But in a sense, the male in a dating sim is required to adapt to the tastes of the female, in most cases. Therefore, the relationship between this anime and the game seem very clear, and thus offer some level of predictability to the story of the anime.
Surprisingly, each episode gradually introduces a "fun" and embarrassing "I wanna punch you in the face" squirmy feeling, at least for now. It may seem cute, to an extent. In my opinion, I feel like we've grown out of these "cute-sy" moments; it's nice to see a flash back to some of our embarrassing attempts at romance, however embarrassing yet horrible funny they may be. In the end, this anime pretty much follows a straightforward dating sim game, even though it does have its moments.
If you're a bit tired of the many trite romance harems, and you're looking for something new this anime is for you. Keep in mind that not everyone will like the arcs. I thought that arcs later on were worse than the beginning arcs. Especially this latest one about that Freshman girl, but this is all due to my own perspectives of an attractive girl. This anime is pretty much a "serious" anime with the occasional comedic remarks, but no change in art. Same art style throughout. It isn't like in Bleach where when one of the characters make some snide or hilarious remark the art suddenly changes to a child-like one. With all these different arcs with different girls, one has to admit that this is pretty much satisfying the masses of the male population, at least in terms of their taste in women. Although, this as a result, causes the anime to suffer drastically. Even I find it difficult to plow through arcs with girls I dislike.
Even if it is high school romance, it is nice to see a naive, "cutesy" romance blossom every once in a while.
P.S. In my opinion, there have been some definite changes in character appearances compared to the manga. I think the anime version is better since the characters seem to look more mature than those in the manga. But that's just me.
"That was Christmas Eve, two years ago. She never showed up to the date." - Junichi Tachibana, Episode 1
No no, that's not what the story is all about. Sorry to scare you about a what you thought was a spoiler.
Amagami SS hit every note correctly. As a fan of romance, it was a very, very, enjoyable series.
Story: You have Tachibana Junichi. He has a calm and kind personality, and can be a pervert sometimes with his friend Masayoshi Umehara. As quoting above, he was stood up two years ago on Christmas Eve. That event derailed his happiness ever since. It affected him so much that
he even made his closet into his bedroom. Present time, he now looks to overcome it. He starts to take interest in a popular senior at school named Haruka Morishima. She eventually makes Junichi her "pet" letting him carry her stuff. He then thinks it's a good opportunity to confess. He does, but all the hope he had in a relationship quickly shattered a couple seconds later. "I prefer someone who's reliable and older than me." (Haruka Morishima, Episode 1). Well, back to old ways now, right? Wrong. Junichi decides that he will keep trying.
Well that's a preview of Amagami SS for you. I can write so much more, but I will try to keep it short and sweet for now. The story is set into multiple arcs, in omnibus format, meaning that these arcs do not happen in the same timeline, and happens in alternate universes. Also, as you can see from the above, the story is really entertaining. Some people will walk away from this anime saying it's cliche and all, but there's not that much cliche to begin with, or it could be that I was too busy enjoying this series.
Character: Character development is a must for a good romance, and Amagami does it right. Different arcs mean multiple girls. Actually, you have 6 different ones to choose from. The popular and fan favorite Morishima Haruka, the childhood friend Tanamachi Kaoru, the shy and cute Nakata Sae, the other childhood friend Sakurai Rihoko, Miya (Junichi's sister)'s friend Nanasaki Ai, and Class-rep Ayatsuji Tsukasa. They all have different traits, which makes each arc very unique and entertaining to watch. I gave it a 9 for reasons withheld, if you finish the series, you'll probably agree with me.
Art: The artwork is just crisp and clear, and the art makes the characters look very nice. No, I'm not talking about Morishima Haruka in her Santa costume, well, you can Google it and judge the art by the pictures, but in general, it looks really nice. I wouldn't say it's identical to Kimi ni Todoke, but it's similar in terms of it's clarity in the art.
Sound: I have the OST, why? Because it's one of the OSTs that I enjoy listening to. The background music fits really well with what's happening in the anime, whether it'd be Junichi depressed in his closet again, or it could be the first time meeting someone. The OPs, I Love and Kimi no Mama de are one of the most catchiest songs I have heard in an anime. The EDs feature the main girl of the arc singing their own song. I can't recall if there were multiple insert songs, but there was one insert song that I couldn't stop listening to. Anyways, the sound and music were just beautifully organized for Amagami. It made everything natural and added the atmosphere to your viewing experience.
Enjoyment: Amagami SS was a really enjoyable series to me, and probably one of my favorite romance anime out there. It combines well-done romance, with a generous portion of comedy. If this were a game (which it is), then the replay value would be very high, and it'd be a really good game as well. Before I go, some final words: If you're starting into the Romance genre, or a fan of Romance, or even just into comedy, give this series a chance.
Overall Rating: 9
Amagami SS in short is probably the best adaption of a dating sim that stays true to its roots while feeling like it was from a collection of stories rather than a game. Each arc is wonderful to watch and fulfills the story for the viewer, in the end even actually expanding on it.
Story: 10/10 It is in omnibus format meaning that the stories may contain the same characters but every four episodes they "reset" and focus on another aspect (in this case a girl) and expand the story on these "what if" moments. Overall very enjoyable each arc had it's differences and no two
arcs were alike. The only similarity is the relationship building and character placing that occurred. That being said, each arc feels unique and enjoyable.
Art: 8/10 Amagami SS isn't the greatest anime in terms of art I have seen, but in no means does it try to be that. The character movements are fluid and what you would expect from art style today, neither amazing or bad.
Sound: 10/10 The OP's this series contains are among my favorite openings I have encountered while watching anime, as well as each ending theme for each girls arc is performed by the voice actress which I just found incredible. A few of the endings are so catchy I can play them on repeat even. In terms of the sound quality during the anime it is what you would expect from this type of show, however in some scenes the background sounds and music just make the experience much more enjoyable than most Anime I have seen. And to make an example, don't worry not a spoiler, but during a scene the sounds of the voices actually echo to show how empty/large the room actually is I haven't been that impressed for a while. (I know it's sad)
Characters: 10/10 The 6 girls are all incredible in their own ways while the male lead isn't a terrible guy either, he is actually rather likable, indecisive occasionally but firm in what he thinks and should do most of the time. As for the girls they each have unique personalities and are all interesting in their own way. I will explain the girls below in the order that their arcs came.
Haruka Morishima: The school idol, very outgoing and caring as well as has an overall incredible personality. (My personal favorite)
Kaoru Tanamachi: The tomboyish but feminine in a sense long time friend, very funny as well.
Sae Nakata: The very shy, reserved, quiet girl. Not much to say other than her voice may be perceived as annoying. (I personally do think so too. But it doesn't take away from the arc)
Ai Nanasaki: An underclassman on the swim team, seems cold at first but warms up to MC, great personality not afraid to say what she thinks.
Rihoko Sakurai: The childhood friend, she is gentle and caring as well as somewhat ditzy at sometimes, great character as well. (Will need to watch second season for more development if this is your favorite character.)
Tsukasa Ayatsuji: Definitely the most interesting arc as well as character, being the Class Rep and a perfectionist with a few twists and turns along the way. This arc is a must watch, the character development in four episodes is amazing, I can't say enough.
Enjoyment: 10/10 This will probably stay my favorite anime of all time I can't express enough of how much I enjoyed this series as a whole and how it stayed so true to form and how so much development of the characters could be done in four episodes while some take at least 3x that amount to get somewhere in romance.
I've watched plenty of romance animes in my lifetime, and normally I don't write my reviews for them. But this anime makes me hate so much.
After watching 2 episodes, this anime is slowly becoming unbearable
What makes it truly annoying and irritable are the retarded motives and ideas.
What gets me to the core is that the male lead is deeply traumatized by some stupid past event: being stood up on a middle school date on Christmas Eve. Ok big deal, but now the lead is a completely depressed cynic of love and lives some depressing life. He further randomly believes that the cure for his broken
heart is to fall for the valedictorian of the school.
Furthurmore, he confesses shortly after just meeting such a person, without any development because he is infatuated by her "great personality and beauty", but the lead and story wants you to be believe its true love. The next episode develops a bit more, I'm pleased. But once again, the hollow actions irritate me.
examples to support my claim:(ep2) after being denied the pool, and the scene takes place in the hallway, the lead RANDOMLY, out of thin air, spontaneously says "Let's go look up cute things in the library" WTF?! This major statement, not only has no previous motives or ideas to show why he said this, leads to a big scene later on. But what on Earth made him want to say that?! WHY?!
when she falls asleep in the library (or even the nurse bed scene), the lead just waits and watches. It is assumed that this DOESN'T make him a creeper and girl takes it as gentle hospitality. I also don't understand why the lead waits for hours (sunset) and not wake her up in the library? What?! Then on top of being awkward (in both scenes), he confesses yet again. WHY?! What is he thinking? Neither of them have any common sense! It's unbearably stupid.
In short: within 2 episodes, the confused, awkward lead, who can talk to any other girl normally except his crush, confesses to her twice because she is the one who can save him from his great depression.
I realize some may like this anime because it portrays a nonrealistic point of view of how love is perceived and obtained. Thats why I gave it a medium score (on top of only 2 episodes to judge with). But for those who value reality, I'm advising you to avoid this anime. Theres no meaning behind actions done and common sense does not exist in this anime. It fails unbelievably at showing why characters do what they do. It feels so fake and so awkward.
on a side note: all the lead's thoughts are about how to get the girl and NOT actually about the girl. its really just emphasizing how its infatuation and not love. All the male lead wants are kisses. KISSES. Nothing to do with her personality, no motives to show why he likes her to begin with, he just want kisses. STUPID
EDIT(After watching first half of episode 3)
This anime; I have dropped. It has gone beyond stupidty.
This anime from the beginning has thrown me left and right. And ep3 takes the flippin' cake. Even though the male and female lead aren't even in a slightest of a relationship, they get downright kinky and awkward by letting kissing become acceptable without being in a relationship. They take the act of kissing, something that is the ultimate climax of any romance anime into some worthless, shameless act. They derogatize the meaning of a kiss as the male lead randomly (once again, leaving you wondering why the heck did he say that) to be kissed on the eyebrow multiple times. The girl rejects flatly, but the atmosphere is not at all awkward for them and she compensates by letting him get kissed BEHIND THE KNEE? What is going on? Forget it when I said theres a lack of common sense earlier. Common Sense has been REMOVED from this anime. Nothing is logical, everything is awkward for YOU but not for the characters. I'm dropping this anime, this isn't romance, this is stupidity. This cannot be correlated in anyway to ANY real life situation and if one were to follow such actions, he or she will not achieve such "positive" results.
I do realize some people enjoy the fictitious romance animes and I'll attempt to respect that, but this is more than I can handle.
IN SHORT: The anime is stupid. It takes the bubbly love romance-comedy drama stuff and replaces it with awkward, unrealistic scenes with wrong outcomes powered by untold motives (if there is any). it makes it seem as if the MOST HOPELESS GUY on the planet can get a girl. Get real.
A countless number of visual novel to anime adaptations have seen the light of day and it takes no genius to figure out the trend in story-telling. Divide the show into a series of character arcs, whilst following an over-arching story/plot; or just follow a single character arc and be done with it. This has proven to be quite an effective method for telling these kinds of stories but it's not ideal for pleasing all the character's fans. Now in comes Amagami SS, a series that takes a step in a new direction by telling each of the character's stories, as a 4 episode standalone
Amagami SS basically has every arc begin the same, by introducing our protagonist Junichi Tachibana, who's suffering from some form of PTSD, after being stood up on Christmas eve sometime ago (I know, it's pretty pathetic... just roll with it). Stuff happens and then it wraps it up, in pretty much the same way for every single arc. So yeah, there's really not much to say about the story, well stories, since they all follow a distinct pattern that's easy to pick up on. Boy meets girl, boy & girl bond through some arbitrary activity, mutual romantic feelings develop and well you catch my drift. Sure each character arc provides a fairly different story from the last, yet it's difficult shake off the feeling that you've just seen this story but with some differences. So by the end I really couldn't find pleasure when Boy A finally got together with Girl B, when he also hooked up with Girl A,C,D,E & F.
Speaking of the girls, they are just about the best thing about the series and the director & writers did a good job in combating the obvious favouritism we are used to in harems by developing each of the girls equally. My only gripe with this method is that even the characters I didn't care about we're also developed. As for the male protagonist, he's just what you expect from your average high school boy who sneaks off with his friend to enjoy the odd dirty magazine. Although the creator tried adding some subtle quirks for each individual character arc. Some of these quirks work but others don't. Like hiding in the closet (that's just waiting for a joke).
I've heard a lot of praise regarding the art and animation of Amagami SS and sure I must admit that the character designs are great. With character's looking like people you expect to meet in real life, doing away with the annoying multi-coloured hairstyles that plagues this genre. But apart from that the animation is just above average. All one has to do is pay attention to the background. As for the sound design, there's really nothing remarkable about it; the same seiyuus we anime veterans are all used, working well with the roles they are given and completed with some typical light-hearted melodies. Like I said... nothing remarkable.
All in all, Amagami SS is a collection of 6 run-of-the-mill highschool romance stories and with 6 stories/girls to choose from you're bound to like at least 1 of the stories/girls. So I'll give the show credit for allowing me to enjoy multiple romantic short stories. Did I enjoy them all? No, but I enjoyed enough... sort of. The good thing is that the obvious fanservice tropes, like pantyshots & breast jiggles are kept to moderate levels throughout but that's because the very nature of this anime is fanservice. That in itself made the show watchable for me however it doesn't excuse the unfunny humour the show is filled with and fact that it became a repeatable conquest, like with every visual novel on the market. Some may take pleasure in what Amagami SS has to offer, I cannot refute that, but I didn't. So you can accept what I've written about Amagami SS, or take it with a grain of salt, but either way I'm sure you did not click on this review assuming that I wholeheartedly liked the show now did you?
'Amagami SS' is based on galge (non-hentai dating-sim) 'Amagami'. The title means "light bite", which probably describes the playfulness and cuteness of the heroines (half of them do bite or get bitten). "SS" is believed to stand for "Short Stories". It is the most comprehensive and game-like anime I have ever seen that's based on a dating-sim.
'Amagami SS' is made up of 7 short stories where the protagonist goes after a different girl each time. The heroines are made up of the most common archetypes for galge or moe anime. The reason I say this series is the most comprehensive, however, is because there's a
wide spectrum of heroines and the protagonist's personality also changes depending on who he's going after. What we have here is not just an average indecisive main character in a harem, we get to see all kinds of personality match ups, and it's more realistic because we behave differently in front of different people, especially in romantic relationships. In addition, there were all sorts of hentai fetishes and endings for each arc. I will touch on this subject little more in the Character section, but I really liked this about 'Amagami SS' because it's harder to get tired of the story even if same events are repeated 7 times.
Another thing that really struck me was how watching this series really felt like playing a galge. There's been plenty of galge/eroge anime adaptations before, but most of them seemed to follow a single route or one combined route. Every such series I have seen so far gave me a sense of a set story. Boy meets girl(s), everyone fall for him, but eventually he ends up with "girl A" over all other girls, or unable to choose for the indecisiveness. In 'Amagami SS', we know exactly who we're going after like picking a route in advance, and then protagonist come in contact with the heroine like every other series. But here, they clearly spell out the possible options; the protagonist frequently think to himself "should I do this or that?" or another character asks "are you coming or not?". While this may be considered poor scriptwriting, it gives us a sense that the main character is actually making a choice himself rather than fate or where the wind takes him. It actually feels like he's consciously making decisions to win over a girl, just like how a player should in the game. Sometimes it's the girl trying to win him over too.
The final episode also explains why the other girls back off when he goes after a particular girl (assuming it's when Risa gives up).
One of the better harem protagonist around. There are moments when he gets reluctant or miss the signals, but he is not nearly indecisive nor thickheaded as our typical anime main character. He actually goes after the girls most of the time, and confess his love every single time. In rare occasions when the girls are chasing after him, he notices the girl's unnatural behavior. The girls are still more interesting in him than they should be, but it's far more tolerable because he worked for all of their attention. He also has just the right amount of perversity, which gave us viewers the right amount of fan service, and had relatively rational motives.
The heroines are very diverse, each with a distinct personality and status. The main character behaves differently to win them over, and indulges in all sorts of fetishes in the process.
To summarize each arc, [Name]: [Personality type (Translation)] [Status] - [Fetish]
...Who are we kidding?
Ayatsuji Tsukasa: Tsundere Slave Queen - Masochist play
All the girls are not as dumb as typical harem heroines, and behaved rationally with exception of Ayatsuji. There's at least 1 girl that suites your taste no matter what kind of girls you're into.
Character developments are poor and love triangle didn't exist, but for the purpose of galge anime adaptation, their cameo-like appearances were very appropriate since they didn't detract from the main story.
All the girls are cute and pretty as they should be, very visually pleasing. Backgrounds are decent. Nothing particularly impressive about it, but tried and tested style that projects the peaceful high school life atmosphere. There were also couple of scenes with great composition and camera movements.
With exception to Konno Hiromi (Sae), everyone sounded like they should. She is a shy character, but the strained high-pitch voice was just too annoying. Itou Shizuka (Haruka) and Satou Rina (Kaoru) were solid as usual.
BGM is rather ordinary, but fits the romantic scenes pretty well.
OP1 'i Love' by azusa was an extremely strong theme song for a seishun series like this, and the OP animation had a nice flow that introduced the heroines well and represented their personality well with their signature poses.
OP2 and EDs were above average as well, and appropriate.
ED3 is a soft song that makes us reflect on all the girls conquered before.
'Amagami SS' is a rather conservative seishun (coming of age romance) series that was wonderfully executed. Although things go a bit too well for the protagonist and character development was limited, it depicted the flushing, awkward, and bittersweet high school romance very well. A great simple heartwarming romance anime.
The comedy series was also pretty funny without being distracting to the romance, and came off very naturally. It was a very solid series all around that I enjoyed a lot more than I expected from a galge adaptation.
I like the guy. He is not chickening out the time he has to something to say. He has a goal, he goes for it. No 5 minutes of blushing combined with anos, etos and sonos, where in the end someone barges right in and spoils all the fun.
The other characters are not stupid either. And there are no stupid misunderstandings, led by "just happened to pass by and see the most embarrassing moment" kind of things, so this is no love comedy.
The art is a bit different from what I've seen recently, so it took me a while to get used to it.
But no complains. And it seemed to me that it got better in the second episode.
The sound is nice and the music is not getting in the way as in some animes. Voices and characters match well.
OP and ED are lame though. Not worth watching every time, even when the songs are not that bad. However, what does "I love you forever with you" actually mean?
This is my first legitimate review, so please bare with me. Ok, let's get on with the review.
Amagami SS isn't your typical visual novel adaptation. Unlike other adaptations, such as the Key VNs (Kanon, Air, Clannad) or the TYPE-MOON works (Fate, Tsukihime), this follows an omnibus format. For those that don't know what that means, it's basically several different arcs told separately, with each arc reseting after the final episode. This, in turn, gives Amagami an interesting experience.
Due to the omnibus format, each arc is treated differently. The personalities of characters, storytelling, and even pacing are different; which makes it feel as if you're watching
a different series each arc. I personally enjoyed the format since it was more focused on each of the heroines in the VN.
The story follows the typical boy-meets-girl and they fall in love type of story. What makes Amagami SS stand out from the typical is the approach of each heroine. Due to their different personalities, each arc presents you with a different type of approach. Each story arc was able to be fleshed out due to the focus on each character and their side characters. It caused less interference with the storyline itself.
Probably one of the less impressive aspects of the series. The art seems fairly generic. You have the girl with long hair, the girl with short hair, the guy with hair swiped to the side. Typical anime features to say the least. Although, what did catch me was the hair colors for each character. There weren't any crazy, unrealistic colors, so that gets a plus. The environment was alright. You have your school, home, park, beach, restaurant. Nothing out of the ordinary here. It isn't as impressive as (insert anime series by impressive studio here), but it's passable.
The seiyuus chosen for most of the characters seemed to match the way I interpreted them. However, I did have one problem with one of the heroines, which I will not mention in this review (you'll probably know who I'm talking about). Background music was pretty good as well. It fit each of the scenes well enough that it didn't seem forced. Silly was silly, serious was serious.
Most of the characters, mainly the heroines, can be put under each of the archetypes for characters. However, the main character, Junichi, goes through some pretty interesting personality changes between each arc. If you didn't know the series was in an omnibus format, you'd think he was bipolar or suffered from a personality disorder or something. Side characters can be seen in one arc, and almost completely disappear in the next one. That was somewhat disappointing, since I thought there were some side characters that seemed more interesting than the mains.
For people looking for an interesting experience, this is your series. The different arcs provide a variety of stories. It's as if you were watching a different series each arc, which I thought was a huge plus.
I have to say, at first I thought I wouldn't enjoy the series. The pacing would feel odd with only four episodes for each heroine (and only one for a special heroine!), but I was surprised how well the pacing of each arc felt. Although some arcs felt rushed, it was pretty understandable. Sometimes I even yearned for more story since I liked the arc so much. The omnibus format also helped the anime series get this rating from me. For me, each arc could be considered a different genre (Drama, comedy, etc.). It created quite the ride. And now, in the end, I can say I thoroughly enjoyed the series, and am sad that it is over. Goodbye Amagami SS.
Have you ever felt sorry for a girl that didnt get her chance?Well you dont have to worry here,every girl gets her happy ending.
Story is very simple, but well maybe thats what makes this show show you the magic it does.The protagonist is afraid of love but soon he realizes that he cant run forever from it,in fact he gladly accepts it when the time comes.
I dont pay too much attention to background art and such,but I didnt find any flaw in this anime art.Its your average anime art with really nice character art and nice environment details.
Characters are simple yet
unique. Every one of them is well made,even with some plot twists that I havent seen coming.You easily fall in love with every one of the girls.
Protagonist is...well...kind a perv,but his feelings are true also.
If you are looking for a simple romcom this a perfect anime for you,it will make you smile and reliase that everything is not as it seems.
This Anime in Step To Step:
1. Be sad about lost waifu 2 years ago
2. Chase Crush-Waifu
3. Get Closer to Crush
4. Love Waifu
5. Go back in time, chase a new waifu, be happy.
6. Repeat ^
This anime is fairly average.
Story: Sad loser is sad about waifu not showing up at to date christmas evening. He then decides to move on, and get a new waifu. It's basically 5 Stories, with 5 different girls. Though, the last story tells you about the X-Mas night.
Character: I will mention the girls shorly in 1-2 words, as they are only important for 4 episodes. :3
Junichi Tachibana, a guy who is bad
at talking with girls (imo), but he is scarily lucky. He is so lucky he get's whoever he wants, apparently.
Rihoko Sakurai: Childhood friend.
Ai Nanasaki: Imouto-chan. (Not a waifu. No incest here.)
Sae Nakata: Timid.
Haruka Lovely Morishima: Senpai&Straightforward
Risa Kamizaki: Bitch, stalker + Silent Yandere. (Important to the story, but only important one episode.)
Tsukasa Ayatsuji: Rude, kinda Tsun-tsun.
Enjoyment: 5.2 It was very decent and mediocre. It just felt like Higurashi all over again. It's 5 stories, and each story is 4 episodes, till episode 25.
There’s a lot of visual novels (at least this is what I think it is) being made into anime these days a lot of them around this time seem a bit disappointing but Amagami SS does not disappoint
Plot: The story starts of with the main protagonist Junichi Tachibana who gets his heart broken when his date doesn’t show up during Christmas Eve. Fast forward two years and Junichi is just a regular second year in high school. This anime is in an omnibus format so each character would get there own arc, so I’m going to review every arc.
Haruka Morishima (8.5/10) - At
the beginning of this arc our protagonist, Junichi Tachibana falls for a senior named Haruka Morishima. These two become friends and Junichi manages to muster up the courage to confess to her, only to be rejected. However this doesn’t stop him, these two become closer and Junichi tries again, he gets rejected again but it appears to go better this time. Haruka and Junichi then spend Christmas together and we are served a very emotional and romantic ending. This arc is really enjoyable although it felt slightly rushed (due to the omnibus format). I could really feel the development; it didn’t seem forced at all. Not to mention it was fun watching this couple. The ending was really well executed, it was emotional, romantic and it really moving, I haven’t seen an ending this well done in a long time. This arc did have one or two problems and sometimes the development felt sort of unnatural but overall this arc was just wonderful.
As for her character, I really liked her because she is very unique and is not like the average girl you see in a series. She has a cheerful personality, likes cute things and is very weird. I really like Haruka because she is different and because she is just so loveable.
Kaoru Tanamachi (8/10) – This arc starts off with the 2 bad friends doing their usual thing with Kaoru usually teasing Junichi. Kaoru is then faced with problems and starts skipping school because of it. Soon after, Junichi can’t stop thinking of her as a result of this. He then sees her at work and she tells him what is happening and Junichi manages to comfort her and help her resolve the situation. They then go on a date during Christmas, where a really romantic ending happens. In a lot of ways this arc is different from the last arc and that doesn’t mean its worse. The feelings in this arc felt more natural than the last one although I didn’t feel as much development in this arc. Much like the last arc it was watching it. The ending didn’t have as much as an impact on me but it wasn’t bad by any means. The arc did feel like it slightly too little development (just slightly) and the ending wasn’t as good but this arc was great as well.
Kaoru has a really cool personality and she seems like someone I would like to be friends with. I really liked her; she’s not as unique as Haruka but just because she’s not unique doesn’t mean she’s not a good character. She’s a likeable character with her fair share of qualities and really that’s all you can really ask for.
Sae Nakata (7/10) – This arc begins in the summer with Junichi meeting Sae when she returns his coin purse that he dropped earlier. Soon after that he discovers that Sae wants to get a job but she is too shy to do so, so Junichi decides to train her. They spend more time together and the more time they spend together, the closer they got and eventually they fall for each other. After Sae gets the job they decide to enter their school’s best couple contest at the Christmas festival. After winning second place they use their prize which was watching a movie in some VIP seating. Here is where the romantic ending takes place. Through-out the arc there is also a narrator who makes sarcastic remarks. I had one big problem with this arc and that was the narrator, he was more annoying than funny. There was a decent amount of development and romance in this arc but because of the narrator, there were some parts I couldn’t take seriously. The ending was well done and although it wasn’t as good as Haruka’s ending it was still well done. The narrator actually hurt this arc more than help it but overall it was still good because the amount of development in they put in this arc was satisfying.
Sae is the shy character, she does seem a bit generic but I have no problem with that because she still has qualities and she’s cute too. However nothing really stood out to me about her and her voice does get annoying but it’s not that bad it makes your ears bleed. Not a great character but she’s not a bad one either
Ai Nanasaki (8.5/10) - The arc starts when Junichi coincidentally meets Ai at the park where she teases Junichi. After this they keep meeting up coincidentally and become friends. Junichi then helps Ai with a lot of her problems, such as math and her brother. As the story progresses Ai starts to have feelings for Junichi. However later Ai is faced with tragic news but Junichi manages to comfort her. After the Christmas festival, Ai take Junichi to her secret spot and a really emotional and romantic ending takes place. This arc is also different from the rest, as it is filled with emotion and has more development than the other arcs. The ending was also really moving and I think it was a beautiful way to end the arc. Also it wasn’t only the ending that had a climatic feel to it. However this arc was a bit too fast paced which resulted in half of the last episode being filler. Other than that though, this arc was marvellous.
I really liked Ai. For some reason I just attached to her I don’t know why but I did. I guess it’s because of her personality and also because it’s one of those people you’d hate to see suffer. She had a lot of qualities and she was pretty cute too. I don’t know why but I just felt attached to her when I was watching this arc.
Rihoko Sakurai (6/10) – This arc starts off a bit different, with Rihoko already loving Junichi. As the school year goes on, their friends realize this and try to get Rihoko and Junichi together, which has little success. Also Rihoko decides to go on another diet which Junichi says that he will cheer her on. However the 2 of tea club members graduate next year and Rihoko is tasked with finding new members and Junichi decides to help. Junichi and Rihoko go to more places together and when graduation day comes near we are given an ending. Well this arc definitely went for something different but I don’t think it worked. I wouldn’t say the arc was bad but why fix something that wasn’t broken. There is no romantic development which made this arc feel slow and make me feel like nothing was happening. It felt like I was sometimes forcing myself through this arc. In the end I felt very unsatisfied and I was disappointed to say the least. I’ll give it credit for going for something different but at the end of the day I don’t think they should’ve done it
Now Rihoko wasn’t a bad character, she had her fair share of qualities too. She’s innocent and most of the time she’s happy. Also she doesn’t have the super model body that most anime girls seem to have. Overall I think she’s good character
Tsukasa Ayatsuji (9/10) – This arc starts off with the beginning of the preparations of the Christmas festival and Junichi surprisingly volunteers to help out. However somewhere along the way Junichi finds out the kind of person Tsukasa really is. As we go on the two become closer but somewhere along the way Tsukasa changes. Junichi then ponders upon this but he manages to resolve it. We are then given a beautiful ending. Wow, after watching this arc I was left speechless. Although during the middle it did seem like this arc was confusing but it all tied together in the end. This, I think was actually the deepest arc, because while the others were straight forward for the most part this arc had a deeper meaning behind it. The ending was just the icing on a beautiful cake and although this arc did leave some questions unanswered, this arc was just fantastic. This arc had enough romantic to satisfy me as well
Tsukasa is also very well done. I love how she doesn’t show her real self to others, only showing it to Junichi. Of course both sides of Tsukasa are wonderful and likable. Her character is really well done as well.
As for Junichi he seems to change with every arc, but he’s perverted in every one of them. He’s also somewhat weird but I don’t have a problem with him and overall is an okay protagonist.
There’s a bunch of other side characters that I don’t want to get into and I don’t think any of them are really worth mentioning except for Miya.
Art (7/10): The artwork was pretty average and there was hardly anything redeeming about it. It wasn’t bad but at the same time it didn’t wow me either.
Sound (8/10): The opening and endings were both very good. I liked some endings better than others but overall they were all very good. The VAs also did alright voicing the characters. No real complains here
Enjoyment (9/10): I really did enjoy Amagami SS; I was always motivated to watch it. Also I like how they did an omnibus format so I can see romance with every girl. It had it highlights and lowlights but I really enjoyed watching this series
Overall: Amagami SS probably worth a try if you like romance and also since it’s in an omnibus format very little will be mad that the protagonist didn’t pick a certain girl. Most visual novel adaptions’(I hope I’m right that it’s a visual novel) these days don’t seem to be all too good but Amagami SS is an exception. Overall I really good series to pick up. Thanks for Reading
First of, I never played the game so this review is based completely on the episodes I've seen so far, and I might have a different view of this series after seeing all of it. With that in mind:
Typical harem-like story, with an even more typical boy who's awkward, shy, and has some, if not a lot of trouble trying to go out with the girls that clearly have interest with him.
The plot progression is different, though in my opinion not the best, especially if this anime is going to be short. The anime is subdivided into different groups in which has
a certain amount of chapters; these groups are the different women that the main character encounters. Though sounds like a good idea, it's really not. That, in my opinion, disrupts the flow of the overall plot progression.
Average. The lines are soft, and the colors aren't too vibrant, nor dull. The characters' faces remind me of the Gate Keepers (a fairly old anime) without the hollow eye look.
The BGM I think is well executed; it's not overbearing to the situation, while still being there to help with the mood. I like it like that: subtle.
Hmmmm... Sometimes I REALLY REALLY want to smack Junichi due to his incompetence; but then again, if he was outspoken, it'd be just like a reality series. Although at rare times, he does give out some good game on the ladies, and I like that because he does that in unexpected instances.
Tsusaka to me is an airhead. Seriously, comparing a boy that likes you to a dog? Out of nowhere, jump on him for no reason? As much as she's popular, she needs to be a bit more mature than she is. Her popularity must have inflated her head a little bit.
As for the other characters, some have been introduced, but not fully developed, or have not been introduced at all. I'll let you, the reader decide on what to say for the later ones.
Somehow, it feels a bit like a slice of life too me, but that's all well and good. It's a good anime if you want to have an occasional laugh from either super cheesy lines, or random occurrences. Hell, it helped me relax after work.
It's a fairly good anime, though of course its genre is one of the most overused genres in anime, even in the broadcasting industry, but hey, it works. I don't see it having a big potential though. It's just one of those animes that's there if you wan to see it.
A story where a young man who heart was broken on Christmas Eve. He has one more chance to find love with six candidates.
I only watched the first episode.
Based on the dating game, I follows the usual dating sim anime adapation style. But what I see is much different. There will be an arc of episodes on when the main guy chooses one girl. Different girl, different arc. A interesting use especially when the girls have a lot of potential of being the girlfriend.
I could say they should've used this on the other adaptations.
Voice acting is very nice, and the character variety makes it
a good reason for the multiple arcs. Seriously, a guy can only choose one girl.
So far this anime, looks enjoyable and hopefully won't disappoint.
Amagami SS is not your traditional linear anime. It is arranged in Arc's where they show how things "could" have gone with a specific female during the same time frame with the same male protagonist Junichi Tachibana.
Don't believe the hype of the "Omnibus Format" unless you like seeing the same person (the male) doing the same things but just with different females. Yes the girls have different characteristics but the guy doesn't and he falls short of having any real substance to him.
I *really* wanted to like Amagami SS. The romance side of the story would have made for an interesting full
The Art was very good. A crisp feeling with well drawn characters.
The main problem for me is that at the end of the 17th episode I just really didn't want to watch the same guy doing the same things anymore. It was so tedious to watch this character, who doesn't have much character!, that the prospect of watching him doing the same shtick for another 8 episodes made my brain crumple up into a little ball with a white flag sticking out of it that said "Please! No!"
After all the fanfare and great reviews I really tried. I tried so hard that I actually put it on my "hold" list for about 2 months. When I went back today to look at that list I decided it was time to drop it. I've finished some hideous anime series over the years but just couldn't force another minute of this one.
I really wish I could have liked it.
Maybe you will?
If you find yourself around episode 6 or 7 wondering if you should go on... don't. Just drop it and find another anime.
Amagami SS is one of those anime where I couldn’t decide if I should watch it or not. After watching a few episodes, I had to say that it was magnificent. You probably thought that Amagami SS would be cliché and boring, but it is not! It is nothing like your boring beta main character and girls falling for the main character for no reason. One reason that made me hesitate to watch Amagami SS is because it was based off a dating game. I didn’t expect a game to be made into a good anime. What can we expect of Tachibana Junichi?
To start off,
the plot is amazing. Each arc is significant in its own way. The staff made it that you can see what is happening to other female protagonists in each arc. It is pretty unique since each arc is another parallel universe. For me, if you mention a character, you would have to show some interactions between the main characters. It is odd to just leave a character that was highlighted. Each arc has a unique approach. For an example, some may have unique narration; some may even have unique concepts. You may think that the girls are somewhat going to fall for him in a cliché way, but I guarantee you that it is not cliché. You know that childhood friend trend? Well bet your ass that they made the childhood friend win and make it look good. I wished I could have explained the arcs, but then it would be long. The arcs can be related in real life and have some unique foreshadowing. The romance is great throughout the anime. I believe this is one of my favorite since it is kept short and organized. As of now, I can't really watch anime with romance that takes more than 10 episodes to develop a relationship. I'm not saying that they're bad, but I want to know more. There is also drama which I felt put a unique feeling in the anime. The dramatic approach is good in certain aspect and Amagami SS played it out well.
Besides the plot, the character development is amazing. An example of this would be a shy girl and a boy. Having a shy girl in an anime is difficult to build up plot and development since the girl is obviously shy. Amagami SS took a nice approach to this and was able to tie the knots. Each girl has their own insight. Since this is based off a dating game, it would be pretty awkward to have girls with similar personality and approaches. The flags that were raised were smart and were implemented perfectly. I guess you can say that Junichi is quite smooth. Throughout Amagami SS, Junichi is a great character. Being heartbroken is one of the worst feelings anybody can have. Especially if you were waiting for your date on Christmas Eve yet that person doesn’t show up. If that happened to me, I would never open my heart to anyone. Due to that, Junichi has a unique way to build up his character in each arc. Another thing I like about Amagami SS is that the staff didn’t make him change drastically (out of the ordinary change that doesn’t match his character).
The audio is amazing. It is very detailed. An example of this is when there is a scene in a classroom full of classmates; you can hear other people talk. This is important because it describes the scene and brings light to it. The OST is well put in the anime. The music is amazing and it highlights certain scenes. It is nice to hear soothing music along with a nice scenario. What I favor the most in music is piano and they did have beautiful piano plays. Music and cinematic plays an important role in shows. The opening is one of my favorite. The lyrics are catchy and the animation for it is good. The translation of the lyrics is quite good for a love song. Another great part is that each arc ending is sung by the main female protagonist. It is just like Bakemonogatari. The lyrics for the ending are well put and it describes the feelings of the female protagonist who sung it.
The art style is good for 2010. I believe this anime has more focus on the plot and audio rather than the art. The art style is not bad, yet it is not superior. Amagami SS is made in 2010 so I can’t argue and compare it to modern anime (2012~2013). I take art very seriously and I can’t watch anime with badly drawn characters or bad coloring. I can say that the art was still beautiful in certain ways. If I have seen Amagami SS when it was airing and compared it to the airing anime, it would be near the top. Besides the art, we have the animation. The animation is pretty good. There are beautiful events where I feel that are touching. There were great camera angles and such. The animations are detailed along with the background and such. Overall, it is clean and does not look like a potato for sure.
Finally, we have reached the conclusion. I felt like I should have explained the arc in this review, but then again it would have been too long. I already had explained three arcs, but then I decided to erase them because then it would feel like I’m writing my opinions with relation to life. There is nothing wrong about writing my opinion as it is for a review, but then I want to hit the point to why Amagami SS is a great anime and add my points. The romance is surely amazing. I guess nice guys don't always fail. I’ve enjoyed writing this review just as much as I’ve enjoyed watching Amagami SS. I’m really happy that there is a sequel, but I had to stop and take my time to write this review. If you found reading this review interesting and good, you would definitely enjoy watching Amagami SS (vice versa).
Here is what to expect while watching Amagami SS: http://imgur.com/a/0SbqD
Amagami SS is a lighthearted romantic high-school anime with a little bit of humour here and there, telling the story of Junichi Tachibana, who had his heart broken two years ago on Christmas when he got stood up by his date. Therefore, he has a hard time opening up to his feelings and fears that he will have to spend another Christmas alone. Luckily for him, there are plenty of girls in his high school that he will soon get close to.
This anime consisting of twenty-five episodes is divided into story arcs, each leading to a different path for Junichi as he gets involved with
different girls. There are six girls in total, each developing a deeper relationship with Junichi over the course of four episodes, after which everything resets and it starts with a different story arc. The last episode is sort of an arc on its own, and it’s mainly there to explain some stuff such as why our hopeless romantic protagonist got stood up two years ago.
Watching Amagami SS can be kind of an unstable experience, as some episodes may be better than others, or even entire story arcs could go right or wrong for each individual viewer. I did enjoy most of it, although there were indeed some ups and downs here and there, and by the end it was pretty obvious to me how I felt about each story arc in particular. As such, I’ll be giving you a closer look into each arc and why exactly I liked or disliked it. This remains, however, my own personal opinion, and I’m sure some may have a different view on the whole thing. Let’s get started now, shall we?
Some minor spoilers ahead.
The first story arc starts in a pretty great way and I have to say that even though I did not expect much going into this anime, I was entirely captivated by the first episode. It was very entertaining and kept things at a casual level, which made it an easy and pleasant experience. Regarding Haruka Morishima, she’s in her final year and is considered one of the most popular girls in Junichi’s high school. Like I said, this story arc had a good start, but over its course I kinda felt more and more turned off by it. First of all, there’s a scene involving a weird fetish that even though is somewhat cute, feels awkward and ultimately throws that entire episode off balance. Then there’s Haruka’s personality – her insensitive manners and the way she treats Junichi at times doesn’t give much credibility to their whole “love story.” Plus, there’s little to no chemistry between them, which makes things even worse. The 10-years-later scene at the end of the arc was a nice little touch, though.
A huge improvement over the first story arc, this one works much better as it features a good sense of progress between the leads’ relationship and some drama over its course keeps things interesting and more emotionally involving. One of Junichi’s childhood friends, Kaoru Tanamachi is in the same class as him and works a part-time job as a waitress. There’s a good sense of development between them as the story goes on and the final episode delivers a satisfying conclusion, even if it feels a little rushed. The chemistry between Junichi and Kaoru is also excellent and their interactions are quite enjoyable, often accompanied by some good laughs. One of the better story arcs of the series, for sure.
Next up is Sae Nakata, an underclassman and friend of Miya’s, Junichi’s younger sister. Sae is extremely shy and the reason why Junichi and her end up spending so much time together is because Junichi decides to help her improve her social skills. Do not be surprised if you find her voice to be annoying, which many actually did. For those who enjoy Sae’s personality, this should prove to be a really nice arc, as it does pretty much everything right, including the ending.
Another friend of Miya’s and around the same age as her and Sae, Ai Nanasaki is part of the school’s swimming team and her first encounter with Junichi leads to her calling him a pervert. Unlike many of the other girls, Ai’s personality is easily likeable and her relationship with Junichi develops in a natural and pleasing way. Unfortunately, there were some weird stuff in this arc as well, including a trip to the amusement park that makes for some odd moments that just don’t fit in this anime. Nevertheless, Ai’s arc is an enjoyable one and has become my favourite, especially due to the well-done ending.
Rihoko Sakurai is another childhood friend of Junichi, although their relationship has been minimal over the years and mostly held at a casual level. Most of this arc centers around Rihoko’s battle with her unusually big appetite as she tries to go on a diet. For me, this arc has been by far the least interesting, especially considering that nothing really happens, even in the final episode, as Rihoko and Junichi actually don’t end up being together, although it isn’t out of the question in the long run.
Coincidentally or not, the final story arc is the one I’ve been looking forward to the most, as I found Tsukasa Ayatsuji quite intriguing as the anime progressed. Unfortunately, this one took a surprising turn when it was revealed that Tsuakasa actually had two personalities and her real one was marked by extreme tsundere qualities. Not to say that the arc wasn’t interesting, because it really was, and the ending was satisfying enough, especially since it showed us another “10-years-later” scene, but Tsukasa’s sudden change of personality simply ruined my view of her for the rest of the arc. Still, it’s one of the most well-done arcs in the entire series.
Final episode and closing comments
The final episode features yet another girl, Risa Kamizaki, with her very own little story arc that develops in the last twenty minutes, as well as explaining why Junichi got stoop up on his date two years ago. I was mostly lukewarm towards this episode, although it was somewhat of a nice addition to the end of the series. Risa’s actions, however, made it hard to root for her or even like her, but it seems that Junichi had no problem with that at all.
All in all, Amagami SS turned out to be quite a good anime and made for some really pleasant experiences. I found it to be very addicting to watch, especially since everything develops so fast and new story arcs always make for a breath of fresh air. On a visual level, Amagami SS looks great. The art is very fitting and the animation is very well done. You won’t likely end up calling this one of your favourites, but it’s still a series well worth watching.
In anime where there's a love triangle, you wish that the writers made the main character (MC) end up with the other girl. You fantasize about that story line, hoping someday the writers will give the other girl some spotlight. If you do find yourself in that position, watch Amagami SS!! You will be guaranteed that every girl gets her own story.
Amagami SS is in the omnibus format (a story format that I'm unfamiliar with) so the anime is divided into different arcs. So, as soon as one arc ends, the next arc begins as if the previous story never occurred. What's also cool is
that you can jump around story arcs so if you start with Rihoko's arc, you can easily pick up Morishima's arc without feeling that you missed some plot lines.
The general plot of Amagami SS is that it follows our male lead Junichi after he gets his heart broken on Christmas eve. From there, he will eventually meet 6 different girls. What makes the omnibus format awesome is that each girl gets her own story. So if you find yourself liking one of the female leads, you can directly skip to her episodes and you would not have missed a thing!
What I found that the anime did well was that each story arc was well-tailored to the female lead's personality. For example, in Tsukasa's story arc, she is a class president and thus, the story revolves around Junichi helping with her responsibilities and through those actions, he grows closer to Tsukasa. This was definitely an area that the writers for Amagami SS did well.
Where this anime fell was the humour. There are sexual innuendos, references, fan service, you name it, everywhere. In fact, the anime just shoves it shamelessly in your face. While it is pretty hilarious in the first few episodes that you watch, they get bland by the time you reach the last arc. But if you are into these things, you will find each episode very entertaining.
The artwork was really well done. I especially liked the backdrops to each scene. They put a lot of detail into those. Also, each girl is beautifully drawn. Each of them is drawn in a unique style so you will definitely find one character who is drawn to your liking. I particularly liked Ai Nanasaki's character art because her proportions are drawn really well and her chin-length hair basically won me over. The body proportions are definitely well done for each character.
The two opening versions are some of my favourite openings. I love how each one is a soft ballad, which really set me up for the romance in each episode. They are going onto the iPod very soon. Another unique thing about Amagami SS is that each character has her own ending sung by that voice actor. I thought that was pretty cool. Other than the opening and ending themes, the music in the anime was nothing spectacular but was not obtrusive in any way.
Each female lead in Amagami SS represents a certain character personality. That's a very good thing because you won't get confused as to which character is which.
Here's a quick run-down of each character in order of their appearance:
Haruka Morishima - a guy's dream girl, has the best physical features. As a result, Junichi gets into a lot of awkward moments with her. I definitely enjoyed her episodes a lot.
Kaoru Tanamachi - close to being "the childhood friend" archetype but not exactly. Junichi met her in middle school so they were friends since then. Being a headstrong character, she can be a guy's best girl-friend but she could easily friend zone you as well.
Sae Nakata - the shy but cute girl (and big where it matters, if you know what I mean...). I don't particularly like this category of character so I won't go into the details of her story (this is MY opinion so if you like this kind of character, Sae probably will end up being your favourite out of the 6 girls!)
Ai Nanasaki - she's close to being the Tsundere character as she starts out pretty cold but we gradually see her personality warm up. My favourite aspect of her is that she fearlessly states that Junichi is a pervert.
Rihoko Sakurai - she's the "childhood friend" archetype. She's a bit chubby so her story is about her losing weight while finding her feelings for Junichi.
Tsukasa Ayatsuji - the other version of a guy's dream girl. She is a ambitious leader, got the looks, but also has her flaws.
In my opinion, Ayatsuji's arc is the best story. The reason being is that there is a lot of tension rising and falling between Junichi and her. I would say that she gets the best character development out of all these fine ladies. As a result, her romance story is the one you that will tug at your heart strings.
There are also some supporting characters, the two main ones are Umehara, Junichi's best (and also perverted) friend, and Miya, Junichi's little sister. We don't see much character development (though Miya does get her own arc) but they are relieving to see whenever they enter the scene.
As a big fan of the romance genre, I definitely felt myself enjoying Amagami SS. While I often found myself scratching my head in certain situations or just wondering how Junichi even fell for a certain girl, I rejoiced to know that I can experience another romantic story after an arc. Given that the writers only had 4 episodes to develop an entire love story, they did a really good job. Props to them!
I think Amagami SS is a good starter for new anime watchers who are looking to see how romance is tackled in anime, and also for veteran romance watchers who are either looking for something short or a good general summary of all the big character types that appear in romantic stories.
Amagami SS has my stamp of approval. Do check it out!
Thanks for reading my review!
P.S. If you were wondering, here's my ranking of the girls in Amagami SS:
When recommending Amagami SS I often say that single route from it is better than most full 12/24 eps romance anime. And I'm serious when I say it.
At first glance nothing special. School setting, no superpowers, rivals or saving the world. It's pure high school romance. The only thing that gives this setting some individuality is, as mentioned in synopsis, protagonist's backstory of being stood up on Christmas date two years ago. Sadly, this part isn't fleshed enough and is used mostly for flashbacks that don't have as much impact on the story as they should.
What really changes Amagami story from average school romance into
something great is so called "omnibus format". Each heroine gets 4 episodes (and 2 more in sequel) then story resets and follows different "route" that leads to protagonist ending with different girl. I know some people hate it, but in my opinion omnibus format is what saved Amagami SS from being another harem into one of the best (again imho) romance anime out there.
One might ask if having so few episodes for each girl won't make it too rushed. It's true some parts of story could go slightly slower, on the other hand repeating same time period multiple times and showing some events from multiple perspectives makes up for it.
When it comes to art, character design is where Amagami SS shines. All main heroines are drawn really well and with good attention to detail. Backgrounds are also solid. Animation on the other hand could be better - it's not bad, but also nothing special.
There is not much to say about sound. Opening and ending are awesome and really fitting, but other than that music in this anime isn't something worth mentioning.
Obviously the most important part.
Let's start with Junichi, our beloved protagonist. Unlike usual male protagonists in anime focused on romance with multiple girls (mostly harems), Junichi has personality. He isn't another introverted nobody - he can be pretty eccentric and crazy, is confident but at the same time is "normal". It's also interesting how different sides of his character are shown in different routes - subtle but noticeable.
Heroines in Amagami SS are also interesting characters. Each of them is very different, with common trait of being more than you could guess at first glance. Obviously there's also similar problem to one I mentioned in story section: is 4 episodes per girl enough for proper character development? Yes, it is. While watching single route could leave one dissatisfied, watching all of them, just as with the story, allows viewer to see characters in multiple situations that expand on what we learned about them during their respective arcs. This way of getting to know characters is surprisingly effective and fun.
As for notable side characters, there is the best of all imouto characters - Miya - cute, fun and actual sister, without any incest vibes (for better or worse). Umehara - solid "best friend" character. And there is also hidden heroine that answers some questions about the story, but sadly doesn't get as much attention as she (imho) deserves.
It's simple. If omnibus format doesn't bother you, you should love it. If it does, you will hate it. Watching multiple short romances in the same setting is unexpectedly enjoyable. Routes are short enough to keep viewers attention for their whole duration and having all girls present somewhere in every route connects them enough to make it enjoyable as a complete anime, not just separate stories.