Amagami SS+ – 01 Review

What she calls a “fight” is a regular school-event of electing a student to waste his time with rather meaningless administrative work. But this girl is a complete nutcase anyway which excuses her dramatic methods and shallow characterization. She’s also evil because wanting to stand in the spotlight and not being a main-character makes you so.

Amagami SS+ 01 -Elections Are About The Candidates Beating The Shit Out Of Each Other


While New Prince of Tennis is just a reheated turd of a series that was far longer than it deserved to be, this series actually has a reasonable goal to achieve: It wants to be the sequel of a generic harem-series – which was already finished. Because, you see, the bland unlikeable wimp of a main-character made his choice as to who’s the (un)lucky one who deserves being his girlfriend. So it might be interesting to ask what this series is about then. It’s still Amagami SS so it still has the same stupid “characters” (you know, faces without a real personality, that kind of “character”) but a second season gives a chance to fix some issues. That was of course my opinion. Amagami SS+ doesn’t fix anything that’s wrong with the first series (meaning something like 99% of it). Indeed it somehow manages to ignore the part where you assume that having a second season means there’s some kind of development. Things have happened – but somehow this series makes it seem irrelevant. It’s sad but I have to say that Amagami SS+ is just as bad as the rest of the stuff that has been aired until now in the Winter Season. So stay the hell away from this, too.

Synopsis:
Let’s first remember the two important characters of this sequel’s first arc:
Junichi Tachibana
Wikipedia says about him this: “The lead male protagonist of the story. He has a hard time opening up to others due to a trauma two years ago when his date stood him up on Christmas Eve which left him heart broken. He also fears heights, as he feels uncomfortable when riding elevators.”. The series of course makes sure that the characters stays being a wimpy idiot. I mean, he’s traumatized by being stood up?! What kind of spineless worm is he supposed to be…? How the hell is such a stupid character-concept supposed to be the centre of a harem? But you know how it is with these bland main-characters in harem-series and I guess we should be thankful or something that this series tries to explain why Junichi is a total retard. It’s a stupid explanation but at least there is one. Most of the other harem-main-characters are seriously retarded just because.
But he made a choice of course in the first series. Now one girl is (supposed to be) his girlfriend. And that’s who he had chosen:
Tsukasa Ayatsuji
And Wikipedia says about her “Junichi’s class representative, who is both a hard worker and a person who is willing to take on any task that no one else will. While she acts kind and friendly, it is actually a facade that secretly hides the real her, who is manipulative and cunning.”. Right, so he chose the arrogant prick as girlfriend. Well, at least he was really stupid and didn’t uncharacteristically made a reasonable choice…

So, some months have passed and Junichi still spends his nights alone wishing Tsukasa would be his girlfriend because somehow Tsukasa just drags him around and Junichi has no idea what to do. Junichi actually is still occupied making sense of the fact that she is his girlfriend despite all the time that has passed since the end of the last series.
But another dramatic event is about to happen because Tsukasa enters the election for Student President or something – and she has a rival. A rival who’s ready to do anything, really anything, just to become responsible for doing time-wasting menial tasks as Student President. This rival also has a plan, a very evil plan and it involves Junichi who has just about the right amount of IQ (meaning 0) to be used as a pawn for her plans to eliminate her last rival Tsukasa. What she’s doing is first of all making Junichi her vice president just to gall Tsukasa (yeah, this evil girl takes this election VERY serious when it comes to her rivals but not serious enough to care about her voters or the future when she’s stuck with a total retard as vice-president). And then she calls Junichi to a place behind the school and also gets Tsukasa to come and makes her witness how she kisses Junichi. And yeah, that’s it, total drama and all that shit. Junichi makes a fool of himself… again. And all kinds of stupid drama can start next episode when dull characters try to sort out the mess they’ve created but stumble over their own retarded characterizations.

In what kind of world does becoming an important public figure cure shyness actually…? And who the hell would vote for such a shy girl to represent the students of the entire school?! ‘Making sense’ isn’t something this series has in abundance apparently…

Review:
It’s obvious that Amagami has the most suerpficial drama you could imagine. The story is ridiculous in its forced way to make it seem like simple things are important and dramatic. After the end of the first series it was obvious how it all ended with the bland main-wimp (finally) making the choice and the girl accepting since it was just a matter of who he would choose instead of whether the girls love him. Because that’s the deranged image these harem-series have of female characters. In their universe it’s all about girls futilely fighting over a guy until the guy who stumbles from pleasing one girl to the next (finally) makes a choice but nobody blames him for taking his bloody time with that. The main-character is treated as the center of the universe and everything is about him in the end, he receives attention although he doesn’t deserve it in any realistic way. In the end the girls just wait for him practically making sure that the guy doesn’t have to make an effort getting a girl to love him. Helping the girls means for the bland-character getting the same expected payback like pressing a light-switch. There’s never any doubt that things will work out as long as he keeps up appearances by favouring one girl over the others. And in the end this just makes the girls look… easy and therefore rather shallow characters.  That way the first series was really generic and had all the flaws and virtues of a harem-series (the latter is only seen by hard-core-fans, I assume).
So what happens in the second season? Character-development? Actual interest for the workings of a relationship? Serious consideration of introducing good slice-of-life? To make it short: no. The ending of the first season might as well never have happened for all the series is showing in terms of character-development. And it’s terrible. This series still clings to its harem-values despite the fact that the formula had run its course in the first series.
The characters receive the worst kind of character-development, that is to say: none. The worthless worm of a main-character despite spending months (!) having a relationship with that arrogant girl still can’t believe she’s his girlfriend. He practically gets dragged around by her behaving like the kind of idiot who probably would get ignored by everyone in the real world. But not in this series, here they actually notice him and pay attention to him. Why? I have no idea. As far as I remember he was a bland charactertype of the “No brains but golden heart”-variety, you know, the kind where a naïve idiot has the best intentions and the most retarded ideas to see them through. His ‘girlfriend’ meanwhile is arrogant and handles him like a kind of trophy she wants to drag around showing off to everyone. You never see her having any kind of intimate moments with him despite the fact that they’re supposed to be a couple. In fact they don’t seem like a couple at all. The character-dynamics in that regard are totally screwed up and if the series thinks they could ignore that point for some later plot-point where it’s twisted into a dramatic issue, then they are frigging wrong. Because they already are a couple and they should behave like that now, instead of making a stupid drama out of having a relationship, they should try to show how it works actually. The rest of the cast are obviously either walking plot-devices or a shallow waste of space.

Yeah, I can’t believe it either. Perhaps she should let someone check her brain or something…

Of course, the story is full of drama. And of course the story is also a big pile of horseshit. My god, this drama! I doubt anyone ever on this earth bothered to make such a big deal out of school-president-elections as this series does. The arrogant prick of a girlfriend the main-character has is one of the candidates and another girl has the guts to oppose her. Uuh, real serious shit, now that‘s the kind of story animes need. And this rival even has put together some kind of scheme to put down the girlfriend-character: She wants to charm the spineless worm of a main-character. Gee, how evil! And the worthless worm of course walks right into the trap – with the romantic notion that the girl actually feels something for him (what an idiot…). And somehow the girlfriend sees them kissing! What a cliffhanger! That’s the kind of cliffhanger where I don’t give a shit what happens  after is and only can think about how ridiculous the whole thing is. I mean, this drama is SO forced, it’s all exaggerated out of proportion. There are idiotic dialogue-moments like someone mentioning that the evil girls father is a politician or something. We barely know the girl but her father is a bigshot in policy which is supposed to explain why she’s a devious schemer and frigging evil. But you know what? She’s retarded as well – or the story is rather. Because her schemes are all about beating the shit out of this girlfriend-characters but let’s remember: This is an election. For being a student-council-president or something. I doubt the series will tell me why this evil girl takes this election SO serious. And no, having a father-complex is not an explanation for her vicious plot-point-creating. And worse than the stupid pseudo-intrigue will be the drama, I assume. Because the characters are bad and any kind of drama using them will be simply boring tiptoeing in circles until someone actually realizes after a few episodes that behaving reasonably like normal people and not like whiny drama-queens might be a good idea. Naturally the plot-development will also be hampered by the fact that the main-character has to be a retard. Like I said, he’s the kind with a golden heart – but no brain whatsoever. It’s a miracle he can remember to breathe when he’s asked to add one and one together. And of course that makes drama interesting, right?

Luckily the characters of this series are so shitty and one-dimensional that you don’t need to watch the first series to know what’s going on. This series sure has drama in abundance and a story so lame that you probably will ask yourself what all the fuss is about. If you’re a fan of stories talking about a wimp learning what having a relationship means and an evil girl having daddy-issues following her schizophrenic delusions of how a student-council-election should look like then this might be your cup of tea. Everyone else might see a lot of stupidity while watching this.

Episode-Rating: 3/10

About M0rg0th

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Posted on January 6, 2012, in Amagami SS+, Anime, Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Erm… did you watch the first season? I dropped it after watching 1 or 2 episodes. Because I was disgusted to see piece of a shit main character loves to lick the girl’s… legs. Or, is it knee? Thigh? I don’t quite remember, because this worm doesn’t deserve a space inside my brain. Seriously, that’s a nasty fetish! He must have watched too much porn or something!
    Seeing 3/10 assures me that I shouldn’t bother with 2nd season either. 🙂

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    • Well, the sole reason why seemingly anyone bothered creating this series at all is its unique “Omnibus”-structure where each girl got its own conclusive story-arc. It made some story-arcs actually decent enough to not make me wanna vomit but others were even worse than what can be seen in this episode.
      It is a change to have such a structure with a harem-series but I don’t really see how it makes for a better experience of a series. It just enhanced my impression of the main-character being a total idiot and the girls being either idiots or blind fools… or both at the same time.

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      • So, he doesn’t have that dirty fetish at later episode? 😀

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      • I ‘cheated’ by visiting wikipedia, and remembered that he loves to lick the behind of his girlfriend’s knee. To the point of begging her. Dis. gust. ing.
        Neck or cheeks would be a more approriate place… 😛

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      • Whoa, you’re talking about a spineless worm who invented the psychological illness called “romantic tragedy shell-shock”, in short “WIMP”. That should make his character interesting at least in some way, shouldn’t it 😀 ? I mean seeing these girls making fools of themselves while craving for his attention seems like a really demeaning way to describe romance. But, well, that’s the harem-genre for you, even if they avoided in this case to have him build up a real harem and instead just let him travel parallel worlds of him concentrating on one girl or another.
        And yeah, he has a very creepy way of showing his ‘golden heart but no brain whatsoever’-personality 😉 .

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  2. “While New Prince of Tennis is just a reheated turd of a series that was far longer than it deserved to be,”

    Gotta agree with you, but i just love Prince of Tennis and I really don’t know why and am glad that the series had a “second” part to it. =P

    More PoT for the PoT heads. (heh…cold joke anyone? =P)

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    • Well, I had as much fun ridiculing the shit out of NPoT as the next person but let’s be serious: This series is the kind of crap you should really only watch if you love laughing about really bad series 😉 .

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    • Haha, the show caters to a certain type of… crowd. =P

      It is definitely not for those who are unable to enjoy the ridiculousness and stupidity that is the show, but I am not sure if I fully agree with the “laughing over how bad it is” part, because I do enjoy watching it, even if I also do enjoy making fun of it when I watch it. Well, one things for sure, you can’t take the show seriously.

      But there has got to be a reason behind it’s popularity. 😉 TV, Movies, Musicals, Live Adaptations, Radio Shows, Video Games…. something has got to be working for the show.

      I know that success is not a judge for how good a show it, but there must be a reason behind it. =P

      P.S: I think that we should be having this discussion on the PoT page instead of here. Lol. My bad for bringing it up… =P

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  3. Hey, I gotta say, i love your review, im a personal fan of the series but your review made me laugh, after all, your completely right, but the resaon for the main character being soo spineless and wimpy is because there really wasnt ever a main Male lead! after all, its a series based off a video game where you take the role of the male lead, soo they had to improvise with the main character and make him a “spineless wimp” as you so put it. Great review, loved it 😀

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  4. I liked the first season, I’m enjoying the second season so far.

    It’s a good show.

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  5. I honestly have to wonder why you, who hates this genre with a fiery passion, bother to review it when you already know what to expect as this is a second season. Seriously man, you use the word ‘stupid’ no less than 8 times in your review. I don’t write scathing reviews about My Little Pony probably because I don’t watch it and have no desire to. Do you feel obligated to review this just because it is airing?

    Let me clear up some misconceptions you have. This is not intended to be a serious drama, I think the political deathmatch that is the student president election tells you as much. This is not intended to be some deep analysis of human relationships, it’s modeled after a dating-sim for god sakes. It’s just supposed to be a light-hearted show about how a bumbling self-insert protagonist wins the hearts of various girls.

    Shows that are supposed to be serious dramas like Kamisama Dolls or Aria of the Scarlet Ammo deserve criticism for bad plot structure and two dimensional characters. They had a goal and failed to achieve it. What you are doing is holding Amagami to all sorts of goals it never had, so of course it fails in that regard. Every cynical remark you make is just dripping with venom, venom better reserved for shows that’s aren’t just for laughs.

    To be perfectly frank, this series and genre as a whole was never for you. You didn’t like the episodes before, you didn’t like this one, and you won’t like any of the ones that follow. Unless you revel in negativity (and I suspect you do, reading your reviews) you should stop watching shows you hate. You’re not even being paid to do this…

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    • Gee, Ren, this is the first impression for a new show of the season. And this blog tries to cover all the new series so yeah, I reviewed it because of that. Also I think being a dating-sim-adaptation doesn’t excuse any faults I find with the show because they aren’t just made for laughs, you know. Perhaps there’s someone out there who likes to watch this kind of series, congratulations to that person to be able to enjoy this series. But there are also people like me who don’t like this series and I don’t just hate it because of my favourite colour or other predetermined “It’s because you are you”-crap, I actually have some reasons for my opinion and that’s what the review is about. If you want to explain to me what you think is so good about this episode, go ahead 😉 .
      I don’t revel in negativity needlessly, when I make cynical remarks about a show then there’s a reason for that. I don’t just talk about stuff I like, I also talk about stuff I hate and in both cases my review says why.

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      • What are faults for some genres are not faults for others. If you hold everything to the same standards, some things will always be a failure in your book. I’m the sort of person who appreciates a deep story. So, why then do I like watching Amagami despite its lack thereof? Because slice-of-life, dating-sim style anime don’t need one. It is not a weakness to not have a story, a story isn’t the point at all. If you were to add some deep and compelling story it would no longer be what it is. It would be a different genre. And that’s what it comes down to, do you like the genre or not? You evidently don’t.

        The point of these shows is very clear. You can step into the shoes of a insert-self protagonist and experience the quirks of various ladies. If you came for any reason other than to laugh (and not just to make snide remarks) then you are doing it wrong. Criticizing a ‘harem’ style anime of not having a story is like criticizing a murder-mystery show for not having enough romance.

        I’m not just playing the devil’s advocate. There are reasons that Amagami can be set apart from other members of the ‘harem’ genre which I will agree with you, are generally cancer inducing. First and most importantly, it’s not a harem. Other shows in the genre always have some loser who is inexplicably the object of affection to everyone they meet. Tachibana only ever charms 1 girl and it takes a good amount of time to get there. When you have separate ‘routes’ instead of a single one, each girl gets proper characterization and we can see how the protagonist’s relationships develop by the different choices he makes. You say Tachibana is a spineless, bumbling idiot but emotionally vulnerable and socially awkward teens are hardly uncommon in the real world.

        Certain harem anime in fantastic settings like Rosario + Vampire have a cast of powerful ladies who only like the loser protagonist because of his excessive friendship speeches. Amagami avoids this by having everyone a simple high school student. It is not unusual for two people of equal social stature to fall in love. If you are still unconvinced that Tachibana could ever attract a girl, chalk it up to being a work of fiction. Reality exists to be real, fiction exists to entertain.The only glaring break in reality is the depiction of girls as being rational and caring creatures 😛

        If you don’t want to change your mindset and appreciate the genre for what it is, this is going to be a very painful series to watch. It is not and will not conform to the standards of what you deem a good anime.

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  6. @Ren:
    For me genres aren’t a bible for what is considered good, you know. The mediocrity of just doing what is expected of a series isn’t anything I’ll reward. Especially if it’s also as boring as this episode.
    And I don’t change my mindset because this wouldn’t be doomed to fail just because I didn’t like this episode. Like you said, Amagami’s sole reason for being actually not just “one of those” is its omnibus-structure and the arcs naturally aren’t all on the same level. This one though was forced and had rather poor character-dynamics. I don’t quite see why there’s the necessity to have such a series when this series obviously still clings to a sort-of-like harem-formula of handling characters. But as long as it makes money they’ll probably always release boring stuff like this episode.
    *shrug* That’s how I feel about this episode. And this review is obviously about my opinion of this episode. Just explaining how this is related to your usual genre-series just would say that it’s part of that genre but obviously the review is about this episode and not the genre in general.

    And “You simply don’t get it.” is a rather poor defence of an episode’s shortcomings like this one, Ren 😉 . The reason why this may end up not being a good anime by my standards is because it’s simply not good. Nothing to do with “not getting” the genre or iffy stuff like that. This episode is just not good in my eyes. You can call enjoying it a “guilty pleasure” of yours but I don’t see any reason why I should call this a “good episode”.

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    • It isn’t a guilty pleasure, I don’t find fault that you find with… everything. I’ve listed examples of shows within the genre which did not do it right and what Amagami does to correct those issues. I will maintain my position that you ‘simply do not get it’ because you think you are being objective when you clearly hate the genre. That’s called bias. It’s rather condescending to imply that people who like genres you do not are settling for mediocrity. If I were to view media as one great soup of entertainment with the same standards as you do, I would be discounting entire genres as being objectively bad simply for the conventions they use. “Horror films don’t have good character development! Romance films don’t have enough action scenes! They are all bad!” I think it a logical conclusion that ‘I don’t like it’ =/= ‘it is bad’.

      I would understand completely if your 3/10 were a rating of how much you enjoyed this episode. But it’s a statement about the objective quality of the episode. You accentuate the negative to such a preposterous degree that I wonder if anime is only ever ‘tolerable’ to you. I liked the episode and I’m sure many others did as well for better reasons than ‘I can enjoy this if I turn my brain off’.

      Well, I’ve said my part. It may be a relief to both of us that I won’t be filling your future Amagami reviews with “Why don’t you like this!? *hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiissssssssss*” comments. I just wish people could be more open-minded about how to enjoy things.

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  7. I don’t hate the entire genre. I don’t even hate the first Amagami-series as much as this episode. I expect more of a sequel than the original series and this episode obviously wasn’t good enough for my tastes. This review happens to actually not be God’s one absolute truth but just describes my opinion.

    And yeah, nice that you like it, Ren 😉 . Doesn’t mean though that others have to like it as well.

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