Caught in a Great Romance!!!- Amagami SS Part 1- Morishima Haruka
October 27, 2011 § 2 Comments
There is nothing more exciting to me than a good romance series. Be it on television, anime, books, if i can’t like the characters or enjoy a good pairing then something is indeed lacking. For instance “Kara No Kyoukai” Shiki x Kokuto, Fate Stay Night Saber x Shiro, and many more are good examples of a series that not only succeed in entertaining me with just action, each character likes each other in a unique way. Of course the romance isn’t the main point for those series being based mostly on action and mystery but the example is nonetheless understandable;if I can’t like the characters themselves I will most likely dislike it. Ecchi or Harem series in my opinion isn’t even considered romance at all and it strictly pisses me off that it tries the same formula over and over where every girl is head over heels for an oblivious moron who can’t tell he’s being hit on. In short I feel the emotion is forced because of it and I cannot enjoy it. My first and second requirement for a good series is simply this. 1- I must love the characters in an untainted and forced environment and 2- the drama has to be realistic despite the setting of fantasy or scifi (I need to relate to it). Today however I take the time to finish this romance rant by talking about a series that has… fulfilled my requirement and is downright enjoyable. Today I bring Amagami SS to the table!
**Warning: Spoilers Ahead**
**Warning: Only Part 1**
Amagami SS, originally a Japanese Dating Sim for the PS2 in 2009 received a welcoming anime adaptation in July 2010 with its unique (semi slow) pervertive and helpful protagonist and its lovely cast of female heroines, the anime keeps the same appeal as the game and does not deviate from it. Its not like any other romance series where one girl gets the guy and the rest are simply unloved but rather it does a job on showing each character route and represents them as a separate universe. In short each arc is a different universe where our hero gets close and falls for a different girl. The story is simply rich as the time mostly always takes place a few weeks before Christmas Eve (AKA Their School’s Founders Day) and those who do not celebrate this holiday I still recommend this show for simply the character development in each arc.
At the beginning of the first episode (and a few other arcs) we watch our protagonist, Tachibana Junichi, head to an appointed spot for his date after having confessed to his senior. Junichi’s emotion is overjoyed and excited that the winter cold seems nothing to him… though that smile wanes slowly as he waits and waits for her only to realize she would never show up. The emotion and the gleam disappearing for him simply made my heart ache as I too had gone through a similar experience that I instantly relate to the character (requirement 2 fulfilled in 5 min). The story itself takes place two years after that event and Tachibana is still emotionally depressed that he has grown melancholic every time Christmas eve is around the corner. The series isn’t simply a struggle for Tachibana to win over a girl but also one to regain what he lost two years ago, a troublesome but not impossible challenge. That doesn’t mean that Tachibana isn’t a mopey protagonist, in fact he is just another healthy young man (wink wink). His friend Masayoshi Umehara is perhaps a great side character for his energetic and comedy routines with Tachibana (mainly on pornography). Watching the first episode and being introduced to Umehara was perhaps a welcomed joke that made me laugh. Umehara approaches Tachibana on his way to school in his random and hyper character and Tachibana pretends not to know him… that is until Umehara mentions he brought the magazine he wanted in which Tachibana instantly switches to recognizing him surprised simply because of the magazine. Their relationship is simply one that I can relate since every one has that one hyper friend that you mess around and joke with.
The first arc revolves around Morishima Haruka, the most popular girl in the entire school for her charismatic personality and looks. Being so popular it goes without saying that she should have a boyfriend… or at least it should be since she’s the ideal hot girl! She’s freaking single and has a heart break streak for turning down every guy in school the previous year (no joke). So anyways, Tachibana notices her and finds her attractive but of course still mopey he makes no move and thinks he has no chance… until his friends make him buy lunch and helps out a freshman get her food, making him noticed by Morishima Senpai (just went Weebo). On his way to the classroom Tachibana drops the bag full of school bread quickly begins to collect it… and in doing so Morishima picks up a bread and lovingly comments on how much he eats (with no ill intent). Dropping bread+picking up= Popular girls attention.
My first opinion about Haruka was magical. Haruka plays around with Tachibana for a bit before she heads off to her own thing. And simply put I thought she was an angel XP cheesy but it works. Of course that is not the only encounter. Haruka shows up in the library with a pile of cute dog books that our hero gracefully helps her carry (chivalry is still alive). Of course what did bring me down was that in the first episode Tachibana confesses to her and she turns him down (NOOOO!). Second opinion… How could you!… Of course with courage he asks her out again in another episode and she willingly accepts seeing his determination.
Having won Haruka over, Tachibana himself isn’t out of the woods yet despite being over his own insecurity. Haruka herself has her own quirks, mainly being overactive and hyper. It worries Haruka to the point that she calls her friend Hibiki for advice on… a “puppy” :D. Of course after talking it out Hibiki (keen as ever to pick up it was about a boy) gives her advice to be just herself and Haruka returns to her joyful self!
Tachibana and Haruka get extremely close… to the point where they run off during lunch and go to kiss… o.o Yes kiss… or at least I thought it would be mouth to mouth. When they arrive to a hideout, Haruka decides to tease him by not allowing Tachibana to kiss her on the mouth and to kiss elsewhere. Of course this is to tease him yet Tachibana decides to take it seriously and take up her challenge… and like a daring man he decides to kiss her behind her knee! o.o
Haruka simply does anything she wants to do like try out a school swimsuit, glomp Tachibana and act like a spoiled kitten, or pretends she’s tied down to a chair and is spoon fed ramen by the kidnaper (Tachibana) in the school cafeteria. Of course she questions if she’s too much for our hero but finds comfort that he does not mind her playful teasing… in fact he loves it ^^
Eventually… we reach our climax… Christmas Eve (told ya its on Christmas!). Tachibana and Morishima make plans to hang out a bit and have dinner with her family because of her grandparents visiting (red flag goes up at this point). Tachibana is excited to meet Morishima’s parents and in doing so… forgets the time and runs late! The poor fool runs like a mad man to their appointed destination and literally is steaming when he gets there. Finding this troublesome, Haruka takes him to the hotel their parents… yes I said that right, a hotel! Knowing that Tachibana was in no shape to meet her parents in this state she takes him to the pool and the two spend an entire two hours messing around under the pretense of “washing him up!”
After their random swimming ordeal, Morishima san takes them to their room in which she reveals… that her parents canceled their hotel get together! What the FUUUUUU!!! Morishima and Tachibana alone in a hotel room suite gives a man many many dirty thoughts on where this might be going (once again this series is a romance… but it takes a mature feel to it). It goes without saying that I’m already anxious to find out how this 4 episode arc will end. What makes me even more anxious is when Haruka goes take a shower and tells Tachibana not to peep… Every guy watching this instantly know the instinctive urge to do what they are not told and this is no exception for our hero. Tachibana waits in the living room fighting his primal instinct and manages to keep it in his pants until Haruka comes out… yet something is wrong… She’s disappointed at Tachibana. Dwah?
Our heroine is disappointed at our hero for not checking her out! At this point I pause and rewind about 2x in simple confusion at what Tachibana did wrong, forgetting about her insecurity. Remembering soon after, it becomes obvious that Morishima Haruka is afraid that she isn’t appealing to our hero and that he’d leave. Of course this is a bit far-fetched for me, I remember that Tachibana has not expressed how much he likes her since he confessed to her (FEWL D<)!!! Clicking play I continue on and watch Haruka cry for the first time… and like a good man Tachibana consoles her and once again spoils her by telling her how much she’s in love with her, dispelling her panic attack. D,: like a true bro!
Of course thats all that you get. There is no adult content in this series… but there is a lot of implied suggestion in it. This is where the route ends… or at least thats what I thought. Ten years later Haruka and her best friend Hibiki talk about their lives while flipping through their photo album and reminisce about their youth. It is implied here that Tachibana and Haruka have tied the knot!!!
It isn’t a Morishima Haruka finish without a last gag for the viewers. So Tachibana bursts in with his Detective ID and threatening to put Haruka under arrest! Instinctively Haruka gets up and tells Hibiki to make a run for it… in which she declines and thus becomes the killjoy of their short roleplay. My favorite quote that Haruka says after Hibiki’s comment on Japans Safety is “He might not be able to keep Japan safe, but he promised he’ll keep me safe”
Final thoughts… the Haruka route is simply my first true romantic series I have set foot on. Of course each character arc is around 3-5 episodes long (varying on the girl) the amount of depth in it is simply superb. I enjoyed and still enjoy watching this series. It never gets old and thats rare for me. As for Haruka I will admit that she is not my “top” favorite character in the series. However this isn’t a bad thing, many people like Haruka and she got her own figurine (which my friend David proudly owns). So my thoughts… I love Amagami SS… but I must talk more about the remaining 6 girls (yes this includes the secret character arc) in other parts to be more in depth. I hope you enjoyed this entry and I will post more in the following weeks…
**Next Week is Kaoru’s Arc!**