Who's up for some Sunday morning romance? Amagami SS+ has completed its second season after only thirteen episodes, giving us two more episodes per heroine, as well as an episode on the most important sister in the show, Miya.
It seemed odd that the show would return for more, what with the rather conclusive ends to almost all of the arcs in the previous season. Still, it was a very welcome return, but was it at all necessary? You'll find my final impressions somewhere after the jump.
The show, which is based on a PlayStation 2 game, has an incredibly simple plot. Juniichi has his heart broken one Christmas when the girl he likes doesn't show up to a date. As a direct result of this, he's now not at all confident with all things love, but he just so happens to have a school full of lovely ladies! I'd struggle to call this a harem, as much as it sounds like one, simply because Juniichi only goes for one girl. After every four episodes of the original series (or two in the case of this series) time is essentially rewound before the relationship happened, and we see how things would have gone had he got talking to a different girl. It's an interesting concept, and it means we have a sensible and funny male lead, rather than a girl-magnet-come-douchebag.
As I mentioned before, the previous show had really brought each of the girls stories to a close, with perhaps the exception of Rihoko's terrible ending. Rather than continue from where the last season left off, we see stories that take place while Juniichi is still at school, yet is dating the girl in question. They don't really add much in the way of story, but they give enough to keep you interested. An exception to this is Rihoko, whose arc does continue from her previous one, giving us an actual conclusion. Even if the other stories in this season don't interest you, these are two episodes worth watching.
With eleven episodes that aren't crucial to any sort of plot or meaningful character progression, you'd think that this show was an absolute mess. The strange thing is that it isn't, and while it certainly doesn't have the ingredients for a fantastic show when listed down on paper, the characters and scenarios are just incredibly enjoyable. This season was never about progressing the relationship between Juniichi and whichever lady he happens to be with, but rather to allow us viewers to see more of the fun antics and fresh characters involved. When you look at a show and cannot pick out an annoying character, you're on to a winner.
I'm not sure exactly what it is about the art, but the animators over at AIC sure know how to mellow you out. The girls all look different enough to be significantly distinguishable without having to have Final Fantasy hair of varying colours, and the female expressions are done superbly. In fact, I'd hazard a guess that it's the expressions in this show that are the driving force behind keeping you hooked on each and every relationship Juniichi has. The opening music is very fitting once again, and really sets the mood of the show. It was also a nice touch to see new scenes added to the opening for the final episode, due to Miya being at the forefront rather than the main ladies.
It's been an enjoyable season, though I feel that this is the last we'll be seeing of Amagami. You won't want to watch this until you've seen the original for obvious reasons, and you'll have to enjoy a good helping of romance to be able to get the most from it. Amagami SS+ might do little to improve upon its previous instalment, but this is by far not a negative, as the show does offer what us fans wanted come the end of the original series. A conclusion to Rihoko's arc, and of course, more Miya.
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