Now that I've had a week to get over leaving poor Rihoko in the lurch, it's time to embark upon another new Amagami SS story arc, with the focus of our attention this time turning towards class rep Tsukasa Ayatsuji, after reminding us once again of Junichi's love-lorn heartbreak from a couple of years previously.
Tachibana's opportunity to get closer to Ayatsuji comes from a rather surprising place, as we find him volunteering to help his over-worked classmate out as a member of the Founder's Festival Committee - not, as you might thing, with the express purpose of getting to know her, but rather to leave him with no excuses when it comes to slouching around in a pool of his own self-pitying misery come Christmas.
So, we follow Tachibana around as he learns the ropes of preparing for this festival from the ultra-organised Ayatsuji, while even the clichéd moment of getting stuck in a store room with her brings little more than idle chat and pleasantries between the two of them (although it does also provide us with a wonderfully timed bit of comedy courtesy of Miya). In short, and despite her obvious irritation when Tsukasa bumps into her sister Yukari while Junichi is in tow, Ayatsuji seems like your pretty typical nice, smart, hard-working and likeable girl. A set of attributes which makes the final scene of this episode all the more deliciously intriguing...
I have to confess, that final turn-around has left me dying to watch the next episode (which has to be a first for this series), so teasing is its nature - it's certainly given a lift for what was otherwise a decidedly run-of-the-mill affair which was setting its scenario up quite nicely, albeit in an unspectacular fashion. Just as I was preparing to write this arc of as a "nice girl meets slightly dim boy but falls for him anyway", so it throws in a moment to confound those expectations. Let's just hope it can do something good now it's managed to grab my attention.