Friday, 3 February 2012

Amagami SS+ plus - Episode 5

Now that Rihoko's turn in the spotlight is out of the way (and satisfyingly delivered), it's time to push her to one side (with all of the weight jokes that entails) to let Ai Nanasaki take centre stafe for this latest arc of Amagami SS+.

This particular arc takes place one year after its counterpart in the show's original season, with Junichi Tachibana and Nanasaki getting along like a house on fire as their relationship continues to burn as strongly as ever, and they plan out what they want to do for their one year anniversary.  Thus, much of this particular episodes proves to be rather "lovey-dovey", with even Junichi being caught looking in on the girl's swimming club (now captained by Nanasaki) not turning into any major drama.

The only real threat to this serenity is Tachibana's hard work studying in the hope of a good university place - not being the sharpest tool in the shed, he's cramming for all his life's worth to try and come good, and although this offers him some "interesting" moments with Ai when his fatigue comes into play, the need to attend a cram school looks all set to put paid to the couple's Christmas Eve plans; an issue which the otherwise mature Nanasaki takes harder than you might imagine.

Given that she was already one of my favourite characters for this series, I have to admit that I was even more taken with this slightly more mature and well-rounded Ai Nanasaki - her relationship with Junichi felt pretty believable and well-realised for the most part, despite his obvious perversions.  On the flip side of that, once again the fact that we're looking in on two characters already in a relationship removes most of the drama from proceedings, leaving us more or less in simple slice of life territory - even a Christmas Eve apart is hardly going to kill either party, no matter how depressing it might be at the time.  Still, my warmth towards the characters make this particular instalment a net win for me, so I can't really complain about its provision of some simple, fluffy entertainment for a Friday evening.

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