Amagami SS Episode 1

July 1, 2010

Two years ago, Junichi Tachibana was supposed to meet a girl at a park on Christmas so that he could confess his love to her but she never showed up. Ever since Junichi has been living a depressed life of isolation. He still goes to school and lives his life but most of his free time is spent inside the homemade planetarium that he’s created inside his closet. With the Christmas season fast approaching again, Junichi gets reacquainted with a classmate named Haruka Morishima and decides to give love another chance.

Harem series are notorious for getting off to slow starts due to how much time it takes to introduce all the important elements. Between getting through all the girls and their conflicts, there’s little time to introduce anything else. Amagami SS solved that right off the bat by giving each of the six heroines their own ending.

This serves as an amazing fix for the series premiere as within only a few minutes, not only has it introduced the story but most of the important characters. Moving at its own very relaxed pace, Amagami SS never feels like its rushing to squeeze something in just to get it into the series. All of the characters enter at a casual and much more natural feeling pace.

Haruka at Sunset Where things become questionable are all in the art style and animation. AIC generally produces nice looking series and for the most part, this series follows that rule. Trying to tell a much softer story that doesn’t beat you over the head with moe, the staff behind the series needed to use a softer art style that is reminiscent of another soft romance, White Album. With more realistic character designs (no out of the ordinary hair colors here) and a subdued color scheme, the series is able to tell a stories that aren’t based on outrageous situations and more grounded in every day life.

Unfortunately this also means that this series is very dry and very slow. While occasionally Amagami SS will break out a small joke, it’s not a series that is trying to make you laugh or even feel much of anything in the early going. Even fans of drier drama may have to put in some extra effort to pay attention when viewing this one.

I am still really surprised with how well the first episode to this series came across. While I still fear the series getting repetitive later once it starts shifting into the new endings, for now I’m entertained by the simple writing and character interactions. A very slow paced and soft romance for those looking for something that isn’t typical moe, this is the first high note of the season.


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