Warning: There are spoilers for this entire show below. Also some pictures may be risque(Lingerie and other common NSFW content) in nature, so view at your own discretion. 

So back in February, of last year,(I may have taken my time on this ^^), I was part of an anime Valentine’s themed tradeoff. People would get paired up, and give each other an anime to watch. Preferably the series would be romance themed, to fit the whole love idea of Valentines. I got paired up with a user on Kitsu(Hummingbird at that time), named BYtheHORNs. Yes, he is the same fellow I interviewed in an earlier post on Kanon 2006. As you can no doubt ascertain, the anime I was given to watch was Amagami SS. A series I was completely unaware of going into this event. So, of course the question always begs, what is this series about?

Amagami SS follows Junichi, a boy in highschool who is recovering from a broken heart. Two years ago on Christmas Eve, after being stood up for a date, Junichi is on the road to moving on from this hard event. So, this is an adaptation of a visual novel, which means Junichi has the magical power to make all women fall in love with him just by getting involved within their lives. However, Amagami changes up the typical formula of harem master, to a more fun and overall more fresh idea. When you play a visual novel dating simulator, one of the most notable aspects of their narrative structure is, each love arc is split into a separate self-contained story. Each girl and their individual romance is localized to the same time period, with different events unfolding to cause their own unique pairing.

Now, I don’t plan to talk about this series in my standards conventions. You all know what I mean: story, characters, the good, the bad, the ugly. All that fun stuff could easily be talked about, but Amagami is a little different in it’s approach so I will be as well. Each girl in the series gets a 4 episode arc to tell their entire love story. This is about the length of a standard anime film. A movie per girl you could say. So, I plan to rank each of the 6 respective girls and their stories accordingly. This is how it will go, using several arbitrary categories, I will grade the girls by three separate but equally important ways. These will be their looks, personality, and how satisfying their arc ultimately was for me. The combined force of all three of them, is what I used to determine my ranking. The numbers are also completely meaningless, and also if you notice aren’t used to determine the final ranking, since the number 4 girl is scored the 5th lowest for example. This was just how I decided to grade them numerically purely for my own made up reasons and system. Putting that all aside, I think it is due time we get started don’t you?

General Thoughts:

Junichi is a very solid protagonist. I can’t believe they don’t make more anime leads in these sort of stories feel believable on his level. Recovering from a broken heart, a pervert, and someone who is still good at their core? Well damn, he is already my kinda fella. I also want to shout out his best bro Umehara. This man is a true friend, and needs to be praised for his constant support for Junichi. Oh, while I’m at it, yes I did watch one of the two single episode arcs as well. I skipped over the sister’s episode because I’m boycotting its existence(Plus she is the absolute worst character in this entire series. Meat buns and Nii Nii were driving me up the wall). As for the other one….really? REALLY!!?? This crazy stalker girl who has constantly been meddling in your life, and was even the root cause of your initial heartbreak comes forth with her actions, and you are like nahhhh it is totes fine gurl. You must love me like a WHOLE LOT and are one heck of a qt so I forgive ya. So. Damn. Dumb. Also 20 minutes does not give enough time to make a believable story in this case, unless you are like I don’t know Harmonie, which was a rare success at that.

I do want to mention both Opening themes, and Closing themes before I tread forth to discuss who is “Best Girl”(trick answer, that is my girlfriend). Let me get this out of the way first. All of the ending songs are pretty much either mediocre or so boring they are forgetful. I can’t remember any of them, outside of Ayatsuji’s, and that is only because it is fresh in my mind. The OP’s on the other hand, were both suitable and enjoyable. The first one used for the series was a bit cringy at the start with the simple Engrish, but the song has a strong melody and gives off feelings of blissful romance. A nice touch I would say. The second theme was a bit more on the side of getting you pumped for some loving time. It starts with a slow build to a catchy chorus that I sang along to pretty much each and every episode.  I will give some final thoughts after the arbitrary ranking of the waifu brigade, but for now shall we proceed?

BEST GIRL WARS:

2016-17: The Battle of Amagami SS

Number 6: Haruka Morishima

Physical Looks

Morishima is like the series bevy of nameless boys treat her, a babe. Very beautiful indeed. Pale skin complemented by long flowing black curls and striking vivid eyes. In terms of standard beauties, she hits the mark very well. She has decent curves to boot, with especially plump breasts that she enjoys to showcase, when given the proper forum. I’d only have to knock off a few points because she has little to no lower body worth mentioning, and I’m a thigh guy. Tall, dark, and gorgeous you can see why she is the school’s premier princess.

Rating: 8.5/10

Personality

This is where Morishima falters greatly however. Her personality reeks of pure adolescence immaturitym in just about any way you can imagine. It is clearly tried to be supplemented with a highly sexual and devious mind, but it really does less for her. A childish personality in many regards, Morishima is the type of person who drives me bonkers. I’m all for accepting your inner kid, but this is a whole other level of that. Easily my least favorite girl of the whole bunch.

Rating: 1.5/10

Arc Satisfaction

Now this is a mixed bag for me. Some of the goodies make me pleasantly surprised, and others sour my tastes even further. The start of the story moves far too fast to be compelling,(especially for being the introductory arc for the anime as whole), and really sets a tone of Junichi being Morishima’s pet. Everything from the knee kiss, to the cafeteria role-playing(despite being quite funny) hampered my connection between these two. It was often off-putting and I was more than ready for the ending, by the time it occurred. Speaking of the ending, it is one of the only one’s to show post-graduation between the couple. Their scene is incredibly sweet and you can see major growth has transpired for her as a person. Pity it was all in one scene.

Rating: 5/10

Overall: 5.0 of 10

Number 5: Ai Nanasaki

Physical Looks

Nanasaki falters with having too little of everything. She has a standard cute design, but she looks so ordinary she hardily is memorable, even as a fictional girl. I can’t think of a single quality of her looks that stands out as a memorable one in comparison with the rest of the cast, and Amagami went with a very realism based design route too. Not bad, but nothing special.

Rating: 6.5/10

Personality

I rather like Nanasaki as a person. She is very reserved with her thinking, but is often thinking ahead towards something meaningful in her life. Toss in her nature to crack jokes often, and you have a rather fun person to be around. Although, sometimes her humor came off more as the writers trying too hard to make her feel coy, rather than being legitimately clever. Overall though she was a very dedicated and caring person and I really enjoyed her.

Rating: 8/10

Arc Satisfaction

I mean we got a pretty good development on this one. They met in a weird way yeah, but the time they spent together was rather fun. I think the problem with Nanasaki’s arc is, I didn’t feel like Junichi changed much within the arc itself, so it felt a bit disjointed. We had some great scenes like the Funhouse(eating jokes were a bit too on the nose though), and the Hot springs sexy confession time. Yet, the arc in a grand scheme felt like it was missing something. I think for me it was Junichi who was weak in this one. He didn’t feel as strong, and Nanasaki stood out more and it made her arc feel altogether a tad unsatisfying.

Rating: 7/10

Overall: 7.2 of 10

Number 4: Rihoko Sakurai

Physical Looks

Easily the girl closest to my personal tastes in a woman’s body. I love curves, like a lot. Rihoko is voluptuous without it being excessive. I do wish they would have dropped the diet thing though. She loves food and is beautiful the way she is. A full woman in the best of ways, Rihoko was pretty much on point in terms of attractiveness.

Rating: 9.5/10

Personality

Rihoko is an utter sweetheart and naive girl. It makes her absolutely adorable and endearing, but it comes with a few drawbacks as well. They make her feel too unintelligent at many times, and it is supposed to be for comedic effect, but instead feels insulting to her as a person. I don’t care for this sort of treatment of characters in the context of building them up as a person. Even more so since she had a refreshing point of view as the main character narrating their own arc this time around.

Rating: 8.5/10

Arc Satisfaction

Rating: 0/10

Overall: 6 of 10

Number 3: Tsukasa Ayatsuji

Physical Looks

Ayatsuji really reminds me of a design I have seen often in anime. Rarely though have we seen this type of girl get to be center stage at some point. Very standard anime cutie in many a way, describing her seems almost needless. Nothing excels in any category, but she makes up for it in other areas being so prim and proper.

Rating: 7/10

Personality

Easily the most fascinating gal of the whole bunch. Her whole narrative delves into her psyche, and it really make for some compelling conversations/scenes. I’m not a huge fan of who she is as a person, since she fakes a lot of herself, but the real her is someone that is worth knowing and caring about. I almost wish they would have had even more time spent of her.

Rating: 7/10

Arc Satisfaction

What a fabulous ending. These next 3 endings made me very pleased overall. Some really good “talking it through the situation” scenes are my favorites to deal with conflict. They tend to make an incredibly satisfying resolution, and in this case that rings quite true. Seeing the strains on Ayatsuji and her relationship with everyone(Junichi at center-stage) due to her forcing herself so much was well done and executed properly. I wish I could have gotten even another episode to see it explored even further. A wonderful ending with cuteness and good feels, it really topped off the series very proper.

Rating: 8/10

Overall: 7.3 of 10

Number 2: Sae Nakata

Physical Looks

This girl is grade-A adorable. Cute idol-like features with a deceptively curve body makes her cute and sexy all at once. It’s a hard blend to make come off believable, but I’m in the camp that they did so very well in her case. She isn’t quite my ideal, but credit is given where it is due, and she is a looker.

Rating: 9/10

Personality

She is that classic shy, but wants to break out of her shell kind of character. Incredibly cliche, but not always a bad thing. I think it makes her easy to like since it’s not a rare archtype, but it also hold her back slightly from having definite traits that are hers alone. She only really stands out because of her story is well told, and she has a great design due to having such a classic anime personality.

Rating: 8/10

Arc Satisfaction

Again, we are piled on with cliche motives and scenes. The boy constantly encourages her and together they fall for each othe,r as she learns to understand her confidence and self. Certainly not a bad storyline, and it has tons of cute scenes to match the type of romance they shared, but it did feel once again, a bit too familiar. Although seeing her break out of her shell a bit was a nice use of my time either way. Oh and that moe joke was expertly timed and was the biggest laugh of the whole series for me.

Rating: 8.5/10

Overall: 8.5 of 10

Number 1: Kaoru Tanamachi

Physical Looks

I won’t lie, I love messy hair. Like when my GF has like bed head or windy blown hair, I think it looks super adorbs. Kaoru was a cute character from the simple outlook. Nice face/hair, nice little curves everywhere else. She is a well rounded woman, and it makes her actually stand out the most,(well outside Rihoko, but they ruined her arc) of all the girls in the series for me.

Rating: 9/10

Personality

This girl is many things. She is fun, she is driven, and she is caring. She is one of my favorites in the personality department because she has a good moral compass, and isn’t a stick in the mud either. In many other arcs, she is often a standout supporting character in some way along with Umehara. She plays a great friend character, and well for me, the person I would want to fall in love with the most is my friend. And since they can’t seem to do Rihoko justice, Kaoru get’s the nod.

Rating: 9/10

Arc Satisfaction

Belly button kiss…just why…..first a knee kiss than this? At least though, this is the only major scene in her entire arc that I find deplorable. Everything else is very well crafted, and I was surprised after my disdain from the initial story that began Amagami. The relationship between Junichi and Kaoru was the one that felt the most natural by far in the entire series. They had an obvious click between the two of them, that could easily spark romace at any time. The way they supported each other, how similar their personalities are in some ways, and how much fun they were together. These two seem meant for each to me. Out of all the couple in Amagami, I think Kaoru is best suited with Junichi and she ranks for me with the best arc and as best girl of Amagami.

Rating: 9.5/10

Overall: 9.2 of 10

 Final Thoughts:

Amagami SS was a ton of fun. The visual novel adaptation is common in this day and age, but it is rare that it is done so exceedingly unique and fitting like this show went for. Often series do the route like KEY series ,  where they rewrite the romance out of the arcs and try to blend it all into one seamless narrative. Of course, for some anime this works better than others. Amagami decided to given each romantic interest the same amount of screen time for a fair chance to tell each story, and I really enjoyed this approach. I was given this series because it was a great metaphor, for a mixed box of chocolates. You really never know what is coming next, and this made each and every arc respectively a fun ride to see how they would play out. Not all of them were to my liking, but even as a chocolate loving whore, not all mixed boxes hit my fancy either. It was a true experience, and if you really enjoy romance stories of all kinds then Amagami such be a wondrous delight for you to embark upon. After you finish it, you can come and tell me why your order of the girls is clearly wrong, and I will mend your ways. I will sit here patiently in the meantime and lament how they screwed over Rihoko.

 

Until Next Time I shall see you my little Wanderers!

If you liked the romance of Amagami SS, then why not check out one of these other romance heavy series in the all of your anime time? Maybe, just maybe something will be to your liking?

Ore Monogatari
Junjou Romantica
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