“Well, when you think you love someone, you love them. That’s what love is — thoughts.” – Bill Adama
Whether it’s a book, TV show, or film, I typically like going into it relatively blind, knowing as little about it as possible. For instance, I didn’t know Amagami SS was based upon a “dating simulator” on PS2 called Amagami that explored various guy-girl combinations in a high school setting.
That said, the first episode of Amagami SS felt like a rather generic high school romantic drama featuring a dull guy and out-of-his-league girl that could potentially continue generically soldiering on for 12-13 episodes without anything ever coming to fruition. I was wrong.
This show actually has a rather novel layout: it’s six arcs of four episodes each all featuring the same guy, but each arc focusing on a relationship with a different girl. The first arc involves Haruka Morishima in episodes titled simply “Yearning”, “Getting Closer”, “Jealousy”, and “Love”.
I was actually quite refreshed to see the romance of the first arc make such rapid yet realistic progress, probably because anime romances (and romantic comedies in particular) all too often lead their audience along an endless ‘will-they-or-won’t-they’ conveyor belt that can be excruciating. I’m not at all saying it can’t work (as it does here and here), but it often doesn’t.
This anime avoids that, as well as an even bigger problem, the harem complex (too many girls like the same guy) by focusing on one girl at a time (at least, in this first arc). I was surprised how quickly the guy gained the confidence not only to confess to her, but confess a second time after being soundly rejected, and how they both turn out to be pretty weird people who complement each other perfectly. Even in four episodes, the story didn’t feel too rushed, at least for me. This is also the first instance in anime I’ve seen of a guy kissing the back of a girl’s knee. Kinky.
It struck me as just one of those times you meet someone in high school and you know you’re the only ones for each other, and you eventually marry. Yes, that happens, even in today’s modern, cynical society. No dark pasts, no villains, no rivals…just a short, sweet, efficient romantic story. One girl down, five to go…I liked this arc, and hope the others differentiate themselves. Rating: 3.5