|Kaor, Sae, Ai, Haru, Riho, Tsuk, Risa, Mia, Miya|
|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
|Unevaluated 4||Anonymous #3232||[series:2351#3232]|
Dating sim game adaptations are, in one sense, asking the writers/producers to risk a "torches and pitchforks" mob. The reason being, there are multiple possible endings, but conventionally you want to present a single storyline-- which usually means picking the heroine you think is the most significant. The problem is, sometimes "most significant" and "most popular" clash-- ask any Da Capo fan what he thinks of the first anime, and you will probably hear "Well, it was okay, but how come Kotori got dumped?"|
Amagami SS addresses this by playing through the story in much the same way a player trying to collect all the "collectible images" (think achievements, but much easier) in the game: play it through, reset, pick another girl, repeat. This way, every heroine gets a fair shake, and t3h fanboys are placated re: their favorite girls. The downside (?) to this is that in order for this to fit into the ~26 episodes planned, they have to compress the story and dialogue as much as possible.
So far, this strategy worked fine with the first girl, and the second-- which might be an indication of the quality of storytelling for the original game, and for this show as a whole. I like how the other girls have "cameos" in the other "playthroughs".
Last updated Friday, September 03 2010. Created Friday, September 03 2010.
Analysis : 11 episodes watched|
A harem that allows the viewer to see ALL possible futures?
Now this is 'ORIGINAL!'
Last updated Friday, November 12 2010. Created Sunday, August 15 2010.
(Seven episodes watched)|
Arc 1: Interesting, Morishima-senpai is quirky and her antics are enough to watch for. Arc 2: Less so, Kaoru kind of bores me and the pacing feels too slow.
I really don't think I'll be able to finish watching this one anymore. I just know it's going to get repetitive soon.
Episodes 6-7: This one's starting to bore me. The series just doesn't have a lot going on. Sure the format is new, but the implementation isn't so great.
Last updated Saturday, August 28 2010. Created Tuesday, August 03 2010.
|Rent 4||9||7||7||8||7||8||Devil Doll||[series:2351#752]|
[Score: 75% = "Rent-". Other short romance anime: Kita He, Ajimu Kaigan Monogatari, Yotsunoha, True Love Story ~ Summer Days, and yet...]|
Don't expect a lot of substance, and don't expect competition amongst the girls - this is no harem show, it's a sequence of dating sim play-throughs for each of the six girls' arc. So the best about this romance show with fan-service ingredients is the way they implemented this multi-ending format by preparing the background for arcs to come within other arcs, thus these arcs aren't stand-alone pieces but interwoven despite the clock being reset after every fourth episode. You'll have to get used to the male lead being a very different character in all arcs (which is necessary for him to be a suitable match for the very different girls); as your reward you get to choose your favorite girl amongst these six and see her arc in any case.
A new format for a romance show: While Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, Clannad (TV) etc. had a main show plus some alternate reality OVAs, this one presents each game arc as separate sub-series, using a Higurashi-style reboot after each arc, thus providing romance stories of 4 episodes each which is awfully short for presenting a lot of development. But most importantly, the arcs don't have any effect on each other, so no competition between the girls and almost no character interaction except for the arc's couple-to-be. The stories are limited to the romance-to-be alone (with certain ecchi interludes taken from the game), no background story of any kind (which made Shuffle!, Chobits, Video Girl Ai, even To Heart ~Remember My Memories~ more exciting).
What's good about this anime as a whole is the way it introduces the leads of future arcs as side characters, thus avoiding a complete "reboot" feeling; the creators at least appear to have put some though into how to arrange the arcs. Many scenes that appear rushed in one arc are given additional details in other arcs, so despite many events happening in each of the six arcs you'll always get a different perspective on them - Amagami is far from being another Endless Eight. It's also interesting to see how Jun'ichi has a different character in each arc (being almost heroic in the first, serious in the second, perverted in the third, childish in the fourth, supportive in the fifth, gloomy in the sixth). And not every arc will deliver a "happily ever after" ending (but some of them are ending with a "ten years later" scene).
Last updated Saturday, May 21 2011. Created Sunday, August 01 2010.
watching now... 20 eps watched... video with ep 14's summary...|
Ranking with quick summary/thoughts:
1st - Ai arc (ep 13-16) - true romance all the way through with a shocking end.
2nd - Haruka arc (ep 1-4) - escalating romance with a satisfying end.
3rd - Kaoru arc (ep 5-8) - romance and comedy runs on high until it levels out near the end.
4th - Sae arc (ep 9-12) - innocence is the sole theme with charming interactions tarnished by boring developments.
5th - Rihoko arc (ep 17-20) - a simple romance with next to no progress or development.
6th - ????
Ep 20: a simple romance all the way through. This arc was by far the worse one with little development, progress, and romance. The constant diet theme was no fun either. It truly takes the meaning of requited love to the next level. I hate romances with no real conclusion.
Ep 19: simple endeavors. Her ending theme is really getting to me. I'm starting to love it.
"Koi wa Aserazu (恋はあせらず)" by Ryouko Shintani
Ep 18: slight interactions with extremely boring developments. He spends time with her skiing and during X-mas and offers her one wish.
Ep 17: A mixed bag. This arc (Rihoko Sakurai) seems to be a mixture of the Kaoru arc (comedy), but struggles in the romance section. The only thing that stirs things up is the fact that Rihoko actually has ties to Jun's past even before he got stood up! This gives her an undeniable edge over the other girls (just like with Kaoru), but how the powers that be use this advantage is still to come. This ep was a sleeper. Her diet issues is not something I want to care for as a main theme for the entire arc. All we can do is wait and see how it all turns out.
Ep 16: After deliberately trying to waste the last episode (can skip the first 10 minutes), the ep finally kicks it into gear and the main couple have their moment of peace with no interruptions. I want to say that the heat of their love for each other was more intense than that of the spring. It was a shock to see Ai go as far as she did. She ranks as the best arc so far. A great experience to behold.
A Round of Applausegoes out to Ai Nanasaki. This ep was pure gold. Romance seekers will rejoice with how Ai turns up the heat. The day at the park was kind of weird with Jun's de-ja-vu episode, but ended with a rather suitable punishment + fan-service. It was clean fan-service, so it translated well. The pool scene was.... well.... let's just say Ai is winner in my book. The next ep will determine it all. I can't wait. Great episode...
Ep 14: Another tug at the heart for Ai. Jun is seen in this ep working his magic and though he was really screwing himself over for a while there, he pulled through with his usual self. A good ep. As if to keep up with the quality of this new arc, we get a new intro filled with star power. "Kimi no Mama de (君のままで)" by azusa, is a melody for the record book. I can't stop listening to it for the life of me. I'll raise the music score for now...
Listen for yourself...
Ep 13: This ep was great. It set the stage well and introduced the new girl, Nanasaki Ai, in a comedic way. She came across as bit**y at first, but mellowed out and slowly opened up to Jun. Their interactions became more and more interesting as the ep went on and that's one of the signs of success. I believe this arc is on track to beating Haruka and it's only been one ep! I can now begin to hope again for a good arc. The end credits had some "head-bopping" beats. I was dancing in my chair. Great stuff...
Check it out for yourself:
Ep 12: Lame.... Sae's arc comes to a close and wins nearly zero points in the entertainment department. Normally, I'm very sensitive to these types of romance stories (and that's why I think I handled it as rough as I did), but this arc was honestly pathetic. This last ep was kind of funny and had a slight romance theme going on, but in the end, it was still two kids with a crush on each other and the only difference is the fact that they acted on their feelings. I did enjoy the director speaking full English though. It was hilarious to me and made me wish more titles would apply this notion. The contest could have been better and the movie scene was sub-par. In the end, Sae's arc was innocent, but lame - end of story. It could have been so much better....
Ep 11: The type of ep I've been waiting for - focusing on romance. I really enjoyed this ep with a passion. The main couple were natural in all their dealings and interactions. Sae was as pure as a (?) baby's bottom (?) and it proved very productive for Jun and the viewers. She stepped to the plate and was actually speaking her mind with her own interests and taking the next step with her instructor. As he gets a promotion with first name basis, things get really interesting. The amusement park was fun, though the tentacle part was a cheap shot if you ask me. Now, with only one ep left, lets see how they wrap it all up.....
Ep 10: A much better delivery. The narrator is funny as hell in this episode and the training sessions have become an excuse for Jun's little sadistic/perverted games of pleasure (he has turned into quite the smart-a** recently). Nakata is a little bundle of joy ready to be molded into whatever Jun so desires. If only it was always this easy to mold our women. The last scene hints at what this title/arc is "suppose" to be about. Great ep...
Ep 9: WEAK. My first thoughts on this arc aren't favorable to say the least. Nakata is far to timid and shy (even for our fa*-boy with the pink coin purse - LOL). Following the performances of the last two girls, this is not what I would expect as far as we are in the series. The addition of the narrator seems more like a necessary evil due to Nakata's unprecedented shyness, rather than an original idea. There are still some good features to mention however. The usual "cameos" (if you will) of the prior girls is one and the fact that Jun's sister strongly approves of this one. She wasn't very supportive in the other arcs, so to see her so positive in this one is rather refreshing. All that's left is to continue watching and see how she turns out in the end.
FYI - did anyone notice the HORRIBLE animation in the fantasy at around 8:50? I'll give you a hint - is there four arms in that scene or is there 3?
Ep 8: Another romance ends well for Junichi. This one, comparatively speaking, towards the end wasn't as good as Haruka's arc, but the journey goes to this arc for sure. As far as my opinion goes, Haruka was the better arc just because the couple didn't know each other and they truly fell in love. In this arc (Kaoru), they were already best childhood friends, so the element of surprise was negligible (kind of like the unfair advantage). Junichi went out like a punk towards the end with his lack of "fortitude" (if you will) given the circumstances. I still loved it as a whole and like I said, I had way more fun with the journey leading up to the final moments. Following my unique trend, I get the feeling the next girl will steal first place....
So, to summarize:
1st - Haruka arc - escalating romance with an amazingly satisfying end.
2nd - Kaoru arc - romance and comedy runs on high until it levels out near the end.
Ep 7: Jun'ichi was the knight in shining armor in this ep. Besides that, the only issue this series is going to continuously run into with every arc is time. A good example is this ep. Now that both parties have realized how they feel about each other (after wasting half the ep), we only have one episode left for them to capitalize on their feelings. I don't appreciate the powers that be wasting my time with standard stall tactics when there is a super strict 4 episode limit per character. Not cool....
Ep 6: Kaoru is just an amazingly fun person to watch. Again, this ep was filled with funny moments, intriguing romance, not-so-innocent fan-service, and a slight twist in the end that will most likely bring us deeper into the minds of the characters. I don't know if they have enough time to capitalize because of the strict 4 episode limit per girl, but the powers that be haven't failed me yet, so I'll continue to believe. This ep was a ton of fun...
Ep 5: "Ladies and Gentleman, I believe we have a winner".... Viewers were rewarded this week with one of the funniest episodes out there. Kaoru's story arc begins and takes off at an alarming speed. Her playful antics and funny demeanor give the show a new perspective on relationships. The childhood friend (normally a frowned upon word) isn't something to shy away from in this title! Even on top of all the laughs and comedy, we still get hardcore romance elements that reconfirmed why romance titles are just as good (important) as any straight-up comedy or action anime. This ep was great all around the board and I had to see it twice. I'm sorry, but this ep was funny as shi*! Fantastic ep...
Ep 4: WOW! That is the only word I could muster to say several times over during this episode. Haruka's story arc is complete (and it was damn good) with a final scene some 10 years later!!! The scene at the hotel was romantic and I was surprised the couple went as far as they did. I laughed at the smoothly timed sex jokes/references and was enthralled for the entire 24 minutes. There was a great back-story that was discussed in detail and everything came to light. It still hasn't sunk in that there really will be 6 different arcs (6 girls x 4 eps each = 24 episodes). I like to think of it as 6 short romance titles all tied in one. Haruka is (as of now) my favorite girl. Those that threw with anime aside may regret jumping the gun so soon. This series is fun!
Impressions: Now that's what I'm talking about. This is something I can invest in without a doubt. My requirements were easily met with the first few eps:
1) A 24 episode series - FINALLY!
2) Great characters and plenty of time to develop each one - don't screw it up!
3) Genuine slight comedy to keep me laughing and upbeat - funny encounters
4) Future harem experience - may not be traditional, but I'll take it
The biggest thing that surprised me was the fact that I found virtually no flaws with this series so far besides the music. It was on the low end, and that is about as negative as it gets for now. The characters are rich with character (pun intended) and the animation is as pristine as a waterfall on a bight summer day. It looks great.
I felt the story comes across as extremely flexible. A normal guy gets stood up and closes his heart to romance, but finds a reason to hope again with several different choices on a silver platter (it will take some effort to screw this up). The story itself will be divided into several matching arcs (one for each girl) as we learn, grow, relate, and fall in love with our own individual favorite characters. The overall pace of the eps are fine-tuned as well (no wasted moments). Episode 3 is a great example as what to expect from this title. I would suggest to the usual "early birds" not to pass judgment until after ep 3.
The harem idea is not my traditional style, but it is by definition, a harem. I'm not sure, because of the arcs, if they will ever all come at once and fight over him. Nevertheless, this is a recipe for success if you ask me. How can you lose on this bet?
There are so many girls! With 6 potential candidates, how will Junichi make his choice? Will he give them all a fair chance? Will any of them get more attention then the others? I can already sense a heated forum discussion down the line over who Junichi should have chosen based on our opinions, among other things (cough....if he doesn't make a choice for himself that is).
I will definitely invest my precious time in this anime without a second thought.
Check out my award list to see some of the best anime titles in the world!
Never forget Xenosaga.
Last updated Saturday, November 27 2010. Created Monday, July 19 2010.
(All episodes watched):|
Junichi has decided to restart his romantic life after being left broken hearted two years ago. This show does have a sort of dating sim feel to it as we are given quick introductions to a variety of girls that he will presumably choose from. What is unusual about this show is that there are a number of different arcs, four episodes each, with each one exploring what would conceivably happen if Junichi engaged in romance with a particular one of the girls. But after each arc the show 'resets' back to the beginning rather than the timeline continuing onwards. So, we sort of get what might happen in a number of parallel universes in each of which he goes out with a different girl. Initially, I wasn't sure if exploring a number of alternate outcomes to the dating sim would work, but this new approach left me curious and willing to give it a try.
It turned out that this technique provides enough time to develop each girlfriend, and as a result the show is more fun and interesting than I had initially expected. I think that what I like about this show is that the characters have some heart to them, for lack of a better term. They do have distinct personalities after all, and interesting ones. Since there is only one contender in each arc, the show isn't trying to keep us guessing about which girl in a harem will come out on top, and instead the story concentrates on how the romance develops. This is actually kind of sweet, and I enjoyed it.
I was surprised at how unsurprising the end of the second arc was. I suppose the bulk of real-world romances probably play out like this, without any crisis coming about between the lovers--it just isn't very exciting. Perhaps if we're going to get six different ways a romance might turn out, at least one of them will go without a major hitch. The third arc seemed to take a comic approach, what with Junichi arguing with the narrator and stuff like that. A different approach for each arc seemed like a good idea in order to avoid things getting boring as we explore what will presumably be six different romantic possibilities. Arc four didn't leave me with any particularly positive or negative feelings; you might say that I just broke even entertainment-wise. It seems that sometimes the arcs just kind of fizzle out rather than anything really rewarding or moving happening; maybe the makers had run out of ideas.
The message behind the fifth arc seemed to be 'Well, nothing happened, but it still might'. You know who I'd like to see Junichi pair up with? Manaka, the goth girl (sort of) from the Tea Club. She has a novel personality and an interesting story could unfold in either a comic or dramatic manner. I didn't get the Tsukasa arc; did she have dual personalities or not? Did the problem just go away somehow, or was Junichi willing to tolerate it? If so, he has more courage than I do. For a while I thought I was having a hard time telling the two Morishita sisters apart, because their hairstyles were too similar! There seems to be a 25th episode, to wrap the series as a whole up.
My favorite line: "That one didn't count! No count!" --Kaoru
Last updated Thursday, May 09 2013. Created Monday, July 05 2010.
(Watched 1 episode)|
Way too plain for me to get latched on. The characters felt like your cookie-cutter character archetypes found in dating sim titles with the male lead having a rep for multiple female students getting his attention, the popular upperclassman, shy and timid gal, brother fawning younger sister and the male lead's comic relief male friend. The character designs look decent enough and the feel of the series is down-to-earth without any fantasy elements, over-the-top comedy or moe ogling. But there's nothing that really stood out for me with Amagami SS with the characters. I don't plan on seeing any more of this title.
Last updated Friday, July 02 2010. Created Friday, July 02 2010.
|Amagami SS Official Site (Japanese)||http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/amagami/|