Original Run: January 6, 2012 - March 30, 2012 Number of Episodes: 13 Genre: Romance, Slice of Life Based on the Video Game: Amagami
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Amagami SS+ Plus. Reader discretion is advised.***
Just because you get the girl, that doesn’t mean the story needs to end. Junichi Tachibana (voiced by Tomoaki Maeno), who thought he could never recover from a broken heart, was able to find love once again. Now, he must face what comes next after a person says yes.
Let us continue with the romance stories of Junichi Tachibana and one of six possible heroines:
- Tsukasa Ayatsuji (voiced by Kaori Nazuka)
- Ai Nanasaki (voiced by Yukana)
- Rihoko Sakurai (voiced by Ryouko Shintani)
- Kaoru Tanamachi (voiced by Rina Satou)
- Sae Nakata (voiced by Hiromi Konno)
- Haruka Morishima (voiced by Shizuka Itou)
Follow me on this for a moment because it will seem as though I am saying something obvious.
To help you decide whether to watch Amagami SS+ Plus (Plus), you need to think about how much you enjoyed its predecessor, Amagami SS (Amagami SS). Unless you enjoyed the original (which I did), then you don’t need to spend time on its sequel, but not for the reason, I’m willing to bet, many of you just assumed.
Plus wasn’t a bad series. It was every bit as good as Amagami SS. It didn’t deviate from the established formula; there wasn’t a drop in quality; all the characters were as enjoyable as they were at the end of the first season; there was nothing that caused this installment to be a step-down. So, if you enjoyed the original, then I don’t see why you wouldn’t like this one, too.
If there were a single significant difference between Amagami SS and Plus, it would be who this series chose to focus on. Before, it was usually Junichi Tachibana. In the context of the first season, this made sense since he was the common denominator between all the arcs which centered on building a romance between himself and one of the six heroines. Since Junichi’s personality was our constant, it was up to him to discover who the girls were.
Cut now to Plus, and the romances have already formed. This season was more about the tales of what came after the happy endings. To drive these narratives, Junichi stepped slightly to the side. It was the girls who took a more prominent role. Although Junichi remained heavily involved, Tsukasa, Ai, Rihoko, Kaoru, Sae, and Haruka had far more to do and contribute.
Of the six plotlines, there were two that stuck out to me: the Kaoru and Rihoko Arcs. Of all the stories, these were the ones that felt like proper continuations of their first-season counterparts.
In the Kaoru Arc, both Junichi and Kaoru were struggling to define what their relationship meant, given that they made the jump from friends to lovers. In the other stories (minus Rihoko’s), if Junichi had any prior connection with any of his now girlfriends, it was that of acquaintances. There was no history, and thus, both parties had to get to know one another. Junichi and Kaoru had already been getting to know each other for years. Now, they were unsure how to balance their solid friendship within a romantic context.
In the Rihoko Arc (which I openly admit was once, vehemently, my least favorite of the series but has pulled a complete one-eighty) is the only story of the six I would say is a must-watch. Long ago, I didn’t care for the Rihoko Arc since it was the only one that didn’t end with a romantic relationship at the end of the first season. Today, I think it is one of the best of the franchise precisely because it didn’t end with a romantic relationship at the end of the first season. When Junichi and Rihoko became the focus again in Plus, there was still something to achieve.
To finish this section and reiterate what I said earlier, if you enjoyed the first season and have yet to watch the second, you’ll probably get a lot out of Plus. However, the biggest issue with this second chapter is right in the title.
I was looking forward to returning the Amagami series; this wasn’t the first time I watched it. What I didn’t count on was something that became painfully apparent within the first few minutes of the season.
Plus has no return value. There is no reason why you should ever feel the need to re-watch this series.
This goes back to what I was saying at the start of this review. Unless you enjoyed Amagami SS, you needn’t watch Plus. Do not go thinking this season two was a chapter two. No, a chapter two implies a continuation of a much larger story. That wasn’t possible here because Amagami SS pretty much told the whole story.
The Kaoru and Rihoko Arcs stood out and held my attention because both contained lingering questions. The other plotlines felt like extra content that simply didn’t make it into the first season – they were a plus, if you will. That didn’t make these stories bad, just uninteresting. But remember, this is coming from someone who is reviewing this series after their second watch of it.
If this is your first time with Plus, then you will get the benefit of the unknown. You will notice that the bulk of the work was done in season one, so go ahead and consider this installment as the cherry on top of the ice cream.
Now, if you did like the first season and were expecting the second to add something more, then you will be disappointed. As I previously stated, Plus was no better or worse than Amagami SS (albeit for better or worse). Everything that made the original so much fun returned, but sadly, so did every stumble.
- There remained plenty of half-hearted efforts at fanservice.
- The arcs awkwardly tried to include all the heroines in some fashion.
- The stories were overly simplistic.
- The Sae Arc retained that infuriating narrator.
Plus was more of the same, and by extension, this made the whole thing feel unnecessary. Enjoyable, yes, but unnecessary.
Let me say this one more time. Only watch this installment if you enjoyed its predecessor AND if it’s your first time. If you don’t meet that criterion, then all I can tell you is that you’ve been warned.
Putting that aside, what was here may have stayed in the same spot, but that spot was, at least, a nice one. I will continue to say this is among the best romance series I have come across. It’s sweet, it’s simple, and it doesn’t bother with any fluff. If you want to have yourself a quick romance fix, then you can’t ask for better.
However, if this season proved anything, you can always ask for more.
Amagami SS+ Plus has earned a recommendation.
But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise Amagami SS+ Plus? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.