Amagami SS+ 11 – Lovely Meets Sexy
March 19, 2012 Leave a comment
This week saw the return of my favourite heroine, Morishima Haruka, that crazy, beautiful and sexy queen of Junichi’s school. She was my favourite from the first series, with the most dramatic, and easily the best ending of any heroine. She was a fascinating character who hid her emotions behind a whacky and slightly unpredictable personality, something that became apparent when she finally confesses her feelings for Junichi at the end of her arc. Haruka kept her original personality from the previous series, but there were a few changes in this sequel, which revealed a far more sensitive side to her that we only really saw in the final episode of her original arc. This arc takes place quite soon after the original, something that was in keeping with the series, where every arc took place at a different time. I did think that the arc might take place after Haruka’s graduation, especially considering the small time jump that showed them as a happily married (and slightly crazy) couple. Hibiki and Haruka are about to graduate, and we see Haruka and junichi continue with their usual strange blend of day dreaming, and role playing, all the while dragging poor, embarrassed Hibiki along for the ride.
Haruka brings up some family history, telling Hibiki a story about a close relative, along with her grandparents both being proposed to at their graduation ceremonies. Now, while Haruka tries to claim that she doesn’t think its necessary for it to happen to her, she is clearly putting an awful lot of thought into the matter. She is clearly nervous about telling Junichi about this family history, and her dream. Understandably so, considering she has no idea how he will act, and is perhaps worried that mentioning it may damage or strain their relationship somewhat. With that in mind its pretty entertaining seeing her start another role-playing session with Junichi and Hibiki. And she gets quite offended when Junichi doesn’t say anything about how he proposed to her, again showing that marriage and a graduation proposal are weighing heavily on Haruka’s mind. She even goes so far as to look at a wedding dress in a shop window, and look through an article about a specific chapel in her magazine. It’s all too obvious that despite her best efforts to try and keep it hidden, Haruka is gripped by wedding fever.
The idea of pretending to be a married couple, complete with wedding ceremony, pretending to go to a doctor about pregnancy, and even a family dinner was an curious one. That Junichi doesn’t catch on to Haruka’s clear desires is something of a minor miracle (for the wrong reasons), but to give him his credit, Junichi at least notices that Haruka isn’t her normal self. I loved Hibiki throughout all of this, a character who is usually calm and collected, and quick to tell Haruka off for her excesses. Seeing a character so clearly embarrassed about the situation, along with having to call Junichi ‘papa’ (something that she apparently has never even called her own dad) was sheer brilliance.
But, the really important part of the episode was the unexpected appearance of Jessica. It was a shame that she barely had any screen time (hopefully to be remedied next week), but her aggressive nature – shades of Haruka – should have its effect at pushing the romance forward. Seeing the look on Haruka’s face when Jessica greets Junichi was indeed priceless. Seeing Haruka show us her jealous side was another wonderful element of this episode. Seeing a blonde haired, green-eyed doppelganger of Haruka was quite the sight, and a good one at that. One Haruka is great, but two in different colour schemes was great.
The Japanese appear to have a romanticised view of England and English society and culture that often looks as if the country is still in the Victorian or Edwardian period. This is very similar to many other western countries views of Japan – a country that is almost unique to the world with a strict set of moral principles and ideals, reminiscent of the Samurai from the Tokugawa period. Amagami SS has produced some curious notions of what it means to be English, with shots of grand old cathedrals/churches and so on, this also spreads to their names. We already know that Haruka is actually Haruka Lovely Morishima, but to have her cousin named Jessica Sexy Morishima is both pure genius, but also madness.
This arc brilliantly demonstrates how Haruka is a far more complex character than many may believe. She is someone who is quite emotionally unstable, and is easily depressed, this is however hidden under her lively exterior, and while her personality is not a façade as such like Tsukasa’s, it isnt entirely real either. It is clear that she deeply loves Junichi, and as we already know they end up getting married, but she is also constrained by her need to have things done in a certain way. That she goes to great lengths to hide the fact that she wants him to propose to her at graduation suggests that she has certain dreams and truly wants those to be fulfilled. And yet, through all this, Haruka is an amazingly unpredictable character, and brilliant to watch.
I do have to admit though that Junichi was immensely dense in this episode. Haruka, while clearly a far more sensitive character, is about as delicate as using a sledge hammer to fix jewellery, it is clear that she is thinking of marriage, but Junichi cant seem to see the wood from the trees in this case. That being said, I did love how flustered Haruka got every time the issue of marriage and proposing was almost brought up, its great seeing the character who originally floated through life, rejecting everyone and simply having a good time get flustered. Perhaps a small element of schadenfreude there, perhaps not. Overall though, Haruka had a brilliant finish to her arc in the first season, probably the best actually, and I hope that the same will happen this time around. One small disappointment that I hope to be remedied, there was a distinct lack of Haruka kinkiness this time around, even when the shed where the term ‘kneepits’ was spawned made another – long overdue – appearance.