Amagami 20, Soredemo 7

The most interesting thing about Amagami SS 20 and the end of the Rihoko romance arc is that there’s no romance in it, in spite of the Tea Club girls’ best efforts.

And, you know, why not? It was sort of refreshing to see two close friends remain friends in this series, even if one of them is carrying a torch (and a box of choux cremes) for the other. It was mildly disorienting when I realized they weren’t going to make any progress, but then I settled back and watched a bunch of mostly happy people having fun together. So what WAS this episode all about? Apparently it was to get recruits for the tea club.

When the seniors graduate (and I will miss them. I hope they appear in the next arc) Rihoko will be alone and the club will disband. All they need is one recruit. In a very strange scene they try to recruit Haruka through a duel, but that doesn’t pan out. But, hey! Rihoko likes Junichi, right? So for them the job is to get the two together, killing two birds with one stone. Junichi likes the club well enough, but not so much that he’d devote himself as a member. So we get a lot of scenes where the seniors tease and needle Junichi and Rihoko, but all they manage to do is embarrass the both of them. Some of it is repetitive, but other moments (such as comparing Rihoko’s eating to that of a squirrel) were sweet and funny.

It looks hopeless. No recruits by graduation time. A nice scene where the girls say goodbye. But Junichi is the type that usually does the right thing. I’m sure I’m not giving away anything by saying he joins the club. And that’s about all you can expect. Rihoko wrote on her New Years’ wish thing that she wanted to keep up her diet, keep the tea club going, and have her feelings reach Junichi. One out of three ain’t bad …

In Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru 7 Hotori goes on two unscheduled trips. The first when she falls asleep on the bus to school. Sanada could ring the bell, but …

Hotori is an expert in getting into trouble, and their decision to just skip school sounds like a mistake, but we don’t see the ramifications. In fact, they cause no trouble whatsoever. They just walk around where the bus finally left them. We get an amusing bit about hand-holding (Hotori thinks it’s perfectly normal, Sanada like he has been formally blessed by God), but really nothing much happens. They grew up together and are used to doing this. At day’s end Sanada, in spite of the day spent with the girl he loves, can think of nothing much to write in his diary.

The second journey happens at night. Little brother Takeru drank some energy drink he shouldn’t have and is too hopped up to sleep, so she takes him on a walk. This works like the first story in that nothing much happens, but we learn about two characters by watching them interact. Well, Hotori does cause a little trouble when trying to get Sanada’s attention from outside his home.

That and a near-encounter with the cop who wants to bust her. But mostly it’s Takeru gasping at the town in darkness and Hotori showing him interesting stuff and explaining the concept of midnight and the barrier between today and yesterday. This nearly blows his little mind. What blew my mind was when they got back and take a bath together. Innocent as it was I don’t think I needed to see that. Still, a pretty good episode, more slice-of-life than usual.

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