Amagami 22, Kuragehime 7

Tsukasa, the latest girl in Amagami SS, may have a sneaky, sinister side to her, but the show is so good-natured that it’s hard to be too worried about it. Of course, Junichi, the victim of her wrath, may not think that way.

Not the only time he says this.
Not the only time Junichi says this.

Indeed, for Junichi, working with this strange girl is like walking through a minefield, though he frankly doesn’t do too bad a job of it. First, they have to clear up the “you read my notebook” problem, with omnious music and cryptic lines like “I’m about to lose a classmate,” until Junichi says he didn’t actually read the whole thing, just thumbed through it … and the omnious music fizzles out. Luck is on Junichi’s side here. He got to know she has a dark side when she had no reason to give it away. While he’s still in danger from her, knowing this fact actually makes HER vulnerable as well, a fact she knows well.

Not the only time Tsukasa says this.

Then Junichi, without meaning to, goes on the offensive by NOT exploiting this secret. Well, he does almost ask Masayochi if he would believe Tsukasa capable of darkness, putting him in more hot water, but that’s his only transgression. He makes up for it by working his butt off for the founders festival, cheerfully doing every duty she assigns him. She works hard, too, so hard that she falls ill. In the next few scenes we see a little of her home life and the tensions between Tsukasa and her sister … and learn absolutely nothing.

Well, we learn that the sister is friendly, outgoing, and a bit of an airhead. Why it bugs Tsukasa so much I don’t know, unless it’s the airhead part. Tsukasa is driven to succeed and to keep her reputation clean. She has big plans in life. But really it feels like nothing more than sibling quibbling. Then again, a person who tries so hard to keep it together is a target for laughter when something embarrassing happens, like the friendly dog peeing on her leg (earlier her sister was trying to befriend another, much more bored dog, so we have a dog metaphor going). But when the embarrassment happens Junichi is there to carry her to the taps, refusing to ridicule her, and thus sneaking past the land mines of her defenses.

A lot of stuff seems to happen in Kuragehime 7, but since they’re pushing plot pieces around it doesn’t add up to much. Still, another good episode.

The episode’s highlight comes fairly early. The evil Inari drops by Amamizu for a friendly chat. The girls are on the defensive. They’re not wearing their battle gear (nice clothes), and she brought macaroons! It takes the sudden appearance of Kuranosuke, and the declaration that they will buy the building themselves to drive them away. So now Kuranosuke has a goal, as far-fetched as it is, to raise enough money from these poor women to get a down-payment. There are a couple of good scenes in this episode, but this one had the most energy.

Different reactions to Shuu's "romance."

We have to get back to the Shuu situation. Tsukimi tells Kuranosuke what he saw between Inari and Shuu, and Kuranosuke puts two and two together. Now get two contrasting reactions. Kuranosuke is shocked that his brother might be doing it. Possibly he’s also trying to figure out the ramifacations for the apartment building, too, but maybe he hasn’t reached that point. On the other hand, poor Tsukimi breaks down and cries. We again see how emotionally vulnerable she is, that the thought of a man that so far has only been nice to her can break her heart.

But that nice little moment is shoved aside for more frivolous stuff. — affirms that she and Shuu had sex, and Shuu is naïve enough to believe it. Kuranosuke goes around trying to raise money, by blackmailing his father (though the father says they never got past second base), selling the cars, selling Chieko’s beloved dolls, bugging the mysterious woman on the third floor to sell her manuscripts, basically making an ass of himself. His desire to help them is inspiring, but he’ll trample any sacred otaku item in his path to do it. He’s a good guy, but he has some growing-up to do. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, he nearly kisses Tsukimi. Kuranosuke’s a busy man.

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