Home > Amagami SS, Episode Reviews > Amagami SS Episode 22 – Becoming the Lie

Amagami SS Episode 22 – Becoming the Lie

Well, there wasn’t quite as much bloodletting as the end of last episode might have indicated, which is perhaps a bit of a disappointment. Still, Amagami has managed to present a very different type of girl than what we’ve seen in previous arcs, even if the basic structure of the show remains basically the same.

In most of the arcs we’ve seen thus far, the plot goes with one episode of introduction, one to make the girl fall for him, one in which some external conflict arises for the girl which Jun’ichi aids her with, and then one to wrap things up. Despite the apparent conflict between the leads this time, that structure still is holding here. And while Tsukasa is far more interesting to see on screen than Sae or Rihoko, whether that interest is enough remains to be seen.

Tsukasa's late night internal monologue where she figures out she might like Jun'ichi is remarkably similar to Ai's—with perhaps a bit of Kaoru's flustered denial mixed in

After taking Jun’ichi to a place where they won’t be interrupted, Tsukasa interrogate him thoroughly only to find out that he really didn’t know anything. Having blown her cover, she really has no choice to admit that her persona in school is all an act and that she only acts as she does to maintain her spotless reputation. She’s also more than willing to threaten him into silence to keep it spotless.

Jun’ichi, perhaps reverting to his follower nature we’ve seen on display in so many previous arcs, accepts this without too much trouble and gets back to work with her. While he is willing to engage in honest conversation with her when she allows it, he actually remains quite ho-hum about her real personality. Whatever dark secrets reside within the recesses of her soul, he’s willing to accept her as she is.

The fact that Tsukasa can intimidate the hell out of Jun'ichi has nothing to do with his decision to accept her as she is, of course

For, however much Tsukasa might be faking her attitude, her work speaks for itself. She genuinely wants for things to go well and is willing to break her back figuring out every little detail. She even takes some degree of concern for Jun’ichi, making sure he’s getting enough rest. It might be an act in her head, but she’s enough of a role model on the outside to continue to inspire him.

Of course, this just means she overworks herself, giving Jun’ichi a chance to visit her after she falls ill. He also gets a bit more time to interact with her sister Yukari, who is friendly and nice, if perhaps a little bit stupid. Tsukasa pretends to be asleep as long as she is in the room.

Yukari spends most of her time this episode trying to befriend a dog by feeding it a sports drink. Yes, it's as dumb as it sounds

There’s clearly something off between Tsukasa and Yukari, even if there’s no clear indication of what it is. In fact, Yukari seems to be enough of an airhead to not even notice the conflict in the first place, which might make whatever Tsukasa is going through all the worse. It’s hard to tell without more information, but I suspect her family trouble will make up whatever conflict appears in the next episode.

And there will be trouble of some sort next episode, although I hope it doesn’t become the half-episode place holder that Ai’s challenge turned out to be. Despite the theoretical ability to keep an arc focused on the character and troubles of one girl, the recent girls haven’t had enough character, troubles, or both to fill four episodes. I would hate to see that happen again.

The moment Jun'ichi tries to talk about her sister, Tsukasa gets visibly annoyed and decides to go back to sleep

One positive indicator is how little time got wasted on secondary characters. Most of them got no reference outside of a work montage, and the one exception kept Tsukasa and Jun’ichi involved and interacting as much with each other as much as with the extras. There’s no sign (yet) that the writers are out of material to use, and are employing blatant stalling tactics.

There also wasn’t too much fanservice—although, with the exception of Sae, that tends to be restricted to one episode per arc, so perhaps we haven’t hit it yet. None of the things we’ve seen so far have the … levels of creativity that this show reserves for that one special moment, or is even particularly revealing at all. Compared to what’s been shown so far, this arc seems almost modest, avoiding several golden opportunities to show off its female cast.

A prime fanservice opportunity would have been Jun'ichi's fantasies about the sexy outfits Haruka is trying to force on Hibiki. Tsukasa cuts him off with a foot stomp before he has time to envision anything

So, there’s not too much to dislike about this episode of Amagami. That still doesn’t make it great, or even as good as it was in the opening episodes. There’s nothing quite on the level of the open desperation Jun’ichi had in his pursuit of Haruka, or the genuine vulnerability of Kaoru as she tries to deepen her relationships while avoiding betrayal and rejection. It’s just there, a solid if unexceptional episode in what looks to be a solid but unexceptional plot.

Still, solid—or any other positive descriptor—is more than I would give much of what has come before. At least compared to some of the recent romance shows that have come along, you could do far worse than this. But that might say more about the recent crop of shows than it does about Amagami.

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