Amagami SS Episode 21-24
Like several anime, Amagami SS is an anime based on a visual novel game. The story revolves around around Junichi Tachibana, a typical Japanese high school student who had his heart broken on Christmas Eve when he was stood up by a girl. This sends him into a a melancholy that makes him wary of the Christmas season and relationships in general. Strictly speaking, Amagami SS lies in the harem genre. However, Amagami is unique because the Main Character Tachibana doesn’t pursue all the girls simultaneously. Each of the 6 leading girls gets her own unique arc, in which every other character is merely a supporting character. This alternate timeline method helps skip around the problematic issues of the typical harem anime. Fittingly, My favorite romantic arc is the final arc about Ayatsuji Tsukasa.
Throughout the previous story arcs, Ayatsuji Tsukasa is portrayed as the kindly and supportive Class Representative. She’s always around to help the class with its needs and even helps nudge Tachibana every now and then. In her arc, Tachibana volunteers to help her with her duty as the Christmas Festival Committee Head. In addition to all this, Ayatsuji also substitutes for teachers on her off time. She’s studious student and an all around perfect girl in the eyes of Tachibana. When Tachibana finds Ayatsuji’s lost notebook, everything changes.
It turn’s out that Ayatsuji’s public demeanor was all a facade hiding a startlingly scary inside self. Tachibana admits to having opened and read the book, prompting Ayatsuji to threaten him. It turned out to be a misunderstanding as the former only read the owner’s name and address and not whatever secret scribbles the later had in the notebook. Realizing her mistake, Ayatsuji is forced to blackmail Tachibana into silence regarding her true self.
At first, Tachibana panics about how to deal with new secret, only to be continuously foiled by the erstwhile class rep. Over time, Tachibana catches glimpses of Ayatsuji’s life, both at school and at home. It is only when he visits her when she fell ill did things seem to change. Ayatsuji isn’t the friend making type so Tachibana’s gesture moves her. Perhaps, he isn’t such a bad guy after all. This view is further cemented when he tried to defend her in front of some bad-mouthing students. She then proceeds to break her kind persona and lays an epic verbal smackdown on the erring students.
In the shrine where she revealed her true self, Ayatsuji made a surprising move. She took the notebook that she closely guarded and set it a flame. She confesses that she wants to be with him. She feels comfortable around him, even when she’s being her haughty brash self. She enjoys herself with him and doesn’t feel the need to hold back. She offers herself if Tachibana will accept her, warts and all. Tachibana consummates this with a kiss.
This moment was powerful for me. So many people carry different masks and it’s truly a special moment to be able to shed that for people, either romantically or platonically. To be able to be comfortable in your own skin is something to be treasured. Don’t take my word for it though. Watch it with your own eyes and you’ll see!
This isn’t the end of the story and it really kicks into overdrive from there. But I think the rest of the arc still has a few twists that are best experienced first hand. Here’s a hint: Stepford Smiler.