3 Episode Taste Test: Amagami SS (Gentle Bite SS)

Amagami SS parades hollow, vacuous simpletons around in a grotesque approximation of a romance plot; cretins drawn with all the grace of a gorilla with a crayon shoved up its nose, splattered wholesale into a story that is as if the plot of a romance novel were faxed to the writers but was horribly smeared and distorted in the process, leaving just a grim and disfigured estimate as to what was intended. These are not even characters but amalgamations of the most tired, staid and all-round tedious aspects of archetypes that have mutated into a hideous, cringeworthy diorama of what sociopaths believe realistic or dramatically engaging human interaction is. There is no merciful release from these mannequins pretending to be people, only the grim realisation that there are twenty four episodes of uninspired, stupidity inducing drivel to come.

delights in emasculating her sycophantic barely-male toy that one day latched onto her like an unwelcome parasite
The plot as it stands concerns Junichi who after being slighted by an as yet nameless girl doesn't take the honourable and budget saving route of giving himself over to a psychiatric ward and instead constructs a pithy home made planetarium in his cupboard out of marker pen and tears of rejection. Through the abject failure of natural selection, the doddering halfwits he associates himself with haven't murdered him out of boredom or compassion and continue to potter about their own superficial lives. His hormones eventually determine he should pursue a girl one year his senior but whose mind is the colour of bitumen and has all the personality of a long deceased lemming. While he kowtows to her every whimsical desire, humiliating himself in front of his sole male acquaintance in the process, she remains fickle and obtuse and, with any luck, is plotting a gory end to his pathetic existence.

Three minutes is how long it takes for the antipathy to form. The first scene is innocuous scene setting and the opening a lilting and frivolous montage of characters whose happiness is forged in the blinding light of stupidity. Then the grievously over-the-top kid sister emerges, replete with laser targeted quirks like frizzy hair and a sickening term of endearment for her belligerent, mentally retarded brother. As the first episode stretches inexorably on, questions bubble to the surface of one's mind: did someone actually write these characters? Is this a romance or a wildlife documentary on the common pillock? Why hasn't a benevolent deity taken it upon themselves to rid the world of this tripe? Through some cosmic confluence of misfortune, the succeeding two episodes are even worse by grinding the pace to a halt and giving precedence to what can only be charitably called dialogue.

Individually the stick-figures masquerading as characters could be stomached, but so many are gathered in one place it creates a singularity of unmitigated dross, spewing out the carcasses of once decent ideas and collapsing any hint of decency in on itself. Case in point, the primary romantic interest in this cavalcade of monotony is a fickle, capricious girl who lives in a palatial mansion and delights in emasculating her sycophantic barely-male toy that one day latched onto her like an unwelcome parasite. It's mind-boggling that she could be desired, either by the protagonist or the audience who are, it is assumed, expected to root for their eventual congress or somehow empathise with their voyage of romantic discovery. Evidently the concern comes from her vacant and pliable mental state which is a boon were she to be convinced to somehow eviscerate the hapless protagonist.

Amagami SS is a crass, deplorable show that in three episodes proves how creatively bankrupt the writers are to produce a romance with a cast that is devoid of character, personality, empathy and interest. Each scene is a torpid examination of uninteresting people who are slaves to their lusts, their whims or their own self-interests. Beyond the fury such vapid and soulless creatures instil is an unending pity that youth has been distilled into clichés and naval-gazing. The series is reprehensible for what it represents: not the joy and exuberance of teenage years but a nostalgic, embittered adult wish fulfilment exercise. Excruciating, lamentable and pathetic, the series relies on a warped view of human relationships and is thoroughly undeserving of both the time lavished on its presentation and any modicum of praise laid upon it.

Responses to “3 Episode Taste Test: Amagami SS (Gentle Bite SS)”

I'll download the opening and endings songs, since I like them and Itou Shizuka, but--

I completely agree with what you said. /o/
@lolikitsune: There's certainly no need to apologise, and I completely agree, this is not a fair or balanced discussion of the show and is completely reactionary. It isn't however part of a larger groupthink or overall attitude on the show, I rarely read or interact with any other people regarding anime so it came as a genuine surprise this was met with such derision.

Initially, I was quite baffled by the vehement reactions/abuse I was getting. After some time though, I've come to realise the response is brilliant because it demonstrates the passion anime fans have. I may not agree with the execution but I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment; so if those who bash the show come around to liking it: great, I'm not judging anyone on their tastes, erotic or otherwise.

I'm loathe to say anything further on the series as I feel there's been enough energy expended on three episodes to last the entire run, suffice to say I didn't like it and I'm glad others, including yourself, are able to like it and elucidate their reasons. Even if that does include a few snipes at this blog!

Thanks for reading.
Not to join the ranks of the scat in your bathtub, good sir, but I do not believe you've given the show a super fair treatment. I wrote up a not-so-detailed-but-fairly-vehement explanation of what I feel Amagami SS brings to the table. You may have already seen it (it's been linked to this post by several meta-bloggers such as RyanA); if not, I recommend it to you, if only for the sake of perspective.

I'm not trying to apologize for the show's trespasses nor to excuse its flaws. But I do think it's got some promise, and that that promise is nothing more "crass" than run-of-the-mill modern anime (KissxSis, Ikkitousen, etc.). I think there's some truth in the reaction pattern I've seen across several individuals: they initially bash Amagami, then eventually relent and admit that they were ["just"] uncomfortable with how much they enjoyed the sexuality/kinkiness/play/etc. of this episode.

My theory is that it's somehow more genuine or honest than most 'fanservice'/'ecchi'/whatever you wanna call it. But I'm just shooting my mouth off.

Good day!
@have you ever...: It certainly doesn't follow standard romantic clichés which is definitely in its favour and you're right, from what I've seen of the females there is little in the way of archetypal behaviour.

The male on the other hand seems to be stitched together from any number of other shows, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien springs instantly to mind. My main issue with him though is how sycophantic he is, the romance aspect of their relationship seems so false when she is in total control of his emotions and and actions. There is no equality or compromise between them which I guess is a big ask for high school, but some kind of balance wouldn't have gone amiss.

Whether the other romance stories will be better is yet to be seen.

Thanks for reading!

have you ever herped so much that you derped

It's just mindless entertainment. It's a show that doesn't have a deep or intricate setting; it's good for relaxing one's mind without having to turn on the tv.
As for the characters being archetypal? Don't think so. An achetypal anime has the following characters in it: the moemoe, the token loli, the imouto (granted, Amagami has the imouto character too), the tsundere, the angry girl, the kuudere and the genki girl. Amagami, as I pointed, only has 1 kind of generic character (Junichi's sister), who isn't even an MC. Meanwhile the heroines are all fresh, not abiding to the rules set by anime such as Shuffle!, Clannad, School Days, Air or Kanon.
@Anonym­ous: Much as you wouldn't leave a turd floating in your swimming pool, I'm not about to leave belligerent or insulting comments on my site. I'm all for disagreement, but you don't have to be disagreeable to do it. So far I've deleted (well, set to pending, these are keepers!) comments that have called me pretentious, juvenile and insinuated sexual experience all of which are not disagreements with the post but thinly veiled abuse.

I genuinely look forward to any discourse on this show and I'm not implying anything about anyone who does like it, this is just an exaggerated, over-the-top brain dump and isn't meant as any kind of objective analysis which is (I like to think) my usual fare.
i too dislike the show, but i question why you have deleted all comments that disagree with you.
Well, sometimes anime can be partly unrealistic and FUCKING UNREALISTIC.

So, you're not going to watch the 4th episode or the last one?
Excellent! Completely agree with your assessment of the show - it does not have an iota of personality. However ep3 made me laugh so much I'm going to watch the conclusion of this inital Haruka arc - out of morbid curiousity to see how low it will go!
This is basically the unintentional comedy hit of the season; I'm sticking with this for essentially the same reason I finished Ookamikakushi a couple of seasons back. (Well, that and the summer season has been so poor so far that I can afford to waste time with a show like this.) The latest episode in particular is just ... I have a hard time believing someone didn't just sit down and decide, "Fuck it, I'm just going to write a weird ass courtship. I DON'T CARE ANYMORE."
Wow, talk about harsh! Sadly, I can't say I really disagree with any of your words. I actually had some hope for this show simply based on its gimmick, but all that seems to mean is that it will be 6 short and poor romance stories instead of 1 long one.
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