Seiren

August 6, 2017

If you like dating multiple girls but do not really want to go as far as to have all of them at one go (that is what we call a harem), there was an anime or two that a few years back that featured the same protagonist dating different girls in different routes. So what if you are sick of all those girls? Well, you just design and create new ones! And so this were my thoughts when Amagami SS got a sequel spinoff in the name of Seiren. Despite the setting takes place in the Amagami SS world and many years down the road after the original, it involves a new main character and a whole new bunch of girls but with the same dating and relationship format. Yeah, we always know that the guy always get the girl(s) in the end.

Hikari Tsuneki’s Arc

Episode 1
Shouichi Kamita can’t be serious when he lists down being a horned beetle as his first career choice! Even his best friend, Ikuo Nanasaki knows he would write something this dumb. Shouichi is having trouble studying what more deciding what he wants to become. He returns to his class only to find Hikari Tsuneki sitting on his desk. Her friends, Yukie Takato and Youko Kikuchi tell her not to take her frustrations out on him since she lost in some Miss Santa contest to his sister, Tomoe. She claims she’s not and doing this because she likes to tease him. Shouichi keeps staring at his desk since it was where Hikari put her butt. He realizes she is giving him that stare. Next day, the cafeteria is crowded so Hikari and co usher him to come eat with them. He knows he is going to be in for lots of teasing and true enough they did just that. They heard what he wrote for his career choice and think he should become some porn manga artist. When he dismisses it, they think he is gay since he is always with Ikuo. You just can’t win… When the guys are studying at the library, Hikari comes to bug Ikuo to teach her and Shouichi sees it like as though she is flirting with him. Later Ikuo tells Shouichi that Hikari may be into older men because his sister spotted him going out with one. So? Rest be assured that she isn’t into kids like them. Shouichi studies hard that he did decently for the tests. Those girls tease he should teach them sometimes. This prompts Kyouko Touno to note how popular Shouichi is with girls. So she wants his help to study sometimes?

Ikuo invites him to his summer cram course in some resort. He declines but will keep that in mind. They then hang out with their senior, Tatsuya Araki. This guy is carefree unlike other seniors who are studying hard for the next level. Shouichi gets worried after he learns Hikari and co also somewhat admire Araki. And there’s something about going on a trip with him and other seniors as well. Shouichi on his way home sees Hikari working at a cafe. The older man she is supposedly dating must be the owner. He gets jealous thinking he too can get a girlfriend if he worked part time. But seriously, he sees her making progress in life and he can’t fall behind. So he calls Ikuo to take up on his invitation for the cram course. The entire place is booked for it. Ikuo tells Shouichi not to be so stiff as he points out to some of the nation’s top students here and they too are just like them trying to have some fun. Shouichi thought he spotted a woman in a kimono across the window but after he looks back she is gone. Please say it isn’t so. Ikuo better stop scaring him with that rumours about a third year who killed herself. Shouichi becomes disheartened because he bombed his pop quiz. Didn’t realize it was this tough, eh? What’s a sad guy got to do but to fantasize Hikari feeding him meat in a swimsuit. As he opens the window for fresh air, he gets the biggest scare of his life because a girl crawled in like a vengeful Japanese spirit!

Episode 2
She is actually Hikari and no, she isn’t a ghost. She relates her story that she was ‘abducted’ here to study (her parents found out and didn’t like her working part time) and since she didn’t like it, she tried running away. Yeah, bad luck of getting attack by deer. Since her entire clothes are wet, she borrows his jersey. I’m sure he is trying to peep at her sweet parts but try not to make it so obvious. When she leaves his room, he notices a few people giving him that look. Next day, Shouichi and Ikuo join Hikari and Mako Yoshida during lunch. Both girls are the only ones in a special class for problem kids. Despite Hikari getting punished for trying to escape class and being made to clean toilets, she still doesn’t learn her lesson. Hate studying so much, do you? At the laundry, she washes the jersey as Mako talks to her about rumours swirling around. Everyone views her as a b*tch for walking around in her boyfriend’s jersey. Hikari somehow likes the sound of it so she exaggerates (or rather lies) about Shouichi getting down and dirty with her. Meanwhile Shouichi hears a couple of elite girls, Miu Hiyama and Touka Maruishi badmouthing about Hikari. They too think she is a b*tch trying to show off her boyfriend and distract them from their studies. Remember Shouichi’s scream? They thought Shouichi was screaming about sticking it in all the way! Shouichi almost scares them when he pops out from his hiding between the vending machine to correct them. Heck, now they think he is doing something kinky with it. Worse, Hikari is here and presents his cleaned jersey. She acts like his girlfriend so those girls are not going to lose out too. Lose out to what? Hikari seems to love adding fuel to the rumours since it shows everyone is getting stressed up from the studies. But to show she is sorry for causing him troubles, she is going to make a midnight snack for him. With Ikuo and Mako invited, Hikari makes a Spanish omelette. It’s her first time cooking for someone right and thankfully she got it right with the utensils too. This has Mako quip that Shouichi has got a wife because he has a girl who washes and cooks for him. He almost chokes and even more when Hikari teases if he wants to marry her. No wonder she loves messing with him. Because Hikari still wants to try and escape, Shouichi allows her to continue wearing his jersey (avoid deer attack?). He would be too worried about her to study so he isn’t going to let her go. She lets him do the dishes instead but hints she’ll stay here a little longer since the weather is going to get worse.

Episode 3
Now that Hikari and Mako officially join Shouichi’s class, Hikari flirts with him and makes everyone jealous. She shuts them up by unzipping her top to reveal her sexy tank top. That night as he is studying in his room, he thought somebody was trying to break down his door. It’s Hikari and she is bored so she came. He gets conscious when she drinks from his ramen bowl because it’s like an indirect kiss. And in his jersey. So this guy is in love with himself? Just kidding! He knows she is here to distract him so he tells her off everyone is studying hard and she’ll fall behind everyone. She doesn’t care as she doesn’t believe in comparing with others. So she tries to study in his place. He notices her soles. So is this his fetish or what? As expected, Hikari cannot retain her attention. She is so bored as she complains she could have been on a beach hitting on handsome hunks. Then she teases him if he would like to see her bikini. I’m sure we do. She takes him to the men’s bath. The usual teasing when they soak in. When somebody is coming in, Hikari goes into hiding and wants him to be a man to think of something. He has until she runs out of breath! So here comes the teacher. Not impressed he is bathing so late. Then he notices his erection and with Shouichi claiming he wants to scrub his back, the teacher freaks out at this gay moment and runs away! Hikari is so impressed that she passes out?! He walks her back to her room. She cheekily invites him in but changes her mind after her lingerie is seen hanging to dry. So they take a walk as he asks about her lying about her family trip. This leads to him asking if he likes Araki. She dismisses and he thinks it is that cafe owner. Suddenly Hikari is mad. She thinks he is the one who ratted on her because somebody reported it to school and that’s how her parents found out. He denies it and she doesn’t hold it against him. She explains the owner is already married. Ever since, Shouichi has not talk much with her and thinks she suspects him. When the course is over and the students prepare to leave, Ikuo doesn’t see Mako leaving with the group. Shouichi sees her in the window. Could it be she is a ghost?! Actually she woke up late and is forced to repeat her classes. She even talks back to the teacher who is now squirming over his near gay assault encounter! Yukie calls Hikari and from the way she talks she can tell she has fallen from someone even if she denies it. Shouichi on his way to school sees Hikari ahead. But she doesn’t look happy. Further up is Yukie clinging on to Araki’s arms. Are they dating? Shouichi believes Hikari still suspects him.

Episode 4
Ikuo must be in good mood to ask Shouichi if there is anyone he likes. What a way to make his day. When Hikari returns Shouichi his jersey, she hopes he will not tell anyone they were together at the summer course. Of all people, she doesn’t want Yukie to find out as she is a sharp girl. This prompts him to ask if she fears losing Araki to her if people start gossiping about them. This leads to an argument whereby she takes back his jersey and he won’t accept it back till he hears a proper explanation. Huh? Makoto Kamizaki of the discipline committee tries to break them up thinking they are an arguing couple. Don’t worry. She’s quite meek. Apparently there have been lots couples taking their first step into adulthood in weird places around school. Like the rabbit shed. Noticing she mentioned something about a person ratting out a student who worked illegally, Hikari threatens a little to extract a bit more information about the mole. She knows who she is and confronts Yukie. Not sure what she is doing to Araki at the rabbit shed but she is dominating and he is scared! So much so that guy thanks Shouichi as a saviour and leaves him with both girls! Hikari asks straight about the reporting. Simple. Araki seemed to be into Hikari so she wanted her out of the way. All is fair in the game of love, right? But what’s mind blowing is how they solve this so diplomatically without being b*tches. Unbelievable! They even continue to be friends and don’t blame each other! Truly amazing?! After that Hikari cooks for Shouichi her omelette as a way to make up for suspecting him. Hikari had a hunch it was Yukie all along but she only confirmed it after that talk. She didn’t tell him everything at first as she tries not to get him involved. She would rather die than doubt Yukie after suspecting him. He calls her thoughtful and this makes her blush.

They continue hanging out at the beach and for some nostalgic reason, they play catch ball. Of course it goes into the sea, Shouichi tries to get it but ends up getting wet. She too tries to help but also ends up wet. In literal sense. Drenched clothes. Don’t look. You’re a pervert. And all that leads to her pushing him down and commenting how this is turning her on. Sand in his ears. Can’t hear. Let her take it out for you. How does it feel like to kiss underwater? I bet it must be salty… No point making out in the sea so they change to dry clothes. You guessed it, his jersey again. Shouichi tells himself it is now or never to confess. But before he could say a thing, she goes first. Thankful for her parents. First time she cooked and washed for others. Wants to study culinary arts to be more confident in herself. Oh, did I mention that place is overseas? Oh yeah. Shouichi must be real sad. So sad that he is almost this close to tears! Can’t blame her. She says it is him who motivated her to take this path. So while it’s heart wrenching to see his disappointed face, here is a kiss on the cheek to make things up. As narrated, Yukie soon broke up with Araki because something about that guy cares for animals more than her?! Furry lover?! Thanks to that, Yukie and Hikari are normal friends again. The events has made Shouichi know what he wants to do. 5 years later as he works part time at the cafe trying to be a step closer to become a registered dietician nutritionist (sounds so complicated), Hikari pays the place a visit and she just came back from training in Spain. I bet her omelettes are top notched now.

Tooru Miyamae’s Arc

Episode 5
Shouichi, Ikuo and Araki are at their secret spot playing a deer raising simulation game. Yes, really. Tooru Miyamae stumbles upon them and it seems she is also a fan of that game. She wants to trade an item with Shouichi. She would love to stay longer with them had not her friends, Tomoe and Shiori Nagasawa come to pick her up for club activities. Shouichi has thought a lot about letting Tooru join their group. Well, she is already waiting for them at their spot. But somehow they end up at a karaoke and Tooru shows her singing chops for a tokusatsu song including poses! The guys would love to join in had they know more than just anime and game songs. Then the trading begins. Araki notices the items she has a fit for PvP games. Does she like such games? So happen games she loves to play are PvP. They talk about a new PvP game releasing, MiliBun. They decide to go get it. First time bloopers include Araki focusing too much on Tooru’s character’s ass and they both fell from a bridge, Shouichi getting friendly fired by Ikuo who in turn got killed from the back. Tough luck. Shouichi gets preferential treatment from Tooru because she makes a handmade strap of the game’s character for him. When they hit the arcade to get limited edition of its merchandise via crane game, Shouichi and Tooru notice an old retro mecha game, GusGal. They play against a couple of young boys, Takeshi and Wataru but Tooru is ruthless in defeating them with headshots! Shouichi gives them the strap as compensation and tells them to play the crane game to show off to girls. Huh? Shouichi realizes too late he gave away the strap (she doesn’t mind) but also lectures her for being too strict on kids and at this rate nobody will play with her. Because GusGal gave her the thrills of old times, she hopes Shouichi could be her partner to become better.

Episode 6
Shouichi tries to introduce Tooru to a (boring) bus simulator since too much GusGal is eating up his money. Too bad GusGal is the only game to quench her thrill. When Shouichi passes by the cram school, he sees Ikuo acting like a stalker before meeting up with Tooru. Does he have a thing for her too? So he goes to ask Tomoe about what the girls think about him. Lots of good stuffs. I guess he doesn’t want to hear his. Tooru has become popular enough to warrant a crowd watching her play. That is when Takeshi comes back to challenge her but he brought his sister this time: Hikari. Oh my. Hikari is such a badass chick. Makoto who is there to keep watch on students, try to calm them down but was promptly told off by Hikari. She then runs away and bangs into the glass door?! Funny girl. Tooru-Shouichi in the end defeat Hikari-Takeshi. Meanwhile Makoto is relishing the photos she took from the booth. Too bad she stumbles upon her discipline committee president, Ruise Sanjou who is not pleased she is slacking. Araki and Ikuo are addicted to the bus game when they spot Makoto profusely apologizing to Ruise. They signal to Shouichi to buy time for him to get out. They make a run for it and continue their b*tch confrontation at the back alley. Nothing untoward happens as Hikari warns Shouichi if he continues to hang out with Tooru, infighting would be the least of his problems. Shouichi ignores that and hangs out with her to find out more about her relationship with Hikari. They were friends in middle school. Tooru returns to her deer simulator and it seems there is a special event for her deer to have an offspring if she mates it with another player. Guess who? Oh, Shouichi you make it sound so misconstrued. “I’m nervous with just the thought of producing a baby with you”. There’s more after that. “I didn’t know it took this long”. “It was my first time”. Shouichi notices she likes to eat his stuffs so he feeds her his cherry if she promises not to do it again. In school, Araki and Ikuo have been punished by the discipline committee to clean the rabbit shed. But Araki is more than happy to do it and made Ruise lost it. They advise Shouichi to stay away from the arcades at least till after the exams as the committee will be keeping a close eye on the place. Shouichi then asks about that cram school incident. Ikuo explains he thought an old classmate looked like a character from MiliBun and tried to make sure but stumbled upon Tooru. The guys can tell Shouichi likes Tooru from the day she traded items with him. Of course he denies anything like it.

Episode 7
Since Tooru hasn’t been coming to school for days, Shouichi asks Hikari about what she meant the other day. Hikari and Tooru were once part of a small group of gamer girls. Naturally some boys flocked to them but Tooru was the more popular one. As the guys started to impress her, they had their egos crushed when Tooru beat them flat. Soon they went away and the girls hated her. Hikari tried to warn her but she didn’t listen. That’s why Hikari tried to warn him then and was worried he would also have his ego crushed. When Shouichi finally calls Tooru, she invites him to play GusGal at her place since the arcade is off limits. He is welcomed in by her older brother, Souta who used to be a gamer himself. He felt guilty for turning Tooru into one as boys used to flock over to play games. That’s why she couldn’t make any normal girl friends till Tomoe came along. He shows him an old video of Tooru in a quiz show. She looked very boyish. Of course she shuts it off. In her room, she gives him one of the many handmade dolls. He notices her delicate craftsmanship and thinks she should become one. When she learns what happened to Araki and Ikuo, she can’t help feel guilty since they won’t be gaming together for a while. Later Tooru calls Hikari to settle their score but she won’t. Hikari has already given up on games a long time ago and hints that she already has a better ‘partner’ than her. Shouichi brings Tooru to a secluded arcade building. If playing this asteroid co-op game is too cramped, maybe this football game is better. Sorry Tooru, you can’t kill people in a football game. I guess she was too rough on the controller that she got a cut on a finger. He helps treat it as she starts lamenting how she only thinks of games and makes everyone worry. He hopes she can rely on him when needed. Shouichi waits at the usual spot, nervous if Tooru would show up. She did. She shows him a deer mascot she made that she will be selling at ComiMa. She asks if he would like to help. Of course. She gives him a ticket to the place. He thinks it looks like a date. Does he want to go out on a date with her? If he helps out. Shiori hates to cut in on their happiness as she confronts Tooru about this. She always turned her down but easily accepts when it is Shouichi? Both sides introduce each other and they hope to work together at ComiMa.

Episode 8
At ComiMa, Shouichi couldn’t recognize Tooru at first because she is in a cosplay of a MiliBun character. She’s a bit embarrassed by it. Yeah, a white fluffy patch on her vagina area (which is part of the character’s design), I can see why… Shouichi and Tooru are to man the deer mascot booth. Tooru is a bit stiff in promoting it and Shouichi trying to cover for her just made it worse so the customers left. When Tooru is swamped by photographers and her costume is having trouble, Tomoe distracts those snapping perverts as she cosplays as a very sexy skin revealing GusGal character. Shouichi takes Tooru to the toilet area as they try to figure out the zipper problem. Guess what? It goes all the way down to her ass! Oh my. A few hentai-like poses she makes so that she could let Shouichi get a clear view of where the zipper is?! Once he finds it, she can do it by herself. Once done, they head back out and Tooru regains her confidence. After a successful event, the gang coincidentally eat at the café Hikari works at. She isn’t so pleased, though. Hikari is impressed Tooru cosplay there so Tomoe invites her to do cosplay sometimes. I think she will have second thoughts after seeing that sexy GusGal outfit. Tooru gives Shouichi a handmade GusGal mascot as thanks. She reveals she got this deer mascot idea after Tooru gave away her strap and she saw Takeshi continue to display it on his bag. She wanted to make things that could make others happy.

As they leave, Hikari threatens Shouichi not to tell this up to anybody so he thought of calming her down by complimenting how good she looks in her apron. This makes Tooru want to go home alone. He walks home with her as she ‘complains’ he complimented Hikari but not her who was in cosplay all day. Get the hint? Shouichi reminds her of their promised date. That outing was the date?! With Tomoe and Shiori doesn’t count. Would you consider a date if her brother tagged along? He wants to go on a date now since she said she is preparing for exams tomorrow. Besides, he wants to tell his feelings. So much for the surprise. While at it, might as well confess he loves her. Unfortunately she rejects him. Seeing the disappointment on his face, she kisses his neck?! And then sucks his neck!? WTF?! So she noticed his growing Adam’s apple and wanted to attack his weak spot?! I thought every guy’s weakness is their balls… Yeah, it would be hentai if she attacked that. Haha! Anyway, she explains from the events that have happened, Shouichi always came after her. She hopes he will continue to come after her. Big hint. The moment is right for them to give a real kiss. Next day, Shouichi tells Araki and Ikuo that they are seeing each other although keeping it platonic so as to let her concentrate on her studies. They tease him if he has gotten this far with her. Then this happens… Tooru comes running to tell them their baby is born! The one where they mated at that back alley! Oh Shouichi, did you really do it?! Oh, it’s that deer simulator… Phew. 10 years later, we see Shouichi and Tooru already married having a little cute daughter. She is a kindergarten teacher and he is a school bus driver. Wait. What?!

Kyouko Touno’s Arc

Episode 9
Hikari and co notice Kyouko outside the classroom looking for Shouichi. Seems she wants to show him a new magical girl manga release for the first time in 2 years since it went into hiatus. Hikari thought he is pretty childish to still read such stuffs but Kyouko who is his childhood friend only has him to talk such things with. Later as the duo see how the style and content of the manga has become more fanservice and gorier, Shouichi is surprised that Tomoe is seen with this trek club guy (Captain Trek?). He threatens him to keep this meeting a secret. After school, the duo see Takashi playing some GusGal transformation with his friend, Rin. Since Rin isn’t good at it, Shouichi demonstrates some magical girl pose that is equally as cool. Back home, Shouichi asks Tomoe about today. Did she get confessed again? Don’t worry. Tomoe isn’t looking for romance. Actually Captain Trek was trying to ask her to introduce him to Kyouko. Seems he is asking for advice about the home economics club. Something about he got swindled after paying money to make him a man. As Tomoe is friends with the club president, he was wondering if he could get his money back. The home economics club sounds like they’re doing shady business because you can trade in old clothes for some spare change.

Kyouko reflects on Shouichi’s words about her being still stuck as a middle school girl. So she takes her entire magical girl collection to dump it by the park? Rin takes a look but gets scared after seeing its fanservice and gore level. Luckily Koharu Uno and Nao Tokioka appease the little one with their handicraft magic. Koharu talks to Kyouko about this dumping so she relates how her childhood friend has grown up and grown out of these things. If that’s the case, Koharu invites her to join the home economics club to enhance her feminine charms to in his heart. Kyouko is here and she has brought Shouichi too. Koharu and Nao didn’t really think this guy would be her childhood friend. They kick him out to wait since the club is only for girls. The first order of business? Stripping Kyouko? Turns out the girls put on a lovely kimono for moon viewing. They explain the club’s goal is more than just this and to find ways to enrich life. Kyouko remembers Shouichi’s cross-dressing. It’s really depressing remembering he was so cute that Ikuo who thought he was Kyouko’s friend, flipped his skirt, got shocked at what he saw and lost his memories! Worse, Kyouko’s mom spanked him after that. Shouichi’s notices Kyouko’s beauty when the moonlight is brighter. He then asks why the club buys used clothes as he doesn’t want Kyouko joining a shady club. Here comes Shiori, the club’s ex-president to explain that their club budget can’t cover for expenses so they take in used clothes, reuse its fabric to resell them. That was how they made Tomoe’s Santa’s outfit. As for Captain Trek, he handed to them to make a banner. They were only following exactly his lousy drawing so he started complaining about the design. Too bad. No refunds. Kyouko has decided to join this club.

Episode 10
Shouichi originally had plans to spend Christmas Eve with Ikuo. But the latter apologizes because now he has plans with a girl he fell in love during the summer course! Meanwhile Ruise is trying to force the home economics club to decorate the Christmas tree for the school’s festival. She makes a deal to pardon them of their ‘offenses’ starting from the previous year. Shouichi walks into the club only to see Kyouko sleeping in her cosplay outfit. She was modelling for them when they head out to look for materials for the tree. She lets him try the cake she makes but because she has made a lot of them, she is a bit cake fatigued by now. I guess there goes his plans to ask her out for cake. Thus Shouichi goes to ask Hikari for advice. She is surprised he got a girl date on Christmas Eve. So as she dispenses her ‘wisdom’, Shouichi looks up on adult themes for Christmas as recommended. Love hotel. Oops. He returns to the club as Ruise was just leaving angrily. Turns out she didn’t like the design on Koharu and Nao. What the heck is this horror occult tree?! Shouichi and Kyouko are kicked out when they suggest bringing their old underwear when they require more used fabric. Seriously… Back at his place, Kyouko tries his old pyjamas which seems to almost fit. As she is the only child, she feels envious about hand-me-downs. Shouichi tries his luck again as he walks with Kyouko, trying to ask her out. Accidentally he shows the love hotel search. Oops. Mood ruined? Anyway she has duties during that day so she can’t go with him. At least he asks how she views him. More than a friend but rather a nice next door girl. Huh??? Apparently this was watched by Koharu and Nao. This embarrasses the hell out of Kyouko. But she also asks if boys get horny on Christmas Day. WTF?! Then when they see Shouichi cornering Ikuo, they think the shock of the rejection was too much that he desperately turned gay! WTF?! Then they see Hikari for advice. Yeah, her ‘wisdom’ again lets them know boys are horny on Christmas. Then she continues to brag about a certain guy trying to ask her out but she turned him down so he started asking other girls. This somehow makes Kyouko frustrated as she leaves. Did she say the wrong thing? Koharu and Nao try to cheer Kyouko up. Maybe she doesn’t need men. A big dakimakura or cats! Actually Kyouko isn’t sad. She knows Shouichi is too much of a coward to ask Hikari out (at least not in this arc) even out of desperation. She doesn’t mind him dating others but she never wanted him getting mocked because of her and she won’t know what to do if that happens. Kyouko can’t sleep that night and to take her mind off it, she starts knitting.

Episode 11
Kyouko should have known better to cross the road when she is sleepy. Luckily Shouichi was here to pull her back. Kyouko asks him if he managed to ask anybody out for Christmas Eve after that. Nah. He went karaoke with Araki. He tried to hit on Hikari and her friends but they rejected him. After Kyouko is assured he will stay her good childhood friend forever, she hands him her handmade knitted pants. Weird… He agrees to accompany her shopping but he didn’t realize it is shopping for lingerie! Weirder… He tries to be ‘manly’ by teasing her he can’t tell if the pantsu looks good on her or not if she doesn’t put it on. And she takes up his offer! Don’t back down now. Well, she just put it over her skirt. Don’t stare too long… Ruise is pleased the home economics club finally decorated the tree. They won’t tell what materials they used. Trade secret. But I think I know… True enough! Used underwear! Never let her know… Kyouko thanks her resourcefulness ever since joining the club and it was worth it. Shouichi praises her and that he can’t keep treating her like a middle school girl. When Shouichi goes home, he sees Ikuo wearing some sentai mask and trying to act out but fails miserably! Apparently the girl he asked out turned him down. He is very sad as he wanted to be more than just friends. Shouichi feels his pain and understands. In fact he views Ikuo as manlier than himself. It’s that reason why a certain childhood friend writes him off as a girl next door. He wants to be a man like Ikuo. Kyouko messes up the cake she is making in her club. We know what is bothering her. They thought there is a spy from the disciplinary committee eavesdropping outside. But Miu is glad she has found the home economics club and wants to borrow some soy sauce. Shuouichi tries to do some muscle training in his room. But thoughts of Kyouko frustrates him. Tomoe comes in to see what the ruckus is all about and misinterprets seeing him holding the knitted underpants. She promises to forget all about it. Shouichi continues his manly training till dawn. He refuses to regret anything this Christmas Eve.

Episode 12
Hikari is sexy in a reindeer outfit. She is turning on the boys that they are confident she can win the Miss Santa contest. Because of that, nobody is helping Yukie at the stall. But here comes Shouichi (cowboy aura?) to help. Then he goes visit Kyouko helping to sell cakes at the home economics club’s stall. He wants to tell something to her and is willing to wait no matter how late her work finishes. Ooh… Meanwhile Tooru wins the contest with a maskless hero outfit. Hikari is so disappointed. Koharu and Nao realize they were made to do the decorations because Shiori’s name was on the bulletin list of people who got into college on recommendation. Does this mean they did all that for nothing? Also revealed is that Rin is Ruise’s little sister. When Kyouko finally meets Shouichi, he gets down to business that he wants to go out with her. So she wants to think about it while eating her oden hot? As the bench is cold, she is disappointed he is putting it as a seat cover instead of wearing it. He sits on it, she sits between his legs. Well, it’s getting closer… We hear Kyouko say silly things like announcing she is wearing pink panties (why tell him? Because would you prefer she tell some other guy, duh!) and she took him to the lingerie store because of Koharu’s advice that showing your pantsu is a way to cheer a boy up (definitely duped there). We also hear her ask silly questions like do boys want girls that bad on Christmas Eve. Enough with the nonsense because Shouichi says he wants her. He wants her to look at him more than a childhood friend. As a man. Then naturally here comes the confession, the hug and the kiss, all well timed to the fireworks display. Koharu and Nao are spying on this. They are ‘sad’ that they now cannot sell lewd dakimakura of Kyouko to his broken heart. The oddest part is Shouichi letting Kyouko wear the red underwear while carrying her. Because he already got her as the best Christmas present. 10 years down the road, they are married and look as young as they are 10 years ago. They also have a daughter who looks like a mini version of Kyouko.

No Sex Siren
If this entire season feels somewhat ‘short’ and ‘incomplete’ and because you noticed that in the opening credits animation and the early promotional poster, there seems to be 6 girls but you only get 3 of them here, it was stated that there are plans to have these ‘missing’ girls, namely Miu, Makoto and Ruise to have their own arcs in the future. Therefore my guess that this ‘short’ season of the new sequel spinoff is just to test market and to see how well and receptive the audiences are for this bunch of new characters before ‘wasting’ money, energy and time to do another season. It is a reason why they make short cameo appearances here and there that doesn’t have any bearing whatsoever on the story of that arc. While I look forward for Makoto’s adaptation because she seems like a funny klutz girl, I’m not too sure about Miu and Ruise. I mean, of all the other girls that have the equal potential to be the main heroine, they chose some seemingly arrogant elite girl from another school who is now a new transfer student as seen in Kyouko’s arc and a strict dominating gloomy I-can-see-those-bags-under-your-eyes girl (like as though she stayed up all night playing with herself. Holy sh*t!). I think I can envision how it is going to play out here.

But let me not get ahead too far of myself with all that speculation. As for this season itself, well, there isn’t anything new or fresh to the concept except for the characters and the method that it is laid out to achieve that same end goal of scoring with the girl. Therefore I can say that Seiren is just Amagami SS masked in a different wardrobe to see if it can retain old fans and rein in new one. I think. Of course to make it not look like it is completely without any relation to the original, not only it takes place in the same school but Ikuo is the younger brother of Ai from the original Amagami SS and if you remember Haruka’s arc whereby she and Junichi did something close to raunchy in the rabbit shed which led to strict moral rules being implemented, this was referred to in one of those episodes. So wait. This sequel spinoff takes place as a result of Haruka’s arc? Yeah, now we know who Junichi really ended up with.

How should I comment on the characters? It is a given that each of the main heroines are given their distinctive personality so that it won’t feel that Shouichi is dating the same kind of girl but with a different face and name. Like Hikari is the cheeky, mischievous and sporting strong independent woman who loves to tease Shouichi. Among all the girls, she feels like she is the ‘staple’ character in every arc because she pops up frequent enough. Then there is the gamer girl senior who seems to lack emotions but rather she isn’t good with communicating with others. Finally the cute and a bit child-like at times Kyouko. See the wide range of personalities there? Yeah, they even went as far as to have Shouichi date girls with varying seniority too. A senior, the same classmate and a junior childhood friend.

Shouichi feels like any other generic male protagonist of a romance comedy drama. Good guy, nice guy, shy guy, plain guy. Nothing that really breaks the mould. It just goes to show that sometimes you don’t need money, fame, good looks or any super special talents to land a girl. Oh heck. This isn’t the real world in the first place. Him landing the girl in the end sometimes makes us long time single otaku jealous or you can look at it in a positive way that it gives us hope that all is not lost. Oh heck. Who am I kidding? This is just anime. This is just entertainment. This isn’t real. :’(. At least this season, ‘the other guy’ Ikuo is more sensible compared to the ‘best friend’ Umehara. Araki has this potential to be a comic relief character because of his love for animals especially the rabbit shed. Girls can never beat his love for bunnies… Unless you’re a bunny girl, maybe?

I wonder if they’re going to make a one off episode featuring the lesser girls. For example in Amagami SS we had Junichi’s little sister and that stalker girl if you remember was the one primarily responsible for his fear of being lonely on Christmas Eve. Because now if I think about it, Shouichi doesn’t suffer from such problems like Junichi. His worries about his future and studies aren’t as ‘devastating’ compared to Junichi’s scarred heart. Yeah, remember that guy used to lock himself in his planetarium (read: closet) dreading that day. Oh Shouichi, you have it better than your predecessor.

As Seiren means honesty, purity and integrity in Japanese, let’s be honest that despite this series being listed in its synopsis as a campus romantic comedy of pure relationships, there are a few bits of fanservice and some that even go WTF. Like that strange dream of Hikari sniffing on his legs while he takes a dump, zoom-ins on her ass, Tooru’s cosplay wardrobe malfunction involving a zipper and Kyouko’s Superman-red-underwear-knitting and the blatant straight in the face is-my-pantsu-cute-enough-for-you statement. Seriously, which girl ever takes a guy out to shop for lingerie and even asks him with a straight face if he does the same with his sister and mom! WTF?! I’m starting to think Kyouko might sometimes see him as a girl as she does label him as the girl next door. Yeah…

The art and animation certainly do feel like it is the same as Amagami SS despite a different studio helming the animation. In fact, 2 studios collaborated to make this. This isn’t the first time Studio Gokumi and AXsiZ joined hands as they also did Koukaku No Pandora and Wagamama High Spec together. (Amagami SS was animated by AIC if you’re wondering). I suppose there are enough differentiation between the characters so as not to have us confused why some characters look so similar with the original. Oh wait a minute. Don’t Koharu and Nao look very much like the tea club duo in Amagami SS? Damn… And doesn’t Kyouko look like Tsukasa? Double damn… Tooru is like Ai with long hair… Triple damn! Which means Hikari and Haruka are… Oh forget it. Certain girls look alike their predecessors. Heck, even Kyouko and Tomoe look close enough that I get confused between them. Enough said. I think Captain Trek is the oddest looking one. He looks different enough from the rest and it feels like as though he was dropped in from another anime series and currently trapped in the wrong anime. Really. I guess this explains why he doesn’t get any girls…

A new line-up of casts for this series in which I only recognize Ayane Sakura as Hikari. Her bratty and cheeky voice sure fits her character perfectly. The rest of the casts are Atsushi Tamaru as Shouichi (Ayato in Gakuen Toshi Asterisk), Shino Shimoji as Tooru (Akari in Aikatsu), Juri Kimura as Kyouko (Eruna in Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku), Ryouta Asari as Ikuo (Alma Karma in D. Gray-man Hallow), Manami Numakura as Tomoe (Riko in Love Lab), Takuya Eguchi as Araki (Hikigaya in Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Come Wa Machigatteiru), Honoka Kuroki as Ruise (debut role), Shiori Mikami as Makoto (Krista in Shingeki No Kyojin), Shiori Izawa as Miu (Moka in Kuzu No Honkai), Kentarou Tone as Souta (Akira Hattori in Bakuman), Saki Fujita as Yukie (Inami in Working!!), Yukiyo Fujii as Youko (Latifa in Amagi Brilliant Park), Yuka Ootsubo as Koharu (Kyouko in YuruYuri) and Hitomi Harada as Nao (Nori in Hidamari Sketch series).

The opening is Kimi No Hana by Hanako Oku. Sounds rather okay and suits the pace of this series nicely. But I still very much prefer the first season’s opener of Amagami SS, I Love. Just like in the original, each ending theme is tailored and sung by the heroine of that arc. So we have the lively and energetic rock based Shunkan Happening for Hikari’s arc, the slow rock of Muteki Megami for Tooru’s arc and the cute anime pop of Koi No Theory for Kyouko’s arc. It seems that there are special ending themes for the arc’s final for the heroines too. They are mostly slow ballads such as Hikari’s Akaneiro Ni Kakushite and Tooru’s Kimi To Yozora To Fortune To.

Overall, if you want a reasonable romantic comedy of the season without having to resort to cheap NTR soft porn (looking at you Kuzu No Honkai) or cheap blatant fanservice (looking at you Okusama Ga Seitokaichou+) or cheap cheesy romance drama (looking at you Fuuka) or cheap first person 2D VR (looking at you One Room) or cheap supernatural harem (looking at you Rewrite) or even that cheap revenge dating (looking at you Masamune-kun No Revenge) and if you’re not really into reverse harem (looking at you Watashi Ga Motete Dosunda) or kindergarten kids dating (looking at you 12-sai Chicchana Mune No Tokimeki), Seiren still provides a decent and down to earth option and alternative. Some say that it is an inferior version to Amagami SS since it offers nothing new as the same tested formula is being used all over again. Well, it is true if you point out the fact that Amagami SS had more episodes and seasons, thus they have better character development. Or maybe those people couldn’t find any best girl to top their best girl in Amagami SS… Yeah, it will still always be Haruka for me. Too bad some can’t find the same love for this series like how Shouichi found his for his girls. At least somebody won the love lottery (thrice) so it can’t be that bad, right?