The 5th episode of the Amagami SS sequel takes us back to the Ai arc. Not all the way since Junichi is still calling her Nanasaki, but effectively 1 year after the beginning of the original arc. In this particular installment, Junichi is struggling with cram school to get into university. Ai is struggling with duties as captain of the swim team. How will they ever manage to get together for their Christmas Eve date? Also, Junichi falls asleep alot.
One of the primary themes of this episode is Junichi’s quest to get into a good university. The first minute of the episode reveals his motivation. Essentially, he wants to be a good enough person for Ai to justify the fact they are dating. Since he reveals that to Ai at that moment, the association is already built in for her that his studying equals his love for her. That comes in handy much later on.
So first we have the rather typical “wake up the boyfriend” type sequence with Ai. Junichi doesn’t wake up quickly because he had been up late the previous night studying. So his transgression of dragging her into bed is forgiven pretty quickly. Then, the next day, since he doesn’t have cram school and is forced into staying out later by Ai as punishment, he spends the next morning sleeping away in the nurse’s office. His study fatigue allows him to ask and receive the rather peculiar lullaby while resting his head against her stomach. Finally, their Christmas Eve date looks in danger as he screws up on the practice exam at the cram school. Since it’s for her sake, it’s forgivable even if it means he has to spend time at a training camp.
There however remained Ai’s doubts as to Junichi’s loyalties throughout this episode beginning with the scene at the swimming pool. The younger members of the club saw how close the two of them were based on the walks to school together and the fact that she always waited for him to appear near the end of practice. The punishment at the beginning was meant to stop him from looking at the other girls, but the other club members were about to let him off before Miya stepped in to further the punishment. Yes, he was gawking slightly, but his real intentions were to see Ai. It came off as a little harsh.
There was also the issue of Ai’s insecurities of herself that came into play later on. It starts to kick in as Junichi admits he failed on the practice exam. In some way, I think she held herself responsible for the fact that he would have to be dragged to the cram school’s training camp. She tells him to work hard there, but immediately regrets it as though she thought that she relegated their relationship in priority. To make up for not seeing each other over the Christmas, she tries to get him a gift early only to not know that he had been dragged off to the camp early.
So how does this arc conclude? With the hot springs from the first season out of the question, there has to be a new location for their Christmas Eve date this season. Since this is Amagami, there is no doubt that everything will come together perfectly. Ai will be able to leave the after party for the swim club’s oden booth and Junichi will find a way to escape the training camp just in time. Then they can go back to the beach at the beginning calling themselves by their first names.