The resumption of Sae’s arc brings something of a reversal from the first time around. Junichi suffers from fits of jealousy in this episode as his girlfriend has become the idol around school due to her performance in the Founders’ Festival last year, while he is an afterthought. He makes a show of trying to make it seem like he is still somewhat in control, and though it turns out badly it’s charmingly so. Finally, Junichi is presented with an opportunity to return to the past in their relationship.
This episode was one in which Junichi was trying to fight against a narrative in his own head. “Sae was a timid girl who I made fall for me, but now that she is popular it could be taken away from me at any second,” is what he was thinking. So how did he respond to that? In order it was first trying to make it seem like he could do things for her without her help, then running in to do some white knighting and finally just simply being reliable. Needless to say, it’s obvious which one worked out best in Junichi’s mind.
So first was the crisis in the cafeteria. I’d like to say we’ve all been there. So many choices on the menu, the girlfriend already suggested something, but she didn’t say what she wanted with it. You really should have paid attention during all of those other lunches. Perhaps if you bail yourself out of this you will learn to do so rather than pay the price for your obliviousness. That’s okay though because at least you have a girl who happens to be your childhood friend that knows what tastes good. You can ask her all sorts of insensitive questions without worry because she’ll still be your friend…somehow. Oh look, someone else bails you out by knowing what your girlfriend likes because she happens to talk to her everyday in line for lunch. Poor form Junichi, poor form indeed.
Alright, so on to the next challenge. Your girlfriend’s family is forcing her into a marriage with another man, we’ve all been there. Scratch that, we haven’t. So Miya breaks out the bad acting to try to make Junichi make a move and rescue Sae from the clutches of some rich guy she’s never met. Running into hotels, interfering with receptions and breaking up Sae’s conversation with another dog owner are just part of your job. You’re more important than those other people Junichi, you’re the protagonist.
After she explains the misunderstandings because Miya has the attention span of a goldfish, everything looks settled. Oh snap, after you compliment her on her appearance she says she wished to be with you forever. Junichi, just propose marriage right there. It’s an open goal. You win; we can all move on with our lives. But like Fernando Torres, you contrive to screw it up. Sorry, man. It’s now Failure 2-0 Junichi.
However, there’s still time to pull back a late consolation. Sae’s been named the committee president for the Founder’s Festival and she doesn’t know what to do. Just move in there and finish the job, Junichi. And have you finished well, telling her to go for it because it’s a good opportunity. Since your involved and she’s not comfortable, she’s calling you Instructor again. Good thing you have all of that experience helping Tsukasa with those festivals. Actually, that didn’t happen did it?
Ultimately, Junichi pulled one back, but he still loses 2-1 here. Another brilliant example of the protagonist pulling defeat from the jaws of a famous victory.
On to the conclusion of this arc. I see more isolation between the two of them. Tsukasa and Umehara are going to have to jump in soon to help them, Miya can’t do the shipping herself after all. Also, since this is Amagami Sae and Junichi will end up taking their relationship to the next level…or they’ll have a brief romantic fling and be stuck in the same place again. At least the Haruka arc is 2 weeks away.