July 9, 2010

Amagami SS Ep2: Rejection Isn’t Always Final

Posted in Amagami SS tagged , , , , , at 8:24 pm by meotwister5

Many, if not most, of us have probably felt rejection first hand.  The reaction to rejection is as diverse as human personalities are, so really no two people will likely ever react to it in the same way.  While I was sort of expecting Junichi’s emotional collapse considering the supposed weight of his scars that he has to carry, I was surprised that Haruka’s rejection didn’t devastate him as much as I would have expected.  Okay sure he’s a half conscious shell of a man, but at least most biological functions still work.  I’ve seen people collapse into horrid piles of humanity in lesser scenes.

There’s one thing to be said though about the way she dropped him:  her nonchalant and cool approach to dropping him would come across as cold and uncaring to most people.  You would assume that she’d have handled that with a bit more care and grace because the male heart, contrary to popular opinion, is a very very very fragile thing (emphasis mine).  I wouldn’t be surprised if there would have been a lot of hate and bitch-calling for Haruka after the way she dropped him like it was nothing, and certainly he didn’t take it as nothing, but there really wasn’t as much backlash as I thought there would be.  In fact most people attempted to understand her for it, and with episode I also somewhat understand that she didn’t do it out of spite, but because it’s more in line with her character and her own feelings.

Given her treatment of Junichi, it goes to show that rejection doesn’t mean cutting off all ties.

Where'd his eyebags go?

Rejection!  It Burns!

You have to hand it to Junichi for not collapsing totally.  Back in school he’s at least able to function to some degree and still keep much of his head level, but he’s obviously hurting a lot inside.  Still he looked like shit, and heading to the infirmary who else would he run into but Haruka herself?  How’d he react to meeting the girl who rejected her, alone in the infirmary ward?

Pretty good actually.

She’s her usual aloof and happy-go-lucky self.  You’d also think that a girl who just rejected a guy would feel something, anything, about what had transpired the day before, but for her it all seems like short term memory disorder.  She still treats him the way she did before, and even during, the rejection, which will obviously boggle the mind of any male organism.  As Junichi’s mind attempts to sort out the confusion, Haruka hints that for her rejection shouldn’t mean they shouldn’t hang out anymore because it shouldn’t end their friendship.  Junichi follows with a question of what kind of guy she likes, of which she responds with something that means she either doesn’t know what her type is or she doesn’t really have a type.  This, of course, fires Junichi up into believing that he still has a chance, as any male would.  With that, their usual random fun resumes.


A Curious Character Case

Most males would have probably thrown expletives at Haruka for her less than delicate handling of Junichi.  It would be easy to blame Haruka for not accepting such a nice guy like him, but many of us forget that really, a confession is a risk, and we aren’t entitled to a response that we like.  Haruka isn’t obligated to give Junichi the answer he likes, nor is she obligated to answer at all. It should be appreciated that for what it’s worth, she was actually in character for the entire scene, as is she for the entirety of episode 2.  She was nice and smiling through it as oopsed to being say… all sappy and sad about it.  Even if it lacked a bit of tact, she was true to herself through it and after it.  In ways she probably wanted to show Junichi that while she may not have been able to see him as a potential boyfriend at the time, she wouldn’t let it get in the way of their friendship. This is so much more than I can say for friendships that have ended due to a bad confession.  Having experienced both a friendship-ending and a friendship-strengthening confession, I can easily respect Haruka for her decision then and her decision now.

Which is why episode 2 does a very bang up job of showing Haruka’s character as someone who doesn’t let things like this get her down.  More so it shows how much she values friendship and how doesn’t want there to be bad vibes between them.  With this in mind, you can easily see how reinvigorated Junichi gets after seeing how strong she actually is.  If Haruka had felt an alienating distance between them that he had initially felt, Junichi would have given up then and there.  However, by being the same old Haruka he knows even after an emotional event, their maintained friendship gives him hope that perhaps, somehow, he can convince her to see him as more than just a friend.

That's probably only somewhat slightly creepy...

Never Say Never

All of this puts them together in the library looking at pictures of cute doggies, in what I consider to be their first date as well as a very strong finish to a very good episode.  So Junichi decided to man it up and confess again, this time validating his reasons.  His reasons are the same old cliche reasons for liking someone, but then again every reason is really a cliche.  Unlike his previous one however he insists that this is how he feels and that he’s unlikely to change, however he understands if Haruka puts her foot down and says he’ll stop if she’s annoyed.  What we get then is a very shy and a very demure Haruka, wholly unlike the Haruka of five minutes ago.  She’s both flustered and surprised at his boldness because she wasn’t expecting it.  At all.  She actually fails at a response.

This is all obviously due to the fact that, as mentioned earlier, no guy has tried confessing more than once.  All other previous guys gave up with their tails between their legs the moment they got dropped.  Not Junichi however.  Haruka has likely never had a guy be so assertive and determined as Junichi is. Being surprised by him, she likely sees a side of him that she never expected to see, and as I said probably never seen in anyone before.  This moment is probably the first real moment she saw him not just as a friend but as possible boyfriend material.

So sweet yet so vague!

In the end we get a very touching scene.  She doesn’t give a direct answer of course, so we’ll just have to settle with a vague expression of appreciation.  We might be able to conclude that she did fall for him there, or maybe perhaps she was us being nice.  Whatever it is, it was worth seeing Haruka drop her cool and exterior to show that she can also be emotionally affected by a guy who’s willing to do what it takes to prove to her that he can be the man she wants to be with.

And in the end, that’s really all we men want:  a chance.


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