With Sae’s Arc ending (and UTW misleading me into thinking they got married), I realized the point of having an omnibus format- of having new characters, yes, but also, to have a new audience. A new approach to things, new content. Did they do it? Yes. Did they succeed in appealing to us? Not really.
It appears that Sae’s arc is fueled on a number of things. Amongst this list , includes moe, tentacles, shyness, moe, more moe, maid costumes and more moe. And don’t forget “Moe Death”. That’s the main appeal of Sae’s arc- moe. Sae is a walking tower of moe passion. Everything about her is moe. The way they act as a couple is moe too. Penguin suit? Really? Every single shot of Sae is generally moe. No, not generally, but very. Every shot is very, very moe. That shot of her eating her sandwich? Moe.
But what else could have happened? What’s the alternative to pumping out buckets of moe every few minutes? Pointless drama? Pointless drama aimed at sexing up the female lead, like
Nympho’s Haruka’s arc? Sae’s an underclassman, and just that makes her eligible for being moe. She speaks in a shy style, and her constant abuse by Tachibana and his sister is moe too.
As such, character-wise Sae rests on the same level as Haruka – general fanservice-style. This happened most notably in Episode 12, with Tachibana almost hitting a home run and Sae in some sort of black lace dress, that looked more like lingerie than anything. Nevertheless, she’s still better than Nympho, who as usual, chalks up a huge amount of screentime when she’s not really wanted.
Previously I felt that Kaoru’s arc meant something new. It made Amagami SS bring something new to the table. Then Sae’s arc comes along, and reinforces the stereotypes and usual character archetypes we have in anime for females. Sae’s breasts are a constant source of humour. Why? It’s a overdone joke, dating back past Usa Mimi in Kodomo no Jikan to perhaps the beginning of the World’s interest in anime, when anime became distinctly identifiable from other forms of animation and people were starting to like it. Sae is a walking pile of moe, yes, and less of a person than we see. Kaoru had some kind of impact. She felt like a real character, she interested me and renewed my hope in Amagami SS. While I can’t say Sae ruined it for me, I would have to say that Sae could have been better.
She generally is characterized as helpless on her own, and requires Tachibana to be her instructor for god seems like everything, down to the extent they become a couple because of this. Also, how she looks like a child is a constant joke as well. Which children’s entertainer makes fun of people’s breasts on stage?
Nevertheless, Sae’s arc ended with that distinct feeling of mediocrity. It seemed to knock Amagami SS’s success back a few notches, but it was still fun to watch. I hope the next arc will be better though.