Amagami SS and its bizarre fascination with Morishima Haruka

Who knew she was actually a bisexual airtime-grabbing nympho?

(This post was originally written on the 22nd of September. Valence predicts that although he’ s supposed to be on hiatus, he would probably come back anyway to reply to comments and stuff. He plans on intoxicating himself on Coke if that happens.)

Now,  although Haruka is arguably what drags most people into watching the show, I find that I like her less and less ever since the Kaoru Arc aired. It showed that in the end, Haruka is just the nympho sex-loving snobbish School Idol that we see over and over again in countless shows.  After all, Shizuka Itou, the seiyuu for Haruka, is well-known to have voiced many school idols, amongst which include the likes of Hinagiku from Hayate no Gotoku. Furthermore, she’s a good voice actress, able to voice a huge range of different voices nicely like Lee Lenalee to Carmel Wilhemina, from Hanna-Justina Marseille to Kunogi Himawari.

Well, that doesn’t explain why the show seems to adore Morishima ‘Lovely’ Haruka. Perhaps it’s the audience. Perhaps the audience just loves its fanservice, to the extent that they watch arcs simply because Haruka shows up in them.

In conclusion, I still don’t like Haruka.

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24 Responses to Amagami SS and its bizarre fascination with Morishima Haruka

  1. Carillus says:

    It’s just that in the original, Haruka was the main heroine.

    I think.

    • Valence says:

      Well, the main heroine isn’t necessarily the best character I suppose.

    • Fidelis says:

      The closest thing the franchise has to a main heroine would probably be the class rep, who’s on the PS2 case art and stars in two Amagami manga. The series which adapts her arc recently ended after 16 chapters. A third manga starring Ai has also ended after only 4-5 chapters. You see the priority there…

      So it seems two slots are up for grabs. (Details here: http://tktranslate.blogspot.com/2010/09/amagami-chapter-16-release.html#comments) I hope Kaoru gets the longer slot. Of the three finished arcs of the show, I say hers is the most suited to – and deserving of – a longer retelling. The relationship is based on friendship and thus the deepest.

      As for the other friend Rihoko, I don’t think she’ll get a slot right now, with her own episodes just around the corner. Why read at that point in time when the show will finish the story in a fraction of the time it takes for all the chapters to come out?

      The way the show adapted Kaoru’s arc was all right, but like Lord of the Rings, once you’ve read the full story you’ll probably miss parts that were skipped or simplified on screen. (I read story spoilers beforehand.) Who wouldn’t want more buddy bonding, more about him helping her to cope with insecurities, more kissing and hugging because of that, etc.?

      We could have seen more of that on the show… but you know, a whole lot of airtime was used for other characters like the post subject. Even such scenes which did reinforce plot points could have been trimmed. Okay, so our dude was reminded of Kaoru’s job after overhearing the subject and her friend, but did we need to know about her waitress uniform fetish also?

      • Valence says:

        Kaoru and the class rep seem interesting, although I do sincerely hope that this arc won’t disappoint. Heck, someone should do a PC-hack of Amagami SS sooner or later. If they can do it for PS3 games I don’t see why not for PS2 games.

        A lot of time was wasted. Especially on Haruka. She literally appears in every episode or so to chalk up a minute of screentime saying something no-one really cares about.

  2. Fidelis says:

    One of my favorite local authors wrote: “It is the custom to worship glitter and reject light.”

    As the Santa scene which ate up precious airtime in episode 8 showed, she was the designated sexual fanservice girl then. (Stuff like that was partly to blame for the still-frame ending in the episode, which the DVD will fix.) I haven’t been keeping up but is it still the case?

    Personality-wise, I think her purpose is to make the other girls look even better by comparison, hoho. Still, the damn stuff about dogs and college courses stopped episode 6 dead. Wasting time again.

    Said author also wrote: “Do not look upon woman merely as an object to be trifled with, but rather as a helpmate and companion in life’s hardships.” Guess which of the three finished stories does this most apply to? 😛

    • Valence says:

      I wonder. One, that the author’s name starts with an E or a J or a B or something like that, and two, I “wonder” what the other quote refers to. . .

      But I think each girl’s arc is like, specifically catered just to show one thing. Haruka is fanservice, Sae is moe, etc etc. Maybe I’m just being paranoid.

      And yeah, Haruka’s like me in the sense that both of us tend to make everything around us look better by comparison. I mean, she laughs at Kaoru for working, makes fun of Tachibana’s relationship with Sae, talks homosexual with Hibiki, et cetera. Everyone seems to look more deep and more fitting as a character, and herself just more shallow.

  3. hiroy_raind says:

    I don’t like Haruka as a character, I don’t like how she kept appearing on each arc, and I don’t like how talking about her on forums tends to get me into trouble.

  4. Fidelis says:

    hiroy_raind: What forums? I can relate, only with imageboards.

    Valence: I mentioned the point you bring up about one-word descriptions on the Sae post. Haruka gets only a minute per ep? That’s an improvement from last time. The others have first or second-degree connections to our dude, being friends and/or classmates, or friends of his sister. The initial distance between them is a key element of her character and her arc, but that also means she has the least reason for appearing over and over.

    I’m Filipino (fellow Southeast Asian eh?) and the author I quoted is Emilio Jacinto, a young 19th-century revolutionary leader. Not really relevant here except that his words can be related, more or less, to situations and stuff he never envisioned. I don’t fully live up to them myself, but it’s nice to see how they may relate to very different contexts.

    • Fidelis says:

      The original context of “glitter” (or “luster”) versus “light” was about external appearance contrasted with internal state of being:

      Paraphrased: “The rich man in his carriage is admired, but underneath the glitter he may be corrupt. The poor man bearing a heavy load is ridiculed, but in the light his diligence can be seen.”

    • Valence says:

      Hey, I almost got the author’s name. So very close, but that’s what you get for being Singaporean , with hardly any contact with other Asian countries…..

      Haruka seems to pop in and out for no particular reason, like she’s friends with Tachibana, but since it’s an alternate route, shouldn’t they have not met at all? The omnibus format is confusing if they pull it off badly.

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  6. Yi says:

    I don’t watch Amagami, but from what I’ve seen, her character design is probably the most beautiful among the girls. That might be one reason for the fans’ fascination with her.

    • Valence says:

      But it seems the studio is fascinated with her too. That I can’t seem to explain. She appears so many times, despite the fact that she’s school idol being reinforced so many times, she just hangs out with Tachibana randomly for reasons I fail to comprehend.

      • Carillus says:

        Even school idols have friends, you see.

        And the studio’s fascination with her probably has something to do with the fan’s fascination as well.

        Also, somehow I do think there’s some sort of prejudice going on at this point, because as far as I can tell all the characters appear for about the same period in an episode (except for the focus of the ep). Just that Haruka’s appearances are… kinda flashy.

        Now, don’t get me wrong, I can’t stand her either. But while it doesn’t read like it, you guys are actually hating on a particular character, just not in a very obvious way.

        • Valence says:

          Perhaps. Her appearance is indeed more flashy, and it’s kinda funny how she actually never meets Tachibana in the alternate routes, if you go by logic.

          Not to say she’s like, detestable to the extent where I hate her, but I don’t really like her.

  7. Ex14 says:

    well lets hope haruka is much deeper than that XDD? I wouldn;t judge a book by it’s cover or in this case, airtime. <- not that i played the game, just saying XDD

  8. xeon says:

    Every arc thus far has been a different flavor of fetish fuel. Haruka’s just happened to be the most unexpectedly lulzy of the lot. I’m sure that if the writers were able to make wildly innovative concepts like childhood friends and shy underclassmen less mind-numbingly boring, they probably wouldn’t have to fall back on Haruka so much.

    • Valence says:

      I didn’t think they made it ‘mind-numbingly boring’, since the School Idol has also been done to death. Haruka seems to be here to fill up screentime, since she’s so lulzy. Sigh, I still wish they’d rely on her less.

  9. Fidelis says:

    Carillus: True, she’s not the only character to waste time. But given her turn is over and she has little reason, in-universe, to keep taking up as much time as she has, she’s the biggest offender. I’d say it’s a design flaw. Though I wonder if the game itself also has irrelevant scenes to the extent the show has.

    But (getting all “serious business” here) my negative feelings are directed as much at the nature of her story as with her character. I’m just distressed about how people could like that sort better than others. For me, it’s a matter of light against darkness – or rather, as I wrote above, glitter. To paraphrase my local idol (heh) again: “Because people tend to exalt glitter over light, there is suffering in the world.”

  10. Pingback: Amagami SS – Ai Arc End : Lessons learnt from General Burnside’s crater | Ambivalence , or is it ambiguity?

  11. arianna says:

    I saw this, and sadly even though I absolutley adore Haruka, she does consume most of the airtime.

    But I think Tsukasa is the main herorine, and apparently she’s a total bitch under it. Since she’s all perfect.

    But Haruka’s just snobby because she has good money and she’s pretty cute. I mean, what rich girl isnt snobby? Right? None.

    • Valence says:

      I know people who are humble and pleasant to work with despite how rich they may be, or how popular they are etc.

      …..but it’s time for the boss. Tsukasa will test everything I thought about this show, and I hope she doesn’t disappoint.

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