White Album 02 (A Serious Harem Drama, Stylistic Soap Opera, or Both?)

White Album 02
ホワイトアルバム Episode 02

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

White Album 02Haruka pays Touya a night-time visit for a walk, which is actually her on her bicycle and him running. Yuki is summoned to the house of her agency’s president (Rina-chan’s older brother), after which Rina stops by, having foolishly taken a taxi ride and having been recognized. Rina finds Yuki crying for some odd reason, Yuki saying she’s happy. Touya is on the job at the bar and is visited by Akira, who has the night off. He White Album 02brought cheesecake he made for Misaki, who skipped college that day due to illness. Yuki and Rina stop by in disguise and so the cheesecake goes to them. Yuki takes off for a recording session, leaving Rina to notice Touya has the Browning book, whereby she leaves him a note asking for his phone number. Later, Touya gives Misaki a call to make sure she’s OK. He comes home to receive a call from Rina as Haruka pulls up on her bicycle.

Thoughts/Review:  

White Album 02White Album appears to be like some strange anime soap opera where all the girls seem to like Touya. Normally, a harem anime title would be a romantic comedy. This isn’t a comedy, but rather attempts to be a very serious anime, as seen not only in its stylized direction, but the dialog, careful art, and careful animation. I’m trying to think of any anime title I’ve seen where multiple girls like the main hero and it was completely serious. The closest aspect would be other visual novel adaptations like Kanon, Air, or Clannad. However, those had their humor aspects as well, but also the hero had to solve a problem with each girl. Here, that’s not the case, at least so far.

White Album 02The weird thing is that it is clear that Touya really likes Yuki. Despite Yuki calling and being close to Touya, I felt last episode that this could be her just being friendly. Yet right off the bat in this episode at the conclusion of her lengthy phone call with Touya, she tells Rina that she’d just gotten off the phone with her boyfriend. Well, I’m sure Touya would be glad to hear that, yet I get the feeling that in the bar, Yuki wanted Rina to get Touya’s phone number. That’s just a feeling though. So I really don’t know how deep Yuki’s feelings for Touya are.

White Album 02Haruka is a strange character. Again, there’s no character development, just her there and wanting to go for a walk with Touya. I figure she must have some sort of feelings for Touya based on how she acted, starting with asking Touya for the walk, then wanting to sit back-to-back with him when they took a rest in the part (since she actually rode a bike and he ran). Despite this, she knows Touya likes Yuki. And then she shows up at the end too, just when Touya is getting his call. Weird.

White Album 02Rina. Hmmm, well she’s the vet and now I understand why she’s so flippant with the president of the record company since that’s her brother. So why would she be interested in Touya and why would Yuki encourage this (assuming that’s what she did, but its hard to say for sure since this anime is produced differently)? She sees almost like the stereotypical “ojousama” type that one sees in anime and manga — rich and used to getting her own way. Her friendship with Yuki is almost hard to believe as well.

White Album 02Misaki is clearly happy that Touya called her. I get the strong feeling she also likes Touya based on the things she said. I understand Touya calling her to make sure she is OK and to thank her for the book (by which he gave the idol Rina-chan his phone number), but somehow the call seemed odd to me. Maybe it was because of the way this anime is produced. However, it sucks to be Akira, who clearly likes Misaki.

White Album 02Touya. Hmmmm, I guess he doesn’t recognize that Haruka and Misaki are interested in him as a potential boyfriend. Having his mind on Yuki, one could understand being blind to the obvious like that. However, how much does he really like Yuki though? I can understand him not really seeing Yuki as an idol because he’s known her so long. I can understand him getting flustered when Rina-chan speaks with him because he doesn’t know her, only her public idol persona. However, if he really were in love with Yuki, would he give Rina his phone number? After all, he knows Rina and Yuki work together. Makes no sense to me especially since Touya doesn’t come off as a player.

This is one odd anime, and yet look how much it has provoked me to write. I’m guessing I’ll keep blogging this though.

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