White Album – 26 (The Soap Opera is at an End)

ホワイトアルバム Episode 26 (final episode)
White Album Ep. 26 review

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

White Album - 26Rina finds her voice after hearing Touya chastise himself by telling him both she and Yuki love him. At the Venus festival, Yuki hesitates on stage before playing Rina’s song and is joined by Rina to make it a duet. They sing another duet together but are disqualified from the event. Touya has a long talk with Akira at Echos where he recounts how he played with Yuki and Haruka as a kid when one day, some older kids bullied Haruka and then Yuki when she went to help but all Touya could do was piss in his pants. Yuki gave him a medal which he threw away in the woods and for which his father made him search for it for days.

White Album - 26Mana is also at Echos and hears the story, offering her own comments when Menou comes in, having kept an eye on Mana all these years. Touya pays Haruka a visit, figuring Haruka had the medal, which she did. After they have a talk, Touya goes to see Rina (I think) and finds “goodbye” written in lipstick on the mirror as well as the repaired letter and concert ticket from Yuki that Yayoi had destroyed. Also, a box (of chocolates?) is sitting there for him.

White Album - 26A month later, Touya helps Mana and Kanzaki pack as they along with Menou move away. Touya finds out which university Mana was accepted to and he and Mana have one more talk before they leave. As we see that Master’s production company is producing the album Yuki and Rina are a duo on, Touya goes to meet someone.

Thoughts/Review:

So, it is over. I’ll write a final review later and try to keep things focused on this episode.

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The time-shifting story presentation of the series really becomes frustrating at times and this episode is no exception. It is difficult to follow exactly what all happened and when because of a lack of linear story progression and I hate that. For example, I notice among many fans that there is confusion over whether the goodbye note was from Rina or Yuki and there’s uncertainty as to whether Touya actually paid Yuki a visit after the Venus Festival or not. More there later.

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Rina’s confession to Touya was not unexpected nor was this voice recovery and subsequent immediate release from the hospital to get to the Venus Festival in time to duet with Yuki. I liked that they were disqualified from the event despite being very popular, but that’s what got them their album as a duet and resolves any conflicts they had on a professional level as they are no longer rivals. Yay for Yuki and Rina on that front.

White Album - 26

While the unsealing of Touya’s childhood memories explains a lot of things, I still don’t like this whole, “I’ve forgotten everything but now I remember” type of storytelling. I know it was a plot device in Kanon and I didn’t mind it so much there, but in White Album, it just made me cringe for some reason.

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So, if I’ve understood everything, Touya, Haruka (whom he didn’t forget), and Yuki where childhood friends. Touya pissed himself. Touya’s father asked Yuki to praise Touya and she did by making him a medal, which he threw away. His father was pissed and made Touya look for it for days without success because Haruka had witnessed the event and retrieved it. One day, Menou finds Touya crying and searching and “saves” him from his torment by treating him to shaved ice. After that, Yuki left and Touya began looking for a goddess to replace Yuki. Even when Touya met Yuki again in high school, he didn’t remember her but dated her, continued a string of “goddess” love affairs, and hurt Yuki in the process (as well as the “goddesses”).

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Now, as the story is presented, it seems that both Haruka and Yuki remember the childhood event with Touya peeing in his pants. Obviously Haruka does because she has the medal Yuki made but Haruka implies that Yuki remembers as well and Hana’s words at Echos implied that had Touya remembered and apologized from the start, he wouldn’t be in this position. Yet neither say anything to Touya about this, choosing to keep silent. None of this explains why both Haruka and Yuki fell for Touya, though I do understand a bit why Haruka always seemed a bit depressed about Touya’s relationship with Yuki.

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I did like how the ending showed Kanzaki has apparently given up the long hours of being in charge of a record label and instead became a mother to both of her daughters. While not stated in the anime (as Seven Arcs is either letting the audience decide for themselves what happens or because they figure most of the audience will already know from the visual novel), I figure that the reason for the move is to go to a bigger place close to where Mana is going to university so that all three can live together. That’s what I like to think, at least. Plus, I like that Menou got to be with her little sister again.

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Also, I liked that Natsuko, who’d been the real talent behind Menou, drew an audience of her own on the street. I like to think that she would get back into the music business somehow, someway.

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As for Touya, Seven Arcs also leaves open whom Touya ends up with. In a visual novel, the lead male can end up with any of the girls. In an anime adaptation of a visual novel, the main visual novel story arc is followed with the side stories worked in as best as possible. So one would assume Touya reunited with Yuki but after the Venus Festival, we don’t know. Seven Arcs shows us the window to Yuki’s apartment in a few flashes but that’s it. So who does Touya end up with?

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Well, we know Menou and Mana are out as they are apparently living with their mother. Misaki would seem to be out as well since her giving it up for Touya came with the condition that this be the last time. Haruka would also seem to be out since she “gave” Touya back to Yuki. Yayoi is out, having broken up with Touya last episode.

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That leaves Yuki and Rina, but with Rina apparently saying goodbye to Touya and now a duo with Yuki, she’d be forced to see Touya if Touya were dating Yuki. I’m sure Rina is a big girl and could handle it, but there’s no guarantee that Yuki took Touya (though I’m guessing she would). I did read somewhere (and I’ve wasted two hours trying to find it without success) that someone figured Touya ends up with Akira. *lol*

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So, since Seven Arcs leaves the end to me, I’m going to say that Touya ends up with BOTH Yuki and Rina. *nods* After all, once Rina and Yuki become a duo singing team and share the limelight, what’s sharing a man after that whom they both love? Besides, the anime didn’t show him having sex with either girl so it all fits. ^_^;;;;

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One sidebar item — I guess someone on the Seven Arcs staff is a fan of the manga magazine Hana to Yume (which published Fruits Basket) since the manga magazine Mana was reading is a parody (Hana to Yome). Heh!heh! I wouldn’t have caught that a couple of years ago. ^_^

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I’ll write a final review later but for now, the episode’s jumbled presentation annoyed me and I prefer an actual end instead of a “make it up yourself” end. Still, I will say that this soap opera wasn’t bad on the whole.

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White Album - 26

White Album - 26

White Album - 26

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6 Responses to “White Album – 26 (The Soap Opera is at an End)”

  1. Anonymous says:

    “After all, once Rina and Yuki become a duo singing team and share the limelight, what’s sharing a man after that whom they both love? “

    Ha!ha! That cracked me up.

  2. evgenidb says:

    Offtopic: Guys, look what I have found: http://anidb.net/perl-bin/animedb.pl?show=anime&aid=6473
    It looks nice. You can download the 3 minute preview from DATS’s website: http://forums.dats.us/showthread.php?t=12046

  3. arimareiji says:

    Or maybe you’ve been influenced by the increasingly-likely Negi/Nodoka/Yue threesome? (^_~)

    About the “Now I remember” plot device: Yeah, in Kanon, they effectively use it to subtly keep reminding the viewer that something’s really wrong under the surface – and they hit you with it full-force at a dramatic apex. That’s far different from the feeling I get from your review, i.e. “Oh by the way this supposedly explains everything only it really doesn’t.” Blocking out memories of a horribly-tragic loss is one thing; blocking out memories of peeing yourself is another… there’s an important difference between “sad” and “pathetic”.

    I guess it’s an inversion of what Conan O’Brien (I think) said: “The first guy to tell a joke is funny, the fourth is just a jack—.” (It surprised me, but apparently the White Album VN was released before Kanon.)

  4. AstroNerdBoy says:

    @Anon — ^_^

    @Evgenidb — What the…? *lol*

    @Arimareiji — My influences started with Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki. Akamatsu-sensei continued that process. ^_~

    The VN is an older one (and I think they are doing a sequel/prequel one as well right now) and I’m not sure what prompted the desire to make this an anime last year. Well as they say, what’s old is new again. ^_^;

  5. evgenidb says:

    @Astro, if you want to read the manga, here it is: http://www.mangafox.com/manga/apocalypse_meow/

  6. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Thanks for the link. ^_^

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