New stuff, and maybe it’s time for some heartache! I rarely know much about what a show is about before it starts, so a lot of the time I get a good surprise, and sometimes I get a bad surprise. So what was the verdict for the first outing of White Album 2?
Let’s Start Drawing the Love Triangle
Mysterious Sleeping Girl Who We All Know Is Important.jpeg
White Album 2 is a show that follows White Album (which had two seasons, but I admittedly didn’t see either of them), but has very little in common with the previous series. Despite the naming convention, there’s no barrier to entry into this series from the other show. This one has different characters, 10 years later (and itself anchored in time by shots of a partially completed Tokyo Skytree), but supposedly at the same school, and it uses a song (named “White Album”) from that first series. That song is actually the impetus that brings together the three main characters of the show: Kitahara Haruki (Mizushima Takahiro, Taichi in Kokoro Connect), Ogiso Setsuna (Yonezawa Madoka, Mayura from Red Data Girl), and Touma Kazusa (Nabatame Hitomi, Saori from OreImo) as they share the experience of playing it together from different rooms – Haruki on guitar, Kazusa on piano (this hasn’t been revealed yet, but who are we kidding?), and Setsuna singing.
Haruki is good at conscripting people
Of these three main characters, we really only learn about two of them in this first episode. Haruki seems like the classic “great guy”, top student, always helping his friends, always knowing what to say, always genuine, while Setsuna is the school’s idol, twice-defending champion of the Miss Houjou competition, popular yet reserved. And despite being two fairly noteworthy students in this school, they’ve apparently never met until the fall of third year, when the School Festival committee asks Haruki to help talk to Setsuna about wanting to back out of the Miss Houjou contest, even though he’s not even on the committee (which just confuses Setsuna).
The Big Reluctant Winner
With all this, Haruki has been sustained by the chances he gets to play along with an unknown pianist in the next room as he stays after club to practice guitar, since he’s the backup guitarist in the hastily thrown together Light Music Club, whose whole purpose was apparently to deny Setsuna a third win in the Miss Houjou contest. But that falls apart when their diva singer drives everyone away from the band and then quits herself. So as he’s just practicing by himself, joined by the mystery piano player, he hears singing from the roof of the school, and goes to find out who it is, it of course being Setsuna. And we’re off on a big 12-episode ride of love triangle, which perhaps unfortunately was spoiled by the prologue flash forward.
So, Was It As Bad As You Feared?
Some of the guys have some suspect hair, tho, including Mr. Spock back there
Definitely not. I actually really enjoyed the first episode here, even if it’s nothing revolutionary. The characters are appealing, with fairly standard designs (how do girls with twin-tails get their hair to be pointy corners like that?) and nice contrast, The cast is not overly large, so the four girls we saw are all different, and while the guys might have a little sameness, it’s not too bad.
Nice hand positioning and believable notes with the playing
But given that this is an anime about a band, the more important thing might be the music and the animation of that. And what they showed was pretty believable. Haruki’s constantly reminding us that he’s not that good at guitar might have gotten a little old (especially after the nice solo he plays in the prologue), but it fits with his character, not really a bragging guy. And I can go along with his thinking: no matter how good you are, there are better guitar players. A lot of better guitar players. So it’s almost a rule that you have to say you’re not that good (for comparison, each of the three guitarists in my band thinks the other two are better. But I’m the best bass player ). The music they play to was nice, if inoffensive, and the detail on the instruments was very good, to the point that I think that Haruki is playing a Japanese-made Stratocaster with a Schaller Floyd Rose bridge and neck and bridge humbuckers (an odd configuration for a Strat, so it might be a different brand). Only mistake was that he tuned the guitar with the tuning pegs, behind the locking nut. That’s not how it works! (more bonus information: my guitar with a Schaller Floyd Rose system never goes out of tune, so he probably wouldn’t even have needed to tune it). They did show a little piano playing, but I’d guess that they’re usually going to use the standard dodges for that (who wants to look at a pianist’s hands besides other pianists, anyway?).
Practicing in the sunset
The show really does have a nice visual look, and benefitted from so much of the time period of the show being after club time, in the “Golden Hour”, giving it very warm hues. Overall, it’s usual quality by Satelight, not amazing, but not a letdown.
No, don’t jump Haruki!
I was pretty pleased with the first episode of White Album 2. Adaptations from eroge can always be hit or miss, but this one seems to focus well on the characters it has, and seemed to take the pacing pretty slowly and deliberately, not rush. I think they could probably have skipped the end of the prologue bit, but that would be the only real complaint I had about the show. It does seem that it might get pretty drama-filled, but that might be fun to blog, too.