Caught you, snoopers!
Through the first two episodes, White Album 2 was my favorite show of the season so far. I’ve been enjoying the unusual characters in Setsuna and Haruki, but will the introduction of the third main character change the show too much?
I find it hard to play guitar on my lap, and this is why
Yes, the piano player is Haruki’s desk neighbor in Class E, Kazusa Touma. A prodigy piano player, kinda secret daughter of world-famous pianist Youko Touma, she was in Class H (for Music curriculum students) until last year, when they made a deal for her to move to Class E in order to stop disrupting Class H. Haruki can’t believe she was that disruptive, because she’s been coming to school a lot lately, and being quiet (sleeping at her desk, tho). He’s even got some history with her, as she’s the one who taught him how to play guitar, and he thinks she’s an amazing, caring person. So he thinks she’ll definitely join the band.
Kazusa and Setsuna strike a deal
But it doesn’t really go to plan, mostly because Haruki can’t control his impulse to lecture her even if he says he’s not going to. He’s not going to give up, and neither is Setsuna, because she really wants to have this opportunity to sing. So Setsuna is going to put the full-court press on Kazusa, who at the same time seems to realize that the main reason Haruki wants to be in the school fair performance is for Setsuna.
Setsuna really does like Haruki
Setting Up the Triangle
Setsuna even makes dinner
It’s interesting the lengths that Setsuna will go to to try to get this group together, even inviting Kazusa and Haruki over to her house for food and talking. And both Haruki and Kazusa are wondering if she’s really the school’s idol, since she’s just kind of a normal girl when you get to know her. And she’s actually been kind of lonely, not having any friends come over for over 3 years. But she really wants this band to work. And what comes out most during their dinner is Setsuna’s realization that Kazusa actually likes Haruki, since she knows much more about him than you’d expect.
Interesting that the takeaway that Kazusa has from this is “She has a family that cares for her”
For all Setsuna’s work, tho, her father gives her a hard time because of some ‘promise’ she made to her parents. It’s got to be something about commitments to school or something, because she has to send everyone home while her family discusses it. Its something that Kazusa can’t really understand, but for some reason she’s going to give her a chance. “I can’t be friends with her. She’ll either end up being my mortal enemy, or the best friend I ever have.” Maybe she is hoping for some kind of connection with people, as someone who seemingly never has had one with anyone. Or maybe it’s because she thinks it’ll get her closer to Haruki.
Comparing herself to Kazusa is a losing proposition
This episode was completely engrossing to me. It’s a cliché, but when the credits rolled at the end, I realized I was sitting forward in my chair, watching what was happening intently. It’s not that it’s amazing action, it’s not that these characters are ‘special’ in the show. The thing this show has going for it is authenticity. Setsuna’s family was perfect played, from her mother giving her a hard time about not cooking, to listening at the door, to the family meeting. And for her part, Setsuna herself is still showing as a great character, not overplaying her hand, focusing on singing along with Haruki and Kazusa again. She’s definitely got a bit of a thing for Haruki, but she also realizes that Kazusa does, and is more interested in singing than in winning Haruki at the moment.
For her part, Kazusa has a good blend of self-assured genius and ‘normal person’. Her personality isn’t overplayed, like some trope-laden ojou-sama, or tsundere. She’s a loner by temperament, but she finds Setsuna to be extremely genuine, completely unlike that ‘idol of the whole school’ reputation. Is this a situation where two girls realize that they can help each other deal with the bothersome aspects of a reputation that has been foisted on them by people who don’t really know them? Or is it just that there’s something about the other, and something about Haruki, that makes both of them more agreeable?