White Album 2 – 06

Haruki apologizes

Haruki’s getting rough with Setsuna

spring13-highwApparently, the classroom part at the end of the last episode, “This is that woman’s house,” was a callback to the first White Album VN (don’t know if it was in the anime, tho). So in addition to using the music from the previous series, they’re adding in references. Pretty neat.

Can This Come Together?

Kazusa thinks it's nice

She’s happy to have Haruki looking after her, tho

After Kazusa’s collapse, she’s got more of a sickness than we thought. So really, she’s caught a cold, and it actually lasts more than just a day. Slightly more realistic than your normal anime collapse. And of course, Haruki’s going to take care of her. But we learn from a flashback, and even from Kazusa herself, that there was someone who was supposed to cook her food, as well as a private piano teacher and private doctor. But she’s sent them all away, as part of her process of giving up playing piano. And the reason she’s giving up the piano is because her mother said “There’s no point in you going to France with me.” Thus stripped of the only rival and goal she’d ever had, all Kazusa could feel was emptiness.

Setsuna breakdown

Setsuna realizes she needs the others

But with Haruki’s attention on Kazusa, and her attention on him to the point that she stays in the same room as him as he’s practicing guitar, Setsuna’s having problems of her own. Realizing that her courage to be outgoing comes from Haruki, when he’s not there, she’s not able to sing. But she’s also worried about Kazusa as well, and even though they’re rivals, there’s noone else she wants to be with on stage. So even if Haruki embarrasses the hell out of her, dragging her to Kazusa’s house in historical costume, she takes the opportunity to cling to Haruki. Does she consider that a net win? Maybe it’s the first time that Haruki really realizes Setsuna is a girl, too. Will it make a difference for Setsuna?

so broad

Noticing his back is very broad

Songs Can Mean So Much

Awfully cute

Kazusa is cute when she’s sick

One of the magical things about songs, and song lyrics, is that they can be so evocative for different people. And the way that the show sets up at the end of this episode really shows this for me. The song that Haruki wrote the lyrics to, that Kazusa wrote the music to, and they want Setsuna to sing, is the OP song for the series: Todokanai Koi (and I really love this song). And while she’s reading through it, she realizes what it means, especially when Kazusa says she didn’t change any of the words. “Unreachable love”, “Are you pretending to be alone?” “Drawn in more than anyone” “The hazy answer becoming clearer for the first time” (that last one is my translation of part of the chorus). Does Kazusa know what these feelings mean? Is that smile she gives Setsuna one of victory? It doesn’t feel like it to me, but perhaps she does.

Setsuna's realization

mfw I realize that the guy I love wrote a song about his unrequited love for the girl in front of me

And what meaning is that? Haruki’s written a song about love, a love that doesn’t get through. And the only person that Setsuna can imagine that it’s about (indeed, the only person it could be about) is Kazusa. And now, in a seemingly cruel twist of fate, Setsuna has to sing Haruki’s feelings to Kazusa out loud. But the meaning deepens even more: the words she has to sing are an exact mirror of her own feelings for Haruki. (My translations again)“What if this heart is reflected?” “What if my heart feels the same?” Can Setsuna sing this song? After just a brief moment of heartbreak, she puts on a smile and decides to try.

Moment of fear

Just a brief moment of indecision

header-spr13-highway

This really is a trial for Setsuna, and I am surprised at how well White Album 2 has portrayed a girl who feels tossed back and forth between hope and having that hope dashed. I’ve said it elsewhere, but maybe not here, that this show really makes all the characters feel like ones you want to win. And even though Kazusa is the girl would be be my ‘type’ (there’s no way you guys didn’t notice that, is there?) I really feel for Setsuna in this show, because she’s so sincere, so authentic, and so honest with her feelings. And while the show right now looks like it’s got Kazusa and Haruki on a collision course, there’s still that part at the cold open of the first episode. Can Setsuna have a chance with him? Does he actually have any feelings for her?

About

Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
Blinklist BlogMarks Delicious Digg Diigo FaceBook Google MySpace Netvibes Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter

16 Responses to “White Album 2 – 06”

  1. sonicsenryaku says:

    Ive said since the beginning that Kasuza was my type of chick. Not to mention its good to see a tsundere done right; The only other one that comes to mind at the moment is Makise Kurisu from steins;gate. Other shows can learn from this.

  2. Mentar says:

    This is a great summary, and I agree with you 95%, but I think you are slightly off on one count: Setsuna is neither sincere, authentic or honest. That’s actually the point of her character. She is perceptive and insightful, but she is maintaining her facade. She’s been able to decipher who the song is for (unlike Kazusa, for example), and the pain of the revelation makes her bite her lips, but then she puts on a fake smile and proceeds. To grant Haruki’s desire? Or to hide that she knows and to act first? Time will tell. Honesty is something else.

    This doesn’t change the fact that I strongly sympathize with her (even though I’m a Kazusa shipper). But what’s authentic isn’t her, but her pain – her disappointment/hope cycles. And it’s just like you said: The song works from her to Haruki just as well as from Haruki to Kazusa.

    Now all we’d need was some romantic interest from Kazusa to Setsuna 😉 j/k

    • Highway says:

      Well, by authentic, I mean that characterization rings true as a teenaged girl. Her hopes, her pain, her thinking.

      And holding things within herself doesn’t make her insincere or dishonest. The sincerity that I perceive is that despite knowing that Haruki’s song is a confession to Kazusa, she wants to do her best for the two people that she considers friends. That’s why I think that she sincerely wants to be friends with them. Yes, she’d like to be Haruki’s loved one, but I also think she’d rather be friends with Haruki and Kazusa if they are a couple than lose more friends.

    • Highway says:

      Talking with Sumairii and Yogicat on irc, I came to a realization: I think Kazusa thinks that Haruki wrote that song about Setsuna. And that Takeya’s request for Kazusa to ‘make his dream come true’ refers to conveying that message from Haruki to Setsuna. Kazusa doesn’t realize that the song was written about her.

      Oh My!

      • Mentar says:

        Well, Kazusa DOES think that Haruki will date Setsuna afterwards, and she is also convinced that it was Setsuna’s involvement which caused him to get serious with the LMA. It would also be fitting for her to make the prickly tongue-in-cheek “The lyrics were beyond redemption” comment and shrug apologetically at Setsuna.

        So yes, this is making for some great irony. The lyrics are actually for Kazusa, and it stings Setsuna bigtime to realize this. At the same time, the lyrics describe perfectly Setsuna’s position towards Haruki. She needs to sing the song her love wrote for someone else. And to top it all of, the true target of the lyrics thinks it’s actually been written for her intruding rival.

        How much messed up can this get? :)

        • Highway says:

          I also wonder who Takeya thought the song was about. Did he know it was about Kazusa, or does he think it’s about Setsuna? He’s a perceptive guy, if anyone should have figured out who Haruki had a crush on, it should have been Takeya. Maybe he was trying to get Kazusa together with Haruki, and it’s just been all misinterpreted. But it does seem weird that he’d have involved Kazusa in that if that was his intention.

          And it’s also kind of weird that Haruki had no reaction when he found out about Kazusa writing his song. Maybe he’s not very self-conscious about it?

  3. skylion says:

    Looks like it’s time for Setsuna to go all, “I’m gonna be selfish.”

    • Highway says:

      I’ve wondered about that approach from the beginning. Would it have been better for Setsuna, as soon as she made any sort of connection with Haruki, to just confess right then and there, and hope that his feelings for her would be enough to accept, before he had any hope of getting with Kazusa. But that window closed pretty quickly (ha), when Kazusa was discovered as the piano player they were seeking.

      Ultimately, I’ve come to the conclusion that Setsuna would have gotten rejected had she tried that, so she really had no choice at the time but to try to build feelings in Haruki.

      • skylion says:

        If you serve two purposes, you will get mixed results from both. Serve one purpose..you might get better results. She can’t keep everyone as friends if either her or her rival win out. She can only keep it going long enough for the show to go on.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    Some of Kasuza’s actions are hard to defend. I can understand feeling a rivalry with someone but cutting off virtually every available kind of help to sever her connection with her mother is irresponsible to say the least. It would have been bad for her if Haruki didn’t have the decency to care and look after her. If you’ve lost one goal, the best thing to do is find another no matter how long it takes but it would need someone like Haruki to tell her that up front.

    Setsuna is continually showing another side to herself, a dishonest one. From here on out she’s basically acknowledged Kasuza as a rival since she needs Haruki to feel comfortable. It was a surprise hearing someone who has won a contest two times in a row was frozen on stage. She agrees to the song but that long pause and biting her lips show there are some complaints.

    • Highway says:

      Maybe it’s just my definition, but (as I said above) I don’t feel that Setsuna holding her feelings inside herself is dishonest. To me, dishonest would be if she actually said something that she didn’t feel, such as saying she wasn’t interested in Haruki, or even saying the same to herself. She’s definitely conflicted, and she’s putting on a brave face, because she wants to not disappoint either of them, but I don’t think that’s actually dishonest. She acknowledges that she has this conflict.

      It can be very difficult to find another goal, especially for a 15 year old girl. Also, Kazusa would probably have been fine without Haruki. Most people can take care of themselves with a cold, and plenty of people live alone. And it’s not like Kazusa burned bridges with those people. She just said “The work you were supposed to do, I don’t need you to do it.”

  5. MgMaster says:

    Right,looks like episode 7 it is for the festival.I believe I mentioned this before but I am very pleased with them doing the festival mid-way through the show as opposed to leaving it for the last two or three episodes.Among many other things WA2 deserves credit for,the pacing is also one of them.It doesn’t drag and moves on when it feels it’s done what it was supposed to.In this case,introducing the characters,getting to know their goals & generally making us care about them and all this applies not just to us viewers,but also to the characters themselves.A great way to do a prologue,if I may call it that.

    Characters I like right now(which is all of them),I might end up hating,then come to like them again and so on.But no matter how I’ll feel about them in the coming episodes,what’s certain is that I will continue to be interested in them and even in their worst moments,I’ll be cheering on them & hope that everything will go well for them in the end.Gotta love well done character-driven shows.I can’t get this much invested in a plot-driven one that has a lackluster cast.

    At any rate,after next week I’ll probably have to emotionally prepare my mind for that speeding train that’s about to have one hell of a crash.

    • Highway says:

      Yes, it seems to be leaving us a lot of time for the aftermath of the festival, and also for stuff after the flashes we got at the beginning of the series. And of course, if it has to set up a second season (I certainly hope so) of this series, then it’ll need time after that. I certainly expect to see some people have hurt feelings, but I don’t think I would start hating any of these characters. They would need to have a severe change of personality for that.

      • MgMaster says:

        Sorry,it was a poor choice of words on my part.It’s more like I’m thinking that some of their actions in the future might be questionable,yet understandable.In no shape or form would I hate a character for behaving in a realistic manner,such as being selfish when it comes to love.

        Only bad writing could do that,or as you said,a severe change of personality.But that’s getting more & more unlikely with each passing episode so it’s probably not something to worry about.

        • Highway says:

          Gotcha. There are (unfortunately) quite a few people, though, who would end up hating a character because they beat their preferred ship. But I think this show is hopefully going to get around that by 1) only having the two girls, and 2) keeping them authentic. I doubt this VN would be so popular if there were severe personality shifts in it.

  6. Fernando says:

    I came here expecting the Beatles. That didn’t happen.

    *leaves*

Leave a Reply