White Album 2 – 09

baka

Haruki needs to get it together

spring13-highwSetsuna’s been trying to keep everyone together, but we’ve already seen plenty of tension due to that effort. So what will happen this week?

Someone Has to Be a Grown Up

doesn't give up

Just accept that she’s not coming to the door, Haruki

I hoped it wouldn’t come to this, but it’s pretty obvious that Haruki is a little too hung up on Kazusa. Despite being pretty lovey-dovey with Setsuna, he still looks a bit too much at Kazusa. And Kazusa keeps telling him to cut it out, with the final straw being that she ignores his calls and texts (even though she answers Setsuna’s).

kissykissy

Haruki needs to be a little more conscientious with his kisses. Lean down more, son!

And even Haruki realizes that he’s hung up on her, even in the middle of her recital. My problem is that he wants to test it. I think everyone’s had that tug on their hearts when they were with someone else. And maybe being only a couple months into a high school relationship is a good time to figure it out, but it’s also not really a sign of being able to commit to someone. Because what happens when that next one happens? Does he just move from one person to the next? And what will that girl think? I mean, being ready to dump Setsuna for Kazusa is not exactly going to inspire Kazusa with confidence that he wouldn’t leave her as well.

Touma brushes him off

Kazusa tells him to bug off

Plans Within Plans

Haruki goofs up

Haruki has a stupid plan

Everyone’s got their own agenda for figuring things out, however. And it all centers around Setsuna’s birthday (Happy Valentine’s Day!). Setsuna wants all three of them to be together, even lying about having her family there to try to put Kazusa and Haruki either at ease or at least less worried. Haruki wants to have a dinner with just him and Setsuna, but not because he wants her to himself, but to test himself – a test which would be doomed to fail due to awareness of it.

Coming or Going

Time for a trip?

But the one whose plan trumps all the others is Kazusa, because she’s not even gonna be in the same town (or is she on her way back? Looking again, she’s arriving at Narita, but I don’t know where the show is set). I don’t think that Youko being around means much, except to tell Haruki where Kazusa has gone, and maybe to warn him off of her, since he’s just a distraction to her goal of becoming a professional pianist. But one other consequence of Setsuna’s deception is that without Kazusa there to chaperon, and her parents and brother gone on their family trip, Setsuna and Haruki will be alone at her house. And with the way that Setsuna reacted to kissing Haruki, will anything more happen between the two?

holding hands

It was nice to see some time with just these two

header-spr13-highway

Going by what we see here, Haruki’s just not content to be dating a cute and lovely girl who’s very popular in school. But will the object of his fascination even let him have the barest glimmer of hope with her? Kazusa seems determined to hold Haruki off, lest he hurt her best (and perhaps only) friend. But knowing stubborn Haruki, he’s going to push it until something breaks. And can Kazusa keep her feelings for him out of the picture? It’s obvious she does care for him, but he just doesn’t fit her plans, both for her livelihood or her friendships.

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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!
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18 Responses to “White Album 2 – 09”

  1. skylion says:

    Ah, I remember when I was young and foolish. I hated being 38.

    Being alone in that house is just gonna be a big wow for both of them. I predict cold feet.

    • Highway says:

      Heh, since I’ve been in the same relationship for 25 years, I’ve gotten to skip a lot of this, or more like I get to look back on it favorably. :)

      Even being alone doesn’t mean that they’ll go too far, it just means that they’ll do what they’re comfortable with… or maybe a little more. I certainly don’t think 1.5 or 2 months into a relationship is moving too quickly, but I did enjoy their kissy scenes this episode. The question is will Haruki get over his crush on Kazusa quickly enough to see the girl in front of him?

      (I’m definitely turning into a Setsuna shipper in this show)

    • MgMaster says:

      Hmmm,I don’t think so to be honest.I think they might just go all the way.

      Setsuna’s reaction’s to Haruki would indicate that she’s not gonna shy away and his since he’s the one that suggested them being alone in the first place,I certainly don’t think he will either.

      Of course,that’s all assuming he doesn’t go to the airport to pick up Kazusa(I hear the story takes place in Tokyo so she’s coming back).

      • Highway says:

        They could go all the way, for sure. Anime’s not too subtle about the differences between ‘heavy petting’ and ‘all the way’.

        There’s a big difference between ‘alone’ at a restaurant and ‘alone’ at home. Maybe they could have gone to a hotel afterwards, but that would have been another step.

        And if he goes to the airport to pick up Kazusa… man, that’s just… I’d go beat him up myself (and that seems like something plausible).

        • BlackBriar says:

          Anime’s not too subtle about the differences between ‘heavy petting’ and ‘all the way’.

          That’s for sure. In The Future Diary (Mirai Nikki), both the lead guy and girl Yukiteru and Yuno had intercourse before their personal world started falling apart toward the end of the series.

          • Highway says:

            One show that seemed to hint at levels of intimacy was Amagami SS and SS+. Junichi and Ai definitely went all the way in both series (of course, Ai confessed to him when they were both naked). But with Haruka, he couldn’t even get the courage to peek. And with Kaoru it seemed like they were going to get to 2nd base or so but then she fell asleep. I don’t think he and Sae did more than kissing during the time of the show, and Tsukasa was first base on the way to second.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    I wonder how things would have gone if Haruki picked Kazusa over Setsuna. Kazusa is so reserved that it surely would cause waves in the relationship.

    • Highway says:

      That’s a fair question as well. Even if Haruki and Kazusa get together, could they have a lasting relationship? Especially with their severely different goals in life. But I don’t think you could say that Haruki ‘chose’ yet. He just hasn’t turned down Setsuna. Now maybe he should have, but he also does care for Setsuna.

  3. MgMaster says:

    Well,looks like we got those Haruki & Setsuna moments we wanted last week.Haruki is really trying to push the relationship forward but I’m not sure if that’s actually a bad thing,seeing that he’s well aware of his feelings for Kazusa but also likes Setsuna.

    On Kazusa’s part,I think she’s trying too much not to hurt Setsuna at all by still keeping slight contact with her while ignoring Haruki.In doing so,she only makes him more anxious and she should be well-aware how persistent he is.Her way of separating herself from the two will backfire on her.

    Truth be told,they’ve all dug themselves in a really deep hole here to the point that no way out would is gonna be pretty.For instance,Kazusa could have a talk to Setsuna and tell her that’s it’s hard for her to see the two of them together because of her feelings for Haruki but since Setsuna values Kazusa’s friendship just as much as her relationship with Haruki,it might not go that well.And yet,since Setsuna took the risk of confessing to Haruki at a time when there was little change he’d reject her,more risks will have to be taken to solve all this.

    To quote user Key Board from animesuki:

    “Setsuna already knows, or guessed correctly that Haruki and Kazusa like each other.
    So then, is it her fault for making a risky bet and taking the initiative?
    Is it Haruki’s fault for accepting the confession despite having unresolved feeling Kazusa?
    Is it Kazusa’s fault for not raising any objections to this despite being given the chance to?”

    We could generally blame them all equally(with some more than others at times) but given the circumstances & their lack of experience in having a relationship,can we really?

    Truly a beautiful soon-to-come trainwreck!

    • Highway says:

      From what I see going on, I have to lay ‘blame’ for getting them into this kind of situation at Haruki’s feet. Basically, he’s the only one who is not setting appropriate boundaries. Setsuna can’t be blamed for wanting to stay friends with Kazusa, nor can Kazusa be blamed for wanting to stay friends with Setsuna.

      On top of that, as I said last week, Kazusa *has* been trying to set boundaries up in front of Haruki. “Only have eyes for your girlfriend.” “Your girlfriend is the only one you should give a blanket to.” When that doesn’t work, she tries to stop talking to him when he comes over or calls. Finally, she tells him to leave her alone. It’s to the point of “what else is she supposed to do?” I mean, maybe, if these were adults we were talking about (and VERY self-aware adults, not just normal adults) she could calmly talk to him about “Your behavior toward me is inappropriate for someone who claims to care about his girlfriend, and you need to stop it.” But argumentative Haruki would probably come up with reasons why he’s been fine.

      I don’t know what’s going to happen, but it’s definitely going to hurt Setsuna, who I think is relatively blameless. And it’s going to put Kazusa in a pretty bad position of either denying her own feelings in favor of her friend’s, when it’s not even sure that Setsuna can seal the deal with Haruki, or allowing her feelings for him, and his for her, to be expressed and hurt Setsuna by taking the boy she loves away from her. I don’t blame Haruki for accepting Setsuna’s confession, because he does have feelings for her. I blame Haruki for not living up to her expectations of a monogamous relationship (although if a polygamous relationship was acceptable, this one might work out). Haruki’s the one with one eye on Setsuna and one on Kazusa. If it was more that he had two on Setsuna, and it didn’t work out, then he went out with Kazusa, that would be different, and more acceptable.

      • MgMaster says:

        Incoming wall of text!

        How can he live up to her expectations when he didn’t have any time to sort out his feelings before accepting her confession?I very much appreciate Setsuna for her gutsy confession but she knew there was a risk in that.There’s also the possibility that she just thought everything would work out fine afterwards but that would just be her very naive self taking over where she’s in her dream world where the three of them will be always be together and we know very well it doesn’t work that way.So,if Haruki’s to blame for having feelings for both girls even after he started dating Setsuna,then she’s just as much to blame for not giving him time to sort out his feelings.

        And if we’re to put the blame Haruki & Setsuna,Kazusa shouldn’t be exempt of it either.When I mentioned above that she’s trying too much not to hurt Setsuna,I meant that it’s like she’s lying both to herself & Setsuna just so the latter wouldn’t feel bad at all – it’s almost pampering.Kazusa shouldn’t just let Haruki know of his boundaries,but Setsuna as well.As his girlfriend,Setsuna wouldn’t be in the wrong if she also told him that his behavior towards Kazusa is inappropriate.But she’s doing the exact opposite right now in trying have the three of them spend as much time together as possible.She could stay best friends with Kazusa & spend time with her WITHOUT Haruki.And if that wouldn’t be possible,well…then she’d just have to accept reality.

        On his end,Haruki seems to have realized just as well as Kazusa that he should only have eyes for Setsuna now that they’re going out and as we saw this episode,he’s forcing himself to do just that.It’s certainly no easy task though and Setsuna’s not making it any easier for him with her usual “all three of us” comments that he himself was using up until recently.Besides the fact that he’s most likely enjoying the time they all spend together as much as Setsuna does and can use that as an excuse to spend time with Kazusa,he can also use the excuse of doing his best to fulfill his girlfriend’s wishes.If Haruki is trying to stop being “the three of us” Haruki then Setsuna should also help and that help would be putting a little leash on him until they deepen their relationship.That might sound wrong but I find it normal given their circumstances,assuming his feelings for Setsuna are as strong as his feelings Kazusa.If they aren’t,then his relationship with Setsuna was doomed to fail from day one.

        It’s really a chain reaction which will probably only get more & more complicated.It’s why I’m more interested in seeing how they’ll get through all this rather than trying to lay the blame on either of them when they’re all more or less responsible for their current situation,especially since all of them are generally good people that are experiencing love for the first time on their own,without any examples,friends or adults backing them up(not to be assumed that I’m blaming their friends or parrents).They’re bound to take risks and some of them are bound to get hurt.

        Now,if Haruki would do something really stupid such as skipping out on Setsuna’s birthday to go meet Kazusa at the airport then that’d really be something to blame him and him alone for.

        TL;DR:

        Haruki needs to get it together,Setsuna needs to face reality and stop trying to get the three of them together all the time and Kazusa needs to be more direct with Setsuna.

        • Highway says:

          Well, just because Haruki started going out with Setsuna doesn’t mean that anything’s set in stone from that point. He could at any time break up with her, and she knows that. But I wouldn’t say that Setsuna’s doing anything like waving Kazusa under Haruki’s nose (well, there was the onsen incident…), and a lot of the things I’d consider ‘inappropriate’ have occurred without Setsuna being aware of it. Who knows if she’s aware of how much he’s got a crush on Kazusa, because when he’s around her, Haruki says the right things, and Setsuna probably doesn’t know enough the signs to read.

          Haruki knows how he should be acting. He wouldn’t call himself stupid if he didn’t. But consider that if there was an opposite situation, where Setsuna realized that Haruki had a crush on Kazusa and asked him not to be around her? Then we’d all be jumping on Setsuna for being controlling. And if Haruki told her “I can’t be around Kazusa, so you can’t see her when I’m around” then that’s Haruki being controlling. The responsibility to control himself falls on Haruki and Haruki alone.

          • skylion says:

            This is a story about not learning that when you open one door, the other door must remain shut. It’a all about peeking into the other door.

          • MgMaster says:

            That’s a lot of pressure to put on him alone when Setsuna & Kazusa are making it hard to do so…

            I’m sure not everyone would accuse Setsuna or Haruki for being controlling(I personally wouldn’t,as the situation demands it + it only needs to be temporary,until the coast is clear).

            You mentioned that Kazusa isn’t at fault for trying to stay friends with Setsuna and you’re completely right,but her fault isn’t that.It’s that she’s really giving the cold shoulder to Haruki and not treating him as a friend as she does with Setsuna which makes it awkward when the three of them are together since both of them would just interact with her,but not with each other.

            If you ask me,Kazusa should take some lessons from GT‘s Linda in trying to act like a normal friend with the guy she likes since he has a girlfriend(although I’m not sure it’s gonna work out there either but at least Linda’s got a better handling of the situation than Kazusa).

            • Highway says:

              The way I saw it, Kazusa tried for a month to be friends with Haruki (up through their Christmas trip), and he didn’t get the multiple hints about boundaries. That’s why Kazusa has had to go to more extreme measures.

              But really, speaking as a guy, I think it’s a guy’s responsibility to not have wandering actions if he’s going to be committed to a girl. Looking, ok. Thinking? Even that’s ok. But doing? That’s out of bounds, and Haruki’s been pushing that out of bounds. Saying that the others shouldn’t do something to tempt him is just an abdication of his responsibility.

              (and if you switch guy and girl up there, the same still holds. But we’re not talking about Setsuna going after somebody else inappropriately in this case)

              And Linda was doing fine. Heck, everyone was doing fine in that show until that dratted Ghost Banri showed up.

            • skylion says:

              You used the word “dratted”. I’m kinda liking that alot.

              No one uses that word anymore…

            • MgMaster says:

              Couldn’t help myself…

            • Highway says:

              I’ve been thinking more about the contrast between Golden Time and White Album 2, and as we’ve talked about here, Golden Time has the characters generally doing things right. Yes, Mitsuo and Kouko have had a blowup or two, but that’s entirely down to their history. And when they broke up, they broke up pretty much for good. Sure Kouko’s had some worries about their relationship, but I think that’s acceptable and authentic. And Linda, upon realizing that Banri and Kouko were even close to a couple, has pretty much laid off, and *just* been a friend. Maybe Banri, after finding out there was something more, would have been not so good about it, but we never really got to that point to find out.

              Heck, it’s because things were going so well that they had to throw in Ghost Banri to shake things up.

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