Posted by psgels on 26 December 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, White Album



If you’re planning to watch the first season of White Album: good luck. Have fun sitting through one of the most frustrating series of the past years. However, for those who do manage to get through it there is a reward, because the second season is much, much better. In fact, it’s a breath of fresh air for both the harem and hentai game adaptation genre.

The first season really had no idea how to write good drama. It really tried, but revelations were poorly built up, the romance was shallow, and it used really cheap plot devices in an attempt to create drama (answering machine?!). Thankfully, Seven Arcs noticed this, and actually changed the directors, in favour of someone who did know what he was doing. The result really allowed this series to show the best of its daring premise.

The result managed to add depth to nearly all the characters. I really loved the execution of this series: a lot of bad stuff happens in this series, Touya for a large part is an incredible bastard who fools around with tons of women, however everything still progresses naturally: it never goes over the top or forces climaxes. Characters don’t suddenly turn emo because of one simple revelation, but what goes on inside their heads is much more complex than that. Every character has his or her own issues that get explored really well and the way that the creators manage to interweave all these stories is really skillfully done. There’s hardly any moment of boredom.

And then Touya. He really is one of the least likable lead characters after Makoto Ito, but in comparison to the latter he’s actually really well written and receives some memorable development. In fact, he’s so incredibly refreshing amongst most other harem leads with their wimpy and one-sided personalities. This guy’s issues are deep and yet they come together wonderfully at the end.

I really was prepared to hate this series when it first started, but it really proved me wrong when it improves on the first season in a lot of ways. It’s at times very emotional, but at the same time also very subtle and realistic. This really is everything I want romance to be, and it’s truly a leap forward for the harems and hentai game adaptations. If you’re tired of seeing the same thing over and over again in these genres, then this is a series that you should check out. However, be warned: it makes no attempts to make its characters easily likable. It’s realistic, but hard to get into as well.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Realistic, poignant, weaves many storylines into one and yet it progresses very naturally.
Characters: 9/10 – HUGE improvement over the first season. Touya is one of the best developed harem leads out there.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Better animation, great use of music.
Setting: 8/10 – Accurate and finally stops using it as a cheap plot device to get Touya and Yuki to miss each other.

8 Responses

  1. hashi says:

    Fascinating comments. How did I miss the fact that they changed directors? Interestingly, the director of the second series (Yoshida Taizou) appears to have less experience as a director that the original director (Yoshimura Akira). Yoshimura started earlier, having done five episodes of GSD. But Yoshida did four episodes of Otogijushi Akazukin, and is more of a writer, having done a number of storyboards. I enjoyed both series, but you are right to point out how much more taut and interesting the second series was. This ends up as quite a unique show, with unusual characters and a light, allusive storytelling style.

  2. middy says:

    I still don`t really get it…. so ? who was with touya after all. Though i would prefer rina

  3. psgels psgels says:

    It’s not clearly stated, but it’s heavily implied that he’s back with Yuuki, who just kept waiting for him to heal and remember.

  4. AstroNerdBoy says:

    I’ve still to go through the final three episodes, but this certainly has been a unique harem-styled anime. It certainly has a very strong soap opera feel to it as well.

  5. exia says:

    yeah I just finished it but the ending was kind of weird. Was it yuki who wrote that “good bye” on the glass or rina because you dont seem them anymore after the performance.

  6. exia says:

    yeah I just finished it but the ending was kind of weird. Was it yuki who wrote that “good bye” on the glass or rina because you dont seem them anymore after the performance.

  7. Moh-aa17 says:

    I personally loved the first white album more than the second white album. Even though the first white album had a bad ending its still a really good anime infact one of the best. I just didnt like how the ending was for example when akira looks for touya to tell him his father is… could’ve just finished the sentence and secondly how we dont know what happened to touya and yuki after that. Ugh this is depressing and makes me feel unease :(.

  8. Moh-aa17 says:

    Actually wait i take back everything i said, i was so clueless i didnt think there the second season of white album was the same as the first one so i just quickly jumped to conclusions dummy me, im so so glad that theres a second season that continues it yayy :D

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  • Bam
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 05:54 AM)
    The episode was alright and felt dense as I watched it, but in hindsight only really moved the plot forward incrementally. Lancer not untying Tohsaka as soon as he killed Kirei and then not killing Shinji when he clearly had the chance left a bad taste in my mouth. That and Shirou’s heavy plot armor at this point is becoming reminiscent of another famous anime dual-wielder. Not a compliment.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 05:46 AM)
    UBW 20 felt like another rendition of Eva 26 (Take care of yourself), complete with character analysis, battle with one’s Jungian Shadow, and loosely Buddhist ideas of self-actualization. It even featured the repetitive monologue shots that fade to black (with “I saw Hell” instead of Rei’s “Sky. Red, red sky”). It never went as far as Eva with “which way is up?” type of Soliloquy, but that’s probably a good thing.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:33 AM)
    Now I like my exploitation every so often, but yes Bam I really do wish that adult and mature storytelling could be better associated with truly, more pure mature themes.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:25 AM)
    I get choked up over Bergmans cries and whisper and Autumn sonata, I look back on a work by Key and Jun Maeda and wonder, think of how silly it looks to me now.

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