White Album 2: A Quick Take

wa201aWith the light music club dissolving around him and being the firefighter of the school festival committee despite not being on it, Haruki continues to play his guitar for the companionship of the piano player next door until he meets a girl. The struggles begin when the vocalist pulls out of the light music club’s act like so many others had before. He’s then drafted in to solve the problem of the a girl named Ogiso Setsuna wanting to pull out of the Miss Houjou competition. He comes to know her over the passing days afterwards. With the festival quickly approaching, he plays his guitar one last time for the piano player next door, until he hears someone singing from the roof.

The opening episode starts off very quickly by illustrating exactly what sort of series this will become. As Haruki plays with two other girls on stage, it becomes obvious through his narration that the bond between the three of them will soon fall apart. Prior to that, we get to meet this trio.

Haruki seems like the type of reliable lead that belongs in the To Heart universe rather than the White Album universe, but that’s perfect for this. He gets the top grades in the school and also does what he has to when needed. There’s something that struck me about how he continued to play the guitar when it was beyond meaningless. There was a special bond between him and the unseen piano player. Setsuna, the singer in this group, is basically the school’s idol but is kind to everyone as Haruki observes. She’s exactly the type of character who will end up making it hard to break up. Finally, there’s Kazusa, the girl who sits next to Haruki in class and who is seen sleeping after school. It’s obvious she’s the piano player in this. Haruki and Setsuna don’t seem like the types of characters with real problems, but they both also want something out of life beyond passing the days by. Kazusa is clearly more troubled than the other two.

The main appeal of this series is clearly emotional and there were some nice production effects on top of that. When a window is opened early in the episode, Haruki’s guitar becomes much clearer in the other room. The setting is also unmistakably early autumn 2009 with Tokyo Skytree in mid-construction as seen below. Attention to detail is a definite plus in my book.

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Reasons to Continue Watching

  • Incredible attention to detail
  • A romantic drama involving a love triangle that feels gripping
  • The main characters feel like complete people already

Reasons to Drop

  • The drama is going to be ridiculous when this falls apart
  • There’s only one song
  • Haruki is maybe too good a character.

My Verdict: Easily my favorite episode I’ve watched so far. Considering how I didn’t last very far in White Album, I was surprised to find myself falling in love with this show as it progressed. That final scene with Haruki running up to the roof on hearing Setsuna sing was pure magic.

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