Were there a Greek god for bullshit and mediocrity, his name would be White Album. While the series flaunts a strong premise and a unique method of conveying moods, it stumbles around for thirteen episodes without the faintest clue how to handle its content. Despite setting up an intriguing core story, it dances around with a bloated cast of side characters in a manner that would rival the original Kanon, and slowly corrodes away its potential in a boiling vat of failure.
That said, White Album still manages to thread the viewer along at a steady pace. By incorporating an absolutely terrible male lead, it consistently outdoes its own shortcomings from one scene to the next, turning an initially interesting story into a scattered mess. Just when you think “he can’t do anything more stupid than that,” he miraculously exceeds expectations by floundering around like a moon-beached whale. Of course, managing such a feat by himself would be difficult, so the story includes so many archetypical girls that it virtually buries itself under its own weight. There’s the tsundere high school loli, the tsundere professional older woman, the ditsy-dysfunctional girl with an onii-san complex, and a good handful of others who fit into the “pointlessly obsessed with the main guy” mold. But hey, socially inept rejects are incredibly sexy, am I right?
Oh, and then there’s the fact that everyone becomes bipolar as soon as the major drama kicks in – the entirety of White Album’s cast is fueled by characters who lack any distinct personality. The consistency with which I post reviews is damn near on par with their whimsical ineptitude, as each character’s reaction to a given situation seems made up entirely on the spot. You may as well forgot any plot value, as the ad hoc flow of the story does little more than breed confusion. Tie in the fact that every single girl on the whole damn planet is engaging in some pseudo-retarded romantic subplot with the main guy, and it’s little wonder that the show pulls itself apart at the seams. Come the end, it completes a metamorphisis from drama to harem, and blacks out its once-substantive content in favor of trite whining and erratic pacing.
But wait, there’s more! Call now, and not only will your watch of White Album include an overabundance of junk romance, but you’ll get two doses of SERIOUSDRAMA™ absolutely free! From unexplained angst to childhood friend tragedy to oh-shit-the-girl-caught-a-cold-after-being-outside-after-dusk moments, White Album has it all. And not only this, but White Album is entirely self-sufficient – you don’t need cohesive stories, intelligent characters, or any actual substance to make it work. Top it off with three different settings of stupid, really stupid, and light-myself-on-fire-and-jump-off-a-skyscraper stupid, and this puppy will drag on for hours and hours on end without need for a rest. What are you waiting for? Here’s how to order!
Hi there audience, our budget ran out! Please accept our apology for the lack of proportionality, shading, and facial detail in the latter half of the show. To make up for this, we have included lots of shots of Yuki’s skirt fluttering when she performs! This is because we know that you, our loyal fans, all really love skirts. We do, at least. Skirts are cute! Anyway, yeah, don’t focus too much on the exorbitant tackiness – it really wasn’t intentional. Honest! Please don’t give us a score of 5. We are a 2009 production. :(
Believe it or not, White Album actually has some good music aside from the catchy opening theme. Sadly, that’s all the musical score has going for it. Track placement follows a quandary of appropriateness, as some scenes flaunt well-chosen insert tracks while others sound downright awful. This haphazard level of quality often proves disruptive, and contributes to the show’s mediocre level of drama; it’s hard to take a moment seriously, for instance, when you’ve got circus music playing in the background.
Since I can’t accurately remember the main guy’s name (I think it was Touya?), I’m just going to call him Retard. Unfortunately for Retard, White Album decided not to include giant humanoid mecha for him to fly around and blow things up with, so his presence in the show is of trivial significance; in terms of indecisive and spineless male anime leads, Retard is the cream of the crop. Despite this, the girls flock to him in droves, which does little more than generate some dozen or so relationship-things with no direction or purpose. “Character revelations” entail little more than fifteen second cut scenes, none of which get revisited in any fashion. Simply put, they’re just there. Case and point, one of the extraneous girls lost her older brother in an accident or something; the show explains this later by showing a five second scene of her crying at the funeral as the extent of the back story. What?
Oh, and for being supposedly about Yuki’s rise from an amateur to a professional singer, surprisingly few resources are dedicated to this plot. So few, in fact, that she’s indistinguishable from the other side characters in terms of screen time. In lieu of all the character shortcomings, her story was actually fairly well told, and provided enough of a hook to catch me initially. Still, given the increasing shift of good to bad as the series progressed, come the end her initial importance is all but lost. Go figure.
Oh God, there’s a sequel.
The story of White Album itself is fairly unique, although at its core it's certainly a harem anime. The show opens with Touya waking up late and catching his girlfriend, the rising star Yuki, in a TV interview. We are then introduced to a plethora of women who will each have their influences on Touya and Yuki's relationship as they struggle to make if work throught the strains the music business puts on it.
The story itself is very interesting in that aspect, and it doesn't shy away from trying to be as realistic as it can be (which, for a harem, may not be easy.) Of course, it takes a while to get into the rhythm of effective story telling, as the first few episodes fumble around awkwardly trying to get its stride, picking up certain story elements that don't seem to belong or make any sense. However, as the series progresses it definitely became more engaging to watch and harder to put down. It was certainly a good deconstruction of the Harem genre, but more on that later.
I would dock points for not being concretely ended by episode 13, but that's for season 2 to fix. I wouldn't suggest going into White Album with no intentions of watching the second season.
White Album was a treat to watch. The character designs were gorgeous and animation was smooth. The opening sequence was a bit boring, being just a bunch of (beautifully drawn) designs, but it was apparent in the rest of the show's animation that it was not a meaningless sacrifice. Every now and then the style would switch to a pretty pastel style that I loved, it definitely added to the experience and did not fail at the symbolism it tried to convey.
I didn't care for the OP or the ED, but many other reviews say they're marvelous. It's up to you.
Voice acting was effective, Rina and Yuki sang well, although the difference between Rina's singing voice and speaking voice was a bit jarring.
Being a harem, it contained all the expected characters; the boring male, the ditz, the tsundere, the sempai, etc... Being a deconstruction of te harem genre, it handled these archetypes well by making them all extremely flawed, if not human-like, characters. However, there are some characters which the show just turns into robots with no redeeming qualities whatsoever, which detracts from the realism the show was aiming to achieve.
Another thing that the show screws up with the characters is making them do things or act in ways that just the previous episode they showed no signs of being capable of. At times the characters were so bi-polar it made me wonder if they'd been kidnapped and replaced with a stunt double.
Another problem was something I suspect most harem anime fall victim to. The female characters were generally not that strong and were portrayed as marshmellows.
White Album is a good anime to watch if you like harem series or want to see a semi-realistic take on fame and relationships. White Album tries to show the effects of a harem situation on all the people involved. It falters on characters and pacing, but if drama is what you like you should give it a try.
Just be warned that there are mature themes in the show, so I'd rate it 15+
*This review covers season 1 & 2!
It's ok: Confusing at the start but enjoyable after the first 2-3 episodes.
Overall it's ok. Not anything special but also not awful.
The first few episodes are confusing but keep watching and you'll probably start to enjoy it! The characters are so ... human. Not special fictional characters but humans who make mistakes ... and are not-lovable. Watching this makes me glad I live in the age of Mobile Phones and the internet!
The ending did sorta suck in my opinion.
Watched up to: Episode 26 (all)
Animation: OK. There are a lot of low frame-rate pans that stutter a lot.
Story: Interesting & confusing but still enjoyable.
Fan Service: None / Low / Medium. All is appropriate; none of it is un-called for.
Would I Recommend: Yes; If you like romance, don't mind that the characters are unrelatable and don't mind getting confused. The first 2-3 episodes were dull and confusing and the final one even more confusing but I still enjoyed watching it.
Plot: "Touya Fujii is a young university student who juggles two part-time jobs with his studies so that he can afford to live. The most important thing in his life is his girlfriend Yuki, but since she is an up and coming idol they barely get a chance to talk, let alone see each other. With her managers keeping a close watch on her and attempting to prevent their relationship, it seems that Touya and Yuki will simply have to make the most of their fleeting moments together. However, they do have one person fighting in their corner: Yuki’s friend - the famous idol Rina Ogata - hires Touya in order to create opportunities for the pair to be together. Unfortunately he is promptly fired when the production company discover her plan. When she pledges to make it up to him, Touya begins to wonder if Rina is all that she seems, and why is she going to so much trouble for him and Yuki?" (not my work, this is the site synopsis)
Story: From all the josei anime that I have seen this one was the sole one that i tried as best as i could to understand but ended up with more question marks rather than obtaining answers for the questions i already had. White Album is not the typical Paradise Kiss or Nodame Cantabile that we might have seen, understood and also enjoyed nor a masterpiece that moves every dark corner of your hearts chambers like Nana but it proved to be a show with grown up leads caught inside a shoujo~ish plot. I can understand teenagers analizing their feelings and their insecureness with the oposite sex but the male lead in this show is a man that cannot be understood by other men. I don't claim that the purpose of this show was to reveal the problems adults face but problems are meant to be solved and supposedly adults handle it better than childs or teenagers. Off to the main topic now. The story is mostly centered on a college boy named Touya Fujii who tries to make a living working and studying at the same time so he can afford to live.His girlfriend Yuki is about to become a music star so they barely got time to talk. Some external elements like Yuki's manager Yayoi Shinozuka tries to do her best just to do not let the relationship between Yuki and Touya to develop and the famous idol Ogata Rina tries to creat oportunities for them to meet and pair toghether by hiring Touya as her manager. However when the production company finds out about Rina's plan they imediately fire Touya but Rina wanted to make up with him.From here on Touya starts to wonder if Rina is what she seems and why is she going in so much trouble for him and Yuki. Well the answer is pretty simple, Rina started to grow feelings for Touya. The story is rather complex and kinda filled with many holes very unclear one but however it is enjoyable but also frustrating at some points. As the story develops Touya will be caught in a love triangle situation. Because he couldnt meet with Yuki he started to go out with Misaki one of his senpais. Even though their relationship comes to an end Touya confessed that he loves her but she rejected his feelings. Another girl that grew feelings for him Haruka which for me is like a very weird character has some atempts of dating him but with no succes. How will the end be? Here all i can say that the end of this season at least is kinda unclear which leaves alot of questions but aside from this 13 episodes i got to see in the recent ones (the first 4 episodes of season 2) that the relationship between Yuki and Touya still has some hope left and im realy looking forward for it however i am still sceptic about it since this anime until now gave me a bitter taste so i dont completely exclude a sad ending. Neverthless the type of guy that Touya is, he could end up with any of the girls and he would be satisfied.
Animation and Sound: The animation in my point of view is kinda perfect or how should i say...well done. One of the few animes that i realy like the animation style.The character designs are also very well made. Also at sound since this anime has some music aspects of course the sound cant be bad infact its way above average for this anime. The opening song for the first season is enjoyable and from the second season it rocks.
Characters: In terms of characters this anime also has some holes.Still there isnt quite a character development here. Touya, Yuki, Rina, Yayoi, Misaki, Haruka are like the main characters in this anime like from the begining. Passing through episodes we see some other characters like Touya's father, Mana and Akira but other than this charas there arent anymore important ones.Above average but with many holes.
Overall: As an overall this anime gives the impression of a hard, complex story with weird characters and may give some feelings of frustration at some parts. Though it may seem enjoyable for me for others im sure that it isnt their type. This anime cannot be concidered a fail yet since the second season is curretly airing i cant predict how it will end all that i can say is that i hope for a happy one because if it has a happy one for sure it will be in my top 20 animes.But of course that depends of how it will end.
~Enjoy and cya around~
At first glance the idea of having a show about how a idol struggling to have a relation ship was about an ordinary boy was a good idea in my opinion.I think that the idea of a up and coming idol and her boyfriend struggling to keep their high school romance alive through the intervening years was really good matieral to work with. But, I thought both Yuki’s and Touya’s relation problems were ust too silly and unrelistic to be believable, I never bought the whole idea that they could never find a spare hour to see each other and do the whole BF/GF thing.
As the series began I thought that the supporting characters were interesting and intriguing, but as the series went on I felt that many of them became just plain unlikeable.
starting rina i like her at first loud spoken do it her way kinda character but as the show went on she became a indecisive person. at one point in the story line she found out about the hole thing about yayoi trying to keep the to lovers apart in she kept it a secert trying to protect yuki. i think the best way to have saved there relation ship was too tell them that the other is really in love with them in help them keep seeing each other.
also his best friend akira. almost through half the show touya tried to get him and misaki together. when they finnaly do he dosnt thak touya for the years trying to help him in he treats misaki like dirt. i dont see why she takes it she should dump him in could stone.
the only character i really liked was yayoi. while i can understand yayoi wanting to protect Yuki’s from being distracted by Touya I think that her relationship with him actually means something to her. At first, maybe, Yayoi thought of her sexual acts with Touya were just part of her job but I think she needs him as much as he needed her. Yayoi never struck me as having much of a life after work so maybe her little accts with Touya where actually filling a void in her life, plus, if Yayoi was only interested in keeping Touya away from Yuki she should heve been happy seeing Mana at Touya’s place but she seemed more concerned with getting the girl out his room then she seemed about Mana’s health, and the look Yayoi gave Mana was quite wicked where it was suggested that she was older.
Overal i thought the show had a good idea with the show but it didnt turned out how they planned. well it was worth the watch. i will watch season 2 but just to see the conclusion of touya and yuki's relationship.