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.
Story has a 3 because it has nothing interesting. It is just a plain story in which the protagonist agonizes while pursues really strange girls.
Animation has a good score due to not only the animation that can be watched at the majority of the time in the anime, but also because of the change of drawing in specific moments to highlight every "goddess" of it.
I liked the soundtrack, but I think that the OST during the anime was better than the opening and ending. Although they are also good, are not those that captivate you at the first time you hear them.
Characters: I disliked especially Touya because of his weakness against the provocation of Yayoi, and at the same time I admired the willpower of Yuki.
So, the overall mark is 6.5. Watch it only if your life depends on it!
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.