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.
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?
Though I'm a big fan of slice of life and romance, I'll watch just about anything that catches my interest. My opinions tend to be pretty level-headed, but I have been known to be controversial from time to time! Feel free to lay into me if you so desire, as I always appreciate feedback - positive or negative. I hope you enjoy reading!