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?
Yes, maybe the button was already pushed by then.
Do you believe in long-plotted encounters?
Hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder, back to back, and then... we don't have to take off our clothes.
Sometimes you feel like you understand someone beyond imagination. A lot of times it's the opposite though.
It's not only those who are close to you that get in your way. The less you know someone, the harsher you are.
A good way to forget your troubles...How about getting involved in somebody else's?
A mental image is something that needs constant building up. It crumbles easily.
The less time you have, the more you can do. The more you do. Of course, love is no exception.
Memories don't need to be prettied up like a play. The minute you say them aloud, they're all lies.
Sumo Wrestling by yourself isn't lonely just because you don't have a partner. The eyes of the audience sting, too.
Time won't take care of the feelings building up in your heart. It just labels them "forgotten."
“Restriction. Deception. Deprivation. Giving. Waiting is more trying than all of these.”
StoryWere 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!AnimationHi 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. :(SoundBelieve 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. CharactersSince 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.OverallOh God, there’s a sequel.
Notice: This review covers both seasons.Someone insisted that White Album is a masterpiece, a deconstruction of the harem genre, and a mature look on the pop idol industry of the 80s. All I saw is yet another generic adaptation of a porn game. Just look at its freaking cover. Is this telling you it’s going to be deep and mature? The bullshit are obvious from the first episode, where the bland self insert can’t hear what his girlfriend is saying, when she is sitting right next to him. So deep and mature, totally not what sitcoms are doing to stretch a simple issue with lazily written misunderstandings. The story is supposed to be about the problems pop idols are facing in the 80s, and by problems I mean one idol bullying another idol by spilling drink on her dress. Because that is the only possible way we can have drama in a mature story. So much for a serious conflict by the way. They just wear different clothes, and the problem is solved. Look at me biting my nails from all the excitement. Everything in this show is first world problems that are made to seem huge with overblown drama, and irrational behaviors. Take the director for example. He mentions early in the story how pop idols are singing like clockwork machines. That’s a lovely topic. Where is it going to lead? Nowhere, it’s all forgotten for his obsession over a painting, and does nothing else besides treating women as sex objects. Hell, he even netorares the MC’s no1 waifu. Supposed this is done to show how idols are sucking dick to stay famous but it’s not explored as a theme, it’s just there for overblown drama.And that’s pretty much the whole series, a constant bombardment of lazy excuses to show pop idols having problems. Such as not being able to meet with their boyfriends because the bland MC is busy trying to shut up a loli that constantly screams he is a pervert for no freaking reason. The maturity is oozing from every corner. Wait, did I say idols with boyfriends? We can’t have that, the otakus want their waifus to be pure. This is why the manager is telling him to stop seeing her. In return, he can fuck the manager. And she is even willing to pay him money for that, like he is a gigolo. Such maturity; that is exactly what happens in the real world. Now, speaking of the protagonist, I read that the fans of this garbage call him an adult version of Shinji Ikari for some ludicrous reason, and that he is very realistic and faces real problems. Yeah man, it’s so real to be fucking a different girl no matter what you are doing. No, seriously, they guy is fucking a dozen girls without being charming or that special. In fact, there isn’t a single female who has a boyfriend in the show, or who isn’t throwing herself at the MC for helping them out a bit. Whatever realistic conflicts he faces are just an excuse to fuck around. And the most insulting part is that he insists he has a romantic interest with one specific pop idol. Where the hell is the romance when he is netoraring ten times per day? I mean, yeah, that’s what happens in porn games but this is supposed to be a romance with mature conflicts and all I see is bullshit.There is a scandal about an idol taking pictures while having sex, as well as having someone dubbing her singing. Only thing, the scandal was all staged by the idol. You know, like actual idols do all the time to ruin their career. Do you know why she did that? To suck the MC’s dick. She ruined her future so his no1 waifu can get to the top, while the two of them will be fucking in the backstage. There is even an incest subplot in this mature story, which just like pretty much everything else doesn’t lead anywhere. It’s just typical Japanese deviance thrown in there as foreplay. This show is like a hentai with all the sex scenes taken out. It’s boring, badly written, with dry as hell characters, and a plot that is all about netorare and presenting women as if they spread their legs to anyone who says hi. It’s awful and you should hate it. Deconstruction of harems my butt. It doesn’t even end in a satisfying bloodbath ala School Days. And how the fuck is this abomination anything remotely similar to Neon Genesis? You think I would love it because there are no schools and it’s set in the 80s? Frak you and your nothing ever happens hentai plots.
Story: 7/10 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. Animation: 8/10 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. Sound: 7/10 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. Characters: 6.5/10 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. Overall: 7.5/10 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+
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