Monday, 16 March 2009

White Album - Episode 11

While the big build up to the various Christmas concerts for Yuki, Rina and their rivals approaches by the day, White Album's actual major plot points seem to go sideways more than backwards in this particular instalment.

Most of the episode focuses on Rina's preparations for her own concert, and it's fair to say that rehearsals are going terribly, with Rina stumbling through, forgetting words and generally not behaving the way her idol pedigree would suggest. Touya appears to be about as useful as a chocolate teapot in this scenario, with his motivational techniques amounting to waving like a moron, giving Rina a thumbs up like a moron, or... well, he's just a moron, okay? Just what's bugging Rina though? Towards the start of the episode she confronts Yayoi about the torn-up letter from Yuki to Touya, but she still reveals nothing of its contents.


Speaking of Yayoi, she seems to be pretty distracted herself, and looking for reasons not to go home, doubtless on account of her "stalker". Still, that isn't enough to stop her copping off with Touya yet again, as they spend a romantic night in her car. She's one classy lady is our Yayoi. Indeed, the whole incident is as cringeworthy as you can get, with Touya bursting into tears because he doesn't understand Yuki, and Yayoi licking up those tears. No, really, I'm not making this stuff up. Of course, yet again Touya is too weak to resist her feminine charms...

Away from the major plot points, Akira is constantly yapping like a little dog around Mizuki's feet, trying to help and feeling hurt whenever she tries to do anything alone. Indeed, he seems to be under the impression that this series is called Whine Album judging by his annoying moaning. Then there's Haruka and Mana, who are now exercising together and seem to be slowly building up quite a nice little friendship, based around lies though it may be.

All of this of course pales into comparison against the episode's climax, where Rina seems to latch on to what is going on between Touya and Yayoi, leaving her with a priceless look on her face. We're left hanging at this point, but I can only hope that the next episode will heavily feature Rina slapping some sense into my favourite male protagonist of the year so far. Even though I seem to be hating or disliking more and more of White Album's characters, you have to give it some kudos for soap opera style entertainment value.

10 comments:

felicity said...

Hahaha, srsly, all that is happening?? I am so glad I dropped this show. =p

Kexiu said...

Felicity, Your loss. The complex plot really drives me insane but nevertheless White Album is seriously great!

And to the author of this blog, AHHHH! what is with your Attitude! I have read all your other chapter summaries, your view just becomes more and more negative! SERIOUSLY "as useful as a chocolate teapot"!? good simile. But may I you one question? WHAT DO YOU HAVE AGAINST Touya!? No wonder people like Felicity are getting negative impressions, also may I add, not only do you disapprove Touya but you also RESENT every other character's action except for Rina and maybe Yuki! Sorry but after reading these put downs to one of my favourite stories I just cant stop myself from protesting!

Kexiu said...

Your sarcasm IS NOT FUNNY!

Kexiu said...

What strikes me the most is the fact that you write a decent review and spend time on doing so with every single episode, just so you can critisize it!
Seriously, do you ever consider the feelings fans get after reading this?
I do take on account that exaggerations do make articles more interesting and get your points accross more easily, however its not that I dont agree with your points but your over use of negative hyperboles and your harsh critisms is really starting to piss me off!

Hanners said...

What do I have against Touya? He's a weak, wishy-washy shell of a man. What kind of person would cry over the growing void between himself and his girlfriend, and then two seconds later spend the night with another woman? It's the kind of weakness he's exhibited throughout the series, unable to stand up either for himself or anyone else, while trying to please everybody all of the time, and it patently doesn't work.

Despite all that, as I mentioned there is a certain amount of entertainment value to the show, and I can't pretend that I haven't quite enjoyed watching it. That doesn't mean that I have to like all of its characters though, and Touya certainly counts to my mind as one of the less likeable male protagonists of any anime series I've watched in recent times. Still, he does have the entire second half of the series to redeem himself, so who knows what my final opinion of him will be....

As for my sarcasm, I'm English so I really can't help it, it's a national disease. ;) I'm not here to troll and upset the fans, but if something amuses me then I can't help but overplay it for comic effect sometimes. Must as I love anime (entirely too much, you could argue), I try not to take it *too* seriously at the end of the day.

Anyway, to bounce the question back to you, what do you like about Touya?

Kexiu said...

Yes, Touya is emotionally weak, you have persuaded me to think that (more than enough now), but you may aswell ask the question: what is there to like about a majority male personalities in romance anime? Because Touya is a typical male protangonist, if he's extremely resilient with his emotions where the heck would all the drama and most importantly emotions the viewer experience themselves go??

The sadness viewer's experience, the melancholy we get in the persueing hours and the scenarios and thoughts that swim around in our minds (and won't bloody stop) is the key to enjoy watching something like White Album.

Could it be that you constantly put down this show because your trying to hide the feelings, the immense emotions you personally suffer from? (watching the show).

Kexiu said...

I'll repeat my reply to your comment on felicity's Toradora Episode 24 blog, not everything is fuzzy and heart warming like Toradora, White Album is realistically comparitive to cold reality.
From the optimismn you show towards Toradora and the hatred you show to White Album, I can tell you really are... mushy... no offence meant ofcourse

Hanners said...

I agree that whenever you have any kind of "one guy, lots of girls" anime, the male protagonist is going to have to be either a bit of an idiot or a nasty piece of work to some extent, and this is even more true when that series is based on an eroge. That still doesn't mean that I have to like him or the way he behaves though.

As for "hiding" my feelings, that couldn't be further from the truth - White Album has entertained me, but it's simply not realistic enough to move me, and again Touya's character actively prevents me from feeling anything along those lines towards him, and by extension the other characters around him.

I'll say again that White Album is really pretty enjoyable as soap opera, but to claim it portrays a "cold reality" is over-egging the pudding somewhat I would say - Just as any soap opera only tends to hold a loose grounding in real life and the relationships within, so White Album is a general reality injected with an abundance of fantasy. Again, I don't begrudge it that on account of its eroge roots, that's just the way it is...

Kexiu said...

Okay, your right its hard find "Anime" (a cartoon its supposed to be fictitious) that actually reflects reality, but something like Toradora, its far more "un-realistic" in comparison to White Album, has it or has it not touched your emotions?

Hanners said...

White Album is more realistic than Toradora? I couldn't disagree more with that, at best they hold equivalence in that discipline.

Sure, neither show is pretending to be a documentary, but when I look at Toradora's characters I recognise aspects of people I know, perhaps even myself, and ergo I'm touched by their trials and tribulations as I can "anthropomorphosise" them in line with that.

In contrast, there is very little I can relate to in the behaviour of Touya specifically in White Album, and what little I can relate to I really dislike - If I were to know a person like him, he wouldn't be someone I would associate with as a friend most likely. Thus, although I can understand his emotions and those shown by the series, I can neither sympathise nor be drawn into them in the same way that Toradora! can, mostly because I feel that any pain with which Touya is burdened is his own fault.

If you look throughout this 'Blog you'll actually find that this is a recurring theme in my writing - For example, I disliked Itazura na Kiss largely on the strength of my hatred of its lead male character, and my interest in Clannad: After Story waned when Tomoya went off the rails.

There's probably an interesting psychological debate to be had here, but in essence it proves how difficult it is to create a series that is successful while also making its protagonist deeply unlikeable. It can be done, but I'm not sure that White Album succeeds all that well at pulling it off.