As episode eighteen of White Album begins, so Rina's transfer away from her brother's production company is officially announced. While her "defection" is no longer a surprise, her new destination is, as she ends up joining arch-rivals M&M Media (who I assume melt in your mouth, not your hand), while Menou signs up to Ogata's company in reverse. Is this all part of the deal over Eiji's payment for that painting? It appears so, although it's still unclear as to whether Rina was forced into this move entirely or whether it was at least partially of her own volition.
Of course, this leaves Yuki still worrying about Rina, a concern she shares with Touya as she meets him at her father's hospital. As per usual, such meetings show up both Yuki's naivety and Touya's wishy-washy blend of indifference and lies, and of course no sooner has Yuki gone to see Touya's father than Yayoi pounces to cop off with Touya as per usual. Except who is watching with a camera to hand?
Despite saying that he wouldn't make it to Rina's final gig working for Ogata Productions, Touya somehow finds time to pay Rina a visit in her dressing room after the event, looking to console her and sensing her upset despite her putting a brave face on it (a surprisingly intuitive moment by his standards) - However, this comforting takes a rather more serious turn, as Rina and Touya end up sharing a kiss that has perhaps been inevitable for quite some time now, although it doesn't make me hate him any less for being a complete low-life man-whore. Still, I suppose you have to give him some credit for aiming for the harem ending at least....
Really, this was classic White Album from beginning to end, thus marking itself out as the best episode of the second half of this series so far. Compared to some of the wandering and borderline aimless instalments of previous week, this episode felt sharp and focused in its duties, and delivered up everything it intended to in a simple and effective fashion, allowing all of the drama and soap opera to speak for itself without interruption. Indeed, "soap opera" is the perfect phrase for it as we watch weak-willed man-whore Touya prancing around kissing all the girls he can get his hands on when he has a day off acting sullen around his dying father while Yuki races around to no particular end fretting about everything except the blatantly obvious fact that her erstwhile boyfriend is a moronic asshole - and that's before we even consider femme fatale Yayoi, batshit crazy Haruka and Aesop's under-aged admirer... and is Menou ever going to come into this picture properly at some point? The plots on show here could give Eastenders a run for its money right now, and I'm ashamed to say that I'm lapping it all up.