Wednesday, 25 November 2009

White Album - Episode 21

Come the start of White Album's twenty-first episode, it seems that all is as it should be in our mid-1980s world - Yuki is still being decidedly wishy-washy when it comes to handling Touya, who is himself still carrying on with Yayoi at regular intervals and being as much an asshole to his hopsitalised dad as ever, while Menou is on the run from her production company yet again, seemingly looking to hang out with Touya into the bargain.

After his episode of madness last time around, it at least appears that Eiji has regained his composure, looking to sell his collection of pictures (aside, ironically, from the original that he defaced only to find its by far the most expensive part of it) and getting back to work on propelling Yuki to stardom, which he seems to be doing a pretty good job of as her latest single makes its way up the charts, blocked from the number one spot only by Rina's latest number.

While Eiji's madness has calmed since last time, it seems that his bout of insanity has infected Mana, as it's her turn to fly off the handle in this episode. This comes as her mother (President of M3, of course) discovers the true identity of Mana's tutor (Touya, naturally), and the ensuing argument between those two sets Mana off into a destructive rage which ends with her leaving the house and not returning overnight.

This particular happening is perhaps the stand-out moment in an episode which drifts all over the place, hopping from character to character like some hungry sparrow trying to grab every morsel it can, and thus not affording much time to explain seemingly important plot developments regarding Yayoi's mystery photographic stalker - Points which I'm sure will be explained in future episodes but just seem a little disjointed in the way they're presented here. In a sense, this whole episode feels like it's trying to squeeze too much into its running time, and thus nothing really gets the attention it deserves to make for a quick-fire instalment of soap opera that seemed a little unsatisfying, rather like a snack when you were expecting a full meal. Hopefully those pacing issues will resolve themselves as we entrench ourselves yet further in the tail-end of this series, as the story lines which require closure seem to be growing by the week.

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