Tuesday, 29 December 2009

White Album - Episode 26 (Completed)

As White Album finally reaches its climax, is Touya finally going to have to get his comeuppance for all his character flaws throughout the series? Or will he simply throw caution to the wind and ensure he completes the "Mana route" before the series finishes. Hell, maybe he can even explore the "Eiji route" while he's at it?

Perhaps thankfully, nothing quite that dramatic occurs here. Instead, Touya finally pours out his frustrations and realisations about how many people's lives he's screwed up to Rina, to the point where she finally manages to find her previously lost voice while trying to yell at him (at least he's good for something, I suppose). In fact, this recovery is so complete and absolute that she even has time to grab her fanciest dress, make it to the Venus festival and sing a duet with Yuki, who luckily just so happens to be singing a completely different song to the one agreed for said festival.

This moment of musical genius causes memories to flood back into Touya's sex-addled brain, as he finally remembers how he met Menou amongst other things, and through the power of the flashback we can see exactly what has caused Touya to spend an entire decade causing grief for any woman within his radius. What on Earth could have such a potent affect on a young boy at such a tender age? Believe it or not, a crappy handmade medal with "good job" written on it.

Yes, that's right, the entire reason for Touya behaving like an asshole for twenty-six whole episodes is because he threw away a pretend medal that Yuki gave him. Once you've pulled yourself together and found an opportunity to pick your incredulous jaws up from the floor... then I'll let you continue, as my mouth is still agape at how such a thing could cause such emotional damage. I'm not sure even Doctor Irabu will be able to get his head around this one.

Truth be told, the entire ending to White Album is an anti-climax - Yes, we get something of a happily ever after ending for most of the characters, but Touya really faces no pain or punishment for his actions, and that coupled with the frankly ridiculous reason for his behaviour leaves me feeling pretty unsatisfied. Now, I'm not saying that I wanted some kind of School Days-esque ending here (okay, maybe just a little), but this all feels like pretty weak sauce for a series that has delighted in throwing ridiculous amounts of drama at our screens in recent weeks. This over-reliance on soap opera has probably been both White Album's biggest draw and weakness throughout - It often tried a little too hard to keep our attention with salacious drama, but then again it was that drama and the chance to boo and hiss at Touya like some pantomime villain that made watching the series so worthwhile. In closing then, I guess watching this series has been a bit of a guilty pleasure, and for all of its nonsensical plot devices and hateful lead character I have to quietly confess that I've enjoyed every minute of it in my own deranged fashion.

1 comment:

AstroNerdBoy said...

I'm still working on my final episode review before cracking the series review but I admit that the soap opera aspects kept me roped in. That said, I agree with your points here on the series trying to hard. Plus, I hated the non-linear story presentation that reared its head from time-to-time.