Or: Marathoning White Album 2 without wildfillysama in the country was a terrible idea.
So, White Album 2. It’s a recently concluded anime series based off the first half of a visual novel, and from first impressions looked like a standard, straight high school romance with added musical element.
I must admit, I picked it up expecting crappy writing and directing, pretty character designs and a couple more tracks to add to my music collection. Boy was I wrong.
I really can’t say any more without giving the essence of the story away, so spoilers ahead.
First things first – A guilty pleasure of mine is a story where the protagonists fight though overwhelming odds to earn their happy end.
This is not one of those stories. It is a story about three generally good people: two girls, damaged in their own ways but still far too nice, and a boy too helpful, earnest, caring and goddamn inexperienced for his own good putting themselves in a bad situation and proceeding to do ugly things to each other.
It’s a story where you can’t help but watch the train derail, and any ending other than forcing you to watch that thing crash and burn leaving no survivors would leave you feeling cheated.
I had to stop halfway through episode 8 and walk around for a bit to work the anger and churning bile away at the incredible density and lack of communication that every single one of the three main characters showed. What’s worse, (or better, really) is that given the narrative presented their actions are justifiable.
You can see the big miserable cycle of manipulation, selfishness masquerading as selflessness, hurt and hurting building up even from the early happy-go-lucky episodes. The characters presented are so painfully human that I have to applaud the writer and pretty much everyone involved in the adaptation.
It’s not a nice story, but it is a beautiful one.
For good measure, the lyrics of the final song of the anime grab the knife so lovingly planted over the course of 13 episodes and twist it. Hard.
5/5, recommended, feels were had, would feel again. I won’t comment on the quality of adaptation, since I haven’t gone through the visual novel, but the general consensus is that the anime does it justice.
Oh yeah, the soundtrack was excellent, at any rate.
Stay not feeling emotionally drained, my friends.
Addendum: Touma Kazusa best girl.