Well wasn’t this just tough.
Understand that this is a mini review for a reason. The story is a drama and is plot-character based so I can’t give away too many things. Yes I did cover it but for this series, I decided to go for the non-spoiler route as it definitely is something one has to watch on their own to like it (or not, depending on how you sway)
I never actually watched, or rather, finished the first White Album anime but my brother’s love for the first game basically gave me enough background info on it. The main difference other than some missing plot points are that the main character makes a final choice in either staying faithful to his girlfriend Yuki or ending his relationship with Yuki and making a new one with Rina. The anime didn’t feature any of those endings. Why am I telling you this? Well, in the first White Album I was horribly biased in favor of Rina. The entire drama would have been probably better if I actually liked Yuki but in the end, it was basically Rina’s rigged game.
White Album 2 from what I’ve heard did a pretty solid job adapting what occured in its Introductory Chapter into the 13 episode format. This feat not being shared by a lot of Visual novel/eroge adaptations. The only one that I can remember off the top of my head being Mashiro Iro Symphony.
I’ll be taking a different approach in talking about WA2 here because it actually involves plot. It’s a drama that I honestly cannot spoil for anyone so I have to give the gist of it.
Abandoning the “real world” approach in the first installment, White Album 2 does what every anime does, set it up in a highschool. The story centers around 3 highschoolers who honestly would never have anything to do with each other if it weren’t for their passion for music. We have our busybody Kitahara Haruki who is the straight-man for his group of friends and is the reliable sort of person who gets the job done. Ogiso Setsuna is the school idol that has an extreme talent for music and is “forced” to cooperate with Kitahara to get the school festival organized. Caught up in this is Touma Kazusa, who is essentially a savant with the piano and only the piano. The story involves the three getting to know each other and getting mixed into one hell of a drama.
Kitahara is the run of the mill protagonist in such a highschool drama series where he is indecisive and is generaly good at nothing. The latter point contradicts the rule as he is shown to be very responsible. He’s somewhat good on the guitar but it takes two girls for him to seriously get on stage. While romantic implications aren’t his go-to instincts, I’ll just say his choices are not for his best interests.
Setsuna and Kazusa serve a dichotomy for Kitahara. From the promotional arts, one can discern Setsuna’s color of white to Kazusa’s black. Setsuna is the school’s beloved idol who can essentially do everything right. Kazusa on the other hand can legitimately do nothing but play her piano. She’s a recluse who barely interacts with anyone else and is found out by Kitahara to be the mysterious piano player he listens to when he plays the guitar. I won’t spoil who get’s to who first.
In the end, what occurs to these poor highschoolers and the decisions they make will sway in the viewer’s opinion on the two girls that contend against him. Does Setsuna, the near perfect girl who has some issues with love deserve him? Or does Kazusa, the girl who has nothing but music to her deserve the chance at love?
I’m pained because I can’t really go too much into the story. It’s something you have to watch to feel anything for and I feel like this, compared to all the crappy adaptations of eroge, stand out. The fact that I’m just talking about the characters basically means that White Album 2 in adaptaton sense is pretty much spot on. The scenes reflect the game’s CG’s and there is a definitive ending. However, it is bittersweet and I will say this: There is no happy ending for anybody. All in all however, White Album 2 was something new to me when it came down to actual drama in a romance series. For those of you who like drama or were like me, and wanted to get a new taste for their palette, I definitely recommend this.