ヽ(゜Q。)ノ？ (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻ ヽ(゜Q。)ノ？ (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻
A reminder: this post is about the faithfulness of the episode to the source. If you want to look for opinionated pieces that considers White Album 2 as a standalone adaptation, look elsewhere.
Let’s start with the positives: the 2014 version of “Todokanaikoi” is p. damn sweet and there’s some cool cuts like the glissando. The OP, for the most part, is decent even though we get some CG people in the concert scene. Midway through the show, there’s also an amusing shout-out to White Album 1. If you try to hear it closely, you could hear Nana Mizuki sing a song. And there’s a hilarious spoilery shot that works as foreshadowing to the end of IC and Coda (don’t click if you haven’t finished IC).
And uh that’s it.
Today’s episode is strange for the most part. There’s a lot of cheap shots where we just see legs walking. Not much movement happens. I’m not sure what to think about the direction. It’s so cheap and I wish there is more substance to the actions. There’s also some stills especially this filter-fucked one:
In terms of faithfulness, it’s all over the place. On the surface, it feels like a 1:1 adaptation. But there are some subtle bits that are changed. And those changes irk the fuck out of me.
There is a whole lot of fanservice for some reason: butt shots and big boobiesssss. There has never been much attention to bodies in the visual novel, I assure you. And you wouldn’t want to see them anyway; the VN is ugly as hell.
These are frustrating additions to what should have been a pure romance anime. It gives a terrible impression to viewers that White Album 2 is this lewd porn novel when it isn’t. They’re distracting as well. And some of these appear in one of the more vital scenes in this episode.
Enthusiasts will also be pissed that the nuance for the ending for today’s episode is completely changed. I’m not sure why the scene is adapted differently. Kazusa’s reactions are changed in this scene.
In the anime, Kazusa is totes mean and kuudere. Her voice sounds deeper. Like she’s trying out for the soprano or something. She’s angry. With a 😡 face.
In the visual novel, she’s just as confused as the viewers are in the scene. The line translates to “Kitahara, what the hell are you doing, you idiot?” The CG shows a puzzled Kazusa.
You can see that this scene has been completely changed. I’m not too pleased with this modification. Her character in that scene isn’t that kuudere; she’s somewhat surprised by the scene and it doesn’t make sense she’s angered by Haruki’s actions.
So I’m estranged by today’s episode. “Okay, it isn’t that good as the first episode,” I rationalize to myself, “but maybe the next episode will be better?”
And then, “Closing ’14” plays as the ED. This is where I cried.
You see, “Closing” is White Album 2’s true ending’s song. Imagine someone playing the ending for Clannad or Little Busters in episode 2. That’s what happened. It’s also associated with one of the girls. Basically, if you somehow know the song and when it was played, you will know who have won this love triangle. The song is also played in this awkward montage that leads to the credits. It’s a confusing moment for White Album 2 visual novel players. And I seriously cannot think this was a good decision at all.
There are some things in this episode I cannot let it slide. What the fuck happened here? I’m distraught, saddened, and annoyed. I never knew I would be this sad early in the game.
Edit: On a last note, I’m the only VN player in the planet who has this opinion. I’m literally the antichrist. The VN players I know actually like it. This is just an autistic minority opinion.
Credits to: T_I for grabbing the VN screenshots and the ending scene because I’m lazy as shit. And thanks to goldensneer for noticing the spoilery shot.
Thanks for the review. I’ve played half of IC before and kinda sad with this episode. First, the OP looks half-heartedly made compared to the VN OPs, except for that concert scene ..
As for the episode itself, they removed some small details, such as Setsuna saying “I am going to show you the real me”, and then Haruki surprised seeing ‘the real her’, this makes it looks so easy for Haruki to get Setsuna, and then they replaced it with unneeded fanservices! Dang!
Also, they put up too much work on hiding kazusa’s identity, face to be for specific, that they even make that butt fanservice when she sits.. I mean, do we need that? Why don’t make it like the VN when there’s Haruki and Kazusa scene during lesson while still hiding the pianist’s identitiy?
Still though, I think newcomer won’t find these very annoying.
As for the last scene, shame to see Kazusa like that. It looks as she predicted that from Haruki while on the vn she totally not expecting that. Maybe this also thanks to their so much effort to hide both Kazusa and the pianist’s identity.
Last thing, that ed song.. First time I heard it I was “wow, another good song from Rena, I though it’ll be Akari Tsuda”, then on the credits I saw “ending theme: closing”.. F*ck! I mean, I’ve been avoiding this song for months.. T___T
Overall, the first episode was awesome, totally above my expectation (except for that so explicit scene on the concert that ruins me up too..), even some part has more feeling to it than the vn. On the other hand, this one is not close to that..
I’ve actually replied to this post in-depth on an earlier date, but for some reason it’s not appearing. It might randomly appear and I don’t like to repeat myself so I’ll just say,
“Yes, the second episode is inferior to the first. It might be because of the pacing and the changes are a bit too much for me. Lots of VN fans seemed to not mind it, so consider ourselves in the minority. Whether this is unwarranted panic or not, we can only find out in the next episode.”
Personally, I think that my hands are precious line are an allusion to what happens later in Coda
One thing I found less-than-realistic was how flustered Setsuna was when getting ready for her “date” in this episode. I also think it was an in-joke at how her flustered noises sounded eerily similar to (censored) noises you normally hear during “winning sequences” in 18+ VNs.
For the unrealistic bits, look at the following. First, notice how Setsuna has the same hairstyle as Asuka Langley Soryu from Neon Genesis Evangelion. I know the series have nothing to do with each other, but remember how Asuka used to get lockerfuls of love letters? I would think that Setsuna, being Miss Houjou for a number of years, would have even more love letters and confessions over her time at Houjou High. Realistically, I also wouldn’t put it past her to have been on a huge number of dates over the years, possibly becoming jaded and having her expectations warped.
Besides, if Haruki clearly didn’t mind seeing Setsuna in her frumpy grocery-store-worker uniform, then why was Setsuna so flustered with her appearance (along with the spritz of cologne)? And yes, I knew her girly outfit was supposed to be the same one she wore for the date in the original IC game.
On your first paragraph: What.
On your second paragraph: What.
On your third paragraph: What.
Okay, we can do this piece by piece. Did the game go into why Setsuna hasn’t apparently had a boyfriend or seriously dated before the events of Introductory Chapter? I always did think it odd how, despite being Miss Houjou for a number of years, Setsuna acts like she’s never had or done either of those. It certainly wouldn’t be because she isn’t attractive and well-known.
“Did the game go into why Setsuna hasn’t apparently had a boyfriend or seriously dated before the events of Introductory Chapter?”
The anime stated that she’s a shy person in real life and she doesn’t like the popularity that surrounds her. That’s why she doesn’t have a boyfriend…
“I always did think it odd how, despite being Miss Houjou for a number of years, Setsuna acts like she’s never had or done either of those. It certainly wouldn’t be because she isn’t attractive and well-known.”
I’m not exactly sure why you would think that way. There are people who are attractive that have never dated before. It isn’t unusual…
But that’s just it. Setsuna isn’t actively standoffish and unapproachable like Kazusa was, so that wouldn’t prevent interested men from approaching. This is where the “lockerfuls of love letters” come in, just like it did for Asuka for Evangelion, but most especially after each time Setsuna won the Miss Houjou contest. She may not like being in the spotlight of popularity much, but she’s really doing nothing to control it. To me, Setsuna’s also not someone to turn down a “kokuhaku” (or love confession) out of hand, so realistically, that would mean that she’d likely have been on a series of dates already. Instead, the 2nd episode of the anime portrays her as a giddy schoolgirl acting as though she’s on her first date–and Haruki didn’t even ask to “date” her, just to know her suitability for the light music club.
In reality, it’s also hardly rare for female students considered “too attractive” by their less-than-accepting gender peers to have smear campaigns directed at them (mostly in the form of vicious gossip, such as saying “she’s a slut” or the like). I half-expected the character of Tomo to have started such a thing, but I guess that’s something Maruto didn’t want to deal with.
By the way, did you play the all-ages PS3 version of WA2, or the 18+ PC version?