First Impressions – White Album

January 7, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Posted in First Impressions | 16 Comments
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This post took a while to get out because quite honestly, I couldn’t decide how I felt about it. It’s kind of boring, but I still think I’ll get what I want from it. I’m watching it to (hopefully) laugh at (or just follow) a love triangle. Getting invested in it works sometimes too, but I wanted to laugh and look at it shallowly. I…probably get to do just that.

It was the anime I was looking forward to most, but because it’s kind of fun to laugh at am I disappointed? Hell no. All I wanted from the anime was Nana-sama and love triangle dorama that will lead to a bitchslap at some point in the future. I believe I will get that. I was actually kind of happy that everyone called it crap (because it means I get to blog it with less competition, hahaha). Of course, I tend to think everyone thinks it’s just crap because it’s boring, but whatever. Crap is still crap and I don’t blame anyone from labeling this as such. It is boring (I think the pacing right now is better for a drama).

wa01-01I think that I’m happier that this anime is so disliked, because it’s so much easier to blog an anime when you don’t have to hold back any of your opinions because someone is going to be an ass about it. If you like an anime, all you can say, “Oh this part was good.” and use a lame little screencap. Then if the anime is the right type I can go, “Kyaaa~” and get all happy over it, but still. Nothing quite like giving myself a chance to use good old sarcasm and such.

This time I intended to blog White Album (and look forward to it) because of the fact that all I’m really promised is a love triangle. A love triangle, no matter what, will cause rage of some sort at some point in time. I enjoy being enraged for some reason. It somehow puts me in a better mood. However, even better in this case, if you’re not invested in either girl (or guy) you can just sit back and enjoy.wa01-13

Like you’re sitting on your own throne and looking down at these three useless souls and going, “Muahahaha! Dance puppets dance!”

Oh, but no one else does that? Shut up you’re lying. You may not have evil laughs in your head, but you most certainly enjoy seeing other people suffer. Especially when there’s a man-stealing pretend-friend, a cheating or weak-willed guy, and a naive girl involved. At least that’s what I’m betting I get in this anime.

wa01-16Of course in this case Nana-sama plays the “man-stealing pretend-friend” so even if I’m supposed to dislike her or something I’m still going to think she’s cute and charismatic. ^_^

Perhaps I should be upset that two girls who start out as friends are going to both want the same guy though? Well, no. Because I get one girl slapping the other. And that’s what is supposed to happen. If anyone remembers some of my rage at AkaSaka was directed at the, “oh we both like the same guy and you’ve been hiding it from me, but I’ll forgive you in the blink of an eye” stupidity.

NO! I don’t want that. That sucks. I want one girl smacking the other (or some other form of fighting).wa01-21

…And that is why I’m watching this anime. This anime seems to be purposely taking itself seriously, therefore I am going to have to watch it so I can purposely not. To wrap up what I’m saying here, I suggest those who aren’t thinking like me about White Album should stay away from my coverage of this anime. Because I am totally going to enjoy it in the way I am not supposed to.

But I’ll take it seriously for now. There’s a few real problems in this anime I need to address.

Animation & Art

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Everything is so detailed it kind of freaks me out sometimes. Feels like people move too much and that they have too many lines in the drawings. Basically, it seems like they’re trying to make it too pretty and well-animated and it’s backfiring. Hopefully around the third episode where animation usually starts to fade it will have some nice middle ground.

Now that I’ve seen a Shaft anime though, I can say that it really does feel like they’re trying to…um…follow some of those ideas (what I’m saying here is a nice, less accusatory version of “copy”).

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That said…it does still look nice. I was wondering how they would adapt the style from the game and it seems they did a pretty good job. Rina was instantly recognizable from all of the CGs I’ve seen of her. Yuki…was too. But Yuki has such a plain character design that she’s easy to miss. She blends in too much.

I’ve only really seen fanart of Rina and now it’s so easy to see why. Yuki is too plain. Her personality too (but I’ll get to that later).

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Rina on the other hand, is easily recognizable. Normally when you have characters in an anime, their appearance will almost always remind you of someone else. Heck, with nana Mizuki you can usually do it with another character she’s voiced. (Utau = Fate and vice-versa. Easy.)

But for some reason I can’t think of someone else who looks like Rina. Which is good, because a celebrity is supposed to stand out and Rina does. She looks cute and adult at the same time. She stands out.

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But why do none of the characters have noses? They don’t really in Maria+Holic either sometimes, but at least that makes the characters all look pretty rather than deformed. It’s kind of like Hakushaku to Yousei where the characters look completely different from the side because of this too.

Also…since this takes place in 1986, I have to mention something. This:

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lol. 80’s hair. I have to give them credit for doing such a good job of drawing it though. I really did flinch when I saw it. Just like real 80’s hair.

Oh and because I have nowhere else to mention it…apparently the thoughts of the main guy are all done on screen rather than, you know, by a voice. So I can’t understand a thing he thought this episode. It sucks because I wanted to just blog this anime after watching the raw every week, but now I can’t do that. How am I supposed to know if I can call him an asshat if I don’t know what he’s thinking?

Basically right now it’s just, “Yuki, blah, blah, blah, Yuki” so I don’t I’ll miss much.

Music

Here! This is one place where I can praise the anime fully. Nana-sama is playing a singer!!! A singer~ Which means she sings!

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I love the opening song, “Shin Ai” and can’t wait for the single coming out this month (it’s coming out on Nana-sama’s birthday!). That said, the opening animation is the most boring opening I’ve ever seen in my life (the screencaps have borings shots to prove a point…that’s pretty much all it is). The possibility of it just being for the first episode has come about which I hope is true.

Of course, I kind of think it’s…suitable. Rather than random characters flying across the scene or something stupid, a very calm and not at all distracting opening works fine for me. That way I can just enjoy the really beautiful song. The thing I like most about Nana Mizuki songs is just listening to her voice. I can’t do that when I’m distracted by something else. So…this kind of works just fine for me.

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I also liked Nana-sama’s insert song (I hope that’s coming out on the single too) and…let’s see what else? Well, it was kind of a disappointment that Aya Hirano didn’t sing. I’m not really a fan, but I’m always curious to see what she’ll do. Especially since I think she has more rock-ish songs and judging by her usual outfit, that doesn’t fit here at all.

Voice Acting

Nana-sama was perfect (bias,bias,bias). I’ll just say that and move on.

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I didn’t really pay attention to anyone besides Aya Hirano’s (Yuki) and Nana Mizuki’s (Rina) acting so you’ll have to forgive me. Outside of saying, “I love Nana Mizuki!” I can’t say much about her and every one should know that already. I’m a fangirl blind to any flaws she might possibly have. So instead…sorry Aya-san, but I’m going to have to complain about some things that bothered me.

Ew. The Minato voice is back. In the first episode of AkaSaka I didn’t mind it, but as the anime went on it started bothering me. I don’t dislike Aya Hirano and I have absolutely no problems with her singing or voice acting. Except for when she plays “gentle” characters because then she uses that voice.

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My problem with that voice is that it doesn’t sound natural at all. Even if it was supposedly natural, I’d still say it doesn’t sound natural. It sounds like she’s a cartoon character and it’s so distracting. It’s impossible to take seriously. It’s basically a nicer, less obvious version of the Konata voice and I don’t think it works at all. A fanboy can blast me for saying that, but it’s my opinion on the matter and I can’t hear a whole season of it again without mentioning it. It is better than before though.

Characters

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First off…Yuki ticks me off with how polite and plain she is. She’s so ordinary that it’s absolutely boring.  Then she just takes crap from those idols and does her own fix-it. Unless she stands up to them at some point, I’m going to dislike her this whole series. I have a hard time caring about someone who really doesn’t stand up for themselves at all. At least when they’re in show business or something.

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Touya is boring and a pretty basic guy who is just there to fill the role of being a guy in between two girls I think. He seems pretty…boring. I don’t care about him at all and don’t see why any girl would be interested in him. Well, except maybe Yuki who is pretty boring.

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Rina strikes me as a little annoying because she’s too perfect. Another lesson from AkaSaka would be that I hate perfect girls. That said, I like her the most for two reasons. One is the obvious “because she’s voiced by Nana-sama” the other would be that she’s the only one that seems to actually have a personality at all. At least a fitting one. A strong, confident girl that’s successful in show business makes sense to me.

I mean I love that she stopped in the middle of singing to “scold” someone. How professional and awesome of you Rina-san!

I guess I get a special joy out of hearing Nana-sama voice another confident idol because I was disappointed that Utau was the only role I liked from her last year. So, I’m…enjoying that. Rina’s confident to the point of being bitchy or “scary” as it’s been said by Touya and I like that. Nana-sama confident idol (bitch) ftw!

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All the other characters just seem unnecessary. I started becoming weary of this anime back when I saw a rather big cast emerge in promo pictures. It’s a love triangle. All you need is three people. Part of the reason why I think this episode is so boring because there were all these other random characters in there with problems I couldn’t care less about. Whenever one of them popped up on screen my brain kind of shut down and I just stared at the screen until they disappeared again. They all either have stupid or incredibly tragic problems and I just find them bothersome.

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Overall, I think the problems with this anime is that it’s boring and that it’s trying too hard to seem “classy” so that you like every one. In those cases I end up liking no one. It’s the same problem with the character’s issues. “Boohoo I’m scared of my girlfriend leaving me to be famous.” I don’t care.

How is a regular person supposed to connect with something like that and care about it? It’s not something we can really identify with. They have to make us want to care about the characters in some other way and quite obviously they’re failing at it because I’m ready to be sitting on my pedestal and go, “Muahaha! Dance puppets! Dance!” like some sort of crazy person.

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I don’t know what the VN was like, but I have to say this anime is boring right now and it’s trying too hard otherwise too with lots of random crap (wtf was that scene where they were all changing their dresses and stuff?). With the dramatic music in the scene with Yuki and Touya talking on the phone, this anime is really begging to get made fun of. I would have dropped the anime except with a slap coming at some point in the future I know it’s going to be at least a little more interesting. Besides, Nana-sama singing makes me happy.

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Hm…if I’m rooting for the girl that is technically going to be the one “stealing” the guy, that’s definitely a bad sign for the anime, right? If I want things to get screwed up for two characters that are supposed to be likable.

Basically…I just want something interesting to happen. So I guess you can say this fails as a first episode because nothing interesting happens. I’ll just see where it goes from here.

I’m still not sure how I’ll be blogging this anime. If I have enough to say next week, it’ll be episodic like I planned originally. I’m trying to branch out and do more series now.

16 Comments

  1. However, even better in this case, if you’re not invested in either girl (or guy) you can just sit back and enjoy.

    This made Kimi Kiss a little bit more enjoyable for me. And True Tears (until Hiromi finally won me over in like episode 9).

    Unfortunately, it’s waaaaaaaaaaaay too late for me. I’m madly in love with Rina-chan <3 Your assessment is dead on, she’s the only one with any kind of personality.

    Anyway, I’m not going to take this one too seriously either. I’ll probably just post awesome pictures of Rina-chan looking ready to kill and making jokes at the expense of the series :p

  2. The first thing I said when I heard the first was minutes was, “Minato…”

    I honestly didn’t watch more than 10 minutes of this. Maybe I’ll try it again though, if I see more posts like yours.

  3. Ugh, Minato! I still have to watch this episode, but I really hope I like Rina, because both her character design and personality look and sound familiar to Sheryl from Macross Frontier. And I disliked her so much. ;_; But Yuki looks indeed so plain. Maybe it’s best, I tend to root for a girl and keep that pairing until the end from the start, I never not-paired the main boy. *excited*

    I hope the boy gets to develop a personality and issues beside skirt problems.

  4. Rina does seem like the best character.

    I have a feeling this is going to be one of those shows where the beginning is boring, but it gets better towards the middle or something. It sort of reminds me of Itazura na Kiss.

    Shin Ai is an awesome song! The opening animation is unworthy of it.

  5. I have your exact feelings about this and Rina’s the only one I like too 1st: she’s voiced by Nana-sama 2nd: she’s cute and she has a personality

    I was almost dying of boredom watching this episode and it was the anime I looked forward to the most. Now.. I’m not that sure… oh and I started to watch Maria Holic because of you, and now I’m addicted to it.. it’s all your fault, you should be so ashamed of yourself… xD *kidding*

    either way, if I decide to keep watching white album, I’m rooting for Ina to get the guy even if he’s not interesting at all…

  6. *rooting for Rina
    oh and… can someone explain what happened with the bullying at the begining? cuz Yuki was being bullied at one time and then at the scene with the 80’s hair, weren’t they all friendly? what’s up with that?

  7. After reading the post, I decided to watch it to see just how boring it was. It was really boring. The 80’s hairstyle picture made me laugh when I first saw it, I didn’t even recognize her there. >.>
    All of the other characters just plain confused me, I didn’t know, and really didn’t care if I knew, what was going on. I think the only interesting parts were with Rina in there. ^^ She’s the character I was looking forward to see most on the screen. I really like how she does have a personality and agree with you. Nana-sama did great job with her as well. :D The main character boy (Fuuji was it? xD) was really plain, and er…bland. There wasn’t anything interesting about him either.
    I really want to see the insert song as a single too! And like warriorhope said, “The opening animation is unworthy of it.”

  8. It kinda…..Scares me…I think I’ll only blog S.C. Manga, Doki and Maria Holic because I like Traps… BTW What day does Maria Holic come out?

  9. nazarielle: I haven’t fallen for Rina quite that much because to me she’s basically Utau-lite in terms of personality. She needs to be more codescending and just plain rude to get more love from me.

    But still…Utau-lite is damn good.

    kelakagandy: I’d wait to hear if the future episodes actually end up being more interesting. Also…fast-forward through the first episode even if it does get better.

    Ritsuka: Sheryl…oh she’s not like Sheryl. Rina starts out nice…Sheryl only kind of ended up being nice eventually. Rina is nice right now (except to bitchy girls).

    His problems are basically just typical “my dad doesn’t love me enough” crap so I kind of doubt he’ll get any better besides his problems with girls.

    warriorhope: Oh I hope so. If it gets better like Itazura na Kiss I’ll be very happy with the anime…but I won’t expect it.

    vandakiara: Yes! Exactly. Nana-sama would make Rina wonderful alone, but a personality (which suits Nana-sama’s acting) puts her way in the lead.

    Yes! More people being converted to watchy my trap anime. SCORE!

    The bullying scene. The girls who helped her were different. They’re girls in the same singing group as her. The other girls were dressed in pink and they’re the bullies.

    blossomgirl101: Isn’t it boring? 80s hair was almost welcome because it shocked me out of my boredom.

    And more people agree Rina is the only interesting person. Hopefully despite Yuki hogging the opening (though only in two shots), Rina will be the star of the show.

    Fuuji’s his last name Touya is his first (I think).

    Ah…well hopefully soon (On Nana-sama’s birthday~)

    Christine Daae: Maria+Holic comes out on Saturdays. It aired officially last Saturday.

  10. I am glad u decided to blog it because i won’t watch any anime unless u recommend it lol XD so from this summery which was awesome i see that i shouldn’t watch it , actually when i look at the screencaps i see that they are trying to make the anime look like EF tae of memories or true tears or 5cm per second , they are really trying to make a pro-animated anime , but well i guess its a fail … so no White Album this winter >>> move on to the next anime XD btw i have a question > is this anime considered a slice of life anime ?

  11. Oh, it’s Nana Mizuki’s birthday? Cool! Hehe, I’m proud of myself. I heard about five words from the opening, and I went, “Oh it’s Mizuki!”

    I don’t know if this series is good or bad. Why? Because I don’t really understand what’s going on! Am I the only one who found this show confusing? I reckon the issue isn’t with the plot, but rather with the directing. Perhaps I’m not making much sense?

    Nice and detailed review :).

  12. A lot of people really had so much different views on this anime, and I name White Album the most controversial anime this season for me. I love the very first episode because I know that it would bring more and more build-up of drama as the series goes. And I’m following this one because I’m in for some (hopefully) good drama anime. I also love Rina. She’s fierce, and hope her ferocity would be at major level sooner ^_^.

    I saw the CM of the PV of “Shin Ai” a while back and Nana-sama is crying!!!(well, it looks like she’s crying) Look what White Album had done to her XD! I’m so excited for the whole PV to come out.

  13. Rina is very likable after all. And I thought it would be a really sucky anime after many blog-reading, but, I liked it.

  14. |D Blogging is a competition, huh? Nyahaha~

    Well, yay! I finally finally FINALLY can comment (I’ll reply back to yours on my page when I finish catching up on everything else) on this. Gah, I miss just commenting so much…but rest assured, I’m not abandoning eksentrik anytime soon. Yea~… lol

    Anyways, ooohhhhh~, I like your use of vocabulary here: “…if you’re not invested in either girl (or guy) you can just sit back and enjoy.” xDDD Awesome. Yes.
    As for the love triangle, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Rage when it calls for it, laugh at either Yuki or Toya when it calls for it (oh, I’m so cruel), and sympathize for Rina when it calls for it.

    And go “AHAHAHAHA!!!” at this bitchslap I also hope to see initiated by Rina in the future. X3

    Nice analyzation on the art. I agree that Yuki looks so plain as a character, it makes everyone look even worse so that she can stand out. Or is it the other way around? xD; Well, I can at least understand on a superficial level that Toya would describe her as pretty/beautiful. But that’s all, there’s really nothing special about her.

    On Rina, yes! I thought she looked pretty normal except that she had the aura of an idol surrounding her and that’s good enough for me. She doesn’t remind me of anyone I know in particular but now I can use her as comparison for any future Nana-sama idol roles. Hehehe~

    And you can call Toya an asshat whenever you want. Because he is one. Heh. >:)

    Haha, when I’m listening to Nana-sama sing, nothing else can actually distract me from it. Her voice works in such mysterious ways.
    & Oh god, “Shin Ai”~! <3 It’s such a lovely song. It comes out the 21st, right? *checks* Yep, it does. Can’t wait. ^^ I don’t think the insert song is on the single but maybe it’ll be on another if it comes up again. Hope so. I really liked that song. I think it might have been somewhat related to Toya’s relationship with Yuki or probably foreshadowing one of his other ones (who knows, maybe it’s hers).

    Minato voice. *shudder*

    Yuki is like a Mitsuki-ripoff only she doesn’t know how to play Mitsuki right and she never will so please just turn her into a bitch eventually so that we can enjoy this show more. =P

    I wish Toya would clean up his room.

    And Rina is a little too perfect? Hmm, guess I’ll look more into that in the next episode. I was so blinded by the Nana-confident bitchy idol awesomeness but that’s understandable~. xD;

    *ignores others*

    Yep, what you said on the boring and very bland atmosphere of the anime as well as trying too hard to make it likable sums up my thoughts, too. I just went “Rina, Rina, Rina” instead. Hngh.

    Hoping that at least something interesting happens in the next episode, too. And not involving any of the other unimportant people.
    Oh wait, all they have to bring in is the media! Yea, and that it will be rocky sailing from there. Yes, bring in the media and the press and start some rumors. That will be fun. |3

    Yep. I’ll be looking forward to your posts on this since I won’t blog it. I shall rant long and hard again. Yes! Mwuahahaha~! xD

  15. My reason for watching this would be because of Nana and Aya.

    But I thought Aya would be playing the bitchy one.

    And now it’s reversed, so it’s just screwed up.

    So I reallyreallyreallyreallyreally thank you for blogging this. m(_ _)m

  16. The first episode didn’t have a lot in it, but I might try it again this upcoming week. Like Kiseki, I thought Aya would have been playing the “bitchy” one (remembering her performance as Haruhi). XD But so far, I like Yuki and Rina, though I have to agree that Yuki shouldn’t be taking crap from those other idols.


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