MTF on White Album episode 1

White Album is one of the shows I’m hyped about this season. I’ve read some interesting posts on it, watched the raw and the sub of episode 1, and finally discussed it in MTF. The thread itself made me think a lot about romance anime of then (read: 20 years ago) and now, as well as compelling me to try some of the older shows out (incidentally, MTF is where I first learned of Kimagure Orange Road due to one of its characters showing up in last year’s AGP). Actual thread here.


It’s not just the setting, the OP & ED visuals, the slow paced love story, it’s all very 80s drama. It’s no surprise that a lot of people are already calling this show boring when they’ve been experiencing a completely different level of romance in today’s shows.


You know, Shiro, you just described why I can’t seem to enjoy today romance anime …while watching with pleasure shows of the 80ies and 90ies (as you may have noticed). The way romance flows in today’s anime feels “forced and artificial” to me. The way the characters’ behaviours and reactions are portrayed feels going for the shock and glamorous values while being superficial and unnatural.

iczelion74 (in response to Olf):

I think the modern writing style in general is just reflection how different today’s youth are when compared to those in the 80’s/early 90’s. Kids today seem to be so desensitized that they need that kind of shock value to pay attention for a full 24 minutes. Blame it on youtube clips, cell phones and instant messaging.

[Cue in confused me thinking out aloud if I should get my ass started on KOR.]

omo (replying to Olf, too):

While this is true, it’s not an accurate picture. I think there are still some shows today which have very organic outlay of relationships and character expositions. But they tend to get lost in the noise considering there are probably 5+ times more anime titles per year now than it was 10 years ago, let alone in the 80s.

There are a handful of anime in the 80s that probably satisfies olf, and there are probably just as many today. It’s just harder to find them.


Not to mimic olf, but yeah. Series today force romantic relationships between characters. 80’s series showed how emotions grew within characters and as to why the characters really felt for each other. In series today, apparently, getting trapped in a room, and having some event happen and the main character saving them from it means they’re instantly in love.

Hopefully White Album isn’t so shitty.

Regrettably, I really can’t say anything substantial here because I haven’t seen any romance anime that’s older than the 90’s, because I’m normally repelled by the dated animation and character designs. That, and they’re loooooooooong. But the discussion above has me wanting to watch KOR, Maison Ikkoku, and even Touch. For me, seeing how love unfolds in a show is much more rewarding than whatever climax the show presents.


I feel the KOR comparisons are a reach. These characters all know each other and have defined relationships. This would be more like we’re picking up at KOR episode 131 or thereabouts and nothing had been resolved yet. To Heart is closer.

I’m getting interesting mixed vibes of homage retro, observational retro, and nostalgic retro. A blend of, “I want this to be what I liked”, “I want this to be what I liked about what I liked”, and “I want this to be a reminiscence of what I liked from where I am now.” I’m probably reading too much into this.

I like the visuals and the music. The text for inner dialogue and the phone scene were effective devices. None of the characters have grabbed me yet, but at the pacing the series is setting, that will only come with time anyway. And I’d like it if Touya could start showing something personality-wise to explain why he’s at the center of all this.

All in all, a lot of potential. I’ll be following this one closely.

And I’m getting left out now, not having seen To Heart. Being a /m/an has its downsides, too.

dm (replying to iczelion):

I suspect it has more to do with 12-episode series instead of 96-episode series. Why 12-episodes? Because you can move maybe eight times the character goods with eight 12-episode series than you can a 96-episode serie. Eight times the figures, eight times the pillowcases, eight times the artbooks and pencil-boards.

Also, you can advertise eight times as many manga series, light novels, or other material.



White Album’s okay, but I’m just not feeling it. I’ll give this another few episodes for Nana potential mostly.

KOR is the best romance series in the history of anime. Those that say otherwise haven’t seen it or are kidding themselves.

Lol. Knowing Link, he wouldn’t resort to this sort of hyperbole if he didn’t really mean it. KOR interest ++

Final Thoughts

Well, the mixed bag of first impressions for White Album has certainly surprised me. But I can definitely say that I like the show. I like the text monologues, the ostentatious 80’s sensibilities, the character designs, and the seiyuu. I can bear with the bad music that stands out in the worst way possible. The only thing that I truly don’t like about the show right now is Touya, because he’s such a slob at life. Oh Atsushi Doujou, how the mighty have fallen…

Oh, and Hirano didn’t get to sing. Lols

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5 Responses to MTF on White Album episode 1

  1. Kitsune says:

    It is not clear yet how White Album will turn out in the long term, but the show has some potential, especially for the older audience who can appreciate the atmosphere of the 80s.

    Maison Ikkoku was my first anime, but I have not seen all the episodes – I should rewatch it someday 🙂

  2. Koji Oe says:

    Where are people getting these feelings of the 80’s from? I know the show is set in the 80’s, but White Album sure as hell doesn’t feel 80’s to me. KOR and Maison Ikkoku sure felt 80’s like.

    Especially KOR because of the way the characters dressed, the music used, the kinds of setting the characters went to (discos lol). I didn’t even mention the animation either.

    In White Album they could have very well never given a date and I would have just assumed it took place in the current times. That’s how bad they’re pulling off this 80’s thing in White Album.

    I saw KOR and Maison Ikkoku for the first time last year. I enjoyed both immensely and if you haven’t seen them yet I would suggest taking the time out to watch them. They’re actually pretty mature as far as their respected genres can get I think.

    KOR as one of the greatest romance animes is debatable. I compare it mostly to the wonder years TV show, and KOR is a good show about growing up. I don’t know about romance though.

    Looking back it felt like there was a lot of indecisiveness on the part of the main character which just kinda dragged the show on in a good way. I would say that Maison Ikkoku has a stronger romance aspect to it than Kimagure mostly because the main character is college age and the series lacks a love triangle.

  3. schneider says:

    @ Kitsune

    Yep, potential. Too much hate in just one episode, when will some people learn…

    @ Koji Oe

    Well, that’s why I said White Album is ostensibly 80’s, when the only 80-esque thing that stood out in the 1st episode was the weird punk-fix getup.

    And don’t take Link’s remark seriously. Again, I’ve yet to watch KOR so I have no right to talk stuff about it yet. First things first though, I have to clear my backlog of LOGH episodes to watch. 😛

    Maison Ikkoku is about a college guy? That’s a plus for me.

  4. animekritik says:


    Oddly enough, Maison Ikkoku was my first anime too (as an adult, I used to watch Japanese cartoons as a kid).

    This show might turn out very well, very well indeed, especially if you’re into angst.

  5. Pingback: anitations - notes on White Album 01

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