WHITE ALBUM – 02
After getting off the phone with Yuki, Touya is visited by Haruka who wants to go for a walk. Although he initially turns her down and slams the door on her, he eventually goes with her. The walk turns out to be him on foot and her on a bike, and the two end up at the park. In their subsequent chat, Haruka reveals that she didn’t directly contact Yuki to tell her to come to school but had taken credit for it because she had prayed for it. She then sits back-to-back to Touya, and even though he thinks to himself that that’s Yuki’s spot, he doesn’t stop her. The two push each other back and forth for a while until Haruka suddenly gets up to go home. Meanwhile, Yuki goes to Eiji’s place to talk about something important, but when Rina gets there, Yuki is in tears, having just finished listening to a cassette. Rina is confused as to why Yuki is crying, but all Yuki says through the tears is that it’s because she’s happy.
The next day, Touya is at work when Akira comes by with some cheesecake that he made because he knows that Misaki likes cheesecake. Misaki, however, was absent from school today, so he wasn’t able to give it to her. Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of a disguised Rina and Yuki who have some free time before work. Touya quickly sees through Yuki’s disguise, but he’s shocked when Rina uncovers her face. They serve the girls the cheesecake and chat about how Rina is Touya’s goddess for the day until Yuki’s manager comes to pick her up. This leaves Rina and Touya to talk about the book of Browning poems, and Rina slips Touya a note asking for his phone number, so he writes it down. Rina then gets a ride from Eiji who came by, and on her way out of the cafe, she gives Touya one last smile.
That night, Touya calls up Misaki and finds out that she’s sick. For the majority of the conversation about Browning and the poems, Touya’s mind keeps going back to the cheesecake and Akira, but he never actually says anything about it to Misaki. She eventually mentions that she had a favor to ask of him, however she starts coughing and never gets around to talking about it. After the call, Touya heads home and finds a box of food in front of his door. Figuring out that it’s from his father, he decides to return it. When he gets home again, he hears the phone ringing and picks it up. The caller is Rina, and while talking to her, Touya realizes that he was waiting for this, but he wonders to himself who he was waiting for.
Well, I thought this episode was a lot better than the first one even though it still suffers from some confusing story flow and things that don’t get explained very well (like why exactly Yuki was crying). I certainly wouldn’t call the pacing slow anymore now that the story is taking shape with a few very interesting developments this week. All of the main girls – Rina, Yuki, Haruka, and Misaki – appear interested in Touya in some way, and he’s not really pushing back on any of them even though he already has a girlfriend in Yuki. It’s starting to become clear why Touya is compared in an unfavorable way to Makoto from School Days and Takayuki from Kiminozo.
I really enjoyed the scene with Haruka (seemed like the animation quality went up a notch too with that flickering light), but the biggest move story-wise was made by Rina, starting Touya down a potentially dangerous path. In these two episodes, he hasn’t exactly been shown to be exceptionally close or intimate with Yuki, so I guess it’s not unexpected that he doesn’t reject any advances or flirting. What I don’t understand is why Rina is doing this if she appears to be such a good friend to Yuki. Is she secretly a mean girl or is she really that lonely and doesn’t understand that this could lead to a lot of pain for everyone involved? I’m going to guess the latter for now, but I suspect we won’t find out the full answer for a while, especially not since the story appears to be focusing more on Haruka for next week.
Note: I still haven’t yet decided whether I’m going to continue blogging this series, but I’m leaning towards yes right now.