January 2009


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       This episode begins in the other world, with it becoming colder and colder, the girl is almost unable to move, she tells the junk doll that she wants him to stay with her, but he continues to work on the craft so they can make their escape from this world.

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     Meanwhile, Tomoya and Nagisa prepare for the birth of their child. While Tomoya goes to work each day, Sanae spends the day taking care of Nagisa. Tomoya is uncertain about whether he’s been good or bad for Nagisa, and he even asks Sanae if she and Akio wishes that he had never meet Nagisa that way she wouldn’t be in this situation, Sanae tells Tomoya that she and Akio are glad that he had meet Nagisa for many reasons.

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     As Christmas and Nagisa’s birthday are approaching, Tomoya asks Nagisa what she wants? A big dango family of course, but Tomoya says that there’s not enough room. In the end, for Christmas and Nagisa’s birthday, Tomoya still gets Nagisa another large stuffed dango. Youhei stops by for the New Year’s holiday and he’s shocked at seeing how pregnant Nagisa is, then Kyou and Ryou also stop by, and soon Kotomi shows up too. As everyone is making small talk, Youhei asks Tomoya what it feels like to become a father, and soon the girls are also interested in Nagisa’s and Tomoya’s thoughts on parenthood.

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      After a few tense moments, Kyou, Ryou, Kotomi, and Youhei figure out that Nagisa and Tomoya are still the same people they knew from before. See, they admit that they were a little uncomfortable because they were worried that Tomoya’s and Nagisa’s new status as a married couple and expecting parents have placed them in a different world from them. Soon, the conversation turns to Kotomi’s field of study, parallel worlds. Kotomi tells them that current theory says that it’s possible that other worlds exist near our world and it’s possible that there could be linkage between these other worlds. Kotomi’s words triggers Tomoya’s memories of a vision he had of a other world that contains a lonely girl. Ryou then tells the group that she still feels that the future is not set in stone, and that there are many possible paths for the future.

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      A few days later, Tomoya is watching the construction of the new hospital when Akio walks up and joins him. Tomoya and Akio talk about how the city is changing, and Tomoya tells Akio that he feels that if the construction was stopped that Nagisa would get better, Akio tells him not to be silly, but Tomoya tells him that’s how he feels. At the same time as a heavy snow storm hits the city, pretty much putting a stop to everything, Nagisa develops a fever and begins her labor two weeks early.

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           When Nagisa begins her labor, she’s having a tough time with it, and Tomoya holds her hand for comfort. Soon, Akio and Sanae arrive with Yagi-san, Akio tells them that he doubts that any vehicles will be moving because of the storm. Yagi-san soon takes charge of Nagisa’s delivery, she tells Tomoya to remain calm and to give support to Nagisa. Nagisa’s labor lasts for hours, Nagisa loses consciousness several times only to reawaken in severe pain, Tomoya is so upset by Nagisa’s pain that he almost feels like looking away, and he says that it feels like it’s taking an eternity. Then when Tomoya says that he feels that his mind won’t be able to take it any more, Nagisa finally gives birth to a baby girl.

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     As soon as Tomoya is handed Ushio-chan, he shows her to Nagisa, but Nagisa is very listless and tired. When Tomoya shows Ushio to Nagisa, she’s very happy that Shio-chan was born safely at home, but Nagisa says that she’s very tired and that she now needs to rest. As Tomoya tries to keep Nagisa conscious by talking to her about their baby, Nagisa’s vision slowly turns blurry, fading to white. Tomoya keeps calling out to Nagisa, and as Ushio’s cries of life bathe the apartment, Nagisa’s gentle and loving spirit leaves this world as she dies.

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        Once Tomoya realizes that Nagisa is dead, he sees flashbacks of all the good times he and Nagisa had together, and he comes to the conclusion that if he and Nagisa had never met, they wouldn’t have dated, fell in love, married, and had Ushio, causing Nagisa’s death and creating all this sadness. Well, that’s all for this episode, I couldn’t have taken anymore, anyways.

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       Well, I knew that this outcome was possible, maybe even probable, but that knowledge didn’t lessen the impact that Nagisa’s death had on me. I know that there are plenty of Nagisa haters out there, or at least people that would have rather have had Tomoyo hookup with Tomoya instead, but I feel that Tomoya and Nagisa were tied together by the red string of fate.

       What made Nagisa’s character endearing to me was that while she might not have been strong of body, Nagisa was a kind, gentle, caring, and loving soul. Many times throughout this series Nagisa had opportunities to become bitter or angry with her situation or with others, but she instead chose the path of caring and understanding.

     After watching this episode  I found myself experiencing two contrary states of human emotions; joy and profound sadness. First I experienced the feeling of joy for Nagisa seeing her wish completed. When Tomoya asked Nagisa what she wanted, she told him she really wanted a child, and she wanted that child to be born intheir home. Nagisa also told Tomoya that she felt that the life she was bringing into this world was greater than her own. So, in that respect, I felt great joy for Nagisa safely giving birth to her dream, her wish, her child, Ushio. But, I also felt the contrary emotion of profound sadness for Tomoya. In those moments after Nagisa’s death, Tomoya pretty much turned his back on everything that his and Nagisa relationship was built upon, after all the happiness that he and Nagisa experienced together in their courtship and marriage, culminating in the birth of their ultimate expression of love, Ushio. At that moment, Tomoya wished that he and Nagisa had never met, never married, and never given birth to this sadness. To be true to Nagisa and her dream, Tomoya should have seen Ushio as his supreme treasure, a shining jewel to protect, cherish, and to nourish with enough love for two people, but instead I think that Tomoya will go down his father’s path for a while, I just hope it won’t be that long of a journey.

     It’s perfectly OK for Tomoya to feel sadness over Nagisa’s death if it’s for the right reasons, like feeling sad because he misses his wife, his lover, and his soulmate. But, it’s not OK to feel sad because he wishes that he and Nagisa had never met; go ahead and cry Tomoya, but cry for the right reasons. For a better explanation about my feelings on this matter please read the review portion of this post, and enjoy the following poem about what I feel is Tomoya’s and Nagisa’s cycle of life.

This is our Cycle

Our world is an endless cycle
To live we must die
To die we must live
One thing contradicts the other
But we cannot do without them
To survive you must fight
To fight you must survive
Our world never ceases
Or begins
Its all one big cycle
Over and over
To begin we must end
To end we must begin
This is our cycle
This is our life
To dream you must have hope
To have hope you must dream
Here is our cycle
Our life
Our hope
Our dream
Our death
Our life
This is our cycle
It is more than it seems
By Janelle Morehart

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      This episode begins with Touya getting a phone call at around 5am from Rina, she says she’s calling because Yuki’s too busy to call, Yuki needs to move up the time of their date. Touya suggests 10Am at the scheduled meeting place, or because he was so sleepy was it at 11Am somewhere else? So, the next day both Yuki and Touya board separate trains to travel to the their meeting place. But, it seems that Touya is uncertain about what gate he’s supposed to meet Yuki at, so he goes searching around the station. While waking around, Touya bumps into and knocks a schoolgirl down, and when he tries to help her up she calls him a pervert.

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       After talking with the girl, Touya asks her if she’ll look for his girlfriend at this location while he watches another location? She says that she doesn’t know what his girlfriend looks like, and when he tells her his girlfriend is Yuki the idol, she laughs at him. While this is going on it seems that Rina has something up her sleeve, she seems to be searching for Touya for some reason of her own. After a while, the schoolgirl suggests that since Touya and Yuki were supposed to meet at the school anyways that he should just go there and wait, and with this logical suggestion Touya declares the girl to be his goddess of the day. At about this same time, Rina also gives up on waiting and jumps into a cab, also the schoolgirl decides to tag a long with Touya.

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      As soon as Touya and the girl arrive at the school, the girl jumps on another bus, and as she’s leaving she tells Touya that she hopes he finds his girlfriend. Back at the train station, it’s after 11Am and Yuki is now waiting for Touya to show up. As Touya is waiting at the high school he sees some smiling kids, and he has flashbacks of him, Yuki, Akira, Haruka, and Misaki all smiling and laughing as kids. Touya then realizes that he’s in the wrong place to meet Yuki, so he goes rushing off to meet her, and in the process he runs right past her as she’s in a phone booth.

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     When Touya finally makes it to where he was supposed to meet Yuki, he tries to call her office but they won’t give him her contact information. At the same time, Yuki decides to go to their old high school, and when she gets there she also has flashbacks of her high school days. As the day goes by, Yuki and Touya keep running past each other. Back at Eiji’s office Rina keeps stalling her practice session with Eiji until it gets so late that Yuki’s manager finally gives up and leaves, and Eiji asks if he’s finally free for the day?

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      As Yuki’s manager is leaving the office she gets a call from Yuki, and she tells her that it’s too late, so the lesson is canceled for today. As Yuki is leaving the phone booth Touya spots her, and they embrace on the sidewalk. While they are hugging, Yuki tells Touya her secret, she will be releasing a single that Eiji wrote and composed for her. After they talk for a while, Touya asks Yuki if she wants to go back to his apartment, she says no, but she tells him that he can walk her home. As they walk home, they talk about the misunderstanding about the time and place of their meeting, and once they get to Yuki’s apartment she invites him up.

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      Yuki tells Touya that she doesn’t want dreams of being with each other to be only in their dreams, so Touya goes inside the apartment building with Yuki. Once they get to her door, Yuki and Touya face each other and begin kissing. While Yuki is in the shower Touya sits on her bed thinking to himself. Well, that’s all for this episode.

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      Well, this was another episode filled with misunderstandings, miscommunications, and too much angst. First of all, I really don’t get what the deal is with why Rina has to be the go between for Yuki and Touya, can’t Yuki make a call on her own, and why doesn’t Touya just tell Yuki that he wants her apartment phone number? Also, why can’t these two young adults ever just be able make a date and actually keep to the time and place, I don’t really care if Yuki’s a idol, she should be able to meet him at cafe or at one of their apartments at 11PM or so! Now to the issue of Yuki’s and Touya’s longing for each other, give be a break, they clearly need each others company and have deep feelings for one another. So, if they don’t finally get busy, then as far as I’m concerned, they can pine away for each other and I won’t feel the least bit sorry for them. Well, for now, I’ll keep watching to see how it works out for them, and I’m also interested to see what Rina’s part in the whole story is.      

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     This episode begins with Touya talking on the phone Rina while Yuki tries to call Touya only to get a busy signal, after a short interruption by Haruka, Rina offers Touya a part time job helping her manager. At first Touya is hesitant, but Rina mentions the fact that she’ll be working together with Yuki, and then it looks like he accepted the job. As soon as Rina hangs up, Yuki’s call to Touya goes through, they talk for a while and Yuki tells him that she managed to get this Saturday off, but it looks like this might conflict with something Touya has at school, but he manages to get Haruka to take care of the school matter for him. But, before he can tell Yuki about Rina’s job offer, Yuki’s time on the phone runs out, so she has to hang up.

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      On Thursday, Touya begins his new part time as Rina assistant manager, as he arrives at the building he finds out that Rina’s brother Eiji (a company president) has fired her main manager, so Touya has to fill in as the full time manager. When Rina sees him entering the building she waves him into a room where he meets a shocked Yuki.

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        As Rina is filming a take for her upcoming show, her brother talks with another company president about how Yuki isn’t ready for prime time yet, she’s too nervous. Then Touya waves to Yuki from across the stage, this causes Rina to stop the taping and she slaps Touya for the interruption. She calls Yuki and Touya into a private room, where she proceeds to loudly chew them out. But, this is just a front, while she is supposedly yelling at them, she really arraigned a meeting between Yuki and Touya on the roof.

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     On the roof, Yuki tells Touya about how Rina arraigned this for their benefit, Yuki then hugs Touya from behind, and he tells her that that’s her place. He then asks her about the secret she mentioned before, she only tells him on half of the secret (they are going to visit their old high school) and she tells him that he’ll have to wait for their date on Saturday to find out the other half. Before Yuki and Touya finish their meeting on the roof, it looks like someone has spotted them while they were up there.

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           Later, we see Yuki calling Touya and breaking their date for Saturday, it seems that president Eiji has something for Yuki to do on Saturday. As soon as Yuki finishes her call, Touya gets a phone call  telling him he’s been fired from both jobs(?). Touya then goes to his father for help, all his father does is give him some food, but when he goes back to the university office he’s told that a tutoring job is available at twice the normal rate if it’s him. When he’s shows up at the tutoring  job someone throws a note down to him telling him to go away for today, so he decides to stop at Echoes to visit Akira.

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       While Touya is talking with Akira, Rina bursts in and goes to see her brother, we see that’s she pissed at him for firing Touya, and he tells her to talk it over with him and he quickly leaves the building. As she rushes after her brother, Rina tells Touya that she’ll make it up to him, and Touya wonders to himself if meeting Rina was good luck or bad luck? Well, that’s all for this episode.

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     Well, this episode was low key and filled with mystery, it obvious that Yuki and Touya are in the middle of some one’s game, but who’s game is it exactly? It seems to me that Rina’s call and job offer to Touya was her just trying to help out Yuki with her boyfriend, not really flirting or I could be wrong, and it could also be Rina that setup the tutoring job for Touya. I wondering who exactly saw Touya and Yuki on the roof, was it Yuki’s manager, or was president Eiji? If it was the manager did she tell Eiji to fire Touya, or if it was Eiji does he feel that Touya is a distraction keeping Yuki from becoming a “robot/machine” like his sister Rina. I blame a lot of this stuff on Touya’s inaction, I’m sure that when Yuki gets off work and heads back to her apartment, it’s not a prison camp. So, Touya should just head over there and tell Yuki how much he loves her and misses being with her, then they can rock the futon and make some noise, problem solved, angst and longing gone.  

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       This episode begins with Akio, Sanae, Nagisa, and Tomoya discussing the upcoming birth of Nagisa’s baby, Akio tells Tomoya that it will be a pain, but Tomoya tells him that he’ll protect her, and Sanae says that Tomoya sounds just like Akio when Nagisa was being born. Tomoya starts thinking about how he’ll now have to support three people since Nagisa will probably have to take a leave from her job.

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      Then Tomoya gets congratulations from his fellow workers about his upcoming baby, and he also finds out that everyone from Nagisa’s neighborhood also knows about Nagisa’s pregnancy. As the days pass, Nagisa starts needing to sleep more and more because her morning sickness gets worse, Tomoya works hard taking care of Nagisa and the household. After about ten weeks, Nagisa starts to feel a little better, and Nagisa starts talking to Tomoya about having a home birth, she wants their baby to be born in their home.

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       Later, Tomoya goes to visit Akio to talk about Nagisa’s request for a home birth,  Akio and Sanae both agree with Nagisa’s request as long as her health is OK. A few days later, Sanae brings over a woman named Yagi-san to visit with Tomoya and Nagisa, she’s a friend of Sanae, and she is also a midwife. After the meeting with Yagi-san, Sanae pulls Tomoya to the side and tells him that Yagi-san knows about Nagisa’s problems and tells Tomoya that the most important thing is to keep Nagisa relaxed and calm.

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      Later that night, Nagisa asks Tomoya if he and her mother where talking about her health? Nagisa tells Tomoya not to worry, she knows that everyone is worried about her health, she also tells Tomoya that if something happens to her she wants to have this baby. Then during a visit to Nagisa’s parents house, the topic of the baby being able to now hear stuff outside the womb comes up, and soon Nagisa, Sanae, Akio, and Tomoya all sing the dango song together. After this, Tomoya feels that everything will be alright, but he still has worries in the back of his mind.

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     Then one day Tomoya comes home from work to find that Nagisa has again become ill, Yagi-san tells Tomoya that the baby is OK, and Sanae tells Tomoya that starting tomorrow that she’ll spend her days with Nagisa. Then one day Sanae runs into Tomoya outside and she tells Tomoya that they have to discuss some things, so they go to Nagisa workplace. Over coffee, Sanae tells Tomoya that the doctors are now worried about the baby’s birth being a risk to Nagisa’s health, Tomoya asks if Nagisa’s health becomes worse should she have a abortion, and Sanae tells him that the doctors said that it should have been done as soon as possible. Sanae tells Tomoya that he should think over the possibilities with Nagisa.

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     Once Tomoya returns home he discusses everything Sanae told him with Nagisa, and Nagisa tells Tomoya that she wants to have this baby, and Nagisa is even willing to forgo the home birth for a hospital birth if it will increase the chances of success. Tomoya goes to visit Akio and he tells him about Nagisa’s decision and his worries. Then Akio takes Tomoya to his secret place, where he tells Tomoya about the time when Nagisa was young and they left her alone and she wandered outside and collapsed. He tells Tomoya that when all seemed hopeless for Nagisa he grabbed Nagisa and ran with her and ended up in this place, he dropped to his knees and prayed for Nagisa’s salvation, and as if in a dream, Nagisa made a recovery. Now, he tells Tomoya that he considers this place to be a part of Nagisa, but we can see that the area is going to be turned into a hospital. Akio tells Tomoya that since we are family, we’ll help each other through the tough and painful times.

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      A few days later, Nagisa and Tomoya are taking a walk and Nagisa feels the baby moving, so they sit down, and Nagisa wants to talk about a name for their baby. So they come up with the name Ushio Okazaki, they feel that this name will fit whether it’s a boy or a girl, Nagisa says that she’ll always watch over Ushio, and Tomoya asks Nagisa if she feels that Ushio’s existence is bigger then hers, and Nagisa says that’s true. Tomoya asks Nagisa to promise that next year they’ll all come to the beach together, Nagisa, Tomoya, and Ushio. After a small pause, Nagisa says it’s a promise. Well, that’s all for this episode.

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      Well, after watching this episode I found myself experiencing so many mixed emotions that I’m finding that it’s really hard to place all my thoughts down properly. As Nagisa’s pregnancy progresses, I find myself being overwhelmed by the dual oppressive feelings of melancholy and foreboding. While this period of life should be one of the happiest for any young couple, it feels as if Nagisa views this event as the finishing point and validation of her life. While she’s never said as much to Tomoya or her parents, it’s as if Nagisa always felt that she was living on borrowed time and that if she gives birth to Ushio that she’s given birth to a existence greater than herself, sort of a culmination of all the happiness she has absorbed throughout her life.

      Until seeing this episode I’ve always wondered why Nagisa had this mysterious illness that seems to come back during the fall and winter, I’ve had my personal theories, but nothing firm. But, now I’ll take a guess, since there is this a legend about lights being created by creating happiness within the city, and those light can grant a wish. So, my guess is that since both Sanae and Akio were actors in high school, they created alot of joy and happiness by making people happy with their acting. So, when it looked like there was no hope left for Nagisa, and Akio grabbed her and ran off into the woods, his asking and praying for Nagisa to be saved was answered by the land and the city, but this also linked Nagisa to the land and the city. So, when fall and winter comes, Nagisa vitality and health declines as the land begins to wither and go dormant for the winter. But, Tomoya has noted that things are changing, the city where he and Nagisa found and created their happiness is beginning to disappear, and maybe Nagisa along with it. In the end, I think that Nagisa’s fate and maybe her final salvation will depend on whether or not she and Tomoya created enough happiness within the city and if they can grab hold of one of those globes of light.

      Overall, this was a fantastic episode that touched all my emotional strings, when Nagisa, Tomoya, Akio, and Sanae all sang the dango song together I teared up. I’ve really become attached to Tomoya and Nagisa, I hope and pray that things will turn out alright for them, but I can also feel winter’s cold approach again. Well, I guess I need to have a large box of tissues handy for the next episode, it most likely won’t be pretty.

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       This episode begins with Rina wanting to meet Yuki’s boyfriend, but Yuki gets called to the president’s office instead. Then as Touya is still staring at the hung up phone receiver, Haruka shows up at his door and she asks him if he wants to go for a walk, he refuses. Touya changes his mind and runs along side of Haruka while she rides her bike, they then just kind of talk about small stuff, and just hangout at a park. Meanwhile, Yuki’s manager drops her off at the president’s house for her meeting, then Rina shows up and stumbles in on Yuki’s meeting. Upon seeing Rina, Yuki breaks down in tears and runs to Rina for comfort. When Rina asks her whats wrong, Yuki tells her that she is crying because she’s happy.

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       Later on, when Touya is working at Echoes, Akira shows up to visit him, and they talk about cheesecake and Misaki. Soon two female customers arrive at Echoes all bundled up, it turns out that Yuki and Rina have shown up because Rina wanted to meet Touya. So, Yuki and Rina enjoy some coffee and Akira’s cheesecake, and Akira tries to start some flirting between Rina and Touya. But after only five minutes, Yuki’s manager shows up to take her back to work, because Rina’s on a different schedule she stays to talk with the guys.

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      Rina chit chats with Touya about school and Robert Browning’s poetry, when Rina hands back a poetry book to Touya she put a note inside the book asking him for his phone number. After a few slight hesitation Touya gives Rina his phone number, and a few seconds later Rina’s brother shows up and he takes her to the recording studio. Rina’s manager then shows up asking for her and Akira tells him that she hasn’t been here, and he rushes off.

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        After work, Touya calls Misaki to check on her, he talks to her about her health and the poetry book, but what he really wanted to talk about is Akira and the cheesecake, but he just can’t do it. Once Yuki finally gets back to her apartment she looks over at her phone, and as Touya is walking up to his apartment he hears the phone ringing. When Touya answers the phone he finds out that it’s Rina who’s called his apartment to talk with him. Well, that’s all for this episode.

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       Well, after watching the second episode of White Album I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s a whole lot of loneliness and longing going on in this show. First you have Akira who’s been hanging around with Misaki for 5+ years, he clearly cares for her, but he’s unable to come to a decision about what he wants between them. Then we have Haruka who is also lonely and still hurting from her brothers death, she comes by to visit Touya and almost acts like a substitute girlfriend for the missing Yuki. You also have Misaki who seems somewhat lonely, she willing to stay on the phone to chit chat with Touya when she’s clearly ill.

     Then you have Rina Ogata, a popular idol, who has not many friends, and goes home alone, and who seems to want to live vicariously through Yuki’s boyfriend. Then you have the main couple Yuki and Touya, who both seem to be lonely without each other, Yuki ends her day at her apartment alone even though she has a boyfriend, and Touya misses being with Yuki so much that he gives his phone number to a woman he just met.

     I like this anime so far, but I don’t really understand all this loneliness going around, if all the characters whom are all young adults did more talking about what they really think and want there would be a lot more shared futons at night and a lot less frustration going around. But, I guess if that happened right away then we wouldn’t have any romantic drama/tension in this series, oh well. 

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        This episode begins with Touma returning home from school to find the pudding that she was saving had been eaten by her brother Natsuki. So, Touma shows up at the Minami apartment asking if she can spend the night there, Haruka says OK but she calls Touma’s house to let them know that she’s there, and Haruka finds out that Natsuki ate Touma’s pudding and she gets angry at him. Later, Haruka finds out that someone ate one of the three puddings that she bought, and as the girls are staring at the two remaining puddings the doorbell rings. It seems that their uncle Takeru has stopped by for a visit, and he has brought the girls a gift of pudding. So, it turns out that Haruka ate part of the pudding, Kana saw this and also ate some, and finally Chiaki finished off what was left. But, thanks to Takeru, they now have five puddings, so they all enjoy some pudding.

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      The next skit involves Uchida stopping by the Minami household with some apples she brought back from the country, when she offers the apples to the girls everyone acts strangely except Kana. But, even Kana starts acting strangely to Uchida, Kana excuses herself and points to a box and tells Uchida not to look inside. Uchida fights the urge to look inside the box, but soon her curiosity overwhelms her and she peers inside the box only to find it’s full of apples.

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       Then Touma stops by and sees that Uchida is passed out, and Kana asks her if she’s prepared for baked apples? When Touma returns home she’s stuffed to the point of being sick, and she gives her brother an apple and tells him that’s it a gift from Haruka. Then the three Minami brothers sit around and try to ponder the meaning of the single apple, and they come up with the idea to make Touma a baked apple. The next day, we see that Haruka is on the phone giving some cooking advice to Natsuki, Touma says that her brother is good at cooking but not at making sweets. As the girls listen to Haruka talking on the phone, Kana asks Chiaki if  Haruka sounds so passionate on the phone does she like Natsuki, Chiaki says no way.

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         As the girls talk, the discussion turns to cooking and soon Kana, Chiaki, and Touma are in the kitchen trying to finish the meal that Haruka started earlier. As they try to finish the curry dish, Haruka’s cooking instructions to Natsuki bleed into the kitchen and Kana starts adding stuff like sugar to the curry dish. The girls end up making something that was not fit for human consumption, so Touma heads home without eating any dinner.

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        So, when Touma returns home her brother offers her some dinner, fried eggs that smell like curry, it seems that Natsuki also managed to screw up Haruka’s over the phone cooking instructions. The next day Touma discovers that Natsuki has again ate her pudding even though she marked her name on the lid, both the other brothers tell Natsuki to apologize to Touma but he pushes them away like fleas, he finally tells Touma that it’s his fault and he’ll get her a new one, but she pissed and tells him she won’t forgive him and heads off to the Minami household again.

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       When Haruka hears whats happened she says she’ll have a talk with Natsuki, then Kana has a discussion with Touma about how she should mark her food better. Both Kana and Touma practice marking their meals, but Chiaki tells them to get Haruka’s opinion of their marking skills before they try it in real life. When Haruka sees Touma’s and Kana’s marking skills she’s confused and can’t make any sense of it, and Kana says that their foiled again. Well, that”s all for this episode.

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       Well, pudding, apples, and cooking, that’s pretty much what this entire episode was about. I found the first skit to be precious, it was classic Minami-ke, when Takeru shows up with the additional pudding, everyone ends up happy, in Minami-ke, good food equals happiness. Also, it was nice seeing the reintroduction of the Minami brothers to the series, seeing their cluelessness about girls, and Touma is pretty funny especially when contrasting that with Kana’s cluelessness about guys (Fujioka). Overall, I found all the skits to be very enjoyable and funny, I don’t know or is it just me, but is Kana’s idiocy starting to affect Touma more and more?

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       This episode begins with a young man (Touya Fujii, age 19 or 20) waking from a dream of his long time girlfriend (Yuki Morikawa, age 19 or 20) breaking up with him because she has become a Japanese idol. Once Touya turns on his TV he see Yuki getting interviewed, but he has to rush off because he’s late for his part time job. Later, when Touya makes it to college he finds Yuki waiting for him, and they talk about her TV interview.

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      After a few minutes, Yuki’s manager shows up and she has to leave for work, and it seems like Touya wanted to talk longer but Yuki runs off to work. Later, while Touya is at the university’s job office (later we find out that Touya lost his job because he was late for work) he runs into two mutual friends of his and Yuki  (Misaki, and Akira), and Touya and Misaki sit down and have a conversation about school stuff and Yuki. Misaki tells Touya that Yuki will only get busier and they’ll  have less time with her. So, she tells Touya that he has to grab hold of her even tighter (if he wants to keep her).

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         Later, Touya is walking with Akira and he asks him if he’s decided about Misaki, he suggests that after five years of hanging around with her that he would have made his mind up, he tells Touya to mind his own business. As Touya is talking with his friend about how his dream and today’s real world experiences have linked up, another friend of Touya’s shows up on a bike (Haruka), and she wants to talk with him. Akira makes a comment to Haruka and she takes off with Touya chasing after her, when he finally catches up with her, he tells her to forget about Akira.

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       After Haruka and Touya talk for awhile, we find out that Haruka arraigned today’s meeting between Touya and Yuki. As Touya and Akira are riding a train, Touya tells Akira that Yuki moved into the new apartment that her management agency picked for her. After Akira finds out that Touya doesn’t have Yuki’s new address, he tells Touya that Yuki’s production company might be trying to break them up as a couple.

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      Later at Yuki’s workplace, we see that Yuki had her idol outfit ruined, and she is being harassed by another idol group. We then find out that Yuki was targeted because the other idol group was too spineless to attack Yuki’s senior (the idol Rina Ogata). Rina asks Yuki if she has another outfit she could wear but Yuki tells her no, and that Rina should go without her because she’ll come up with something, as Rina is walking off she hopes that Yuki has the strength to not give in. Later, we see Touya at work with Akira at Cafe Echoes (it seems that Akira got him a job?). Later, Akira asks Touya why he just doesn’t asks his father for some financial help, Touya doesn’t like that idea, but he calls his father anyway and his father hangs up on him.

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       Then we see Rina performing at a concert, and we see Touya watching TV seeing Yuki appear in the game show he’s watching. Just then, he gets a phone call from Yuki, and he tells her that he just saw her on TV and she says that was recorded last week. They talk about their day, Yuki hides the fact that she was bullied, Touya tells her about his new job at Echoes, and they talk and talk, until Yuki has to hangup because Rina has come back to see her. Touya is left holding the phone in his hand wondering what was up with that? When Rina sees that Yuki did OK coming up with a new outfit at the last minute she give Yuki the “thumbs up”, she asks Yuki if that was her boyfriend, and she says she would like to meet him. Well, that’s all for this episode. 

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               Well, I enjoyed this first episode more than I thought I would, this series seems to be pretty close to the same type of story that the REC. anime series (2006) had with the exception that the two characters from REC. were a few years older than Yuki and Touya. The setup for White  Album is that you have a young couple that has been dating since high school, and now they are both sophomores in college. The girl (Yuki) has embarked on a career as a idol, she spends less and less time at school, and her new career path leaves little time for her boyfriend. The boy (Touya) is a average college student who’s time is taken up by his studies, and trying to hold part time jobs. Yuki is cute, nice, and somewhat naive about the sometimes backstabbing nature of her industry. Touya has a serious nature, but seems somewhat sullen at times because he’s unsure about his future status with Yuki.

      The real issues for the characters in this series will be all about communication, and time management. Yuki seems like she still really cares about and needs her relationship with Touya, so she’ll have to remember to tell him that she still needs him, and she’ll have to find time to spend with him. Touya seems to really care about Yuki and he’s worries that he’ll lose her as she progresses in the industry, so he’ll have to tell her that he loves her and still needs her, but he’ll also have to make due with spending less time with her than before.

        Overall, I enjoyed the first episode and will be watching the next couple of episodes, I look forward to seeing how Yuki’s and Touya’s relationship develops and if they can work through their problems. The supporting characters, such as Rina, Akira, Misaki, and Haruka seem interesting and I’ll also look forward to seeing how their stories and personalities get fleshed out.

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