White Album 2

vndb: IC CC • erogamescape: IC CC • OP: IC CC


White Album 2 is a love triangle eroge from Leaf, bearing no direct relation to the first White Album save a few references. The Introductory Chapter was released in 2010 and the Closing Chapter was released in 2011. The writer is the famed Maruto Fumiaki.

Story: 8/10

Introductory Chapter:

The first part of White Album 2 concerns the protagonist Haruki’s attempts to put together a band for his light music club before their scheduled performance at the school festival. He eventually recruits two girls: Setsuna and Kazusa. The first half of the story is pretty standard school life, with Maruto’s signature touch breathing some freshness into things. The second half, which takes place after the school festival, focuses on the love triangle between Haruki and the two girls. The drama gets really intense in certain scenes, while still feeling remarkably honest and real. Drama at the end is excellent. You get the sense that this is ramping you up for the serious shit to come in Closing Chapter.

Closing Chapter:

Unfortunately Closing Chapter fails to follow through on the framework laid by Introductory Chapter. First major mistake: Kazusa is nowhere to be found. Yeah, lets totally remove one corner of the love triangle in a love triangle story by having one of the two main heroines completely absent. Who the fuck thought this was a good idea? Anyways, now Haruki and Setsuna are in college and wounds from their time in high school remain unhealed. They’re both trying to repair things and regain a closeness that was destroyed by the end of the previous chapter, but for some reason it’s just not working. Complicating things are a few new heroines who in classic eroge fashion enter Haruki’s life and present themselves as viable romantic options. These three girls all have routes, as does Setsuna. Obviously there is no Kazusa route, but this is such bullshit it bears mentioning. The drama in the common route is decent enough, but not as good as later scenes of IC, but I figured it was just building up to the serious, shit-hitting-the-fan drama of the actual routes.

Nope. The drama in the routes is consistently underwhelming. What you mostly get is romantic development, ichaicha, and ero, which are all unremarkable if well-written. And though I like all those things I’m playing this particular game for the drama. There are also plenty of pointless, prolonged daily life scenes, which are all the more frustrating when you feel that there really should be something actually happening. Each route manages a few good drama scenes, some of which approach IC’s drama in terms of quality, but the overall experience is disappointing. The overall concepts for the drama in each route are well thought out, particularly in how even the routes of the side characters examine Haruki’s relationship with Kazusa and Setsuna from new angles while still being about the route’s heroine, but the execution just doesn’t do the ideas justice. Even Setsuna’s route fails in the drama department, but I told myself again that this was probably just build-up for the next chapter.


That’s right: the Closing Chapter isn’t actually the end. A coda is a concluding musical section that is formally distinct from the main structure. And so it is with White Album 2’s Coda. Two years after Setsuna’s CC route Haruki and Setsuna are in a stable happy relationship, when Kazusa comes back into their lives. You’d think this is the dramatic climax of the story, and it is, after a sort. It’s the closest thing White Album 2 has to a dramatic climax. Despite the initial hook of Kazusa being back in town to fuck shit up, the common route of Coda is like CC in its lack of good drama save for a very select number of scenes. Same applies even for Setsuna’s Coda route. Luckily with Kazusa’s routes (she has two to make up for her absence in CC, though it’s not really enough to make up for it) we finally start to see some of the expected drama play out, and things end on a high note, relatively speaking, if you finish wish Kazusa True. Which you should, despite some sources like the walkthrough I used recommending doing Setsuna last. Kazusa True is clearly meant to be the last route you read.

More general thoughts:

The elephant in the room whenever I think about or try to talk about White Album 2 is the overwhelming length. The combined script of all three parts reaches near 4 MB, making it one of the very longest eroge. It took me months to finish all of White Album 2, partially because I didn’t have much time to spend on it, partially because sometimes even when I had time for it I didn’t want to play it (particularly the further I got into it and the more tired of its tediousness I became), and partially because it’s just extremely long. Unfortunately it really shouldn’t be so long, there’s simply not enough material to justify it, and the pacing suffers greatly for it.

In Kono Aozora ni Yakusoku wo Maruto wasn’t afraid to defy the eroge expectation to narrate every single day regardless how much useless text that resulted in: instead he skipped days or weeks or even months and the story never suffered from it, quite the contrary. Introductory Chapter follows this format too, for the most part, and proceeds at a refreshing, brisk pace. But Closing Chapter and Coda narrate just about every day over the course of a few months each and you can sense that Maruto was struggling to find stuff to fill each day, hence the rehashing of so much material. And the stuff he does skip over is still described at length in verbose “paraphrasing” or is covered directly anyways in a flashback.

Speaking of the flashbacks: they are incessant. Some amount of flashbacks is okay, particularly in a long game with a couple multi-year timeskips, but WA2 goes too far. Especially when most of the flashbacks refer back to shit that happened just the day before, some refer to events that same day, or even just a few moments earlier.

Other grumblings about pacing: You don’t need multiple lines of introspection after each line of dialogue, especially when you’ve got long diatribes of introspection independent of any dialogue. Partially because of this every scene goes on for longer than it should. Often the story will make you think a scene is over, will even start to black out, but then it keeps going on and will sometimes psyche you out with a fake blackout one or two more times. Conversations go on in circles and retread topics already covered in previous conversations.

I’ve referenced the mediocre drama already but I should talk about it more in depth I think, so that I’m backing up my assertions. The general problem is that the drama lacks intensity. Occasionally there are developments that really hook you, in fact there are a lot of very good dramatic hooks that impel you to read on to see how they develop and resolve, but these nearly always end up playing out in the most disappointingly unexciting ways. The first couple of times this happens I thought it was neat how Maruto subverted my expectations by having potentially disastrous situations resolve themselves without incident, but when it becomes the norm for any potential dramatic events to fizzle out without conflict it becomes really frustrating. The general flow of drama in White Album 2, and in fact the story in general, proceeds thus: something dramatic happens→Haruki spends a few days thinking about it and what it means for his relationships, talking to other people about it and what it means for his relationships, and thinking while talking→for whatever reason the drama is painlessly resolved. That’s not good drama. The only routes with decent drama are, not surprisingly, the Kazusa Coda routes where it’s not feasible to sidestep drama altogether, what with Haruki somehow having to transition from being with Setsuna to being with Kazusa. Even then it doesn’t stop Maruto from getting up to his old tricks again in one particularly rage-inducing example in Kazusa True.

What makes the drama in White Album 2 all the more frustrating is how it informs the atmosphere of the game. There is a constant air of drama palpable throughout story, even in the ichaicha and ero scenes, and it’s all the same low-level, half-baked dramatic tone I just ranted about. This makes the game literally monotonous, which doesn’t help its already existing pacing problems. You’re just trudging through this weak drama for hours on end.

There’s hardly even any real humor in the game. There’s some standard comedic relief that you’d find in any story and isn’t actually funny but is just put in there to mix things up, and there’s a few scenes that I assume are supposed to be funny since the obligatory slapstick song is playing, but none of it is genuinely funny. The only exception is some of the scenes with Haruki and his womanizing friend Takeya. The main problem with the humor is that Haruki is a terrible tsukkomi. Instead of short, sharp remarks when someone around him does something stupid he usually goes into long logical diatribes about why what they did was wrong.

Which brings me to another problem with White Album 2. Haruki’s interactions with other characters, which not surprisingly make up the majority of dialogue, invariably become arguments. Usually about minor details too, since Haruki is such a quibbler. If reading 4 MB of people bickering about petty shit is your idea of a good time, then White Album 2 is just the game for you. Again, this is part of what plays into the game’s pacing problems. A really unfortunate problem here is that even most of the scenes that are supposed to be emotional become arguments, with Haruki going into his reason-based “sermons” and the other party getting sucked into things. Emotional events are by definition not logical, and so forcing them into the rigid confines of a debate usually saps them of any ability to move the reader.

One good thing about the story is that it’s written by Maruto Fumiaki, who’s got a really nice writing style. He’s as eloquent as ever here, and it’s a testament to his power of expression that he can describe the same thing in so many different ways and have it read nicely every time. Over the course of such a long story the effect of the writing does diminish however, as you start to pick up on the tricks he uses and his normally refreshing writing and storytelling loses its freshness.

Characters: 9.5/10

Kitahara Haruki: The protagonist is stubborn, perfectionist, rule-bound, quibbling, preachy, meddling, and has an overinflated sense of responsibility, among many other undesirable anal-retentive, Type A personality traits. Understandably many readers hate him, but I found him to be a highly interesting protagonist and I gotta admit I liked the guy, though whether I’d want to be friends with him in real life I’m not so sure. Some people also call him hetare, but that’s objectively untrue since Haruki is capable and proactive. There are times when he is lost or hesitates, but that’s because he’s stuck in a really fucking complicated situation that would cause anyone to hesitate. It was a brilliant idea to stick such a responsible, black-and-white thinker into such a messy love triangle because of how it forces him to react, reflect, and grow. It’s like they set up an experiment they knew would have interesting and entertaining results.

Ogiso Setsuna: A bitch, basically. On the surface she’s personable and cheerful but really she’s clingy, needy, manipulative, and stubborn. But it’s more complicated than just this two-layer personality, more complicated than I could briefly describe. It’d take an essay or a psych evalutation. In fact Setsuna is among the very most complicated eroge characters I’ve ever seen, and could serve as good fictional representation of borderline personality traits. She’s also the heroine I hate more than any other heroine in any eroge. I think even Maruto realized Setsuna is a pretty unpleasant character, because he spends quite a lot of time directly telling the reader how good of a person and sweet of a girl she is, or having other characters talk about how good she is.

Touma Kazusa: Like Setsuna has a multilayered personality. With Kazusa she appears cold, aloof, and unpersonable, a lone wolf basically, but she’s really lonely in her self-imposed isolation. She’s also needy, but for some reason her neediness seems more honest than Setsuna’s and is thus more sympathetic. With Kazusa it seems more about dedication than selfishness. Kazusa isn’t as complicated of a character, and is the least complex of the three main characters, but in comparison to characters in other eroge she is still very well-developed. And she’s way more likeable than Setsuna.

This trio, the love triangle, makes up the core of White Album 2’s cast. They are three of the most complicated and, relatively speaking, realistic characters I’ve seen in eroge. They aren’t always likable, they’re all flawed humans to varying degrees, and they’re in a shitty situation that would bring out the worst in anyone.

In comparison to these three the rest of the characters seem rather unimportant, even the heroines in CC, which all have long routes devoted to them. In the larger picture, i.e. Coda, they really literally are unimportant. These other heroines, Chiaki the carefree irresponsible college student, Koharu the “mini Haruki” high schooler, and Haruki’s OL boss Mari, would all shine if they were in a regular eroge, but they pale in comparison to the main three characters. One thing I’d like to mention about them though is that I like how some of them were similar to other characters: Mari is a lot like Kazusa and Koharu is a lot like Haruki, and other characters notice this and mention it. It makes the cast feel a lot more real, since in real life the people around you aren’t all so uniquely distinct that they each fit into their own archetype boxes, like the different heroines in other eroge. We have similarities and personality traits that overlap. Even Setsuna and Kazusa have some similarities, which I already mentioned.

The supporting cast is made up of Setsuna and Kazusa’s families, a couple of Haruki and Setsuna’s friends, and some mostly route-specific characters. They’re mostly pretty uncompelling and many of the route-specific characters are very one-dimensional (and often times used for gags that aren’t funny). This, combined with the fact that the CC heroines aren’t as good as the love triangle, is what keeps me from giving White Album 2 a perfect 10 in this area. The side character I really liked is Takeya, who seems like a generic friend character in IC, becomes a pretty cool guy in CC, and grows into a full character in Coda.

Sound: 7/10

White Album 2 has a wonderful, extensive soundtrack. Too bad you spend over 90% of the game listening to the same three or four songs. Actually after going through the music mode there’s a few more than that, but they sound so much like the other few that it’s hard to differentiate. And either way the effect is the same: it amplifies the tediousness of the experience of reading through White Album 2. In fact the repetitive soundtrack is a major player in establishing said tedium, I feel.

The songs that you’ll rarely hear are all quite good, of course. As are the many vocal tracks (I think each route has a unique ED, plus all the insert songs) and background songs that don’t appear in the music mode (instrumental acoustic versions of vocal tracks, classical piano pieces, etc.). There’s a lot of good music here, as befits a music-themed game, and it’s regrettable that poor use of it results in an unpleasant listening experience.

The seiyuu do great with the tough job of acting out more nuanced than usual characters. Sometimes the voice acting in emotional scenes can get a little silly and over-the-top though. White Album 2 has a voiced protagonist, which caused a thousand (okay, maybe closer to a hundred) Western eroge players to instantly suck its dick. I’m more noncommittal. Having Haruki voiced is certainly nice in the emotional scenes but it also means you have to hear his moans during the ero scenes, and his moans are pretty disgusting and ridiculous.

There’s a weird overuse of sound effects in this game. The worst offenders here are probably the sound effects for pouring tea and the characters sipping tea. I really don’t need to hear that. I think Leaf just thought having sound effects for everything possible would create a more “high production value” experience.

Art: 6/10

The art is an embarrassment for a high-profile eroge from one of the oldest, largest companies in the business. This is especially true in the Introductory Chapter, where we learn that the artist does not know human anatomy and especially struggles with hands. For Closing Chapter Leaf was smart enough to get some additional artists to help out the poor guy, which results in bad art with some art that is occasionally good. The varying quality is almost as unpleasant as the outright bad art of IC, especially since the style also varies and in some CGs the heroines don’t even look like themselves. Speaking of CGs, there are not nearly enough for a game this length. It even seems to have fewer than a modern average-length game, closer to the number in an older average-length game. For some reason Leaf thought it was a good idea to have a whole slideshow of new CGs during the credits of Setsuna’s Coda route instead of using them in areas where they were much more needed.

The tea-pouring finds it’s visual analogue in panning backgrounds. I get using them occasionally in special scenes, but they go way overboard in their use which makes them no longer special.

Ero: 5.5/10

Most of the ero isn’t really fapworthy. It’s got the type of writing that tries too hard to be sensual and sentimental and as a result doesn’t arouse. People (men, at least) need simple, brutal descriptions of the blunt physical act that is fucking, not abstract bullshit about “accepting,” “holding,” and “guiding her to her summit.” To the ero’s credit a few of the situations, almost exactly one per heroine, are hot enough to make the scene worth fapping. I’ll also applaud White Album 2 for having ero that is consistently relevant and in fact necessary to the plot, or at least character relationships. You’ll miss out if you skip the sex scenes altogether so just skim the girly sex descriptions and read the pertinent lines.

Overall: 84/100

Pros: Main three characters are among the very most complex and human in eroge; very good music with ample vocal tracks; some powerful and heartrending drama; Maruto’s writing

Cons: Terrible, terrible pacing; the good music is underused, instead you get shit; most of the drama is weak and half-baked; poor production values for a “high production value” eroge; Fuck Setsuna

Once again I find myself at odds with popular opinion. You can probably sense that I am conflicted and ambivalent about White Album 2. Or maybe it just seemed like I hated it. I certainly don’t think it’s one of the best eroge ever. It could’ve been close. The overall premise had lots of potential, and there are brilliant moments here and there. I think the script inflation in the industry killed it. If the bloated script was trimmed down this could’ve been compressed into an average- or slightly-above-average-length eroge and it’d be just the best moments without the mediocrity that makes up most of the scenario and bogs things down. It’s also possible that this wasn’t the right type of game for Maruto. His tendency to subvert tropes didn’t work so well in a dramatic love-triangle game, where playing things straight would’ve been a better choice. And maybe Maruto can’t do the melodramatic stuff. Konnyaku had understated drama too, but it worked given the setting, unlike White Album 2’s soap opera premise. Hell, I would’ve read 4 MB of well-written soap opera, stuff like those few brilliantly intense moments scattered throughout this game. I would’ve loved it. It was what I was expecting all along. Sadly this game did not live up to my expectations.

And yes, I recognize the irony of writing a long, boring review to bitch about an eroge being long and boring.

54 Responses to “White Album 2”

  1. 1 fuji June 10, 2013 at 5:14 am

    no rina ogats/10

  2. 3 manohman June 13, 2013 at 7:01 am

    “guiding her to her summit”


  3. 4 manohman June 13, 2013 at 7:17 am

    do the coda routes end on a happy note?

    • 5 track0 June 13, 2013 at 10:03 am

      The True routes do. Kazusa Normal is called the “Cheating Route” in the PS3 version, which basically tells you everything you need to know about the route. The end isn’t really depressing but it’s not a happy end. Good route though: despite having like 7 ero scenes it’s got better plot and drama than nearly all the other routes.

      Incidentally the CC routes also all end happily. Not a depressing game in general in my opinion.

  4. 6 lonmyl June 17, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Hey, have you ever played Sekai de Ichiban Dame na Koi? Its also by Maruto Fumiaki.

    • 7 track0 June 18, 2013 at 10:31 am

      No I haven’t. Kono Aozora ni Yakusoku wo is the only other Maruto game I’ve played. Damekoi exists somewhere on my to-play list that itself only vaguely exists as a general concept in my head, but I think I’ll end up playing Parfait before Damekoi, in terms of Maruto games.

  5. 8 Hane June 22, 2013 at 8:09 am

    WA2 is really divides people’s opinions, so do its characters. Personally, I prefer Setsuna to Kazusa as I can somewhat relate my experiences to her situation, thus being able to sympathize with her more than Kazusa.

  6. 9 Mazryonh June 28, 2013 at 12:41 am

    Wow, this is a very contrarian review, especially given how WA2 is considered a “Kami-ge” (or “God Game”) by quite a few people.

    Your description of Setsuna alone would certainly get you a hate parade if this title were more well-known amongst the English-speaking eroge fans. I’d certainly be interested in reading a more thorough analysis of her character if you’re going to write one. I personally think that Maruto bought into his own hype about Setsuna, because from what little of the game and its sidestories have been translated into English I’ve read, Maruto spends lots of time talking about how she’s a perfect young woman, and how much of a bastard Haruki was to turn his back on her.

    As for “ero that is relevant to the plot,” that’s hard to write in well without making it gimmicky (such as the Alicesoft “h-training” games). One earlier eroge title from Leaf in 2003, named Tenshi no inai 12-gatsu,” is the only other Leaf title I know of that couldn’t have the ero completely removed without demolishing the story. Have you played that game before?

    As for the art, it’s clear that Takeshi Nakamura was overworked for the first release of Introductory Chapter–the poor man to my knowledge was never a sole illustrator for a Leaf title, unlike Hisashi Kawata (illustrator of White Album 1’s remake for the PS3 and many older Leaf titles), or Tatsuki Amazuyu (illustrator of Utawarerumono). I hear that some of his problematic CGs were fixed in the PS3 rerelease of WA2, though, and his earlier work in Tenshi no inai 12-gatsu shows that he clearly knew how to draw hands–it could be that he was severely pressed for time and working all on his own. Do you know which of the three non-main-heroines were illustrated by which artists?

    Haruki’s seiyuu even makes (censored) noises in this game? Has he done eroge titles before? Then again, this appears to be Madoka Yonezawa’s (the seiyuu for Setsuna) first eroge role, and you don’t seem to be complaining about her (censored) noises in this game.

    The loud sound effects for “pouring and sipping tea” could just be the Japanese style of portraying these sounds when you can’t actually see the tea in motion. I remember how obnoxiously loud the sound effect for sipping tea was in a crucial scene in the Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz OVA series from 1997, and this was played for a female “ojou-sama” character (who should certainly know better) handling an important diplomatic negotiation–I can’t think of any other reason for this kind of volume level for these sound effects than “the Japanese are used to it.”

    The general flow of drama in WA2 being formulaic could be an extended “take that” against generic soap opera drama where characters just stew over a terrible situation before everything blows up, instead of thinking things over rationally and asking for advice, though I wouldn’t think that excuses how overused you claim that is.

    So you didn’t like the non-main heroine routes then? I would have thought that if you had reviewed the instalments separately, you might have given each of their routes an impression here. It’s not likely their routes will be animated in the upcoming WA2 anime adaptation, sadly.

    • 10 track0 June 28, 2013 at 3:12 am

      Thanks for your comment. I’ll try to address each point.

      Even in Japan some fans hate Setsuna. While I can see why people would like her it is also fairly easy to hate her. It’s one of those situations where you’re either on Team Setsuna or Team Kazusa. I think your explanation for why Maruto tries so hard to make the reader think she is a good girl is a very plausible one. The most comprehensive analysis of her character I’d probably do is: she likely has borderline personality disorder.

      >ero scenes
      I’m of the belief that ero scenes often contribute to developing the relationships between characters, even if they aren’t “necessary,” but I think WA2 does this to a much better degree than just about any eroge I’ve played. I haven’t played Teninai (any non-nukige I’ve read in Japanese I’ve posted about on this site, so it’s not a very large number).

      Not sure which artists did what, sometimes egs will mention it but not with WA2. The general inconsistency with the art leads me to believe they didn’t assign each character to a single artist (though I realize this is a common practice in eroge).

      >Haruki’s VA
      He does all the sounds a female character would do in an ero scene. In some eroge, nukige mainly, male side characters are voiced even in ero scenes, but in those cases the number of lines they have in ero scenes are kept to a minimum and are mainly spoken lines with only a few grunts or something. Here Haruki has almost as many lines as the heroines. And yeah it looks like his VA has done lots of eroge (under the name 木島宇太).

      >sound effects
      WA2’s overuse of sound effects is remarkable among eroge at least. Sometimes eroge will have an overuse of footsteps (WA2 does this too) but I haven’t encountered anything as bad with the sound effects as WA2. I think overall they were going for a more “cinematic” experience with this game, which occasionally works but usually doesn’t.

      Yeah, Maruto seems to like subverting standards, but it really was excessive here. It was clever the first few times it happened, but once it becomes the standard it loses the appeal of novelty.

      >CC routes
      I liked them as much as I liked most of the game. They aren’t important in the grand scheme of things, and this post was already way too long, so I didn’t go into much detail. And even now I can’t think of what I could’ve added to my description of them, since I generally avoid plot summaries. Each one has good ideas and some good moments, but too much of the time nothing of any significance happens. Too much like a charage for a game that is supposed to be about the scenario (at least I think it’s supposed to be?).

  7. 11 Mazryonh July 2, 2013 at 5:22 am

    From what little I’ve read about BPD, it seems people with that problem are overly emotional and insecure about themselves, experiencing extreme highs and lows. But from what I’ve seen of the CGs for WA2, Setsuna doesn’t seem to do much more than become despondent when she can’t have Haruki.

    You really should play TenInai. Takeshi Nakamura wasn’t as overworked in that title as he was for this game and his drawings of hands are much better in that game’s CGs. And yes, Leaf used to assign specific artists to specific characters (as was the case in Comic Party and To Heart 2). I would have thought they would have continued the practice, though I don’t know why they didn’t use their more regular artists for WA2 to take a load off Nakamura for Closing Chapter and Coda (they would be Misato Mitsumi, Tatsuki Amazuyu, and Hisashi Kawata).

    So you really have no complaints about Madoka Yonezawa’s first try at (censored) noises? If she happened to be that good at it, maybe she was coached by Hitomi Nabatame (she has quite a history with 18+ voice roles). Yoriko Nagata (Koharu’s seiyuu) has apparently also done those roles since 2006 as well–too bad she didn’t get a lot of mainstream fame and acclaim through K-ON! (she didn’t portray a main character in that series, sadly).

    One male seiyuu that has had a lot of practice with 18+ roles is Akira Ishida. Maybe he should have coached Takahiro Mizushima as well.

    And “nothing of any significance” happens in the majority of the non-main CC routes? Damn, maybe Maruto’s gotten so big his editors (if he has any) don’t dare to tell him to “tighten up your prose” anymore.

    • 12 track0 July 2, 2013 at 12:04 pm

      BPD involves insecurity and being emotional, but it also involves being clingy and manipulative. Setsuna is all of those things. The only reason I’d hesitate to diagnose her with full blown BPD (other than the fact that I’m not qualified to, though I do work in the field) is she doesn’t do that thing people with BPD do where they absolutely love you when you’re doing what they want you to do, but when you do something they don’t like they’ll do an instant 180 and hate you in pretty vicious ways. She never gets that bad, she never legitimately hates Haruki or Kazusa, and the cruel stuff she does is all out of self interest.

      Voice acting seemed good all around to me, though I’m not the most discriminate person when it comes to seiyuu.

      In the side routes nothing of significance to the main plot happens (other than some additional insight into the triangular Haruki-Setsuna-Kazusa relationship), like what you see in a lot of games with true routes where the non-true routes aren’t relevant to the main story addressed in the true route. I’m not sure why Leaf allowed WA2’s script to get so huge, especially if they paid Maruto by the kb as is common with freelance script writers. Part of it is that there’s been an ongoing trend of script inflation in the industry, and length can now be a big selling point. Another thing is that longer games tend to stand out more, and often do end up highly rated.

      • 13 Mazryonh July 10, 2013 at 3:54 am

        Another player I’ve spoken to claims that Setsuna might better qualify for “Dependent Personality Disorder” instead.

        Was the question of “Why doesn’t Setsuna just get another boyfriend, given how attractive she is?” ever brought up in WA2? It’s a common trope in romance-centric stories that jilted lovers get “rebound partners” often.

        Why would they pay VN writers by the kb, anyway? That by itself is no real judge of writing quality, and the more lines that require voicing, the more they have to pay the seiyuus. I doubt veterans like Yuu Asakawa and Hitomi Nabatame came cheap, for instance.

        • 14 track0 July 17, 2013 at 6:14 am

          I don’t know as much about dependent personality disorder, never having worked with a client diagnosed with it, but I think Setsuna has too much of a backbone to qualify.

          That trope isn’t as common in eroge and other otaku-oriented media. Female characters are expected to be completely loyal to one man (the protagonist) to the point where they would never consider any other male romantically. And so it is with Setsuna: the question comes up but Setsuna could never see herself with any other man, even in those moments when she doesn’t really know if she wants to be with Haruki. Kazusa is the same way.

          Yeah, I don’t get paying by the kb, especially when length has a limited role in how much a company can charge for a game: there are low-, mid-, and full-priced games and these are general indicators of length but in the full-priced tier length can vary wildly. Other games at WA2’s price are often a third of its length. Maybe writers, even ones as esteemed as Maruto, just don’t get paid enough for even 3MB+ of script to make that big of an impact on an eroge’s budget.

          In the end I don’t have much formal knowledge of the industry. What I know is limited to what I’ve picked up in the 5 years I’ve been playing eroge.

          • 15 CheeseKun'sHat July 18, 2013 at 7:49 am

            Yes, Setsuna has a backbone, except when it comes to Haruki, and staying a friend with Kazusa. I’m quite confused by the latter, because what exactly does Kazusa do for Setsuna, anyway?

            I hear the former is partly because of the silly “otome fantasy” that otaku have about women staying pure for their “true love” (no matter how unattainable or unlikely that is, especially given the stupid kerfuffle otaku raise when certain seiyuu or idols get married or show signs of having boyfriends). It’s completely unrealistic (just check out how often women get “rebound boyfriends” in the real world, something Setsuna could do very easily given her status as campus idol), and somewhat silly in Kazusa’s scenario. Exactly how many years passed between Haruki’s anguished goodbye with Kazusa at the airport and when he meets her again in Strasbourg? What, like 5? That’s plenty of time for Kazusa to be seeing someone else (all the more likely given how much she chafes under her famous mother’s musical tutelage).

            How expensive was WA2 when it was released as separate chapters? I would think that most of the budget went to all the lines that had to be voiced by big-name seiyuus, frankly.

            By the way, do we get any information on Kazusa’s father? It might be interesting if she was an illegitimate child. All I’ve read about is her mother, Youko Touma.

            • 16 track0 July 18, 2013 at 9:44 am

              “except when it comes to Haruki”
              Not exactly. Haruki’s indecisiveness isn’t the only reason why he and Setsuna aren’t together in CC. Setsuna has her own reservations as well (and even directly rejects Haruki at least once) which I couldn’t see a dependent personality doing.

              And yeah, Setsuna’s stubbornness that the three of them stay friends no matter what is inexplicable, which makes it all the more annoying. I think the unreasonableness of it is supposed to be endearing or something.

              Kazusa is seen as being extremely unpersonable, and drives off a few potential suitors in Europe. I’m not sure if that’s really any more realistic than Setsunsa’s situation though, I suppose. People tout WA2 as a realistic love triangle, and while it’s more so than most eroge it’s still bound by genre standards and isn’t that realistic overall.

              egs lists the prices of different editions of the games. However I don’t know if these are the prices at time of release or current prices. I also don’t know how the CC releases worked: if they all came with IC or if there was a more expensive edition that includes IC+CC. All I know is the iso I downloaded had both (and was free).

              Kazusa’s father is briefly mentioned a number of times. It’s one of many points of contention between Kazusa and her mom. She was conceived out of wedlock, and I can’t remember if much else is said about the relationship between her father and her mom. I got the impression it wasn’t a very serious relationship. Youko slept around a lot.

              • 17 CheeseKun'sHat July 23, 2013 at 7:59 am

                Hmm, I know I’d like to see Setsuna rejecting Haruki in the anime; which route is that in? I think that “staying friends even if you aren’t actually compatible” could be a cultural bias in Japan, just like how they’re used to hearing loud pouring-of-tea and slurping-of-tea sound effects.

                Kazusa being upset that her mother didn’t actually take the time to build a family (yes, a married couple is a family, and definitely the start of one) before Youko conceived her is common to single-parent families where one progenitor (I use that term because “parent” implies a degree of caring for your offspring, which isn’t the case for Kazusa’s father) leaves before the child they helped to create comes into the picture. Oddly enough, in reality there is a new trend of well-accomplished women who have no time to find “Mr. Right” becoming “purposely single mothers” via donated sperm, but that’s neither here nor there.

                I know something I would have liked to have seen in Kazusa’s bad ending (not that I have read it already) would be, after Haruki and Kazusa part for the last time, for him to read via the news that Kazusa “disappeared” after giving birth to their child after he left Strasbourg, taking their baby with her–in essence Kazusa would be tragically repeating the cycle started by her mother. Pregnancy isn’t an element of the WA2 heroines’ stories last I checked, but something like that would have been nice to slam the tragedy home in Kazusa’s bad ending.

                Also, have you seen the “Extra Episode” added for the PS3 version of WA2? You can find out about it here:

                I surely hope that the WA2 anime preserves all the important story elements of the game. It’d be even nicer if the CC chapter heroines’ routes were also animated, though that’s extremely unlikely.

            • 18 Tokio September 13, 2013 at 6:54 pm

              I don’t know much about Setsuna’s way of life and her environment much in reality, but I still can relate Kazusa’s situation into reality… Basically Kazusa has already lived her life from little until high school by living alone, she just become a bit open up when Haruki come to her life by being pushy which leads to Kazusa falling in love with him (not really unusual reason to fall in love). It can be said that it is Kazusa’s first love and her first love didn’t really end well (I mean the way she parts with Haruki can still be categorized as her inner hope that Kazusa and Haruki can still be together even though actually in her mind she already thought that it is impossible, it is still categorized as something like cliffhanger)
              So, 10 years being alone without really much goal in her life and 5 years of being busy as a pianist not finding a guy, I don’t think that is so unrealistic.
              Another way of thinking, don’t think that every people in the world desperately want to have a lover, there are maybe some people who choose to find a lover in a romantic way (too much watching drama maybe?) and some people who don’t really care about having a lover at all
              I personally categorized as the latter as I don’t even want to have lover or get married,

              • 19 track0 September 14, 2013 at 5:37 am

                I think your first point is a good one. When someone spends almost their entire life, including the most formative years, in isolation (self-imposed or otherwise) it can be very hard to form relationships with others. Still, if Haruki was able to connect with Kazusa (how long did he know her for again, 2 or 3 years?) there’s a good chance that over the course of 5 years she’d meet someone else who would be able to drag her from her shell.

                The second point I’m not so sure about. I think it’s very rare for a human being to truly not want a significant other. It’s just such a fundamental part of our nature. Some people may be able to get by on a placebo effect from eroge or anime (or on the other end of the spectrum, one night stands) but that doesn’t count. But either way, Kazusa and Setsuna both want a boyfriend, rather desperately too. They’re only desperate for Haruki though, which is why it’s so unrealistic and idealized.

                • 20 Tokio September 20, 2013 at 5:21 am

                  Well yeah, actually there can be people who can drag Kazusa out from her loneliness in that period of time, well this maybe caused of Kazusa still thinking not wanting to erase her feeling to Haruki

                  Not really denying your second opinion XD, yeah maybe I’m too much influence with anime and game or such which makes me become like this. True it is human’s nature to seek comfort and such things from other people… if there’s no such things, the world will be soon empty. I don’t deny that I too actually search for that kind of thing, only with my resolve being better than it (maybe can be interpreted too as never get a chance to feel like wanting others, so I can say this)
                  Either way, I guess it can really be said that the situation is actually the idealistic one without relating much to realistic or unrealistic

                  now waiting for PSV version

                • 21 Mazryonh September 21, 2013 at 9:14 am

                  Haruki “knew Kazusa for 2 to 3 years”? Waitaminute, I thought he only knew her for the brief time in their final year of school together before she left for Vienna, whereupon they had no contact for 5 years (Haruki spent 3 years moping, and another 2 years with Setsuna after Closing Chapter but before CODA begins).

                  But yes, Kazusa not having a boyfriend or the like in the aforementioned interim is one of the more unrealistic parts of the story (and once again, tied in with the trope that “eroge heroines have eyes only for the player character).

                  As for people not wanting significant others, there’s plenty of reasons. Being burned/traumatized in previous relationships, being asexual, etc. If you’ve watched the anime series Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai the protagonist, Keima, is of the archetype who’s so tripped out on VNs that he thinks that real women only fall into those plotlines he’s been exposed to–I’m sure plenty of otaku may fall into this problematic mindset. You also have those who started the “3D PIG DISGUSTING” or “[RL women are all] BITCHES AND WHORES” memes too.

                  Of course, wanting a significant other versus being able to get a significant other are entirely different matters. Not being able to get one could be one reason why one turns to eroge in the first place!

                  • 22 Tokio September 23, 2013 at 4:59 am

                    Ermm, actually Haruki and Kazusa have known each other for around one year (assuming if they are still classmate in second and third year) or at least half a year (if Kazusa only become classmate with Haruki in third year since from what I remember on the first year Kazusa was in music class), well there’s also the summer time when Kazusa taught Haruki about guitar

                    Well if want to be said according to the game just like how Kazusa’s mother, Youko said that actually normal person can’t really understand the way of their thinking
                    while I agree that most of the eroge heroines having their eyes only for the protagonist (except for NTR and such ones), still, it’s not so unrealistic to say that Kazusa didn’t want to have a boyfriend, besides that even her mother said also that Kazusa always seems like talking to Haruki through her piano which still made her to be in bound with her feelings to Haruki and didn’t really want to let it go too as it was her number one reason in continuing piano
                    another thing, it can also be that Kazusa was comparing the other guy with Haruki too much resulting in her rejecting other guy who approach her, after all Haruki was the first guy to left impression on her (her tsundere action towards Haruki’s book that was being told in the digital novel), I guess (?) its not that easy for her to know other guy again… well she still got piano that she immersed herself in, like practicing 10 hours per day

                    haha 3D is disgusting and such are usually just the act of tsundere for them cause they can’t get any lovers in real life, well there’s some too that really act that way as not to accepting reality

                    lol, yeah, no matter how I’m being angry looking at the one using eroge as the way of running, I can’t deny the fact many people doing that

      • 23 Yithar July 31, 2017 at 1:39 am

        >but when you do something they don’t like they’ll do an instant 180 and hate you in pretty vicious ways.
        I’d say Setsuna gets pretty close. When she finds out what Yanagihara and her family are doing after Haruki’s made his choice clear in Kazusa’s True End, she lashes out violently and says how she hates them. But true, she never hates Haruki.

        Personally I’d say I’m on Team Kazusa. I see myself as a mixture of Kazusa (cool, aloof on the outside, but lonely on the inside) and Haruki (type A personality perfectionist, works hard, sometimes desires self-ruin but can’t take the plunge). I really dislike Setsuna’s BPD. Maruto tries to portray her as a good girl, but she obviously has this other nasty side of her, that Haruki isn’t truly aware of. It’s like one point she’s the “understanding” Setsuna and at another point she’s an angry Setsuna. It just feels like to me at times Haruki is dealing with more than one person, and it’s quite annoying.

  8. 24 T_I August 10, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Extra episode is an expansion of the cheating route
    Personally, it just made me dislike Setsuna and feel sorry for Kazusa
    Seriously, my jimmies are rustled. If I have to choose, I’d rather have the anime go Setsuna true rather than this

    Hope the VITA version has another bonus route for Kazusa, but I won’t cross my fingers

    • 25 CheeseKun'sHat August 13, 2013 at 11:51 pm

      Too bad, I was expecting there to be more Kazusa action from that extra episode. Maybe Maruto Fumiaki really likes the Setsuna and Haruki pairing best of all.

      • 26 T_I August 14, 2013 at 5:18 am

        You do get Kazusa action but it’s well..

        Honestly, I doubt anyone would want this route. It has things that make it distinctive and thus, interesting to some people. But it’s terribly depressing. You see Kazusa crying about Youko. Kazusa crying about dumping Haruki, Haruki crying about that and Sestuna trying to console him.

        Don’t we have enough suffering already?

        And even if you like Setsuna, I don’t see how you can consider her being a silver medal replacement as an acceptable ending.

        You see.. in this route. He did not chose Setsuna. He chose Kazusa, but Kazusa wouldn’t let him keep that choice. (which of course, she later regrets, because that’s how Kazusa rolls) I doubt this is Maruto lobbying for Setsuna x Haruki. If it is, he’s a twisted man.

        If I think of it, this really the main equation of White Album in a gist

        Kazusa is the really the one that Haruki wants. It’s not just pity either. He yearns for her. If you have doubts replay the game. he keeps approaching and baiting her on his OWN will.

        It’s just that Setsuna got to him first. (and even then, the game throws a plot twist at that)

        As someone on 2ch put it, White Album 2 is really true desire vs what everyone else (society, peers, friends) expects you to do.

        • 27 CheeseKun'sHat August 15, 2013 at 2:16 am

          Heh heh, I’m sure that when the English subs for the WA2 anime comes out, there will be plenty of fans loudly and obnoxiously protesting your position.

          Why would Kazusa be sad about her mother, Youko? Isn’t there a CG in the “Setsuna true ending” CGs that show her mother hospitalized but still largely well enough to spend some quality time with her daughter?

          So Setsuna was in love with Haruki while he was pursuing Kazusa? I hope that the anime series will go into sufficient detail about the main love triangle. It’ll be a shame if the anime series goes into the CC plotline without the non-main heroines’ stories, though.

        • 28 track0 August 15, 2013 at 6:33 am

          Yeah I think it’s fairly clear, objectively, that Haruki likes Kazusa more than Setsuna. Especially look at IC: Haruki was in love with Kazusa before he ever met Setsuna, and continues to love her after he starts dating Setsuna. IC is basically about Haruki loving Kazusa more than Setsuna despite going out with Setsuna. In Coda the description of his feelings for Kazusa is also more powerful than any of his feelings for Setsuna, I felt. Yearning is a very good way to put it. Plus he cheats on Setsuna with Kazusa twice but never cheats on Kazusa. If Kazusa wasn’t so interpersonally challenged she and Haruki would’ve begun a relationship in high school and things probably would’ve went swimmingly and WA2 would effectively not exist.

          “As someone on 2ch put it, White Album 2 is really true desire vs what everyone else (society, peers, friends) expects you to do.”
          That’s a nifty interpretation, and makes a lot of sense. Also explains why Maruto shoves Setsuna and her alleged perfection down the reader’s throat so much.

          • 29 Mazryonh August 16, 2013 at 3:16 pm

            Same commenter–sorry, I forgot that wordpress automatically fills in the last alias you entered. Did you look through the extra episode yourself?

            He never cheats on Kazusa? Wouldn’t participating in Setsuna’s h-scenes during her CC route count as cheating? As for interpersonally challenged, does Kazusa openly blame her mother for that?

            Also, could you tell me how exactly the two main heroines ended up in an onsen with Haruki in one of IC’s CGs? I’m sure the anime adaptation will try to include that to increase viewership through fanservice.

  9. 31 T_I August 15, 2013 at 5:52 am

    I’m always willing to debate facts. I was quite involved in Kimi ga Nozomu Eien and True Tears ship wars. Not a stranger to this.

    But wait.. you haven’t played the game? oh. this is awkward and I’m sorry if I spoiled you about things

    Youko has blood cancer. She is dying, and accepted that.She’s refusing certain types of treatment. Kazusa perceives this as her giving up, and is very frustrated.

    • 32 CheeseKun'sHat August 15, 2013 at 6:21 am

      No, I don’t mind being spoiled about this game.

      I think Youko has a lot to answer for, with regards to her daughter. Having her out of wedlock (which certainly hasn’t helped her opinion of men) and trying to make Kazusa follow her musical occupation, etc. If I were in Kazusa’s position in CC, I’d definitely object to Youko’s attitude as well.

      I still think Maruto could have gone even MORE depressing for the “Cheating Route” as you put it. Imagine if, after Haruki and Kazusa part for the last time (having engaged in a few h-scenes), Haruki later reads in the news about how Youko died and Kazusa gaves birth to Haruki’s child before “disappearing,” having been overcome by grief of her mother’s death and Haruki’s leaving her.

      In any case, I still find it unrealistic that neither Setsuna nor Kazusa have found someone else in the intervening years between IC and CC. It certainly would have been for lack of opportunity.

      • 33 track0 August 15, 2013 at 6:58 am

        “In any case, I still find it unrealistic that neither Setsuna nor Kazusa have found someone else in the intervening years between IC and CC. It certainly would have been for lack of opportunity.”

        Welcome to 独占厨, the reigning paradigm in eroge. Heroines aren’t supposed to realize that males other than the protagonist even exist. It’s closely related to 処女厨 that I wrote about in my last post (shameless plug—on my own blog!?).

        • 34 Mazryonh August 16, 2013 at 3:21 pm

          What exactly does Setsuna see in Haruki anyway? I hope the anime gives her a realistic reason to stick to Haruki, because by the end of IC he effectively tramples on her heart and spits on it, right in front of her.

          And I should have said “it certainly wouldn’t have been for lack of opportunity.” Setsuna is still the campus idol in CC, and Kazusa is still a famous pianist.

          • 35 T_I August 16, 2013 at 4:09 pm

            You really should play the game, but I’ll help you. One last time, though

            Check your animesuki box if you want more detailed spoilers.

            Kazusa talks about the men who tried to court her and why it couldn’t work. (according to her)

            It basically boiled down to they couldn’t handle her personality.. or they were so up high the powerful and wealthy ladder than even she was a small blip to them.

            You really need someone who is pushy and unrelenting/shameless like Haruki to drag her out of her shell.

  10. 36 ZLeon August 21, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    The closing chapter really a bit disappointing for me as there’s no Kazusa at all when the main focus is their triangle love…. well maybe its a need for Kazusa to be away too so that it can enter the coda, but still….
    Agreed with the opinion of playing setsuna true first then kazusa route, to get the feeling of the drama more

    Looking at both true end, I thought that if the anime plays out good and can reach until the finale of coda, it would be good to include both the true ending… maybe with setsuna’s true end then it is actually just a wishful thinking just like how Kazusa mentioned in her true end, and become her true end…. or actually the vice verse where it is Kazusa’s true end first then it become the happy life for everyone which is Setsuna’s true end…. Well I prefer the first though as I’m in Kazusa faction and I hate Setsuna

    but again it can also be the uwaki route… as after all the extra scene really makes it feels like another Setsuna route which makes Kazusa route reduce to become one only…. 😦 what’s with that large amount of CG for Setsuna… and only additional 1 for Kazusa….
    Well I’m just being a loser as I don’t like getting all of the hints from Maruto that insist on Setsuna being the main heroine (while actually me myself searching for hints and pray that Kazusa is the actual main heroine :p)

    • 37 track0 August 21, 2013 at 6:33 pm

      Man, I never considered the possibility of them using uwaki route for the end of the anime. That would be awesome. Maximum drama and maximum trolling. I’d put aside my loyalty to Kazusa to see anime shippers on all sides butthurt.

      • 38 Mazryonh September 3, 2013 at 8:50 pm

        If that happened, wouldn’t the anime watchers just call it “another KimiNozo”? That remains probably the most famous love triangle in eroge-adapted-to-anime, and how are they going to get out of KimiNozo’s shadow if they go down that route?

    • 39 T_I August 22, 2013 at 5:21 am

      I’ve heard that the reason for lack of sex during Kazusa true is to keep the emotions as “pure” as possible. Kazusa is really a deconstruction of a jun-ai / true love route.

      Next, Maruto likes Setsuna because she’s a Maruto kind of heroine with a Maruto kind of ending. See his other works. It can’t be helped.

      But If think of “White Album” I think Kazusa true is the intended finish line, and I think he was professional enough to acknowledge that, regardless of bias.

      Kazusa the only one with a post credit epilogue. It snows during he ending credits, and the ending song is called “closure”

      Additionally, there are extra Kazusa scenes that only appear in IC and Coda in 2nd play. The intent seems to be Setsuna True -> Kazusa True

      Also, freaking Powder Snow.. that’s how a White Album game should

      But really, I think the main issue is Setsuna route is there’s really not much drama. It’s just Haruki passing the baton to Setsuna and telling her to make use her magic on Kazusa for a therapy session.

      Kazusa true has epic bridge burnings. Affair is tumbling down, tumbling down, tumbling doooowwwn~

      So the only real option for entertainment value is Kazusa or Affair route. Affair would make seriously butt-hurt. I admit that.

    • 40 T_I August 22, 2013 at 5:23 am

      Also.. If you see all the promo images. Kazusa is always foreground and Setsuna is always background. It’s like this even in the WA2 anime site.

      what does that mean? I dunno

      • 41 ZLeon August 22, 2013 at 10:22 am

        Well this is what I always thought and make sure to myself that the true end is actually mean for Kazusa true…. by seeing all of the promo or the banner of WA2 with Kazusa as the main (being in front of the others, or being at the central of all other heroines)
        I don’t know, usually I don’t really care if my favorite heroine is not chosen for the true route as long as the main heroine is also likeable…. But, for some reason I just can’t like Setsuna one bit…
        if asking for difference I guess Setsuna’s true was different too, as it was the only one with no epilogue as in the ending credit it shows out some CGs and the marriage of them (damn) while in Kazusa true…. what’s with the ending CG being Setsuna again, its a freaking Kazusa’s route….-_-

        • 42 T_I August 22, 2013 at 6:56 pm

          Kazusa and Haruki are actually married in Kazusa true. But her stage name is still “Touma Kazusa” Business reasons.

          • 43 ZLeon September 21, 2013 at 9:16 am

            Well after doing some research I guess I find hints (at least for that’s what I think) which indicates Kazusa’s true route for more becoming true route, as in that route Kazusa and some characters like Takeya told all the other route as an IF route like how Kazusa told that it actually can be in their marriage Kazusa would play the piano, and how it will all actually end up by her being satisfied if only he would accept her from the first time and about the IF only Haruki would tell about all the circumstances to Setsuna….
            Another thing that I want to believe is that because in Setsuna route, it was Setsuna who is doing everything, in uwaki route it was Kazusa’s determination that plays a role, and in Kazusa’s route it was Haruki who played the big role in having determination and deciding things…
            and last maybe because of the monologue line that had been said in introductory part which told us that, it is the last time they were being together and perform something which contradicted with what happened in Setsuna route where they still making songs and perform it together….

  11. 44 ZLeon August 22, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Well I guess since in uwaki route, it shows out the happiness of Kazusa being with Haruki even for a short time and also give eternal happiness to Setsuna as she’s the one who gets Haruki at the end after all…. *tch

    still hoping PSV version got another addition for Kazusa….:(

    • 45 T_I August 22, 2013 at 6:54 pm

      but then it shows Kazusa regretting letting Haruki go in the expended PS3 cheating route

      because that’s how Kazusa rolls

      • 46 ZLeon September 6, 2013 at 1:29 am

        Well I guess so, since if its not for Kazusa’s role for being like that, this game won’t give much impact to the players…. As actually if the author wanted to give a better ending to Kazusa in the uwaki route, it can be made that whatever happen Haruki will still chose Kazusa and not letting her go….
        well, now just waiting for the anime to appear and what ending will they take, hopefully something that will satisfy me and showing the true end of White Album 2

  12. 47 Paru December 11, 2013 at 9:50 am

    To me the only true end is the Uwaki route. The reason being is not only is it the most entertaining, but it’s also the perfect deconstruction of Haruki’s character and makes the most sense given his personality and all the things he’s built up to. Plus the main emotion that WA2 brings out is rage, and this is certainly the route that brings it out the best.

    But I feel like they provided 3 different ends because…well they had no balls really. They couldn’t leave part of the audience that was leaning towards one side displeased so they gave multiple ending. One for Setsuna shippers, one for Kazusa shippers and one for sadists/masochists (which are the main people who will enjoy this game). It’s a huge cop out regardless and this game really should have had one true ending like most long visual novels, but ah well I guess they just didn’t have it in them for that. Though I guess whatever route the anime goes with will be considered the real true ending.

    Overall though the main problem with this game is the pacing. It’s probably the most dragged out visual novel I’ve ever played in my life (and I’ve played quite a bit). Not only that, but quite honestly I feel like none of the characters were people you could sympathize with by the end (which is the opposite I felt in coda). They were all interesting and well written, and had a nice relationship with each other but they were hardly endearing in any way. Though I find that the game really just wanted you to grow attached to them in IC so that you could feel all the more rage when you hit coda. It wasn’t as effective regardless because I could hardly give a crap about any character at that point but there was still entertainment to be had.

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who felt like there was something wrong with the ero-scenes. I felt like they were nearly impossible to enjoy quite honestly. Maybe it was because of Haruki’s hilarious moans in hindsight though.

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