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White Album 2

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White Album 2 (ホワイトアルバム2 Howaito Arubamu 2?) is a duology of Japanese adult visual novels developed by the visual novel company Leaf for the Microsoft Windows PC, and is the sequel to Leaf's earlier visual novel, White Album.[3] The first part of the series, named White Album 2: Introductory Chapter, was released on March 26, 2010. The second part in the series is named White Album 2: Closing Chapter.[4] The gameplay of White Album 2 follows a linear plot line which offers pre-determined scenarios with courses of interaction, and focuses on the appeal of the female main characters.

Gameplay

File:White Album 2 screenshot.jpg

The gameplay in White Album 2 requires minimal interaction from the player as the player spends the majority of their time on reading the text that is displayed at the bottom of the screen. The player's only interaction with the game is to click a button to advance the game by rolling the next line of text onto the screen. Unlike other visual novels, there is only one ending in Introductory Chapter and there are no choices for the player to select. In that regard, Introductory Chapter could be regarded as more like a movie than a video game.

Plot

Settings

White Album 2 takes place in the same setting as its predecessor with approximately ten years having been elapsed since the events of the first White Album.[5] Introductory Chapter begins during the second half of October.[6] Closing Chapter will begin three years after the events of Introductory Chapter.[4]

Characters

The player assumes the role of Haruki Kitahara (北原 春希 Kitahara Haruki?), the protagonist of White Album 2. He is a third year student at Hōjō High and a member of the light music club and has excellent grades.[7] Haruki plays second guitar.[7][8] Setsuna Ogiso (小木曽 雪菜 Ogiso Setsuna?) is one of the two heroines of Introductory Chapter. Setsuna is a third year student at Hōjō High. She has been Miss Hōjō two years in a row and enjoys singing karaoke.[9] Setsuna likes singing "White Album", a song from the original White Album visual novel.[5] Kazusa Touma (冬馬 かずさ Tōma Kazusa?) is the other heroine of Introductory Chapter. Kazusa is a third year student at Hōjō High and is in the same class as Haruki. She often dozes off in, is late for, or skips class.[10] Io Mizusawa (水沢 依緒 Mizusawa Io?) is a classmate of Setsuna's and used to be the captain of the basketball team.[11] Io was in the same class as Haruki during first year[11][12] although the two of have known each other since junior high.[12] Takeya Iizuka (飯塚 武也 Iizuka Takeya?) is a close friend of Haruki and is the president of the light music club.[6][11] Takeya plays the guitar[13] and is surprisingly popular with girls.[6]

Story

The story of Introductory Chapter begins around the second half of October[6] with Haruki Kitahara and Takeya Iizuka troubled over the fact that all the band members they gathered for the school festival have left.[14] After a bit of hard work, Setsuna Ogiso and Kazusa Touma are recruited into the club. With Haruki, the three of them plays together at the school festival.[6] They perform Yuki Morikawa's "White Album",[15] Rina Ogata's "Sound of Destiny", and an original song named "Todokanai Koi".[16][17] When the day draws to an end, Setsuna finds Haruki and then confesses to him and the two of them starts going out together.[18]

Some time later, Setsuna decides to host a birthday party at her place.[19] While en route to Setsuna's place, Haruki remembers how much Setsuna wanted Kazusa to attend[20] and becomes concerned about whether Kazusa ever got the notice so he decides to go to Kazusa's place directly to see if she is around but instead finds Yōko Touma, Kazusa's mother, there. Yōko tells Haruki that Kazusa will be living with her next month[21] and that she will not make the party because her plane arrives an hour after it has started. Haruki goes to pick Touma at the airport and tries to convince Touma to go to the party.[22] The two get into an argument[23][24] and Kazusa runs away but not before the two confesses their love for one another. Kazusa shows up to school one last time to tell Setsuna that she will be leaving for Vienna[25] and then never returns to school again.

Kazusa does not show up to their school's graduation ceremony but when Haruki is told by Setsuna that Kazusa was at school at one point because she found a letter from Kazusa,[26] Haruki runs all across the city looking for her. He goes home fruitless but receives a call from Kazusa and finds her standing near his house and the two of them reconciles with each other. On the next day, Setsuna convinces Haruki to go to the airport together to see Kazusa off.[27]

Development

The director, artist, and character designer for White Album 2 is Takeshi Nakamura[4] who had previously worked on Leaf's other games such as December When There Is No Angel[28] and the PlayStation 3 port of Tears to Tiara. The scenario for White Album 2 is written by Fumiaki Maruto and Kikakuya.[29] The pair has worked together before on other visual novels such as Kono Aozora ni Yakusoku o.[30] The producer for White Album 2 is Naoya Shimokawa.[5]

According to Shimokawa, Maruto was the one who came up with the original design and concept for White Album 2.[5] After hearing the details from Maruto, Shimokawa felt that Maruto may be able to create a game that surpassed the original and decided to run with the idea.[5] When Nakamura was told that he would be the artist for the game, he went to speak with Hisashi Kawata, the artist for the original White Album, Kawata stated that he wanted to see the painful winter images that Nakamura would create.[31] Nakamura admits that because White Album 2 is a sequel that he does feel some pressure about the work.[31] Despite being busy with Kimi ga Yobu, Megido no Oka de and the PlayStation 3's Tears to Tiara, Nakamura went ahead and created the character designs for the game even though no one had asked him for them.[31]

When asked about the release date of the second part of the game, Shimokawa stated that it would be nice to release it some time during the winter season to align with the feelings that the title "White Album" evokes.[28] Shimokawa believes that the scenario should be all complete by then and that it would come down to whether the art is completed in time or not.[28] Unlike December When There is No Angel where there were two artists, Nakamura is alone this time and has to work on both the heroines and the supporting characters, making it a rather big effort.[28]

Release history

A preorder campaign for Introductory Chapter began on September 25, 2009.[2] Preorders that were received within an unspecified time period received a super deformed model figure of Setsuna Ogiso.[2][28] Both the limited and regular editions of Introductory Chapter was originally planned to be released on February 26, 2010 but it was delayed,[32] Introductory Chapter officially went gold on March 12, 2010[29] and was then released two weeks later on March 26, 2010.[32] The limited edition of the game includes a hardcover novel with it.[2][28] The novel is named Yuki ga Toke, Soshite Yuki ga Furu Made (雪が解け、そして雪が降るまで?), and was written by Maruto and illustrated by Nakamura.[2] The novel that comes with Introductory Chapter is told from a different perspective.[3] The novel that will come with Closing Chapter will be a story set between the events of Introductory Chapter and the second game.

Music

Introductory Chapter has three theme songs, the opening theme "Todokanai Koi" (届かない恋?), the ending theme "Twinkle Snow", and the insert song "After All: Tsuduru Omoi" (After All -綴る想い- After all -Tsuduru Omoi-?). Both the opening theme and insert song is sung by Rena Uehara.[1] The ending theme is performed by Akari Tsuda.[1] Shinya Ishikawa composed both "Todokanai Koi" and "After All: Tsuduru Omoi" while Junya Matsuoka composed "Twinkle Snow".[33] Matsuoka handled the arrangement of "Todokanai Koi" and Michio Kinugasa arranged "Twinkle Snow" and "After All: Tsuduru Omoi".[33] A CD single containing all three songs was released on May 26, 2010.[1] The single peaked at 65th place in Oricon's rankings for one week.[34]

Drama CD

A drama CD entitled Matsuri no Mae: Futari no 24 Jikan (祭りの前~ふたりの24時間~?) will be released on August 13, 2010 during Comiket 78.[1][35] The script will be written by Fumiaki Maruto and the illustrations will be done by Takeshi Nakamura.[1][35] A short novel will also be included in the drama CD.[1][35] The premise of the drama CD will be about the day before the school festival that was not told in the game.[1][35] Haruki Kitahara, Setsuna Ogiso, and Kazusa Touma, and will be voiced by Takahiro Mizushima, Madoka Yonezawa, and Hitomi Nabatame respectively.[35]

Reception

Introductory Chapter tied for second place in bishōjo game preorders in Japan between the months of December 2009 and January 2010.[36] It was the second most widely sold PC game in March 2010 on Getchu.com.[37]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Official White Album 2: Introductory Chapter website "Special" section (Japanese). Leaf (2010-07-23). Retrieved on 2010-07-24.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Official White Album 2: Introductory Chapter website "Product" section (Japanese). Leaf (2010-02-19). Retrieved on 2010-03-29.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "注目の2タイトルとLeafのこれからをプロデューサーに直撃! 下川直哉氏スペシャルインタビュー" (in Japanese), Dengeki Hime (ASCII Media Works) (December 2009): 105, 2009-10-30, ISBN 4910164071296 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Leaf. White Album 2: Introductory Chapter. (Leaf). (2010-03-26)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 (in Japanese)Push!! (Max) (December 2009): 34, 2009-10-21, ISBN 4910078831290 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 (in Japanese)Tech Gian (Enterbrain) (January 2010): 96, 2009-11-21, ISBN 4910063050101 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Official White Album 2: Introductory Chapter website "Characters" section: Kitahara Haruki (Japanese). Leaf. Retrieved on 2010-03-29.
  8. (in Japanese)Push!! (Max) (December 2009): 32, 2009-10-21, ISBN 4910078831290 
  9. Official White Album 2: Introductory Chapter website "Characters" section: Ogiso Setsuna (Japanese). Leaf. Retrieved on 2010-03-29.
  10. Official White Album 2: Introductory Chapter website "Characters" section: Touma Kazusa (Japanese). Leaf. Retrieved on 2010-03-29.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 (in Japanese)Push!! (Max) (January 2010): 90, 2009-11-21, ISBN 4910078830101 
  12. 12.0 12.1 Official White Album 2: Introductory Chapter website "Characters" section: Mizusawa Io (Japanese). Leaf (2010-01-22). Retrieved on 2010-03-29.
  13. Official White Album 2: Introductory Chapter website "Characters" section: Iizuka Takeya (Japanese). Leaf (2010-01-22). Retrieved on 2010-03-29.
  14. Translated quote: "Ah, what should we do, Haruki? It's down to just you and me now..." Leaf. White Album 2: Introductory Chapter (in Japanese). (Leaf). (2010-03-26) "なぁ春希どうしよう?とうとう俺とお前の二人だけになっちまった..."
  15. Translated quote: "Ah, for the song we performed just now...let me introduce it to those that are not familiar with it just in case. / It's called "White Album", from about ten years ago or so I guess...it's Yuki Morikawa's debut song." Leaf. White Album 2: Introductory Chapter (in Japanese). (Leaf). (2010-03-26) "あ、それで、今の曲ですが...一応、知らない方のために紹介しておきますね / 『WHITE ALBUM』といって、今から10年前くらいかな...森川由綺さんのデビュー曲です"
  16. Translated quote: "It's an original song we just completed yesterday." Leaf. White Album 2: Introductory Chapter (in Japanese). (Leaf). (2010-03-26) "昨日完成したばかりの、わたしたちのオリジナルです"
  17. Translated quote: "The title is..."Todokanai Koi"." Leaf. White Album 2: Introductory Chapter (in Japanese). (Leaf). (2010-03-26) "タイトルは...『届かない恋』です"
  18. Translated quote: "So I...well, um, I...I'm going out with Setsuna." Leaf. White Album 2: Introductory Chapter (in Japanese). (Leaf). (2010-03-26) "だから俺...だから、その、俺...雪菜と、つきあうことにした"
  19. Translated quote: "Let's have a party with everyone, why don't we?" Leaf. White Album 2: Introductory Chapter (in Japanese). (Leaf). (2010-03-26) "みんなでパーティしようよ?"
  20. Translated quote: "If at all possible, I'd like to celebrate with everyone." Leaf. White Album 2: Introductory Chapter (in Japanese). (Leaf). (2010-03-26) "できればみんなに祝ってもらいたいから"
  21. Translated quote: "I've talked with her. Starting from the next month, you'll be living with your mother...and that you'll be going off to Europe." Leaf. White Album 2: Introductory Chapter (in Japanese). (Leaf). (2010-03-26) "そこで正直に話すんだ。来月から、母親と一緒に住むって。...ヨーロップにいっちまうって"
  22. Translated quote: "I've come to pick you up for...Setsuna's birthday party." Leaf. White Album 2: Introductory Chapter (in Japanese). (Leaf). (2010-03-26) "雪菜の誕生日パーティ...迎えにきた"
  23. Translated quote: "Why didn't you come talk to me about this at all? Why, why...Touma!" Leaf. White Album 2: Introductory Chapter (in Japanese). (Leaf). (2010-03-26) "どうして俺に一言の相談もなく?どうして、どうして...っ、冬馬っ!"
  24. Translated quote: "Aren't you the one that disappeared in front of me!? Aren't you the one the went to a place that I couldn't reach!" Leaf. White Album 2: Introductory Chapter (in Japanese). (Leaf). (2010-03-26) "あたしの前から先に消えたのはお前だろう!?勝手に手の届かないとこに行ったのはお前だろ!"
  25. Translated quote: "In any case, it's been decided. After the graduation, I'm going to Vienna." Leaf. White Album 2: Introductory Chapter (in Japanese). (Leaf). (2010-03-26) "とにかく、もう決めたんだ。卒業したら、ウィーンにいく"
  26. Translated quote: "There was a letter inside my desk...it wasn't there in the morning though." Leaf. White Album 2: Introductory Chapter (in Japanese). (Leaf). (2010-03-26) "わたしの机の中に手紙が...朝来たときにはなかったのに"
  27. Translated quote: "Let's go, Haruki. It's not yet over for the three of us." Leaf. White Album 2: Introductory Chapter (in Japanese). (Leaf). (2010-03-26) "行こう、春希くん。まだ、終わってないんだよ、わたしたち"
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 28.5 (in Japanese)Push!! (Max) (December 2009): 35, 2009-10-21, ISBN 4910078831290 
  29. 29.0 29.1 Official White Album 2: Introductory Chapter website (Japanese). Leaf (2010-04-02). Retrieved on 2010-04-02.
  30. "Kono Aozora ni Yakusoku o" official website's staff section (Japanese). Giga. Retrieved on 2010-03-29.
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 (in Japanese)Tech Gian (Enterbrain) (January 2010): 94, 2009-11-21, ISBN 4910063050101 
  32. 32.0 32.1 「WHITE ALBUM 2」発売日変更のお知らせ. Aquaplus (2010-02-17). Retrieved on 2010-03-29.
  33. 33.0 33.1 TVアニメ『AB!』『WA2』など近日発売のCD4タイトルを紹介. Dengeki Online (2010-05-22). Retrieved on 2010-05-24.
  34. 届かない恋/Twinkle Snow 上原れな,津田朱里のプロフィールならオリコン芸能人事典-ORICON STYLE. Oricon. Retrieved on 2010-07-11.
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 35.4 コミックマーケット78 アクアプラス関連情報 (Japanese). Aquaplus (2010-07-23). Retrieved on 2010-07-24.
  36. PCpress' Preorder Ranking (Japanese). PCpress. Retrieved on 2010-03-13.
  37. Template:Citeweb

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