[Twisted Romance Winter 2017] Like White Album 2? Watch This!

You know how sometimes it's nice to watch someone else do something stupid so that you feel less stupid. I imagine that messed up romance anime have a similar sort of effect, by reminding us that other people also make overwhelmingly terrible decisions. One such series that aired a few years back is White Album 2, the story of a high school love triangle, which is accompanied by a wonderful soundtrack. White Album 2 was certainly one of the harsher romance series of recent years, and not one we would recommend watching if you're already having a bad day. But these more dramatic shows also have a sense of realism to them that a lot of anime doesn't have, which is commendable, and one of the reasons series like White Album 2 remain popular. Many of us can relate to relationship related screw ups after all.

The Winter 2017 season happens to be accompanied by two series with some similar themes: Kuzu no Honkai and Masamune-kun no Revenge, both of which are romance shows of the harsher kind. While the drama of Masamune-kun no Revenge is severely watered down thanks to its nature as a harem and the inclusion of comedy, Kuzu no Honkai is simply an onslaught of drama and heartache. Just the thing to keep you warm on a cold winter's evening. So if you happened to like the aforementioned White Album 2 and you're looking for more, or if you just can't get enough of drama shows, then keep reading to find out just why you might love this season's Kuzu no Honkai and Masamune-kun no Revenge.

About White Album 2

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: October 2013 - December 2013

It's Haruki Kitahara's final year of high school, and despite being in the light music club since the start of the year, everything's kinda falling apart just before their school festival. With only a little time remaining, Haruki is in desperate search of new members to make up the now virtually non-existent club before their last performance. Thankfully a couple of very special girls come along, who are if anything far more musically talented than him. Unfortunately, however, three people form a triangle, and although things might be looking up for the club on the surface, underneath the happy, singing exterior is a swirling mess of feelings and heartbreak just waiting to be released.

Like White Album 2? Watch Kuzu no Honkai!

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: January 2017 - March 2017

Everyone has their own way of dealing with heartache and unrequited love, with some methods being debatably better than others. Hanabi Yasuraoka and Mugi Awaya have a potentially questionable but fairly effective method: they pretend that they are each other's crush and start dating. While Hanabi has been in love with her "Onii-chan" Narumi for years, Mugi is infatuated with his old tutor Akane, and here's the kicker: Akane and Narumi are both teachers at Hanabi and Mugi's school. But with Narumi now falling for Akane, and other girls with an interest in Mugi and Hanabi stepping onto the scene, this love triangle is getting terribly, terribly complicated. If you like things that can be difficult to watch, Kuzu no Honkai is your poison of choice.

Three Major Similarities Between White Album 2 and Kuzu no Honkai

1. Watching a Car Crash

From the first episode of both White Album 2 and Kuzu no Honkai, you feel like you can already see into the future. Like watching a car crash, everything starts to move in slow motion as the characters make bad decision after bad decision, and your cries of "No, stop!" do nothing to stop their merciless attack on your heart. Of course, this is all part and parcel when it comes to a drama series, we're here to have our heart kicked around and spat on, that's what makes them satisfying. So as much as the madness might be difficult to watch at times, both series are shouldering more than their own weight in delicious drama.

2. Beauty in Heartbreak

Despite the messy plots that develop, Kuzu no Honkai and White Album 2 have an elegance to them that is hard to ignore. White Album 2 may use a slightly older art style that we're used to now, but there's an attention to detail with the animation that makes it feel polished, like when a bag strap slips or someone adjusts their hair. Kuzu no Honkai pays a similar attention to detail, whilst also having a fairly simple but beautiful art style that does a fantastic job of both showing character's emotions in one scene, and then hiding them behind an incredibly cold looking mask the next. There's a level of quality in both series which is all too often absent with many anime adaptions, and that we think you'll enjoy.

3. Worth a Listen

It's not too surprising to find great music in a series named White Album, but Kuzu no Honkai really brought it's A game when it comes to the soundtrack. Being about a light music club, White Album 2, of course, features some great songs throughout, from the instrumental duets between Touma and Haruki to the series opening itself. Kuzu no Honkai on the other hand, while having an excellent opening and ending music, also has an amazing atmospheric soundtrack, which on top of the masterful sound effects management really takes the more dramatic and difficult scenes to a new level, doing a great job of drawing you in. So if you're an audiophile we recommend taking a look at Kuzu no Honkai.


Like White Album 2? Watch Masamune-kun no Revenge!

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: January 2017 - ?

Masamune Makabe is doing everything he can to leave his pathetic past behind him, and he's doing a pretty good job to be fair. Previously a chubby, spoilt boy nicknamed "Pig's Foot", Masamune is now a ripped, charismatic, perfect test scoring hunk of a man that no one could possibly resist. Except maybe Aki Adagaki, the cruel princess of his new high school, known for crushing any boy that dare so much as approach her. It's a shame really because the main reason he moved there in the first place was to get revenge on her for how she treated him when they were younger. But the good things in life come to those who wait, and he's waited a long time and is willing to wait a bit longer still if it gets him the vengeance he seeks. All that said, things are often not quite as simple as they seem at first.

Three Major Similarities Between White Album 2 and Masamune-kun no Revenge

1.Not So Smart After All

The main protagonists of both White Album 2 and Masamune-kun no Revenge are interesting in that they start off as seemingly intelligent guys, with Haruki being very reliable and Masamune sitting at the top of the exam scoreboard. Despite this, however, we very quickly start to realize that the two of them are likely the stupidest characters in their series. While Haruki might be reliable and a very honest and reasonable person, he's obviously quite incapable of handling the ice cold Touma and makes increasingly questionable decisions as the series continues.

When it comes to Masamune, he has a serious ego problem thanks to his perfect body and clearly has very little grasp on how the opposite sex thinks, or how any normal person thinks for that matter. Is this a good thing? Well for White Album 2 it certainly adds to the drama, and for Masamune-kun no Revenge it's a pretty vital part of the series' comedy, so it's no problem in our books.

2. I Get All The Girls, I Get All The Girls

Neither White Album 2 nor Masamune-kun no Revenge are simple boy-meets-girl romances, hence why they fall into the drama or harem categories. In White Album 2 Haruki has managed to acquire two admirers for himself somehow, probably something to do with his reliable and honest streak we mentioned earlier. Masamune, on the other hand, has taken it to the next level and accidentally has the beginnings of a harem on his hands. While it might not be as dramatic as White Album 2's 1v1 battle for affection, the tension is still very much there between the girls, and the series certainly has more right to call itself a romance than many harems shows out there. Thankfully Masamune has made it fairly clear who he's after, even if it is for all the wrong reasons!

3. TsunTsun and DereDere

Balance in all things, including cute girls. Where there are cold and quiet girls, there must also be those who are sweet and excitable. White Album 2's main heroines Touma and Setsuna are polar opposites, with Touma being cold and strong, very much the tsun of the series, and Setsuna being the sweet and girlish dere character. The same is also true in Masamune-kun no Revenge, with Aki playing the harsher, colder girl, and Neko Fujinomiya as the kind, cheerful one. Not only does this appease the differing tastes of us, the audience, but this also lets us see how well mister MC can cope with both types of the heroine, which we know full well he can't. So if you were into White Album 2 for the girls, Masamune-kun no Revenge may have some cuties that are of interest to you.

Final Thoughts

So that was hardcore drama romance Kuzu no Honkai and Drama Lite: Masamune-kun no Revenge: both quite different series but with some similar themes. If you really want to test yourself, we recommend trying out Kuzu no Honkai. It's very difficult to watch at times, but each of those dramatic scenes feels well crafted and each episode very satisfying. If you want something a bit warmer and fuzzier, try Masamune-kun no Revenge: there's a bit of drama there but overall you're in for a more comfortable ride.

So, do you plan on catching up with Kuzu no Honkai or Masamune-kun no Revenge? Or are you already watching one, or both? If so, what are your thoughts? Be sure to leave us a comment down below!

Kristian

Writer

Author: Kristian

British guy doing student things in Tokyo. Slice-of-life and moe anime are my speciality, though I think something good can be found in almost every show. Outside of anime I spend most of my time feeding on DotA 2 or studying Japanese in a quest to one day watch cute girls without subtitles.

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