New Year: Reunion and Atonement
(bell chimes. Haruki walks, then stops.)
H: What? When did I end up at the concert hall…? (phone beeps.) Happy New Year. (bell chimes again. He sighs, closes phone.) Guess I’ll go home.
K: (on the phone.) Right. Happy New Year. And… let’s have a good year, Mom. I know. (phone beeps; she hangs up. Bell chimes.) Man, there’s that annoying bell. I really am in Japan. (pause.) Hey… how are you? Happy New Year. Hope it’s a good one.
Probably won’t be seeing each other again, though. (bell chimes.) Guess I’ll go back to the hotel. Mom’s waiting for me. Hmm… (starts walking.) Right, it was this way. Oh—
(they bump into each other.)
H: Oh, excuse me.
K: Not at all, I was…
H: I was just lost in thought a bit… I…
Announcer: White Album 2: New post-recording drama. New Year: Reunion and Atonement.
H: Why… why are you—when did you come back to Japan?
K: I… I just got here today. I’m leaving tomorrow.
K: I just came to see Mom’s concert. It’s not like I’ve come home or anything.
H: Concert? Then, the ticket that Youko-san sent…?
K: Did Mom do something?
H: Oh, no, nothing. (both pause.) It’s been a while, huh?
H: U-um… Oh, right. Happy New Year.
K: Right… Happy New Year.
H: Hope it’s a good—
K: Stop already. I told you I’m leaving tomorrow. I’m not someone who belongs to this country any more.
H: Kazusa… (long pause.) O-oh, um, by the way, congratulations on being the runner-up in the international competition.
K: It’s nothing to be happy about. Suddenly I’m going to be put up on display in Japan. It’s a serious nuisance.
H: O-oh, I see. Sorry.
K: Why are you apologizing? It’s got nothing to do with you.
H: Oh, no, well, that’s true, but… Well, maybe it’s not…
K: Doesn’t really matter anyway. Anyway, um, you…
K: U-um, uh… Well… How have you been?
H: F-fine. What about you?
K: I’ve been… Yeah, I’m doing fine.
H: Great… I’m glad to hear that. How’s life over there?
K: It’s a blast. I’ve made a lot of friends.
H: R-really? That’s… that’s awesome, seriously.
K: Not just women. Male friends, too.
H: I-I see.
H: W-what do you mean?
K: Why did you go silent? Why are you acting like this?
H: Huh? I didn’t really…
K: Why are you responding to every single word I say?
H: Wh-why? …I’ve been worried about you this whole time! Isn’t that obvious?
K: Worried? Oh, I see. So I’m your kid now. Nice to see you again, Daddy.
H: Don’t make fun of me! I really was worried! I never, ever forgot about you!
K: And what about me?! I never forgot about you, not for one day!
(Haruki’s phone rings.)
K: Pick it up.
K: Is it from Setsuna?
K: I see, I see. Good. So you two are still…
H: Well, right now, though, we’re… See, it was my fault…
K: What, you had a fight on Christmas Eve or something?
H: You don’t have to try to pinpoint the exact date…
(phone continues ringing.)
K: …I told you, pick up.
H: Do you mind?
K: Who cares whether I mind? She’s your girlfriend, isn’t she?
H: I think…
K: You’re fighting because you love each other. You’re worrying because you love her.
K: So pick up, Haruki. And… do not say a word about the fact that I’m here.
H: Don’t you disappear while I’m on the phone, either.
K: …All right, all right.
(he picks up.)
S: Oh! I’m… sorry to call so late at night… Um, um… My name is Ogiso… Is Haruki-san at home right now?
H: This is my cell phone, Setsuna, I know it’s you. And you called my cell phone, so you know it’s me.
S: Oh, right. Sorry… Wow, that was pretty lame of me, huh?
H: No, of course not. Not at all.
S: Are you… at home?
H: No, I’m out.
S: Are you with anyone?
K: (whispers) Not one word.
H: No, I’m alone.
S: Can I… talk to you for a second, then?
H: Of course.
S: Um… well, um… (pause.) Happy New Year.
H: Yeah, let’s make this a good one, too.
(she begins to cry.)
S: I’m so glad…
H: (laughs awkwardly) Isn’t that reaction a bit exaggerated?
S: You said, “Let’s make this a good one, too.”
S: That means we aren’t over, right? We’re still going for this year, right?
H: W-well, obviously. We wouldn’t end that easily, right?
S: But… But I hurt you. I did such an awful thing to you on Christmas…
H: I don’t care about that. …Actually, maybe that’s rude to say. It’s true that I was hurt…
S: I’m sorry, Haruki-kun. I’m so sorry.
H: No, I’m sorry. I hurt you more than you hurt me. What I did was terrible.
S: No… I was wrong!
H: I was wrong.
S: I was!
H: I’m telling you, I was—
S: Listen, Haruki-kun…!
H: No, I…
(pause. both laugh.)
S: We’re always like this, huh? Neither of us is willing to accept the notion that the other was wrong.
H: We’re both stubborn that way.
S: I’ve wanted to apologize this whole time. I actually wanted to apologize before the new year started, but… I couldn’t get up the nerve, and now it’s changed. I’m sorry.
H: It’s fine, seriously, I’m the one who was… Eheh. L-look, we’ll just call it a mutual thing.
S: If that’s what you say, Haruki-kun, I’m fine with it.
H: All right, well…
H: See you when I see you.
S: Yeah, next time. Next time will be… college, right?
H: Maybe so. Come to think of it, end-of-term exams are right after winter break ends…
S: Oh, Haruki-kun! You always end up coming back to that.
H: Look, college is a place for studying, right?
S: That part of you hasn’t changed at all. It probably never will.
H: Well, good night.
S: Good night. I think… I should finally be able to sleep completely soundly, tonight.
H: Me, too.
S: Talk to you later, then. Oh, one more time… Let’s make this a good one.
H: Yes, let’s.
(he hangs up.)
K: Well, I’ve had about all I can take of that.
K: You two are so damn innocent, just like you always were. I was getting embarrassed just listening to you.
H: That’s not true! We just… haven’t moved forward.
H: Setsuna and I have been at a standstill ever since then.
K: Well, that doesn’t have much to do with me any more.
H: I… I guess you’re right.
K: Don’t ever let go of Setsuna. You won’t find another woman as good as she is.
H: That’s true. She’s wasted on me.
K: No kidding.
K: Well, I’m heading back to my hotel now.
K: I don’t know… whether or not I’m glad to have run into you today, but… I was a little bit happy. I mean that.
K: Bye, Haruki.
(she begins walking away.)
H: Wait! Kazusa… U-um… Um! Do you have any plans after this?
K: This late at night? What are you talking about?
H: So, you don’t?
K: That’s what you meant to ask in the first place, isn’t it?
H: Well, I thought Youko-san might be waiting…
K: Mom… just told me that she was tired, so she was going to bed.
H: Then… then…! Could we… talk just a little more?
K: What, as friends?
H: Do I have to answer that right now?
K: …You’re terrible, as always.
H: I am terrible. I was then, and I am now.
K: (mutters) And so am I.
H: Then, you’re okay with it?
K: You don’t have to confirm every step of the way, dummy.
(phone rings. Pause.)
K: What, you’re not gonna answer that?
H: But, I…
K: I mean, it’s Setsuna, isn’t it?
H: You’re scary.
K: I’ve always been like this.
(phone continues ringing.)
H: I’m gonna answer this.
K: See if I care.
H: Don’t leave. Our promise from before is still in effect.
S: Sorry. I know I keep calling…
H: Oh, no, it’s totally fine. What’s up?
S: Um… um…! I forgot to say this before, but… since we made to the New Year, I thought I’d like to make a toast.
H: A… toast?
S: You know, like when the two of us celebrated Kazusa’s placing in the contest.
S: Once I got the thought in my head, I just couldn’t contain myself… so I borrowed a bottle of Dad’s wine again, just like then.
H: What, no sake?
S: I’m not that good with sake… The tiniest little bit makes me sleepy.
H: You just said we were making a toast. How much were you planning to drink?
S: Maybe we shouldn’t… I’m just being selfish.
S: Yes, I am. You’re out and about, and all… I’ve always been good at making unreasonable requests, haven’t I? I’m sorry. I got all worked up and carried away on my own…
H: Oh, um—well, I’ve got a bottle of water right here, if that works…
K: (mutters) Well-prepared, as always.
S: Thank you, Haruki-kun. Well, then…
S: To you, Haruki-kun.
H: To you, Setsuna.
S: And… to Kazusa.
S: Cheers, to the one who’s so dear to us.
H: (whispers to Kazusa) Um… Setsuna is toasting you, too.
K: You don’t have to give me the play-by-play.
H: I mean, I’d like to do this with you, too, if that’s all right. Come on—cheers!
K: You’ve got a lot of nerve…
S: Huh? There is somebody with you, isn’t there? I’m so sorry, am I interrupting?
H: No, there’s nobody here at all.
K: Yep, I’m leaving.
(Kazusa walks off.)
S: All right. Good night, Haruki-kun. For real this time.
H: Y-yeah, good night, Setsuna. (he hangs up and follows Kazusa.) Hey, wait, Kazusa! Let me talk to you!
K: (keeps walking) Why should I listen to you?
H: Look, you—hey, there’s nothing I can do about this situation…
K: Don’t talk to people who aren’t there.
H: I’m telling you, you’re wrong! …I mean, you’re not wrong, but… anyway, calm down.
(he grabs her to stop her.)
K: Let go of me.
H: Wait, Kazusa.
K: What the hell do you want? You are despicable.
H: I can’t exactly deny that, but… ow.
K: Ugh, I should never have come back to Japan. All my beautiful memories are ruined now.
H: You don’t think it’s a little embarrassing to call them “beautiful”?
K: Shut up. Who do you think made me this kind of woman?
H: Look, I apologize. I’ll keep apologizing until morning. Please, just listen to me!
K: No, thanks. I’m leaving. I’m going back to Vienna right now!
(phone rings. Kazusa grunts in irritation; Haruki groans.)
H: Again? Now?! (he picks up.) Sorry, Setsuna, I’m busy right now—
S: No time for that! This is serious, Haruki-kun!
H: Whoa, what is it? What are you so excited about? Are you drunk already?
S: I’m telling you, this is amazing! Listen!
H: Yes, I’m listening. So, what on earth…?
S: White Album 2 is going to be adapted into an anime!
H: What did you…?
S: Seriously! Just now, I got an email from Aquaplus saying the anime version has been confirmed!
K: We’re going to be made into an anime…? Wow. We really did it, Setsuna.
S: Yup, the day has finally come, Kazusa! Let’s keep doing our best!
H: Phew, that’s a relief. The anime adaptation, of course, but also that you two have made up. But—hang on! Why are you two talking to each other directly?!
S: What, you’re still concerned about the phone conversation setting at this point?
K: Now that Aquaplus has been fully brought into it…
H: But—isn’t it a little point-blank, just bringing it up like that?
S: Anyway, I’ll read out the email from Aquaplus now. “Good evening to all of you who have come across the White Album 2 Special Encore. We are Aquaplus. Thank you for your constant, passionate support of White Album 2. It is because of your ardent feelings of love and support that we will finally be able to realize this dream of ours. White Album 2, the TV anime, is scheduled to be broadcast in the fall of 2013. Today, full of gratitude, we bring all of you the first glance at the latest information on the production of the White Album 2 anime.
Well, but to start, we’d like to give just a small introduction of our principal staff. First of all, our series organizer and scenario writer, Fumiaki Maruto. As you already know, Fumiaki Maruto was in charge of the scenario for the original game. This time, he will be making his first try at an anime scenario. He alone will be writing the whole story, from start to finish. He will be working hard to make it even more fun, bittersweet, and full of all sorts of twists, turns, and sudden complicated developments than the game, so please look forward to it.
H: He’s still not going to restrain himself doing the anime, after everything he pulled in the game?
K: What kind of sadist is he?
S: Next, the musical director, Naoya Shimokawa.
A familiar face around Aquaplus who worked as the musical director for the original game, Naoya Shimokawa will be directing the production of all music for the anime, including vocal tracks. It will all be delivered by 100% Aquaplus Sound, preserving the atmosphere of the game music and in even better quality.
K: Mm, that sounds just like Shimokawa-san. Ever since he used me for Yuma in To Heart 2, I knew he was a competent director.
S: Naba-san, Naba-san, you aren’t commenting as Kazusa any more.
H: Ah, you’re hopeless, Hitomi.
K: (whining) Hey, don’t call me “Hitomi”! …I mean, (returns to Kazusa voice) I’m Kazusa.
S: And, finally, the animation studio, Satelight Inc. Satelight is always at the cutting edge of the industry for their action shows, like Macross Frontier and AKB0048.
This time, they will be departing from their usual design to depict a quiet human drama in winter, with care and grace, so please look forward to that.
K: Wow. There are some pretty amazing names making this, Setsuna.
S: Yeah, seriously! I’m already looking forward to seeing how we move around. Right, Haruki-kun?
K: What’s wrong with you? You seem down.
S: You aren’t happy about being made into an anime?
H: That’s not it. I’m thrilled! It’s just…
K: It’s just… what?
H: Well, unlike the game, an anime only has one ending. Which means that, this time… (he starts to raise his voice in agitation.) I have to pick just one girl!
K: So, you’re still completely unresolved where that’s concerned.
H: Of course I am! There are five heroines, so I can’t possibly decide that easily!
S: Declaring something so pitiful, so openly…
K: No one said this would be going to the end in the first place.
H: What am I supposed to do? I love both Setsuna and Kazusa, so I can’t choose between them, but things are so serious with both of them… Still, we’ve been together for so long, so breaking up would be difficult, too…
S: Let’s get going, Naba-san.
K: Yes. We can leave Daijuu-san* behind.
H: (freaking out:) Aaargh, maybe I should just… go with Koharu? Gah, but Mari-san would be hard to let go… Ummm, but Chiaki-san is a bit… No, but that’s a good thing, too… aaah, but, agh—Io! No, not Io, she’s got Takeya… Aaah…
(he continues to mutter to himself.)
*Note: “Daijuu” is a nickname/pun based on alternate readings of the kanji in Haruki’s voice actor’s first name, Takahiro (大宙)