Grasping emotions that aren’t depicted in the script
—You’ve recorded quite a lot of lines. Were there any difficulties during the recording process?
Nabatame: My thoughts regarding Kazusa were pretty similar to those of the director, so acting was very easy. But there are a lot of points in the WA2 script at which her own feelings aren’t written out in the stage directions or in her lines. There are often scenes in which she lies to herself, and even while I was speaking the lines as they were written in the script, something felt wrong. We had a lot of discussions about how I should express those moments. A single line could raise questions of what direction I should take in acting it out. Kazusa in particular doesn’t let a lot of her emotions show, so I found myself fumbling a lot, wondering how to play her. I performed it with the sense that I was walking a tightrope to get what the staff wanted, but that was actually a lot of fun.
Yonezawa: Setsuna is capable of respecting her own opinions, but there’s also a part of her that withdraws and puts herself down. She can also be surprisingly calculating. (laughs) She takes some pretty extreme actions in the interest of protecting the relationships between the three of them.
Nabatame: She’s the school idol, so she probably provokes a lot of jealousy in the other girls. (laughs)
Yonezawa: Definitely. Her friends aren’t exactly countless. Setsuna was a character for whom “If I were you, I would do this…” would not be effective.
Nabatame: But I do think Setsuna has the power to draw admiration from other girls. She gives the impression of a firm core, which is very enviable. On the other hand, Kazusa has the kind of weakness that boys love.
Yonezawa: Wait, are you bragging?! (laughs)
Nabatame: No, no, I just meant that Setsuna and Kazusa strike a perfect balance. Though, I did think Kazusa was bad news at first. (laughs)
—I know Maruto-san (*3) has written an additional scenario for the PS3 release. Are you finished with recording for that?
Nabatame: We finished recording a few days ago. I can’t give too may details, but please look forward to the added scenario.
Yonezawa: All I’ll say is, have fun imagining what might happen in this new scenario until the day it’s released!
—“White Album 2 Fanclub Radio” (*4) is currently in transmission. Please tell us a few points about that, if you would.
Nabatame: Yonezawa-san is going to become an idol on the radio, so everyone, use all your power to lift her up. (laughs)
Yonezawa: You’re going to cause a misunderstanding if you leave off there. (laughs) There’s a segment in the program that involves wanting to become an idol like Setsuna and put on live shows. There are plenty of other segments—one that progresses as though Setsuna and Kazusa are fighting with each other, one where the two of us discuss various grievances with adults and decide whether the adults or the listeners are in the wrong. By no means is it just about me becoming an idol.
Nabatama: Well, to me, that segment is the most fun. Because it’s all about somebody else…!
Yonezawa: You’re always saying that. Nabatame-san, do you actually want to become an idol yourself? (laughs)
Nabatame: I wanted to be an idol a long, long time ago, but I’ve given up on that by now. (laughs) But now I’ve entrusted that dream to Yonezawa-san. I’ll be supporting her, so everyone, send your own messages of support!
—Finally, do you have a message for all our readers who are eagerly awaiting the release of the PS3 edition?
Nabatame: This is a story that gets more and more painful as it goes, but it’s also the kind of story where you just have to know what happens next. Also, as the name, White Album, suggests, it’s a game best played in winter, so I hope you all look forward to this winter.
Yonezawa: White Album 2 is a long story, with a lot of volume, but it all connects together in important ways, so please play it with care.
Nabatame: Performing it really took a lot out of us, so I imagine playing it must be fairly draining, too. (laughs)
Yonezawa: This is a game where attention has been given to even the finest details, so I think you’re guaranteed to get completely absorbed if you play it. I hope all kinds of people will give it a try.
—This game is unlike most adult-oriented romance games, in that even the heroines you reject have stories of their own, and even if you end up with the girl you were aiming for, you still find yourself feeling guilty somehow.
Nabatame: What is that guilt, I wonder? (laughs)
Yonezawa: Playing it does make it feel a little like your soul is being whittled down, but you just keep doing it. However the story may conclude, please play it, and etch it deeply into your mind.
Nabatame: Even if it traumatizes you…
Yonezawa: No, no, you should have fun playing it! (laughs)
Nabatame: If you do find yourself traumatized, give yourself a breather by listening to our radio show. (laughs)
*3: Scenario writer who handled the scenario for this game. He has worked primarily on PC games, and this marks his first time penning a new scenario for a console game. Also currently active as a light novel author.
*4: A radio show that broadcasts on Onsen Radio every Friday. With Yonezawa-san and Nabatame-san onboard as personalities, who can say what strange banter might arise…?!
*This article was published in Dengeki PlayStation vol. 527, released September 27th, 2012.