Glasslip – 01 Review
Glasslip 01 – Fireworks
I’m always attracted to anime that involve something other than high school kids hanging out, running the student council, and having superpowers. Obviously, as an anime fan, I am okay with those types of story set-ups, but I was hoping for something different in Glasslip. After watching the first episode, I’m not so sure I will get what I wanted; I honestly have no idea what this series will bring.
“Tōko Fukami’s family runs a glass-working business in a small seaside town. She hangs out with her four best friends at a cafe called “Kazemichi.” During the summer break of their senior year in high school, they meet a transfer student named Kakeru Okikura, who claims that a voice from the future talks to him, and that it’s led him to Tōko. His arrival sets off a series of events that will make their final summer together one full of hope and heartache.”
I was not aware that disposable 3D glasses technology had advanced at all….
I suppose I didn’t actually read the ANN summary before deciding I was interested in this series… I’ve been seriously busy lately. I simply saw glassblowing on the PV and thought, “Hmmm, could be cool.” For all of you readers out there wondering who I am, I’m Kelfio, the other reviewer around here. I took an extended break from blogging (2 years-ish) to focus on my studies. I’m double majoring in Chemistry and Biology and doing nanotechnology research, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for much else. Somehow though, my arm has been twisted by the monumental charms of Ra and M0rg0th, and here I am again. I look forward to reconnecting with our old readers, and I hope to hear from you new folks too! 🙂
Five friends are enjoying fireworks at a festival, the summer of their senior year in high school. The lead female character, Touko Fukami inadvertently dons a pair of 3D glasses, which cause a trippy scene and a fated near-encounter with a guy. Conveniently, the guy with whom Touko played psychic hide-and-go-seek (Kakeru Okikura) happens to be a new transfer student at her school. Touko learns this while merrily sketching the free range chickens that wander through the school baseball field; a creepy conversation with Kakeru ensues. After Kakeru thoroughly weirds Touko out, she convinces her friends to house all of the chickens for the night. Touko has deep thoughts about the contradictory nature of freedom and safety. While discussing this with her friends at a café the next day, Kakeru walks in and is met by the unfriendly glares of the group for seemingly no reason.
It probably comes as no surprise that this series reminds me of Hanasaku Iroha. Glasslip, like HanaIro, is a P.A. Works anime original. Pretty, pretty, pretty. Those were my first thoughts watching this episode, and the same can be said for nearly all anime from P.A. Works. Although their character designs may lack in originality, they more than make up for it by the stunning beauty and detail of their scenery and background art.
Next, the music. The opening was a pleasant poppy-folksy number. The ending song was performed by nano.RIPE, who did most of the OP/EDs for HanaIro and some other recent animes. They’re a bit of a love-em-or-hate-em kind of band, but I’ve come to enjoy their songs. The background music throughout the episode was nice, if a bit dramatic – classical music, heavy on the strings, with some piano and oboe.
The characters weren’t very developed in this episode, but there were a few set-ups for the drama to come. For example, there appears to be a love triangle between Touko, Yukinari, and Yanagi – who are step siblings, according to Crunchyroll. If profuse blushing is any indication, it seems that Hiro has a crush on Sachi. And then there’s the creepy transfer student, “David”, err, Kakeru. According to the preview for the next episode it seems that Kakeru and Touko will soon become romantically involved.
I’ve got a problem with that.
Kakeru is creepy. Seriously creepy.
Maybe it’s because I had chickens for a long time, but if some random guy (who had been stalking me at the festival the night before) came up to me and started threatening to hurt my chickens, there would be a really big problem. At least Touko didn’t fall in love with him right then – she seemed legitimately frightened and worried for the chickens’ safety. So why? Why on earth was she just blushing and acting cute when she saw him the next day at the café? That’s the point where she should have stood up and told him to get his creepy ass outta there. Especially considering the reactions of her friends when they saw him – everyone experienced instant hate for Kakeru! He is bad news, Touko. Stay away from that guy! At the very least, don’t fall in love with him in the next episode!
I guess Kakeru didn’t get the memo that this is not going to be a harem series.
Other than that major issue, I had no problems with the story so far. I wasn’t thrilled with it either. I was thankful for a brief reprieve for the typical anime cram-backstory-down-the-viewers-throat thing, but the result was a rather uninformative episode filled with a lot of slice-of-life banter. Did we really need to know that Touko’s mom was two hours late for her first date with Touko’s dad?
That and a few other things (like the fact that Hiro’s sister just got her driving license) seemed to me to be extraneous filler. There were some parts of the dialogue that I imagine were foreshadowing (like when Touko wishes her future self will fix her life), and some other things that will probably come up again (like Yanagi confronting Yukinari about Touko). Overall though, the feeling of the episode was very light, which made the darker moments feel out of place. I am hoping that as we learn more about the characters and what it was that Touko saw in the 3D glasses, the series will feel more balanced.
All in all, this episode was good. The art was great, the music was fine, the charas and setting seem charming enough (except Kakeru). I’m curious to see what direction this anime will go – the series could take a turn towards the awesome (Nagi no Asukara), but could just as likely be stuck in the mediocre, whiny, overarchingly-dull-but-mildly-supernatural-teen-summer-romance genre (Ano Natsu de Matteru). Unfortunately though, the ANN summary reminds us that “a series of events that will make their final summer together one full of hope and heartache” is what we have to look forward to, and that doesn’t seem very promising.
Episode Rating: 6.0/10
What do all of you think about this episode? Are you going to follow this series? Do you think it will focus more on darker, supernatural elements or will it stick to romance? Let me know in the comments! 🙂