Glasslip – 02 Review
Glasslip 02 – What’s going on here?
Okay, I’ll be the first to admit – I’m not entirely sure about some of the things presented in this episode. Although the main plot events were clear, there were a lot of little discrepancies that I noticed throughout, which made me wonder: exactly what is going on here? I watched it three times because I thought I was going crazy, but I’ve come to the conclusion that there was something noticeably “off” throughout this episode. Read on for some specific examples – and make sure to let me know what you think is happening!
The creepy transfer student calls Touko out to discuss their psychic ability. Sachi is clearly disturbed by the Touko x Kakeru possibility. Hiro starts thinking about confessing to Sachi. Yanagi expresses her desire to confess her feelings to Yukinari. After the ban on dating is lifted, Yukinari makes a beeline for Touko and confesses his love. Yanagi eavesdrops on the confession, and with a broken heart, decides to use a different strategy to catch Yukinari.
What would summer be without an overly dramatic anime confession-fest? Honestly, I have no idea; since I started watching anime years ago, I haven’t had a summer without the requisite bombardment of on-screen confessions.
I think the confession-fest is actually being handled quite well in Glasslip. I’m more used to the typical-anime approach, which involves characters waiting until the last minute to confess (like AnoNatsu or Nagi no Asukara). In those series, the entirety of the show is a build-up to the confession, and it is assumed that the characters just ride off into the sunset and live in happy-ever-after-land following that oh-so-dramatic climax. Featuring a confession-pocalypse so early in a series is different; it means the series will focus on the characters having to deal with the fallout from those confessions.
I can’t forgive him for threatening the chickens, but at least he has some common sense.
And a “confession-pocalypse” is what this will certainly be! There’s a love-hexagon going on in Glasslip, and I’m not sure that any of the crushes involved are mutual. In my experience, close groups of friends usually break up when everyone likes someone in the group and none of that liking is reciprocated. I will say though, in my experience, that sort of set-up never happens as conveniently in RL as it does in an anime.
Another thing – what is going on with Yannagi falling for Yukinari? Crunchyroll has informed me that the two are step-siblings, but the series itself hasn’t explained their situation at all. I think that’s a little weird. Clearly, Yukinara and Yannagi live together, but from just watching the series, the viewer has no idea what their situation is. And from Touko’s confusion when she heard Yukinari’s voice (via Yannagi’s phone) that the bath was ready, I wonder if the other characters know what their situation actually is.
And that brings me to the meat of what is on my mind regarding this episode. It simply seems that everyone is not on the same page, and there are some deep misunderstandings between these friends.
Now for the specifics:
1) Yukinari and Yannagi.
So, if my best girlfriend called me up and was talking about how she was planning on confessing to her stepbrother, I would be like, “Whoa, whoa, WHOA. Hold up.” I would explain to her how even though they aren’t related by blood, they are related by marriage, and how those sorts of family ties still invoke the same feelings about incest as blood-ties do. If it was me, I also would have noticed by now that Yukinari is definitely not into Yannagi, and I would have done everything I could to dissuade her from wrecking her social life and home life by confessing to him. I mean, damn. What would their parents think if they started dating?!?! Totally unacceptable…. Unless they were both deeply in love and decided to wait to pursue their love until they were both grownups and out of their parents’ house.
So, what’s going on here? Why was Touko surprised that Yukinari would tell Yannagi that the bath is free, when Touko knows they live together as siblings? Does Touko not know? Or is this simply an oversight of the writers, to have not revealed Yannagi and Yukinari’s situation? I suppose that it’s also possible that Touko is just mildly retarded (as many anime main-characters are) and is jumping to conclusions and imagining Yannagi and Yukari taking a bath together.
2) The dating prohibition.
When Sachi tells Kakeru that people in their group aren’t allowed to date, Touko expresses surprise. I think it’s pretty clear that Touko had never heard of this rule before. It’s possible that Touko is just an airhead and no one bothered to tell her about it because they figured she’d never want to date anyone anyways. However, when Touko declares the dating ban lifted, Hiro is totally surprised – Hiro has also never been informed that there was a rule against dating. He’s an airhead too, but not so bad that he would be completely left out of major group decisions, right?
The other thing that I’ not sure about concerning the dating ban is this: were the members of their group prohibited from dating only each other, or were they not allowed to date anyone at all? This is not explained by the anime. Just putting it out there – it’s definitely possible that this is a translation problem… But no matter which of the two situations it is, it is still questionable that (at least) 1/3 of their group of friends wasn’t informed that they weren’t allowed to date others. It is almost as if Sachi, Yukinari, and Yannagi got together and decided this without telling Touko and Hiro. Those three are the ones who are most possessive and personally invested in preventing inter(or intra)-group dating. Sachi, because she has a serious attachment (bordering on yuri feelings) for Touko. Yukinari, so that Touko will never be able to date anyone (but himself). And Yannagi, so Yukinari will never confess to Touko. Suspicious, right?
Now for some other incongruities:
3) Kakero and the “first time”.
I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but when Kakeru is talking with Touko about their psychic visions, he says that the first time he “both saw and heard” a fragment (psychic vision) was when he saw Touko at the festival. What?!?!
Now, it’s possible that he meant “the first time he had seen something quite so vivid” or “the first time he had audio with the video” – as was the case for Touko. I really hope that it is one of these two things, because the third option (that it was the first time he’s ever had a psychic event in any way shape or form) makes Kakeru the creepiest transfer student ever.
Why does that make him even creepier? Well, if he’s only been having psychic visions for 2 days (max), he sure does have a highly developed world-view about them. He’s already totally confident that his visions are of the future – which, unless there was more to the vision they had at the festival than what was showed on screen, seems a bit premature. He already knows that Touko needs some sort of trigger to see visions – and how in the hell does he know that?? But even more concerning is that Kakeru has already developed a comprehensive system of psychic-vision ethics. He heard (what he assumes to be) Touko’s future voice, and he apologizes to her for hearing it without her permission. This shows that he has already decided what is right and wrong concerning the visions, and to have nailed that down after only a few days, with something so non-every-day-life as seeing the future, makes Kakeru an unacceptably creepy guy in my opinion.
If he’s been having visions (just less intense, or whatever) for years and years, then okay. He would have had time to figure out what he is and isn’t okay with and what he thinks constitutes crossing boundaries in reference to it all. But after only a few days? It just reminds me of adolescents that have played a few too many hours of Vampire: The Gathering and are already equipped with all the background knowledge, cultural sensitivities, and answers to ethical dilemmas that they would need if they were ever to be transformed into a vampire in real life. I’m saying that being able to accurately see the future is such a rare and unlikely thing for most teenagers, for him to have it all figured out after 2 days proves that he is either a) special, or b) suffering from 8th-grader syndrome.
The other thing I thought was strange is that Kakeru talks about how he sees visions when he’s with Touko. He wasn’t “with” Touko when he had the vision at the festival, and he wasn’t with Touko when he heard her voice while chilling in his arm chair. Did he share the vision that Touko had while they were together at the light house (is that what that place was?)? Who knows?
4) Touko’s future vision.
I almost feel as if I’m splitting hairs with this one, but when taken in conjunction with the other unanswered-questions presented in the episode, I have to bring it up. When Touko and Kakeru are talking, he tells her to look at her glass bead (to induce a vision). Touko sees her friends on the railroad track, waving goodbye, and herself looking somewhat upset/confused/sad/etc and she hears her own voice saying, “I want to see the future too!”
I will say that I think it’s interesting that Touko’s crew is all together and she is apart from them. Any amount of dream interpretation research will tell you that this is not good – it surely means that Touko is splitting apart from her friends, or worse yet – that her friends will soon shun her and expel her from the group. Not really surprising, considering how possessive and exclusionary her friends seem to be, and considering that confession-pocalypse that is going on in her circle at the moment. Touko is fascinated by an outsider (Kakeru) and whether she knows it or not, that sort of thing is not okay with her best buds.
At the end of the episode, when Touko frantically calls Kakeru, she remembers her vision and realizes that it has come true (although that point is debatable). My beef is this: what she said in her vision is not exactly what she said in real life. In the vision, she said, “I want to see the future too.” On the phone with Kakeru she said, “I want to see the future.”
Is that splitting hairs? I don’t know. She used different wording and a different tone of voice in the vision versus the phone call. Maybe the emphasis was that Touko had come around to desiring the psychic visions? I think that it seemed like she was curious and into it ever since Kakeru talked to her about it – between Touko having absolutely no objections to Kakeru’s interpretation of her hallucinations (that she’s seeing the future) and her chatting with her sister about it over dinner, it’s no surprise that Touko would eventually hit Kakeru up to get more involved with the vision stuff. Point is, I think any reasonable person would insist on a more exact match between reality and their visions when trying to determine if they are actually seeing the future.
5) Touko’s parents.
Once again, in Episode 2, we’re showed a scene of Touko’s family sitting around the dinner table and her parents reminiscing about the days before they were married. It seemed strange to me that such a comparatively long time was spent listening to Touko’s parents talk about a minor misunderstanding they had on their first date – Touko’s mom was very late to the date, but since the dad said, “I also just arrived” when she showed up, Touko’s mom always thought that he had been late also. Of course, she didn’t understand that saying, “I’ve also just arrived” was simply the polite thing to do. So, yadda-yadda, on their first date Touko’s mom was an inconsiderate airhead; yeah, whatever, who cares, right?
Coming back at us with the same thing in Episode 2 really caught me off guard. This series isn’t sooo slice-of-life that is has time for details as small as this. And, if the series was looking for some humor, having the main charas interact would be better, since it would also allow for a bit of character development. So, Touko’s dad tells a story about how he “rescued” her mom from a fainting spell, and it was a very memorable event in their budding relationship. But Touko’s mom claims to have no memory of the event.
What’s going on here? Why spend several precious minutes telling the audience these seemingly-unimportant details about Touko’s parents? Why go through the trouble to point out that Touko’s parents have incongruent memories and aren’t necessarily on the same page about their past shared experiences? Can people know each other super well (like, being married for 20-ish years) and not know these little things about each other and their own relationship? Is this foreshadowing? Do Touko and her friends not know each other as well as they thought they did?
So, those are some of the thoughts I had while watching this episode. Maybe these are just plot-holes resulting from poor writing or direction, but maybe there is something to it? Did anyone else notice these things or was it just me? There were some other things too, like how Kakeru told his dad he was going on a “date” (even though it totally wasn’t a date), and how it’s not clear whether or not Sachi knows that Touko has visions (I guess she does now though)… There’s so many things to be bothered by in this episode!
Also, what’s up with Kakeru’s living situation and his dad? That whole situation with, “Sorry the room’s not ready yet” seemed strange. Why would Kakeru live in a tent if his house is right there and equipped well enough to hang out in, cook in, listen to Chopin in, etc? Does his dad also live in a tent? Is the house being remodeled or something? I don’t get it.
The other thing I noticed was that the music was distracting in this episode. I liked the classical-type BGM in the first episode, but they introduced easy-listening jazz and samba-esque sounds, which were very bad. On top of that, the music was simply too loud; it noticeably took the attention away from the dialogue between characters, especially during the confession scene. The obtrusive, overly melancholy and dramatic music, in combination with a lot of the BGM-sparse scenes, makes the series feel much darker than it currently appears to be. Even worse, the not-smooth musical transitions likely contributed to my overall feeling of the pacing being off in this episode.
There is something going on in this series that is rubbing me the wrong way. Either it’s just a mediocre anime with bad pacing, or there is a somewhat sinister element to the plot that hasn’t yet been introduced. I don’t know at this point. I’ve enjoyed the other P.A. Works anime that I’ve watched, so I can’t simply write it all off as plot-holes, bad pacing, and shoddy writing. Sadly, I don’t have high enough expectations for this series to think that they would throw us some crazy plot-twists or darker themes (like people who think they know each other actually not knowing each other). But, when I think about AnoHana, I think it’s possible that the series could take a darker turn; even remembering Blood-C (as awful as it was), I am reminded that sometimes anime do things you weren’t expecting.
No matter how you look at it, there’s something else going on here. It almost feels as if we missed an episode. That could work out to be a very good thing, or a very bad thing. I feel the same way this week as I did last week – I have no idea where this series is going. I’m just hoping that next week’s episode will shed some light on all the questions I have. I hate being kept in the dark! The series gets a few points for showing Touko working with glass – after all, that is what initially lured me in. Unfortunately, the series loses a few points for pacing that just felt off and throwing loopholes at us. The only thing we can do is wait until next week… And maybe then I will share with you my story of when I saw a future vision that my best friend’s love interest would ruin my close-knit group of friends – sounds a lot like Glasslip, doesn’t it? See you then! 😉
What do you readers think? Did anyone notice the little details I pointed out? Did something about this episode feel “off” to you? What do you think is going on and what direction will this series go in? Let me know in the comments!
Episode Rating: 6.0/10.0