Glasslip starts out interesting enough... setting the stage with a bunch of long time friends in their final years of high school in fairly small town when suddenly a Mysterious Stranger appears in the midst. Sadly, by the end of the first episode you've seen pretty much all the story and interest there is to see as the series fast descends into a morass of half thought through relationship drama, teenage angst, and unexplained Mysterious Events. There's kind of an attempt at the end to gather up the bits and pieces and have them make sense... but it's too little too late. Too much backstory untold, too many relationship threads all tangled, too many themes and issues raised but not adressed, and in the end the series just peters out with no resolution. The story feels more than anything else like a rushed rough draft, the final episode like a tacked on like a temporary bit that they meant to come back and fix later.
The animation is lush and well done, the sound excellent, and voice work well done, but it's all wasted because of the muddled characterization and lack of a coherent plot.
This was originally a recap on the finale (containing spoilers) as well as the following final impressions with audio. You can read the post on my website found here.
Glasslip title screen.
Glasslip is vile. The show contains zero merit worth mentioning and will turn small children into drug fiends and human traffickers. That may sound harsh in a way, but I just finished watching episode 13, so take my word for it.
In this final impressions, I’ll go over Glasslip‘s production and storytelling, give the show a rating and issue multiple warnings as to why no one should come near this dangerous psychoactive experiment.
Signature Touko. Signature Glasslip.
[Audio on Review].
Before I begin, listen to the above audio, while looking at the above photo. If that doesn’t appeal to you, STOP RIGHT NOW. Turn and pretend like you never even heard of the series titled Glasslip. Ok, I warned you…
The production of Glasslip is like a tale of two mediums. All of the visuals were perfectly horrid. From the bland, boring and uninspired character designs, to the crappy barbie doll animation — the show was terrible looking. So much so, that it was constantly noticeable. The character’s huge ugly and disturbing faces were literally in our faces — so to speak.
This is one of those shows (you’ve seen them before), where characters don’t have wardrobes, and wear the same one or two outfits over the durtion of the series. Well, except the model character, Yanagi. The accent on the outfits — like Yana-model’s bow, or Hiro’s headband — are so important, that without them, they are complete strangers.
Completely gratuitous swim team seen in 1/2 the episodes.
The most interesting thing about the animation are the seaside and village backgrounds, which are done in an almost photo-realistic way. So, terrible visuals overall, but Glasslip does have terrific audio. I don’t care about opening and endings, but the series “in show” music was really good, and better than really good at times.
However, the background score serves no purpose except to confuse the viewer. For example, the piano music featured throughout the series (especially in the second half), is so dramatic that it adds a tension that isn’t needed. Nothing is happening that needs the tension. I think that’s the main reason I disliked the series overall, which leads me to the story and how it was told.
First, there isn’t a story. There’s a bunch of kids living good lives in a scenic sea-side village. It was apparent in the first couple episodes that each of these kids had feelings for someone or another, except possibly Touko, who just had feelings for her chickens.
Kakeru falls to death via M.C. Escher in episode who cares.
Ok, so the show is a romantic, slice-of-life show, right? Wrong. We first glimpse the series’ supernatural theme in the very first episode, but then it takes a back seat to things like cafes, chickens, jogging, etc. During this time, they’re establishing the character’s relationships with each other. However, it’s boring, tedious and on the whole not very enjoyable. But it is something.
Then, the two main characters’ super-powers resurface and the show becomes one giant pressure cooker, but like, an un-heated pressure cooker. Throughout the rest of the series, the almost non-issues surrounding Touko (the female lead) and Kakeru (the male lead), weave in and out of the story’s main focus, while all the characters do what they do.
When I say, “what they do,” I don’t know what it is they do exactly. A couple of the more attractive characters jog. Some make glass, some swim, some read, etc. But it’s in no way a slice-of-life show. It’s more like a social psychotropic experiment. I could see the Japanese government using Glasslip as a mind-control device, or perhaps a torture device. Maybe that’s why in the final scene, it’s called, “Project Glasslip.”
Obvious mind control.
What I’m trying to say, and trying unsuccessfully, is that there is no story. There’s no coming-of-age overarching plot, not meaningful youthful observation and this isn’t a instructional glass making anime, although it should have been.
If anyone tries to defend this waste of airtime, or point out that things have deeper meanings, do not listen to them. The events that take place over the duration are a jumbled juxtaposition of ideas thrown together for no reason, unless you count confusing the viewers a decent reason. The creators do, so I do also.
Glasslip is 52 Pick Up, Abstract Expressionism and anything that is awful and brilliant at the same — all rolled into one and thrown in the glory hole. The characters on the show are hard to describe. The main character is an idiot and her boyfriend is an un-emoting arrogant prick. There’s also Sacchan, the killer.
Don’t let her frail, learned appearance fool you. She’s the killer.
[Audio on Review].
None of them are memorable. Wait… I’m getting a glimpse of the future where I’ll say something like, “Glasslip has no balls.” Sacchan illustrates the lack of huevos perfectly. She’s a transgendered young girl. Wait, what? I don’t know what the fuck to call these people these days, but I’m 39 and no longer give a shit.
She’s a lesbian, or possibly bi-sexual as the series hints in the second half. But, intsead of saying such, or coming out and admitting something sensational, there’s just smoke and mirrors and references to the moon and the stars and the birds and the bees. Glasslip is horror show and will give your children nightmares — in the future.
So, is there anything good about this series? Why would you ask that when the answer is obviously no. Perhaps it would be beneficial watching if you’re an upcoming CIA field operative who needs to learn how to break the toughest of war criminals. Or perhaps, if you’re a story-teller of some kind and what to learn what not to do.
In all seriousness, the show doesn’t contain any positives. It’s not one of those series where you say, “that’s a shame, because there was potential.” There’s no potential here really. Sure, there were allusions to the series heading towards certain paths. They see the future, so surely there was something they could have done.
For example, if the “future fragments” actually came true, and were bad, then the main duo could work to alter the future, a la The Girl Who Leapt Through Time or Back to the Future, etc. Unfortunately that’s way more involved than Glasslip ever gets.
With Glasslip’s terrible plot, horrid one-dimensional characters, lack of balls to get more serious when it could have, and for making me almost smash my monitor at the show’s lowest points, Glasslip receives my lowest score possible — 1/2 out of 5 on my Kitsune Scale™.
I’ve only rated three anime series a half Kitsune, so grats Glasslip for being a gigantic pile of shit. It’s now in the company of such classics as Ozma, Vividred Operation, and Seikoku no Dragonar. At least Dragonar appealed to perverts and sort of came through. Nothing inGlasslip was worth watching for.
I have two other rating systems I sometimes use and are both worth mentioning. First, would I recommend this series to anyone? Yes, if you like watching bad psychedelic trips take place over the course of 6 hours, marathon the shit out of this show — you’re welcome.
Secondly, did I ever think about dropping Glasslip? Yes, in fact, I never didn’t think about dropping this series. With 10 minutes in the final episode, I almost dropped this vile bottom feeder. Thanks for your time all, I hope this review can help someone.
Thanks for being confused with me all season!
It's a good show if you know what your going into. The animation and sound is beautiful, but the plot and storyline and kinda confusing because it's a pretty tame show in general. Most people didn't know what this show was supposed to be, so when they watched it, it came off as a slow, boring show with low drama and hardly any excitement. This show is a "coming-of-age" story so it's more focused on the "artistic" point of view than "entertaining" point of view. This show is meant more for "anime veterans" who can understand the message that was supposed to get across, so it's really not that good of a show to start off in the anime world. Overall, I think it had a great message and although it was hard to watch because I didn't know what I was getting into, I think that if I rewatch it, it will be really good.
To me, the only thing going for this show is the animation and music which is good, but the story is rather impossible to follow. I cannot express how often this show has left me confused about the happenings. From what I gather, the show is about dealing with teenage angst, romance, etc. without all of the T.V tropes one might see with this kind of show. I wouldn't watch this again, it's too much of a headache.
This show is boring and weird and utterly unconcerned with pulling you in…and it’s actually kind of wonderful.
A quick look at some reviews will make it pretty clear that Glasslip isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and I don’t blame them. I mean, it’s not exactly inviting: the show has no buildup, gives no context, and just assumes you’re so adamant about watching it that you’re happy to put in the effort to desperately pour over the characters’ facial expressions to extrapolate what would typically be dumped on us through protagonist narration at the start of the first episode. And it also has this odd…let’s say supernatural element that runs through the “main plot” for no other reason, I have to assume, than the writer’s inability to come up with a more grounded, emotion-based way to spark the action that drives this series.
And yet…I can’t help but sort of love it.
See, Glasslip is very much a slice of life—in that it takes a very specific chunk of the lives of the characters and presents it to us otherwise untouched: there’s no beginning or end, in the traditional sense, because the real story started long before we showed up and it continues on without us long after we move on. There’s a lot missing, which is unsettling, at first, but it becomes clear that it’s also one of the show’s strengths: you get just as much out of what isn’t there as what is. Very much following the old “show, don’t tell” mantra, the show focuses on making the characters’ actions or body language give us the important details as things go on, just as though we were trying to get the lay of the land in any real-life scenario. And, unconventional as it may seem, it works. Splendidly. So splendidly, in fact, that most of the information you need is made apparent by, essentially, who’s sitting and who’s standing at the table at the end of the first episode.
If, y’know, you can make it to the end of the first episode. Which I didn’t, initially. Because the show is boring and weird and utterly unconcerned with pulling you in.
So, be ready for that. Walk away and come back later to re-watch the first episode more prepared for what you’re getting yourself into. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll end up falling just a little bit in love with it, too.