What if you hold the power to hear the voices or see fragments of images from the future? Would that be a good thing or a bad thing? Glasslip follows the life of Touko Fukami, an aspiring glass artist born from a glass artisan family. She enjoys her worry-free life in Fukui, save for the fragments of images that she sees on occasion.
On her 18th summer, she meets the transfer student Kakeru Okikura at her school, and then again at her favorite café called Kazemichi together with all four of her friends. The voices from the future lead Kakeru to Touko, and his arrival disrupts her mediocre existence. All six of the friends must face their most unforgettable summer full of hope, affection, and heartache.
Teenage romance is a hot topic in the anime world. Some shows are able to capture this phenomenon quite well (White Album 2, Clannad, etc.) while others miss the mark. But even those shows that don't hit that bulls-eye at least land somewhere on the board. Glasslip is a show that not only misses the board but also hits some stranger passing by, causing a huge debacle that mirrors the contents of this anime. This is quite arguably one of the worst ones I have ever seen.
Glasslip begins in much the same way that Nagi no Asukara does.
New transfer student David becomes friends with Touko. Touko then proceeds to introduce him to her main group of friends consisting of Yuki, Sacchi, Hiro, and Yanagi. Afterwards, the story begins.
And by begins, I mean begins and doesn't move from that position. It's best to compare this to Nisekoi. Nisekoi is infamous for its absolutely abysmal plot progression. But the difference here is that in Nisekoi, that is the whole point of the show. Glasslip tries to have things move forward, tries to instill drama or emotion. Yet when it does, nothing ever comes of it. It is not a stretch to say that literally nothing happens over the course of the entire season. Every episode is a chore and doesn't have anything interesting attached to it aside from what the show calls "future fragments."
What are "future fragments?" To be quite honest, I can't explain that to you. The show sets them up to be these premonitions that a couple of the characters have, but the problem is two-fold. One, it is never properly explained. As an audience member, I obtained some information about what could cause them but they never really made any sense as to why they occur or what purpose they serve. Two, they aren't even "future fragments." As is learned later, the name it was given isn't even appropriate. Meaning for the majority of the show, I am left to believe that this "power" is somehow special or at the minimum has some focus to it. In reality, it doesn't.
On top of all this, Glasslip also contains some of the worst dialogue I have ever seen from a show. A lot of what the characters say is either nonsensical or just plain weird. When watching them, it is rather awkward because everything they say just doesn't feel like they should be saying it to one another. This is kind of hard to describe. It's as if the characters were holding conversations with themselves even though they were talking to someone right in front of them.
By this point, it's important to know that the studio behind Glasslip is none other than P.A. Works. Recently, they have gained fame for their crisp animation and art style and interesting plots. Not only is the latter gone this time, but I argue so is the former.
I give Glasslip one thing, that is that the art itself is gorgeous. The lighting is nice, the environments are pretty, and the character designs are modern.
However, there is little to zero actual animation present. Credit to /u/tundranocaps (a reddit user) for pointing this out. When you actually sit down and watch the show, it becomes apparent that what goes on is just talking. This causes the characters to be rather stiff. They don't have to be, but the show chooses to usually only move their mouths during the majority of the scenes. So while the coffee shop might be very detailed, the characters' movements are definitely not.
Beyond this, Glasslip employs this rather strange technique I call "still frames." They started occurring more frequently as the show went on, but basically the entire frame/scene would freeze in an artistic fashion. Sometimes this would occur randomly when looking at a tree. But the worst offenders were when it would happen while the characters were interacting with one another. I don't know what compelled the studio to use this "trick," but I found it to be rather lame and most of the time unnecessary.
As a final note, and something a bit more personal, but I hate their mouths as well. Each mouth has a slight slant to it that makes each of the characters look as if they have some sort of facial defect. Not sure why they chose this, but just another thing to add to the hate pile.
Glasslip's characters, like its story, are rather atrocious.
The main group of friends constitutes the main cast. Starting with Touko, her character development does not go beyond the word, "Ehhhhhh!?!" I understand that she is confused by a lot of the things that are going on, such as "future fragments" or confessions towards her. However, if the only thing notable about your growth as a character is you repeating the same, grating line multiple times an episode, you are just a really bad character.
Moving on, the worst character in the show is David (Kakeru). Seemingly Tsumugu's brother from Nagi no Asukara, David is extremely abstract and philosophical. He acts like a modern-day Plato, and for this reason, I completely hate not only his character but also this character type. I don't understand why P.A. Works enjoys it, but I cannot get behind someone who always has to spout something intellectual or only asks questions as opposed to giving answers.
Next up is Yuki, who early on actually seems to be one of the more sane ones. But in Glasslip-like fashion, he becomes a rather annoying character. After being rejected, he recedes into himself and for the rest of the show just runs. Literally the only thing you see him do is run from one point to another. Is this his way of dealing with things? Perhaps, but even if that is the case, I would much rather have that explained to me, rather than me having to make a guess as to how he is dealing with the situation. This is vital because the show doesn't have a plot, so it relies more heavily on its characters (meaning character interactions).
Sachi is an interesting girl. She is shown to have some type of illness, but like the "future fragments," it serves zero purpose within the narrative. She can actually be quite manipulative despite her appearance, but she too fails to communicate properly with the other characters. So much so that she relies on roundabout ways in order to convey her feelings. Much like Yuki, this is fine, but rather strange for a girl seemingly in her teenage years.
Yanagi is Yuki's step-sister. And that should set a flag off almost immediately. Because, true to Japanese anime stereotypes, she falls for him. I do not like this type of development whatsoever, and I will never understand why it is so prevalent in Japanese culture. This is me being somewhat ignorant, I get that, but it just does not sit right with me. Besides her feelings, she is generally the most mature among the group, but even she has her strange moments too, such as walking around her house naked because she can.
The last character to go in-depth with is Hiro, the boy who has feelings for Sachi. Among everyone in the show, he is the most level-headed/makes the most sense. His actions are believable given what happens to him, and he never does anything extremely strange. Besides pining after the girl who doesn't necessarily see him the same way he does with her, he is actually realistic. That is pretty sad, all things considered.
Much like the mouths, my final point I want to say is that the rest of the cast is pretty bad except for Touko's dad and sister Hina. They were the only ones to make me smile during the show. Whether it was from their terrible dialogue or their actual funny moments, I appreciated having them there to keep me sane.
Arguably the strongest part of Glasslip, its music is at least okay. The OP is somewhat nice due to its relaxing melodies and nice use of the guitar. The ED is okay. It reminds me of Hanasaku Iroha with its singing, and while the show tries to be dramatic, the ED instead is rather upbeat.
The soundtrack is fine for what it is. Nothing stands out predominately but the tracks themselves are nice to listen to while watching the show.
As for voice acting, no outstanding performances are to be had.
Many people started watching this show because it was tagged with the P.A Works label. And that's fine, because they have done a splendid job recently with all of their works. But something happened along the way with this one that just makes it hard to believe that it was made by the same studio that did NagiAsu, Hanasaku Iroha, and Angel Beats.
The show is never funny, its not dramatic as much as it tries to make itself seem, the characters are boring and unrealistic, and the story (for what is even present) makes no sense. While romance is abound in the show, I never cared for any of it. I love romance to death in anime, but the way everything was handled between the characters was so unbelievable that I didn't care if Touko ended up with David or Sachi with Hiro.
I really hope P.A. Works reflects on this project. Glasslip was an attempt at something original. They certainly obtained this goal but it is definitely not the outcome that was desired.
Story: Terrible, completely nonsensical
Animation: Bad, pretty yet mired with "still frames" and zero actual animation
Characters: Terrible, characterization is non-present or extremely shallow
What happened to my comfy slice of life series about glass blowing? I asked myself this question every single time I finished an episode and the ED started rolling. After somehow managing to finish this awful series about teenage angst, forced drama, and supernatural horseshit, I feel disappointed. Not only in this series, but also in myself. Somewhere deep inside me must reside a little masochist devil that enjoys watching me suffer through terrible anime.
Saying that Glasslip had a story is laughable. It's as if the writing behind the series just patched together random ideas and put it on the screen. Even upon completion
I don't understand what this series was trying to convey. Be shallow and fall for the good-looking, up-and-coming sociopath transfer student? Believe in and follow your delusions, which realistically seem like mental disorders, instead of hauling ass to the nearest doctor? I just don't know.
If you thought my description of the story was bad, and that has somehow not put you off of this series yet (unless you've already suffered like I've suffered, God bless your soul), then this should do the trick. Let's talk characters. There are 6 important (who am I kidding?), main characters in Glasslip. They are: Touko, Kakeru, Yukinari, Sachi, Yanagi, and Hiro. Like most dramas and slice of life shows, the main driving force behind the series are its characters. However, with Glasslip, the only thing that will be driving is you. Off the nearest cliff.
Touko is the main female lead of the series, who honestly seems like she's not all there mentally. Touko constantly spaces out, has little to no awareness of her surroundings, and easily has the lowest IQ out of all of her friends. Half her responses to trivial things is, "EHHHHH!?" and it reeks of such stupidity that it hurts my brain.
Kakeru, or "David", the emotionless transfer student, basically has no understanding of socially acceptable human interaction. Instead of easing his way into joining Touko's group of friends, like any normal person would, he acts like a condescending asshole. Big surprise! All of Touko's friends hate him. It doesn't help that he rarely says anything besides Touko this, Touko that, or it's my fault Touko feels sad. Want to get a restraining order filed on you? Follow Kakeru's detailed step-by-step examples.
Yukinari is an athletic guy that has some real apparent issues with catching hints and simply talking in general. He gets jealous easily, has a real douchebag attitude, and runs a lot. I think I could have gone to the store and bought a pair of Nikes — which would not have only been more enjoyable than Yukinari's character, but also more interesting — and gained more entertainment value. Nikes also won't complain or get angry about their running performance either, so that's another big plus.
Yanagi is an alright character, though still pretty bland and generic. She seems normal enough compared to the others, which isn't saying much, but also still has problems of her own. She's got the hots for her step-brother and is extremely quick to jump to his defense whenever someone even hints at what an imbecile he is. I swear Japan, something is wrong with you and your infatuation with brother-sister relationships.
I don't really understand how Sachi even became friends with the rest of the group. All she does is read books, for the most part. She rarely attends the group activities because she has some sort of unexplained illness and rarely says anything of value. Apparently nobody seems to care that she lies to them and tries to play little, deceitful games to get what she wants either. Solid 10/10 would befriend material.
Hiro, you still haven't figured out that Sachi is a lesbian? You poor bastard.
Out of all the characters in this entire show, there were only a handful that stood out when given their time to shine. They felt like realistic portrayals of what they would be like in real life, which was a big surprise to me. I feel like screen time was lost on all of the 'main' characters when these guys were pushed off to the side and ignored for the majority of the show. Here's some insight as to why they were so great:
☑ Character interaction: As realistic as it gets.
☑ Voice acting: Morgan Freeman-narrating-a-documentary-tier.
☑ Character design: Can't even tell they're 2D.
So, without further ado, let's give a big round of applause to Jonathan, Husserl, Confucius, Roger, and Makuzu, the school chickens.
The only positive thing I have to say about Glasslip is that the OST is decent. I like classical music and most of the OST consisted of it, at least from what I recall. The animation for this series felt pretty lacking in comparison to P.A. Work's last scenery porn project Nagi no Asukara. There was a frequent use of stills, which was strange to me. It's 2014, come on now. The studio barely did any notably good animation for this series. Just how low was the budget?
If you couldn't already tell, I did not enjoy Glasslip. On a positive note, Glasslip does do something right aside from the OST. It gives perspective on what a bad series is. Comparatively, you can now probably say "(insert series name here) was better than that piece of shit Glasslip!" and therefore adjust your ratings accordingly.
When I think of Glasslip, the show reminds me of a candle melting. At first, the fire shines strong and bright. Then, as time goes on, it slowly burns itself out and eventually into ashes. Honestly, Glasslip isn’t too different. It’s a show that started off with a decent premise but slowly burn itself out. Glasslip doesn’t induce creative drama, laudable realism, or a genuine slice of life. Rather, it’s an empty series that is misguided by its story and characters that almost makes us feel sorry for what it created. Well, almost.
Produced by P.A Works with director Junji Nishimura involved, it’s no surprise that
the show share some similar gimmicks with True Tears. The series is a standalone running 1-cour (13 episodes) that isn’t based off of any source material. Yet, this show exists as a confusion. And by that, I mean the show doesn’t really know what to do with itself. For a show that starts off with an intriguing premise, it quickly loses its way by turning it into some teenage abominable drama that is unable to capitalize on any of its composed ideas.
The show starts off simple at first with a small cast of main characters - Touko, Hiro, Sachi, Yanagi, Yukinari, and Kakeru. Five of them are already friends who have known each other for some time. The one oddball out would be Kakeru, a transfer student. The catch is that he didn’t come to town to study or follow a dream. Rather, he came with the reasoning that something in the future ties him together with Touko. As strange as it sounds, Glasslip essentially tries to adapt with an idea relating to the of future. The early episodes heavily implies that Touko is actually able to see into the future through pieces of glass. I suppose this is where the title of the show comes from as Touko has this supernatural-like ability. However, the show neglects most of this concept. Instead, Touko focuses more on her own interpersonal relationship with others. Sure, there are times when Touko is concerned about possible events of the future through these supposed premonitions. However, most of that is discarded instead for cliché-riddled teenage drama where romance takes over and story sinks down the drain.
A question that popped into my mind is ‘why would this series beget into such a weak story with a cyclone of generic clichés?” The answer is simple as the show focuses more on relationships rather than story. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what kind of romance the show is trying to accomplish though. It seems almost everyone has a crush on someone but nothing is reciprocated. One particular confession actually implies semi-yuri undertones or if it can be called that relating to Sachi. Nonetheless, the relationship is unworthy with so much drama going on. Actually, I wouldn’t of mind it if the show has realism but the supernatural element relating to future premonition derives from that. No, rather than realism, Glassip’s relationship dynamics focuses on formulaic and flawed logic that makes little sense at times. Love confessions are delivered with little development. Even if there was, I would call it as sappy because it lacks compatibility. There’s little relevance to some of the relationships. For instance, Touko and Kakeru seems to have some connections not based on similarities but more on fate. The breakdown is that there’s little foreshadowing while others seems to also get involved whilst making their relationship lacking. In the end, there really are concerns about what this show is trying to accomplish.
The story itself isn’t any better when it tries to explain the premise. Apparently, the tagline reads as “"On the other side of the glass, you can see tomorrow.” But really, what I can see is more like days by days going by with horrid development. The show fails to keep up what it tries to do with poor momentum. There’s also a sense of false advertisement when initial viewers may lead to believe on character building. If the series decided to focus on establishing a future of their characters (such as say, a career as an artisan), then I’d be content. But what it offers is nothing of such sort as the realization about this show is focused on love drama. And even when it comes down to that, the drama lacks convincing themes. There’s little focus on the motivations of the characters either. It shifts from character to character that with little credibility on back stories. In fact, back stories are hardly dealt with. In essence, it leaves most viewers in the dark on what we may really know about the characters. It creates that illusionary image that the show depicts slice of life but in reality is more like a generic teenage drama without fluency. There’s just too much going on without proper explanation that creates a stab in the heart. Even True Tears had some parts that people can relate and knew what it was doing at times. However, this show disconnects from reality by relying on its fantasy tropes in inadequate balancing between fiction and reality. To be honest, that’s almost laughable. I only give credit for a few moments when emotional drama induces real dilemma. But even then, its forced dialogues can be an annoyance. By the time the show tries to wrap up everything together, it feels like a point where there’s no redemption as result of weak buildup.
It’s no Nagi no Asukara but this show nailed its technical artwork when it comes to artwork. P.A. Works creates visual porn with the backgrounds including its countryside atmosphere, the sea coastlines, and natural mountains. It feels like nostalgic and brings a melody that makes you feel like a kid all over again. Character designs are generic but maintains balance especially with accessories that some of the girls are wearing. Nonetheless though, artwork is a strong point of Glasslip for its ability to convey communication through gestures. There are also minimal fan service as most of the show relies on more innocence and youth. More importantly, seasonal changes adaptation such as Spring and Winter depicts sincerity with what it’s trying to do.
Although not as strong as the artwork, the soundtrack of the show definitely stands above the shallow relationships that the series tried to craft. Melancholy is a main theme played throughout the show with quiet moments when characters convey their thoughts or feelings. More emotional scenarios has piano-like tunes playing in the backgrounds to show what characters are going through. Occasional comical comments are less noticeable but still makes sense more than the main story. I give some praise to both the OP and ED songs for keeping with its melancholic style. Finally, we have the character voice mannerisms of the main cast. I find little to talk about for this section since none of them really stand out at all. The girls often has that dramatic voice that is pushy with valley girl-like tones. The guys aren’t worth praise either as most of them hardly has a voice that are worth remembering. Kakeru’s voice easily wants me to forget what he says because of his personality while Touko’s expressive voice sounds like an emotional teen who is worried about almost everything. Oh wait, she is.
So in the end, what exactly is Glasslip? Surely, it at least has the word ‘glass’ as part of the show so naturally, we see its usage. The problem is the pacing and balance between what it’s trying to accomplish. For a slice of life show, the fantasy trope doesn’t fit in. If they wanted to focus on relationship building, then at least keep the momentum going. No, instead the show decides to jump around everywhere between characters. In retrospect, the show digs itself further and further into oblivion. Its lackluster comedy and love dramas are questionably unfavorable that can leave a bad taste in a viewers’ mouth. I’m not questioning the drama as some parts of it does command attention. But ultimately, this show is a stinker to what slice of life is. Besides visual porn quality and a tolerable soundtrack, Glasslip is a depressing show to watch.
And no, I’m not even talking about sadness as an emotion. It’s more like how sad this show has fallen apart while burning away like a candle….
I haven't written a review in years and for good reason. I didn't have to review them. The shows I watched I enjoyed. No need to tell others the ups and downs because I believed everything was an Up.
Now this show... It started off good. Likable characters (*cough*Yanagi*cough*), interesting scenario of a girl who sees "fragments of the future and a drifter who can also take part in this phenomenon with her)
As the story progressed it went from "This is cool" to "What in god's name is going on?".
The story doesn't take a sudden turn and became some Drama filled mess, it literally
spirals out of control. Nothing happens later on in the story. NOTHING. They literally wind up brushing off the entire phenomenon and the kid leaves.
Only good thing about watching this show is that it's now completed. Now you can marathon the show in a few hours and then say you wasted a few hours of your time. I spent weeks wasting my time watching this show.
Home is where the heart is, but sometimes, people need more than just love. Ever fantasized about living in your anime dream house? Come check out this collection of 15 magnificent anime houses, each unique in their own way. Some are beautiful and cozy, while others have more extravagant forms!