Kitajima Maya, a 13-year old girl with a talent for acting, was discovered by the reclusive actress Tsukikage. The story follows Maya's growing up, intense training, overcoming challenges, and evolving into the foremost actress of her generation (she is about 20 so far). Maya's greatest rival is Himekawa Ayumi, the beautiful daughter of a famous movie couple. They ultimately vied for the most sought-after role - the "Crimson Goddess". An equally important subplot Maya's relationship with the handsome and ruthless entertainment mogul Hayami Masumi, who secretly became her number one fan, but misunderstandings and bad-timing obstructed their romance...
Glass Mask is an interesting piece of animation. It all begins with Mayas will to fulfill her dreams but quickly turns so a story filled with angst and hurt feelings. This is the kind of series you watch when you are tired of the old "everything will turn out ok"-stereotype.
The story is quite good and the pacing is excellent. It is basically about Maya who would like to be an actor someday. One day she is promised to get a chance to se a play if she delivers all the orders for a resturant she works at before midnight. Her entusiasm is discovered by the
former queen of the theater Tsukikage and she becomes a student at her acting school. After this her life could seemingly only become better, it doesn't go so smooth as she expected. Mayas will to succed and her constant struggle agains the odds is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. The only (and major) weak-point is that the story is left unconclusive and the endig that the whole series build up for never became realized.
The art looks very dated but it remains true to the original manga (which I unfortunately haven't read) and the classic shoujo-style gives away a quite nostalgic feel. The animation is nothing amazing either but it is on par to other mid 80s tv-shows. Meaning that the framecount are low (you can count the frames as you watch) and the backgrounds are a bit generic and "normal". Overall the art and animation is nothing spectacular but it doesn't take away from the feeling of the show either.
When it comes to sound the voice actors does a good job in capturing the feeling of the characters and Mayas VA really does a good job in changing her voice to fit the role that Maya is playing (which is different for each different play). The music, however, never goes beyond ok.
With an ok soundtrack and story it may not sound that interesting but the characters and their depth makes it all worth it. Mayas struggle is interesting and the choices she makes are quite interesting. Whe supporting characters are quite good also, they are all two-faced and Maya has a really hard time to know who she should trust.
To summarise, Glass Mask is interesting but filled with angst, betrayal and unhappy moments. It is not something you should watch if you are already feeling down but if you are looking for a serious shoujo-drama Glass Mask may be just the show for you.
now moving on to the story itself. I'm a Glass Mask fanatic. I've watched both this and the 2005 version, plus the tv drama and ova, and I've read the manga, which is still continuing for those who don't know.
You have to watch the story, especially this older version, with an open heart, not as a critic prepared to voice your opinions.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story. In fact, there isn't another story that I enjoyed as much as this one. Skip Beat comes next.
I'm not someone who's into showbiz, so the showbiz factor is
not the reason why I enjoyed the story.
The story is centered around Maya. Maya is the soul of the story.
There is a great amount of character development throughout the story, not just in Maya, but in other characters as well. There aren't really any weak characters in the story. In the showbiz world, it's all about putting darwinism to the test.
Maya is one of the strongest yet kindest female lead I've ever stumbled upon. A character as beautiful as Maya is really a rare find.
I don't recommend watching this version first though if you are used to modern drawings and animations. I watched the 2005 version first then this one. Honestly, I love them both so I can't say which is better.
More than the story of a young woman seeking revenge on the jerk who dumped her, Skip Beat! is a series about a teenage girl's journey of self discovery in the Japanese Entertainment Industry. Want to know more about this romantic comedy? Read on!