By Antonin Kořenek / September 16th, 2014
WARNING: One of the images shown is considered NSFW. Discretion is advised.
WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Glasslip episodes 8 – 10. If you don’t want to be spoiled, please stop reading. You have been warned.
At first I was feeling pretty bad about skipping out with my little vacation and missing the latest episodes of Glasslip, but then I caught up. It’s good that I’m forced to play catch up. Why? Because not that much happened in any of them.
Glasslip is clearly more focused on the characters as everything has continued to be character building and growth. We’re still completely in the dark about those future fragments and various relationships are patched up… sorta. Oh, and Kakeru can’t hear the fragments anymore. That’s a thing.
It’s not that shows that focus on characters as opposed to plot are bad, it’s just that the characters should be a little more interesting than what we have here.
There was one moment in the eighth episode that caught my attention, however, and that was the apparent fan service of Yanagi. Except it wasn’t fan service, not really. It didn’t really feel like fan service to me anyway.
While I can’t seem to find a name for it, I know that it is common in Japanese media to use nudity when something mystical, surreal, or philosophical is happening and the naked character is going about a certain change. We don’t actually hear Yanagi declare this to anyone until the next episode. It is completely intentional that all those artsy filters occur during those shots of her taking off her clothes and walking around her house naked.
While I want to say that this was well done, it wasn’t. The fact that it was sliced up with some other dialogue, and shots not really about her, made the whole thing feel choppy and forced. Sure, you can argue that stuff involving Yukinari is also about Yanagi, but with all those things mixed in, I felt that any real effect was lost.
In that next episode, Yanagi tells Touko’s little sister that she is trying to change, and she even gives away a dress that Yukinari once liked. She is starting to move on from the heartbreak. Or at least trying to. From her conversation with Yukinari when he returns, it’s unclear if she’s going to drop those feelings completely. She may have just been happy to see the guy back to his old self.
We see a glimpse of that in the eighth episode, but it finally comes to light in the ninth as we see Yukinari talking amongst his running peers. He’s laughing again, smiling. Hell, he’s straight up doing well with running. A few episodes ago he barely kept up. And when he doesn’t do so well, it doesn’t destroy him emotionally. I wasn’t aware when he up and left but he was taking initiative to join up with the track camp. Better late than never I guess. This arc as a whole ended in a way that felt very natural and rewarding.
Unfortunately, what wasn’t rewarding in the slightest was the kiss between Touko and Kakeru. It should have been. There was plenty of build up for it and I should have been able to feel Touko’s anxiety over it.
Except I didn’t.
Which is because I don’t care about those two.
I don’t care about their feelings for one another. I don’t care about the future fragments. And I don’t care that they’re probably something else.
I’m not even sure what it is at this point. There’s just little to the Touko and Kakeru duo that makes me want to come back and watch the show. Hiro and Sachi are more interesting. After all, Sachi convinces her friends to break into a place after hours to view the moon. Rather poetic and cool.
Which by-the-way, I can’t decide if she’s bisexual or simply stating that she loves her friends. There was that whole “if you say it like that it’s a confession” thing, which was adorable and all, but confused me. Is Sachi in love with the both of them and getting it off her chest because she knows Touko doesn’t like girls? Or is Sachi just being cute? Don’t worry, I know they’ll never clarify that. Why would they?
I’m not saying Sachi has to be gay or bisexual or that there’s anything wrong with friends having intimate non-sexual feelings for one another. Its just when you throw a scene in like that it feels intentionally vague. Though, thinking about it now, I almost want to say I’m certain she put Hiro on a bit of a ride and it is about loving one’s friends.
Anyway, the way this arc wrapped up left me feeling a little cheated. Sachi goes off and manipulates her friends (that she loves so much) and then walks away with little to no consequences. I don’t believe there was ever an apology either. Or perhaps I’m looking into that a bit more than I should because those involved just don’t care enough. Hiro did sulk out in the woods by himself for a bit and ignored her calls. That just could be his way of dealing with it.
Regardless, still a better emotional payoff for me than that kiss.
And I’m still wondering what’s going on with Hiro’s sister… or if we’ll ever find out.
Is it bad that I’m holding onto this show for its subplots?
It’s rather upsetting now that I think about it. I was really happy with episode seven, and then the next three continue to decelerate. What the hell P.A. Works? What the hell?
Come see us next time when I begin to lose my patience for this show and begin openly questioning why I’m still bothering with it.
I’m gonna go watch HaNaYaMaTa now.