The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

Glasslip: First Episode Impressions

Tōko Fukami’s family runs a glass-working business in a small seaside town. She hangs out with her four best friends at a cafe called “Kazemichi.” During the summer break of their senior year in high school, they meet a transfer student named Kakeru Okikura, who claims that a voice from the future talks to him, and that it’s led him to Tōko. His arrival sets off a series of events that will make their final summer together one full of hope and heartache.

Thus reads the official description for P.A. Works’ latest instalment, which is projected to be a love story fueled by someone who supposedly bears Newtype powers. After one episode, it becomes apparent that, if this is a love story, the sheer number of characters is going to result in a love hypercube forming, in turn leading to opportunity for all sorts of drama to happen. Depending on how this plays out, Glasslip could either become one of the most entertaining love stories I’ve seen, or it could be about as difficult to watch as trying to prove that the sum of one and one is two. The setup is quite interesting: Kakeru first meets Tōko during a local festival under fireworks, and become formally introduced to one another at their school, where Tōko is attempting to draw the school’s chickens. Through an unusual turn of events, Tōko’s friends wind up taking care of said chickens, and as the episode closes off, it seems that Kakeru gets off onto a shaky start with Tōko’s friends. Normally, after one episode, I usually have a reasonable impression as to whether or not I will continue to follow an anime, but for Glasslip, things become trickier: on one hand, the romance could be intriguing, but on the other, one must wonder how thirteen episodes will allow for what appears to be three romances to proceed.

  • Ladies and gentlemen, it’s exercise time. I find that the fastest way for me to learn all of the character’s names in a given series is to type them out, and eventually, something will stick. Thus, from left to right, there’s Yanagi Takayama, Tōko Fukami and Sachi Nagamiya.

  • This image includes Hiro Shirosaki and Yukinari Imi: the former is ever-cheerful and appears to hold feelings for Sachi, while the latter has a cool, laid-back personality and holds feelings for Tōko.

  • The last major anime from P.A. works I enjoyed was Tari TariRDG: Red Data Girl was something that felt outside the scope of my interest and the story was difficult to follow owing to my complete lack of knowledge about the Shinto religion. This left me unable to fully understand the events that were happening, and ultimately, though I finished the series, I found that RDG: Red Data Girl was not something I could whole-heartedly recommend.

  • As for Nagi no Asakura, I have not seen it myself owing to a maxed-out schedule and backlog. Given the positive things I’ve heard about Nagi no Asakura, I will give it a shot once I finish Higurashi: Naku no Koro ni Kai and Chobits. At present, I’m only three episodes from finishing Higurashi: Naku no Koro ni Kai, and I am thoroughly impressed with the entire series. I’ll do a talk on that in due course.

  • Casually note that the edges of the image are faded out: this is an artistic style that hails from True Tears, and quite personally, with all of the chickens in this scene, I’m tempted to consider Glasslip as a successor of sorts to True Tears. Insofar, though, Tōko feels a lot more agreeable than Hiromi Yuasa: the latter’s cold demeanor and attitudes make her a difficult character to warm up to.

  • At present, countless others are squandering their time arguing on internet forums as to whether or not Glasslip is even worth while. I find that the series is still young, so there’s time to assess whether or not my time is better spent watching Glasslip or other anime. Presently, I’ve resolved to hold fast with the three-episode rule in mind: if the series ends up falling to pieces by episode three, I will leave it at that.

  • With respect to the whole complaints about how the “supernatural” (read “Newtype”) elements will be developed, it’s honestly not as significant as it’s made out to be. Typically, in such settings, Newtype powers tend to act as a catalyst for the events that are to happen, and aren’t the central focus of things as they would be in science fiction or fantasy. As such, I’d imagine that while they would probably be a source of intrigue and push romances forwards, Kakeru’s powers won’t (and shouldn’t) drive any academic discussions on the implications of having such capacities in society.

  • While the first episode does feel a little lackluster, especially with all of the chickens, the festival scene with all of its fireworks, felt magical. At the time of writing, Stampede 2014 is just about to close, and every evening, there’s a fireworks display. I will be attending on Saturday, solely to try out their scorpion pizza and exotic meat sliders. I’ve opted to go during the evening, when the overhead sun is less intense, and so that I may check out the fairgrounds by nightfall.

  • With a little more than eight days before the two-year anniversary to the release of the K-On! Movie, I will return on July 18 to do a “review review”: shortly after the movie’s original screening in Japan, two websites drafted reviews about the movie that could not be verified. Both talks offer interesting things to think about, and I will be looking at whether or not the aforementioned talks adequately capture the spirit within the K-On! Movie. Besides the K-On! Movie, I noticed a massive surge of readers looking for Deer Hunter 2014 content, so I will drop by and make a short post on what the new regions look like. Lastly, owing to the way Deus Ex: Human Revolutions is turning out, I think a short talk is on order, if only to express just how immersive the game is, and how much attention is paid to the social implications of human augmentation.

  • I did mention earlier that I will be applying a new method towards my anime reflections for the future: instead of doing three posts for each show I follow, I will do a post three episodes in, and then follow with a final impressions post: Glasslip will be the last anime I review via the traditional means in the interest of saving time, and by July 20, after episodes three of Aldnoah Zero and Sword Art Online II are done, I’ll do a single post talking about my impressions to these series after three episodes. Truth be told, after one episode, there’s not enough for me to write about for these series, so waiting around will yield better discussions.

While the possibility that Glasslip possesses has yet to be fully realised, P.A. Works does not fail to deliver in the art and animation department: as per expectation, landscapes and stills are gorgeous, and the attention to details in the environment breathe life to all of the anime’s settings. The music evokes memories of the Hanasaku Iroha and Tari Tari soundtrack, with plenty of piano and warm melodies. Of note is the subtle border wash-out in several scenes: this particular aspect brings to mind the stylistic elements from P.A Works’ earlier title, True Tears, which ended up being entertaining to watch (if somewhat difficult to stomach). This element, paired with an emphasis on chickens (and naming chickens), leads me to be so bold as to claim that, depending on how things turn out, Glasslip might wind up being True Tears with superior graphics and Newtype powers. The first episode left mixed impressions with viewers: while I’m no so optimistic as to say that I’ll thoroughly enjoy this should things go south, I’m not so callous as to dismiss what Glasslip gets right: I’m going to continue watching Glasslip with an open mind, and with Tōko lacking the same chill as Hiromi, I have a feeling I will enjoy Glasslip. For the present, let’s just see where this goes.

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