Among all the possible uses for glasses, looking smarter and disguising yourself rank at the top.
The semester is wrapping up, which means that projects, papers, and presentations are now approaching their deadlines, but you know what? Good time management means that I can still spare a few hours to write. And that means you can spare a few minutes to read. In fact, it’s required. This material will be on the test.
Megane na Kanojo is a basically a series of short, unrelated romance stories that somehow involve glasses, although the way in which they incorporate glasses differs from story to story. I mentioned this OVA in the chatbox the other day and someone described it as so fruity. It has some pretty typical shounen art, but it truly is a girly series. I actually can’t even believe that I myself watched it. If you don’t like cheesy slice-of-life romances with absolutely no action at all, then you probably wouldn’t enjoy Megane na Kanojo. However, the episodes are so short that there’s really no harm in checking it out, even if you don’t think you’ll like it.
Meet the four heroines.
Each episode is more like a half-episode, lasting about 14 minutes, 3 minutes of which are the intro and outro themes. This is because they each cover only a single chapter from the manga – 20-page chapters at that – and there’s only so much you can stretch out the original material unless you are a freaking genius. I’m going to lump these reviews into two episode segments because a review over 10 minutes of material would be… rather short indeed. Unless you are a freaking genius.
A climax followed by an overwhelming sense of disappointment… hm…
The first episode relates the story of Kamiya and his beloved Asou-senpai. As a first year, Kamiya joined the literature club because he caught a glimpse of a truly glorious sight as he recklessly swung open the door for the first time: Asou’s naked… face. In an admirable demonstration of thinking with his second brain, which every male carries in between his legs, Kamiya immediately joins the literature club to be closer to his love. Unfortunately, Kamiya soon learns that Asou is not all that she appears. She is, in fact, one of the more unsavory types of people in the world. Asou is a meganekko.
Another dull day in the literature club.
This comes as a shock and disappointment to Kamiya, who hates glasses. He decides to stick around for the opportunity to see Asou without her glasses again, but alas, all of his cunning and subtle attempts are thwarted by Asou’s superior intellect, which I assume she gets from her glasses. It seems that Kamiya is fighting a losing battle, here.
Asou effectively articulates the most important purpose of glasses.
Asou wonders why Kamiya is so intent on seeing her without her glasses on and proposes that Kamiya is, in fact, stalking her.
She is right. In what Asou calls “not blackmailing,” she promises not to tell anyone if Kamiya stops bugging her.
On their way home from school, something totally unexpected happens. Due to a remark of Asou’s regarding a clock and Kamiya’s surprise at her ability to see so well, Asou performs a very detailed and technical vision test for Kamiya. We learn two very important things from this. First, glasses help you see better. Second, Kamiya is blind as a friggin’ bat.
After getting glasses of his own, the two finally match… but they don’t actually get together. And they lived happily ever after. Next!
The second episode features the TOP IDOL Ichinohe Aya. You know that she’s a TOP IDOL because she says it every 10 seconds, just in case you forget at any point during the episode. And not only is she at the top in terms of talent, she’s also at the top in terms of ego. Because she’s a TOP IDOL. TOP IDOL!!!
Ichinohe is hanging out in some generic cafe thinking about how awesome she is and how crazy it would be if anyone discovered her true identity as a TOP IDOL. She’s interrupted by some normal shmuck, Miyaguchi, asking her out for the day, which she ends up accepting because of her weird fantasy of being a high-class girl going undercover and spending a day with an average boy.
They go on a rather unremarkable date, made interesting by the hilariously unfitting background music.
The coffee coming out of her mouth is worth more than it was going in because she’s a TOP IDOL.
When it seems like her top secret identity as a TOP IDOL is about to be discovered, Miyaguchi fails to see through her disguise. Ichinohe seems to think this is because Miyaguchi is a little slow in the head, but I think it’s because, well, not everyone cares about her status as a TOP IDOL as much as she does. Plus, all Asians look alike, anyway.
Spoken like a true undercover agent.
Ichinohe responds in the only appropriate way for someone trying to stay undercover: by trying to be discovered. Unfortunately for her, Miyaguchi is too trusting of her fake identity.
Ultimately, Ichinohe fails to be discovered by Miyaguchi, even after taking off her disguise, which is a huge blow to her massive TOP IDOL ego. In the end, she agrees to go out with Miyaguchi again sometime and prances off to work.
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I don’t know why, but those little fellas made me laugh.
A stunning rendition of the pure love between two American boys.
I just kind of picked this up as a whim even though romance is not really my thing, but I still had a good time watching it. The stories aren’t actually as cheesy as I expected and don’t end in clichéd happy endings, so I didn’t feel like I was reading some crappy teenage girl fanfiction. The main thing that kept me going during the first episode was Asou’s voice. I’d never heard of Moriya Satomi before (apparently she was in Cencoroll, which I haven’t seen), but listening to her obnoxiously drawn out speech was pretty entertaining for me.
The OP and ED were stupid, which is a serious turnoff for me. What’s worse about this is that the episodes are so short that the OP and ED take up a huge percentage of the episode runtime. This isn’t something to drop the series over, but I really hate it when I have to skip past the OP and stop at the ED. There’s no preview, either, so there’s no reason to keep watching once the ED starts.
I realized about halfway through the first episode that I had actually read the Megane na Kanojo manga before, which was kind of surprising. Only the first two chapters are translated, which cover Asou and Ichinohe respectively, so I’ll keep watching this series just so I can find out about the other girls. The episodes are super short, so even though they hardly have any plot to them, I think they’re actually quite nice as a little diversion. Likewise for you all, I recommend at least checking out episode 1 if you have 14 minutes to spare. 11 minutes if you skip the OP/ED.
There’s no preview, but through my professional and expert skills in divination, I can make the uncannily accurate prediction that the next two episodes will involve girls with glasses.