Glasslip – 04

Glasslip-old guy grin

Ahh, seishun


Another one of those episodes that I think are expressive in their economy. You just don’t need talking all the time to make something interesting.

Quiet and Powerful

Glasslip-Happy Hiro Glasslip-quietly reading

Just spending time together

What struck me most of all in this episode was how much of it was just atmospheric. Long stretches with nobody talking, just doing things, being places, going somewhere. And all of it helping to create the feeling of life moving along in ways that it always does. One-sided conversations on the phone, long shots of people talking but no voices. Sachi and Hiro quietly spending time together as Hiro frets about what to say to her (sitting seiza, which comes back to trouble him). Yanagi’s struggle with her sprained ankle as her pride and desire to stop talking to Touko about Yuki compel her to strike off alone, and her silent thoughts as she encountered Kakeru. Yuki wondering what he can do to get closer to Touko, whom he still has a crush on.

Glasslip-Don't want to be alone

Yuki sets his own rules

And even with that economy of voices, we still see the feelings that people have for each other, and we still get that winding up of emotion and worry. Yuki, following Touko into the school, looking at all the parts of her, but refusing to come into a room alone with her. And Yuki is more worried that Touko loves Kakeru and doesn’t love him, when the reality is that Touko doesn’t really know what she feels. And it just confuses her more when she sees Yana-chan together with Kakeru. Of course she misunderstands what happened, but is she more upset that Yana is with Kakeru instead of Yuki? Or that Kakeru is with Yana… instead of Touko?

The Moments of Worry Aren’t the Majority

Glasslip-Together but apart

And with all that worry and insecurity, it seems like everyone’s still just moving along. Yanagi’s ankle gets better and she’s back to modeling school. Yuki’s back running and rehabbing. But for Touko, there’s still some preoccupation, since she’s the girl who’s most likely to visibly brood on anything. That’s why she’s so surprised at Hiro going on a date. Does she realize it’s with Sachi? And does Sachi realize it’s a date? After a lot of information about Sachi last episode, she really is an enigma this episode. Friendly and pleasant with Hiro, it seems she notes his attempts to ask her out (at least that’s what it seems to me), but she’s not helping him along at all. Is she actually not getting the idea, and that’s why she’s not helping him? Or is she willing to be friends up to a certain point and wait until there’s actually a confession to turn him down? That would seem to be pretty cruel, so it kind of leans toward her not getting the message, but then that puts her in Touko’s oblivious territory, and she doesn’t seem like that kind of person.

Glasslip-A new acquaintance Glasslip-The stuff of misunderstandings

It’s the stuff of misunderstandings

And how much does Yanagi like Yuki? Is there more attraction there because he’s familiar? Or because he’s always looking at Touko? Would Yanagi be as interested without that hint of jealousy? I don’t know, because it’s more like she seems to need to be talked into her feelings for him. “Thanks, Touko, I was just about convinced I wasn’t in love with him, but you’re pushed it back into my head.” And those stumbles with her ankle, first into Yuki, and then into Kakeru. Were those innocent moments of injury? Or is that Yana acting coquettish and seeing what kind of reaction she gets? And Yuki sure didn’t score any points with his “I’ll carry you on my back… never mind, you’re too heavy.”

Glasslip-Not saying what she's thinking

She’s not saying what she really feels



One criticism of PA Works shows that I frequently hear is that they fall down on stories. This is a charge I don’t understand, because I really think they tell some of the best stories in anime. The issue, I think, is the expectation. People expect to go through a series and have a conclusion, have a “finish”. When we don’t get some open-shut end of the series, maybe we start thinking there was a problem with the story, or the direction: they didn’t allocate enough time, they didn’t plan the story out, they couldn’t finish it. These are the criticisms I see about PA Works all the time: Hanasaku Iroha, Red Data Girl, Tari Tari, Nagi no Asukara. But to me, that’s overlooking the journey, and at that, PA Works is some of the best in the business. They tell stories that are different, in ways that are beautiful and effective. It was surprising to see an episode like this, so quiet, so reserved, but completely unsurprising to see it so well done. I wonder what the end of this series will be, although I’m fairly certain that, like most PA Works shows, it will not ‘end’, just stop. Stop and let the characters move on, just as they were moving toward the beginning of the show before we started looking in on their lives.


Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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20 Responses to “Glasslip – 04”

  1. Dualash says:

    I kind of agree, I think its partly because of the expectation which some of criticism stems from; but in the long run the studio shows how they can playfully use the scenery and their characters to make all sorts of situations the Sea God’s emotions in Nagi no Asukara or the feelings of regret in Tari Tari. Though I will admit not all of their work has captured my interest, they do a great job in overall.

    (Funny enough I need to catch up on Hanasaku Iroha…)

    • Highway says:

      I’ve never watched Another or Angel Beats, but everything else by PA Works I’ve really enjoyed. I’ll admit that maybe some of it is that I’ve blogged every show of theirs since Tari Tari, including Uchouten Kazoku, and I do tend to like shows I blog more than maybe they’re deserving of.

  2. Bobob101 says:

    You left out one critically detail. At one point when Yuki is helping out Yangi, he calls her family. I don’t think they are actually related, because then Touka probably wouldn’t support their relationship as much. But now I really want to know their backstory and how Yanagi fell for Yuki.

    I love how her name is Yanagi, and the last PA works show had Nagi YANAGI sing it’s endings. So far I would say I like Nagi more then this, but I love this idealistic teen romcom.

    • Irenesharda says:

      Yuki and Yanagi are step-siblings. Their parents got married recently, so they were both teens when they became a family unit. So, its weird and yet okay if they were to get together since they really didn’t grow up together as siblings and they aren’t blood related. However, I have a feeling that Yuki firmly thinks of Yanagi as his sister, while Yana’s developed into something more. Yuki’s free with her and tells her off and jokes with her just as one would do with a sibling. Him doing the “carrying on his back” joke would definitely be something my youngest brother would do to me.

      I honestly don’t think Yuki will realize Yana’s feelings and I don’t think he will ever return them. As he said, he things of her completely as family and their relationship as platonic.

  3. JPNIgor says:

    I agree that P.A. Works does have one of the most enjoying stories to read through, though it’s common that the ending is always a little disappointing. Nagi no Asukara would probably be an exception, but Hanasaku Iroha, RDG and Tari Tari left so many things hanging that I can’t help but think that they could do it better.

    But, man. Hiro simply experienced what any guy in love for a girl wants, to spend some time alone with said girl. The fun thing is that (apparently) he didn’t keep thinking about lewd things, which is a very common thing for guys to do in anime in this situation. He was just a nervewreck, but nonetheless he was enjoying that time spent.

    Is Touko really in love with Kakeru? Because to me, people just kept saying it to her and she ended up believing. Maybe she ends up in love, but right now I would think it to be a little farfetched that Touko would be jealous or anything towards a misunderstanding like this.

    • Highway says:

      I really don’t mind things hanging, especially when a show makes it clear that “This is not the end of these characters’ lives.” It’s kind of the opposite of the “happily ever after” ending where it would be assumed that nothing else ever happened in their lives.

      I don’t really think that Touko is in love with Kakeru. I think that Touko doesn’t know what love is, what it’s supposed to feel like, what it’s supposed to look like. I personally think her reaction to seeing Yana and Kakeru together is compounding her fear of Yana and Yuki not getting together, especially coming, as it did, after Yuki confronted her.

      It also reminds me that Yuki still hasn’t heard how Yana feels about him. Touko knows, I’d bet Sachi knows, but Yuki doesn’t know. He probably does think of her as some sort of extended ‘family’.

      • JPNIgor says:

        I know that the concept of “and the life goes on” is pretty nice and all, but I don’t like, for example, that in Hanasaku Iroha they didn’t end what they started with the city boy, and in Tari Tari they gave a glimpse of a romantic interest towards the end but they didn’t explore it properly. And in RDG things felt somehow finished but messy. To me, Nagi no Asukara was a great evolution on P.A. Works storytelling abilities and I hope Glasslip explore unexpected possibilities like they did in NnA.

        When you said that Touko doesn’t know what love is, I just realized that P.A. Works shows has a lot of romantic oblivious protagonists… That’s probably true, since she says that her group is “open for relationships”, seems like she didn’t even realize what that means. Maybe she will get mad at Kakeru, since he’s getting in the way of the couple she supports.

        About Yana -> Yuki -> Touko dynamics, I bet Sachi is the only one that knows it all and she can’t do nothing but just watch… And she’s oblivious to the only thing that concerns to her.

        • Joojoobees says:

          I agree that RDG felt the most complete of these titles. I personally would like to see more resolution. I don’t care if it is artifice. Leaving things dangling just feels like they are more interested in leaving things open for another season than in tackling the story seriously.

          • Highway says:

            To me, Red Data Girl is probably the most ‘incomplete’ story, in terms of having the most threads open at the end of the series moving on. But I think that’s mostly because it’s a really complex story, so either something’s left out along the way, or it’s left off the end.

            I guess I find it more forgivable to leave the audience thinking “But that’s another story” rather than tacking on an ending which is frequently poorly thought out and unsatisfying.

            • JPNIgor says:

              It’s just that to me, thinking that there are so many untold things that could be told, at least in a short epilogue is just as unsatisfying as a poorly thought but proper ending. Tari Tari and Hanasaku Iroha felt kind of like Nagi no Asukara without the “five years later” stuff to me, that’s why I think they are less satisfying than RDG.

            • Highway says:

              I almost always like seeing more about a story, but for me a lot of the time a short epilogue is more frustrating than nothing. One of the more annoying epilogues is in Onegai Teacher / Ano Natsu de Matteru, where it’s just like “Everything that just happened, well, it turned completely around!” But then, the epilogue of Tsukasa’s route in Amagami SS is very nice (even if it personally gave me heartache).

            • JPNIgor says:

              Haha, I know, Ano Natsu de Matteru’s epilogue was enraging to me as well. Fortunately, season 2 is coming \o/

  4. Irenesharda says:

    I know there’s a lot of complaints against this show and for many this episode was the last straw. And while I understand where the complaints come from, I am still kind of okay with the series being a long, drawn out romance, even if the pacing is kind of off for a single cour series.

    On the other hand, well, this series is really pretty slow isn’t it? A lot of moments in this episode was doing a lot of nothing.

    However, I have to say that the areas that do have development are rather nice. I actually rather like Yana and “David”(I can’t even bother to remember his real name 😛 ) together. “David” has such little development since the only people he really talks to are Touko or his dad, and the rest of the time, he’s just walking around by himself for no reason. And unfortunately, despite sharing powers, there just really isn’t much chemistry between him and Touko. I just don’t really see it.

    I thought Yuki and Touko were cute together, and it’s getting pretty obvious that he won’t see Yana as more than family. To me, step-siblings is pretty much the same as regular siblings and therefore off limits in my mind, but whatever.

    Anyway, that date with Sachi and Hiro was cute. He so wanted to get a date with her that he pretty much tired himself out and collapsed during the movie itself. However, I still think they are a cute couple.

    So far my pairs are YukixTouko, YanaX”David”, and SachixHiro.

    • Highway says:

      As I expanded on in my post, I think the pacing is just fine. I tend to give storytellers a lot of leeway to tell the story the way they want to. I can decide if I like it or not after the fact. And really I don’t think it’s a ‘romance’ show, but more like most of their other shows: a coming of age story where love is a major component (Tari Tari was more of a minor component).

      And like last week, I don’t think what they were doing was “nothing”. All of that was there to connect with the characters: Yanagi’s struggles with her foot and her thoughts, Touko’s distraction from the work at hand, Sachi willing to spend time with Hiro, Hiro wanting to advance the relationship but also not mess up what he was doing now. I think Kakeru is still the outsider, who may be more important later in the show. At least they haven’t thrown him in totally with the rest of the group for convenience.

      And I think Hiro just got bored with the movie and fell asleep. He’s trying to extend himself to be with Sachi, but that’s difficult.

      • Irenesharda says:

        I’m sorry, but again I have to disagree. (What a shock…:P ) I need to have more that just watching “David” walk around woods for no other reason for him to be there. It kind of irks me that every time the show provides him a way to interact with other members of the main cast, he chooses to be alone. He’s a loner, I GET IT! I need to see some growth out of him, some kind of character development or interaction, or else he just comes off as a haphazard plot device whose only job was to be a catalyst to change the dynamic of the group and that’s it. Tsumugu had the same job in NagiAsu, and yet, he was much more of a real character that “David” is right now.

        And I know you don’t see nothing, but that’s what it felt like to me. Quiet moments can be nice, but I need more than that. I don’t need to see Yana’s even single moment of eating a thing of ice cream. I don’t need to see her or Touko’s entire walk home. Show us a moment or two, but I felt that they just gave way too much time to it.

        I don’t watch many SoL (because I feel they are full of a lot of nothing), but I can take the romance ones here and there, or ones that really make an impression. But this just seems weak to me, especially after Nagi was so good. I do like the character moments, I just wish they would do more with them.

        But that’s just how I feel. I’ll still stick with the series though, I still really like the characters and their relationships with each other. I love the music and the scenery is breathtaking. And some of the quiet moments are quite sweet.

      • sonicsenryaku says:

        Highway i am right with you on your feelings regarding this series; Im digging it right now. I guess it’s one of those works that either vibe with you or dont and it certainly vibes with me. These quiet vignettes feel authentic and wholesome even though it moves at a slow pace. I mean, i get people’s complaints about the series and if it doesnt work for them well then i guess it doesnt; I can see where they are coming from.

        The one thing i do want to say is that not every story needs to have some dramatic tension right away; not every character has to have some drama tied behind them for the audience to connect with them; that’s not what makes character development. You can become attached to characters by learning about their personalities or spending time with them episodically, getting to see the nuances in their character. Glasslip hasnt completely grabbed me with its characters but it is presenting them in a naturalistic type of way that allows for gradual attachment.

        This show is deliberately slow, and deliberately gives you bits and pieces of these characters with every ep. This isnt a fault of writing; instead the show is tackling its narrative in a way that is functional to how it wants to tell it’s story. I would feel differently if it was actually making story-telling mistakes but it is not which is why im still invested in this show. It hasnt reached a certain caliber yet, but what is has done so far is good.

        • Highway says:

          For me, a lot of watching Glasslip is projecting out what the characters might end up doing. That’s why I described it last week as a bunch of trains on a collision course. Will they avoid that collision? I don’t know, but the seeming inevitability of it is what gives me that feeling of 不安定, fuantei, that insecurity and shakiness. That’s what’s providing the tension and driving the story for me.

          And a lot of why I keep writing about the show like this is that I’m hoping to encourage people to give this style of storytelling a try, a longer leash. I personally think it gives credit to the viewer, that the director is wanting the viewer to be in tune with the story and pick up the things that are happening without being told.

        • Irenesharda says:

          I can understand that. And I do like slow moments. I just don’t want it to be so slow that it all end up in a giant pile up at the end with the short amount of time they have to tell this story.

          Unlike Highway (We are opposites, in case you didn’t get know 😀 ), I usually need close to my stories, a distinct end to most threads that the show brings up. I don’t mind if this is by one phase that ends and then later continues on into a new phase whatever that may be, but I do like a distinct conclusion. So, when I see a story going so slow, but I know it only has so long in which to tell its story, I become a bit worried and start to feel that they are squandering their time. However, if they are able to continue and come to a great ending despite this slow build-up, then I will applaud them.

          As for dramatics in the beginning, I unfortunately have a small attention span. If a show cannot grab me and tell me the setting, the central plot, and the central conflict in a concise amount of time, I lose interest quickly. I usually place that dramatic tension as part of the conflict. I can take a slow setup as long as I know it leads to something.

          With Glasslip, I’ve gotten all of that, and that is why I’m still interested and watch it every week. I just feel like there could be more, at the same time.

  5. Joojoobees says:

    I don’t think Sachi is playing with Hiro’s feelings, nor do I think she is oblivious. I think she is smart (and curious) enough to just check the situation out without turning it into needless drama. Frankly their relationship is progressing most smoothly of any of them, and even if it doesn’t work out, it won’t be either because she ignored the possibility, or because she emotionally freaked out. She is giving Hiro and herself a chance to explore the situation, and consider each other as both real people and potential partners.

    • skylion says:

      …and this is what I get for getting sick and not following up on comments. Joojoo beat me to it.

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