Glasslip – Anime Review

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P.A Works are undoubtedly one of my favourite anime studios. They aren’t my most favourite studio by any means, but they are up there alongside Studio BONES and the like. So, when I heard they were coming into the Summer season with an original series I was quietly hopeful for a strong show. What we got was anything but…

P.A Works are best known for series like Angel Beats, Another, and their recent hit Nagi no Asukara. The studio always come forward with simply stunning animation and brilliant soundtracks, so needless to say my hopes for Glasslip were fairly high. We got a solid soundtrack and P.A Works standard animation, but everything else we love the studio for was missing. Yes, Glasslip lacks any emotion and even the trace of a solid story.

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Glasslip starts off fairly well by introducing us to our lead characters Toko Fukami and Kakeru Okikura. Toko and her group of friends have promised to watch the fireworks together at the end of the summer as they always do with nothing getting between them, that is until Kakeru turns up. Kakeru has apparently been led to Toko and her friends thanks to a voice from the future which talks to him, a voice which we later realise Toko can also hear. Sounding just a little far fetched yet? Well yeah, it is. The problem is Glasslip takes the idea of Kakeru and Toko being able to see/hear the future and doesn’t really do anything with it. The show never explains it and only drops it into the story when convent.

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The rest of the series doesn’t go much better as even putting aside the issues with Kakeru and Toko, Glasslip tries to make drama out of things which just don’t work. For example, later on in the series most of the characters seem to fall for one another and the show tries to create a lot of drama out of that – except no one really cares. Glasslip doesn’t introduce us to these characters very well at all and even after 13 episodes we don’t feel like we know them and nor do we want to. I don’t care about the drama going on around all these relationships and heck half the time neither do the characters themselves.

Inserted in the middle we have an awkward relationship between Toko and Kakeru. It’s clear (as clear as this show can be anyway) the two have romantic feelings for one another and yet Glasslip doesn’t really know how to handle this aspect leaving us with yet another plot point unresolved by the time we finish. This is without mentioning the fact that Kakeru has no emotion in him whatsoever leaving him as an extremely weak character. The show spends so much time jumping from one thing to another that it loses any sense of plot it had in the beginning. It’s just bad. It’s so bad that I almost couldn’t believe P.A Works had gone from a hit like Nagi no Asukara to something like this which has no redeeming points in terms of story and/or characters whatsoever.

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In terms of animation P.A Works have done nice stuff, for most the series anyway. Sadly there are some odd decisions in terms of still shots which often creep up in the most random and pointless of places. The show is evidently trying to make them emotional and convey something but they just do not work. Glasslip is evidently of a lower budget than the most recent works of the studio but overall I was fairly pleased with the animation even if I was thrown every time I badly timed still shot happened.

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The soundtrack for Glasslip also became a redeeming quality for me week on week as it’s filled with fun and catchy tracks along with some heartfelt piano pieces, although they’re more heartfelt listened to away from the series where you can more thoroughly appreciate them. As far as P.A Works soundtracks go it’s certainly not the best but it’s far from the worst leaving us with something fairly charming.

Glasslip could have been something fairly interesting but in the end it lost all sense of direction and plot leaving us with characters we didn’t care for and a series that was ultimately completely lost. From a studio like P.A Works it’s a shame but this one just isn’t worth watching. Do pick up the soundtrack if you’re a fan of their stuff and happen across it though.

  •  Overall 3
  • Animation 5
  • Story 2
  • Soundtrack 5
  • Characters 2

If you are interested in giving the series a go then you can find it on Crunchyroll in the US and Europe right here.