Sometimes one of the hardest things to do is just sit back and trust the process.
When you’re watching a series that’s already completed, it’s easy to shrug off a questionable episode or two by simply popping in the next episode. Any bad scenes or seemingly unnecessary moments will either be resolved later or they’ll prove to be the problems you initially thought they were. Either way, there’s no imperative to evaluate what you’re seeing in the moment. You’re free to sit back and let the show go where it goes and not worry about any episode to episode ups and downs. With currently airing shows this becomes harder. You have a whole week between episodes in which to form an opinion about the events of the previous episode and that opinion will color everything you think about the following episode. This is truer if you participate in or follow the online discussion from week to week. Even more so if you’re somebody like me who has taken it upon yourself to give some form of commentary on each show you’re watching each week. Often this isn’t fair to the show since you don’t have full information regarding where this will go. To use a sports analogy, it’s like when people freak out after a single game in the NFL season. The season is 16 games long, and losing your mind positively or negatively over a single game isn’t a good idea but that doesn’t stop people from doing it.
All of this is a long-winded way of saying I’m not going to really grade Glasslip based on this episode. That doesn’t mean I don’t have anything to say about it, I have plenty of things I found interesting about the episode. It just means that I don’t’ think it’s fair to evaluate this episode right now since my final opinion on these events hinges so much on where the show goes with them. There’s a lot of potential for interesting ways to go but this could also go somewhere bad or nowhere and I might look back at episode three as the point where Glasslip got lost. This gets back to my initial statement about trusting the process. My enthusiasm for Glasslip is based largely on the studio and staff behind it and I trust them implicitly to do something with these plot threads even if that something isn’t apparent yet. Sure, this could all turn out to be PA Works’ version of Tamako Market but I might have said the same thing about 2012’s Tari Tari had I been blogging it then and that turned out to be quite good.
Given this post is supposed to be about Glasslip episode 3 I should probably, you know, talk about that. I think the show’s biggest liability at this point is Kakeru and his personality or, more specifically, his lack of one. His perpetual stone-faced lack of emotion is kind of a drag in every scene he’s in. I get the impression that this wall he puts up between himself and other people is defensive in nature as he wants to avoid becoming attached to anybody. He gives off the impression of somebody who has been through a lot and has some serious past trauma but that could be me reading too much into his behavior. This is one of those times where we have to see where they go with this. If it turns out that the lack of personality was an intentional choice by Kakeru then all this will be forgiven but if it turns out the writers just forgot to give one of the most important characters any, well, character, then it will be a huge black mark on the series.
Despite Kakeru’s refusal to display emotion, he still has a knack of throwing Touko off her game. Touko’s the most interesting character to me right now in the way she deals with Kakeru but also in her struggle to keep things from changing. Her fight to keep her relationships with her friends perpetually in stasis, encased in glass if you will, will most likely prove futile but the ways she goes about it and the priorities she brings to this task say a lot about her character. Her conversation with Yanagi and her actions on the hiking trip show her idealistic drive to force things to work out the way she wants even when logic would dictate to cut her losses. Her nervousness and discomfort, especially when contrasted with Yukinari’s behavior around her show her relative lack of experience with difficult situations such as these. Factor in the fact that she’s now aware that she can see the future and Touko is going to have to grow up fast if she wants to make it through this.
While all that was going on, the most interesting development this week actually came from Sachi. I had my suspicions but this week’s episode provided more evidence that Sachi’s feelings for Touko may be more than that of a friend. I wasn’t sure what to make of it when she stood up alongside Yukinari in episode one when Kakeru intruded but when you combine that with the subsequent events it starts to look like her feelings for Touko might mirror Yukinari’s more than we realized. Most telling to me this week was her comment in the car to Hiro’s sister regarding the pendant Touko gave her. It may be the yuri fan in me talking but her saying “I love them all the same” of the person that gave her the pendant has alarm bells going off in my head. Here again I’m taking a wait and see approach before I decide how I feel about this. If this never goes anywhere and it’s just thrown in to give something to the yuri fans that would be something of a disappointment. It’s also possible this is all nothing and Sachi is straight as the day is long but there is a lot of potential for something different here in a show that has been decried for being the same old tired romance story.
On Sachi’s other side we have the endearingly awkward Hiro. He couldn’t manage to stammer out his confession but it seems that Sachi got the message all the same. I think Hiro was probably doomed even if we didn’t have this potential Touko entanglement but you have to respect the effort. It’s hard to see much hope for any of these feelings at this point since Touko doesn’t seem to have any interest in romance, at least not with Yukinari, and Hiro might not even be the right gender for Sachi. I’ll trot out the wait and see line one last time here because there’s plenty of time left and feelings are certain to shift before this is all over.
There was one moment that I did think was categorically bad and doesn’t require the full show to evaluate. The scene where Yukinari stumbles down to the river and catches Yanagi and Touko drying off was cheap, generic and, above all, unnecessary. I actually liked the conversation beforehand and the lack of clothing worked there in terms of emphasizing how open the two were being with each other in that scene. Then that atmosphere was ruined by the typical “guy stumbles into an awkward scene, girl goes ‘KYAAAAA’ and attacks the guy and then the audience laughs for some reason” sequence. I expect better from PA Works and thankfully the rest of the episode certainly was better. It was just that one blip that was very off-putting. Overall, I’m still very happy with the way Glasslip is developing even if its future remains uncertain. If only I had Touko’s power, I’d use it to watch the next episode of Glasslip right now.