Glasslip is a slice of life anime that takes place in the fictional town of Hinodehama. It is the story of Touko, a girl with a rather unusual ability: she sees strange visions when she looks at things that shine or shimmer such as windows, baubles, or even sometimes water. Many of these things appear to be indications of the future, but not always so she’s never quite sure. While she’s enjoying a fireworks display with her four best friends at the start of summer break, Kakeru – a new student in town – tells her that he sees what she sees…
Slice of Life shows typically have weird pacing, since there’s less happening overall – it’s generally just a lot of character development. Glasslip, however, just feels really sluggish. Things happen that don’t seem to lead anywhere, conversations happen that seem to mean nothing, relationships are built that go nowhere, one-off interactions happen that have no purpose. The show feels mostly redundant, except for its one core story arc. The core story arc, the common gift shared by Kakeru and Touko, actually felt like it was going somewhere.
The majority of the show is exploring the personalities and relationships between the show’s six primary characters, and to be fair the characters are less tropey then in a lot of anime. There were even a few pretty interesting potential relationships and love triangles (maybe quadrangles?) just waiting to be developed. This seems like it should bode well for the show, but it almost seemed like they weren’t sure how to balance character development with story. Sadly, this lead to neither really being adequately done.
The characters are okay, and the relationships are okay, and the story is okay…. you get the point, right? There’s nothing particularly that stands out about this show, even though it tries so hard to use Touko’s mysterious power as a driving point, it never really comes to anything. There are no moments where her power is actually used – or useful – for anything… and when you finally start getting near the end and they really start delving into what it actually is…. it just kind of peters out.
You get this really weird episode near the end where I can only assume you are supposed to find out what her power actually is, but nothing ever resolves itself and you’re just left kind of wondering what the whole thing meant. There are a few interesting interactions, and a few characters that you’d like to get to know better, but just not enough to really justify this show.
I wanted to like Glasslip, I really did… a slice of life show with relatively unique and interesting characters and a somewhat clever premise? It should have, and could have, been really good. Unfortunately, every effort they take just seems to go in the wrong direction, if anywhere at all, and the end result just feels really flat.