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GLASSLIP is in many ways a typical P.A. Works[1] production: pretty to look at, filled with engaging characters that you rapidly connect with, blessedly devoid of fanservice for the most part[2].

There’s only one problem: the first half of the series seems to be missing.

A quick look back at Nagi No Asukara

To explain what I meant by that, I need to quickly recap my reviews of Nagi no Asukara. I saw the two halves of Nagi no Asukara very differently.

The first half is a tight story that engages the viewer quickly, and the destination of the Ofunehiki is never in doubt. Within the first half the strong character stories, the Fantastic Racism, and the Fantastic Climate Change are braided into the overarching story of the Ofunehiki.

The second half is much looser. It is almost a slice of life for the timeskipped characters that the viewer is already heavily invested in.  There is a story there, particularly at the end, but it is in many respects secondary to the character work.

GLASSLIP is the second half of Nagi no Asukara

Right now GLASSLIP feels like the second half of Nagi no Asukara without the solid foundation of the first half to get the viewer invested in the characters.

GLASSLIP is pretty, and I’m starting to be fascinated by the apprentice glassmaker Touko, her maybe-boyfriend Kakeru, and the glimpses of the future that is the gimmick.

The supporting characters are also catching my interest with some of the romantic elements coming out into the open remarkably quickly[3].

Despite that I still have no real feel for where GLASSLIP is going. It is a story without a foundation, and blown to the four winds as a result.

The Interim Verdict

I’m going to stick with GLASSLIP at the moment. P.A. Works have a fair bit of credit with me, and may well pull this into focus in the remaining 7 episodes. But I do have to admit that it has gone from being the Summer 2014 show I look forward to the most to about third, and maybe fourth.

NB: For a more detailed set of reviews/commentary be sure to check out Pedantic Perspectives episodic reviews and weekly power rankings. In the case of GLASSLIP I may be looking forward to those more than I am to the series itself.

I’ll finish up with the very pretty OP by ChouCho (who also did the Girls Und Panzer OP)

[1] Hanasaku Iroha, Tari Tari¸Nagi no Asukara

[2] Although, arguably, the Scenery Porn backgrounds constitute a fan service of a sort. Albeit one that I’m usually happy to see. Cough. ARIA. Cough.

[3] Which is definitely a relief after the interminable wait for Tsumugu to make his move in Nagi no Asukara.