“High schoolers who can see the future” sounds like the recipe for a melodramatic disaster, but so far Glasslip is handling itself with sensitivity and grace – and slowly winning me over as it does.
I played a little dancing game with Argevollen and Glasslip, leapfrogging them ahead of each other every other week. Episode Three saw Glasslip take a huge lead, though, earning the series a place on my summer watchlist.
I called this a “slice of life” (SoL) after the premiere, and while that turned out to be slightly inaccurate, I still mostly stand by that impression. Yes, there’s magical realism (both Touko and Kakeru can see fragments of the future), but so far they’re played as a background noise to the show’s main SoL soundtrack. I get the feeling the whole future-sight element is going to be a Chekhov’s Gun of sorts, going off with an appropriate bang in the final act, but right now Glasslip is not a show about oracles, or at least not primarily.
So what is it about? Very simply, it’s about a group of teenagers spending time together, trying to handle both the approach of adulthood and their feelings for one another (romantic or otherwise). And this all works because, despite the magical elements, it all just feels real to me in a way that few anime school stories do.
Even though we’re seeing a lot of the same plot points and relationships (the dreaded love triangle!) that crop up in high school romances or SoLs, Glasslip has yet to feel trite or saccharine, largely because it allows its characters to express themselves in the way that longtime friends likely would, with awkward honesty and genuine affection.
The tone of the series is forever walking a tightrope between comfort and tension, and this is felt between the characters on-screen as well as between the audience and the series itself. Thus far Glasslip has managed to very excellently convey the feeling of life on the brink of adulthood, and how it can feel simultaneously sturdy and tenuous, eternal and fleeting. I don’t pretend to know exactly where this series is going to take its characters, but if every episode can continue to hit at least one note that rings as true to life as moments from the first three did, I’ll be more than happy to stick around to find out.