To a certain extent I do see improvement with Glasslip, but there’s enough good shows this season to where if it doesn’t show me a bit more next week, I’m likely going to drop it. My biggest issue with the series remains the degree to which is feels very calculated and self-aware – I really get the sense that if a bunch of staff (or an algorithm) got together and tried to describe “everyone’s idea of a P.A. Works series”, Glasslip is what they’d come up with. And who knows, maybe that’s how it happened.
I do like the visuals, of course, though the reliance on stills and sketches is starting to get a little too precious. And the way the series sort of just dives into things (be they romance of magical realism) is at least somewhat uncommon. Glasslip deserves credit for actually confronting romantic issues rather than endlessly drawing them out, but the problem is I’m not especially invested in any of those romantic issues because the characters aren’t especially fleshed-out, and are especially archetypal.
Glasslip is watchable, certainly, and makes a pleasant diversion. It accomplishes more than you realize in spite of its leisurely narrative style. I just need to be a little more interesting, or a little more inventive, or the characters a little more endearing. And in my case, it needs to happen very soon if I’m to continue following it either as a viewer or a blogger.
Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen – 03
I don’t see a whole lot changing with Argevollen, which given my feelings about the first two episodes is both good and bad. There’s absolutely nothing exceptional about the show so far, but in fact the modest ambition is largely working in its favor. The lack of histrionics, coherence about the strategic situation (if not the root causes of the war itself) and by mecha standards high degree of realism are appealing elements. And the mecha combat, if not expansively animated, is quite nicely choreographed and not dependent on CGI to an unreasonable degree.
What I said last week still holds true – the waters don’t run deep, but the do run clear. But – especially given that this is a two-cour show – we’re getting to the point where the depth needs to start factoring in. Be it the social and political dynamics of the war or the backgrounds of the characters and some semblance into who these people are and why, motivation and consequence need to be a part of Argevollen soon. “What” can only take you so far, even if it is a pretty good what.
Tokimune seems to have gained an arch-enemy in the person of Lt. Richtofen (Sakurai Takahiro, and what a busy boy he is) the Aryan-esque superpilot Ingelmia sends to break up the Arandas retreat and scope out the mysterious new mecha. His judgement is certainly sound – the mech is awesome but the pilot another story – and his declaration that he wants Argevollen for himself seems to portend a long-standing duel in the offing.
I can definitely see where Tokimune’s continued insubordination in time of crisis is annoying, but I kind of like the conundrum it puts Samonji and his unit in – because of the (conveniently) singular nature of Argevollen, they need Tokimune and they need him as mentally stable as possible. In effect he’s got a free pass that exempts him from military discipline for the moment, though that can only go on for so long. I was also slightly dodgy on the mechanics of the whole Arandas plan to retreat through the Gate of No Retreat – be it via boats or simply climbing over the rubble, it really doesn’t seem like this final plan is all that final in terms of keeping Ingelmia out.
This is another “we’ll see” series – a lot will depend on the next episode, but it’s about on a par with Glasslip in terms of likelihood I’ll cover it.