Stephanie Reviews Glasslip

Show: Glasslip— Genre: Romance, Slice of Life, Supernatural — Episodes: 13

Welcome back!
This week I watched Glasslip, a 13 episode romp through an unusual clump of teenage angst. It ran weekly from July to September 2014. Unlike most anime I’ve seen, Glasslip started as a television show and has since been adapted into a manga series and light novel. We begin with 18-year-old high school student Fukami Toko, who wants to be an artist, and has an affinity for drawing the chickens her high school keeps around. Her parents own an art studio where they blow glass, and she is learning the family craft in her spare-time.

Toko is making a thing.

Toko is making a thing.

She’s a pretty normal girl, except for the fact that occasionally when she sees sparkly things, she sees into what she’s pretty sure is the future.

space eyes future time!

We’ll get back to that in a minute. Okikura Kakeru (say that five times fast!) is the new transfer student who takes an interest in Toko. She first sees him out of the corner of her eye and immediately thinks of Michelangelo’s famous statue of David, so weirdly the nickname sticks with Kakeru. He is shrouded in mystery for a few episodes, but it turns out he also has the ability to see (well, hear) into the future. His mother is a world-class pianist, and whenever he hears her music, he hears something from what he’s convinced is the future.

our main characters with their school’s chickens

We follow Toko and Kakeru as they try to figure out their psychic gift. They unlock clues bit by bit over the series, teasing out hints here and there and spending an exceptional amount of unsupervised time together. When they do spend time with friends, Toko and Kakeru hang out with a tight-knit band of friends that Toko has been close to for years. They fall into tropes as you might expect; there’s Shirosaki Hiro, a nice, considerate dude whose grandfather owns a cafe. Next we have Nagamiya Sachi, a sickly, soft spoken, super smart chick. Yanagi Takayama is a really pretty and also kind-of-shallow part-time model, and finally Imi Yukinari, a nice enough guy who is an athlete tortured by a sports injury.

The gang.

So much angst ensues.

Characters fall in and out of love with one another; very little schoolwork gets done. They all have to decide what they’re doing after high school. Glasslip was altogether unremarkable, except for the paranormal aspect of it. I actually really enjoyed that bit, although other reviews I’ve read saw that as a detriment. That said, I did keep coming back for more. It was enjoyable enough, but forgettable in the vast sea of available content. You can watch it here → http://www.crunchyroll.com/glasslip

I give Glasslip 6 out of 10 Golden Tanukis. I recommend it if you have a lot of time on your hands, and enjoy the heart-pounding terror of watching high school students give their confessions of love to one another.

Thanks for reading! Until next week, here are some gratuitous chickens.

Stephanie is a UF alumnus who enjoys baking, reading, cats, and the internet. Also anime. OK mostly anime. 

Update for Meeting 10.2.14

Hello otakus!
Thanks everyone to went to Lake Wauburg. You made it extremely fun.


If anyone wants, there’s a movie night on Friday which you should attend because there’s nothing better to do on a Friday night than watch an anime movie. https://www.facebook.com/events/1584594578429056/?ref=4
Everyone should check out the new reviews that have been posted on the website: http://gatoranime.club/ people put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into their reviews so read them!
If you’d like to write/video/record reviews, message me.

Last meeting:
The panel was How Video Games are an Art Form by Max Dunevitz .Unfortunately I couldn’t make it but I’m sure it was awesome cause the name sounds awesome.
Our member’s choice was two shows, Haiyore Nyaruko-san abd Kill me Baby.
You can watch Haiyore here: http://www.crunchyroll.com/nyarko-san-another-crawling-chaos
And Kill me, Baby here: http://www.hulu.com/kill-me-baby
We watched more Angel Beats and Jojo’s. I will stop posting the episodes, but you can find them in previous posts if you want to catch up.

Amatsu Reviews Gatchaman Crowds

Gatchaman Crowds is an action sci-fy anime that is about a group of humans and aliens that protect the Earth from aliens that cause problems or wishes to destroy Earth.  This group known as the Gatchaman are able to transform via invoking their NOTE which gives them an almost mecha or armor appearance and special powers that they use to subdue the problematic aliens in order to ship them off for judgment and imprisonment.  The story takes place summer 2015 and in the city of Tachikawa, Japan.  The show starts out with the recruitment of their newest member, Hajime Ichinose, and follows her in changing the team and saving the world.

 

 

Gatchaman Crowds aired from July 17 to September 27, 2013 in a 12 episode season.  There is a 13th episode that was included with the Blu-Ray and DVD release.  More on that later.  Gatchaman Crowds is the fifth Gatchaman series that started in the 1972, however it hold no relation to the original series besides some bird motifs and transformation word.  Kenji Nakamura is the freelance director of this series and is also known for doing the Monoke and Tsuritama series.  Tatsunoko Production does the animation of all of the Gatchaman series and some of their most well known series are Speed Racer and Neon Genesis Evangelion.  Sentai Filmworks procured the rights of 12 episodes and has dubbed them.  The dub is or will be shown on the The Anime Network.  The background music is produced by Taka Iwasaki while the opening “Crowds” is by WHITE ASH and the ending “INNOCENT NOTE” is by Maaya Uchida.

Okay now that the summary and technical stuff is done and over with I’ll get less formal.

Gatchaman Crowds while being labeled at a superhero type anime isn’t a conventional one.  In fact you see the character out of their transformation more than in it.  Which I personally like because it shows that the characters aren’t just their transformation.  It actually lends to a theme being that everyone can be a superhero and that you don’t need super powers to save the world and help others out.  Which is probably the most prevalent theme that appears in the anime.

One of the things I really like is the diversity of the characters and not just because some of them are aliens.  Gatchaman Crowds attempts to show homosexuality, transgender, and androgynous characters which it’s often done.  However they tend to gloss over it which is fine because it’s probably better than going deep with it and making the whole show about that, but at times it feels too casual.  For me it leaves me wanting more explanation or it being a casual topic that would do wonders for character development for a few characters.  Instead fans are made to make up their own opinions on what sexuality or even gender the characters are. Objectively though I think they did well at least trying to show sensitive issues without making the series about those issues like so many want.

The thing that got me into Gatchaman crowds was also one of the things that took some time for me to get used to and that’s the art style.  Personally drawn to anything colorful Gatchaman Crowds does this wonderfully.  The actual art is something I’m not usually used to seeing.  Each character is given a completely different look and it’s really great since I’ve noticed a lot of anime have almost stock appearance types.  They share aspects with each character and eventually the characters tend to blend together.  Gatchaman Crowds doesn’t do this so each character has a truly different look.  (Background or one episode characters naturally don’t apply.)  Occasionally somethings will catch me off guard and most of the time it’s Hajime.  She’s a very expressive character so she has the most unique looking expressions I’ve seen.  Some of which looks rather weird.  The opening art is wonderful too it has a lot of colors and uses some techniques that at the time was new for me to see in an anime.  It combines 2D animation, time-lapse real life video, and 3D models.  Normally I’d hate such a blend because it’s not done well.  In the opening though it’s done exceptionally to the point where I hadn’t even realized that there was real life video in it until rewatching in order to write about the opening.  What I also loved about the opening was throughout the show everyone’s Gatchaman forms are shown. At the beginning you see just Hajime, but then by the end it’s everyone. The ending I’d rather ignore since the 3D models they use prevalently in it look like the very early and bad Miku Miku Dance models.  The models are stiff and it really irks me how horrible they look with a photo background.  The ending animation sorta shows how how much of a budget they spent on it.  Which is good considering that majority of the ending budget must have went towards the actual show.

 

 

Since I’ve been talking about the opening and ending let me move onto the music.  I love both the opening and ending, but it’s the actual soudtrack that’s the best.  I’ve downloaded a lot of OSTs from various and a broad range of anime, but the Gatchaman Crowds OST is my favorite of all time.  Most

of the songs are upbeat and really motivational which makes for great exercise and driving music.

The next best thing is the voice actors.  Gatchaman Crowds as anime A-list seiyuu including Mamoru Miyano, Daisuke Namikawa, Aya Hirano, and Katsuji Mori as well as some more up and coming or uncommon seiyuu filling out the rest of the characters.  The total cast is wonderful and the voices really fit the personality types not to mention how well the seiyuu can act.

The characters themselves I’ve grown incredibly attached to.  It was rather different in the beginning as I couldn’t seem to like half the cast until halfway through when I finally understood how the characters’ minds works or saw their growth.  For example I really couldn’t understand Hajime until one event nearly half way through and Sugane much later.  Now I really admire Hajime and Sugane is just a giant lovable dork.

Overall I give this anime a 9 out of 10 and the only reason for that is because of how badly the tv series ran out of time leaving loopholes and needed the 13th DVD episode which will not be dubbed.  Gatchaman Crowds has changed my personal outlook on certain things and I’m incredibly attached to this series.  That’s why it’s one of my favorite anime and why it’s the first anime I’m reviewing.  It’s such a precious series to me that I want to share it with others.  You can watch the 12 tv episodes on crunchyroll with a simple search you can watch the 13th DVD episode at

http://www.animeplus.tv/gatchaman-crowds-episode-13-online.

 Amatsu Otome moved down to Florida late December 2013 and has been attending Sante Fe in order to get enough credits to get into UF by Fall 2015.  She’s an avid anime watcher, part-time gamer, part-time cosplayer, and full-time college student.

Flashback: Ranma 1/2

It’s one of those rare series that anybody familiar with anime can at least remember the premise.
“Oh yeah, that’s the one where the boy turns into a girl.”
Probably Rumiko Takahashi’s most famous work (though Inuyasha is very close), ​Ranma ½ is regarded as a cornerstone of late 80s/early 90s anime. Running from 1987 to 1996, it was one of the first shows and manga to be translated and available to western audiences. Interestingly enough, it’s also one of the earliest examples of parody amongst shonen works, mocking things like shouting the name of your technique or having increasingly obscure and ridiculous martial arts styles.
But enough of my history lesson. The real question is if Ranma ½ is worthy of your attention over 2 decades after it started. As a series that tries to cram romance, action, comedy, and drama all in at once, does it work out in the end?
Our story concerns the many adventures and strange happenings of high school student and martial artist, Ranma Saotome. The story begins with Ranma getting forcibly engaged to tomboy martial artist, Akane Tendo, who deals with a lot of unwanted male attention already. Ranma and his father, Genma, live at the Tendo household, along with Akane’s two sisters, Nabiki and Kasumi, and their father Soun Tendo. Ranma has to deal with rivals, love interests, old masters, monsters of the week, and full-on arc villains.
So beyond being a magnet for trouble, what else does Ranma got to worry about? Well, he’s also been literally cursed by a magic spring he fell in to. Whenever he gets splashed with cold water, he becomes a female version of himself. Getting splashed with hot water turns him back to normal. He isn’t the only one either; lots of people have these curses as the series goes on. For starters, his own father, Genma, transforms into a giant panda.
For a time, the series focused on Ranma going to school while dealing with his curse and trying to get closer to Akane. More and more characters were introduced, such as Ranma’s rival Ryoga, and several possible love interests, like the “Chinese Amazon” Shampoo or the martial arts chef Ukyo. The more serious tone of the opening chapters was gradually phased out, though never truly killed (in the manga at least), and more and more fantastical elements were introduced, such as ridiculously niche forms of martial arts based on things like dining or gymnastics.
Martial arts fighting is prominent throughout the series. Ranma himself often has to beat opponents through trickery and creative ploys, a welcome change from other shonen where fights are often settled by who can take the most punishment and acquire the most broken powers. The comedy often comes from visual gags, slapstick, parody of action and romantic clichés, and contextual jokes revolving around Ranma caught in embarrassing positions and his misunderstanding or ignorance of feminine behavior.
In addition to the comedy and action elements, the romantic parts are just as important. Ranma ½ could easily be considered an early example of “harem” anime; as the series goes, Ranma increasingly picks up a number of possible romantic interests (even some for his female form). As one would expect, the love interests fight amongst themselves to be with Ranma, and several take time out of their schedule to harass Ranma into marriage.
All of this might sound like a mess, but for the most part, Ranma ½ combines the three genres remarkably well. Although ridiculous, the action scenes are still fun to read or watch, and the romance is surprisingly amusing, as most of it is following Ranma’s reactions to the crazy actions of his many suitors. It never takes itself too seriously, knowing full well how silly and goofy it can be and rolling with it.
Ranma himself is not your ordinary shonen protagonist, having an ego to match ridiculous talent in most fields and an underhandedness and pragmatism to his combat. He’s rude, prideful, and rather petty while also being crafty, defiant, and even heroic when things get serious. Akane is one of the classic tsundere examples, though she’s honestly far nicer to everyone not named Ranma or a recurring villain. Ryoga, Ranma’s rival, is generally nobler than Ranma himself is, but simultaneously easily fooled. Most of Ranma’s enemies are just as often his friends, and the antagonists who don’t return often aren’t evil for the sake of evil, having more complex motivations. Indeed, there are very few totally flat characters in Ranma ½.
Being from the late 80s and early 90s, Ranma ½ is no stranger to some unfortunate cultural differences between now and then. Modern readers might feel uneasy with some of the character’s attitudes towards gay individuals, as homosexuality is considered either perverted or unnatural by the main characters, and it’s often played up for jokes. Given the time period it was made and the more tolerant attitudes that the characters express later on, I think it can be excused.
Nudity, specifically uncensored bare chests, appears sporadically, as does mention of sexually explicit content, though it’s usually played for humor. In today’s world, baring the nudity, most of the time its hovers around PG-13. Cursing is frequent, and the action can get tense and bloody, but it’s overall nothing too bad.
Ranma ½’s anime adaptation ran from about 1989 to 1993, with several OVAs and movies following in its wake. It follows the manga’s story on most of the key parts, but introduces some original stories (or filler, if you prefer) and occasionally diverges from the source material. The animation is definitely not the best, though I admittedly have a soft spot for that old school look. The background music and opening themes are very catchy. Overall the tone feels lighter than the original, partly due to the later serious story arcs of the manga never getting adapted. Due to its greater length, more story arcs, and greater character development, I feel the manga is the better of the two.
Although one of the earliest English dubs, Ranma 1/2 has a surprisingly competent cast and script, only really hampered by the unfamiliarity with dubbing at the time. It adapts some of the cultural jokes into ones Americans might be more familiar with, but it still feels genuine. If you prefer dubs to subs, it’s worth checking out.
Where Ranma ½ suffers the most is probably just how inconsistent it is. You might have an epic story arc for a few chapters then followed by goofy one-shot chapters where nothing really happens. While it blends comedy, action, and romance well, if you’re not a fan of those genres to begin with, or even Ranma 1/2 ‘s take on it, you might be disappointed. The art style of the anime or the overall feel might seem archaic to some, given the show began over 20 years ago.
So is Ranma ½ a good read today? I think some parts of it have aged remarkably well, such as the characters and the humor. It does a good a job of mocking shonen tropes while simultaneously embracing them, and it takes itself seriously enough to where you at least care about the characters without ever forgetting how silly it is. Ranma’s curse is always relevant and never feels like a gimmick, while being different enough from other shows (especially it’s contemporaries) that it doesn’t get old.
I’m definitely not objective when it comes to the series, being the first manga I read all the way through, but I feel modern fans can enjoy the show as well. I don’t feel it’s a good show to show to new fans, nor is it good one to show to children, but it has a lot of charm and definitely breaks the mold, especially for the time. Fans of Rumiko Takahashi’s other works, like Inuyasha, will probably feel right at home with Ranma ½. I don’t give numerical ratings, but overall Ranam ½ definitely deserves the recognition of being a classic.

Derek Delago is a UF student who is also an anime club officer. He loves anime, video games and rock.