May 10, 2015

What if somebody tells you that he could tell the future? What if you yourself have strange visions of the future? What would you do? I don’t know. Personally I never had such experience and even if I did imagine it myself, I never gave it too much of a serious thought. After all, it’s never going to happen, right? Okay, let’s not stray too far. The mysteries of seeing the future isn’t the main focus of Glasslip. Despite this original anime TV series having such a theme for its setting, a boy claiming to hear voices from the future and thus led him to meet this girl of a sleepy seaside town who also have this uncanny capability of seeing visions of the future under certain circumstances. This mystery surrounding it sounds intriguing enough to watch even though I know it is going to be some romance drama and that line of ‘their final summer together filled with hope and heartache’. Oh boy. I hope I don’t need a packet of Kleenex by the time this anime ends.

Episode 1: Fireworks
A sleepy seaside town. A group of friends attending the night’s fireworks festival. A vow to stay friends forever even after they graduate. Touko Fukami is the daughter of a glass artisan and she herself has the skills to make them. One day at school as she is trying to sketch chickens in the yard (if they would only stay still – heck, she has names for them! Jonathan?!), she catches a glimpse of a new transfer student, Kakeru Okikura. His standing posture reminds her so much like that David statue and thus her penchant for calling him that name. He mentions that he saw her at the festival. She remains cautious and changes the subject to the chickens she is trying to sketch. They roam freely around so she feels bad if she puts them in a coup just to sketch them. Kakeru might sound like a jerk asking about the other things that might pose a danger to the chickens. Touko ran out of answers I guess so she chases the chickens to make the run away? Huh? She’s trying to protect the chickens from him? And so it is decided, she will not leave the chickens at school and calls her friends to come adopt them. Just great. So it is no wonder that Yanagi Takayama is not thrilled to have a bird in her room. But what can Yukinari Imi do? He is already embracing it. Literally. Yanagi thinks this is Touko’s doing and asks a direct question if Touko tells him to die, would he do it? He believes she won’t say that. Touko has a chicken in her room and this brings her parents to remember about their first date. Don’t ask. I don’t want to know either. When all the friends meet up at the Kazemichi café, they discuss to do something and can’t let the festival end just like that. A place where Sachi Nagamiya would want to go. Last year they went hiking so they might do it again. When Touko is talking about Kakeru, here comes that devil into the café. Some are surprised. Some straightaway don’t like him. He tells Touko that he saw the same thing she did that day.

Episode 2: Beach
Since it is getting a little hostile, Kakeru will meet Touko tomorrow at the observation platform. Hiro Shirosaki is wondering how girls feel when his sister Momo takes the liberty to tell him. Not that he has all that qualities anyway. Sachi accompanies Touko when she goes meet Kakeru. She is still suspicious of him. Kakeru gets straight to the point. He knows Touko can see visions of the future under certain circumstances. He can help sort this out for her. Touko wants to privately speak to him. As Sachi leaves, she mentions their group has a no-dating policy. Kakeru believes it will not last. Kakeru says he too can have future visions. However he only hears voices. He heard hers. But that day at the festival near her, for the first time he saw fragments of the future in addition to voices. Touko reveals that anything sparkles like glass triggers her visions. She has another one but this time it is very clear. So it seems when they are together, they can see and hear the future clearer. He gives her his house phone to call just in case. Hiro is trying to write a letter of confession. It must be a habit for Momo never to knock on his door and give him a surprise. Caught you there. She knows that girl she likes. The one at the hospital. When Kakeru is out for an evening jog, Yukinari is running the same path. They just introduce each other before Yukinari zooms ahead. But why does he look so worked up? Yanagi can tell. She calls Touko that night and plans to confess to Yukinari her feelings. Touko is happy and will support her but Yanagi knows he already likes someone else. Yanagi isn’t confident. If it doesn’t work out, she can’t be with them anymore. The friends minus Yanagi meet up at Kazemichi. Before the hiking agenda, Touko announces to lift the ban on relationships. Hiro is surprised there was such a rule. Later when Yanagi arrives and learns of the ban lifting from Hiro, she quickly rushes out. Hiding nearby, she sees Yukinari confessing to Touko. That surprised you? What would you do if you were in her shoes? Thank him? Ride away? At least for Touko. You feeling lousy, Yukinari? Yanagi plays it cool and picks him up to go home. Back home, Touko calls Kakeru. She really wants to see the future.

Episode 3: Plastic Container
Touko waits at the glass studio. Too many things on her mind that she can’t concentrate in her glass moulding. Talking her worries about going to make Yanagi cry, he thinks maybe this is why her triggers end up being glasses. Touka’s cheeky little sister, Hina comes to introduce herself. Touko hopes she could keep this a secret from their parents. That smirk… Touko wants to know how Yanagi and Yukinari are doing in the future. Kakeru could guess she has already been confessed to. No, he didn’t have any visions. It was so obvious. Probably only she doesn’t realize it. She invites him to go hiking tomorrow but he declines. The friends pack their belongings into Momo’s car. Sachi is given a lift while the rest begin their hike. Something tells us Momo’s driving is going to be hell… Okay, not enough to give anybody a heart attack but you can see her frequent sudden braking at every corner as a sign. Oh sh*t. At the top of the hill as they being their setup, Touko and Yanagi go to the creek to get water. Thanks to Touko’s sudden vision, she loses her balance and they get wet. So as they wait to get their clothes to dry, the inevitable question about Yukinari. Is Touko going to date him? Absolutely not. This gives some hope to Yanagi who hasn’t given up yet. Yukinari is probably wondering if the girls are lost so he makes his way to the creek only to see the girls in their undies. Get this. He is the first one to scream! Like a girl! WTF?! Hiro is trying to read some poem to Sachi but he is so nervous. Only to be interrupted when the rest returns. After when they pack up, Hiro is going to confess. He loves her… Her name. Dang. Meanwhile Touko talks to Yukinari. She tells him they can’t date because he is a good friend of hers. His reaction? “Oh…”. Then he just walks off. I guess he is trying to take in the impact the best he can. When the hike downhill begins, Touko sees a vision of Sachi in hospital and wonders if she’ll be alright. Later she SMS her and it seems she is. Touko talks to Hina about a best friend’s confession. What would she do? Does she like them or not? Because that is about all to it. She wonders if she went hiking with Kakeru and this makes her deny greatly.

Episode 4: Hill
Touko gets a call from Sachi and it’s not exactly about her hospitalization. Yanagi sprained her ankle and received outpatient treatment. Yukinari was there to pick her up but he won’t carry her as he cheekily comments she might be heavy! Meanwhile Hiro visits Sachi. And they spend their time together reading their respective books… Oh well. Better than iPhones, right? Since an opportunity came up, he asks her if she is free on the day after tomorrow as there is a new movie out. Of course. Score! Touko and Yanagi meet and they talk about Yukinari’s confession. Yanagi says she wasn’t going to confess to him but Touko thinks she was just nervous and indecisive then. When Touko is sketching the chickens, she thought Kakeru came by but it’s Yukinari. A little awkward between them. When Touko puts away her stuffs in the storeroom, Yukinari asks if she likes Kakeru. Because earlier on she mistook him for that guy. It was like she was expecting him. And just like the last time, he walks away. Kakeru finishes his personal hiking when it rains. He lends Yanagi his coat as they wait for the rain to stop. They talk about the meaning behind their names. Once the rain stops, Yanagi loses her balance and Kakeru catches her. What does this scene look like? Especially when Touko is the one who sees it? She looks really worried. Even more surprising when she heard that Hiro isn’t at Kazemichi because he is on a date. Yeah. That guy is sleeping throughout some foreign movie while Sachi’s eyes are just glued.

Episode 5: Hinode Bridge
Touko sees Kakeru smiling in one of her visions. As Touko continues to ponder with whom Hiro is on a date, she suspects Sachi and goes to visit her. Hiro sneaks out of the room in time. When Touko talks to Sachi about this, she didn’t hesitate to say that Hiro was with her although they were just reading a book. When Hiro returns home, big sister teases him about dating that girl because she knows too well her brother reading a complicated book. It surely didn’t belong to him. Yanagi finds Kakeru and talks to him. About Yukinari’s leg injury and the reason he isn’t doing well in the track and also about seeing the future. On second thought, she wouldn’t want that. Touko calls Kakeru and has been thinking what he told her the other night and wants to meet up. Then she realized the person who picked up the call is his father. Whoops. Once Kakeru returns the call, he agrees to meet and his father would like to make up to her and cook for her. After Kakeru explains that ‘hugging’ incident with Yanagi, he tells her that Yanagi is going to confess to Yukinari today. He didn’t hear any visions. She told him herself. She also wanted him to tell Touko about it. After the meal, Kakeru shows Touko a nice spot nearby he found during trekking. They lie down on the grass and Touko is just awed with the experience. She realizes she is too close to him and flusters before getting up and leave. Yanagi waits for Yukinari at the bridge and chances upon him during one of his usual jogs. She confesses she likes him and also knows he likes Touko and confessed to her. As they are like family, it will be difficult for them to live in the same house if he rejects her. She would be happy if he gives up Touko but also hate him for it (make up your mind!). She doesn’t know what the future holds but this spot is where she is going to move on.

Episode 6: Punch
Kakeru could hear voices of Touko. Touko’s mother talks to her about love since she is already that age (and she’s spacing out quite a lot too). So when she sees a vision of someone kissing (though it is unclear who), she freaks out. Her family is alerted although she brushes it off as a bug. Kakeru calls her to meet up but she hangs up on him in her panic. She thought he called again and apologizes but it is Hiro wanting to meet up. He tells her about the meeting with Sachi. Touko could guess it was it. Then Yanagi comes in and tells her about her confession to Yukinari. The friends plan to have their own fireworks for Sachi since she missed it the last time. Somehow it turned into one whereby if Kakeru should be invited and Yukinari volunteers to be the one to go ask him. When he goes do that, Kakeru can tell he is reluctant to do it but in a position where he had to. In that case, he won’t him. It descends into a talk about Touko but when Kakeru mentions about Yanagi’s confession to him, Yukinari punches him and leaves. Touko meets up with Kakeru and could see the horrible blister. They return to his mom but his pianist mom is back so he takes Touko to their secret spot. He asks about that favour she wanted so she tells about the vision of Sachi admitted to hospital. She gets a call from Yukinari wanting to meet and she knows it is about that punch. Kakeru wants to settle this and meet at the school yard. Touko calls Yanagi for help as she fears it might not go well. The guys confront each other. Kakeru suggests settling this via a race since he will take this seriously. If Yukinari wins, Kakeru will never see Touko again. Otherwise Touko is his. Since he has Yanagi, he won’t hold it against him if he loses on purposes. Yanagi doesn’t like this and slaps Kakeru’s face! Now a slap? She brings Yukinari away. Kakeru talks to Touko and thought she would stand by him. He wonders what the fragments of the future mean to her. He called them so as he believes they are pieces of oneself. Pieces he needs to make his incomplete self whole. What he wants isn’t something random but more solid and real. All he can hear now is her voice. Gee, funny because all she could see is him too. Since the fireworks are postponed, Hiro and Sachi have their own little fireworks party. This is better, right?

Episode 7: Bicycle
What’s this? Kakeru talking to his… Clones? His imaginary friends? Sachi is admitted to hospital today for her regular check-up. Surprisingly, she introduces Hiro to her mother as her boyfriend! Since when…?! When Hiro leaves, he sees Momo leaving a room in tears. As Touko meets Kakeru to talk more about them, she suddenly sees a vision of him falling. She becomes scared and doesn’t want him to go to any high places. She wants him to meet at the beach tomorrow. Hina wonders why her swimming club girls are keeping watch outside the window. Seems they expect Yukinari to run by this area at this time. He doesn’t disappoint. Oh God. See the way they squeal over him? Yeah. They totally love this ‘prince’. So the next day when he seems not to be doing well in his run, they get worried. This makes Hina to purposely go catch up to him and plead not to stop being cool! WTF?! Touko visits Sachi and updates her about that slapping incident. Later Sachi calls Hiro that she will be discharged tomorrow and that they can plan for their friends to gather and watch the fireworks. Unfortunately her check-up needs to be extended and so their plans are derailed. As Hiro is going to call the rest about the cancellation, Sachi reveals she doesn’t like Kakeru because if he is around, they fall apart. Plus, she knows Touko will be with Kakeru at the beach. Hiro realizes she tried to get them together to crash their date. Hiro also gets the hint probably why she calls him her boyfriend. He feels sad and leaves. Sad enough that he doesn’t mind having Momo drive him home! Next day, Kakeru and Touko meet at the beach. As Touko goes to buy drinks, Yanagi comes by. She blames him that Yukinari is no longer cool. WTF. Guess what? Touko heard that. And suddenly she has this horrible vision that sends her screaming and shivering in fear. This looks serious.

Episode 8: Snow
She is taken to the shade where Touko regains composure. Yanagi visits Sachi and could tell something has happened between Hiro but she won’t pry. She thought of asking her about Touko and Kakeru like there is something weird between them as they are somehow together now but Sachi doesn’t know much. Hiro is still reeling from that disappointment that he doesn’t even want to go visit Sachi. Even Momo can tell something did happen. Since Yukinari is away at his track summer training camp, those swimming girls are worried he didn’t show up. So they were staring at the window instead of swimming this whole time? And when they thought he finally passed, it turns out to be Yanagi. Who the hell is this chick? Is she trying to become him? Touko meets Kakeru again and feels they need to keep their distance as she feels afraid. Kakeru also feels hesitant to come close to her. When Touko mentions about that storeroom incident with Yukinari, Kakeru thinks they can see fragments of the future if they go there again. There, Touko suddenly sees snow falling and then Kakeru grabs her hand and kisses her! This is just a vision. She gets scared and runs away. But even more afraid when Kakeru grabs her hand to ask what is wrong. Fearing the same would happen, she runs away only to see outside covered with snow. Sachi tries to call Hiro but is out of range (he has gone solo hiking). She texts to him that she is already discharged. But that guy reads and ignores it.

Episode 9: Moon
Everybody is spacing out and doing their own thing. Sachi SMS to Hiro about a book to bring tomorrow. He doesn’t know what it is till Momo points out it is one of Souseki Natsume’s works. Kakeru tries to hear those fragments but nothing. Yanagi continues replacing Yukinari’s run so Hina goes to talk to her. Back in her room, Hina feels her sister is acting weird. Yanagi thinks she is in love. Hina hopes it is not one-sided. Yanagi lets Hina try some of her clothes and if she likes them, she can have it. The giveaway is because Yanagi plans to become a new person. That night Kakeru comes to see Touko and wants to go to the storeroom again to see a clearer picture. That hard up to know, huh? Well, Touko is scared because all she saw was snow. She doesn’t want to go. He lets her know that ever since then, he has never heard a fragment. Yanagi has been updating Yukinari about the weather and her activities. He gives a courtesy call and he feels better calling her (because it’s raining over there and his knee is giving him problems). Sachi also invites Touko to come along with Hiro. They head to the observation platform and they stick around till closing time. Seems Sachi wants to see the moon. This has Touko mention that she knows nothing. About the future, the town and her friends. Sachi mentions this is her special spot and is happy to have come here with both of them. Hiro didn’t understand what is happening and when he does (he thinks), he believes this moon thingy is some sort of confession. He did a little research on Souseki Natsume’s work and how he uses the moon in his romance. Touko notes the moon is beautiful and Sachi replies this is what she wanted to tell her. Touko looking shocked. Could it be?

Episode 10: Jonathan
What Sachi wanted to say is that she loves both of them. I wonder if it’s the romantic kind. But it makes her feel happy. Kakeru goes to see Hiro to ask for Sachi’s address. At first he won’t give it to her but sees no reason not to do so. Hiro asks Sachi about the sparkly things they were talking and if Touko wants to be looked after. But they know Kakeru isn’t giving Touko the care she deserves. Yukinari is back and spots Yanagi running along his usual route. When she returns, she is happy to see him waiting for her. Touko goes to see Kakeru but he is not home but instead invited to tea by his mom in which father shortly joined in. They mention they never stay in a place too long and Kakeru never had problems making friends when young. But during festivals, when friends became excited about it and forgot about him, Kakeru called it ‘a sudden but foreseeable loneliness’. Momo’s boyfriend will be discharged soon and she plans to bring him to Kazemichi because he misses the coffee while being hospitalized. As Touko walks along, it suddenly starts snowing. Though this is only her vision, she tries not to be scared since this is the town she loves. At school, she notices a chicken missing! Jonathan in particular. Man, she really knows her chickens. The chicken coop is open. She tries to find it and spots Jonathan heading inside the school to the storeroom. That’s where she finds Kakeru. He thought he might be able to figure why he stopped hearing the fragments by coming here. As for Touko, she wanted to know about his loneliness. Touko mentions that it has been snowing heavily outside and believes it is not a fragment she is seeing. She finally mentions about him kissing her and it is not the first time she saw that. She wonders if that is really the future she is seeing or if something is happening to her. Kakeru says that it cannot be denied that since she is seeing it snow outside, something is definitely going on. And once he does this, they can call her vision a fragment of the future for sure. Yeah. He kisses her.

Episode 11: Piano
So they’re reeling from that unexpected kiss. Touko wonders if he likes her. He thinks he is just fooling himself to ascertain himself. Kakeru suggests Touko come to listen to her mom play piano. He calls her to ask and she knows he’s been hanging out with Touko. She’s her mom. She knows even though they don’t spend much time together. She also suggests inviting her family to come. As Kakeru leaves, Touko wants to stay a bit longer. She calls Hina that she won’t be back till the wee hours of the morning so she misinterprets her sister is doing something daring. Well, fooling their parents is easy. It’s the part where she had to eat Touko’s dinner share as ‘proof’ Touko is home. That bloated feeling. Kakeru never left and is surprised to see Touko still sitting in the storeroom come night fall. Seems it has stopped snowing. They fall asleep there but manage to get back to their respective homes by morning. Kakeru’s clones seem to be telling him about the need to tell Touko something and just because he has her doesn’t mean he’ll be able to escape from his fate. Yukinari accompanies Yanagi to her dance lessons (attracting lots of other girls’ stare). Yanagi also continues her evening run with him. Hiro and Sachi hike up the hill. Seems they have reconciled. Sachi says she didn’t tell him something back at the observatory: Sorry. He nearly choked on his food. She is really sorry for using him then. Touko’s family arrives at Kakeru’s house. Touko takes Kakeru for a stroll to talk about the visions. She isn’t sure what they are anymore. Looking at their glass beads, she thinks they can test it this time. But Kakeru will be happy if nothing happens because he never imagined their families would come together. Isn’t this something to be happy about? Therefore he is a little scared of knowing. They then see and hear fireworks visions in the glass beads. On their way back, Kakeru reveals mom has asked him to accompany her on her piano world tour. He is starting to feel afraid of being with her and can’t take this sudden loneliness anymore. So is he going away soon? But they spent the entire yesterday together. Touko make it sound so ambiguous… Or is it just me? Everyone gathers to listen to Kakeru’s mom play the piano. Kakeru and Touko hold hands all the time. She thinks if that fireworks vision is real, this means he’ll be here next year with them. Touko sees it snowing again.

Episode 12: Fireworks (Again)
As Touko narrates, her dad wanted a glass studio away from the city and thus they left Tokyo and she transferred school. In this snowing seaside town (ironic, isn’t it?) as she leaves the train, she bumps into Kakeru who shows her around and points out tonight’s fireworks. He brings her to Kazemichi whereby he introduces her to the rest of his friends, Yanagi, Yukinari, Sachi and Hiro. Then he brings her to the observatory and asks about her future, if she is going to follow in her father’s footsteps. Touko and Kakeru’s family also both meet up and agree to see the fireworks together. Seriously, fireworks in the snow? That night when Touko bumps into Yanagi and Yukinari, she is surprised that they do not recognize her! Then there is Hiro and Sachi. It’s like they see past through her and never noticed her. Touko is close to tears when Kakeru finds her. She tells him about the friends not being able to see her. For that short moment, as if time stops. Touko realizes this is the world she has been seeing in her fragments. Up till now, this Kakeru is the one she imagines, sort of a projection of him in the real world. Those friends are also not real in that sense. Because they are almost transparent like a ghost, Kakeru thinks something happened because they didn’t meet up here after all (Hiro and Sachi are watching the fireworks from the latter’s home while Yukinari and Yanagi watching it from a bridge). Touko deduces her friends of this world cannot see her. It must mean she doesn’t have an unforgettable place to share with everyone. She notices Kakeru besides her gone. And all this turns out to be one big fragment or vision or illusion that Touko is seeing through the glass vase while Kakeru’s mother is playing the piano. I know I expected something of this sort but why can’t I help feel that disappointing feeling welling up within me?

Episode 13: Shooting Star
Once the song ends, Touko collapses. Once she regains conscious, Kakeru blames himself for putting her in danger for this experiment and that he brings trouble to others. But Touko wants to stay a bit longer and listen to mom’s piano once more. Play something more dramatic this time. Later Kakeru’s dad talks to him about his decision. Whatever he decides, they’ll support him to their fullest. Meanwhile Touko’s mom asks if she gets blinded by some bright light she’ll see something hazy. She too used to get such visions when she was young. At one point she thought they were glimpses of her future. However her actual future was filled with things she never dreamt of. Till today she doesn’t know what does visions are. The thing is, you have got to make the most of what you have today. Kakeru talks to Yanagi that it was his fault what happened to Touko at the beach and that fainting incident. He has hurt Touko and can’t imagine what she has seen. She mentions something about coming to realization that happened to Yukinari too. Even he doesn’t say a thing, she knows what is on his mind. Touko sees Kakeru at the special spot and tells him about the fragment of watching fireworks with winter. She watched it alone since everybody else didn’t recognize her. It was her sudden but foreseeable loneliness. Kakeru was there too enjoying himself. Those fragments of the future, what they are she doesn’t know and that isn’t important anymore. On that day of the fireworks, their meeting wasn’t a coincidence because both wanted to see each other. They think the bright lights of the fireworks at that moment made it possible. Kakeru feels he wasn’t able to do anything for her and just accomplished understanding a bit more about her. She has done more than enough. They are glad the other came to this town. As tonight’s shooting stars are supposed to be visible but blocked by the clouds, they are going to make their own version. They throw up the coloured glass beads. Next day, Yukinari talks to Touko sketching the chickens. He wonders why only one is named Jonathan but the rest named after philosophers. She doesn’t even know. But whatever the future holds for her, she hopes to handle it. Yukinari thinks she hasn’t changed. Or has she? Yukinari and Yanagi jog together and those swimming club fan girls must be disappointed seeing this scene. Sorry, he’s taken. Momo gladly waits for her boyfriend at Kazemichi. Then she teases Hiro who is in a good mood because Sachi is going back to school. She wants to celebrate this by driving him to school but he refuses because that will be the cause of his tardiness. Yanagi’s jogging has paid off as she is able to catch the train in time. Touko heads to school and she thinks she heard Kakeru’s voice.

Shattered Glass…
What the heck did I just see in those 13 episodes? What in the world is this series about? Generally I know what it is but when you get this kind of disappointing ending that didn’t go anywhere, you start thinking back what was this series really all about in the first place. Was it something about the fragments of the future Touko and Kakeru see and hear? Nope. We didn’t even know what it is even at the end and will never will be. We’ll never know what those horror visions Touko saw anyway either. Was this series about the romance? I don’t know. It felt slow and didn’t have any impact whatsoever. Because Touko and Kakeru are the main characters and we are expecting something to happen between them although we know chances are very slim to near impossible. More on this later. So in the end, I don’t really know what this anime is about or where it is going. And yeah. That kind of ending sucks. It really disappoints.

Therefore it felt like one long drama with nothing much ado. It is bad enough that I caught myself yawning or being distracted by other happenings outside my monitor and thus perhaps the reason why I do not understand and missed certain important notes but that isn’t the point. It was draggy enough not to retain my interest and there were a few trolling things in this series. Yes, there are a few things that I thought would be important or at least significantly affect something or someone in later parts of the story but sadly it didn’t. Take one example like Momo’s boyfriend. I know we don’t care about him. Heck, we don’t even see him making a facial decent appearance. There was one point Momo was crying running out from the hospital, indicating something bad must have happened. No, that wasn’t tears of joy from the way she was bawling. And then suddenly before you know it, he is okay and a good ending story for the couple we couldn’t care less. If Momo never had a boyfriend, it didn’t matter either. So don’t you think this was like a troll and a distraction? And those Kakeru clones? I supposed it is to signify his inner thoughts but the way they portray it feels like it really means something. Well it didn’t.

I must be paranoid enough to even think of this. There are certain random scenes throughout the series and in every episode whereby the edges of the screen are slightly faded. You know, the kind of effect that you see in dream sequences. As the series progresses, I started thinking that maybe those scenes are some sort of visions Touko is seeing in the future and not really happening now. Maybe they are some sort of flashes or something. Maybe they’re going to troll us who are observant enough to notice this and drop some big revelation bomb or something. I was waiting for that to happen and it never came. Imagine my disappointment. I know I was already disappointed with the overall series but this enhances the effect. Therefore those effects could just be the brightness of summer or whatever, you know, the animators wanted to save the colouring and hues due for some reason. Yeah. I think I’m getting paranoid.

Even not for the storyline or whatever the hell those fragments of the future are, then it is the romance part we place our hope on. Unfortunately this also fails. I don’t know what happened to the love triangle (if you can call that) between Touko, Kakeru and Yukinari. Because after the slapping incident and confessions from both sides, it seems it has toned down till you wonder if it’s really gone or anything of it left. Does Yukinari still have feelings for Touko or does his subtle actions towards Yanagi hint that he decided to settle for her? I wanted to say that Touko and Kakeru have feelings for each other and were just using the fragments of the future as excuses to see each other but now I am not too sure. I believe from that ending, Kakeru has decided to follow his mom and thus we won’t get Kakeru x Touko route ending. So the jealousy and face off tension between these kids were just temporary and in the end it all fizzles out. I mean it is a good thing in this context but bad for the development of the story. And therefore it is even more disappointing to think that the only kiss of the series between Kakeru and Touko wasn’t based on romantic aspects but rather an experiment to see if that vision would come true. Well it did if you do, right? Duh. Yeah. That vision itself felt like a poor excuse to just lead up to that kiss which in the end, doesn’t really matter. Normally innocent girls like Touko would be affected by the kiss. But after a while she seems rather okay and handling it well like as though it never happened.

Then there is Hiro and Sachi whose relationship seems to be blossoming despite the initial setback of her using him to break up Kakeru and Touko. When he was sulking, she realized she made a terrible mistake and could have lost something precious forever. Thank goodness Hiro is just a simple guy and they got back rather quick and easy. Can’t stay mad forever, can’t he? There are a handful of scenes showing them having a nice time being together while the rest were sorting out their feelings. Uh huh. It’s like they’re the happiest couple in the world not caring what else is going on. But that even feels mediocre and a side distraction to take our minds of the rest. I am not sure about Sachi being a bi because when she confessed at that time to Hiro and Touko, was it really that kind of love? If it was the friendship kind, shouldn’t she have done the same for Yukinari and Yanagi too? And if she was really lesbian, did she turn straight after feeling bad for deceiving Hiro? I don’t know anymore. And what the heck was that no dating policy that was said in the group earlier on? Yeah. Just like Hiro, I didn’t know it had one. Was it just a ploy to keep Kakeru at bay? And when it was lifted, it’s like they started going on a short confession spree or something. I am not sure if this is a running joke because whenever Touko’s dad starts to rant about his good ol’ romance days with mommy, it starts to sound cheesy and his daughters aren’t really interested or paying attention to his nostalgia.

The characters feel weak because like I said, you don’t really know where the show is going and you’re still lost at the end. I suppose Kakeru has his own problems and perhaps this fragment of the future mystery is just a distraction to whatever this sudden loneliness he doesn’t want to experience anymore (does this bizarre issue explain why he prefers to instead camp outside his lovely house?). In the end, he felt he hurt Touko and most probably his guilty conscious has him decided. Then there is Touko who is supposedly the ‘liveliest’ of the group because of her penchant to be in flabbergasted mode blurting out “EEEEEHHHH?????!!!!!”. Really that surprised, huh? I think she looks cute each time she makes this funny expression. No, really. Then the rest of the myriad friends like moody Yukinari, cheerful Hiro, soft spoken Sachi and sometimes tsundere Yanagi make up the rest of the ‘colourful’ group of friends. Oh yeah. I’m sure they put in stuffs like Yukinari’s jogging and track camp, Yanagi’s model classes and Sachi’s hospitalization check up for whatever non-threatening illness she has just to give them some sort of personality but when it comes down to it, you’d start thinking does it really matter? In the end, the most ironic part is that when Kakeru started entering the lives of the friends, you tend to notice that they spend less and less time together. Yeah well. So I guess it is really his fault that he brings some sort of trouble to the group.

Therefore the side characters are the more amusing ones like Momo who has this penchant of barging into Hiro’s room while he is in his own happy fantasy world and enjoys seeing his reaction whatsoever. It’s like since her own romance is on hold, might as well go bug her little brother and add some spice to it. Yeah. Amusing big sister. I’d really love to have a sister like her. Read sarcasm, please. And nobody could beat her driving skills. Really. Kind of reminds me of Tamauyra’s Sayomi. I know she just got her driving licence but as they say, practice makes perfect. Hina, what can I say about her? Tries to help her sister out, especially the part of pretending to be her to fool their parents was funny. Slightly. Other than that, it’s like her role was to give some encouragement to Yukinari and Yanagi for whatever issues they’re facing and to make them continue looking cool. Because amusingly her swimming club members are more interested in watching their prince jog around at that time and as though they joined the club just to catch a glimpse of him. You know, I just thought if they really admire him so much, why not just form a jogging club and jog with him? Can’t? Then be forever condemned to admire from afar. Considering all the characters in this anime, I have to surmise that the best character goes to… The chickens! Ah yes. How I wish I was carefree as them, clucking and eating seeds from the ground without giving a hoot about the plot and direction of this series. Oh Jonathan, don’t you know you are the best character of this boring series? Whoops…

First thing that strikes you is the art style of this series. If you have been watching animes that long, that is. You’ll notice that this art style is very much to the trademark of P.A. Works’ production with the character designs having that very similar feel to all their previous animes such as Hanasaku Iroha, Tari Tari and True Tears. Yes. Pretty looking people. Although the adults do look young, at least not young enough like in certain animes to even think that they could be brothers or sisters. Thank goodness. Also breathtaking are the sceneries and I must say they are quite beautiful whether it is the sleepy seaside town, the greeneries or the snow and sparkling effects. Everything feels bright and vivid. I guess the artwork and the pretty characters are the big saving grace and reason why I continued sticking with this show till the end. Not to say I would have dropped it even if the art style sucks but at least it was something I look forward to when I watch this anime. Although I won’t say their scenery quality is as good as Nagi No Asukara but still worthy nevertheless.

I have this suspicion that this show might be paying some sort of tribute to True Tears, which is the first anime that P.A. Works produced. One very obvious point that makes me say that is the chickens. The flightless birds may not have anything to do with the plot or whatsoever in this anime. In True Tears, there were a couple of chickens that the protagonist girl was infatuated with them because about something that has to do with flying (these chickens weren’t interested in them – aren’t all chickens like that?). Oh, didn’t one of them fly the coop as she believed? Anyway, watching the chickens here bring back instant memories of that series. Especially that part when Jonathan was thought to have went missing. The other part is the ending credits animation whereby it has that similar feel to the one in True Tears. All the characters in this anime chibified and this include the chickens too. Oh yeah. Chickens are the hidden stars of this show.

Voice acting feels rather okay since this is a drama genre so nothing really exciting that attracts even if Touko’s flustering and surprise mode are the most ‘expressive’ tones throughout the series. I only managed to recognize Saori Hayami as Yanagi (Sawa in Tari Tari) but not Nao Touyama as Hina since her little sister role wasn’t as bratty enough to have her make that bratty voice like Nisekoi’s Chitoge. The other casts are Seria Fukagawa as Touko (Manami in Locodol), Ryota Ohsaka as Kakeru (Haruto in Valvrave The Liberator), Nobunaga Shimazaki as Yukinari (Shido in Date A Live), Daiki Yamashita as Hiro (Touya in Log Horizon), Risa Taneda as Sachi (Xenovia in High School DxD New) and Ai Kayano as Momo (Inori in Guilty Crown). The opening theme is Natsu No Hi To Kimi No Koe by ChouCho. Sounds like generic anime pop but nothing special. She also sings the insert song for episode 13, Lucent Eyes which is more of a slow pop. But it is that familiar voice singing the ending theme, Toumei Na Sekai. After all these years, I never really got used to hearing Nano.Ripe’s ‘drunk’ voice but at least from the time I hear it now and before, it is more bearable. The best song is of course the classical piece, Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2. in which is frequently listened by Kakeru’s father. I think he really loves this piece.

Well, to sum it up, this series is disappointing and boring. Expectations and hopes flushed down the toilet hole faster than you can say holy guacamole. I am sure many of those who watched this would share the same sentiments and we see it because of P.A. Works’ history. Not to say that they produced lots of super good animes but at least now that I think about it, this could be one of the worst based on comparison to their other works. So if you really do want to watch it, just watch for the art and the pretty people. That’s about it. The only time that I wished I had such visions to see the future is to warn me never to judge a book by its cover and pass up disappointing animes like this one. But then again, judging from my trend of watching animes, I don’t think I will ever learn of not jumping into animes just because there are pretty people despite everything else sucks. I’m always a sucker for a pretty face. Even more so, a maid. See, I don’t even need to see visions of the future to know what is going to happen.

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