Some critics argue that the most integral part of a story is the climax. It displays the turning point of a certain situation that had been building up from previous events (or episodes) in an attempt to evoke a certain emotion or reaction from the audience. Whether or not this is the most integral part of a story, most would agree that the climax, in most cases, overall helps the story in overall worth. One should also keep in mind that what causes the climax to become as integral as it could be is essential in understanding how a good story works. A story is similar to that of a recipe; if everything is put in at (roughly) the exact amount with the appropriate time allotted to let it bake or stir or settle, then the finished product turns out at a higher quality.
How the concept of a story’s climax relates to that of Glasslip is simple: Glasslip is a show that tries to produce results by skipping certain ingredients. A good climax requires good build-up, good tension, and most of all, the audience’s attention and empathy, along with other accessories. When a storywriter looks to the climax too earnestly, they are more likely to miss what comes before; like planning a trip before worrying about the luggage. I believe this is Glasslip’s biggest flaw: it tries to play the drama factor before building up the drama.
What is most noticeable about Glasslip is the attention to its scenery. Everything looks crisp and clear and certainly has the appearance of a somewhat light-hearted teenage drama. Not to discredit the production values, but with a studio such as P.A. Works, this is almost guaranteed. As the story progresses, however, the attention to detail begins to diminish. Not in the scenery itself, but to those who inhabit it. The faces of the characters, as I had noticed, barely change in expression. Even if they do change, they don’t seem to look like they acquire the emotion behind the change in expression. I think this plays most prevalently with their eyes. Their eyes barely change. Nothing happens to their pupils, their size; everything seems to stay course. This is where the flaws in the outer region of Glasslip end, but where the inner regions begin to show signs of disarray.
The story of Glasslip begins rather innocently. A group of friends are introduced and spend time with each other doing whatever life entails them to do. It is only when the appearance of Kakeru, a strange, transfer citizen, does a crack in the group begin to show. This results in another sub-plot to the show simply stated as “the fragments of the future” appearing as if by pure coincidence. Kakeru and Touko, the main female protagonist of Glasslip, are allowed to see these so-called “fragments.”
In regards to the previous claim about the climax of a story, what is almost essential in having one be effective is through the story’s characters. Glasslip’s characters can all be summed up through the use of one word: mundane. Whatever they choose to do throughout the course of the series ends up meaning nothing or being quickly forgotten by the beginning of the following episode. The major characters’ use of dialogue with the other major characters, who are all supposedly great friends, give the audience no reason to think they are actually friends. There is no chemistry between any of these characters, whether it be with friends, family, or romantic partners, as some of the characters do (or hint) at a current or future romantic relationship. By the end of the series, the viewer is likely not concerned with the characters’ wishes because neither are the characters on-screen. It is almost as if the characters were still infants, trying to form an identity of their own through their environment while the show was still airing.
After understanding the characters, the viewer is brought back to the main story of Glasslip: drama. If Glasslip were to attempt any build-up whatsoever, some of the attempts at genuine drama could have been fruitful. Unfortunately, it tries to fill in the amount of wasted space in running time by showing cheap amounts of dramatic tension. Things such as jealousy, possessiveness, and betrayal are explored in this series, but are shrugged off the instant they arise. As stated above, everything that is said or done seems to mean nothing by the beginning of the following episode. Only the “fragments” are given any attention for more than a course of an episode, and even so, we know nothing more about the phenomenon by the end of the series as when it was introduced in the beginning of the series. When taking everything into account, this series is, simply put, a diorama, filled with pale, clay dolls moving from place to place.
I believe that the climax of a story can make or break the worth of a show. So when Glasslip tries many, many times to provide worthwhile build-up to the climax of the series, it felt like nothing had been done, nothing had been accomplished. The dull characters and convoluted story only equate to a miserable and strenuous viewing. Not to overinflate the amount of analogies already present, but one last thing Glasslip could be an example of is an unfinished story. It is the outcome of someone’s haste and overwhelming desire to get to the flashiest part of a story. It’s quite a shame; it looked so pretty, too.