Sunshine + Glass = Happy Times

News so good I had to post about it twice (wait for the Otaku Crush article).

As anyone who reads this blog might know, I am a fan of both Hidamari Sketch and Glass Mask, so when Scott Green over at Ain’t it Cool News Anime informed the twitterverse about their acquisition and release by Section23 (one of the licensing companies that grew out of the now-defunct ADV), I found myself dancing on the streets, and everybody knew to get out of my way because we got some serious Dramatic Shoujo About Drama here.

I’ve previously written reviews of both Hidamari Sketch and Glass Mask, so if you want to learn more about each series, you can check them out, or if you want to experience them firsthand and totally legitimately, Hidamari Sketch’s manga  is being released in the US under the title Sunshine Sketch, while Glass Mask is being streamed for free online via Crunchyroll. Keep in mind that my review above was written before the streaming was available.

So in conclusion, hell yes.

Glass Mask on Crunchy Roll

You might recall that I called the latest anime adaptation of Glass Mask to be one of the best shows of 2005. You might also recall my lament that no one has ever finished fansubbing the series, and so even if you started watching you wouldn’t be able to enjoy it fully.

Those days are numbered however, as Crunchy Roll recently acquired the show for free streaming with subtitles. The chances of them completing the show are very high, and all it took was for the actual company in charge of Glass Mask to give a new streaming site which recently went “legit” episodes they subtitled persoanlly. That’s all!

Anyway, check out my above review and see if that doesn’t get you watching.

Oh, it seems a lot of people are comparing Glass Mask to Skip Beat! and saying Glass Mask is better. I’ve never seen Skip Beat! so take that how you will.

What happens when a popular manga becomes a late night anime?

“If it’s late at night then it’s geared towards otaku” is an argument that gets tossed around fairly often, even by myself.

But then there are examples of anime adapted from popular manga that end up showing at midnight or later. Nana, the most popular shoujo manga around, had an anime adaptation with an 11:30pm time slot. Glass Mask, one of the most popular shoujo manga of all time, aired at 2:00am with its 2005 remake. In the case of Glass Mask, the fact that it is not hip and modern (though the manga is still running!) may have contributed to this late-night airing but I still do find it unusual.

Assuming that late-night really DOES equal otaku, is it possible for a manga with general popularity to be turned into an otaku-targeted anime?
However, if we were to assume that late-night DOES NOT necessarily mean the show is meant for otaku, just how difficult is it to get a decent time slot on the Japanese air waves?

Finally, are there any examples of otaku-oriented manga becoming popular anime?

2005’s Forgotten Anime: Glass Mask

Glass Mask, based on a long, long-running manga series, is one of my favorite anime from 2005 and 2006, and that’s no easy task with Eureka Seven in that running. It’s the tale of a plain girl named Kitajima Maya who is discovered to have an incrediblly innate ability for acting. At first, Maya is seemingly oblivious to everything except acting. She can recite a 3-hour play perfectly after having only watched it once. She can bring an uncanny realism to any role she plays, being naturally adept at pantomime. However, her greatest talent is her ability to fully take on any character, to literally become the role that she’s playing. Under the guidance of renowned former actress Tsukikage Chigusa, Maya engages in a friendly yet fierce rivalry with the prodigy Himekawa Ayumi while being watched over by the mysterious “Man of the Purple Roses. It’s old-fashioned shoujo at its finest, and I would implore everyone to watch it, except for one problem.

The subtitles never got past episode 5 or so, and this is a roughly 50 episode series.

I can only imagine that all of the acting terms and the settings of the plays in Glass Mask present a daunting task for any translator, as it requires not just knowledge of Japanese but also some French, Russian, and other languages. I’m certainly not confident enough in my translation abilities to start tackling other languages beyond Japanese, but if anyone is willing to heed the call, you will have done the anime community a good favor.

If you really want to see what Glass Mask is about, though, you can also check out the manga, which is available in all the places you expect (besides an actual bookstore). Watch out, it’s been around since the 70s and still has not finished.

By the way, my favorite scene in the show is during a play where Maya is playing the role of a queen. Another girl, jealous of Maya, tries to sabotage Maya by stepping on her dress as she walks outside so that Maya will trip. Maya is normally a very clumsy girl so this isn’t an unreasonable plan, but Maya senses the tug of her dress immediately, stops, and tells the girl to get off of her dress.

Standing there wasn’t Kitajima Maya, but the queen.