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I don't get what the theme of the story is. Although I can follow the romance aspect of the anime, I don't get what the story is trying to tell us.

It may have been due to Glasslip being the first original anime that P.A. Works has made. Other series (which are adaptations) were not so confusing, and some were successful at sending their message to the viewer. Hanasaku Iroha was about self-discovery. Nagi no Asukara was centered around "Love brings people together".

So what was the theme of Glasslip? What is the story trying to tell us?

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    i haven't seen the anime but does it need a message/theme to it other than possibly Slice of Life? i'm not entirely sure YuruYuri has a message/theme – Memor-X Oct 9 '14 at 22:11
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    +1, I'd like to see more analytic questions like this on the site. I just hope the mods don't close it as too opinion-based. Unfortunately, I haven't seen Glasslip, so I can't contribute. – Torisuda Oct 10 '14 at 8:03
  • @Memor-X: YuruYuri is more of a gag-anime, so it's less likely to send any message. (Though not all gag manga/anime are void of messages. Hayate no Gotoku has several chapters that are very educational). In the case of Glasslip, it is a plain slice of life anime, so I expect there is some purpose in telling such story (since it doesn't employ much of fan service or moe to draw in viewers like most of the recent anime). – nhahtdh Oct 11 '14 at 14:51
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I think this question is opinion-based, but not to an extent where it cannot be reasonably answered. Anyway, that's a decision someone else can make.

Glasslip is about teenage life, but without many of the cliches that are in many shows - characters are uncertain about many things - love, friendship, future, and in general growing up.

This is why not much happens during the show - the characters are nervous about the fact that they can now date within the group, that a new person has disrupted their social circle, that they will soon be separated as they move on to new schools and new areas.

These uncertainties are shown abstractly in character's interations:

  • Touko feels 'invisible' in her vision of watching the fireworks where she is ignored by all her friends.

  • Kakeru has many internal monologues with different instances of himself, showing his internal conflicts. He also sleeps outside in a tent as it gives him a sense of safety and belonging, which he usually lacks because of his family's constant moving.

  • Yanagi takes up running in frustration of her unrequited love

It's interesting to note that Sachi and Hiro, who do not dwell on their friend's potential reactions to their relationship have an unwavering devotion to each other (apart from Sachi's misleading which causes a small stir).

And it is true that this was a turning point in all their lives: Touko's life was disrupted by the visiting stranger, Sachi & Hiro are now in a loving relationship, Yanagi has left for her modelling career, Yuki has stopped running and has split off from the group. Kakeru also has travelled somewhere new, but experienced the same conflicted emotions that Touko did over the summer

If one is looking for a meaning in Glasslip, I would say it is to not worry about other people's perceptions of you, that growing up is a confusing, emotional time and that you find who your true friends are during testing times.

I recommend reading these reddit analyses of the final episodes:

http://www.reddit.com/r/anime/comments/2grlj5/spoilers_glasslip_episode_12_discussion/cklxbkn

http://www.reddit.com/r/anime/comments/2hfo2a/spoilers_glasslip_episode_13_final_discussion/

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    Just wanted to point that Kakeru's family not as much moves as travels abroad for long periods of time. When Yuki visits Kakeru and is asked how he knew the address, Yuki shrugs with "Okikura is a very famous name in this town". So the Okikura family does have a fixed residence in town for quite some time. Also Kakeru's whereabouts are unknown as of the ending, saying he stayed or went abroad is speculation. – Mindwin Nov 5 '14 at 5:30
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The meaning in Glasslip is specifically about the idea that relationships can be very disruptive to the dynamics amongst a group of friends, and more specifically, it’s a story of how dating can drive people in a group apart and that even with magic (such as Toko's ability to peer briefly into the future), dating and falling in love is so tricky that magic might not be too helpful [1]. The reason why these themes stand front and centre can be seen in the anime's opening, which portrays Toko and her group of friends as being very close. However, with Kakeru's arrival, things become much more messy as Toko considers dating him. To allow her to explore this possibility, Toko ends up dissolving the rule where her friends can't date. This action comes from a selfish desire to know more about Kakeru because of the mystery he seems to give off.

This action ultimately has unforeseen consequences on everyone, and this is where the magic of seeing into the future comes in. In spite of both Toko and Kakeru having this power, they are ultimately unable to foresee what happens in their own futures. In Toko's case, the power does not give her a full picture of what will happen to her group of friends. The reason why glass beads are chosen to act as a medium for these visions is because through them, the familiar world appears distorted, an image of the world but not quite reality.

These messages are shown time and time again in Glasslip's opening, which is beautifully done: hints of the group of friend's old status quo, and the inclusion of the visions of the future, all come together to show that things like relationships are always shifting, and it's tricky to predict what can happen [2]. This is what Glasslip is about: the turbulence and unpredictability of teenage relationships [1]. The messages of Glasslip are not just broadly about turning points, nor is it about worrying about what people think of one self: Kakeru's introduction into Glasslip acted as a catalyst to drive the Toko's friends apart, and the consequences are noticeable. As an aside, I've noticed that all of the analysis and answers out there, especially on Reddit, are incomplete or wrong because they completely omit what Kakeru calls the Fragments of the Future. The opening shows that they are a central part of the anime [2].

Sources

  1. https://infinitemirai.wordpress.com/2020/09/25/worst-anime-challenge-the-themes-of-glasslip-explained-yet-again-and-revisiting-p-a-works-parvulum-opus/
  2. https://infinitemirai.wordpress.com/2015/09/14/a-glasslip-analysis-deciphering-what-glasslip-intended-to-be-about-through-its-opening-sequence-and-its-impact-on-viewer-expectations/

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