I've heard of Glass Mask being one of the more popular long-running titles of the shoujo demographic thanks to its focus on lead character Maya's budding acting career, thus had interest in wanting to see how this adaptation fares and must say this got rather frustrating to watch.
A major barrier to this adaptation of Glass Mask for me was the heavy dependence on melodrama to add conflict into the series. There were a few ways that this 1984 adaptation of the series does this. One way consists of Maya being encouraged by her mentor, Chigusa Tsukikage, to adhere to understanding her role to a rather extreme degree. In acting, emotionally identifying completely to a role is called method acting. I've heard of behind-the-scenes stories where actors like Leonardo Dicaprio, Christian Bale, and Jared Leto did quite a bit of method acting to get into many of the major roles they would become famous for. However in the world of Glass Mask, method acting is milked to a rather ridiculous degree for Maya to get immersed into any roles she takes on for theatrical performances, enough as such where it usually causes physical and psychological abuse to her. In one particular case where she is learning to take on the role of Helen Keller for The Miracle Worker, Maya resorts to sensory deprivation by blindfolding herself and stuffing her ears with cotton balls to simulate living life being blind and deaf while tripping and falling into things.
The second way was that many of the plays that Maya participated in faced some sort of sabotage through different events or jealous rivals. This is a recurring plot device that Glass Mask milks in a forced attempt to create drama and test Maya's abilities to improvise over the sabotage and win over the crowd during her performances. I didn't feel these did anything to aid in developing Maya's character growth as an actress, as they felt tacked on in a lazy attempt to add forced drama to the plays that Maya participated in.
The third and worst way that melodrama gets milked is the heavy amounts of angst that Glass Mask likes to milk. Any negative situation, regardless if it's minor or major, leads Maya to get way too overemotional in response to it. Rather than this angsting having me sympathize with her, it made me want to slap Maya since she takes every little thing happening to her way too personally thanks to the anime's rather questionable choices in story direction.
But perhaps the biggest problem I had with this adaptation of Glass Mask as a whole is that it doesn't do a good job of having me convinced that Maya grew as a character in her experiences as an actress. The series gets too immersed into the emotional extremes that she goes through to overcome any major hurdles as such that it doesn't devote enough focus to lighter moments that explore the motives of other characters supporting Maya's growth or Maya reflecting on the events within her present crisis to learn how to overcome it, thus allowing audiences to connect with her as a character. A rather noticeable flaw with Maya's acting throughout Glass Mask is that she gets too immersed in her role as such where she isn't conscious of the nuances and actions of the other performers she is supporting in the advancement of a play's plot. This does get addressed at a few points in Glass Mask, but the series never devotes time to having Maya learn how to overcome this flaw and still unconvincingly tries having you believe she was a budding actress with strong potential.
The series also tries to play up a romance angle for Maya with a couple different male characters within Glass Mask. One character gets too limited development and screen time to make that potential relationship mean anything. While the potential with the mysterious "Mr. Purple Rose" is a little more convincing and nuanced in its developments, the series regrettably ends inconclusively before it can get into this relationship any further.
If there is one plus I can give for Glass Mask, it would have to be Ayumi Himekawa. Her character as a friendly rival of sorts to Maya is a deconstruction of the "rich girl" character type seen in many anime titles. Ayumi isn't portrayed as a haughty character with bitter jealousy for Maya's increased fame nor does she exploit her wealth for personal gain or to get an edge over Maya in any way. She sees Maya as an equal to her and a source of motivation to improve on her own abilities as an actress, and there are a few points where she reprimands a few jealous crew members who attempt to sabotage Maya's performances in any capacity. Ayumi's character had quite a bit of dimension compared to Maya and it's a shame that Maya's character is rather flawed in this adaptation of Glass Mask, as the chemistry between the two could have made for interesting developments if Glass Mask wasn't too focused on the emotional extremes of Maya's developments.
Overall, I find this adaptation of Glass Mask to be quite flawed. The series dabbles too heavily into melodrama at the expense of Maya's development to have me convinced of her character's growth and development as an actress, and could have been a far better series if not for this. I've heard that there's a 2005 remake of Glass Mask that is a superior adaptation of the shoujo manga compared to this adaptation. I might be tempted to see that one down the line to see what it's like. But as for this 1984 adaptation? I wouldn't bother watching it again due to the many issues it has with its storytelling.
Old Man Dream: ...later titles in the Macross franchise can finally come stateside with all involved parties finally coming to a truce over how to handle things with the Macross trademark and all later anime in the franchise associated with it.
Apr 9, 2021 10:26:05 GMT
Taka: I see. A global release will benefit it. Gundam did pretty good. The only few franchises that are only popular in Japan but not popular in the west - Yokai Watch comes to mind.
Apr 10, 2021 1:55:16 GMT
Master Menos: F for Respects. DMX did all his work while suffering from a drug addiction, and I almost never knew until a point. I hope his next life treats him far better.
Apr 10, 2021 15:30:45 GMT
HungryWorld: Sorry for taking so long for the things i have to do, have been suffering from some health issues (including mental health deterioration). Anyways hope i can be a bit more active here soon enough once i am properly patched up again.
Apr 27, 2021 17:45:38 GMT
Taka: No worries, health, family, school, and work take priorities first.
Apr 28, 2021 7:41:52 GMT