Even though the series itself flopped, a combination of slow pace and overall stereotypical characters pulling it downhill, Glasslip did have one rather unique element I just don’t see that often in anime. Or, really, in media in general. An asexual character.
Now before you blow up my site, hold tight for a bit of a ride. Oh and uh, spoilers for this show, so ye be warned and stuff.
Early on in the series Sachi was proving to be a horrid stereotype: the silent bookworm who has a weird crush on her best friend and has some kind of illness that confines her to bed once in awhile. Cause that card is never played in anime, right? Sure enough, she only seemed to get worse as the story went on. Until a slight change began. Hiro, another side character, acted on his crush and started to hang out with her. And she actually… changed. Over time, I began to notice she liked and looked forward to his presence in her life, giving smiles when he was around and looking forward to suggesting new books for him to read. They never really “dated.” In fact, all their interactions where at her house, in her room, quietly reading and, occasionally, talking about what they read in the cafe or walking. It was a slow, yet comfortable new relationship. However, this is not to say she fell out of love with the main heroine, Touko. In fact, a burst of jealousy causes her to use her new relationship with Hiro in an attempt to refocus Touko away from the new boy in town. When the plan fails and she begins to lose her new relationship with Hiro, she realizes just how important both friendships are to her. And near the tail end of the series she makes a confession that made me blink quite a few times in surprise. Sachi admits that she loves both of them and does not want to lose her relationship with either, wishing always to be near both Touko and Hiro (while this could be seen as simple friendship, and Touko probably took it that way, the context of the rest of the show heavily suggests something deeper).
Now before you say, “hey doesn’t that make her bi, not an asexual?” recall that important part up above: she’s content without physical intimacy. In fact, at no point in the show does she initiate any kind of sexual or even sensual contact with her loves. Instead she seems happiest just being around them, being a quiet part of their lives, closer than simple friends, but not lovers in the traditional sense of the word.
Of course that could change in her future, but within the confines of the show, Sachi is an interesting and very diverging character from the typical anime tropes. Not only does she pose the idea that a character can be attracted to two genders at once, but she also is in no hurry, and might not ever even want, to seek out physical intimacy with her crushes. And for all the many short comings of Glasslip, I have to give them props for Sachi. While she still has some stereotypical aspects, she is perhaps the most well constructed character in the show. It’s too bad she was only the side character, as her arc actually had legitimate development and a small OVA set on her might have actually been more interesting than Touko’s slow and rather tedious trail (which I’m not sure really changed her much in the end).
Regardless of your personal position on sexual orientation, it’s a real breath of fresh air to see a character who wishes to be close to others, especially those of another gender, and not require said relationship to end in marriage and kids. Not everyone wants that in life. For some, all they want, all they really need, is to be understood, accepted and supported. I for one am happy such an idea was posed in a recent show. Although it would have been far better if the show Sachi was in was, well, a better show. Because even with her decent and different arc, it’s still not quite enough to justify slogging through the slow twelve episode trudge that is Glasslip.