Extra: The non-traditional

g4Even 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.

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About inrosegalaxy

Raised on everything from Moby Dick to the Star Wars X-Wing books from a young age, it came as no surprise to anyone who knew me that I’d become a literature graduate and avid writer. But my love of a good story wasn’t restricted to the written word in my early years. Star Trek, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and badly dubbed Godzilla flicks helped shape my love of science fiction on screen as well. I wrote my first story while in the second grade. It was a horrifying tale about murdering a fairy-eating dog via a slice of pizza (in my defense, my only exposure to pizza was in the cafeteria and I swear you could legitimately kill someone with those things). I was a special snowflake. Today I write science fiction, fairy tales, Gothic epistolaries, fantasy and anything else that pops into my bizarre and twisted mind. I write new articles for my blog every Tuesday and Thursday. And if you happen to fancy Japanese animation, I also run an anime review blog, RRAR, which updates every Monday.

2 thoughts on “Extra: The non-traditional

  1. Interesting way of making Sachi heroic. True, friendship as a concept is often misunderstood, and if we took a gander at poor Sachi’s inner thoughts, perhaps the show ends up portraying her more of as a tragedy than a noble “pervert”?

    I wonder what kind of foundation Sachi has (sadly demoted to side-character), and whether she is instilling her bleak idea of friendship from a uniquely self-less standpoint or something convoluted from her soliloquizing? Perhaps her silent musing has found inner peace through her emotions in light of her less-than fortunate circumstance.

    Ah, such a show! It sounds, indeed, it came close to being something special! But just as the author cannot make up morality without a foundation existing, so a show undoubtedly must fall prey to the shortcomings of its creator.

    If such a noble figure is not sexual, than why does the show portray her sexuality in a crush at all? What use, other than the sheer subjective view of morality does this serve to the main characters? The discussion, being on the meaning of friendships, takes a dive when you ponder Sachi’s selfish attempt at controlling others. For Hiro seems to be nothing more than an end to Sachi, and that point at the very least demands a musing on her callous nature? Without the reprimand, the proclamation of love seems rather fake. For is it not in fear that she once again seeks to control things? Friendship is a gift, is it not?

    Subjectivity at its laziest presumes on it’s audience morality. Therefore, I too, am curious more of Sachi’s character than for Hiro. After all, Hiro strikes me as the typical delusional character unable to grasp the vanity of thinking he can ever win Sachi’s love… I’ve seen that a gazillion times (aka Touko already is a victim here)

    Definitively, True friendship is missing when looking at Sachi; A black hole like that, how can the real story even stand a chance? I’m betting this was a significant theme (friendship, not Sachi’s “orientation”) in the rest of the show. No wonder the rest fell apart.

    (as always, I enjoy reading this WordPress)

    • I failed to mention an example of how to do it right:

      Steins;Gate.

      Okabe’s candid, loving response to a man unwilling to learn contentment, was one of the defining moments in that show for me (other than the romancing, of course!).

      Steins;Gate obviously never lets us see whether Ruka ever grows up, but the case propels the audience’s respect and admiration for the main character. Just seeing Okabe fall silent and speak commandingly to Ruka to use that staff, was pure genius (he was going to teach Ruka by action since words failed). One can ruminate on that seen for a long time and it still rocks.

      Perhaps that is also because Ruka’s methodology is well flushed out, and ends not with a blind acceptance but rather a unbiased look at the true state discontentment leads a soul. Among other things like the unbending nature of true friendship.

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