Phoenix512's Anime Blog

Spoilers will abound along with opinions of love and hate of anime.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Glass Mask (1984) Review

Glass Mask is about a girl name Maya Kitajima who works at a Ramen restaurant with her mother as a delivery girl. Maya's passion is the theater but her mother considers her dream as a waste of time. One of her workers made a deal with Maya that she needs to deliver all of the ramen on New Year's Eve to get a ticket for a play. Maya manages to deliver them all but the worker decides to throw the ticket in a pond. She dives out to get the ticket in the freezing water and does. She goes to the play and was noticed by Chigusa Tsukikage, a former actress who holds the rights to the Crimson Goddess. Tsukikage realizes Maya's potential as an actress and has her enroll in her theater group.

From reading some of the manga, the 1984 series does take some of the parts from the original manga but it still maintains the spirit of the original manga. It's not so much the setting, plot, or even the character designs that makes this series so great but it's the characters themselves. Maya is an interesting character from her interactions with the other characters. Take her rival for instance, Ayumi who they think that they beat each other for each battle they have. This relationship is even more interesting to the point where they don't see their own performances if they are playing as the same character. Probably the most relationship I ever seen an anime is the relationship of Maya and Hayami Masumi where they have a dual relationship. Hayami Masumi is Maya's number one fan, Mr. Purple Rose which she loves to death but when he's not Mr. Purple Rose, he is Maya's number one enemy. Its relationships like these that makes Glass Mask so interesting. The series ended at a decent point but since the manga wasn't finished (and still ongoing), the true story isn't finished yet.

I don't think I seen such great characters since Hikaru no Go but in all fairness, Glass Mask came 20 years earlier. In a way, Hikaru no Go should give its props to Glass Mask. Ignore the 70s artwork and animation and just allow yourself to enjoy the story and the characters of the Glass Mask or watch the 2005 remake as it follows the manga more closely than the 1984 version did. I'll give this series a 5 out of 5.

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