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Anime: Glass No Kamen (2005) : Episode 2
Monday, September 26, 2005
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Having enjoyed the first episode of Glass No Kamen (Glass Mask) a while ago, I felt it was high time I made a return to the series and took in another episode. Glass No Kamen 2005 is in itself a remake of a 1984 anime which, in turn is based on a critically acclaimed 1970's manga series. It follows the life of a young girl named Maya from when a reclusive old actress named Tsukikage takes an interest in her acting abilities.

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Tsukikage is impressed by what she has seen of Maya and tricks her into coming to her home in order to see her act. To her amazement Maya (who gladly obliges) has memorized the entire three and a half hour script to a play she has only seen once as well as the actors/actresses movements. Maya also gets a role in the school play but is cast as the fool (a character to be laughed at). Maya's mother back at the restaurant sees this as a let down because she finds it humiliating Maya will be made fun of (this is clearly a recipe for drama, as you can sense that her mother will not go to see her performance as she originally promises). What's also interesting here is we have Tsukikage giving Maya her first piece of acting advice and encouraging her to "wear the mask of the character". Its all rather cliched and dramatic talk, but it is part of what makes the episode (and indeed the series) so appealing.

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After this episode I realized one of the things I like most about this series, is it's really a delight to see Maya act. The character has real life to her as soon as she starts performing and I love the raw enthusiasm behind her. It is wonderful to see a character so involved in what they love. Maya's voice actress should also be credited with the melodramatic changes in voice when Maya switches from persona to persona as she acts, it all adds to the show well. I certainly look forward to seeing more, especially the actual school play unfold, next episode.

Episode Score: 8/10
This is a pure shoujo drama, and teaches a lot of other shows how drama itself should be done.
posted by Mangaminx On Monday, September 26, 2005  
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