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[Glass Maiden]
AKA: クリスタル ブレイズ (Crystal Blaze)
Genre: Sci-Fi Action
Length: Television series, 12 episodes, 24 minutes minutes each
Distributor: Currently licensed by Maiden Japan.
Content Rating: 13+ (general violence, inexplicit nudity and death)
Related Series: None.
Also Recommended: Noir, Canaan, Cowboy Bebop
Notes: None.
Rating: Two StarsTwo Stars

Glass Maiden

Synopsis

Shu's a detective: the brooding, enigmatic type with an eye for the ladies. Together with his little brother Akira and "the girls" Manami and Ayaka he runs an investigative agency that takes on the odd case here and there. Okay, odder than usual, given that their main broker is a cross-dresser and their closest associates a doctor with a "thing" about cosplay. Then the oddest case of all comes through: a "package" intended for "delivery" that turns out to be a lot more trouble than expected: a mysterious amnesiac woman on the run from a secret organisation.


Review

As per usual, the hardest animé out there to review are the ones that are so utterly generic and shallow that saying "it's alright" feels like wasting syllables. Glass Maiden is not bad, particularly obnoxious or spectacularly terrible in any real way but it is utterly devoid of a stand-out merit, it's a show that feels like it is chasing mediocrity as some sort of pass mark, as if being 'alright' was a worthy goal rather than a safety net that more ambitious shows fall into. In respect to that, I will start with my conclusion and save you THEM readers the necessity of continuing on: there is no reason to watch Glass Maiden.

For those of you still reading, here are my reasons. In terms of plot, Glass Maiden is safe. The brooding hero stumbles across a conspiracy, meets a girl and then defends her from the villains pursuing her. Don't expect even a hint of deviation. Does the girl have special powers? Of course she does. Does the hero have a cadre of inexplicably useless comic relief characters? You bet. Does the girl soften the hero's cold, wounded, brooding heart? I think you can guess that one.

Characters, themselves, range from bland to irritating. Despite being a detective, the hero can't seem to find a personality and this is true for most of the characters. Sara (the girl they rescue), the doctor, his nurse, the hero's younger brother as well as the hero have as much flavour to them as PVA glue and worst of all the few characters who display anything other than a casual acceptance for their preconceived roles do it by being mildly annoying. Manami is the main perpetrator of this, constantly shouting loudly and running off into danger to prove "she's not a kid". That said, she is still one of my favourite characters in the show - a bad, cliched personality is better than none at all.

Aesthetically speaking, the show isn't much good either. The character designs aren't bad but the artwork as a whole is stale and lifeless, the animation is barely adequate and the music sounds like it belongs in a pretentious elevator. I think the show was trying to be cool but it's a bit like an under cooked pie - flaky around the edges but cold and soggy in the middle.

With that though, the show is never achingly terrible. The characters fill their roles, the action isn't yawn inducing and the pacing is adequate for the rather shallow story. However, the simple damning fact is that there are a wealth of shows out there that do what Glass Maiden does well and do it better (three can found in the recommendations box alone) so as I said before and will say again: there is no reason to watch Glass Maiden. Watch something else.

Despite my dismissive tone, I don't hate the show - I found the majority of the content is passable - but the show really doesn't have a reason to exist. I recommend looking elsewhere.Aiden Foote

Recommended Audience: This should be fine for teenagers. There is only inexplicit nudity; there is very little blood overall and, excluding a very butch transvestite and the kinky doctor and nurse, there isn't much that is even potentially offensive outside of the violence (unless Manami's voice counts).



Version(s) Viewed: Digital source.
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Glass Maiden © 2008 Glass Maiden Production Committee
 
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