August 20, 2005

Suzuka 7

Filed under: Futago Hime, Glass Mask, Suzuka — Ren @ 7:28 pm

After the huge rejection in the last episode, things are understandably awkward between Suzuka and Yamato this time around.

I thought the simple piano melody that played while Yamato watched Suzuka stretch and as he reflected on the incident at the amusement park was quite beautiful and appropriate.

When he expressed regret at confessing I wanted to hug him and tell him I thought he was so brave and that he did a good thing. I always think it’s better to be honest and up front about feelings rather than hide them. At least things are out in the open now, and even if he didn’t get the result that he wanted he can only move forward from here on out. At the end of the day if Suzuka is never going to be with him isn’t it better to know sooner rather than later? On the other hand, his confession might help push her in the direction of acknowledging her feelings for Yamato. If neither of them ever said anything they might dance around each other forever and it would only cause them (and us) endless frustration.

Oh, and it’s great that Saotome said something useful for a change instead of just being an annoying drunk. She motivates Yamato to keep on trying, which leads to a humourous moment where he screams at the top of his lungs that he likes Suzuka and he’ll never give up. He yells loud enough that Suzuka hears him through her window and she blushes profusely.

ps. Maybe I was a little too harsh on Suzuka last time around. Mentar is right, it’s clear she feels bad about the way she’s been treating him. But I still think she needs to work on being less mean to him.

pps. I’ve decided to drop Glass Mask and Futago Hime from my blogging list. The subs are coming out way too slow to make it worth it. (In the case of Glass Mask.. they’re just slow, and you can visit Ten-chan over at YSP:Duh! for entries up to the current episode (19) as she watches the raws. In the case of Futago Hime, it’s silly to expect one guy to be able to singlehandledly sub a 52 episode show. He’s done a great job, but he’s got a lot on his plate right now.) I’ll definately be watching if and/or when any more eps come out, but I won’t be blogging them.

July 13, 2005

Glass Mask 5

Filed under: Glass Mask — Ren @ 9:40 am


Maya practices dance and sucks horribly. In fact, in all of the practices she seems to suck horribly and gets yelled at by all of her teachers.

At her part time job Maya ends up serving a group of boys from her old school. One of them is Sakurakouji. I can’t remember if we’ve seen him before, which is sad because there’s only been four episodes before him, but methinks Maya has a little bit of a crush on this boy. Or maybe she’s just blushing because she’s not used to boys in general talking to her.

Back at school Tsukikage announces that they are going to put on a play, however the only lines any of the students will be speaking are “Yes. No. Thank you. I’m sorry.” Maya takes the sheet of words and wonders how they could possibly do a play with only these words to use.

As she continues to ponder how she can make those meager lines work, a fellow student offers some candy to her. Maya stares at the candy, and then thinks about the rain falling all around her. She then makes a connection: the word “ame” means both candy and rain. “Up until now, I’ve been using words without really thinking about them,” she realizes. But words can have many meanings, and a slight change in tone or inflection can change their meaning entirely. She then spends the evening studying words and their various meanings.

At work the next day she’s still focused on the word thing. Sakurakouji comes again and shows her a poster to a play which Ayumi will be performing in. Of course Maya wants to go, so Sakurakouhi brings her to the theatre company where Ayumi is practicing.

But as Maya attempts to watch Ayumi go through her lines she’s bombarded by reporters who want information on Tsukikage. Luckily Masumi is there and he bails her out before she’s forced to divulge any information.

Back at the school, it’s time to practice for the play. It’s also a test. One of the teachers is on stage, and each student will get a turn to perform with him. He’ll ask them questions and their challenge is to only use the list of words Tsukikage had previously provided to them. One by one students go up, and fail. Then Ayumi shows up and takes the place of the teacher on the stage.

Tsukikage chooses Maya to perform with her. It’s a hard performance, with Ayumi purposely trying to make Maya fail. But our girl comes through in the end!

The end result is that the other students in the school finally accept Maya as someone who has talent and who deserves to be at the school with them. She may suck at dancing, but she definitely doesn’t suck at acting!

Yay!! I’m so happy for Maya. It’s so horrible to have to live and work in a place where you feel unwanted and unaccepted. And though she shouldn’t have to prove anything to anyone to be liked and accepted, I’m glad that she was able to. The girl deserves some good encouraging friends, besides Tsukikage who I think is a little off her rocker. I wouldn’t want Maya spending too much time alone with her.

Well, I’m back to waiting another six weeks for the next sub to come out. Boo.


July 2, 2005

Glass Mask 4

Filed under: Glass Mask — Ren @ 10:21 am


Tsukikage-san invites Maya to join the theatre company that she has started, but her mother refuses to let her go. She’s incredibly upset, and thinks that she is only a burden to her mother and the people that she works with. She decides the only way that she can follow her dream is if she leaves the house. She runs away in the middle of the night, and lies to Tsukikage-san - telling her that her mother allowed her to come.

Maya’s mother soon finds out where she is and bursts into the school on a rampage. She tries to force Maya to come back home. Tsukikage-san hears the old hag telling Maya that she’s stupid and has “no good points”, which causes her to go on her own rampage about nurturing the talent within the poor girl. She even slaps Maya’s horrible mother in the face - huzzah!

Then Maya’s mother threatens to throw a teakettle filled with hot water at Tsukikage to get her away from Maya. She expresses disbelief that Tsukikage would go all the way to stop her from taking Maya since she’s not her real daughter and when it comes down to it anyone would protect choose themself instead of someone else. It’s a standoff! Tsukikage refuses to budge. Maya’s mother hurls the teakettle at her. Tsukikage turns to shield Maya from the scalding water and takes the kettle right in the back of the head. At this point Maya’s mother realizes that her daughter is not going home with her and she leaves the school, defeated.

Dramarific! I loved it! You can clearly see all the reasons why Maya would choose Tsukikage over her own mother. This woman, who is practically still a stranger, is at least kind to her. She lifts Maya up, insteading of tearing her down. Hurray for the scary old lady who stalks little girls in the park!

June 4, 2005

Glass Mask 3

Filed under: Glass Mask — Ren @ 10:54 am
Finally some more Glass Mask!! SD sure took their time to release this episode, but it was well worth the wait. Sometimes it’s really annoying to have to wait for subs. I’m glad I’m starting my Japanese course at the University in the fall. Someday I’ll be able to watch raws!

So we pick up at the beginning of Maya’s school play. Maya plays Vivi the fool in the stupid/comedic manner as her teacher ordered.

But then Maya suddenly switches and plays the role seriously, shocking everyone in the crowd. It’s kinda weird how Maya’s voice gets deeper when she starts acting seriously, but i can chalk that up to her doing it on purpose to suit the role. Heck, I can make my voice sound differently if I want it to.

The teacher frets in the wings, but the crowd gives a standing ovation. You would think that would be enough to praise Maya, but he just yells at her for disobeying orders. Lawd there’s a lot of stupid adults in this show. At least Maya’s classmates have brains in their heads, and they congratulate her on doing such a great job.

Maya’s mother finds out that Maya did a GREAT job and had the most AMAZING part, one to be proud of not ashamed. Stupid mother!! That’ll show her!! I really strongly dislike her mother :| hahaha, can you tell ??

After the play, Maya’s performing itch gets stronger, and she sees an advertisement for a theatrical company that’s accepting new applicants.

She goes to apply, but is overwhelmed by the number and types of entrance examinations, as well as the registration costs and monthly fee. She ends up standing outside a window for two hours watching the students of the company practice, until a security dog comes after her.

One of the students, who noticed her watching, runs out and grabs the dog’s leash (why would a security dog be running around with a leash on?) And Matsumi catches Maya when she faints.

Maya is brought inside the school and her leg is bandaged. She confesses to Matsumi that she was watching the students, and that she wants to join the company but she doesn’t have the money.

This time she’s invited to watch the students practice and even participate. The other students make fun of her for her lack of experience. Ayumi, the 13 year old famous actress, is also a student of this school, and she comes and joins the pantomime practice.

In an effort to make Maya look stupid in front of the others, a catty student suggests that Maya does a pantomime first.

Then we have some great backstory for Tsukikage-san (formerly known as the lady in black, I’m so bad with names :P ) which I won’t sum up as I got so caught up in watching it I forgot to write anything. ha. She was quite the beauty when she was younger!

One thing I will say is that Tsukikage-san owns rights to a play called The Crimson Goddess, and since she does no one else can perform it. Matsumi and his croney want the rights as it was a huge hit back in its day. They even have an actress in mind to play the lead, but Tsukikage-san reveals that she has secretly chosen an actress for the role, but they have to wait 10 years to find out who it is.

Back to the school….. Maya pantomime’s “The Escaped Bird” and gets so into it that she forgets that she’s even performing. Ayumi ends up stepping in and helping her, even though the other students just mock Maya.

As Maya is on the train on the way home, she compares herself to Ayumi and worries that she will never measure up. But I think she’s fabulous!! I wanna grab a pair of pom poms and jump be her personal cheering squad. She’s so earnest, and so passionate. I admire people who can give their all to the things they love.

May 4, 2005

Glass Mask 2

Filed under: Glass Mask — Ren @ 9:47 am
Glass Mask 2

It’s so obvious that Maya longs to be on stage. After the play is over she stays just sitting in her chair, watching the stage and daydreaming, while that weird lady in black watches her from a distance.

Unfortunately, after the escape of the play she has to return to her every day life where she feels belittled and out of place.

You know, I’d be totally weirded out if some lady came up to me like the lady in black did to Maya in the park in episode 1. I sure as heck would’ve run screaming just like Maya did. How much weirder is it to find out she ordered ramen just so you could come over, and then she has you recite lines from the play for her.. and when you try to leave she tells you not to go because she’s really come to like you @-@.. Dude. I’d so be out of there.

But of course she coerces Maya to stay by playing on Maya’s weakness - she loves to perform.

I have concluded that the lady in black is crazy and she scares me. Lol

Moving on to other things… at school Maya’s class is going to be putting on a play. It seems at least there she has some supporters as her classmates eagerly nominate Maya to be in the play.

When Maya tells her mom about the play, she initially expresses interest in seeing Maya perform, but my alarm bells went off when her mom tried to get out of going by saying she had nothing to wear. Maya finally convinces her, and asks her to bring her favourite lunch when she comes.

Maya ends up getting the role of a plain, poor girl. The lady in black tells her that this is the hardest role in the play, but “If it’s you, I think it can be done.” Even though I am glad that the woman is encouraging Maya (yeah, I realize I have to work on remembering her name lol), and her advice is true in the world of acting, I can’t help but be sad that Maya is being encouraged to “be someone else.”

“You must forget yourself…” she is told. Maybe I’m too soft hearted, but that just makes me want to jump up and hug Maya and say, “yes, while you’re acting that might help, but never forget that you are sweet and wonderful and valuable!” Haha.. maybe I should be a therapist.

Argh!! I just have to rant and rave about her mother now. With lines like this, “The number one fool of the country huh? It’s as expected. My daughter couldn’t possibly do a real role.” I want to punch her in the face!! How dare she be ashamed of Maya because she’s playing a fool in the play? It’s just a role! It doesn’t mean Maya is a fool too. It doesn’t mean Maya isn’t as good as her classmates. Support her no matter how big or small her role is!! Ugh!!

Maya is desperately seeking affirmation from her mother, and even makes a promise not to “shame”her, but of course her mom ignores all of these cries.

Taking the advice of the lady in black, Maya tries to play her character seriously, but she is reprimanded by the teacher and told to make it funnier - basically dumbing it down and making it harder for people to take Maya seriously as an actress. She gives in and does what he says. Man, hearing her say “I want to die” as if it’s a joke, so did not sit well with me.

Andddd of course her mom doesn’t show up at the play. She sends along Maya’s lunch with the boss’s daughter, who doesn’t deliver it.

As the curtain rises and the play begins, we see that the lady in black has come to see Maya’s performance.

The words, “If it is you, I think you can do it” echo in Maya’s head as the episode ends.

Final thoughts: Yay! I love this show! Bring on the drama!

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April 27, 2005

Glass Mask 1

Filed under: Glass Mask — Ren @ 10:01 am
Glass Mask follows the life of 13 year old Maya, who lost her father due to an illness and whose mother works as live in help at a restaurant. Maya also helps out at the restaurant by doing deliveries. She always seems to have her head in the clouds and often gets harshly scolded by her mother or the owner of restaurant.

Maya adores movies and the performing arts; they are her passion. Even the other workers at the restaurant comment on how much Maya loves movies. Unfortunately, as she is often distracted when walking by the theatre or when seeing a movie on television, she ends up taking too long for deliveries and is then subject to some pretty brutal critcisms by her mother and the woman who runs the restaurant.

The animation style in Glass Mask is an older style. I’m sure they’re trying to stick close to the original series but I can’t really say as I haven’t seen it.

I was really taken in by Maya’s character. She’s a sweet girl who just loves what she loves, and will do anything for her passion. Unfortunately, being in love with the entertainment business isn’t exactly something that’s practical in the eyes of those around her. I really hurt for Maya as she sat in her home and had her mother say to her that she’s basically good for nothing.

When asked why she loves movies so much, Maya responds by saying that when a movie is on she forgets everything else and she is drawn in. She even forgets herself. “I am no longer the useless person that I am.”

It’s no wonder that Maya escapes from life through movies and theatre when she is constantly put down by the boss, treatly cruelly by the boss’s daughter, and told things like “Someone like you won’t be able to have a decent life.”

How many of us have had similar experiences? Even if not spoken to us out loud, often through the actions of others we receive similar messages that we are not good enough, or that we’ll never amount to anything. How many of us have also sought escape in one form or another? How many of us have ever wished that we were someone else?

I look forward to seeing Maya’s journey as an actress. My hope for her as a character is that by the end of the series she will come to see that she doesn’t have to pretend to be someone else to be a person of worth, but that it is because she is who she is that the characters she plays come to life.

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