Perhaps it’s because this season has been terrible so far. Perhaps it’s because I watched this after the trio of Ace of Diamond, Walkure Romanze and that pornographic girls wrestling anime. Perhaps it’s because I was actually gay all along and what I needed was my very specific fetish of men in glasses standing in front of polka dotted skies to be pandered to in order to step out of the closest. Whatever the reason, I really quite enjoyed Glasses Club. Or as the background music calls it ME~GA~NE~BUU UUUUU.
I think the primary reason is the style. It’s Shaft by means of Trapeze and Baka to Test, and it’s a style I’ve always liked. It’s a style many people track back to Osamu Dezaki. Both Akiyuki Shinbo, the Shaft guy, and Kunihiko Ikuhara, the Utena and Penguindrum director, say Dezaki’s style had a huge influence on the way they direct. The difference with Shinbo and Ikuhara is they play with spacial features and colour that plays with the idea that this is even existing in reality. It’s an idea I’ve always liked because it allows you to play with the setting and make it more visually striking to highlight different parts of the screen. Animation is not live-action, and the more directors that realise this and play with what animation can achieve, the better off we are.
Not that Glasses Club uses this directing style to its full effect because to do that you would need to have a story. Or themes. Or anything beyond a bunch of guys just fucking about. The directing style gives the series this great flow to events. It allows punchlines to be snappy and move the narrative along without making the flow feel awkward. The staff are fairly obviously not working under much of a budget since there’s limited movement on display. But based on first episode alone this was already 50 times more visually entertaining and striking than Free ever was. Also these guys, unlike the guys in Free, actually have nipples. I know, real nipples. On their chests. Phwoar!
Content-wise, Glasses Club is stupid. It does know it’s stupid and plays to the jokes without even the slightest attempts at bringing in drama, which means it does work. Its jokes do work a surprisingly large amount of the time. Between the mecha glasses dream, stripping to get more streamlined, and cream puffs talking about how awkward it is ordering for cream puffs in English to delay the optician, it made me grin without necessarily making the laugh. It has no weight or satire to the humour the same way things like Watamote or Daily Lives of Highschool Boys has, which means I can’t see its appeal lasting much longer. But for what it’s worth, I would love to see more anime from this director. Between her and the new guy who directed Sankarea, Studio Deen suddenly have some talented staff. What is the world coming to.