Glass Mask

An Anime Review by Super Searcher

Glass Mask is an anime about a teenage girl named Maya Kitajima, who dreams of becoming a stage actress. This dream gets her into a lot of trouble at her job as a cafe delivery person, and nobody believes she’s capable of doing anything right. But one day after performing a small sketch for some local kids, a mysterious woman named Chigusa Tsukikage happens by and sees Maya’s acting. Chigusa quickly realizes Maya’s un-natural talent, and does everything in her power to take Maya under her wing at her acting school.

Maya’s passion for acting is all-consuming, to the point where in her mind she literally becomes the character she is portraying. Eventually the number one acting prodigy Ayumi Himekawa takes notice of Maya’s talents, and fears Maya becoming her biggest rival. Most of the story and plot revolves around Maya, and her slow climb into the spotlight. Through trials, hardships, and betrayals, Maya is determined to become the best actress in Japan. The anime has two seasons, and I’ve only just finished the first season. But I must say I’ve not felt so gripped by an anime (or any show) in a long time. Maya’s rise to stardom is full of tense drama and touching moments along the way.

The characters and their development are outstanding. Maya is a quirky, innocent, naive girl who doesn’t know what’s in store for her. But as the show progresses, she not only grows older, but wiser, and starts to understand her talents, and her peers’ jealousy of her talents. Ayumi is a good rival, fair, level headed, shrewd, and already has much experience in acting. Chigusa Tsukikage is a mysterious older woman who used to be a super star for her role in “The Scarlet Angel.” However, due to an accident she had to quit before she was ready to. Now she is trying desperately to teach Maya everything she knows about acting, and at any cost. There are some other interesting characters such as Masumi Hayami, a big-business man who runs Daito Entertainment. He’s smart, cunning, and somewhat ruthless. But he develops a soft spot for Maya, which she hardly notices.

The plot line is very well done, although I thought things were starting to get a bit too crazy by the end of the first season. I’m hoping the next season will answer a lot of my questions, and wrap up everything with a good finale. I had not heard of this anime before last month. But it’s already creeping up into my top-10 anime that I’ve seen. This anime is based on an older anime that was released in 1984, which itself was based on a manga series. I’ve not watched that one, so I can’t say anything about it.

I highly recommend this anime to anyone who has or has had interest in theater. It shows all the intense training that goes on behind the scenes, and the actors do a very good job putting on a play inside of the anime. They perform excerpts from “Little Women,” “Takekurabe,“ “Gina and the Five Blue Jars,“ ”Wuthering Heights,” “The Stone’s Smile” (in which Maya plays the role of a doll), and “The Miracle Worker” (in which Maya plays deaf-blind Helen Keller). Every episode has unexpected challenges for Maya to overcome, and you can’t help but cheer for Maya in her quest to become a successful actress.

Watch Glass Mask Season 1 on Amazon or Crunchyroll

Buy Glass Mask: Collection 1 on Amazon

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