The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Megane na Kanojo

Title: Megane na Kanojo
Genre: Drama
Company: AIC
Format: 4 OVA
Date: 25 Nov 2010

Synopsis: Asou Kana is a spirited member of a high school literature club with a certain fetish. Ichinohe Aya is a famous J-pop idol who yearns to have some peace and quiet every now and then. Kimura Mitsuki is a meek girl who feels that her relationship with her boyfriend lacks romance. Kuramoto Chiaki is a composed girl who turned over a new leaf since graduating from middle school. This is a collection of four separate short stories involving four unrelated girls who have something in common: all of them wear glasses.

The Highlights
Concept: Interesting use of the glasses; not a mere gimmick.
Story: Well-written but could have been expanded further.
Characters: Nice interaction and chemistry, but nothing special as individuals.
Artwork: Subtle and gentle, like watching a dream.
Hanazawa Kana: She just can’t go wrong with the way she embodies her characters at all.

Glasses are one of the most commonly seen objects in daily life, and there’s nothing particularly special or even remotely interesting about them. As a bespectacled person, I personally find it a flattering inconvenience that is more of a hassle than anything else. That is, until this quirky show illustrates how such a simple and ubiquitous object has several uses to different people. It is a light-hearted drama done well when it competently uses an object as the centerpiece to the development of storylines. The premises are pretty straightforward: these are short, unconnected stories about four girls who wear glasses for different reasons, and how their glasses play a role in the interaction between the girls and the people around them. It’s a question of how well-executed the stories are, and it’s pleasant to see that the stories, though very short, are coherently written and the characters’ personalities influence how each story plays out.

Glasses are used as the motif for each story, exploring how they are used for different reasons to each girl, and what kind of effect they have on the surrounding people. The concept is hardly groundbreaking but its coherent narrative revolving around the motif makes this show delightful to watch. The characters, though nothing special per se, are likable and their respective interactions, be it with a fellow club member or a new squeeze, are adequately interesting. In particular, the character change of the female lead of the fourth story grabbed my interest and seiyuu Hanazawa Kana puts up yet another worthy performance to showcase her versatility in the character.

But while watching Megane na Kanojo, I can’t help but wonder if this show could have been a lot better than it is. Each short story barely reaches fifteen minutes and they feel rather incomplete. This is not to say that the stories are half-baked; however, it just feels that they deserve to be longer in duration so that the potential for further story and character development can be realized. There’s so much more that this show can offer than just light-hearted drama stories. I can even see this as a full 13-episode series, as there’s so much more room for it to be a more comprehensive series of tales of young romance.

Although Megane na Kanojo doesn’t capitalize on its chance to be something better, I would give this show credit for knowing how to narrate delightful stories through the eyes (or more appropriately, lenses) of four individual girls. The glasses is not merely used as a gimmick; they serve their purpose throughout the show well. No matter what role they have – be it an object of different perspectives, an instrument for disguise from the public eye, a symbolism of connection between two people, or the unchanging factor after a personality makeover – Megane na Kanojo has done fairly well in using them as a main trigger for each story. I just wish that this show has taken a step further and become something even more.

The Rating: 6
6/10

Reviewed by: AC

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