This episode, ‘Limited Lines,’ is really good. Like really really good. And this article is mostly gushing about it. Don’t you love gushing about your favorite shows?
Review of Glass Mask Episode 5 ‘Limited Lines’
I have to outright say it now: This is probably my favorite episode in the entire series. A couple of important things happen here, plotlines are introduced, an epic battle takes place, and a rivalry is officially formed.
The episode starts with Maya’s inability to dance, followed by her being a bit of a smart-ass, “You never said it had to hurt.” “You didn’t explicitly say to laugh out loud.” Maya never actually said this, but it’s clear that’s what she implied, backed up by how Taiko and Tsukikage react to Maya’s reactions. “She’s scary.”
The big moment of this episode though was found in the second half with the limited lines exercise. I quite enjoy the montage towards the beginning showing two students fail.
Notice both actors broke character when a comment is made about their physical appearance. First the boy with ‘something on his jacket’, and the girl whose beauty was commented on. If you’ve ever been on stage than it’s pretty clear why this happened. When on stage with people watching, you feel nervous and self-conscious, no matter how long you’ve been on stage (Lack of stage fright is really just the ability to overcome this). These two students haven’t overcome this fully, so as soon as their physical appearance was referenced they broke character. Ultimately, both students are unprepared for the stage.
But big moment was definitely with Maya and Ayumi battling it out on stage! I have a bit of spoilery analysis found below, so this spot will be dedicated to raving about how amazing this scene is. I mean, come on! It’s so great! They go for an hour straight! That’s crazy! The last moment doesn’t translate super well, because the word ‘Hai’ is far more than just ‘Yes’ in Japanese, but Glass Mask did such an amazing job making picking out a CD feel epic.
At the end of the episode we see Ayumi finally accept her rivalry with Maya. We all knew it was coming, the narrator told us so. But Ayumi knew as well, the way she’s acted around Maya proves this. In episode three she defends Maya’s abilities, in this episode she helps Maya (spoilery explanation below), and she came specifically to see Maya here. Ayumi subconsciously knew of this rivalry, but only accepted it now.
Before moving on to the spoilers section I’d like to make note of the last line of this episode. “Surrounded by the searing flames of war.” Come on, this is theater acting Mr. Narrator, not war. Just a little over dramatic.
A huge development found in this episode is the introduction of the Purple Rose! Fans will know the importance of the Purple Rose, but this episode suggested another meaning as well.
The Purple Rose was described by the flower lady as basically the closest breeders got to a blue rose. The Purple Rose has an air of, “Good enough.” “Not what I wanted, but it’ll do.” Hayami mentions he knows what that’s like, because also is “Not what I wanted, but will do.” Hayami and his father have a distant relationship, Hayami isn’t his father’s ‘real’ son, but works hard to achieve ‘Good enough.’ Hayami sees himself in the Purple Rose.
This episode shows us another example of Ayumi helping out Maya. If Ayumi wasn’t involved I am 100% certain Maya would have taken a lot longer to get popular, if at all. Ayumi does this even now, before she truly accepted her rivalry with Maya. “So that means that you might one day play the Scarlet Angel too.” Ayumi clearly did this to boost Maya. She obviously raised her voice when saying that too. It may seem destructive now, Hayami had to save Maya, but it will be beneficial when Maya begins acting for real.
Speaking of Hayami saving Maya this episode he protects her by kicking her out. A classic example of the flawed hero Hayami will become. Protecting Maya by playing the bad guy.
Back on stage, I noticed something really interesting while Maya and Ayumi were ducking it out. Every time these two meet on stage and directly compete with each other, Maya is at a disadvantage. Here she only has four lines (or should I say… Limited Lines??!?! Get it?), in the competition her troupe is gone, on stage she got the wrong script, while on TV some one is trying to kill her. Yet the results are pretty close, probably proof that Maya is better.
The only time this isn’t the case is at the end when they are both practicing for the role of The Scarlet Angel. This is also when Ayumi becomes so distressed regarding Maya’s talent she contemplates killing her.
Glass Mask Episode 5 ‘Limited Lines’ is another fantastic entry in the Glass Mask series, it’s just perfect. There is a clear reason why it’s one of the standout episodes within the entire series. But what did YOU think about it? Do you love it as much as I do? Are you going to keep watching? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to watch the next episode on Crunchyroll.com