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The last episode of Meganebu! ends things the only way this series could: with lots and lots of glasses.
The culture festival is underway and going well, despite the typhoon the previous night. And throughout this episode, every glasses character we’ve met in the series makes an appearance (except for Koichi because, y’know, he moved on and all that). Appearances include Hikaru Soma, Takuma’s brothers, and Hayato’s brothers. Not only do all the glasses characters we’ve already met show up, but the Glasses Club actually hands out glasses to every student at the school, making every character a megane, at least for the duration of the culture festival. As each bland non-glasses student puts on a pair of glasses, they become a defined character. Megane!
In the commotion of the Glasses Club’s scavenger hunt game, though, the X-Ray Glasses Mk. 42 go missing! This is a real bummer because these are likely to be the ones that actually work. In a stroke of irony, Toru finds them and tries them on, only to be so shocked (presumably that they do work) that he drops them onto the hour hand of the giant school clock. Whoops.
We finally get to see the project the Glasses Club was working on with the Hima Council, and sure enough it’s not exactly what William had in mind. However, they made the fish banner out of the fliers about the tower that William had passed out, and William is clearly moved by that fact. He’s so moved, in fact, that he doesn’t need his stomach medicine from Lorenzo. Pretty great, right?
Getting the banner actually flying, though, requires help from literally every student at the school (and then some, with the giant pot from the cafeteria and what not). The Glasses Club, despite being the most ridiculed club at the school, manages to bring everyone together for an amazing end-of-the-festival display that everyone works together to complete, in a way. What’s really important about this scene, in my opinion, is that Toru and Akira work together to retrieve the X-Ray Glasses and then make sure the lenses reflect enough light to get the banner flying. And Akira calls him Suzuki rather than 3rd, which gets Toru forever on his good side, I’m pretty sure.
And even though the X-Ray Glasses are ruined by the end of the episode, it’s pretty clear that Akira won’t be disheartened by anything like that. Honestly, what would the Glasses Club have to focus on if not for the X-Ray Glasses?
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Meganebu! is another surprising anime for me this season. While I knew I would like it, I wasn’t expecting to like it quite as much as I have. This may be largely informed by the fact that I used to wear glasses (I now wear contacts), so I understand a lot of the occurrences in the show, a lot of the problems these adorable dorks face on a day to day basis. It also helps me understand some of the jokes that might not make sense to non-glasses-wearers.
These characters are incredibly deep, despite how one-dimensional they may seem at first. As the series goes on, each of the Glasses Club members gets a little bit of backstory here and there in order to contextualize their relationship to their own glasses and to their friends in the club. Apart from that, they’re also very accepting characters; despite the fact that Akira seems to be constantly putting down non-glasses-wearers, he does try to take their feelings into account at certain times. And despite the flack Hayato constantly catches for wearing fake glasses, the club keeps him around and even relies heavily on him in the last episode to get the banner flying.
The art style definitely fits the upbeat mood of the series. It’s very abstract and postmodern throughout, with the inclusion of manga-esque cutaways and transitions, occasional minimalist transitions, and a seemingly finished-yet-unfinished look at times. The art style definitely helps to set the mood, as everything is bright and colorful when things are going well for the Glasses Club, but dark and gloomy when something unfortunate happens. I find the treatment of the non-glasses characters to be very interesting; it definitely steers our attention away from the non-glasses characters and toward the characters with glasses, except perhaps in the case of the Hima Council members.
The music is also very fitting of the themes of Meganebu! The OP and ED songs are upbeat and catchy. This is one of the few anime that makes me want to listen to the OP and ED songs through every episode. Also, the little transitional musical segments during the halfway mark (“We are Meganebu!” and “All you need is M-E-G-A-N-E!” for example) seem like they could be sung almost every day by the boys of the Glasses Club, definitely helping to fit the mood. The OST throughout the series sets the tone, as well, being upbeat and fanfare-filled during the good times, suspenseful at others (like during the typhoon), but mostly comedic and dorky like the Glasses Club boys.
Obviously, this series isn’t for everyone. It might be difficult for someone who doesn’t wear glasses to understand some of the jokes, or understand the situations these boys find themselves in. The pure comedic aspects of this series might also be off-putting to some people. There isn’t much of a plot to Meganebu! until the last few episodes, unless you count the Glasses Club’s desire to create X-Ray Glasses. However, in the case of this series, the lack of a deep plot doesn’t detract from the show at all; in fact, I think a deep plot would hurt this series.
Overall, I think Meganebu! is a great comedy that has its educational moments that open up the mysterious (or not so mysterious) world of glasses-wearers. I'm going to miss these dorky megane.
Meganebu! Episode 12 End Cards
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