GoHands does it again (unironically).
In way, the furor over the premiere of The Girl I Like Forgot Her Glasses (hereafter, SukiMega) has been refreshing. The episode has divided opinion—perhaps a generous characterization of the situation on my part—and it feels in a way like the anime-watching public has returned, if only for a time, to a long-forgotten era when we actually discoursed on anime. Unfortunately, though, the reality of the current internet is that a huge amount of people are so obsessed with clout, farming impressions, and generally keeping up the grift that they’re willing to hate on just about anything.
In this context, studio GoHands’ latest offering is the lowest of low-hanging fruit.
Fair or not (definitely fair), GoHands has gained a pretty infamous reputation over the past decade or so due to the specific aesthetic style they bring to any project they touch. Much like SHAFT was once synonymous with a specific kind of look, so GoHands is known for their wild colors, gyrating 3D cuts, and distinctive use of CGI. There’s a clear vision for how things should look at the studio, something I personally find admirable even if their efforts have largely gone unappreciated (to put it lightly). To put it less euphemistically, people love to hate on GoHands shows.
And this brings us to today, a few days after the premiere of SukiMega. Unsurprisingly, the day of the episode’s debut, there were threads on Twitter and Bluesky alike of people assessing the show, frequently in ungenerous terms. I say this not to complain about people saying their opinions, which is something that simply cannot be stopped (regrettably, at times) or disliking SukiMega, but to ask us all to consider a world where people delight in stringing things, and sometimes people, up for public humiliation on social media. On one hand, yes, it’s harmless fun to dunk on a show that people think looks egregiously bad; on the other hand, what a deeply myopic and depressing way of engaging with art.
Of all the things you could accuse SukiMega of, a lack of imagination is certainly not one of them. I would watch 1000 episodes of GoHands’ camera acrobatics, color filters, and elevator music made to the standards of SukiMega‘s premiere simply because it is trying to do something. There is intent, desire, and creativity here that is plain to see by anyone who is willing to watch it without taking the cynical, lazy, joyless path of posting up the premiere’s insane long cut of Komura walking into school and going “lmao thing bad.” If you are a person doing that, you have the right to do so. You have committed no moral or ethical wrong. But you are also far less interesting to me than an anime titled The Girl I Like Forgot Her Glasses that features a girl with screensavers in her eyes.
The rant section of this post has now concluded.
Moving forward, I want to reiterate I am not necessarily defending the actual result of GoHands’ ongoing quest to actualize the purest form of the visual aesthetic they started pursuing thirteen years ago with Mardock Scramble. I personally don’t find the cinematography, colors, and such to be as grating as others clearly do, but I understand where the criticism comes from. I’m simply here to note that maybe we, as a society, could dig a little bit deeper when it comes to our discourse. After all, there are plenty of other things that could be said about GoHands.
Thanks, Bluesky user yuyucow.
But adjacent to the topic of lazy criticism is a discussion on everything else that makes up SukiMega. If you were to only see people trashing its aesthetics, you might never watch and discover the fact that SukiMega is actually very funny.
The premise of the show is that Mie, the titular girl who forgot her glasses, forgets to wear her glasses to school one day. Komura, who sits next to her, has a major crush on Mie, and benefits from her inability to see because her need for help serves as an unexpected impetus for the two of them to begin interacting. He helps her identify the correct textbook for history glass, then lets her sit next to him so she can read it, then gives the book to her since she has to literally stuff her face into its pages to see the text. A labored way to kick-start the romance, yes, but there’s the degree of seriousness with which the show takes its absurd premise makes it profoundly comedic.
There are also actual jokes (a few have been panned for unneeded visual complexity but I find that the overwrought presentation is amusing in its own right), some of which, like Komura declaring he’ll guard Mie during dodgeball only to immediately get thrown out, have genuinely crisp comedic timing. I also liked the deadpan way the teacher accepts Komura’s explanation that Mie is just completely facedown on the desk, unresponsive, because she’s engrossed in reading her textbook. Watch that delivery and tell me the show doesn’t know what it’s doing.
But ultimately the highest level of comedy present is just the absurdity of much of what happens. Mie can’t see the face of someone she’s almost kissing, but she can get to school just fine (it’s okay, she lives close). There is a frog sitting on Mie’s shoes in her locker; no explanation given. Komura monologues about how he’s envious of his own shoes, which Mie mistakenly put on. Half-asleep, Mie mistakes him for her father (what!?). The show is deeply stupid, and thus deeply funny.
And this leads to my final point, which those of you who have followed me will not be surprised to read: Whatever your thoughts about SukiMega‘s visuals, there’s plenty in this show to find to be entertained, amused, and enlivened by. For people willing to put aside the cynicism, the easy hate, the blind echoing of the perennial cry of outrage against studio GoHands, SukiMega spreads a feast of things to enjoy. Just as it’s no crime to dislike SukiMega‘s style; it is, in parallel, no crime for the show to look the way it does. The way it looks is neither offensive nor problematic nor mean-spirited. Sure, you could decide to hate it anyways, but why take that path?
In the legendary words of AKB0048‘s Mimori Kishida: “Liking things… It’s always better to have more love.”
Personally, I’d rather be a person who finds reasons to have more love and find more joy in the things I watch. What about you?
Note: Even after all this, I’m still not here to tell you to watch SukiMega or that if you watch it and dislike it, you’re wrong. I think plenty of people will probably not enjoy the content of the show. So if you’ve seen it and have a take besides “GoHands visuals LUL,” I’m interested to hear what you have to say about it!