High school student Shuuichi tries to hide his newfound ability to change into a strange wolf-like creature but his younger schoolmate Clair discovers his secret.
Episode 1 – “Something Inside of Me”
Gleipnir, the anime adaptation of the manga from PINE JAM studio, uses an object from Norse mythology in its title and the main character Shuuichi turns into a cartoonish wolf mascot costume. The question that arises is “who is going to wear him?” Thankfully, Gleipnir‘s plot moves along briskly, so it answers that question by the end of the first episode.
According to Norse legend, Gleipnir is the unbreakable magical chain forged by the dwarfs from six impossible things to keep Fenrir the unstoppable wolf from devouring the world until the world-ending events of Ragnarok. Because I saw a wolf costume, I’m now ready to look for any clues or allusions to other Norse gods or myths for plot development hints. The first episode did a good job of drawing me in.
The first few scenes of Gleipnir concerned me with how it revealed Shuuichi’s character. I prefer interesting characters to carry a serial story instead of having interesting things happen to timid, boring people who only react. Shuuichi looks like he has many friends, a shy girl who likes him, and his homeroom class doesn’t treat him like a social misfit. But he’s acting like one. He’s apprehensive and withdrawn. This got on my nerves, but I’m glad I stuck with it because I saw that this is a recent thing for Shuuichi. Good. Gleipnir aims to tell its story like a mystery, so the audience will have to be patient until the action starts.
The other thing I appreciated is how Gleipnir is going to intertwine teenage sexuality with the supernatural. Clair, taking on the role of the enigmatic love interest, will wrap Shuuichi around her little finger while flashing her panties any chance she gets. The American horror genre uses puberty and overt sexuality as themes, linking Nature to uncontrollable urges or having movie monsters punish sexually permissive teens. You can see this happen in King Kong or in the Friday the 13th horror movies. Gleipnir has a monster and a sexy girl, therefore I expect to see many of the same horror film plot devices. Fenrir in Norse mythology had an insatiable appetite, but I suspect Shuuichi’s hunger isn’t for a good steak.
Gleipnir’s prologue has staticky flashbacks with a star token, a Hotel “Mythos,” and a vending machine with a beautiful blonde boy coming out of it. Intriguing!
The opening credits make it plain that Clair “wears” Shuuichi like a mascot costume. Also, other girls will be flashing us, not just Clair.
Shuuichi seems smart, but he’s giving up a recommendation to go to college. What looks like self-doubt about moving on from high school must be about that monster costume thing. I saw Gleipnir‘s opening credits. The kid has problems. Aw. Nana, the cute girl with the eyebrows, has a thing for Shuuichi.
Nice sound editing to go with Shuuichi picking up a scent. I heard a wolf howl. He can smell death. The hot blonde girl from the opening credits has problems too. And panty flash. This is going to happen a lot in Gleipnir, isn’t it? Nana’s mom was happy about her getting a college recommendation. Will there be a lot of dog imagery in Gleipnir too? Aw. Shuuichi buried the dead raccoon dog. He cares about things.
Whatever happened to him gave him a perfect vision, a keen sense of smell, and he turns into a wolf costume with special attack powers. It sounds like anime!
Uh oh. That hot girl is showing her bra and is in hot trouble! Ha! Shuuichi actually said, “there’s a beast inside me!” He’s a little old for the horror-puberty allegory. Maybe he’s a late bloomer. Hurry up, man! You’ve got to save those wonderful breasts from burning! Wow. He really does look like a yuru-chara version of a Frankenstein’s Wolf. Shuuichi thinks it’s a dog, but with an anime title like Gleipnir, that’s got to be Fenrir the mythical wolf. He moves around like he’s in a mascot costume. He’s no overgrown plushie. He smashed through a brick wall!
He saved the girl, and then he got hungry! Can’t really blame him. He’s a monster wolf on the prowl! That girl is so sexy, she smells like sex. A horny teenage boy only smells sex anyway… Whoa! He was about to do… something! Coward. Remember to get consent, kiddoes. Gleipnir is fiction.
Woof. That transformation back to his normal self is viscerally plastic. I like it. Oops! She was awake for the whole thing! Bah. Shuuichi conveniently dropped his phone. Convenient for the plot.
Shuuichi worried the cops would find his phone, but the smells-like-teen-sex girl took it! Cute freckles. She doesn’t seem surprised to see Shuuichi’s Yuru-Wolfie roaming around.
Gleipnir pushes adolescent sexuality right in your face with the girls’ gym swimsuits. Fetishizing smells. Nice, nice. As expected for a wolf character. This mysterious girl is smart enough to keep Shuuichi’s phone with her. She’s a big tease too. I like her.
Uh, dude. She’s going to test you by pushing you off the ledge. Be more suspicious. Duh. She kicked him off the building. This is Gleipnir! Ahem. I’ll refrain from more 300 references. This is also good. Shuuichi is still learning how to use his powers so he barely transformed in time to save himself, and still only in his partially plastic state.
Oops! Nana the eyebrow girl just saw a wolf mascot jump onto the roof! We’ll just file that tidbit away for later. Oh boy, no has ever physically hit on Shuuichi before and he can’t handle it. I wonder if this sexy girl has actual experience or is simply good at playing psychological games. She’s making that yuru-chara blush! Blackmail and secrets, the foundation of any healthy relationship…
Shuuichi claims his powers came out of nowhere one day, but I think he just forgot a traumatic moment. Clair appears to know about these “monsters.” Oh, right. Here’s Clair Aoki’s formal introduction in Gleipnir. Har. She’s well developed for being two years younger than Shuuichi. Ah. Clair has a star token. That’s important.
Oof. Clair’s a messy girl. This is normal, Shuuichi. Oho. It’s green day for Clair. Gleipnir mixes humor and sexiness nicely for this scene. Shuuichi is a pure, pure boy. This scene is hard for him, I mean, he’s having a hard time, uh, Shuuichi needs to calm down.
Well. Clair claims she tried to commit suicide. Because no one believed her stories of monsters? Not buying it. Whoa! Here come Gleipnir’s thrills and action! Can Clair sense other monsters? Ouch. That’s one way to make Shuuichi “calm down.” This hoodie girl knows about the star token. Eek! Hoodie girl wasn’t expecting that. Ah. She’s a monster too. Nice cliffhanger.
Gleipnir’s end credits are moody. Next time, I think Shuuichi is going to open up to Clair. Like, literally.
Gleipnir is currently streaming in North America through Funimation.