As the violent stranger desperately pursues Clair for her Star Coin, Clair uncovers a powerful aspect of Shuuichi’s wolf costume.
Episode 2 – “What It Means to Be Empty”
Gleipnir’s animation continues its high quality, showing a brutal fight between the Hoodie Girl and the tag team of Clair and Shuuichi. That was good. However, I found it hard to root for anyone, wishing except for Shuuichi to find a way to end the fight without one side dying. Shuuichi isn’t that kind of hero and Gleipnir is not that kind of story. This struggle over the Star Coins looks more like a turf war between drug dealers. If you’ve ever read the entertaining subreddit r/AITA (Am I The Asshole) on Reddit’s website, you usually can decide quickly if the post author is NTA (Not the Asshole) or YTA (You’re the Asshole). But sometimes you find a terrible situation where things become more terrible because of all the terrible people in it. The fight between Hikawa the Hoodie Girl and Clair and Shuuichi was the Reddit version of ESH (Everyone Sucks Here).
I didn’t like Hikawa because she was a doper and a cheat at track and field, and she was willing to kill for another coin to change herself back. She was just a terrible person. Perhaps the audience was supposed to sympathize with her desperate situation of wanting to regain her place on the track team, but her personality made that impossible. Instead, Gleipnir just supplied us with the motive for her crimes. On the other side of the fight, Clair justified her actions as self-defense, which was true up until she disfigured Hikawa’s leg in an impromptu torture interrogation. Then came the execution. I can see the calculations she made because of how Hikawa did not seem to be the type to give up stalking and killing them, but a noble hero might have found a different solution. There’s a lot of desperation and lack of choices in everyone’s actions so far.
Then there’s Shuuichi. The quick brush of characterization Gleipnir gave him in the first episode was that he was a nice boy who cares about dead animals and he doesn’t want to see Clair kill herself. However, he looks like he’s never been through any adversity or had to stand up for himself in a confusing situation. Hard times test and build a person’s character and Shuuichi is going to be one of those poor guys who will let a woman take advantage of him. He literally let Clair wrap his entire body around her. That’s not even a metaphor anymore.
One last thing that struck me about Gleipnir’s overall story about the Star Coins and the Beautiful Blonde Boy popping out of the vending machine was how he grants wishes like W. W. Jacobs’ story of The Monkey’s Paw. The funniest version of the classic horror tale comes from one of The Simpsons’ Halloween specials. The shriveled monkey’s paw grants three wishes, but it also serves up curses and unintended consequences. Homer, after living through the events of the first two wishes, tries to get a simple wish that can’t have any terrible side effects: a turkey sandwich. The punchline, of course, is that the turkey sandwich was too dry. It was too dry! So, this Beautiful Blonde Boy is the monkey’s paw of Gleipnir, but it’s too soon to see if he’s just being naïve or if the powers he grants as wish fulfillment purposely cause harmful side effects.
The perspective of Gleipnir is odd. It’s selectively third person omniscient. Why do we have to know about Hoodie Girl’s circumstances? Is she going to be a main character? Cats like her, so she must be a good person, right? And then she found that Star Coin. Accidentally. And she heard about that weird vending machine. Accidentally. Lots of accidents in this show. And panty shots. Lots of panty shots in this show.
Hikawa is Hoodie Girl’s name and sucking at track and field is her game. Beautiful Blonde Boy seems like the kind of gacha another anime genre would appreciate. So, BBB doped her legs, but it came at the price of transforming them into monster feet. He’s a monkey paw! As an endurance athlete, I hate her. Doping and cheating? No, we’re not supposed to like Hoodie Girl.
Ah, really? She overheard Clair talking to Shuuichi about her Star Coin while she was looking for another one? Oh, Gleipnir. Thanks for letting me know that I don’t have to take your narrative skills seriously. Thanks for the short skirt and panty flash, though. And now we’ve caught up to the monster fight.
Nice. Clair has pepper spray. Run away! Okay, let’s hear what Clair knows about this Star Coin. Why is Shuuichi so concerned about others discovering he’s a monster? Why is he so paranoid about alien dissection? Oh. Clair is going to do the dissection with that convenient zipper on his back. He is a mascot costume, after all.
Gross. He’s a mascot costume made of meat. He’s not the “pilot” like in Attack on Titan. Clair will be his pilot and satisfy your pegging fetish… I suspect Shuuichi won’t get the chance to reciprocate entering Clair’s warm innards in Gleipnir any time soon. “Wait, be gentle!” Ohohoho! Shuuichi lost his V-Card in a storage container yard. Classy. Yes, it’s an obvious allusion to hentai. I can’t stop giggling.
Okay, this is fine. Shuuichi and Clair can share sensations. Can he see her mental flashbacks too? Clair’s traumatic memory is mysterious. I like it! Oh, right. Hikawa wants to kill them. Let’s get it on!
Haha! Everyone in Gleipnir is an edge lord. I’m rooting for maximum pain, not for any one side in this fight. Appreciating nice legs and camera angles now. Clair will need to adjust to moving in a mascot costume and then the tables will turn, right? It seems like Shuuichi’s costume is a total tank. He and Clair aren’t taking any damage. Hikawa on the other hand, ouch. Hikawa is a broken girl. Paranoid, neurotic, and narcissistic. She’s fodder for the plot. I think the plot is going to have the basic structure of cute girl torture porn, like Mahou Shoujo Site. Clair isn’t a hero in this story and Shuuichi isn’t one yet. People die when they’re killed in Gleipnir.
Gleipnir’s manga had Shuuichi and Clair burn and bury the body. We’ll just get some wimpy dialog here and poor Nana getting the NTR treatment. The interesting things are Clair’s flashbacks to a creepy shadow she calls her older sister Elena. Clair isn’t suicidal. She’s baiting a response. The last episode was for a monster to steal her coin. This one’s for Shuuichi to commit to solving the mystery of these Star Coins and the disappearance of her older sister.
Ooh. Elena’s flashback shows her with a bag strap that’s the basis for Shuuichi’s Frankenstein Wolf costume. Did she wish to share her power with him? Oh dear.
Gleipnir is currently streaming weekly in North America through Funimation.