Shuuichi discovers new abilities as he and Chihiro meet one of Elena’s powerful allies.
Episode 7 – “Metamorphosis”
Gleipnir put its own gory spin on a shounen battle plot device. We’ve seen this in Naruto, Bleach, Fairy Tail, My Hero Academia, and many other titles where the main character appears utterly defeated or near death, and suddenly a spark of something transforms the hero into a powerful new form. The “something” depends on the main theme of the show, whether that’s the power of friendship, pride, or claiming the predecessor’s legacy. For Gleipnir, that main theme appears to be the rage of the bullied. The message is clear: don’t provoke the weak. Cornered rats can be vicious.
Shuuichi’s classmates didn’t appear to bully him, but the lowerclassmen didn’t appear to respect him very much. I don’t think one small scene where he showed his new alien strength to bullies in a hallway was enough to justify his rage-fueled passion to protect Chihiro Yoshioka. On the other hand, Elena’s memories of Shuuichi at cram school hint at something larger. This is good for Gleipnir, because there are still the mysteries to solve of why Elena gave Shuuichi the specific powers of combining with another and why Shuuichi doesn’t remember Elena consciously, but Chihiro easily saw those memories.
One fun thing Gleipnir gave us this episode was an explicit reference to its title. Chihiro acted as the mythological Gleipnir chain to stop Shuuichi’s Fenrir-like ravenous appetite for vengeful wrath. That whole development of how Shuuichi’s transformed combination with Chihiro was great, especially how they appeared totally healed, yet tired, afterwards. Perhaps this was why Elena directed Shuuichi and Clair to BBB after she ripped his head off, because she knew Clair couldn’t heal him if she didn’t have nanomachines. I hope to get some confirmation on my speculation in the upcoming episodes.
Backstory revelations for Gleipnir this week. Choker Girl (nobody has said Sayaka’s name yet in dialogue) was in Elena’s homeroom class after she had to transfer from the school with the hentai bad end. Sayaka knew Elena as a nice, friendly girl, just like Clair’s memories of her sister before she turned into a mass-murdering monster.
This blonde boy with the ponytail fancies himself an edge lord. Elena can keep him in check, but the other guy doesn’t seem intimidated either. Gleipnir’s edgy kid Subaru regards Elena as a big sister, and big sister can lay the hurt down on him. Elena’s group dresses like a coven of witches or a strange cult. Edgy Subaru hasn’t completed the initiation ritual yet if he doesn’t have a snazzy black hooded cloak.
Aw. The pure, pure couple continue their date of hiking in the woods. Chihiro can’t believe Shuuichi has seen bad people or had to defend himself against them. Team Choker is weak or new to collecting Star Coins. Fullmetal Alchemist added a lot to the anime lexicon of creepiness when it introduced dark purple baby hands grasping at everything. Gleipnir uses them for powerful evil smells.
Listening to Shuuichi’s hesitant warbling is bad enough but adding Chihiro’s insecure chirping makes for an annoying Greek Chorus in Gleipnir. Oh. Shuuichi stays true to form. He won’t act for himself, but for a damsel in distress. Maybe Elena saw that in him, which is why she gave him this specific partnering power.
Clair is an official member of Gleipnir’s Team Choker and suited-up ikemen couldn’t be happier. Sexual harassment in 3, 2, 1, go! Clair is not impressed, as expected of a hot chick who knows she’s all that. Hard to disagree with her. Youta the 19-year-old freeter is the only one with offensive fighting power in this group? I have concerns. I can understand his frustration, though. Hot chick Sayaka is a lesbian with baggage. Chihiro is a furry who wants to yiff and cuddle large stuffed animals. Unless the green poncho person is a girl — and who knows what the normal version of the beast man looks like — Youta’s options are limited.
Rescue mission! Ikeuchi is trash. At least he takes good video of his cuckoldry. Confirmed. Scary beast man is not the fighter of Team Choker. Clair will have Youta escort her as they go after Shuuichi’s trail. Gleipnir showed Sayaka make a nice gesture. She took off her hockey mask as she averred her bond with Clair. Nakama power! Oh, wait. This isn’t that kind of show.
I find Shuuichi’s decisive shouting more annoying than his equivocating blithering. Just shut your mouth and punch, bite, and shoot stuff. Oops. There’s the edge lord problem child with Chihiro’s wallet. Guh. The most powerful nanomachine-powered freaks in Gleipnir are the most psychologically damaged. This little dude is naked and has monster versions of his parents cradle him. BBB keeps showing us his Monkey’s Paw esthetic for wish fulfillment.
Well, that’s not good. Subaru the edge lord squished Shuuichi and Chihiro to a pulp. Gleipnir won’t kill off these two so easily, so something big is about to happen.
Youta’s date with Clair isn’t going so well. Clair says Youta doesn’t have the “scent” of a monster. Youta is a masochist. He has no chance with Clair because Shuuichi is her other half. Unfortunately, that’s a literal description of him right now in Gleipnir. What a gory, pulpy mess. Both he and Chihiro are still alive in there! And they’re grotesquely transforming and combining. This is getting closer to how Shuuichi should use his power. Chihiro looks like a two-tailed cat demon. With two dainty Glock handguns.
Elena got worried about Subaru. Did she sense Shuuichi’s transformation? Or is this just Gleipnir making a coincidental edit look like something deeper? At least Youta heard Chihiro’s yowl. Ha. Subaru calls the transformation a “metamorphosis” and thinks it’s cool. He underestimates Team Furry, though. Subaru’s Mummy is top heavy. Subaru calls Team Furry a “rare” like him. That’s not a Yu-Gi-Oh! reference, I hope.
Team Furry can take a punch. We saw Shuuichi take all the punishment from Hikawa in the second episode and suffering no injuries. It looks like that’s still in effect for the cat form. Shuuichi uses rage to power up. He broke through Subaru’s defense and pulled cute guns on him. Aw, no fun. Elena stopped the fight. She’s stronger than them both. Hey, there’s an actual Norse Gleipnir reference. Chihiro yanked on Shuuichi’s chain and brought him to heel.
Strange. Chihiro can access Shuuichi’s memories like he did with hers, but he can’t remember Elena on his own. Gleipnir makes Shuuichi and Elena’s flashbacks very evocative. They’re even holding hands while looking at a crater full of nanomachines. Nice. Oh yeah, that guy. BBB dreamed of a memory of granting Elena’s wish which she tied to Shuuichi somehow. Big mystery!
Elena tells Subaru she can’t die, until “all of this” is over. So, neither can Shuuichi? Bigger mystery! Clair finds Shuuichi and Chihiro fine, but unconscious. Big drama coming next episode.
Gleipnir streams weekly on Funimation.