Gleipnir (Season One)

Gleipnir Title

Shuuichi has a strange power and has no idea where it came from, but one night when he saves a girl from a burning build everything changes. His hopes of a quiet life have literally just vanished!

What did you watch?

Back when I was picking shows to watch in Spring 2020, which seems like a lifetime ago now, there was one promo image that really jumped at me. That was Gleipnir, however, for whatever reason, by the time I got around to watching the first episode, I already had too much on my schedule and decided to put it on hold, even though I really enjoyed the first episode. Looking back at it now, I can’t believe I kept going with shows like Shironeko and The 8th Son when this was sitting there waiting for me. Anyhow, here’s my belated season review for Gleipnir and there will be spoilers.

Gleipnir Episode 1 Shuuichi Kagaya in monster form approaching Clair Aoki

What happened?

When Shuuichi saved the girl from the burning building, he quickly left the scene, not wanting his secret to be revealed. However, he dropped his phone and the girl, Clair caught a glimpse of him as he fled. Unfortunately for Shuuichi, she went to his school and managed to track him down. When she confronted him, he tried to deny it, but she pushed him off the roof and waited for him to transform. It turns out that Shuuichi has the ability to transform into something that looks like a giant mascot.

Before long they are being pursued by more monsters and in order to fight back, Clair climbs inside Shuuichi’s monster form and they are able to fight as one, each compensating for the other’s weaknesses. Clair reveals to Shuuichi that her sister killed their parents after turning into a monster and she needs his help to find her and make her pay.

Gleipnir Episode 2 Clair getting inside Shuuichi

What did you think?

On one hand, I hate myself for waiting to see this one, but on the other hand, I got to binge most of it, which was amazing. This series is outstanding and would have easily been my joint-favourite for the season with Princess Connect! Re: Dive. I loved the story and how incredibly dark and mysterious it got. Seriously, this show covers some insane ideas and does it so well that you never get pulled out of the story. After watching numerous shows with terrible CGI monsters and badly designed monsters, it was a delight to see these weird and creepy designs all nicely animated. I simply adored this series.

Gleipnir Episode 1 Clair Aoki grin

What was your favourite moment?

There were lots of incredible moments, but the one that really stood out for me was the whole of episode two. It was pretty early in the series and Clair and Shuuichi didn’t quite have the whole situation sorted. In fact, Clair had only just discovered the zipper in Shuuichi’s back. They were fighting against a monster with terrifying speed and leg strength that seemed determined to finish them off. Even worse, she had seen their faces and knew where they lived.

You could be forgiven for thinking that they might find a way to work together, but not in this series. Clair mercilessly beat her, breaking her leg and then shot her. The scene itself was intense, but the music used to up the tension was an inspired choice. It’s definitely worth saying now that the music choices for this series really helped to make it so special.

Gleipnir Episode 2 Clair has full control grabs Hikawa's leg

What was your least favourite moment?

I’m going to cheat here. This was my least favourite moment because it was a brutal and sad set of events, but it was also spectacularly done. I couldn’t look away from the screen and barely inhaled for the entire episode. It was the flashback in episode twelve where we learnt about the first person to receive a wish from the alien and how she used it to assume the identity of her friend that killed herself, believing that no one would miss her.

However, there was one guy who did miss Honoka and he thought that Honoka had killed Aiko and stolen her identity. When he confronted her, rather than wait for an answer he killed Honoka. When he found out what really happened it was like a bomb dropping and it started this whole terrifying affair. This episode was dark and brutal and so, so amazing.

Gleipnir Episode 12 Kaito found Honoka visiting Aiko's grave

Who was your favourite character?

There is no question in my mind who was the star of this series and that was Clair. If ever there was a female character that completely outshone every other character in a series, it was Clair. She was driven and determined, committed and ruthless. If there was a problem, she had a plan, constantly using everyone else’s strengths to her advantage.

The way that she recognized that Isao’s power could be used to turn a woodland into a poisonous trap was insane but completely believable. At no point did Clair become just another damsel in distress. If anything, she drove the story on far more than anyone else. She also had a wickedly killer smile and the second I saw it in the OP on the first episode, I knew she was the one to watch.

Gleipnir Episode 1 Clair Aoki wants to talk

Who was your least favourite character?

Initially, I would have said Shuuichi. He started the series so timid and needed Clair to literally fight for him, but by the end of the series, he grew up and was quite impressive. Then there was Chihiro who had a pretty rubbish power. It was that she could grow cat-ears. However, Chihiro was inside of Shuuichi when they were both crushed to death and subsequently reborn as a fused version of the two. That resulted in yet another epic fight before they both returned to their separate bodies. I think Chihiro gets it just because she was working against Clair and Shuuichi.

Gleipnir Episode 8 Clair doesn't believe Chihiro

Would you like some more?

There has to be another season of Gleipnir. There absolutely has to be. I know that the manga that the anime is based on doesn’t have too many more volumes beyond the end of this season, but once it does, I really hope they come back and finish it off. All too often we get shows that fail to delve into the darker aspects of life, but Gleipnir wasn’t afraid of anything and I can completely respect that. Everything about this series was excellent, so I will be really disappointed if this is the end.

Gleipnir Episode 13 Elena fights Shuuichi and Clair

What have you learnt?

I think Gleipnir shows us that no idea is too out-there. As long as you have an interesting story and some good characters to drive it on, then anything is possible. I loved the way this series was put together and how important Clair was to making things happen. I’ve seen too many shows where we have strong female characters who suddenly turn into helpless damsels when the protagonist needs someone to save so as to make them look cool. It’s great to see her continue to be as dark and edgy all the way through. Seriously, Clair is awesome, this series is awesome, you should really watch it.

Gleipnir Episode 9 Monster Boss approaches Shuuichi

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  1. Your “least” favourite moment is probably my favourite. That series of flashbacks was awesome, especially when he had the realization that all his friends knew except for him about you know what.

    The other moment I loved was when Clair visited Shuichi’s house.

    Really the final few episodes were an absolute blast. Id be a little worried that a second season wouldnt be able to top that, but I guess there are still many unrevealed aspects to work with like the aliens.

    • Yeah, I was cheating a lot really. I loved that whole section but the sheer levels of dread and shock made me put it there. That and I just wanted to talk about it too.

      I really hope we get a second season. It would be criminal if we didn’t.

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