Gleipnir Ep. 4: The kids finally join the race

The prologue is finally over.

— Clair really needs to work on her aim. Maybe she should mix in a little CSGO in her daily activities.

— Elena can’t just knock the gun away, I suppose. She has to dramatically knock her sister up into the air. Maybe she wants to demonstrate that Clair is powerless against her? Eh, I dunno. It’s also possible that when she transforms, it takes a while before she can control herself or something.

— Eventually, she does turn back to normal. And eventually, she does reveal why she killed their parents. It’s kinda stupid, though. She tells us that they were bad people. Their father was a politician, and he did bad things. No, really. “Bad things” is all she says. She doesn’t exactly elaborate. On the other hand, all their mother did was cheat. Do I find cheaters reprehensible? Of course I do. But bad enough to kill them? Uh, no. And similarly, unless their father was involved in shit like child trafficking, did he really deserve to die as well?

— Elena ultimately claims that she killed their parents for Clair. She says that it’s her turn to protect her little sister now. That’s kinda stupid, though. Yo, I killed our parents and disappeared without a word. I’m sure you’ll be A-OK on your own without any answers! See? It’s just dumb. Plus, Clair would’ve killed herself had Shuichi not stepped in. Elena probably doesn’t know about her sister’s suicide attempt, but that’s what makes this even dumber. I wanna protect you, but I have no clue that you were in such a state of despair that you wanted to kill yourself!

— Finally, Elena gets an important phone call, so she has to leave. Before she goes, she asks if Clair still has the gold coin she had given her. I’m not sure why Clair decides to lie, but she does. As a result, Elena gives her another one. Right before departing, she tells Clair to “make good use of the coin.” See, this is another thing I don’t get. It’s plainly obvious why she gave Clair the coin: go and fix Shuichi. But then why be vague about it? What if your little sister doesn’t get your hint? Wouldn’t this screw Shuichi over just because you decided to be vague for no damn reason?

— Plus, when Elena learned that a girl was inside Shuichi, she got so mad that she tore off his head. But now, she walks away like she doesn’t even give a damn about him. How does that make sense?

— Sure enough, Clair doesn’t actually understand what Elena is trying to tell her, so she’s about to kill herself with the gun. All of a sudden, Shuichi’s head pipes up and tells her not to die. Up until this point. Clair had assumed that he was already dead. Maybe Elena thought the same thing? Maybe she gave her little sister another coin for a different reason? Eh.

— With renewed hope, Clair goes to the abandoned motel where you can find the Alien and his stupid vending machine. Apparently, he’s very much into manga. Hm, I thought he had a ship to fix.

— The Alien freaks out when he sees Shuichi’s current state, but I wonder if he’s feigning it or not. I don’t really think this guy can be trusted.

— In exchange for a coin, the Alien hands over a drink that should fix Shuichi up. Something about manipulating microbes. Alright then.

— Unfortunately for the girl, she has to wait for Shuichi’s head to reattach while wearing nothing but her underwear. Clair is a little too well-developed for a freshmen, don’t you think? As a result, Alien guy decides to get handsy, which promptly earns him a knee to the crotch. Shuichi then yells at Clair as if she had done something wrong. She was about to get groped, no? Are you not supposed to kick creeps in the balls?

— Well, since Clair won’t let the Alien play with her body, the latter goes ahead and eats a strand of her hair. In doing so, he is able to morph into a perfect replica of the girl. Well, except for the voice. Apparently, that won’t change.

— The Alien also tries to tempt Clair into trying one of his potions, but she flat out refuses. Personally, I don’t trust the Alien, so I would want nothing to do with his stupid magic elixirs. It’s clear that they have just as many drawbacks as they do benefits. But we have to consider something else…

— Clair explains that you have to accept yourself no matter what cards life has dealt you. Otherwise, you might as well kill yourself. It’s interesting that she would say that considering the fact that she did try to kill herself. So she knows she’s weak and she doesn’t really love herself. The only difference now is that she has Shuichi.

— Maybe Clair feels that she would no longer need Shuichi if she got stronger, and that’s exactly what she doesn’t want. She actually wants to depend on Shuichi. The girl has latched onto him, and she’s not going to let go without a fight. I suppose this says something about power: it can grant you independence, but independence can be lonely. It shouldn’t be surprising that a girl who lost her family overnight feels the need to not only hold onto someone, but be needed by them in return. It’s almost as if she feels safe and protected inside Shuichi’s “womb.”

Dense anime protagonists are gonna dense, though.

— The Alien then proceed to give his little recruiting speech. Oh, his brethren turned themselves into coins for the arduous interstellar travel. Unfortunately, they crashed into Earth and the coins went flying everywhere! Since he can’t fix the ship and find his buddies at the same time, he needs our help! Yeah, sure. Aliens capable of spacefaring and genetic manipulation can’t find a bunch of goddamn coins on their own? This is exactly why I don’t trust this guy. I bet you he’s getting his rocks off watching a lesser species fight and kill each other over this contest.

— If you collect 100 coins, you’ll get a really special prize! Like what? An extra life? Well, the Alien will grant you even more power! You can even become a manga character with planet-destroying abilities if you wanted to!

— The kids tell the Alien that they’ll think about it, but they’ll definitely join the race for the coins. Clair will likely do so probably because she still has unsettled business with her sister. Plus, this sort of thing seems to invigorate the girl. Whereas Shuichi wants to be normal and live a normal life, Clair is the type who would love to indulge in the sort of excitement you might find in manga. At one point, he tells her not to use the gold coins, because things will get even more dangerous from here on out. Clair replies that she never had any intention on taking the Alien up on his offer, but not for the reason that Shuichi thinks. Rather, she doesn’t need to, because she has him. She’s still going to participate in the coin hunt, though.

— On the other hand, Shuichi needs to find his own reason to join the fight, which brings us to the next school day. Shuichi has changed both physically and mentally. When a jerk in the hallway tries to push him around, our protagonist becomes a classic Chad. Even the girls have taken notice.

— Mifune, however, serves as Shuichi’s one last meaningful connection to normalcy. For example, he no longer needs to wear glasses, but she tells him that “[they] weren’t so bad.” In other words, she preferred his old look but she’s too shy to outright admit it.

— In any case, Shuichi decides to get her opinion on something that he’s been struggling with. He asks her what she would do if someone out there had the power to end the world. The girl gives a standard enough answer: she would try to stop the bad guy in order to protect her loved ones. Welp, that just about does it for Shuichi. That’s his reason to hunt for the gold coins.

— Clair briefly listens in on this conversation, but she eventually leaves with a slight frown on her face. I wonder why. Jealousy, perhaps? Maybe she wishes he would have come to her instead? Who knows…

— Right before the credits roll, we see the kids ready themselves for a hike through the nearby woods and mountains. I’m sure it’ll be very chill and relaxing.

7 thoughts on “Gleipnir Ep. 4: The kids finally join the race

  1. Moises Cabasquini

    You know…I kinda like Clair, not necessarily as a person, mind you; but as i character, i can get down with how she’s being handled. People were initially labeling her as a discount Yuno Gasai from Mirai Nikki, but on second glance, it becomes clear that they’re nothing alike (Sawa Nakamura from “Flowers of Evil” or “Aku no Hana” would be a more accurate comparison on a superficial level).

    That being said, while Yuno Gasai and most other Yandere of their ilk are dysfunctional psychopaths defined unilaterally by their crazy personality traits and propensity to commit atrocities in the name of their object of affection for the sake of grabbing the attention of the audience, Clair has some legitimately fleshed out reasons tied to her more nuanced brand of insanity. Clair’s apparent apathy seems to be nothing more than a defense mechanism from her trauma rather than something the author seeks to use to arouse shock and awe. Clair has her on personal perspective on life that grants her an individuality most yandere don’t have, she’s got a sense of humor, she experiences emotional conflict at times when steeling herself to do reprehensible things related to her goals, and she displays genuine affection for the MC in a way that doesn’t entirely come off as, “I’ll kill anyone else who tries to get close to him” (at least so far).

    I guess this is my long-winded way of saying that Clair feels like a functional human being that CAN behave dysfunctionally rather than feeling like a one-note dysfunctional character who only behaves even more abnormally when in the presence of her object of affection. I can get behind her being a lead character or THE lead character.

    Reply
    1. Sean Post author

      Yeah, she’s not a bad character right now. I’ll have to wait and see how everything unfolds, though. Characters tend to get Flanderized over time, and there’s always a chance that Clair falls to the same fate. Plus, Gleipnir’s biggest issue right now is that no one else has really emerged as an interesting character to complement her. Shuichi is just another generic anime protagonist, and I am definitely not a fan of Elena.

      Reply
      1. Moises Cabasquini

        Yeah, I’m on the same boat with your feelings about Elena; pretty much everything you said mirrored my own thoughts. To be honest, i don’t think our dislike for her character is a result of misunderstanding the intent behind how she’s written due to a lack of narrative information; I just find that what has been presented to us so far about Elena neither builds any of kind of comprehensive intrigue or genuine sympathy . If it turns out the writing was going out of its way to obfuscate things for the sake of to give us intrigue through intentionally misleading dialogue on Elena’s part, then that’s just straight up faulty storytelling. Furthermore, if Elena’s character traits, motivations, dialogue and actions continue to be at constant at odds with each other like we saw in this episode without any cohesive rhyme of reason, then well……yeah,….that’s some faulty ass storytelling

        Either way I look at it, Elena is a sour spot within the narrative. And yea, most of the character writing in this show is weak; but that being said, Clair’s herself and concept of parasocial relationships manifesting itself the way it does between her and Shuichi is what i find most interesting about this show. Now whether or not it stay interesting for an additional 9 eps is up in the air

        Reply
  2. Liddo

    “— Clair briefly listens in on this conversation, but she eventually leaves with a slight frown on her face. I wonder why. Jealousy, perhaps? Maybe she wishes he would have come to her instead? Who knows…”

    Not everything is about romantic shenanigans. This scene in particular was a little more clear in the manga: the reason Clair is frowning is because she feels guilty. She was the one to involve the guy in all this in the first place and now he’s ready to put the world on his shoulders. She feels bad about that.

    Reply
      1. Liddo

        That’s fine. I was just pointing out there is a bit more to the characters than the usual nonsense shenanigans. At least when it comes the Clair. The others are a little more stock I guess.

        Reply

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