The Mysterious Coins // Gleipnir Episode 2 & 3 Review
What It Means to Be Empty & Elena
After a less than stellar pilot episode, Gleipnir episode two and three feel like they are living up to the promise. Its up to episode two of Gleipnir to bring the heat, and it delivers. In episode three we get some answers to the larger mystery. Altogether the show is rounding out nicely where it can so far.
After the tease in episode one, we are treated to a fantastically choreographed fight scene with some rather brutal moments. To get that level of motion in animation there must be some use of 3D. Despite that it blends so smoothly with the rest of the show. It just feels like small scale kaiju battle between these two monsters. For two people without any described fighting experience, both Shuichi and Clair handle themselves very well against their nameless antagonist.
That same nameless antagonist feels like a lost moment. She acts more as a vehicle of exposition to the audience than an emotional story beat. Where she could be a poignant moment early on, it feels like a failed moment. The flashbacks show her struggling to succeed as a student track athlete until she is transformed into this human-monster hybrid.
I would argue that she show tries to set her up as a tragic figure, but doesn’t close the loop on that because there isn’t enough time with her. She is in and out of the story in an episode and a half. The saddest part about her story is her leg snapping. Even that could have hit harder if more time was spent on her in Gleipnir episode two. Stretching that out into the third episode might have been enough.
Melding Body and Mind
Clair’s entrance into Shuichi’s back feels like a loose allegory for sex and losing your virginity. Its Evangelion-esque in a way. By entering Shuichi, the two are becoming one. Their bodies and minds are melding together. When one moves, the other can feel it. Even their personal feelings are mixed between each other.
Its when Clair turns to Shuichi that it feels like the show punches in on the allusion to virginity. She says to him, “How was it for you?” Its something you say to your partner after your first time together. Clair and Shuichi came together and became one. It was their metaphorical first time together.
Beyond the theoretical sexual innuendo, the merging scenes have such a gross and wet feel to them. The sound effects in Gleipnir really signal home how disgusting this act is when Clair climbs half naked into Shuichi. The foot through his chest is so visceral as it is followed up by the wet zipping up behind Clair.
I know that larger reveals are yet to come, but Elena’s relationship with Shuichi is befuddling. In a flashback scene during episode two we see a mysterious girl talking to the mysterious boy about the coins. She is less interested in herself, and more interested in Shuichi. Now this explains why Shuichi knows nothing yet is still embroiled in the larger monster-verse we see fleshing out. By Gleipnir episode three we know that the other girl we are following is in fact Clair’s sister Elena.
Shuichi seems to have no particular recollection or connection to Clair or her sister before all of this. Elena goes to a different high school in a different town. Details are forthcoming, but why would she give her “gift” to Shuichi in the first place? I’m a little lost as to where episode three leaves us right at the end. I just wonder if Clair’s sister can give more context to the larger mystery of the vending machine man, or if the stakeout is all for naught.
[Source and Further Reading]
[Image via Funimation]
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