Shuichi Kagaya is an ordinary student until he learns he can transform into a monstrous dog with a revolver and a zipper down his back. Unsure where his powers have come from and whom to trust, he risks it all to save a beautiful classmate named Claire. He learns he's not the only one with a secret; she wants to use his monster's powers—no matter how brutal the violence or bloody the action.
You might have seen Gleipnir online described as weird and they certainly aren’t wrong, it’s weird even for anime, but is it just schlock or is there some actual substance to this creepy monster-filled new anime?
To start, this anime quickly delves into a rapey-tone that is seriously troubling. Not just scantily clad girls or over descriptive dialogue, but actual rape vibes that cast one of the lead characters in an awkward shadow rather quickly. The setup is rather cut and dry, after a typical life introduction the story really begins with Shuichi transforming into a dubstep mascot monster to save Claire amidst a burning barn. It’s supposed to be the moment that kicks off the series by introducing the two main characters with a momentous event shrouded in mystery. However, the actual molestation that occurs makes it difficult to focus on anything else, and try as the episode may to move passed this point by putting Shiuchi in a position where he is struggling with inhibitions while transformed, it just frames the episode and the series in an off-putting context.
Despite this glaring issue, there is a lot that shows this is an anime with both excellent production quality and even an interesting story hidden in the cliches. The secrecy of the monsters and Schiuchi’s general obviousness puts Claire in a position of power with her knowledge, and the pacing moves quick enough to keep you searching for more information through the entire episode. Then it ends with an explosive fight with loads of potential for insight into what’s going on with the monster phenomenon. What’s with the cross in their eye? What is the importance of Claire’s coin? And who is this new monster? These are all questions that will probably have you coming back for the next episode.
The character work is a bit bland, but the dynamics between Schuichi and Claire are without a doubt the most interesting character aspect. There is an awkward tension between them and while the sexual overtones can be a bit much at times, it’s also something that is going to be influencing the overarching narrative as the series continues, so it will be interesting to see how it develops.
My favorite part of the entire episode was easily the music, with an electronic and hip hop influence it really does stand out. It’s different and helps to accentuate the series in a great way. Sometimes the music just doesn’t sync up to the tone of the series but Gleipnir has some really awesome music to support scenes in unique ways.
While the first episode of Gleipnir does pose an interesting concept and execute with impressive quality, there are themes present that feel forced and detract from the potential insight the story could pull off very quickly. There is still room for the series to pull things together as it continues into its first season, but it will undoubtedly be difficult to find redemption for Shuichi in my opinion. Still, it’s not entirely bad and worth watching for those looking for something new to dig into.
While the first episode of Gleipnir does pose an interesting concept and execute with impressive quality, there are themes present that feel forced and detract from the potential insight the story could pull off very quickly.
Gleipnir Episode 1 Review: Something Inside of Me
Writing - 4/104/10
Plot - 6/106/10
Character Development - 5/105/10
Production - 8.5/108.5/10
Music - 9/109/10
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