What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Gleipnir! Last week’s episode was an excellent one for the way it has now set the pace for everything else to follow. Shuichi and Clair have found allies, but no partnership comes without a price in this world they have stepped into. As I said before, not everyone is made the same. Some have the game figured out better than others, and some may also have to figure that out the hard way.
If there was one thing we knew about what was coming next, we knew that there was going to be a fight. There’s just no way you go all the way out there and not run into the wrong person. The big question was how. I liked where this took Shuichi because clearly their last encounter changed something in him. If he was this bold enough to go out into the forest to help this girl, then he was also bold enough to go all the way to make sure her wallet didn’t end up in the wrong hands. As far as character development goes, this was the kind of situation we needed to begin seeing for Shuichi. Part of the draw-in for Gleipnir is that this experience is supposed to have an effect on him. He’s no exception when it comes to the parts of yourself you begin to lose when you turn into a monster. They did not waste the opportunity to push him into a corner where he needed to have more of an acceptance towards what he is, what he can do, and why it can’t always come down to Clair making the hard call.
As I said, there was no way that Shuichi and Yoshioka were going to be able to accomplish this retrieval without running into a confrontation. I found the battle which erupted to be exhilarating. It was not at all like some of the other fights Shuichi has gotten into before. This was him fighting with more anger backing him up, and need to survive keeping him going, and a bloodlust which was helping him to get across that line. The animation for the action scene wasn’t on par with some of the other, but that also didn’t mean it wasn’t satisfactory. The moves were smooth, attacks had impact, and the effects really put you into the moment. I’ll even give them credit that they didn’t waste the chance to indulge in some of the more horrific visuals that like myself you could not have prepared yourself for.
Beyond this, there was no better time than now for them to address the fear in losing your identity to the wrong people out there. Up to this point I couldn’t really let myself believe that this girl really lost her wallet and ID. It felt like there had to be something more to the story. However, there was no twist to this. They jumped right into a situation which represented the horror in realizing that someone as terrifying as Elena or worse could know who you are, where you live, and come after you. I actually felt something for what Yoshioka was being put through mentally and emotionally. Not to mention physically if you have already seen the episode….
With Clair, there wasn’t too much that we got out of her ventures, but we did walk away with a better understanding of how she views this dynamic with herself and Shuichi. It was one thing to say that they had this pact, and one thing to keep Shuichi from taking on a losing battle on his own, but it is another thing entirely to jump into the forest on her own to make sure he is okay. Right now that is the true strength of Clair. She is as ordinary as can be, but that doesn’t stop her from jumping into this world of monsters and caring only about her other half. I mean so much could have gone wrong between running into someone deadly, or even running into her sister again.
By the end of this episode they certainly did give us an explanation of the title “Metamorphosis”. It made sense with the right context since this was of course leading up to some big transformation. The only question was, for who? The answer to that was satisfying because there was no way you could be convinced that what we have seen from Shuichi’s monster form is all there is to him. I’m glad that they added a whole new layer to what it means having this body and allowing someone else to fill that void. The person inside matters, their connection matters, and what they experience while melded together matters.
Gleipnir “Metamorphosis” is the one that will get your blood pumping. Now we know that the people Elena rolls with are no joke, and we know the same to be true about the power of Shuichi when he gets serious. This episode is going to be just the start of his metamorphosis. Each encounter changes him, and there’s no way that this one doesn’t leave a mark.