Gleipnir

Gleipnir

Gleipnir anime series cover art
Gleipnir

Series Overview

Gleipnir (グレイプニル) is a really weird anime. If the cover art wasn’t enough for you to come to this conclusion, the genres it’s listed as are action, mystery, supernatural, ecchi, and seinen (which isn’t a genre, but whatever).

Looking at the genres themselves, this doesn’t seem like a series I would like all that much. And I actually wasn’t watching this series when the season began; I picked it up later on. The red flag for me here is the ecchi tag. I have no problem with ecchi in anime, but I often don’t feel like it fits in action series (like Fire Force).

However, the ecchi in Gleipnir isn’t the same as in a series like Fire Force. There’s no character like Tamaki suddenly losing all her clothes in the middle of an action scene. The ecchi here actually has reasoning behind it, even if that reasoning is something as simple as that’s just what the character is into (which generally isn’t the case).

Ecchi aside, the premise of Gleipnir is that an alien space ship crashed somewhere in the mountains and scattered coins all over the surrounding region. These coins can be collected and turned in to an alien. If you redeem a coin, he’ll grant one wish of yours in the form of a monstrous superpower.

If you then collect 100 coins, he’ll grant your wish no matter what it is.

So the series is kind of like a battle royale between individuals and groups with monstrous superpowers all vying to collect 100 coins. Some people want to control or destroy the world with the 100 coins, while others simply want the power to stop that from happening.

You’ll probably like this anime if you like series such as The Future Diary or Darwin’s Game.

Main Characters

Shuuichi Kagaya is the protagonist of the series and potentially the titular “Gleipnir.” More on that in just a bit. He’s your average high school student (like always) who has a strange ability. He can turn into a giant mascot costume that resembles a smiling dog.

We later learn that Shuuichi’s mascot costume ability is pretty unique as far as abilities in the series go. His back can be unzipped, another person can climb inside, and only then can his true power be unleashed.

And this is where the word Gleipnir comes in. It’s an Old Norse word meaning “open one.” But I don’t think the series would be named after this Old Norse word if there wasn’t more to it. Gleipnir also the name of the mythical chain that held down the wolf Fenrir that was foretold to kill the god Odin. So could Shuuichi be the “chain” that binds Clair?

Clair sitting inside of Shuuichi from the anime series Gleipnir
Clair sitting inside of Shuuichi

Clair Aoki is the other main character of the series. She’s one of Shuuichi’s underclassmen who learns of his power after he saves her from a suicide attempt. While Clair doesn’t have a power of her own, her goal is to take down someone who does. And to do so, she uses Shuuichi by climbing inside his mascot form.

Of the two of them, Clair is the one who’s not afraid to do whatever it takes to achieve her goal — including murder. This is just one more reason why I think she’s supposed to be the Fenrir to Shuuichi’s Gleipnir.

The only thing we don’t know yet is who the Odin of this story is. There are a few options, but I think the most obvious is the alien who started the killing game to begin with. The story doesn’t end with this season, though, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Why is Gleipnir Worth Watching?

As I’ve already stated, Gleipnir is a really weird anime. But that doesn’t mean it’s bad. The farther into the story I got, the more I was looking forward to the next episode. And I believe it was episode 11 that was probably the best episode of the series despite being a flashback.

It might sound weird, but the main draw of this series really is the story. If you plan to watch this series for the ecchi, you’ll probably be a bit disappointed. Most of the ecchi is in the first half, there’s not actually that much of it, and it’s censored (maybe it won’t be in the future).

If you’re considering watching this series for the action, that’s a bit better than the ecchi. There’s some good action with high-quality choreography and animation, but unfortunately, it’s very sparse. I think the only episodes with action like this are episodes 2 and 13. So it’s not like the series looks all that great most of the time.

Shuuichi pointing a gun at Erena from the anime series Gleipnir
Shuuichi pointing a gun at Erena

If the alien aspect of Gleipnir was removed, I think the story wouldn’t be affected at all, but it would also be better. By this, I mean that the alien doesn’t actually add anything to the story, but instead simply makes it that much weirder. If it was just stated that the coins grant their finders monstrous superpowers, I would have accepted it — because anime.

But the inclusion of an alien who grants superpowers to those who collect the coins for him is pretty meaningless. As is the fact that all these coins were dropped when the space ship crashed. There’s no reason for any of that to be in the series. At least not from what we know in season 1.

With that said, if you can look past the alien stuff, the series is still a pretty good battle royale story with superpowers. And I know that description is going to turn a lot of people off from it, but if you’re into that sort of thing, you should watch Gleipnir.

Conclusion

When I first started Gleipnir, I never would have guessed that I would end up giving it a 7/10. But here I am. It’s not an exceptional anime by any means. It doesn’t really have enough well-choreographed and well-animated action scenes. And the alien aspect of the story is pointless. But it’s still good for what it is.

The Gleipnir OP and ED are also both good. The OP reminds me of a horror anime OP, like Another, but it’s not actually a horror series (somehow). And the ED song is by Mili, so that kind of automatically makes it good. I’d say the visuals for the OP are better than the ED though.

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