「空っぽの意味」 (Karappo no Imi)
“What it Means to be Empty”
The second episode of Gleipnir gives us some insight on the role Clair has in being Shuuichi’s arms and legs as she tries to search for the answer to how her sister Elena shapeshifted into a monster. As it turns out though, their first test of strength is whether Shuuichi will be able to stomach Clair’s “take-no-prisoners” approach to getting rid of other adversarial monster-people such as student-athlete Hikawa.
It was interesting to see how much information they gave us about Hikawa’s school life given how finite her time on the show ended up being. Her status as a runner who couldn’t make the cut for graduating with a recommendation for her achievements in track & field tied into the bargain she made to have her limbs enhanced to improve her running capabilities.
But in the midst of her powers going berserk, she flew too close to the sun in wanting to hunt down Shuuichi for the coin he possessed. It was enough to go off of that it was hard not to feel bad for her overcompensating for everyone who wrote her off as a runner or how Clair destroyed one of her ankles knowing how it would be a death sentence for her aspirations as a runner.
As for Clair, this episode gives her more to work with after she discovers that she can do with Shuuichi’s body. Using his body as a living flesh suit, Clair could give Shuuichi a part of his body that he’s been missing his whole life: a spine. In a visually messy yet fluid fight, Clair uses Shuuichi’s body to pummel the everloving tar out of Hikawa.
And though Shuuichi still spends a majority of the episode being disgusted with Clair’s instinct to use his body for self-defense, she ropes him back in by mentioning that his ability is a link that could help her find out what happened with Elena. It’s also the one thing that humanizes Clair as more than just the self-destructive architect of Shuuichi’s angst, so it’s nice that there’s one thread that can keep the plot going beyond the duo having to face a rogues gallery of monsters for no other reason than survival. The kernels we get of a person who gives out these abilities and a girl that was “too little, too late” to try to court Shuuichi were neat, but what makes Gleipnir a guilty pleasure are the morbid thoughts that Clair entertains in order to protect Shuuichi and convince him to go along with her brand of crazy.