“I Wish I Was Someone Else”
If you were betting that Shuuichi’s power came from aliens, you just won the jackpot. This episode confronts the Kaworu-esque Uchuujin’s role in using alleged alien powers from his coin racket to infuse unlucky souls with monstrous abilities. At this point in the series, it appears that the story is drawing a clear line as to whether it would be worth it to follow Shuuichi and Clair’s hunt for alien artifacts or if this is all starting to sound like a bit much.
The elephant in the room this time around is the identity of Uchuujin. He’s been mysterious for the most part since you have to get that Mephistopheles vibe from him in order to buy the idea that he’s be manufacturing monster powers to vulnerable people. But his explanation of his origin as an alien that crash-landed onto Earth sounded like a fake story you’d tell to BS people into believing that you didn’t procure your drinks from a demon or a top-secret facility you work for. That is until all of the signs were pointing towards the possibility of him being an alien such as his official name at the moment being Uchuujin or the fact that our two main characters quickly buy that he’s an alien.
His abilities to shapeshift and his attachment to the vending machine also helps, but Uchuujin being an alien proposes a larger issue for Shuuichi since he has a harder time confronting the parts of himself that aren’t entirely human. His conversation with Nana is a bigger hint at this as he’s trying to validate the parts of his psyche that would be more of an empath if faced with one of the apocalyptic situations from popular manga comics that Uchuujin had gushed about. Even though Shuuichi carries more confidence at school, all it takes for him to feel like he’s being corrupted is by grabbing a bully’s arm, so the stakes are very low at the moment for Shuuichi’s internal battle.
On the opposite end, the living nightmare that Shuuichi feels like he exists in turns out to be a beautiful dream for Clair, who feels all the more delighted to have used Shuuichi’s powers for her own gain. She sees her time with Shuuichi as the happiest she’s been since she was young. This makes it all the more awkward when her coming-of-age speech and the joyous piano in the background are juxtaposed with clips of every time Shuuichi was suffering while she committed acts of murder with his body. On top of this, she never did end up being careful what she wished for considering that Elena killed her parents because both of the sisters were disgusted by them and Clair gave an empty promise to kill them at some point.
Combine this with her desire to chase after more of the coins to see what they’d be able to get from them, and you have yourself a ridiculous premise for an anime. With all of the promotional material tied to it hinting at a darker, grimmer story, it was hard to expect it to be about a fetch quest for alien tokens and then maybe achieving revenge and reaching out to the truth along the way. It’s all very ridiculous, but it is the reason to watch Gleipnir if not for the fanservice or the desire to kill time with anime while we’re locked in. The show is still a ton of fun, but coming right out of the gate and bringing aliens into the anime is a risky move that could likely backfire on any of the darker atmosphere it was trying to build up to this point.