This week’s Gleipnir was a nice change of pace because it managed to give Shuuichi a leg up with new enhancements to his abilities. When Shuuichi and Chihiro are horrifically mangled by the latest antagonist in a scene reminiscent of one girl’s untimely end in the Akira film, it gives us more to work with as far as what his desires are and what his past was like with Elena.
Unlike the Shuuichi we’ve been stuck with for the last batch of episodes, this episode has him rationalize his role in Hikawa’s death through the lens of the spirit that dwells within Shuuichi’s mascot body. It was always a hidden part of Shuuichi that only came up when he gave in to his impulses or when Clair was making sense of why he’s another part of her. But it does make Shuuichi more tolerable in situations like this for him to consult with the thoughts that encourage him to vent and use his bottled up anger to help him transform into a sleeker humanoid that is capable of facing off against the trio of Subaru and his parents.
The fight scenes of Gleipnir are relatively neat, but having Shuuichi and Chihiro meld into an agile monster made their actions far more engaging than sequences where he’s had to swing his lumbering mascot body around to fight more physically competent opponents. Throughout their fight, it felt like an even match where the duo would have to think on their feet to tip the scales against an otherwise intimidating opponent.
Their new form is especially interesting because Shuuichi and Chihiro have a better gauge of each other’s emotions and history. Both are overbearing empaths, but it does make it interesting for them to probe into each other’s minds to get a better feel for how they should approach a situation. Not to mention that their compatibility is through the charts given that Chihiro was able to dig through Shuuichi’s memories to know his entire history with Elena before he could even realize what happened in the past.
Clair didn’t have as much of a cut of the action this time around, but she has a lot to live up to in the next episode. Chihiro is worlds apart from Clair as a calmer, more empathetic person, but this episode seemed to prove a theory that a different person inside of Shuuichi’s body would make even better use of his abilities if they can appeal to Shuuichi’s own compassionate personality. Clair’s been operating off the idea that Shuuichi and her are perfect for each other because she discovered him first and he’s easy to manipulate. But if she isn’t able to have enough of a connection to become one with Shuuichi in a humanoid form like Chihiro or get in better tune with his thoughts and history, Clair is going to have a harder time convincing Shuuichi that they are the perfect couple.