「記憶の影」 (Kioku no Kage)
“Shadows in Memory”
This week’s Gleipnir might not do much to push the needle forward, but it does help to show us where the characters are at and how their own personal state-of-mind is affected by their hunt for coins. As Shuuichi gets enveloped in the new group he’s joined, he starts to understand more clearly what purpose he serves.
As Shuuichi is subject to a number of violent confrontations, this episode makes it clear that he sees himself as a prop for whoever happens to be using him at this point. It’s not the answer that gives peace of mind to Clair or Chihiro, but he is beginning to see how he needs to rely on others to be able to accomplish anything and protect those around him. It’s the same mentality that causes those like Clair and Chihiro to end up using him for their own purposes instead and cause him to not look into how suspicious one of his school friends acts when the night draws closer.
It was nice to meet the bespectacled invisible member of the crew, but the biggest plot development on the crew’s end is Chihiro ratting out Shuuichi to Elena. She makes the same mistake as that one disgruntled guy who tried to sell the Pepsi recipe to Coca-Cola by assuming that Elena would automatically want to join her because she is now a walking encyclopedia of Shuuichi’s memories. But considering that she ripped off his head in anger after finding out that her sister has been inside of him, Elena is well aware that she and Shuuichi are worlds apart from one another and that it would be futile for her to try to get close to Shuuichi after all that has happened.
Although Shuuichi would likely steer towards Clair considering that he has more interest in taking down Elena than trying to get to know Chihiro, his wording and actions make it difficult for Clair to feel confident in her abilities as a pilot. She spends a majority of the episode trying to find ways to prove herself to be reliable for Shuuichi by efficiently controlling him without going berserk and helping map out the route to get to Uchuujin’s UFO. But this episode was a larger wakeup call for Clair to try to be more compatible with Shuuichi so that he doesn’t continue thinking that he’s just a convenient tool that anyone can use. It should be interesting to see if they are able to get a little better acquainted in the next episode.