「決意の代償」 (Ketsui no Daishou)
“The Price of Resolve”
This week on Gleipnir was an eventful one as Shuichi decides that now is the time to recontextualize his behavior to try to become Clair’s equal by channeling his ruthless side. And as he has the epiphany to throw out all of his fears and concerns to get to the bottom of why he can mutate, we get substantial info on why Uchujin got himself roped into being the Wishmaster for this particular neighborhood he crash-landed near.
Although it was a dramatic change from his usual self, Shuichi has made a clearer shift towards a less empathetic, more violent mindset. From jump street, he openly accepted that his and Clair’s mutual decision to burn the flowers would end up killing a number of Madoka’s men including his old friend Abukawa. Even if his current squad is horrified about having killed others in spite of the danger they face and the death of Ikeuchi, they neglected to notice much of what molded the two to be far more vicious in comparison.
The point of no return came when he had the resolve to shoot one of the surviving members of Madoka’s crew in the back. It’s easy to discount Shuichi’s role in his and Clair’s endeavors given that he’s had a weaker resolve. But now that he’s paying more mind to what he must’ve done with Elena to gain his powers, he is starting to see how much of an active role he’ll have to start taking if he wants to be comparable to Clair without running away or shutting down in the middle of battle.
But while Shuichi is starting to mobilize and grow more aggressive, Uchuujin is reflecting on how exactly he got roped into all of this coin nonsense. Rather than being the Mephistopheles-type that’s expected of someone who grants backfiring wishes, the whole “gifting people with curses” business was someone else’s idea. In all actuality, Uchuujin was a lazy alien who wants to gather up all of his missing coins to return back but doesn’t have the motivation to dig after them. However, a girl named Honoka gave him the idea of granting people’s wishes if they help him collect the coins. It’s kinda funny to see how disastrous everything became all because the alien was too unmotivated to gather coins and how humans are too monstrous to be trusted with a simple task without trying to kill each other. Not sure if it makes the anime any more or less serious, but it is fitting for the cause of all of this to be so trivial that it calls into question why everyone is upset at him when they just couldn’t be bothered to not turn a coin hunt into a deadly battle royale.
I don’t really discount Shuuichi’s role over the course of the show. He just had a more moderate line in the sand than Claire. Chihiro pointed it out earlier but the lad doth protest too much. Shooting his foe in the back was pretty low though. I wouldn’t call the pair vicious either (at least until that shot). Does he even have a line in the sand anymore?
From her expression, I can’t help but imagine that Honoka wishes she’d just accepted a wish for herself instead of proposing the coin hunt to the alien. Blood aside, that’s a woman who has stared too long into the abyss. It sort of makes Elena’s perpetual negativity and morose expressions seem more ordinary. Just what the heck did that first group do to kick this game off?
So Shuichi is a badass now. Didn’t see it coming