Mitsuo IwataYo TaichiShizuka ItouHisako Kanemoto
Gleipnir
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2020
Director: Kazuhiro Yoneda
Writer: Shinichi Inotsume
Actor: Haruka Shiraishi, Hiroki Yasumoto, Hisako Kanemoto, Kana Hanazawa, Kana Ichinose, Kazutomi Yamamoto, Kouki Uchiyama, Miku Ito, Mitsuo Iwata, Nao Toyama, Natsuki Hanae, Ryota Ohsaka, Shizuka Ishigami, Shizuka Itou, Shoya Chiba, Takahiro Sakurai, Takuma Terashima, Yo Taichi, Yoshiaki Hasegawa
Keywords: anime, fantasy
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 13 episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=21888
Website category: Anime 2020
Review date: 28 September 2022
Gleip nir
Ep.1 looked great. I was thoroughly looking forward to this. The show gets ever grimmer and darker, but that wasn't a problem... until ep.12 lost me. The show's backstory gives us nice people making grotesquely bad decisions. The idiocy undermines the tragedy. I lost interest. I'll probably watch Season 2, if there is one, but I'll feel less engaged than I'd have predicted at around ep.11.
That said, though, the show's impressively wholehearted and its good stuff is great.
Firstly, our hero, Shuunichi, transforms into a giant stuffed toy dog with a zipper up its back. (Sadly, nothing else in the show is that whimsical.) Girls undress and climb inside to "pilot" him. If you're sensing a sexual subtext, then you're absolutely right. However, they're doing so because Shuunichi's transformed form has super-strength and that's often the only way of staying alive when meeting other people with transformation superpowers.
Shuunichi is a timid nobody with signs of depression. (At first. He changes, quite a lot.) He doesn't want to kill and his sex drive's so low that he won't even notice when a girl's flashing her knickers. He'll react with shock, confusion and knee-jerk rejection when offered sex, without considering the feelings of the (previously demonstrated to be suicidal) girl.
Claire is hard as nails and willing to do whatever it takes, but doesn't value her own life. She's a villain in a heroic role. Again and again, she's Shuunichi's best chance of staying alive. She's both scary and vulnerable. She's the show's strongest selling point.
There's lots of violence, death, nudity and girls in their underwear. The show's pushing all the boundaries it can. There's an alien who grants wishes to anyone who meets a simple criterion, regardless of morality, sanity or the expected body count. It's collecting some coins. One coin means one wish. I'm unsure of the plot logic of this, because we'll have people trying to collect a hundred coins even though we've never seen any limit on what one wish can grant. You could probably achieve everything you wanted with two or three carefully worded wishes, yet so far we've only heard of one person who described their wish in anything but vague terms.
The show goes in directions I hadn't expected. I'd been assuming we'd see a Battle Royale, but no. People make groups. Even the out-and-out monsters have a bond between them and a desire to do good, for an utter bastard's definition of "good". The weakest people are often the most dangerous, be it either physically (Claire) or emotionally (take your pick).
This show is twisted, nasty and cool. I like the character growth. I was interested by the group of weaklings. Ultimately, though, the show boils down to a core group of key characters who all used to be friends and deep down aren't evil at all, despite their extremely bloody deeds. In one way, this is strong. In another way, though, it makes the conflict a little artificial since everyone needs to sit down and have a chat. The most direct solution for this show's big, corpse-strewn horrors would be a plate of chocolate hob-nobs. There are people this wouldn't work for, because they've almost certainly fucked themselves up beyond repair, but it's still the obvious step forward. Again, the tragedy's being undermined by the cast's stupidity.
Do I like this show? Not really, but only because it fell down at the last fence. Most of its episodes are very strong. I've seen a lot of critical praise for it, although admittedly also a lot of neglect from the general fan audience. Also, if nothing else, it does have Super Stuffed Toy Dog.