Gleipnir Anime Reivew
It's hard to know with Gliepnir just where I need to stop explaining and what constitutes a spoiler. As you learn the rules about what's going on you start to learn more about the lead character, the shows villains, and the secrets behind why the main character turns into a monster. A lot of these are twists that kind of tie into the experience of the anime, so I'm going to try to be as careful as I can when talking about the story here.
Shuichi is trying to stay under the radar and just be a normal kid, despite two things. He is one of the smartest people in school, if not the smartest, and he can turn into a giant stuffed bear with a revolver. Despite being very strong, he's uncoordinated and unskilled, meaning a lot of this strength he can't make much use of. However, someone can climb inside of him and take control. Of course, he ends up teaming up with a girl whose sister also appears to be a monster, and certain coins are somehow related to the monsters. The premise becomes trying to find out the connection, as well as finding the girls' sister.
This is where things get odd because a few episodes in many of these questions start getting answered, but the answers just create more and more questions. While there is a decent amount of action, a big part of this show is the suspense and mystery behind what's going on, why Shuichi turns into a monster, and as time goes on you start to learn about the missing bits of his memory. The constant build of the mystery becomes the best part of the show and does a lot to keep things interesting.
Now where I'm a bit conflicted is the themes of the show, specifically how they presented. This paragraph does get a little... explicit in my description. It's nothing I find offensive, but there are also aspects of sexual themes and symbolism that I don't know if I get. Now hear me out, when the girl enters Shuichi, it's kind of implied the way she enters him is like a penis entering a vagina. I say it this way, because I have seen my share of hentai, and the way the slimy nature of the inside of his suit is shown is pretty much the same way the wet vagina is portrayed in hentai, and with the obvious sexual undertones of the scenes I don't think this was a coincidence. This leaves me a bit confused as to what the intent behind this is, and with the vast amount of pegging memes online right now part of my brain keeps going 'She's pegging him' and that isn't what the show is going for. Mixed with a few other things going on in the story, I'm at a loss for the intent of all this, but it's so obvious something is there it becomes distracting.
Something that also sits a little off with me is Sanbe. He's a bit of a generic 'I am just seeking strong monsters to fight' kind of guy but ends up joining with Shuichi and Claire, though doesn't want to work with another group for a while, which is part of Shuichi and Claire's plan, so goes home to nurse his injury for the remainder of the season, only to rejoin up at the very end. They set him up in the early episodes, and completely ignore him until the very end. You never really get to see the guy who is among the strongest monsters in the show let loose, despite being set up near the shows beginning.
Those issues aside, the actual action is a lot of fun. Fights are dynamic and tense, and the visuals do a wonderful job of showing the destructive powers of these monsters. There are a lot of creative uses of various powers in the show, as well as interesting powers that aren't combat-focused, to create a lot of fantastic scenes weather action is involved or not.
A big thing to note though is this show kind of follows the same major hangup I had about Golden Kamuy Season 1, and that so much feels like it's setting up for what's to come. While I”m intrigued, it's hard to say I recommend the show because how good this first season depends entirely on if all this set up is going to be worth it. In the case of Golden Kamuy, it certainly was, but until Season 2 comes out for Gliepnir it's hard to recommend. Overall I do think it's worth a watch though.