Gleipnir: Season 1 Episode 2 “What It Means to Be Empty” – Recap/ Review with Spoilers

“Gleipnir” vastly improves as we see our first monster battle, alongside us getting to know the darkness in the characters beyond their anger.

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Clair, as Shuuichi, giving Hikawa the finger.

“Gleipnir” vastly improves as we see our first monster battle, alongside us getting to know the darkness in the characters beyond their anger.

Directed By Yoneda Kazuhiro
Written By Inotsume Shin`ichi
Aired (Funimation) 4/12/2020
Introduced This Episode
Elena Hanazawa Kana
Hikawa Ishigami Shizuka

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Failure Is NOT An Option – Hikawa

Hikawa, at one time, was considered to be a top athlete. Someone who could go national, potentially. However, in high school, she was no longer the fastest, likely not the strongest, and without any support system, this wore on her.

Hikawa (Ishigami Shizuka) with hair in her face.
Hikawa (Ishigami Shizuka)

Making the discovery of a coin, which seemingly grants people’s wishes, if you place it into a vending machine near the Hotel Mythos, a love hotel, a strange idea. Yet, Hikawa does this and gets her wish to be fast. The only problem is, the side effect of her wish is transforming into a monster when she gets too in the zone.

My Life Or Yours – Hikawa, Clair, Shuuichi

Leading to the situation of Hikawa confronting Clair in her home. From what it seems, Hikawa wants an additional coin to make another wish. What is that wish? We aren’t told. However, she is more than willing to kill Clair, and Shuuichi, for it. So, rather than be pummeled to death, or let Clair get hurt, Shuuichi picks up Clair and runs for the docks.

It is there that Shuuichi is forced to realize he can’t run forever, and so Clair makes him a deal. One which is strange for it first requires her to go inside him. Something we wish we could show you an image of, to remind you, but with being ad-supported comes limits. So let’s just say she literally opens up his back and climbs inside him. Leading to some comically lewd remarks.

However, it sets up how Clair and Shuuichi’s relationship will have to be going forward. There is an interdependency needed if they are both to survive, not just those like Hikawa, who Clair kills, but their own demons eating them inside. Which, thanks to Clair climbing inside Shuuichi, they become intimately aware of each other beyond the physical.

Romeo and Juliet – Clair, Shuuichi, Elena

Something that makes Shuuichi uncomfortable since, while inside him, Clair did kill someone. So reconciling she did that, even if in self-defense, is difficult. Plus, she got to know him in ways no one else has and has the ability to disrupt what he has called normal for a long time.

And it is in understanding Shuuichi’s pain that Clair softens and even makes a death pact with Shuuichi. One that leads to the reveal of Clair’s sister Elena, who she is hoping to rediscover. For, you see, Elena herself became a monster seemingly after making a wish for Shuuichi to return her feelings. Making it so there is more to Clair’s connection to Shuuichi than we initially knew.

What Must Also Be Noted

Elena (Hanazawa Kana) making a wish.
Elena (Hanazawa Kana)
  1. There is a mysterious boy who grants wishes, and seemingly makes monsters. It should be noted, when Elena made her wish, on her keychain, we see what Shuuichi became. Also, her wish was to change him, so it appears she is the one who caused him to be a monster.


It Got Comically Dirty

As noted in the premiere, do we like panty shots and all that? No. However, what Clair was saying as she entered in Shuuichi was hilarious. Why? Well, because of the gender flip. For her saying that as she entered a boy made for the most awkward, yet comical, dialog.

Hikawa v. Clair

While, clearly, Hikawa and Shuuichi’s monster form were going to fight, I wasn’t expecting something so violent. Especially Clair snaping Hikawa’s leg and possibly killing her. With that, my expectations of this show rose since I thought this was going to be some basic show I’d end up dropping by episode three. However, now I feel like I’m going to be committed to this until we hit the finale.

Clair and Shuuichi Venturing Into The Darkness

Another thing that raised expectations was we got some depth in this episode. With seeing glimmers of Clair’s darkness, and Shuuichi’s own being revealed, they moved beyond tropes and archetypes into something more. Shuuichi became more than the boring boy who exciting things happen to. He became this sensitive kid who is likely hiding some kind of trauma.

Then with Clair, her suicide attempt became less about her being edgy or out of her mind and more about emotional pain. Which caught us off guard since I think we’ve become a bit jaded and definitely judgemental when shows aren’t quick with trying to have your love and admiration. Making it so, when it comes to the “wood-burning oven” type of shows, we write them off before they can prove themselves.

So here is hoping this continues to grow.

You Strangely May Come To Ship Clair and Shuuichi

Shuuichi and Clair talking in a warehouse.

Is their relationship borderline toxic? Yes. Do I recognize Clair is not in the mindset of being with anyone but her own thoughts? Yup. However, like many, I, unfortunately, romanticize when two people going through something horrible find solace in each other. And while their dependency will likely drive one another to madness, perhaps death, at this stage, it is hard to not hope and believe they could be good to one another.

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You Strangely May Come To Ship Clair and Shuuichi - 87%
Clair and Shuuichi Venturing Into The Darkness - 88%
Hikawa v. Clair - 90%
It Got Comically Dirty - 82%


Gleipnir makes leaps and bounds in its second episode as it explores more than a sense of naughtiness but the emotional depth of its leads.

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