Gleipnir – 09 – The Third Faction

The first third of this episode resembles a pleasant hiking trip (they even take a break to eat watermelon) through the woods, but it’s clear that the closer they get to the crash site, the more powerful foes they’ll encounter. When they take a detour around a site marked as turf by a rival group, that detour takes them to a very exposed riverbed, leading Claire to wonder if that was the enemy’s goal in the first place.

Sayaka may have stirred her troops with her speech—she’s clearly a good leader in that regard—but the fact remains she led her group into a potentially deadly trap simply by discounting the possibility her group could be outwitted by the selfish savages who inhabit the woods. Worse, her lack of any offensive capability make her an instant liability in an actual battle with a member of this third group.

This monster, Morita, runs ahead of his allies to cut Sayaka’s group off and stall them, taking Sayaka hostage and holding her limbs (and boobs) with his many arms. Due to the usual way things go in Gleipnir, I didn’t think Sayaka would ever leave Morita’s grasp with her life (or all her limbs attached). Enter Yota, who reveals his superior offensive capability for the first time by freeing Sayaka, ripping Morita’s jaw out, and leaving him in a defeated pile.

When Morita’s allies find him, they declare him useless and are excited at the prospect of putting him out of his misery and moving on, since they never liked him. But their leader, who unlike Sayaka is the most powerful among them, takes pity on Morita, rips out one of his own teeth to share in the pain, and promises he’ll make the one responsible pay dearly.

Taking the form of a massive gorilla, the leader rushes Sayaka’s group and punches out Isao, believing him to be Morita’s attacker before Yota saves Isao from being pummeled by a log. Yet even Yota has trouble with this guy, meaning the Weak’s last best chance of surviving this latest encounter is for Claire to climb into Shuuichi and do their thing.

After a couple straight episodes of interesting relationship dynamics, that’s all set aside this week for the sake of the plot moving forward. You could call that a demerit on a show where the characters are more compelling than the story, but it’s good to see the show strike a balance. After all the talk about external threats, this was a confrontation that needed to happen sooner rather than later. We’ll see how many of the Weak come out of it in one piece.

P.S. The sub-7 rating of Gleipnir on MAL is frankly a joke. This is easily a 7.6-7.8 anime at worst. Remember to keep taking those with a grain of salt!

Golden Time – 03


The “club” that invited Tada and Kaga to a retreat turns out to be a religious cult. Tada pretends to be interested in order to get Kaga and those who want to leave out of there. However, Kaga stays, and they escape together into the woods. Once they’ve lost their pursuers, they sit down for a rest, both claiming responsibility for getting them into that mess. They end up learning a lot more about each other. They see strange lights ahead of them, and then a flashlight is shone on them, belonging to none other than Linda.

The series continues the practice of placing Tada and Kaga into scenarios common to young adults at college, only with the intensity stepped up. As soon as we saw the “club” members roll up wearing creepy identical tracksuits and snowflake pendants (The Cult of White Album?), we knew Tada and Kaga were in for a long three days and two nights in a remote area with no cell service (There were no cell phones in the original White Album. Hmmm…). We liked how Tada shrewdly used the true story of his post-accident identity loss to stay on the cult’s good side just long enough. Even better, Kaga picked up on his plan and foiled it, not wanting to leave him behind.

The cult adventure doesn’t start out all that pleasant, but ends up being an able vehicle for further cultivating Tada and Kaga’s increasingly intriguing friendship. Tada likes Kaga, but Kaga remains very much devoted to Mitsuo (fittingly absent this week). Kaga’s happiness is more important to Tada than winning her from Mitsuo (at the moment), so he tells her what she wants to hear, while suggesting she modify her approach with Mitsuo. The more interesting part was when Tada tells Kaga the very frightening story of how his past self is basically gone. But Kaga’s reactions made us wonder: did she already know that past Tada? If so, that opens a whole new can of worms.

Rating: 8