Fear, survival, instinct. Thrown into a foreign land with nothing but hazy memories and the knowledge of their name, they can feel only these three emotions resonating deep within their souls. A group of strangers is given no other choice than to accept the only paying job in this game-like world—the role of a soldier in the Reserve Army—and eliminate anything that threatens the peace in their new world, Grimgar.
When all of the stronger candidates join together, those left behind must create a party together to survive: Manato, a charismatic leader and priest; Haruhiro, a nervous thief; Yume, a cheerful hunter; Shihoru, a shy mage; Mogzo, a kind warrior; and Ranta, a rowdy dark knight. Despite its resemblance to one, this is no game—there are no redos or respawns; it is kill or be killed.
It is now up to this ragtag group of unlikely fighters to survive together in a world where life and death are separated only by a fine line.
Hai to Gensou no Grimgar is a very unique watch. Shows throughout time have had a tendency to force the characters to go from 0 to a 100 in an unrealistic time frame. This often ties in with the pervasive society demands of instant gratification. Hai to Gensou no Grimgar challenges these demands by putting a heavy emphasis on the natural growth of each character. Almost never will the show leave any concept unexplained or unattended. The story flows very naturally, and most things will not seem out of place with 2 exceptions (mentioned later). This ties in with the superb characterisation and use of foreshadowing. Step by step, characters are built up through every interaction with the plot and characters. Hai to Gensou no Grimgar pays meticulous attention to ensure that every interaction concisely holds purpose and further meaning (there were some exceptions to this during episodes 2-4 and one during the final episode). This emphasises the importance of playing close attention to the plot and each character to not miss the abundance of implicit detail that goes into their development and characterisation. With every moment holding importance, it follows that Hai to Gensou no Grimgar also makes for an intriguing and engaging watch. Due to the vast amount of implicit detail that goes into the show, it is important to think deeply about what happens in the show. As such, I would recommend the watch for anyone that likes to read deeply into things and think beyond explicit details.
One of the well-executed features of Hai to Gensou no Grimgar is the right balance between the characterisation and development of the group and the individuals. Seeing as Hai to Gensou no Grimgar features a large main cast, Hai to Gensou no Grimgar did well by placing a higher emphasis on characterising and developing the group as opposed to focusing on every member one at a time. There is just the right amount of balance between learning about the group and each character. While there was a slightly higher focus on the group, Hai to Gensou no Grimgar does not neglect the importance of teaching the viewers about their individual daily lives (roles, recreation, style of living and ect.) and personalities to an extent. The ability to learn about how each character interacts with the group, as influenced by their individual characteristics and interactions, is one of Hai to Gensou no Grimgar most emphasised points. What's to take from this is that Hai to Gensou no Grimgar is an interesting watch for those who want to see a well mix between group and individual characterisation and development.
The shows starts off on a weaker foot but eventually progresses into a spectacular piece of work making it still worth the watch. Such is also true for the pacing which eventually became one of the strong points of this show. It plays such an important role in establishing the correct mood. It has also allowed the show to realistically build upon its concepts. "Slow" does not mean bad. It is only when it is out of place or meaninglessly slow that it can be considered such. In this case, the show has done an spectacular job to pace the show such that the story and characters (development and characterisation) is always progressing and the right mood is established. Also, I do not actually think the show is slow. Explicitly, it might seem so but when explored implicitly, there is much meaning behind most interactions and moments plot-wise and character-wise. To summarise, the show might seem slow to people or like nothing is happening if they only focus on the explicit details and miss all the implicit detail. This can also be a consequence of not understanding the purpose of the show, which I detail on later.
Now, regardless of the pacing, it is possible for outcomes to be rushed. To rush something is to reach something without having all the details or enough time for the viewers to follow it. Hai to Gensou no Grimgar unfortunately plays into such with the limitation of 12 episodes. With 24 episodes, I believe the show could have been a masterpiece but that is not the case here. There is one somewhat important outcome that Hai to Gensou no Grimgar rushes that ties some of the show together. I will go into detail in later section to avoid spoilers. Finally, similarly to the above paragraph, some events might only seem rushed if the viewer misses the implicit detail.
Hai to Gensou no Grimgar makes a rigorous effort to ensure its realism. The characters will have to manage basic needs such as food and shelter. The characters will have to face the reality of the world. Overall, the characters have realistic dialogue, development and interactions. One example of such realism is the fact that almost nothing happens at the beginning. Though, why should anything extraordinary happen? They live basic lives and hold little significance. It is not normal for much to happen outside of their daily struggles. Now, things do happen just not what some people want to happen. Another excellent point Hai to Gensou no Grimgar exercises is not having over the top combat abilities. They were mostly just minor extensions of the human ability. This harmonises well with its realism theme.
Hai to Gensou no Grimgar is targeted towards those that enjoy the slice of life genre. The combination of realism and narrative focus on character lifestyle and natural progression makes it a natural watch for such people. One of the common issues I see with people approaching this show is that they expect action and in return receive a slice of life. Such criticism is bias and unfair as it does not take into account the factor of target audience. It is also important to note that while the premise of the show was to toss the average teenager into a fantasy-themed world, it is not a deconstruction of the fantasy genre and is only one reason why the show is enjoyable. The watch is instead for those who are interested watching the natural growth of a group, the bonds they develop, the building of the character through things such as how they react to certain stimuli and the lives they lead. It is much more of a character oriented show (60-70%) than a plot oriented one (roughly 35%). It is a show where learning about the characters is essentially progression. Understanding this and what a slice of life entails is critical when it comes to such works.
One final thing, I highly recommend taking a break of around a week or 2 after finishing episode 4 to properly get into the mood of episode 5. Anime shows are aired weekly and this is where it pays off.
Character and story are roughly the same in this show.
The art is one of the strongest points of this show. It has greatly enhanced the show, particularly in conveying the right mood. However, I noticed that the backgrounds didn't feel immersive sometimes, which slightly detracts from the action scenes specifically. This is mostly the consequence of drawing the backgrounds in 2d as opposed to 3d.
The soundtracks were amazing and was very fitting for the show. They also played an important role in conveying the right mood in the montage videos featured throughout the show. Overall, the montages enhanced the show.
Though, there were 2 misuses of the montage video. Its first use (town settling) was inappropriate and unfitting. It should have only been used once the characters had settled in and felt very familiar and connected with the place.
The second use (graveyard location) was clashing with the mood. The pacing of the song was just too fast for the moment. The use of a song there should have been omitted all together as it was inappropriate.
This section henceforth contains spoilers.
This part will offer my main criticism and other comments regarding the show that I haven't already brought up.
Shihoru is a bad character. You can remove her from the show, make little changes and there wouldn't be much difference. Episodes 1-5 was where this was most noticeable. Though, past episode 5, she was pretty important in the combat. They needed to rework her in some way such that she serves a purpose plot-wise outside of just combat.
Due to the limitations of 12 episodes, the development regarding the bond between Manato and the group is rather lacking. 2 episodes was certainly insufficient to fulfil the required developments for the viewers to feel sympathetic towards the characters during Manato's death. The end of episode 4 is the weakest of the series (rushed outcome) as it plays heavily on the bond Manato shares with the group. The show clearly intended to evoke sympathy in the viewers, and various components of the show depended somewhat on this sympathy. While we weren't required to sympathise with the characters, it would have greatly enhanced the show if we were able to. Using logic we could derive how they felt but it is rather limited and superficial. Allowing enough time to properly develop the bonds shared with Manato would have allowed us a more clearer and deeper understanding of how they felt. This foundation of knowledge would have also aided us in understanding and sympathising with Haruhiro as he faces his inner-conflict. It is not necessary but it certainly would have benefited the show by quite a bit.
Now, the show has done well in building the characters but I want more. I specifically wanted to see more on how each individual interacts with the group. What unique individual bonds and interactions do they share with the group? For example, it could be an intimate relationship between 2 characters or a unique bond or interaction that only 2 members share. Also, I wanted to see more application of their characters. While Hai to Gensou no Grimgar does build the character, they don't have enough time to further display the final product. I am specifically referring to episodes 11 and 12 where we learnt some new details about the character. We didn't get to see how these newly gained qualities affect them. This plays into the 12 episode limitation.
Ranta escaping at the end was illogical. He was surrounded, and he barely knew the mine pathing compared to the Kobolds, which know the place inside out. I liked Ranta escaping but they just need to rework the situation into one that is more plausible.
The streams of light that direct Haruhiro can be seen as a natural skill that comes with experience. After fighting many enemies, you learn their weak points and how to properly attack. This skill is pretty much a visualisation of that. The skill appeared for the goblins as he gained experience through combat specific to them. I mention this because I don't think the skill should have appeared against the Death spots at the end. It should have been a new challenge for him not something his skill could easily get him through since he lacked combat experience specific to elder kobalds. This was kind of an important moment. It was a moment where he could have displayed the full extent of his combat experience and skill gained or built over the course of the show, so it was kind of wasteful rushing to such a conclusion without a proper fight. I heard the novel took the time to detail it, so the show just didn't have time. The novel might be worth a read seeing as it is essentially the show with no rushed moments, greater detail and a season 2.
They actually fully developed the concept of the main cast not being natural inhabitants of the world. I thought it was pretty well done. It was evident that the main cast had brief knowledge of this fact, but overtime, the characters neglected the idea such that it eventually faded away. As they learnt to prioritise their survival and adapt to the world, they also learnt how unimportant it was to pursue the idea compared to meeting to the demands of their daily lives. This conclusion was directly supported by the show. At the end, Kikkawa (the always drunk guy) shouted out "Australia" in a very carefree manner. They could have chose any word or omitted it all together, but why did they attribute that specific line to him? They deliberately chose the word "Australia" (connecting it with the real world) and had Kikkawa, the most carefree character, shout it in such a manner to suggest that the characters have already moved on and accepted the fact. Also, when heard in the context of the characters, the statement is greatly insignificant, as it was randomly blurted out by a drunkard, suggesting the same of their unnatural inhabiting of the world. To elaborate, the characters don't such a detail is important any more.
This is what I mean by implicit detail. It is so important to pay attention to the show. The main problem the show suffers from is time not illogical developments. Asides from the problems I mentioned above, all questions can be answered by watching the show.
In spite of all the praise and criticism I've written above, Hai to Gensou no Grimgar is overall an 8.2/10 which according to MAL depicts a "very good" show.
The occasional RPG setting within an anime isn't some new, revolutionary trend. Popularized by the underwhelming Sword Art Online, they seem to be popping up a lot more frequently than before and that isn't something I'm particularly fond of. This is mostly due to the lack of originality that comes with these works. To a novice, this idea may seem spectacular on it's own, but at this point, the same thing has been done over and over again and not once did I consider one of them to be good. With that being said, I believe that this is quite close to the epitome of what an anime should not be - from the embarrassingly awful execution to the completely obnoxious and meaningless characters. It honestly baffles me that some people see this title as average, yet alone good. From the legendary A-1 Pictures who've produced such magnificent works of art such as - Sword Art Online, The Asterisk War, The Perfect Insider, Fairy Tail, every single bad light novel adaptation and many more mind-boggling series for our entertainment over the years, comes the awe-inspiring Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash.
So the story takes place in a videogame setting, a town called Grimgar and it follows our protagonists as they each individually grow as people, go through hardships together and face the cruel reality that 10 of them can't kill 1 retarded goblin. This is not an exaggeration, our protagonists are so weak that it takes them 5 minutes to kill a single goblin. However, I thought this was a very interesting approach, as it obviously differs from the usual Jesus-kun format. Sadly, this doesn't last for long. There was no big transition in between their entire party not being able to kill a single goblin to them doing full-on raids versus an entire castle full of goblins. It just sort of happened overnight, I don't know.
While I did think it was a neat change, I see this argument used way too often. "Grimgar is special because its story is very realistic unlike the other RPG anime!" I think there is a fine line between realistic and different. A different approach doesn't mean the title is going to be good and this is what people tend to be missing. If it really wanted to be that realistic then it should have cut down a bit on stuff such as discussing a girl's breasts in front of her for 3 minutes straight. Here lies the thesis and basically anything the positive reviews ever say about this show. I wouldn't be surprised if eventually people started calling it a deconstruction of the RPG genre for this sole fact.
The world of Grimgar itself is for the most part very uninteresting and leaves a lot to be desired. It is barely touched upon within the first 2 episodes in some hasty introduction to the basics and the rest of the series is action-driven and focuses more so on the characters. All we know is that there are normal townsfolk and these adventurers who have to fight off goblins in order to survive. We don't know anything about the town, we don't know anything about the goblins, etc. Basically we don't really know much of anything and it would of definitely been better if they tried to implement some sort of interesting lore and went more in detail since it just felt lazy on it's own. Not that I find RPG settings to be particularly interesting anyway but yeah, the worldbuilding was bad.
Some people may tell you that this anime is simply not for you though, due to it's slow pacing which a shonen fanboy such as yourself cannot appreciate. As a fan of shows that take their time in properly developing it's world, themes and characters, I can safely say that Grimgar left me disappointed. It really did not have to be as slow as it was. It just felt like a mere blunder on the production staff's side, rather than a necessity for good development. So even if you do prefer slower paced stuff, I can't really guarantee you'll enjoy Grimgar.
So instead of filling up the weaknesses of the show, they go ahead and introduce irrelevant plotpoints such as: none of the characters having their memories from the real world. I thought this was incredibly useless and stupid, what would knowing anything change? Was this implemented in here just so they could have an easy way out of dealing with character backstories? It is shown early on that none of their items from the real world are transported here to begin with, so why bother? Actually why even bother making the setting a game? Why not just some fantasy world? It's because A-1 knows the demographic it's appealing to far too well.
Art / Animation
Okay, gotta give credit where credit is due. The artstyle used in Grimgar is very original and nice, with a watercolor/painterly feel to it. This was definitely a breath of fresh air due to how bland I thought most of the art in these recent seasons looked like so a change of pace was much appreciated. The backgrounds look especially nice, as if you're looking at a painting of some sort. The animation is alright and it clearly excels when the girls' tits bounce. You can just see how much time and effort was put into those jiggles.
Unlike the art and animation, the sound isn't anything spectacular. Sure, you've got some good songs thrown in there, but for every good song you have the same amount of poor utilization and engrish vocals. This is quite a problem as Grimgar tries rather hard to make you emotionally invested, and when such scenes came along, they mostly felt underwhelming due to the mediocre musical direction. For a series that takes itself seriously, I thought the voice acting was rather lackluster. None of the performances stand out and most are just borderline annoying. The only decent performances were Yume, Mary and Haruhiro (although this is probably my bias due to his role as Shichika in Katanagatari).
All aboard the cringe train. This is no doubt the worst part about Grimgar, showing further how A-1 has no clue how to make decent or even half-decent characters. This luckily changes as the series progresses but I still felt like touching upon it - every character interaction between members of the opposite sex has sexual themes or implications in it which makes me wonder if the writer is out of his early teens yet. Adding on to this, it is very impressive when in the first scene of the series it is able to portray the females as useless and clumsy damsels in distress, unable to do anything on their own apart from scream and cry until their beta-male white knight companions come to the rescue. This makes for some of the cringiest scenes I have ever seen, like talking about Shihoru's breasts for a good 3-5 minutes.
You could say that this is just taking the easy route since no matter how bad the actual series in question may be, it's bound to garner some sort of audience. However, I still feel as though it is a very big problem and is ultimately what a lot of modern anime suffer from. While I guess that it just knows what demographic it's appealing to and it's not so bad on it's own, it also means that we have to depend on the male cast to be good or get the proper development. Feel free to take a guess on how it's handled in Grimgar. Yes, not very good...
A lot of people would argue this point because of how well developed they all become upon facing loss! No! The characters can grieve all they want but it won't make them more likable or realistic. Coping with sadness is a great characterization tool if utilized properly and on good characters, but despite these characters being borderline terrible, they barely develop! Most of the characters don't even have a personality that defines them to begin with, apart from Ranta. And, well.. Ranta is just Ranta. For example, one of the characters was only memorable for his death, nothing else. They didn't even bother to make us feel anything for the character, he was just a bland teenager who got killed off in order to "develop" everyone else. You aren't supposed to remember a character for their death, you're supposed to remember them by their life and their accomplishments BEFORE their death. The drama also felt awfully forced and doesn't work 90% of the time. " Hey guys, let's go to that place where most of Mary's party got brutally murdered which left her scarred for life :D :D :D Oh Mary why u mad bro?? "
I giggled a couple of times when the goblins were screeching so I guess some enjoyment was to be had. Sadly it was all just nullified by Ranta and the female cast's cleavage. The pacing also played a key factor in this but it did get noticeably better as the series went along. Despite this, it is not an exaggeration to say that I was forcing myself through most of the show as in the end, Grimgar struck me as incredibly bland and boring.
This is a series that had a lot of initial potential and sounded pretty good on paper but A-1 went the wrong way of doing it. Especially if the characters were handled properly, Grimgar could of been the highpoint of the RPG genre, covering stuff like how detrimental loss can be in some cases. Sadly, the script looks like something from an otaku's basement, the pacing and execution are incredibly poor and the characters are very bland, uninteresting and have no defining personality.read more
(If you couldn’t give a tuna glass about this review and just want to know if you should watch this, skip all the way to the “What to expect and enjoyment” Either way, read this review if you want an insight of the flaws it had. This is my first review so don’t judge and give me a break lol. My usage of words might come off as wonky so sorry for that)
Grimgar is an anime that doesn’t necessarily bring anything distinctive to the tables. I personally believe that Grimgar was just an anime of progression, where we would have an insight on a group of six and the enhancements to their amnesia and how they develop from it. Even then, an apparent anime like this had its deficiency and I’m astonished to know it does.
Despite the very slow adaptation, there was no exhilarating tension or motivation to the anime till the very few episodes. Grimgar was a story that was going nowhere till they picked up an objective that wasn’t even enthralled upon at the few last episodes. Very repetitive episodes as only a very few things would happen as it’s a part of the progression within the anime, which it would conventionally be the party just going out to kill some goblins then coming back.
As the other reviewers stated, it’s very hard to not reference a spoiler so yeah, spoilers up ahead in the next paragraph.
The characters felt very disengaging because of the lack of condolence felt for them. The fact that they killed off Manato in just four episodes immediately created a plot hole because of the lack of profundity put into Manato. I didn’t get to know him as a character; we didn’t get in depth of him at all hence why I couldn’t empathise for him. The fact that the characters would consistently drag Manato throughout the plot and weep for him made me feel excluded. It’s as if the plot was trying to renounce me to comprehend them or empathise for them in the slightest. They were trying to make Manato as pertinent to the story as possible because it’s the only thing they were dependable towards. Also the foreshadowing of Manato’s death was too heavy; which made his death very obvious, and yes, in a bad sense.
End of spoilers
Grimgar fails to give any cognizance or impression of the world the group of six are living within by constantly focusing on them and nothing outside of their party. We are not given an perception of how other parties evaluate and evolve in the world they are living within a.k.a the world we are being shown. When the group of six are struggling to kill goblins, how are another party handling this? How did they handle this when they were or are in their position? Sure, this anime is not deliberately trying to focus on other people but just by describing how other parties are doing within the narrative occasionally would have been justifiable. Also there’s no clarification as to why Haruhiro and the rest were chosen to be summoned within the world we are shown. Why is it that they are chosen but no one else?
There were a very few illogical clarifications for the people’s amnesia. How is it that they are well efficient of remembering their names but nothing else? There’s something about that that is very impactful on the characters. Does anything remind them of their name or something? And how is it that they remember the particular words they use but nothing else? Does anything remind them of the words they use? Grimgar fails to justify this. But even then, Grimgar badly brings the significance of that if we’re not going to know about the life the characters had before they came into this world. It’s pretty obvious that the characters came from Earth but Grimgar doesn’t really make that transparent.
The fan service within this show is what I’m truly dissatisfied about. At first, this anime gives you the intuition that it’s one of those soothe animes that seems to have some kind of abhorrence towards ecchi and all that sort, till you watch it, only to find that it adds a lot of unnecessary fan service itself. Oh but the art style of this anime definitely gives you a sense of suspicion. When it comes to wanting to be goofy and thrilling, Grimgar is very dependent with its fan service and jokes about Yume’s flat- chest for that, which it’s very subjective whenever you like it or not (Which I didn’t really) It’s just the fact that Grimgar would execute these at the wrong time, which is where the issue lies.
The pacing of this anime felt like complete torture. Grimgar didn’t manage the time of the twelve episodes properly and just tried to slowly progress the anime, most of the time being way too sluggish. Grimgar was way too enthralled on developing the characters that they completely overlooked everything else, which is giving the plot a resolution and getting into depths of the characters perhaps?
The amnesia concept completely stripped the opportunity to get in depth of the characters to begin with. However, even though the anime had the chance to tell us about the back-story of each character before they came within the world of Grimgar, something is telling me that that will barely bring any significance to the tables. Their amnesia gets in the way of getting in depth of the characters because there’s nothing to say about the characters within the party of six except Mary. The amnesia concept brought a huge plot hole among the characters at the very start. The characters only came off very one dimensional expect Mary, who was the only three dimensional character.
No character within the show was likable. This is more of a personal preference, keep that in mind. Every character was just pure mediocre. Even their character design was so generic. Each character just had that stereotypical role of their own. With Mary being that cold one but really when you get to know her, her attitude is very justifiable, Yume being the flat chest yet humble, Shihoru being the shy one who always cries, always has the oppais, Manato being the “Justin bieber” a.k.a the perfect, Moguzo being the quiet, peaceful, Ranta being the obnoxious and the Haruhiro being “the MC”. Heck, even the outside characters had their own stereotypical roles etc, Barbara = Fan service, Renji = the brave, admired.
Despite Mary, Haruhiro was a well executed character regardless of his lack of back-story (Something good about Grimgar?) Haru was nicely done depiction of the current reputation of the group. Haru alternatively came crucial; I’m quite astonished to see how the anime was capable of making Haru essential to the plot and the group. He is what created the perception put into the party. Haruhiro claimed his own hindrance and concerns as much as he represented that of the whole group’s, and he overcame his own as much as the group did as a whole. Some of you may be thinking “What about Ranta?” Sure, I will applause Ranta for his mentality and perspective on the group and how he’s just doing his part, however because of how unlikable he is and how this mindset completely changes within episode twelve, Ranta is just as mediocre as a character could get within his type.
Grimgar had rather good characterization (Yes, finally, something positive about Grimgar again) Why is it that they have good characterization? Well, because the plot was much focused on this that they received good results. However, don’t get the wrong idea, it’s not really anything bewildering, it’s just that Grimgar was capable of handling this without any issue. Grimgar was very victorious with what it wanted to do here and it’s very comprehensible with what they were trying to depict, how the struggling, amateurish and primitive managed to develop into a tactful and rational. Very simple and nicely exposed.
The water colouring a.k.a art of this anime was very heart-warming and made me feel comfortable and pleasant. I could go on describing it. As an artist, it was very admirable and motivates me into doing some water colouring with its warm colours. I adored how the background was done as well. Little to no effort put into doing it but in a respectful way.
Even though the opening and ending song has a very tedious tune to it, it’s very memorable. It’s something I hum from time to time and I think that’s a good thing. Something about the opening and ending was very clingy and addictive to listen to. It’s even more memorable than the Erased opening and I love that opening more than the Grimgar opening. The first half or the series and the ending song has very lazily done visuals and the second half of the series opening has some effort put into it but I still find something indolent about it. I’m not really concerned about the OSTs; it’s okay.
What to expect in Grimgar of fantasy and ash and Personal enjoyment -
But the real question is, is this anime enjoyable? Honestly, this may come off as anticipating but it depends. Yes, this is one of those “It depends” types of animes. If you enjoy looking at very slow progressive anime, this is the anime for you. However if you want a nicely done anime but it gets to the point and it has an objective, stay away from this anime. Be bound to expect a very slow anime with very torturing pacing, one dimensional characters expect one, unsympathetic death (not telling who), nicely done MC, nothing happening between the episodes and much more!
What makes this anime special is how it’s very considerate with its development so kudos to that! “But Pramma, did you enjoy this anime?” Honestly, no. It was so boring and it wasn’t really convincing or motivating to make me binge it till the very end. I wasn’t capable of watching episode 11 or 12 because it was that boring but I pushed myself to finish it lol.
Grimgar had bright potential but just didn’t use it to its full extent. A lot like to say how pragmatic this anime is but if you look into it, it’s not really that realistic. If you look through the flaws this anime had, the realism of it just suddenly vanishes. For a very straightforward concept like Grimgar, I’m rather disappointed that it has this much mistakes.
- No exhilarating tension or built up -
- No story or point was made till the very end -
- Disconnecting characters; lack of sympathy -
- Repetitive episodes ;nothing happens in between those episodes -
- Lack of information about the world of grimgar or their way of life. -
- Illogical clarifications for their amnesia -
- Shows nothing besides group of 6 -
- Awfully slow progression and pacing -
- Unnecessary fan service -
- Trying to make dead character relevant to the story -
- Too dependent towards this dead character; killed off too fast -
- Characters amnesia strips the purpose of characters and getting into depth of who the characters are -
- Unlikable characters -
- Don’t get an insight on every single character –
- No reasoning for Haruhiro and the rest that were summoned presences. They’re just there.
- Good Characterization -
- Good art -
- Memorable opening and endings -
- Okay usage of OSTs –
- Despite Mary, Haru = nicely done character
The show of it's season that everybody likes despite it's pretty bad. We have a group of teens who gets into a world based on RPG ruleset and shortly after this, they forget their previous life... and that's all. We won't get to know who they are, why did they get there, what is that place anyways, why does it operates like a video game, what should they do there. They just live their everyday life, learning some new skills, killing the low level creatures for the loot which they use to cover their living expenses and equipment.
There are some conflict, they lose a teammate, hire a new one who lost her team and slowly move on after their loss, but this doesn't start a real character improvement. It's trying, but doesn't goes anywhere. During their fights, because of this is a team, we might expect it'll be shown from a strategic point of view. They build up the tactics of their ambushes, comment how the teammates use their class' special skills to effectively operate as a team, but no. They just show their newly learnt skills without any deeper concept. We could think that after these they focus on giving the world some depth, who are these goblins and kobolds, are there any relation between them, what kind of society do they live in, why must they fight with them, why are they hostile by nature, by the way what kind of society do humanity live in this world. But no, we wont get to know anything about these either. The main issue with this show is NOT the slow pacing. The slow pacing can not be an excuse for the lack of world building and plot improvement. At the end there were some improvement in the representation of characters and the fight choreography, then, SLIGHT SPOILER, it ended with a terrible plot armor execution, END SPOILER.
The art design is correct. The character design follows the typical A1 Pictures design. One of the main characters looks exactly like a brown haired Kirito. Not quite unique. The environment and backgrounds are a bit better. With this sketchy looking, hand drawn like appearance it's easily distinguishable from the other series of the studio. It's a matter of taste if you like it or not, I found it a bit self-serving, but a creative way to work with low budget, the main issue isn't this. The animation seems really cheap. The fight scenes are dull, there isn't any tension in them at all. It's nowhere near UBW or even SAO. Oh, and SAO, do you all remember the fight against the first boss with Asuna and Kirito? It was a good fight, they were working together, they looked like a team. I'm not an SAO fan, but that scene was alright in concept and visuality. Don't expect anything even remotely like that from Grimgar.
To summarize, when I've seen the first promotional image, I knew I have to have low expectations. And thus fortunately or more like sadly I couldn't get disappointed. Not even pleasantly though. It sticks out downwards from average quality. Maybe the light novel was decent, I didn't read it, but there never were a moment when I felt the anime could be any better than a mediocre fantasy shounen. You won't lose anything if you skip it.read more
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