Having attended Mihama Academy for about a year, Yuuji Kazami has seemingly found his place within the school, but he suddenly decides to pursue a promotion in CIRS. After consulting JB about his intentions, they both thoroughly examine Yuuji's documents and dissect the events of his upbringing to determine if the job is fit for him.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the two, the girls of Mihama uncover some torn documents in Yuuji's room. After restoring the papers, they discover the story that has formed—or perhaps broken—Yuuji into the man he is today. However, what was thought to be history has haunted him to the present, and the chains of the past begin to drag him back into the darkness...
After the absolute disaster that was Studio 8bit's adaptation of Grisaia no Kajitsu, I'm sure the question on everybody's mind was whether or not the sequels would face the same treatment as well. Personally I don't think there was any reason to have faith in 8bit at this point, but the sequels come with the one advantage of being extremely short in comparison and thus being almost impossible to rush. And as it turns out, that was actually all that was needed because what we have here is actually a perfectly legitimate and very well made adaptation of Grisaia no Meikyuu.
Meikyuu's story takes place mostly
in the past and is told by Yuuji himself as one long flashback to his and Kazuki's childhood and history. Many people like to refer to this as "the Yuuji route", as none of the main heroines of Grisaia really make an appearance in this route other than Kazuki. Meikyuu tells the sinister tale of the countless hardships Yuuji had to live through when he was a kid, starting out with the heavy abuse he received form his father, and then over time becomes more of a shocking life and death drama (that's about all I can say without spoiling anything). There are also numerous sensitive topics touched upon in this story such as incest, rape, pedophilia, homosexuality, forced crossdressing and more.
The pacing is still fast, but compared to Kajitsu's adaptation it's nowhere even remotely close. It's fast, but not so fast that you can't keep up with the plot. In all honesty I think 8bit did a quite respectable job with the amount of content they were able to squeeze into merely 45 or so minutes of screen time. It should be noted though that this special doesn't actually cover the entire story from the visual novel, however what is left will simply be adapted in the beginning of Rakuen's adaptation instead so there's nothing to worry about. This is simply because the story of Meikyuu and Rakuen is effectively one and the same, merely that it's divided up between two different visual novels (like a part 1 and part 2), and thus changing the exact cutoff point for their respective anime adaptations doesn't really make any difference.
The animation is identical to the one of Kajitsu, but the soundtrack is not. The Grisaia sequels have many new tracks added to its repertoire and I personally thought it was a lot better than Kajitsu's when I was playing them about a year ago. You'll notice this much more so in Rakuen, but even here it's already a pretty clear difference.
Overall, I'm sure a lot of people lost all hope for the Grisaia trilogy's adaptation after how Kajitsu turned out, but I think Meikyuu gives some hope back. It's captivating and interesting, and I can't really think of much that could have been adapted better either. Furthermore I still believe 13 episodes or so should be just barely enough for Rakuen as well so in the end I would still recommend people who managed to finish Kajitsu's anime to give the sequels a chance. I know it's very late to start hyping Grisaia again at this point, but you know what they say: better late than never.
Grisaia no Meikyuu is a complicated arc from the main story of the Visual novel/anime (Grisaia no Kajitsu) the story is told by the main protagonist himself Kazami, Yuuji. Wanting to pursue a promotion within the CIRS company Yuuji must submit documents as part of the promotion process explaining his own past.
The story telling of his childhood was so enticing, listening to him tell his story while watching the flashbacks and memories was perfect. Yuuji goes in depth on how difficult and traumatic his childhood was like. He explains his childhood thoroughly from an early elementary student to a young teen boy.
A main protagonist with
a tragic background is nothing out of the ordinary its quite common and over used within the Harem genre. Some do it better than other, but I believe the producers of Grisaia did it the best, its not one of those simplistic revenge story were the main protagonists sets out for revenge over the lost of a loved one. In Grisaia they actually go in huge depth of his past adding traumatic, sad , horrific, and psychological all into one you have pretty much the worst case scenarios all packed into one - one hour episode (47.45 approx).
The art quality (expecting you've watched the prequel) is quite similar with the exception its a little more vivid and HD then previously. You have the strong vivid colors fitted with the smooth backgrounds giving a clear display of what you're watching. Very well drawn characters and fluent animation with how little action scenes there were they were pretty intense and the blood splats were amazing and detailed.
Sound quality was pretty standard nothing out of the ordinary. You have your same VA cast as from the prequel. There was not much background music since it was told in story telling POV, but the small sound effects put into for example flashing cameras, helicopter propellers, and punches were good. As for intro and outro as for where I watched it there was none they used up all the time.
Ah the characters, Im sure many people in the anime community can relate and all agree dense male characters can be the most annoying thing in the world. Luckily there are the few main protagonists out there who just keep me sane one of them is Kazami, Yuuji this isn't your average male harem lead he is a complete 180 to most of them he's competent, reliable, badass, handsome, and isn't as dense. His personality is pretty unique from my knowledge if he could relate to any character it would be Shiba, Tatsuya from Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei. As for all the other characters they all have around only five minutes of screen times, with the exception of Yuuji family.
Most Harem anime are usually just full of just comedy and romance which is exceptional, but this is why I really enjoy Grisaia no Kajitsu its has all your standard comedy and romance elements, but has a darker undertone mixed with a big psychological aspect it goes to great lengths explaining every characters background and how they came to be, instead of your average harem with random girls just popping in and out. If you want a drama, romance, psychological, and comedy undertone harem I would highly recommend watching the prequel to this special.
Story - 8
Art - 8
Sound - 7
Character - 8
enjoyment - 8
Overall - 8
After watching Grisaia no Kajitsu I wasn't exactly bubbling with excitement for this. The series was hampered by trying to cram so many stories into the space of 13 episodes and it suffered badly for it. But what a difference a bit of more focused writing can make in Grisaia no Meikyuu. There was more character development, more interesting story telling and more excitement contained within this 47 minutes than almost the entirety of Grisaia no Kajitsu. This prequel episode has actually restored a lot of faith in the series for me. It's by no means perfect - kicking along at blinding speed the biggest
fault - but you can colour me surprised.
Part of the problem with the original series for me (not having played the VN) was not understanding Yuuji's behaviour and his personality. Now you get the full picture, and it's a very dark one at that. The story of Meikyuu takes us through the childhood of Yuuji and how a series of horrifying and grotesque moments shaped him to become the focused, quiet individual from the first series. For the first time in the series, perhaps barring the final arc of Kajitsu, I found myself really empathising with a character's plight.
There still isn't enough time taken with scenes to properly develop both main and side characters and make me care for them, a familiar fault from the first series. It's definitely not as big a problem this time around but it's still prevalent. Scenes and locations flash past you before you know it and suddenly another chapter is upon you. For what they had to work with the writers have done a nice job condensing the story in under an hour but I can think of a multitude of scenes I would have liked to have seen fleshed out further. Some characters come off with that "cheesy villain" feel because of this.
Art and animation don't do anything spectacular but do anything spectacular though one stand out moment in the latter regard comes with a set piece towards the end. I enjoyed the clear shift in palette after a particular section of the show and did a nice job of showing the internal struggle of what our MC is going through. Really nice use of light and shade throughout. Some choppy CG moments that feel out of place but nothing glaringly bad.
There's not too much else that can be said regrading the show without having to delve into the story, which is easily its strong suit, so I won't do that. I definitely can't recommend watching Kajitsu just to get here to Meikyuu but it definitely gives a greater understanding to the prequel series. What was the most refreshing thing was that I always eager to find out what happened next and that's the sign of better directing. A solid, and deliberately uncomfortable, watch that was well worth my time.
Le Fruit de la Grisaia was a series that tore me to bits. On one hand, I found it to be a decent series because of its different approach and overall feel for a harem series, since it didn't completely focus on ecchi/comedy, and it wasn't really a standard harem as obvious from the first five minutes. On the other hand however, I hated this series because while watching it, there were certain things that irked me, such as character importance, the explanation of the MC and his character traits, and my overall queasiness while watching this. So, with this OVA, what
kind of twisted story will it reveal?
Author's note: Trust me, there will be NO SPOILERS.
Story (8.53/10): Meikyuu's story follows up pretty much right after Kajitsu, opening with a scene with Yuuji and JB discussing about a report that she has to make. Because of the insufficient detail that Yuuji has given, she asks him personally about what kind of life that our strange, stoic, and expressionless protagonist has. And let me tell you, boy was this a story.
The whole runtime of Meikyuu is used to tell Yuuji's childhood up until his early pre-teens where his guardianship changes and where Rakuen starts. The thing about this OVA that sets it apart from at least 95% of others, is the fact that it has such a long runtime. Not many OVA's actually get an hour long runtime in order to tell everything it does, and because of this, this OVA does really well on the storytelling aspect because everything is told in a clean, organized manner, while also being quite detailed on certain parts. There were a few areas of the story I feel were lacking (mostly the last bit), but overall, I felt like the story was very cohesively done.
As for the actual story itself, it was done relatively well. There were moments (several moments in fact) where admittedly...I thought the show had gone WAAAAYYYY too far, but even with that, I still found this to be a very well-made story that answers the biggest question people had after finishing Kajitsu, who is Kazami Yuuji? Overall, I find this OVA to be a perfect bridge between the two seasons because it answers a lot of questions and ties into what happens later on in the second season.
+ Explains "Who is Yuuji?"
+ Good pacing
+ Detailed story points
- (Personal complaint) Kinda fucked up...
Characters (8.33/10): Of course, since this OVA was mostly about Yuuji, let's talk about him first. Yuuji in this OVA is quite obviously the star of this OVA. Because the first season left the viewers confused as to really who this guy was. (Unless you played the VN's, you probably were asking yourself that question.) With every scene, you get to know a little bit more about how he became the man he is today. With every horrified expression, you tally up the "Unseeable" things those dead eyes of him have seen, and with that, I felt is the reason why this OVA is good. A lot of his character traits make sense after seeing this, and that works really well for the series.
Aside from Yuuji, the other character that deserves mention is Kazuki, Yuuji's sister. Likewise to Yuuji, we get to understand what kind of person Kazuki is as well growing up. We saw her in Amane's arc, but we didn't know all of her backstory. For the most part, Kazuki's role for this OVA was to more or less serve as a sort of catalyst for the events that occurred in Yuuji's life, tying in what happened with her to Yuuji's story in order to make one cohesive timeline. They put more emphasis as to who she is, and I think that also works very well.
In terms of side characters, Meikyuu does a lot of setup. A lot of the characters that are seen/mentioned in this OVA are characters that we know or will know. As a whole, they don't really serve much more than contributing factors to how Yuuji became the way he is, but it is because they serve this role that they show a little more worth as characters rather than just cannon fodder or background characters.
+ Good character explanation
+ Additional character info for other characters
+ Decent side characters
Art and Sound (7.21/10 and 6.00/10): Admittedly, the art and sound for Grisaia may be a bit lacking. In the art department, the show itself doesn't actually look all that bad. A lot of the show utilizes this very bright neon colored style of palette in order to showcase its characters and some pretty good detail when it came to certain aspects of the show, such as the detail on the guns and rifles, that looked rather good.
However, there is still one thing that personally bugs me about the artstyle, and that is, eyelashes. On every female character in the series, they have this red hue on the ends of their eyelashes. After looking at the VN images and noticing it myself in Kajitsu, Meikyuu, and Rakuen, this is an intentional art design flair. The thing is, it looks weird. It looks like every girl has a weird rash around their eyes and it really, really bugs me. I've seen this in other anime, and it just looks weird when characters have the eye design look a different color other than black.
In terms of sound, there's not really much to say. The OST for Meikyuu is rather small, and there's nothing really exceptional about the music that was played, mostly because the show sort of just dives right into the story.
+ Decent artstyle
- The eyelashes really bug me
- Pretty much non-existent music
Personal Enjoyment (3.98/10): So, even with all of the praise I give for the story and the character development, why does this OVA get an abysmal personal enjoyment rating? Well, to answer that simply, I...really just don't like Grisaia. There, I said it. From a quality aspect, this OVA is actually really well-made. It's not a perfect 10/10 for story, but there's really not much I can say about something that benefits the series it's in. It makes sense, it tells the audience what it wants to tell, and it's actually interesting. It's really interesting. But in terms of personal enjoyment...there are aspects, several aspects about it that I really don't like personally.
Did I like this OVA?
Quality-wise, I think this was a really good OVA. It had a good story, good character development and character building, and it goes straight into Rakuen without any hesitation. Literally, the end of Meikyuu and the beginning of Rakuen are scenes that go one into the other. For me though, this...really isn't the series for me, and I'll explain why.
What didn't I like about this OVA?
Ok, ok. This is really my personal complaint for not just Meikyuu, but Grisaia as a whole. I find this series to be really...really...REALLY...fucked up. There are things that happened in Kajitsu that scarred me a bit, (I'm a weak person), and there were a good number of things that happened in Meikyuu that had the same effect on me, and it was a couple, so I was trembling in my seat for a while. (Jeez, now I understand why Yuuji has those fears...) Because of who I am personally, my enjoyment of the series dipped significantly, to the point that I will most likely never touch this series ever again after watching it. It's still a good series, don't get me wrong.
Would I recommend this OVA?
If you've seen Kajitsu and want to move onto Meikyuu, I would say it is not just recommended, but necessary for you to watch this OVA first. (Don't make the same mistake I did.) The reason being is not just the fact that this OVA was released between the two, but because a lot of the details in this tie over to what happens in Rakuen, Grisaia's second season. Overall, I believe that it would make the viewing experience more pleasurable because the plotline would make more sense. Plus, the opening scenes of Rakuen wouldn't make sense unless you've seen Meikyuu first, so there.
Overall Score: 8.03/10
Author's Torment: Oh god...my eyes...I cannot unsee any of that now... (I am a very weak-willed person.)