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
Grisaia no Meikyuu is not a fun light hearted watch, but it is a memorable one. Continuing off of Grisaia no Kajitsu, we delve into the tragic past of the main male lead Yuuj Kazami. This nearly hour long special gives much needed depth to his character, making you truly feel for him. I didn't very much care for the first season. It was too rushed and didn't have enough time to flesh all of it's stories. Here, we have a story that is paced properly. Watching this made me wish the first season turned out as well because,
if done right, Grisaia can be a great show. As I said earlier, this is not a fun watch. It's a constant, gut wrenching sight that holds your attention through its entire run. The story delivers in a powerful way, leaving a strong impression that won't soon be forgotten. It's not a perfect package but it does plenty of things right, easily outweighing the negatives.
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.