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 rather unique watch. Shows throughout time have had a tendency to force characters from 0 to a 100 in an unrealistic time frame. This often pertains to the widespread demands of instant gratification. Hai to Gensou no Grimgar challenges these demands by emphasising the natural growth of characters: step by step characters are built through every interaction with the plot. Closely observing this and the plot is paramount as to not miss the abundance of implicit detail dedicated to their development and characterisation. Due to this profound nature of the show, reflection is commonplace
and as such, the watch is recommended for anyone who enjoys reading pensively into things.
An inherent feature of Hai to Gensou no Grimgar is its large main cast. There’s a greater emphasis on characterising and developing the group as opposed to the individuals; however, it is decently balanced between the group and the individuals such that neither don’t feel completely neglected; the viewers are briefly enlightened on their individual daily lives (roles, recreation, style of living etc.) and personalities. This opportunity to learn about how each character interacts with the group is one of Hai to Gensou no Grimgar best point. Note this orientates Hai to Gensou no Grimgar more towards those who are interested in group development.
The show starts off on a weaker foot but eventually progresses superbly, making it worth the watch if the initial set of annoyances can be endured. Such is also true for the pacing, as it evolves into superbness. Though, it is sometimes deemed ‘slow’, but slow is not bad. It is only when it is incongruously or meaninglessly slow it can be considered such. In this case, the creators have done a superb job at pacing the show such that the story and characters (development and characterisation) are often progressing and the right mood is established. Also, the isn't show is absolutely slow. Explicitly it might seem so but when explored implicitly, there is profoundness behind most interactions and moments (plot-wise and character-wise). Bluntly put, the show might seem slow or idle if one focuses on the explicit details and misses all the implicit detail, which is possibly consequential of not understanding the purpose of the show (detailed later).
Now regardless of the pacing, it is possible for something to be rushed. To rush something is to reach something without having the necessary details or time for the viewers to follow or agree with the outcome. Hai to Gensou no Grimgar is subject to such with the limitation of 12 episodes. This is especially pertinent to an important moment that coalesces some of Hai to Gensou no Grimgar major elements. Whether or not its failure can be pardoned (if it is viewed as such) will ultimately dictate one’s enjoyability of the show. It has been identified and explained it in the spoiler section.
Hai to Grimgar's paramount feature is 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. The dialogue, development, and interactions are all seemingly realistic. One example of such realism is the fact almost nothing major happens at the beginning. Though why should anything extraordinary happen? They lead basic lives and hold little significance. It is abnormal for much to happen outside of their daily struggles. Another excellent feature Hai to Gensou no Grimgar employ is not having over-the-top combat abilities. They were mostly just minor extensions of the human ability, which harmonises well with its realism theme.
Hai to Gensou no Grimgar is tailored to fans of slice of life. The combination of realism and narrative focus on character lifestyle and relatively slower progression makes it a natural watch for such people. A conspicuously common issue is approaching this show expecting an action, most likely consequential of the initial action scenes and seemingly shounen setup, and receiving a slice of life instead. 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—the show lacks the focus on and the necessary intricate details characteristic of a deconstruction to be considered such—and is only one of its enjoyment factors. The watch is instead for those who are interested watching the growth of a group, the bonds they develop, the building of the character etc. 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 encountered with such works.
The art was dazzling at most times. The beautiful scenery heavily complemented the story by aiding the development of the desired mood. Most noticeably, the watercolour backgrounds evoked a tranquil slice-of-life feel, similar to that of Mushishi. The backgrounds were also unobtrusive allowing a higher focus on the projected characters, which is excellent because Hai to Grimgar is a character-dominated show. However, this conflicted with the action scenes as the projection of the background with 2D art instead of 3D sometimes lacked stimulation, detracting from its thrill.
My praise for the audio component is similar to that for the art. Furthermore, Hai to Grimgar uniquely features many montages. They aided the conveyance of the mood and story and were fairly enjoyable to watch. There were however two misuses. They have been mentioned almost immediately below as to avoid spoilers.
This section henceforth contains spoilers. This section will offer the main criticism and other comments regarding the show.
Its first use (town settling) was inappropriate. It is only warranted once the characters have truly settled in, which was not the case.
The second use (graveyard location) clashed with the mood. The pacing of the song was too fast inhibiting focus on the melancholy scene. The usage of the scene also felt extremely abrupt as Manato’s time with them was seemingly short.
Shihoru is a frivolous character. She can be removed from the show with slight amendments and little difference. This was most apparent during episodes 1–5. She was, however, vital in combat post-episode 5. They need to rework her such that she serves a purpose (plot-wise) outside of combat.
Due to the limitations of 12 episodes, the development of the bond between Manato and the group is rather lacking. 2 episodes were certainly insufficient for evoking the desired sympathy for the characters grieving Manato’s death. The end of episode 4 is the weakest of the series (somewhat rushed outcome) as it draws heavily on Manato’s bond with the group. Common sense dictates that they were distraught but it is rather limited and superficial. This foundation of knowledge would have also fostered understanding of and sympathy for Haruhiro as he confronted his inner-conflict.
More application of the characters is desired; while Hai to Gensou no Grimgar does build the character, they lacked the time to further display the final product. This was most evident in episodes 11 and 12 where new details were introduced to the character but without application. This plays into the 12-episode limitation.
It was exasperating when Haruhiro uttered ‘It would be nice if you could mend clothes with magic as well.’ and proceeded to blatantly explain it. It seemed as if that line was attributed to him solely to inform the viewers. While it was natural, the interpretation should have been somehow left to the viewers.
Ranta escaping at the end was illogical. He was surrounded and barely knew the mine’s caving system as opposed to the Kobolds, which know the place inside-out. Haruhiro’s skill is essentially the visualization of that.
Experience from fighting enemies will yield knowledge about their weak points and effective engagement. The streams of light that direct Haruhiro can be interpreted as the visualization of that. However, this ‘skill’ should have not appeared or appeared so quickly against the Death Spots at the end. As he lacked combat experience specific to Elder Kobalds, it should have been a challenge not something his ‘skill’ could easily relieve him from. It was an opportunity where the creators could have explicitly and satisfyingly displayed the development Haruhiro’s combat abilities and maturity over the course of the show. However, it was wasted by rushing the fight to a conclusion.
They actually fully (and superbly) developed the concept of the main cast being unnatural inhabitants of the world. The main cast were evidently briefly aware of this fact, but overtime the characters neglected it such that it eventually faded. This suggests of their adaption to the world and prioritisation of their survival in the realization of the triviality of pursuing such an oddity as opposed to meeting to the demands of their daily lives; the corroboration follows. At the utter end, Kikkawa (the drunkard) shouted ‘Australia’ in a carefree manner. They could have chosen any word or omitted it all together, but why did they attribute that specific line to him? They deliberately chose ‘Australia’ to connect it with the real world and had Kikkawa, the most carefree character, utter it in such a manner to hint their accordance with and acceptance of the new world. Also, when heard in the context of the characters, the statement sounds greatly insignificant, as it was randomly blurted out by a drunkard, suggesting the same of their unnatural inhabitation of the world.
In conclusion, Hai to Gensou no Grimgar deserves an 8/10, which accordingly to MAL denotes 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.
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.
(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.