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EP. REVIEW: Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash [2016-01-18]


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Tenebrae



Joined: 26 Apr 2008
Posts: 419
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:51 pm Reply with quote
This show really surprised me, the season's dark horse. It takes a very different approach to "sent to a fantasy world" [or possibly stuck in a MMO] than most shows do. How the characters try to make do, how they react to their job of having to kill monsters(?) and how they try to cope with the sudden shift in their lives.

The monster hunting job is clearly a job the regular folks don't want to have anything to do with. People popping in from somehwere else also seems to be a regular thing since the pillar-like building was both guarded and arrival of strangers is so commonplace the guy they meet has a routine speech prepped about what is expected of them.

Also funny how they clearly have classes and they make oblique references to levelling up (class advancement), but everything else is played straight.
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sunflower



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:15 pm Reply with quote
Saffire wrote:
It's not exactly common, but it's definitely not unheard of if you're talking about Western fantasy. There's been several recommendations already, I would add The Goblin Emperor to the list, and even more generic fare like the Drizzt novels have done detailed examinations of the culture and motivations of orcs in the world.


I loved The Goblin Emperor but it's not in the category of book being discussed here. The Goblins in that book are an established culture merely called goblins to make a discussion of race fit into fantasy. So basically, we've got a webcomic and 3 books out of the tens of thousands of fantasies that have been published. Not unrated of, but not common by any meaning of the word. As I said, there are always exceptions.
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zztop



Joined: 28 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:16 pm Reply with quote
The afterwords of Grimgar's author reveal much of the series' inspiration and his personality:

1) His inspiration to write Grimgar's based on home console and online roleplaying games he loved; this love drove him to become a fantasy light novel author.

2)he’s quite a reclusive person, and has problems socializing in public. He preferred online RPGs because “he had problems getting along with other people in person”.

3)At one time, he was addicted to online RPGs: “…times for sleeping or eating, I used solely to think about games. I would dive into the blood-rushing, heart-pounding world of online RPGs every night and return to the mundane humdrum of the real world in the morning. I lived in the world of games and games kept me alive.”

I'm guessing 3) was the prime inspiration of Grimgar's "survive or die" theme.
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Sahmbahdeh



Joined: 05 May 2015
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:30 pm Reply with quote
I'm somewhat torn here. On one hand, I love the tone and atmosphere, and the direction they're going with this show's premise. It's a vastly different take on the standard 'trapped in another world' setting, and the gritty, brutally realistic fight against the goblin was breathtaking, especially as it was contrasted with the lush, beautiful, bright scenery in which it took place. And that artistry! The backgrounds are great, the action scenes sing with visceral blows and character acting and the lighting is incredible, creating an overall soporific feeling when combined with the color palette and water color backgrounds.

On the other hand, there are a couple really big issues with both episodes. The boob conversation in episode 1 was uncomfortable, poorly executed and poorly thought-out. In episode 2, the song in the middle went on for about three times longer than it should have, and the bath part at the end was completely tacked on and unnecessary, as if they added it just to fill up the runtime (which, honestly, they probabaly did).

The show gets so close to greatness, and then takes several massive steps back, ending up on "reasonably good". I really want this show to improve, because I think it has the potential to be one of the best shows of the season, if not the best, but it's going to need to trim the fat.
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Valhern



Joined: 19 Jan 2015
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:53 pm Reply with quote
Sahmbahdeh wrote:
On the other hand, there are a couple really big issues with both episodes. The boob conversation in episode 1 was uncomfortable, poorly executed and poorly thought-out. In episode 2, the song in the middle went on for about three times longer than it should have, and the bath part at the end was completely tacked on and unnecessary, as if they added it just to fill up the runtime (which, honestly, they probabaly did).

The show gets so close to greatness, and then takes several massive steps back, ending up on "reasonably good". I really want this show to improve, because I think it has the potential to be one of the best shows of the season, if not the best, but it's going to need to trim the fat.


That is, depending of what you think as stepbacks.

Ranta IS a person most people are uncomfortable around, he is pretty insensitive considering he is actually very sensible on the inside. He is supposed to make you feel like "Is this guy for real saying this?" he is not funny, and the show knows that, reflected on the lack of music nor any comedical follow up, everybody just stands there, feeling awkward, especially the ones that are target of his rudeness. We expect of villains to have such behaviours, but it's better when it is done on protagonists, it gives potential for growth. And honestly, the bath scene (which, actually, was NONE since we only see Ranta getting his ass handed to him by Yume) is supposed to return Ranta to a status quo, we should not be seeing him like that, he pretends for his character to be something else, and us (and the protagonist) knows that it is not as Ranta wants us to see it.

In the case of the montage, I felt that there was no loss in there. Stretched, maybe, but nothing to miss here. Through pure character animation and setting, the show is able to convey perfectly the character's feelings in the moment, what they could be thinking, what they like doing, and through Haruhiko's eyes it allows us to see more of the world of Grimgar, for example, the two adventurers whose journey just went wack and are in an even worse state than his team. And in this little music segment, the team is shown to be able to adapt to this life, to like the town, to literally live there.
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maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
Posts: 2183
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:36 am Reply with quote
KonradW wrote:
Quote:
The Rising of the Shield Hero, where at least three of the transportees...

Thanks for a major spoiler. And yes, I registered just to say that.


o.O, that's chapter 01 stuff.
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Key
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Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 2:10 am Reply with quote
The whole "spying on the girls in the bath" scene was one I that I also winced over at first, but when I realized in retrospect that it wasn't actually being played (primarily) for comedy, I appreciated it a lot more. I agree that it is not being portrayed lasciviously but instead as a statement about Ranta and some issues he's struggling with.

OTOH, I have gotten the definite impression that the series is subtly trying to feature Yume's butt. (Not that I mind!) Has anyone else noticed this?

Beyond that, I have high hopes for this one continuing to go in interesting directions. That goblin battle was impressively intense for as simple a battle as it would ordinarily be.
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lossthief



Joined: 14 Dec 2012
Posts: 729
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 2:51 am Reply with quote
Key wrote:
OTOH, I have gotten the definite impression that the series is subtly trying to feature Yume's butt. (Not that I mind!) Has anyone else noticed this?


Subtle is uh...one way to put it, I guess Anime hyper. If Aiura is anything to go on, it's safe to say Nakamura has a "thing" for thighs and legs in general.

And yeah, I understand the kneejerk "ugh this again" reaction to stuff like the final scene of ep 2 and the super awkward conversation about boobs in the premiere, but to me it felt more about character building than the typical comedy shenanigans most series would use those for.

Ranta's annoying, but in a way that feels pretty familiar to actual overcompensating teenagers I knew growing up. So to me his whole attitude at the end of the episode felt more like trying to fall back into old habits to get over the unsettling end to their fight. I get that him being annoying on purpose doesn't help folks who just don't want to be around him, but I appreciate the character writing more than I dislike being around him.

Right now I'm enjoying this show a lot (outside of ERASED it's probably my favorite new series this season) but I really, really hope we get some development for the female cast soon. While I'm not super bothered by the fanservicey "camera" work it'd be a lot easier to stomach if they had fleshed out characters of their own to offset it.


Sidenote: did anyone else think Moguzo was saying "wait, what the heck did I just whittle?" during his part of the montage Razz
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KonradW



Joined: 18 Jan 2016
Posts: 6
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:31 am Reply with quote
maximilianjenus wrote:
o.O, that's chapter 01 stuff.

No. The original web novel and the manga don't say a word about that.

If the author of that review reads this: please, cover that spoiler.
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maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
Posts: 2183
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:23 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:
OTOH, I have gotten the definite impression that the series is subtly trying to feature Yume's butt. (Not that I mind!) Has anyone else noticed this?


yes, that was nice.

I find it funny , now that gantz just restarted, that a friend was saying how this incarnation of ganzt feels like a webnovel of junior high kids being transported to medieval world except hat it's the gantz world instead; and now they air this, which feels a lot like the early arc of gantz, when killing the aliens was really difficult for the characters, even morally speaking.

about the amnesia, even if they don't do anythign else with it, it serves to kill the elephant in the room of modern people in a medieval setting,as having knowledge of modern tech/methods gives them a great advantage. you can have a gun otaku build a revolver, a train otaku building comunications lines etc... depending on what their hobbie / work was (even the dumbest college kids shoudl know relatively advanced math concept that we created after the renaissance, + a good idea on how printing works). by making them amnesiac the writing achieves both not having to make the plot go that way, neither having that big elephant in the room.
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Mitrospeed



Joined: 14 Jan 2016
Posts: 74
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:44 pm Reply with quote
A little word of advice from a Light Novel reader...

There are three things that you have to bring with you in order to fully understand and enjoy this series whether it's the anime or the LN itself.

1. Think realistically!

I've seen some people voicing complaints about several things. "How is this Goblin still alive?" "How aren't they able to kill one Goblin?" "Why did Ranta suddenly blow their cover?" "This was just a pointless montage". People who are trying to watch this really have to go through a change of mindset. You don't simply watch this with your average attitude, you have to concentrate and put on a different way of thinking for this. Literally anything in this story has a deep meaning behind it and most of the impact created by some scenes if emphasized by thinking realistically.

An example. Let's take the Goblin who took seemingly to much hits for some people. They watch this series with their definition of a "Goblin". For them it's mostly fodder in any fantasy like setting or game, monsters to kill easily and then go on to the next one.
Now if you start to think realistically you will start to understand a lot more. Who says that the anatomy of Goblins is the same as ours? Who says that certain wounds who would disable or even kill us would do the same to them? Who says Goblins don't have a pain killing hormone comparable to adrenaline? Thinking like that gives so much more impact to those scenes.

One of the main strengths of this story is its realism thrown into an unrealistic setting ( fantasy world with monsters ) and how it manages to portrait this perfectly, physically and emotionally. To fully understand what and how this story wants you to show things, it requires this certain mindset.


2. You have to get used to this slow pace

I guess nearly everyone has realized that this show alongside its source material have an incredibly slow paced compared to various other shows these seasons ( I even might dare to say years ). In the time of having Michael Bay the anime pace-wise it's quite a hard thing to get used to. I've seen some people absolutely being thrown off by this pace, other being quite irritated, and gladly most of the viewers seem to love it.

A slow pace isn't necessarily good, I guess that's self explaining. Thing is, this story manages to use the potential created by that. You could say that this slow paced is created due to the amount of detail and time put on various things. If I may take some examples out of the LN that have already been shown in a shortened way.

The author pays close attention to their financial situation. He gives us information about the money they have currently and the possibilities that are created by that. An example would be how Haruhiro thinks what the would like to buy. He comes to the conclusion that actual underwear would be nice and some kind of blanket.
We get all kinds of information about them, their needs, their wishes, the situation they are in and especially their thoughts and emotions.

A small example of the actual anime. This whole montage was actually anime original and I loved it. Maybe the fact that I know this kind of behavior from the story and know what to do with it plays also into it but I'd like to think that everyone can appreciate it equally good if they simply think about it for some time.

What did we see there? Haruhiro walking through the town...he sucks up the good vibes and liveliness of the town, it almost seems like it helps him to get over what happened today. He seems to feeling somewhat better until he passes those two soldiers literally living on the streets and he is once again reminded of the harsh reality. It almost feels like he tries desperately to flee from that thought but he is reminded of it again and again by watching his comrades suffering equally.

We get to a key scene...Ranta sitting at the store he pointed out in episode 1 and he finally gets his meat. Remember how he screamed that he wants to finally eat some meat? Now look at him not enjoying it all...why? Because there is blood on the money he used to buy this. He is once reminded of that "I killed a living being for this".

After that we see Yume and Shihoru distracting themselves with shopping. What makes this seemingly happy scenes on the outside quite sad on the inside is that they can look at whatever they want, they aren't able to buy one thing. Still, you can see how a close bond built up between them almost like sisters which I can totally understand as the sole two females in the group.

Then again we see Manato interacting with Shihoru and buying her a hairpin. Many people think this is a romantic subplot starting to build. On the first look this may seem like that and it can totally happen like that, still think realistically about the situation they are in and once again you will figure out a deeper meaning behind it. Manato seems like the person who is most aware of his surroundings and more importantly the state of his group. He knows that Shihoru and her personality are the weakest link of the group and that experiencing such a traumatizing thing would affect her drastically. So he tries his best to make her feel better by giving her the little enjoyment of a present, something she can cherish, an accessory.

Yume sees this and many people think it's jealousy and that she is also head over heels for him. That direct approach to things is not how things work in this story. The most obvious thing is not always the right one. She seems to feel somewhat alone, maybe she is reminded of the harsh reality once she isn't able to distract herself anymore. She seems like a people person to me, someone who needs people around her otherwise she becomes extremely insecure.

Now how many people did notice this, what do you think? Exactly not that many. Most viewers approach this the false way and then don't see the actual message behind this whole scene. It was basically a "show, don't tell" story telling device. The anime literally gave us the chance to think for ourselves and imagine how they now feel. It gives us the chance to read into things and craft our own pictures of the characters. In my opinion this was a beautiful thing to do.

Of course there are times where the story speeds up and we see a few days flowing by but we are constantly up to date what happens on those days. Still, the story closely follows their journey without a break and I think that's a remarkable thing. The amount of detail is so greatly used that it honestly feels like time flies by after some time. You really get used to this after some time. Once you start appreciating this slow pace because it offers you such great detail into the world, fights and characters it becomes one of the strength of this story for you.

Still, it's hard to swallow at first. Which brings me to my third point.

Be patient!

Patience is maybe the most important thing for this one. I mean, a slow pace already implies that more patience is needed but this story is quite special. If you expect a fast and huge improvement of their fighting in a short amount of them, then you will be disappointed or relieved. Even their improvement in battle and progress happens in a reasonable and realistic way, that's just how this whole story and world works. You have to earn your progress.

If I'd have to sum it up into one sentence it would be Struggle for everything, whatever it is or Realistic people facing realistic consequences in an unrealistic scenario.

Therefore don't be too harsh with the show after only 2 episodes. Some might say it's 12 episodes when is it going to happen then, yeah I understand that. Still when I see what kind of story this LN is then them doing just a 12 episodes adaptation is basically pointless. They won't be able to grasp a thing about this story because that's just how complex it is. I expect this to become a longer running series with 12 episodes seasons due to the quality of art and music. If I had to put it in a scale then I'd say that those 2 episodes are actually more like 5 minutes. We've literally seen NOTHING. Everything so far was only a little taste compared to what awaits you in this story.

As an example, imagine anything you can think of that they could do in this whole scenario.

- Taking on an actual request with a bounty on some monster
- Assisting the human army by supporting them in a mission
- Traveling to other places to hunt or even traveling to another town
- Fighting even stronger, bigger and creepier monster
- Getting new abilities by improving
- Getting new equipment

Literally anything you can imagine can and most likely will happen. So them surviving through their early days and killing monster for the sake of surviving for now is only a tiny bit of what this whole world and story is about. Do you remember how they were told that the monster are pushing humanity back and how they are invading their borders? Infiltrating enemy territory is their actual job so now we aren't even seeing their actual purpose.

Anyway, realism and the patience needed for it is the bread and butter of this story. So, you see it's quite something to watch/read this series. It's not something you've seen like that.

I'm sorry if my grammar or my english in general is off since it is not my mother language, so just bare with me Smile
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Valhern



Joined: 19 Jan 2015
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:03 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:
OTOH, I have gotten the definite impression that the series is subtly trying to feature Yume's butt. (Not that I mind!) Has anyone else noticed this?


It was literally the first thing in the PV, they know what to sell and I agree.
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Sahmbahdeh



Joined: 05 May 2015
Posts: 712
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:51 pm Reply with quote
Valhern wrote:
In the case of the montage, I felt that there was no loss in there. Stretched, maybe, but nothing to miss here. Through pure character animation and setting, the show is able to convey perfectly the character's feelings in the moment, what they could be thinking, what they like doing, and through Haruhiko's eyes it allows us to see more of the world of Grimgar, for example, the two adventurers whose journey just went wack and are in an even worse state than his team. And in this little music segment, the team is shown to be able to adapt to this life, to like the town, to literally live there.


First of all, it's kind of obvious I thought of those as steps back, because I mentioned them as such. I don't really get why you brought that up.

And perhaps I wan't clear. I didn't overtly dislike the musical montage, for the most part, but it was waaaaay too long. And I don't mean "too long" in that I didn't understand its purpose, its that I got everything I needed to in the first minute, and everything after that was extraneous and irrelevant. I pick up visual and aural information, including tone, very quickly, so the extra time was wasted, as far as I'm concerned. It was nice for a while but then it was just grating, and I didn't enjoy the song enough to just sit back and watch the rest of it.

It's a similar situation with everything else I had an issue with. I get the reasons why they were included, I just think they could have been executed much better. Besides, as another commenter mentioned before, even if a character is annoying on purpose and with a deeper reason, they're still annoying. I'm looking forward to that character development, and I'm still intently looking forward to the rest of the show, but I had problems with it.
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Valhern



Joined: 19 Jan 2015
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 4:08 pm Reply with quote
Episode three definetely wasn't as good as two, in fact it felt more or less like the first one, not that this is necessarily bad but I too hope there is a change of direction (namely, new characters or developments) in the next episode.

It's kinda interesting how Haruhiro "falls at the level of Ranta" voluntarily, there was no accident in which he was somehow blessed by the convenience of light novels to take a peek at Shihoru, he was legit interested in seeing at least a little bit and then having a moral attack to excuse himself. Yume kinda figured that Haruhiro would be the type to find this sort of excuse in their little chat before. It's not much, but as far as this episode it's the best we've been getting from Haruhiro.

And from Yume...well, I liked when she straight-up told Shihoru to "just go and talk with them already", it seems she's blunt to give advice but not to take them herself, and also, she might be frustrated that Shihoru is taking the spotlight in the group and not seize her chances (I don't know how to phrase this properly in English). Not that she is now envious of her but as we saw in ep. 2 Yume might be used to end up as the loner in the group.

Sahmbahdeh wrote:
First of all, it's kind of obvious I thought of those as steps back, because I mentioned them as such. I don't really get why you brought that up.

It's a similar situation with everything else I had an issue with. I get the reasons why they were included, I just think they could have been executed much better. Besides, as another commenter mentioned before, even if a character is annoying on purpose and with a deeper reason, they're still annoying. I'm looking forward to that character development, and I'm still intently looking forward to the rest of the show, but I had problems with it.


Precisely for that. I do not consider a stepback a character that annoys me if I understand it, I think it takes a good writer to be able to create a character able to annoy and entertain you at the same time, but as with the musical montage, we just differ in how we see things.
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sharkjack



Joined: 24 Oct 2015
Posts: 43
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:53 pm Reply with quote
Mitrospeed wrote:
A little word of advice from a Light Novel reader...


2. You have to get used to this slow pace

I guess nearly everyone has realized that this show alongside its source material have an incredibly slow paced compared to various other shows these seasons ( I even might dare to say years ). In the time of having Michael Bay the anime pace-wise it's quite a hard thing to get used to. I've seen some people absolutely being thrown off by this pace, other being quite irritated, and gladly most of the viewers seem to love it.

A slow pace isn't necessarily good, I guess that's self explaining. Thing is, this story manages to use the potential created by that. You could say that this slow paced is created due to the amount of detail and time put on various things. If I may take some examples out of the LN that have already been shown in a shortened way.

The author pays close attention to their financial situation. He gives us information about the money they have currently and the possibilities that are created by that. An example would be how Haruhiro thinks what the would like to buy. He comes to the conclusion that actual underwear would be nice and some kind of blanket.
We get all kinds of information about them, their needs, their wishes, the situation they are in and especially their thoughts and emotions.

A small example of the actual anime. This whole montage was actually anime original and I loved it. Maybe the fact that I know this kind of behavior from the story and know what to do with it plays also into it but I'd like to think that everyone can appreciate it equally good if they simply think about it for some time.



I'd be fine with this slow pace, or at least I would be able to accept it, if they had 2 cours. But they have 12 episodes and now we've burned through 3. There is a lot of interesting stuff that i feel this series could be getting to, but they're being so wasteful with time that I don't have the confidence that they'll draw even half their potential out of it at this rate. Maybe they're aiming for a second season, in which case, great, but I feel that they could've been a heck of a lot more efficient with their time.

I don't need the pace to pick up too much, but I just don't want to end up feeling like they padded out their episodes when there was soo much cool stuff they could've done with it here.

I hope it exceeds those expectations, but I can't shake the feeling they won't.
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