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


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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8902
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 7:04 pm Reply with quote
Three episodes in and everything is still working perfectly for me. Only Erased and Showa are more anticipated each week. What totally sold me was the first fight against the goblin.

I'm starting to wonder if the goblins are somehow in the same situation as the humans. I think their possessions are going to be a lot more meaningful than it might appear.

Also, the reviews have offered some interesting insights I hadn't quite mentally articulated for myself, so brava!

I actually kind of like Ranta. He's had a few character moments that made him less annoying to me - his genuine shock that someone would take what he said seriously enough to cry over it, his own tears at killing the goblin, his RPG screaming before the attack began, as if relying on old game-playing habits out of terror, his ridiculous bluster in declaring himself the King of every ridiculous appellation any situation might call for. I'll be interested to find out what his backstory is, assuming we ever learn anyone's.
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stilldemented



Joined: 16 May 2015
Posts: 189
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:02 pm Reply with quote
Patience is a virtue with this show it would seem. I believe it will deliver.

Still though, it engages me in a different way than most anime. By slowing the pace, it keeps itself from juggling too much. It knows exactly what it wants to do and when it wants to do it.

It's weird. I find myself appreciating that there is no final goal set for the group. They're just trying to get by from day to day. Usually, shows push the plot onto the characters and drive everything forward as soon as possible.

Most shows have a story tell and they got to tell it fast, because they got to sell this thing.

But this show slows everything down. In a way, this show feels confident in its competence.

The show goes out of its way to emphasize appreciation for the little things in life. The little montage we had showing the group's steady improvement had me smiling. I felt it was well earned, which is more of a reaction than I usually get out of most training montages.

Usually in these types of stories, characters get stronger because the plot demands it, but in this the characters get stronger because life demands it.

I like how the show fleshes out the characters. It's nothing fancy or unique to anime, but the way it's executed makes me believe in the interactions. I don't feel like the characters need to talk because the plot demands the exchange. The dialogue just feels natural for some reason.

It's funny. My brain keeps telling me that if this were any other show I would be bored to tears by now. But something about the way the show is executed keeps me in my seat eagerly awaiting the next episode.
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chito895



Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Posts: 511
Location: Lima, Peru
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 9:36 pm Reply with quote
I kind of identified myself with Haruhiro during the "peek at Shihoru" scene. I'm totally the guy who will mentally debate whether "to be like Ranta" or not, and then totally being caught red handed while trying to escape. I'm just that pretty stupid and unlucky. Razz

I'm digging the pacing the show is in. Many of these type shows just go there and fight and get mild, fast development and world building (sometimes they don't even get any of that), while showing the villain or the many overarching plots that the show might get later. But this one, on the other hand, just let me enjoy the beautiful world that's being explored and the little-by-little growth our MCs are experiencing. Sure, there hasn't happened much related to the plot, and this pacing might be awful for some, but sometimes a character-driven show is better than a fantastic action shows.
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One-Eye



Joined: 08 Mar 2011
Posts: 2160
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:08 am Reply with quote
I'm enjoying the characters, I like some of the revealing conversations, I like the background art and I especially like that they are struggling to make ends meet. It adds a note of desperation and a willingness to accept the rules of this world that they've been thrust into. They've become a little more accepting of the violence needed at this point to survive. All pretty decent stuff.

Quote:
For example, how many of you have ever thought about not being able to buy new underwear if yours was wearing out?
This I didn't enjoy. I got the point and yet he rambled on about the bloody underwear making it feel like it was being purposefully drawn out. I'm ok with slow moving shows, but that didn't feel like it had to do with being contemplative. The length that went on felt unnecessary.
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Mitrospeed



Joined: 14 Jan 2016
Posts: 74
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:00 am Reply with quote
sharkjack wrote:
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.



They don't waste any time, The adaptation is just really faithful to the Source Material and the source material has this kind of pacing at the start. It may seem like we are somewhat deep into the story "without much happening" After 3 episodes but that isn't The case. In reality we are still at the start of things. What other shows do in The first Episode , does this story in more than 1. You could say we are now at the end of episode 1 of other shows. There is so much content and so much detail and because of that it seems like that, especially in a medium like anime. We are adapting with a 1 chapter = 1 Episode pace. All of the 7 volumes have around 15-20 chapters. So you see this season will adapt The first Volume in other words we don't really reach far into the Story.

Many signs point towards a longer running series with multiple seasons, so don't think it's done After 12 mere episode that aren't Even able to grasp The essence of the story
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sharkjack



Joined: 24 Oct 2015
Posts: 43
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:11 am Reply with quote
[quote="Mitrospeed"][quote="sharkjack"]
Mitrospeed wrote:
A little word of advice from a Light Novel reader...

They don't waste any time, The adaptation is just really faithful to the Source Material and the source material has this kind of pacing at the start. It may seem like we are somewhat deep into the story "without much happening" After 3 episodes but that isn't The case. In reality we are still at the start of things. What other shows do in The first Episode , does this story in more than 1. You could say we are now at the end of episode 1 of other shows. There is so much content and so much detail and because of that it seems like that, especially in a medium like anime. We are adapting with a 1 chapter = 1 Episode pace. All of the 7 volumes have around 15-20 chapters. So you see this season will adapt The first Volume in other words we don't really reach far into the Story.

Many signs point towards a longer running series with multiple seasons, so don't think it's done After 12 mere episode that aren't Even able to grasp The essence of the story


It isn't really a matter of how faithful they're being, because they waste time with things that the source material wouldn't do that way (being a different medium and all) This does contribute to the atmosphere, so I'm not bashing their choice per se, it's just that as far as I know they have 12 episodes and that's it. If they have more, their choice is legit and I look forward to seeing what it develops into, but I've seen too many big light novel get one to two seasons and then just stop before getting to the meat of things that until I hear from an official source that they will get more, I remain doubtful.
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CeaseActivity



Joined: 26 Mar 2014
Posts: 123
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:26 am Reply with quote
The slow immersive atmosphere is kinda ruined for me when I'm forced to look at the girls' naked butts and thighs for 40% of their screentime. Give them character development, not ass shots. (Alternatively, give them some goddamn pants.)
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Animejisan



Joined: 25 Jan 2016
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:45 am Reply with quote
Nothing negative. Just a comment that in terms of Japanese culture slow character and plot development is positive and as an ojisan (old man) with nearly fifty year of experience in the culture I find the current pace both satisfying and refreshing.
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sharkjack



Joined: 24 Oct 2015
Posts: 43
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:01 am Reply with quote
CeaseActivity wrote:
The slow immersive atmosphere is kinda ruined for me when I'm forced to look at the girls' naked butts and thighs for 40% of their screentime. Give them character development, not ass shots. (Alternatively, give them some goddamn pants.)


Also this, very much this.
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Zeres



Joined: 16 May 2015
Posts: 11
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:54 pm Reply with quote
Honestly, this is one of the surprises of the season. Coming in expecting a fantasy action anime but instead getting a beautifully detailed, slow burn character piece is pretty great. So yeah, on the surface, it moves in a dead turtle's pace, but other than that, Its just so good with all the little stuff: The mood, the world, the unique viewpoint on the typical "Stuck in a fantasy world" formula.
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CrowLia



Joined: 24 Feb 2012
Posts: 5334
Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:35 am Reply with quote
CeaseActivity wrote:
The slow immersive atmosphere is kinda ruined for me when I'm forced to look at the girls' naked butts and thighs for 40% of their screentime. Give them character development, not ass shots. (Alternatively, give them some goddamn pants.)


I agree with this at full. I'm surprised Rebecca didn't mention it. The first half of episode 3 was a literal waste of time, 10 minutes of LN-esque antics: hilariously peeping at bathing girls, the "good" hero debating on whether or not to stare at a girl's butt and stating that "the girls's clothes are too tempting, I have to tell them (so they will dress in a way that will not awaken my incontrollable penis)". The whole "worn down underwear" scene lost all its "Medieval real" value when it became an excuse for the camera to ogle the girls. Every scene the girls had, spent a considerable amount of time lingering on their asses. I'd really liked episode two (minus the "Ranta is a sleazeball" part which was awfully unnecessary), but the first half of the episode really turned me off (as did the segment in ep. 1 when Shihoru is shamed for her body). I'm honestly ready to drop it if it continues down that road.


Last edited by CrowLia on Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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jiecut



Joined: 26 Jan 2016
Posts: 8
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:07 am Reply with quote
CrowLia wrote:
CeaseActivity wrote:
The slow immersive atmosphere is kinda ruined for me when I'm forced to look at the girls' naked butts and thighs for 40% of their screentime. Give them character development, not ass shots. (Alternatively, give them some goddamn pants.)


I agree with this at full. I'm surprised Rebecca didn't mention it. The first half of the show was a literal waste of time, 10 minutes of LN-esque antics: hilariously peeping at bathing girls, the "good" hero debating on whether or not to stare at a girl's butt and stating that "the girls's clothes are too tempting, I have to tell them (so they will dress in a way that will not awaken my incontrollable penis)". The whole "worn down underwear" scene lost all its "Medieval real" value when it became an excuse for the camera to ogle the girls. Every scene the girls had, spent a considerable amount of time lingering on their asses. I'd really liked episode two (minus the "Ranta is a sleazeball" part which was awfully unnecessary), but the first half of the episode really turned me off (as did the segment in ep. 1 when Shihoru is shamed for her body). I'm honestly ready to drop it if it continues down that road.


Yeah people are saying that it's actually a very serious show, but I feel like the show just doesn't take itself seriously.

I wonder if this show is just going to be fanservice for LN readers, I think they're enjoying it. And if you want to actually learn the details of the world, you can go read the LN.

Quote:
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.


I'm okay with slow paced shows that flesh out the world and shows that don't go for the action right away. But this focuses so much on LN antics, just so much wasted potential.
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 1905
Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:18 am Reply with quote
CrowLia wrote:

I agree with this at full. I'm surprised Rebecca didn't mention it.


I'd decided to give it four episodes before determining if that was really going to be a major part of the show, so I'd planned to address it this coming week. It has been bothering me, but since I do think Ranta's "pervyness" is part of an act to seem more typically "masculine," well, that's why I thought I'd give it a bit of time. Expect it in the episode four review!

At this point, while I certainly didn't appreciate Haruhiro's attempt to see up the girls' shirts (tunics? dresses?), and I'm not a fan of the "useless female armor" stereotype, I do recognize them both as genre and LN tropes that are hard to avoid. (For a great send up of them both, read Jeremy Whitley and Emily Martin's comic book series Princeless - volume two tackles "armor" directly.)
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Valhern



Joined: 19 Jan 2015
Posts: 916
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:49 pm Reply with quote
I...don't think I get it.

Like, I do know that Grimgar's fanservice is almost on the girls only, and I can see that as a way of catching the eye of LN readers (it's easier to see a butt than reading it) and some casual watcher, but going as far as bringing down the mood and the characters? Hardly.

Compared to the excution of most LN tropes (we have Phantom World just around to see) and fanservice (if you want a match in setting too, check out Fairy Tail), in a lewd scale Grimgar is almost child-like (I still haven't even seen a censored boob). As much as we've been going about the bath peeping we haven't even seen the girls bathing, only the implication and the aftermath.

And Haruhiro peeking on Shihoru, like I said, is rather uncommon to me; what I always see is the protagonist being blessed by the universe of Light Novels and having a butt falling on him from the sky, or entering in a changing room, and thus romantic feelings develop. In this case, it's a bit more honest, since episode 1 Haruhiro seems interested in Shihoru. He tries to excuse his curiosity and the fact that he peeped on a girl just like Ranta did in a moral attack of "If they're going like that, of course I would see something, right?...Right?" It's a common thought in teenagers to try to find the blame on someone else's rather than themselves.

I do agree, again, that there is a singular attention to Yume's butt, it's not the best for her character since we're mostly drawing straws to get everyone's developing, but I hardly believe they are aiming for her to just be the girl with nice hips, or at least that's what I drew from these episodes.

And lastly, the thief master aside, I don't think this show suffers from the female armor trope, the only ones with armors for brawls are Moguzou and Ranta because of their classes, Haruhiro and Yume both use light equipment since their job is one-hit kill, not hand to hand combat, and well, Shihoru and Manato are except from any example since they're in the always fragile classes of priests and mages.
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Tuor_of_Gondolin



Joined: 20 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:06 pm Reply with quote
I think what is being conveyed here, and is touched upon repeatedly throughout Ep 3, is that our group is starting to assimilate into their new life. And *that* means that the restrictions which formed their old lives are breaking down. In some cases, the characters are doing this consciously -- I think Ranta is doing this, for example. But it is happening to *all* of them subconsciously, too. The strangeness of the Red Moon, and how at the end Haru says that it doesn't seem so strange anymore is an example of what I'm talking about.

Also, people have said that these episodes are repetitive. But they're not. In the first Episode, the group loses against a lone Goblin. In Ep 2, they beat a goblin, barely, and have to spend the entire day recovering. In Ep 3, they are shown to kill several goblins, still singly, but it's seems like it's just a matter of time before they start attacking pairs or even groups of goblins.

But getting back to Ranta: he's a Dark Knight. He seems to be trying to RP being "evil"... but he's not, so he's pretty terrible at it. His version of "evil" is to say harsh things and peek at girls and basically defy social norms that had been ingrained into him society... a society that is no longer around. As a result, he is doing consciously what is happening to everyone (including himself) unconsciously: the need to survive is breaking down their ingrained beliefs, values, frames of reference.

I suspect it's just a matter of time before they all "go native", and what we're seeing in the process of that occurring, IMO.
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