The Fruit of Grisaia
Episode 11

by Rebecca Silverman,

Call me a wimp if you will, but there's a scene in this episode when the starving girls have to eat a deceased pet dog that I found incredibly difficult to watch. Not the idea that they were going to have to eat him, but one shot of his dead body and Kazuki's solution to make the butchering easier did not make for easy viewing. If you are sensitive to this sort of content, you have been warned that around the 20 minute mark, things get unpleasant.

“Unpleasant” might very well be the word of the day where this episode is concerned. As the days pass and the girls find that there is little sign of any rescue (they have one false hope), the situation begins to wear on everyone. That manifests in mental instability, people being more prone to tears, and in one case a desire to just die. It's hard to blame them – ten days pass during this episode and it rains during most of them. Food supplies are dwindling and the two severely injured girls are clearly fading. The more emotionally stable of the two is having serious physical issues (warning: maggots) and the other, whose leg is broken, has reached the end of her rope. Nevertheless Kazuki presses on with a methodical sterility that keeps Amane sane and reassures the other girls as well. While it may not be a sign of a stellar mental health record on Kazuki's part, it certainly is keeping the group going, even when the teacher decides to try and hike down the mountain to find help. I can't quite decide whether this is noble or selfish on his part; perhaps we'll see in the end. More interesting is the fact that he's pretty well absent from the story until he decides to leave, indicating that Kazuki really is the one in charge, at least as far as the girls are concerned.

There's another story going on here besides that of the group's survival – a sort-of romance seems to be building between Kazuki and Amane. Each is the other's emotional support and safety net, and Kazuki is clearly moved when Amane tells her that she likes her. She uses the word “suki,” however; when Kazuki returns the declaration towards the end of the episode, she says, “aishiteru,” which is a much more serious term. There's also a suspicious scene where Amane has a bloody cut on her neck which Kazuki needs to clean; when it doesn't stop bleeding after, oh, two seconds, she begins to suck on the wound while Amane makes some decidedly sexual noises. In any event, all of this is furthering my suspicions that Amane has transferred her love for Kazuki onto Yuuji, her younger brother – while the two don't look alike, they certainly have similar temperaments and thought patterns.

“Angelic Howl” continues to be the most developed of the arc in The Fruit of Grisaia, while also appearing to be the one that has the least to do with Yuuji himself, at least so far. When this episode ends, they're still stuck in the mountains, and while I am enjoying the storyline, it might be a bit much to spend three entire episodes there before wrapping things up – it could deliver a rushed conclusion, which would be a shame in the best of the plots thus far. Of course, things really are heating up, with more scenes of horror as the episode goes on, which would indicate an escalating pattern. There are still a lot of simple scenes of people walking or talking, but now they are interspersed with much more difficult material, giving the impression that the situation is worsening without any huge displays of animation.

There are either one or two episodes left. Will The Fruit of Grisaia end on as strong a note as it began? Given the trajectory of this arc, that is finally looking very possible.

Rating: A-

The Fruit of Grisaia is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Rebecca Silverman is ANN's senior manga critic.


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