The Fruit of Grisaia
by Rebecca Silverman,
Another week, another somewhat rushed episode of The Fruit of Grisaia. This week we finish up Makina's story, with Yuuji accepting the order to assassinate her in order to protect her – if he has the papers, they can't be given to someone else, or so I assume. He immediately takes Makina into what is essentially protective custody as they hit the road to avoid both his own comrades and the Irisu family. The overall episode is full of exciting moments, but none of them quite manage to bleed into one another to make for a wholly exciting episode, which is a shame, because the potential is clearly there. This is also the first time I've felt that this is a flawed adaptation of a specifically ero game – one scene shows Makina and Yuuji in bed together with her clothes scattered on the floor beside her and him providing more beefcake content. There is, however, no implication that they had sex, and given the kiss in the previous episode, this feels like something that was deliberately left out. It isn't jarring per se, but it is noticeable in the same way that the sex scene in the first TV adaptation of Fate/stay night just felt off. I didn't necessarily want to see them do it, but it seemed like we were missing something, if that makes any sense.
Fortunately the rest of the episode is simply rushed rather than giving the impression that it is lacking plot pieces. Yuuji is at his most badass, kicking ass and not even bothering to take names because who cares about their names? They wanted to kill Makina and now they're dead. Mission accomplished. We've seen him be cold before, but none of that quite measures up to his actions this time, particularly at the end of the episode, where he does what he needs to in order to keep Makina safe in the long run. There's no real feeling that he's doing this out of emotional attachment to her, and that does lessen the impact to a point, but he's also clearly doing his best to take care of her. She's not quite as invested in her own personal safety, unfortunately, leading to her doing something monumentally stupid towards the end. While I can understand that, lacking a real family, she has taken on her friends as a substitute, getting herself caught because she left behind a present from Sachi is not one of the ten brightest moves she could have made. I've decided to see it as representative of her basic innocence and yearning for hope, and she does prove that she can take care of herself – if there hadn't been two guards, she may have gotten away with it.
Along with all of the action, this episode also features a particularly amusing moment in the thin-walled hotel where Yuuji and Makina are hiding out: we hear what is clearly the sound of a woman moaning in pleasure, but Makina interprets it as her yelling, “ahou,” or “idiot/moron,” so she kicks the wall and tells her to stop calling people that. It's another highlight of her innocence, but it's also a joke I was in no way expecting, which really made it all the funnier. That's really the only lighthearted moment in this episode, with the rest playing out like a James Bond movie. We're never quite sure how to feel about Yuuji's boss, which keeps things on edge even in the end, but again in these interactions there's a definite sense that this is the abridged version of the story.
At this point it is feeling like the original game would have been better served by picking one girl's route and just sticking with it. There's a wealth of information and action in this episode that really could have been stretched out over more than two episodes, and that has been the prevailing feeling with each arc. We only have Amane to go, so let's hope they're saving the best for last and are getting ready to just knock our collective socks off, because while this episode is good, it's also pretty clear that it's nowhere near as good as it could have been.
The Fruit of Grisaia is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Rebecca Silverman teaches folkore and children's literature and writes manga reviews for ANN.
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