Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash

Alt title: Hai to Gensou no Grimgar

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Grootloops's avatar
Jan 31, 2016

Only writting this review on account of all the hate it seems to be getting.

Yes of course this story has been done into the ground but I have to say from watching the first couple episodes this one sets out to be diffrent

I'm not sure if it was just me but it makes a lot more sense to me that kids from another world would be scared to fight creatures knowing very well they can die. Also having no expereince in combat makes a lot more sense compared to others that make the MC op becasue he can use a keyboard well.

I think the thing that stood out to me the most was when they began to consider the life of the gobling. The scene where they trap him  and he desperatly tries to survive and the chaacters take note was really intersting.

Honestly its not some super fast paced hack and slash liek most of the the other anime in this genre and if it continues like this i think it will be great

7/10 story
10/10 animation
8/10 sound
8/10 characters
8/10 overall
Gosick's avatar
Jan 10, 2016

You've done it again A-1. You've managed to somehow build a little hype around seemingly the exact same premise you've been milking for years. While A-1 does tend to milk things dry and copy ideas, even if they are their own, I cannot deny their skill. A-1 has always been able to give an array of art types, and story telling. While many studios such as Kyoto stick to one style, A-1 experiments. While a bold move, it has payed off. This season they are pumping out 3 new animes, and 3 new movies. Just under ERASED in terms of hype and quality is 'Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash'.

This anime could easily get gruesome and start mowing down characters. If that happens, I will most likey love it as long as my waifu is safe and sound.

*Edit*: Boom I fucking called it. Avoid character section for slight spoilers. There's no good way to talk about all of them without spoiling something. 

Story: The story is nothing new and over used. A group of 12(I think?) wake up in the unknown world of Grimgar. Once there, they discover they must(why..?) choose a class, and survive in this new world by slaying monsters, thus earning money and advancing in the world. The group of comparatively unfit kids form one group of 6, while the toned and badass looking ones form another group of 6 because of plot.

While I am sick and tired of this plot, this anime does try to throw new things into the mix. None of the people remember anything about where they came from, however from time to time use words they once knew, such as cell phone, and then question what that even means. This is a quickly forgotten premise though. A-1 has also realized that OP characters are boring, and have made our main characters almost worthless. In the beginning they are unable to beat even 2 goblins against their 6. The other group however has already advanced to the next 'rank', though this doesn't show they are OP, just not idiots.

Now before you jump into this anime know this. This anime, in the beginning, focuses mostly on characters and their interactions than on story. It's quite slow paced for a bit, but not in a bad way. If you enjoy seeing characters and relations develop, and don't mind a plot that's slow and steady, this is for you. Around mid-way we see the plot start chugging along more briskly, and eventually throws some pretty unexpected curves.

This anime is also based off the apparently successful light novel that I've unfortunately not been able to read. Light novel to anime adaptations are usually either very good or very bad, with the majority being bad. I'd say it was on the good spectrum, though like every other LN adaption it needs another season. At least it wasn't SAO.

Animation: As I said, A-1 loves to experiment. This time around, they've gone with a style that reminds me of Feel, or maybe even I.G. . That said, the animation is done very well. The little fight scenes we've seen have been fairly fluid and engaging. The magic system is also interesting, with beautifully drawn spells and effects. Not only the fighting, but the world itself is pretty well made. Detail is spread throughout equally, and though you won't get ufotable or Comix, it's very nice to look at.

 Sound: Have to say I'm slightly let down.The opening song isn't bad, though slightly generic, and the ending is a bit worse than the opening. There hasn't been very noticable BGM either, though this could be good or bad. They tone down BGM considerably during tense scenes and idle chat, and let loose during montages or fight scenes. Maybe I've been spoiled lately from all the above average soundtracks though.

Characters: *light spoilerino ahead*

Haruhiro: This guy is alright in my book. He's not a beta fag from what we've seen(Just fuck Mary already), and is the Thief class of the group. He is the fairly chill type of the group, and our main protagonist(though everyone is a main, but he narrates). Seems to be some possible romance in the future between my boy and Yume/Mary hopefully.

Manato: He's the(was, kappa) Cleric of the party, and takes the leader personality. He's an all around nice guy, though he gets too close to my girls from time to time. While I dislike his type of character, I can tolerate him simply because of how much of a bro he is. He's considerate of everyone, and loved by them all, which is very aparent after ep 5(I think thats right).

Mogzo: The fat(well, muscley fat) unspoken type. I say unspoken but it's more of just quiet. He's the Warrior(tank) of the party, and does a great job of keeping his grubby little hands away from my harem. He's able to take charge if needed, and is a pretty good tank.

Ranta: Usually I'm ok with his type but so far I dislike him. He's the perv type, he made Shihiro cry, and chose the edgy class. He's Yuuta when he had chuuni syndrome. Honestly I liked him before he fucked with my girl, so maybe I'm overreacting. He chose Dark Knight or some shit, and is more or less the off tank I assume. He gets a lot more tolerable as he develops, but I still dislike him. Whatever 6/10.

Shihiro: I have a soft spot for helpless maidens, and Shihiro fits the bill. From the get go she's fumbling around trying to use magic and failing miserably. Unfortunately for me, that type of character always dies if the show mows down characters like it's going out of style. Luckily I can only see one more dying as of now though. She's the mage of the group, and has a very shy personality and low self esteem. Though she has a large bosom, I can overlook this flaw because of her personality. Hopefully she avoids the death flag she has on her. 

Yume: The older sister type and best grill, though she's got competition now. Also the clumsy type. And the touchy type... She's definitely a good contender for waifu of the year. She chose the Hunter, and wields a bow, though her aim is horrid so she sticks with close range for a while. Through what we've seen I assume she has tracking skills and super human vision or some shit.

Mary: She's the new addition to the group, taking Manato's spot as Priest. From the get-go it's obvious she's the silent lonely type with a harsh backstory. She heals well though, not like an idiot Manato was. As scooby and the gang get to know her, she slowly opens up, revealing herself to be almost as good a waifu as Yume.

*edit: She's better.

There are many other characters that I dont care about yet. If the two other grills excite me I'll add them, but until then this is good enough.

8/10 story
7/10 animation
7/10 sound
8/10 characters
7.5/10 overall
apoc9's avatar
Jan 17, 2016

In a beautiful RPG fantasy world ... nice art ... full of goblins, adventures, brave heroes ... Who are conveniently pulled out of our world with amnesia... prepare for many long slice-of-life scenes. Like preparing fire, cooking, eating, shopping, making tea, watching the sunset, talking with your party buddies about your feelings and stuff. Then jump right into the action as bunch of six supposedly trained adventures stumble, miss at point blank range, get scared of single goblin, stand and watch as their buddy is getting murdered. Instead of watching those other six, who are much more skilled or it is said so.

Why those wimps don't find for themselves other job. It's not like everyone in the city is soldier.

Ok, now here is the longer version with explanation for those who did not understand my "Honest trailer" style review. I have also bumped up score, because the show was not so horrible in the end and overall was much better than usual 3/10 anime.

The first problem I had with this anime that it has tendency to be very dull. When you start time-skipping on the first watch surely something is rotten in the state of Denmark. There is action, but it is overshadowed by seemingly endless slice-of-life. The characters are bland. They have no past. They are too average. Watching them to interact is most of the time tedious.
The story has almost zero world building and the writer didn't even bother to give an excuse why humans are fighting the goblins and other creatures. That is why Spoiler: [I had no sympathy for protagonists who died].
After all they were walking around, attacking and killing goblins for no reason. This is most clear in the episode, where they kill goblins in their sleep. There is also no explanation why they have to be adventurers in the first place. There is lot of people in the city who are not adventurers. For example It's established that the big guy in the party likes to cook and he is quite good at it. Why he does not tries to find a job in some pub/restaurant in the city to make some money? That is how the realistic aproach to this situation would work.
Luckily the group will gradually get somewhat better in fighting. Info-dumping of the new skills also did not help either. I liked interaction between the main protagonist, the guy internally monologuing all the way through the story, and the girls. There were few good moments. However that is very little to cover glaring holes in the story.

What the story really was about then? It was mostly about copping with hardship, grief and loss (death). Resolution conveniently supported by the dead changing into zombies. It provides an average approach to the mentioned "morale message of the story" and as such it deserves an average score at best.

4/10 story
7/10 animation
5/10 sound
3/10 characters
4/10 overall
FlyingBaron's avatar
Feb 3, 2016

Another crap anime ... With ultra weak and stupid character, the guy wich have the more balls of all the team is called a coward by the others. (Hypocrisy is everywhere, even in animes !!)

With those shity character, we got :

- The useless crying big tits slut that will always cry for nothing.

- The little Tsundere piece of shit who punch every guy of the team, only because they seen her in her bath (By accident, fuckin stupid otaku gimik) <== STOP THIS, OK ?!

- The guy who think he's the best of all time, even if he sucks ballz (But in this anime, it's REALLY the strongest character of the team ...)

- The shity main character that have no personnality, he's just as stupid as the others.

- The dumb big guy that chose warrior to be stupid, big muscles, but no head.

Really, i love animes like this !! Why we can't see some good character and main character ? Like Ichigo ? Just a sample character like Ichigo would be good !!

It's just a Slice of Life, with boobs and perverted situations, but they added some RPG things to make you think : "Hey, look !! It's a new design !!"

You're really far away from the quality of Log Horizon ... Or No Game No Life, better go back to school to learn how to not make shity characters.

Animation is OK, SOUNDTRACK is crap.

2/10 story
8/10 animation
3/10 sound
1/10 characters
2.5/10 overall
roriconfan's avatar
Apr 7, 2016

Hey, look at that, another trapped in a videogame show, made by A-1 Pictures which established the trend with Sword Art Online. It is far different in style, although that didn’t manage to save it from being a failure as a whole.

Ask around and you will find people who liked it, mostly for the realistic characters and the detailed fighting choreography. Both of these merits are not really that good upon close inspection, since the characters are bland archetypes with no backdrop stories and the fight scenes seem to have many characters standing still while two are fighting each other.

But let’s take things from the top. The problems with this show are apparent from the very first episode, where everybody has amnesia and no idea what they are doing here. Some gay guy finds them and tells them to make a living by killing generic monsters. And that is what the plot is all about, slow, simple, with close to zero world building or character fleshing out, since everything in this world and its inhabitants are a blank sheet of paper. That alone makes it hard to give a damn about anything that is going on in it.

Many insist that this is not important since we instead get a lot of time spent on seeing the characters interacting with each other, as well as the setting, thus giving us enough time to feel sympathy for them. Just look at the monsters; they have no names and yet the way they behave during calm moments makes them feel like they too have lives outside of looting and killing.

I do not agree with that, since down to it, it’s still generic character classes roaming around in a generic fantasy setting and killing generic monsters. Without any flavor to distinguish all that from archetypes you can find in pretty much any other show, it is impossible to see them as anything more than cardboards. They seem lively but have no reason to be lively.

This becomes apparent mid through the show when one character dies and is replaced by another member of the same class. Some say how this event has deeply affected the rest, and made them far more relatable. What actually happened is the show trying to make you care about the way a character died instead of the way he lived. I mean, seriously, there was absolutely nothing to talk about that character and the only memorable thing about him is that he died.

Also, the person that replaced him is the only character who has a backdrop story, thus is the only actual somewhat fleshed out character in the whole show. And even that person’s backdrop is also based on witnessing others die. The only thing that can offer personality in the characters is someone else’s death instead of personal goals or talents.

Now you may wonder, what about that amnesia fuss, didn’t that offer them some sort of personality or goal? With that as a driving force, didn’t it at least make them somewhat vigilant or flavored them in their search for whom they were? You know, like it did in Haibane Renmei. No, it didn’t, since nobody even attempted to go on a quest of self acknowledgement in order to find his past self. In fact, the amnesia part has no effect on the plot or the characters. It’s just there as a lazy excuse for the author to leave everything blank and never looked into. How lame is that?

And that is essentially the problem with the show. Why is there amnesia if it doesn’t contribute in any way and instead makes the characters to be empty husks? They have no backdrop, no place in this world, they just popped into existence and without motivation or objective they do shit because they were told to do shit. Why do that, what’s the point, how can you like such characters? Answer: Because lazy writing.

The fans of the show keep yapping about how real they behave when they barely have any personality or a point of origin to build something out of. They try to excuse it as if they gain personality by fighting the goblins and finding their place in the world they just appeared in. Well excuse me for considering that boring and unimaginative. If they didn’t chose to do all that, then whatever comes out of it is out of their control and thus not a result of their actions.

What makes things worse is how by the few things they do remember, we know they are essentially people from our world, sent to a videogame fantasy realm. And again the question is, why do that if it doesn’t serve anything? They don’t remember they are from our world, they don’t talk about it, they don’t compare how different things are here, and they are not trying to return home. So what’s the point of even being there?

It’s easy to assume it was done so the characters will be more relatable to the teenage audience but since they don’t carry the mentality of our world in the fantasy realm, it becomes a meaningless complication. Why not simply have them being poor teenagers in a fantasy realm, trying to make a living by becoming adventurers? That way we would have a fine coming of age. They are not overpowered, they stay dead when they die, and they are part of the world they were born in because they have knowledge of it and a past to build something on it.

And this is exactly why Grimgar fails to be realistic and relatable, even when it could easily be. For all I know the author is riding the trapped in a videogame premise just because the otakus love that shit. I mean, seriously, would the show have half the current popularity if it wasn’t about videogames and instead it was a simple fantasy adventure? Of course not, that’s not real, people getting trapped in videogames is what’s real. And not because it makes it relatable to gamers or something.

If I seem to be talking only about the characters, it’s because there is nothing else to mention. Yeah, the sceneries are usually pretty looking but that is all they are. They have nothing to tell you other than this is a forest and that is a city. No names, no history, no purpose. Why are the monsters attacking? Where is the some sort of king? Is there a goal in these conflicts? Same thing with the cast, which are just generic character classes with a few character gimmicks and occasional butt shots, a thing A-1 Pictures never forgets to throw in.

As for all the praising regarding the attention to the action bits, who gives a shit about how well they are made, if you are not given anything to care about the characters who are fighting or the setting in which the battles take place?

It’s not the attention to physics that makes an action scene interesting. It offers realism, but not immersion. Sword of the Stranger for example has the best choreographed swordfights in any anime ever made. But this is not the only thing that is good about it. Its characters are fairly simple, but they still have a backdrop and clear motivations. Even the setting, which isn’t explored much, has some sort of context by letting us know it is feudal Japan.

In the longrun, realism in battle choreography is a very minor thing. You care ten times more about whatever is going on during the battles just by having lore and explored characters. Sword fighting in Rurouni Kenshin for example is far from plausible but that doesn’t matter when we are interested in fleshed out characters and an explored setting.

The action doesn’t improve anything. Pretty sceneries don’t improve anything. And if you disagree, you are a fan of K-on.

3/10 story
8/10 animation
7/10 sound
3/10 characters
3.5/10 overall