Hai to Gensou no Grimgar – 06

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I look forward to seeing her smile more

 Well, this really could have gone down the hole. They could have painted it in the widest of “she’s seen some sh*t” brushes and called it a day. But….

You’re this close from me losing my temper

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…got it?

No, that isn’t directed towards my readers, not is it a reflection I have about the show. I just really really really love that line; how it was performed, when it came in the script during peak Ranta rant. The how of it very much encapsulated what I felt about this episode. Not only good, but just right. That’s built on the layers, and it’s it is as welcome as good news that we have some storytellers that are aware enough to know that this type of story has been told before, and to tell it in a different way. Which is wholly their own, and in their own time.

Mary’s story isn’t anything all that original or extraordinary, and that very much is the point, when you get right down to it. We have to mourn, but we don’t have to live on that side of the grave, not yet, not by a long shot. But some folk just cannot walk away from that particular plot of land, if not physically, then in the darker parts of their minds. What makes her story connect is not just that it needs to be told, that someone needs to understand her, but in how much it connects to our main group. Again, this is something that could have been clubbed over our heads, but instead was told with much more confidence, and thus, much more impact.

What makes it cut even deeper is that by handling it in the prosaic manner that they do; the reluctance for her to join them in tavern later, having to seek out her story in steps from the other group’s leader to the man that can actually tell the eyewitness story, then letting us make the connections naturally between Mary’s former group and her potential current one, and allowing us the space to see those connections that this really was a “by the grace of fate that could have been us” for Haru and company. It made her turn around at nearly the halfway mark come across with as much force as the goblin took to the head.

We all love new textures….

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As usual, a few extra visual treats….

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Well, in the same manner that I’m praising the show, I won’t overstay my welcome. They’ve provided us with an incredible amount of texture on as small a frame of fabric as possible, and that is indeed a good thing. I think Mary will fit into the group just fine, provided that the right dynamic can be found. It’s not over yet, and this group is but at the foothills of the climb up. Those steps are small, that is for sure, and they’ve still got a ton to learn. Haruhiro is seeing shades from the past, and that can’t be good, at least for long….

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I don’t know if it’s the show that can’t let go, or the characters or where that divide is, but Manato’s ghost will be haunting the boy for a while longer it seems. If he is looking to replace him as team leader, then this is only natural, and can be part of him compartmentalizing his feelings of lose, and keeping around a sounding board for his own internal thoughts. But the quicker they become his, and not the reminder of past regrets, that will become a breeding ground of very poor second guesses, then the better he can heal, and become better for the ordeal. Then we talk leadership…

Next Time: Let’s hope these two pieces of headgear aren’t death flags…

On the other side…

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All around nerd that enjoys just about any anime genre. I love history, politics, public policy, the sciences, literature, arts...pretty much anything can make me geeky...except sports. Follow me @theskylion
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34 Responses to “Hai to Gensou no Grimgar – 06”

  1. ProtoSovereign says:

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    Otherwise there isn’t too much to complain about, I just couldn’t get used to her anime look. Her personality is exactly as I imagined :).

  2. Highway says:

    You hint at it, but the parallels were what got me about Mary’s story, and the wondering of the question: Is it worse to be killed, or be the one left behind? Because what happened to Mary and what happened to Manato are almost exactly the same, both ended up in a situation where they were out of magic, both paid a price. I said last week how much I liked Mary’s character, and that just continues this week. She’s trying: Both to not open up to a new group and risk that pain again, the pain of her own failure, and to get past that very pain, get back to something that she can do.

    And maybe it is a bit of desperation on the part of both Mary and Haruhiro’s group that they are trying to make it work, but it’s the kind of thing that if you need to do something, you can do that thing. And I like that Haruhiro doesn’t just get frustrated and cross at Mary. He extends his hand, but when she doesn’t take it, he doesn’t get angry. I really love how empathic he tries to be, even before hearing the story.

    I really didn’t want the end of this episode to come, and wish there wasn’t another week until the next one.

  3. IreneSharda says:

    Another really good episode from Grimgar.

    This time we still see them trying to adjust to Mary as their grief over Manato is beginning to turn into acceptance and they are able to move on. However Haruhiro is having a hard time trying to adjust to this new job of being a leader that has basically been thrust upon him.

    However, he gets a sort of ghost pep-talk from Manato, whose voice I’m happy to hear again, and I like that even in the new credits, he hasn’t been taken out, even with the addition of Mary. I like how Haruhiro is beginning to realize what it takes to become a leader and is working to understand the inner workings of the party just like Manato did.

    Mary on the other had is a prickly one, however, now that I have heard her backstory, I think I understand her character. She used to be very similar to Manato, though not really a leader and not as wise. However, the tragedy that happened to her party caused her to become wiser, but also more secluded and afraid of getting close to others again. She’s afraid of the same events happening again, and that’s why she’s so put-offish with our new party. I think with this new understanding of her, our heroes, just like us, can begin to adjust and understand her and it can eventually lead to her really becoming a part of the party.

    • skylion says:

      Mary is one of those characters that are the embodiment of the phrase “everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about”. Which is a damn good characterization for a series like this.

  4. IreneSharda says:

    You know, now that the party has been equalized to have three girls and three guys, I’ve seen many eager to pair them all up. However, while Haru/Yume is a possibility. I’d have to see about any of the others. Also, it feels a little too soon for at least one of them.

    • Overcooled says:

      Ghost Manato x Haruhiro is the only good option u_u

    • skylion says:

      You know, these characters are going through weird, life changing, life threatening situations; they ain’t got time for this shipping nonsense.

      But really, now that I think about it, they should be pairing off and “boinking”. Yeah, the process may be foreign to them, but it’s a “normal” thing to find refuge in, especially given how life treating it all is. They must be well disciplined or just plain dumb to the hormones that are screaming at them so loud, the dead are asking them to keep it down….

      • ProtoSovereign says:

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        • skylion says:

          What I’m saying is that biological clocks should be ringing hard with all this life an death happening around them. There should be some schtupping….Whom with whom is down to cases…

          • Highway says:

            And down to how they’re feeling that night. I agree, older teens end up doing it, because people want to do it. And you usually pick from who’s available: Mr Right Now, not Mr Right.

    • HannoX says:

      I can’t see any of the girls pairing up with Ranta the way he is now. He’d have to change a lot before that happens. Haruhiro x Yume is the only ship I can see as a possibility for now, and that would probably take a while before it’d come to pass.

  5. Overcooled says:

    “You’re this close to making me lose my temper” is how I felt about Mary most of the time. And seeing the rest of the cast try desperately not to completely snap at her coldness the whole time heightened that feeling. But she’s an interesting one, because I never totally got fed up with her. She has reasons for what she does, she’s experienced, and she shows little glimmers of kindness every now and then that make we want to like her. I’m glad they didn’t take too long to tell us why she’s so standoffish, otherwise I think I would have given up on her. Now that I see the reasoning behind her actions, I think the group will be able to find a way to better integrate her into their party. Just…not right away. That shit takes time yo.

    • Highway says:

      See, I have a completely different impression of her. She has never been a jerk, she’s never been an instigator. She’s been, at worst, professional and somewhat standoffish. But to me, that doesn’t give anyone else cause to be angry with her: “You’re not acting like I want you to!” is what that would come down to. If they had decided “This isn’t working” and asked her not to come back, I would have disagreed, but wouldn’t think that was out of bounds. But to ask her back, and then get angry because her personality isn’t as they’d like it, would be pure selfishness and unacceptable in my view.

      I also find the party dynamics interesting because of my experience in WoW, which I’ve probably mentioned before. And maybe that’s why I’m so accepting of Mary, because as a raid leader I’d rather have someone who gives constructive advice but is quiet otherwise, and also saves their mana for when it’s needed. Sure it’s great to be “winning the meters”, but if crap hits the fan and you’re out of mana and can’t cast, then you’re useless. And that’s something she’s directly experienced. In WoW, you die, you rez, you try again. But in Grimgar

      you bury your friends.

      • sonicsenryaku says:

        but as i said last week, mary wasnt exactly being constructive which is why i couldn never really get behind her actions. i liked the fact that she was breaking the group in, but she also has a responsibility as a teammate to help out in a proper constructive manner like “oh, a cleric shouldnt be doing so much healing so guys you need to fix up ur battle formation a bit. haruhiro, as a thief it would make more sense if you did this. Yume try doing this more as it would improve your ability to land kills better. Ranta, stop being a spastic prick and learn how to focus your attacks more. Moguzo, your the pure muscle, and as such you need to do this to compensate for speed, but at the same time, serve your role in this way”. She barely did any of that, and to me that’s unacceptable. Human beings are put on this earth to help each other…that’s just the way it is. She doesnt have to conform to their ways, but do something to illustrate that you care enough about your group surviving. I dont hate mary as i find there to be some charm to her generic character trope, but i did think she could approach her situation better. The way she copes with her trauma is not right. That’s no fault of her own but still someone needs to point out a person’s self-destructive behavior when it rears its head.

        • skylion says:

          Well, Mary is going through stress, and no single person, especially one so young, especially for the first time, is going to handle it as well as someone in the audience thinks she should. But if you wish to “Monday Morning Quarterback” the rest of the team, you go on with your bad self.

          I’m sensing aggravation here. My advice is to let the characters be themselves. It’s not a story about how awesome they are supposed to be, but who they are in these moments that we see them. This is “warts and all” style storytelling.

          • sonicsenryaku says:

            hahaha there’s not a single iota of aggravation here, and i am letting these characters be themselves. i was just expressing how mary’s actions make sense but at the same time arent the way one should go about things (whih is why i gave the whole “monday morining quaterback” coaching rant). I think you got the wrong impression here: im not criticizing the show for making mary have flaws. All im saying is that, as a person, mary needs to realize that this is not how to go about her problems. Im doing this in the same vein i would towards a character who drinks a lot. Yea i can understand the circumstances behind why they drink, but i would still be like “damn man, you shouldnt be drinking too much”. Has nothing to do with aggravation now does it?

            If i have made any criticisms to this show, it would be how dry the execution has been. Again, things dont have to be original to be good as i am a huge defender of, but the execution has to be inspired to a degree in which the audience can be truly engaged and i dont get it in this show. Mary’s backstory is just told to us and that’s as boring as that can get. It’s the writing in this show that i would criticize because other than that, i find the directing to be rather decent. There’s a sense of careful methodology to it all. It’s got a good handle on directing “ambient moments” and i appreciate it for that

        • Highway says:

          I thought her criticisms were very helpful. Plus, there’s a situation where she’s *not* the leader, she’s *not* the person determining strategy. It would have been far worse if she’d done what you said, come in and said “You should do everything the way I say, even though I just got here.” I mentioned my Raid leading experience in WoW, and I know that that’s what party leaders hate most of all. If Haruhiro could have justified his reasoning for what they were doing, she probably would have gone along. But because the reason was “Well, Manato carried us and we never learned good strategy” he didn’t have an answer.

          Last week, she was essentially healer-for-hire. She shouldn’t be dictating strategy, and what she did was appropriate: She set her own limits and justified them. Going any farther would have challenged the group in a different, bad, way, and made sure she wasn’t invited back, like she apparently was with the rest of the groups.

          Also, I disagree there’s a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way to deal with one’s trauma. You handle it the way you can. It’s something that hurt her. We don’t see evidence that it’s crippled her in any way. And I’m sure that she wants to be more friendly, but has to be able to allow herself that. That’s what she’s doing now.

          • skylion says:

            Yep, last week they hired a Manato replacement, this week they’re realizing how dumb that was….

          • sonicsenryaku says:

            if you dont mind, maybe you can quickly elaborate on what you mean that there is no “right or wrong” way to deal with trauma so i can see where you are coming from. If you’re actions when dealing with the trauma are clearly maladaptive, can you really call that “the right way to deal with it”..isnt that the reason there is help available for those handling their trauma in a maladaptive way; so that they can work on themselves more positively. Mary is clearly isolating herself from the team so that she doesnt become attached and suffer what she went through before. But by doing that, she is also limiting the ability in which she can get involved and become more knowledgeable about the people she is working with. This can cause the same mistake to happen again and result in there being more bloodshed on her hand. I think we are on two different pages here: im not judging mary for her circumstances or who she is (other than the fact that the show could have executed it better). Im just saying that the poor girl has to realize sooner or later that her behavior, whether it makes pragmatic sense, will lead her to more pain. Avoiding your trauma in my opinion is not right, but i dont mean it in the moral sense more than I mean for it to exemplify how maladaptive her actions can be if she continues her ways. Again, not a judgment, but an observation of who she is a person and how to handle trauma in a more adaptive way. People handle trauma in their own way absolutely, but one must also be aware of what consequences those actions can have.

            And when i made my comment about her giving constructive criticism, again, i was never implying she should be a leader (i see some misunderstanding her). The scenario i mentioned played out in my head as more of a “hey, let’s sit down and have a sort of meeting in regards to how we do things. You guys probably think im a bitch, but that’s only because ive seen some shit and i just want to suggest some ways that we can work more cohesively”. It’s like having a meeting and someone just throwing in their two cents. I personally think that shouldnt be a problem; people should have the capacity to hear people out without being offended or thinking someone is trying to 1-up them. I never implied mary should take a leader role; only that she should probably give out some “helpful” advice if she was so keen on being standoffish because she feels that they are too inexperienced. I dont care if she was just for hire: she chose to accept and she chose to show up everyday so as such, if something is not too your liking, dont just voice it, but be more involved; and that’s what i think pissed the gang off as well. Then haruhiro as leader could utilize that device and create intelligent strategies. Every one helps each other out.

            • Highway says:

              What I mean is that Mary is coping in a way that lets her get through. There are too many people who say, essentially, “You’re doing it wrong if you don’t follow my steps and timeline for dealing with grief” or whatever. And to me, that’s just hubris. Even if it works for some people, it may not work for others. Plus, the way the supposed science around therapy is, I sure wouldn’t trust it to be right. It’s like art: you find what you like. You find what helps you, and do that. As long as it doesn’t hurt others, I’m really not going to argue.

              The thing is, I think Mary is doing fine in dealing with it. It’s certainly not maladaptive to hold people you’ve just met at arm’s length. And it’s not like she’s been taking a whole lot of time to open up to them. Heck, Shihoru is more reserved in the group, yet noone is jumping on her.

              It’s not like Mary is ignoring them, or afraid of them, or anything else particularly bad. This episode she had multiple signs that she felt like she was integrating into the group: protecting Shihoru, healing Moguzo, I would even say that going to the tavern, where she wasn’t going before, may have been a positive step. Being out in public, and being near the group may be part of opening up. Honestly, it feels to me like her character is tremendously authentic and really a great characterization.

            • Highway says:

              Regarding her giving advice: again, Mary has not been in a position to give that kind of advice. Basically, what you’re talking about is argument from authority. And while it’s true that it’s not always a fallacious mode of argumentation, in a situation where Mary has not actually established any authority, any attempt to do so would be seen as such.

              I’ll reiterate: I thought that her criticisms were actually very helpful in guiding the party’s tactics away from those that would be considered bad. And they were made in a way that stayed within the authority she had been granted by the party. If she had tried to set them down and talk to them like that, I feel like 1) her criticism would have been rejected and 2) it would have been out of character.

            • sonicsenryaku says:

              you make some very good points and i would agree that it’s not maladaptive to keep people you just met at arms length. However, if those people are counting on you to survive and you are being distant because of things you are going through, it can become costly down the line and that is maladpative. I agree that she has made some small strides (her kind nature is still in there), but in the worst case scenario, her behavior can cost her the team. If someone was like this in a war, would that be satisfactory? the obvious answer is no. Like i said, I like the idea behind Mary’s character and i can get completely behind who she is (just because someone has things about a character they disagree with doesnt mean they dont like that character), i just wished the writing was better is all. But other than that, i can agree with most of your comment; your ideas come out clearly

            • sonicsenryaku says:

              “1) her criticism would have been rejected and 2) it would have been out of character.”

              I disagree with her criticism being rejected; if anything, the group was sort of looking at her last ep like “hey, if you think you know so much why dont you give us some advice” to which she didnt open herself up to. and the bit about being out of character: she was just introduced. We didnt know much about her character for her actions to seem out of place and now that we have become aware this week that mary used to be very proactive, this definitely would have been in her character. besides, let’s say that her actions last week were more than enough to build a solid foundation of who she was as a character: someone who relies on logic, is hard-skinned, and pragmatic, yet likes to isolate herself from certain situations. Those character traits arent enough to say it would be out of character for her to at least suggest something helpful to the team: it’s logically, it’s pragmatic, and it still shows she’s strong-voiced because she has the ovaries to make suggestions. I think at the end of the day, we can both agree that mary is a character with layers. It’s just that you and i view her situation through different lenses. We both sympathize for her, but im more of the thought that she can do better (and with time she will). You think she’s well written while i think she’s a well constructed character trope that has been executed rather blandly by the shows By-the-numbers writing. In a show of higher caliber writing i would be in-love with her character. Mary is cool tho; the show has some good points so im just waiting for it to raise my eyebrows so i can see why so many are fascinated with this series. It’s got a certain charm to it which is why i stick to it but…..

            • Highway says:

              I think you might be right with the words “If you know so much give us some advice” but I think you are completely wrong about how they would be received. It would have just been a rhetorical challenge that would have been very destructive for the group.

              And the thing I mean about out of character is that if she had done what you say, she would have been completely different as a character from that point on. I don’t think they could have changed that one thing and kept anything at all from this episode. Basically, what I see you saying is that her character should be a different character than what it is. I don’t see how being more girl-power is any less cliched than what you accuse her of being in her current form. It would just be more that it’s what you’d prefer to see.

            • sonicsenryaku says:

              I wouldnt say im telling mary to be a different character. You stated that she was entirely in her right to act the way she did and i was arguing that i dont completely agree. She could have been a bit more fair in regards to her attitude towards them and this is how she could have done it constructively without going against her own methods whether you agree about it or not. What she did wasnt entirely constructive to the team; that’s it. Besides, I wasnt being critical of the fact that she’s a cliche, but how the cliche is executed. I even said in previous comments how im cool with cliches as long as they are done right. Half the shows i enjoy watching are filled to the brim with cliches but at least they are pulled off aptly. Mary’s character wasnt one of them. Besides, me stating that Mary should be more proactive doesnt fall under “girl power” whatsoever but I guess we’ll agree to disagree about the things we havent seen eye to eye with. Oerall, I really have enjoyed this discussion tho; your comments are always interesting to read and respond to 🙂

        • HannoX says:

          I agree that as the newcomer Mary couldn’t tell the party what to do or how to do it. Nothing would have made them resent her faster than that. All she could do was tell them what she was going to do or not do. But now that they know her backstory and that she’s more experienced than they, if they should be smart enough to ask her for advice, then she could make suggestions. And they would still have to be suggestions because she’s still the newcomer and not the leader.

  6. ProtoSovereign says:

    I think you guys might be forgetting that Mary’s main priority isn’t to better the party as a whole. She feels guilty as a healer who failed to heal and protect her team and that guilt is the focus of her tactics, i.e. being the best most professional healer she can be. This does not entail being friendly with her team or getting close to them. As for her telling the party how to improve, you must remember that Mary has been in a lot of parties and left or been kicked out of them all (she was all but ready to leave at the first indication she wasn’t wanted, its nothing new to her). It is likely that she has tried in the past to steer her party in a better direction but learned the hard way that as the new recruit being too vocal or commanding would not be received positively.

    • skylion says:

      I wanted to complain that I felt they left a bunch of Mary’s background on the “cutting room floor”. But given a touch more thought, felt that her story was evocative enough to suggest it, and leave it as read. But now, I feel I want that background. Ah, I’ll live.

      I don’t know if her guilt is a focus for her tactics, but I very much feel it slams a huge lens on how she sees everything now.

      • ProtoSovereign says:

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        Speaking of the source, the Nanodesu translations on Vol 3 are only 36% done. I’m not saying they are slow but when your waiting it always feels so long… and painful… But they probably won’t get to Vol 3 anyway 😀 so all’s well that ends well.

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