Hai to Gensou no Grimgar – 08

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Tall, dark, and gruesome loves his fuwa fuwa critters, too….

This is a story about accepting your loses with as much grace as you can while moving inexorably towards a better tomorrow; unless you’re a goblin…..


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Mary’s slow progress into the group…

I’m usually thinking this sometimes: Joss Whedon would love this show. Now I know he’s popular and therefore fan opinion of him is split, but that is beside the point. If there is one theme he loves to use and return to, it’s the narrative idea of the created family. He’ll put paid to the one a person is born into, but more often than not, he loves to focus on the one’s we choose.

From Buffy, to Angel, to Firefly and especially on the large scale that the Avenger’s works on, it’s a theme he’s developed well. Plus it’s great way to ground characters that often have huge world changing issues and superpowers. But then, I’ve already stated that this show is “actual size” heroes, so that’s more akin to Firefly….

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Focus on the healer!

With that in mind, I think this episode choose to underscore the distances between the characters in some ways. While we are reminded in many subtle and not so subtle ways that the goblin adversaries are just like our main cast, I’m careful not to get on their side to quick. Here it mostly looks like they’ve been used to underscore how the team is working well and unwell with each other, and how they still have a ways to go yet.

Now, yes, the guys and girls kicked some major goblin butt, and their teamwork was much better than we’ve ever seen it. It’s spotty in a lot of places, but you can see their growing confidence, how much fear they’ve left behind, and the skills they’ve developed well. I’m sure most of us have favorite moments, but mine was Haru coming on strong to defend Shihori’s rather brazen advance.

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But as I said, there is distance still. The main team has come to grips with their collective responsibilities; both in daily life and in facing the guilt in causing Manato’s passing. But on the other side, Mary has yet to really recover from the deaths of three of her friends. While she wasn’t surprised that Haru knew the score, and was alright when them knowing, she still is uncomfortable with intimacy.

She’s trying. She takes Haru’s name in a familiar, but halting, hesitant fashion, which is actually endearing on several levels, but revealing of her trying to cope on the uppermost, at least to me. She’ll survive and arrow to the back, she has magic for that. It’s a tool after all, the magic. But it’s not a cure all that’s for sure. That’s the one thing that took my by surprise. Where I was wanting to see her join them in their home, to live with them and be part of them, the magic, if you will, isn’t there yet. It needs time.

Martial Arts

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Well, I don’t want to leave on too bad a note, so I’ll mention it here in short and move on. Suffice it to say, this is one episode they bloody well better clean up on the physical media release (BD/DVD), some of the modeling was just horrible. They can usually bury it fairly well, but crickey it stuck out on several scenes enough to pull me out of moments. And, the complaining is over.

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Now, while I would love to see the story go over to the goblin’s side fully for a while, that would sidetrack us from the main story. So speaking of BDs, maybe they be in some specials or an OVA or two. This time around the lives of the goblins was used rather well to underscore our main cast, and bravo to the writers for making is as such. I think it’s a better show for it, and if given a choice between the battles and the daily slice of life the show loves to do, I’ll take a lion’s share of the later….

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Your move…


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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27 Responses to “Hai to Gensou no Grimgar – 08”

  1. Soliloquy says:

    Goblin’s lives really mattered it seemed seeing how this anime tries to portray them as just living creatures that actually live in organised structure and routines.

    I think I’m so glad I gave a chance to this anime even though I didn’t enjoy any of the anime of the same theme that proceeded it even Log Horizon and Overlord. This anime has a top notch execution, I don’t think I actually mind it if it never addresses who these main characters are and why are they stuck in this world.

    • skylion says:

      Everyone, keep the goblin comments rolling! I left out most of my feels in the post on purpose, so now you got your say.

      I have to say that I do enjoy this show a great deal more than I do both LH and Overlord. But I have to admit I like things for different reasons. So for LH I enjoyed the depth it took to connecting the characters and in how a common crafting system works in MMORPGs. With Overlord…well, I didn’t really like that one. But this does give me an opportunity to remind people of the distance that Grimgar has with “trapped in a RPG” style shows. Grimgar is good old fashioned “trapped in a fantasy world” style.

  2. HannoX says:

    I loved how this episode gave us a glimpse into the lives of goblins. The one playing with the fluffy critters shows that they aren’t just vicious monsters, they can have a soft side. And the two playing chess or a game very close to it shows that there is an intellectual side to them. Much more fully rounded creatures than the usual RPG low level fodder for adventurers.

    • skylion says:

      I think everyone has a soft side, that doesn’t equate to nice, however. But as you say, it adds to “aren’t just vicious monsters”. Which of course, implies that they very much are vicious, and they were, and that was awesome.

      It makes me wonder if “Death Spots” was just a misunderstood kobold as well…

      • HannoX says:

        Well, really–strangers invade your home, kill your buddies and want to rob you, aren’t you going to be a bit miffed as well?

        Maybe it’s time this show had a band of goblins raiding a human village burning and looting and slaughtering the inhabitants. Just to remind us there’s a reason volunteer soldiers hunt goblins and other monsters.

        • skylion says:

          …that would be well entertaining…But then, it would also be kinda awful…

          • HannoX says:

            Manato’s death and Mary’s backstory proves this show doesn’t pass over some of the grimmer aspects of a fantasy world with humans and monsters fighting. I think a devastated village would fit in, but I wouldn’t want it to spend much time showing that. Maybe just the party coming on the ruins of a village just after it was destroyed.

        • ProtoSovereign says:

          I think it would turn into Akame ga Kill if that happened … 🙂

        • ProtoSovereign says:

          I think if that happened the show would become Akame ga kill…

  3. ProtoSovereign says:

    They completely skipped the pre-battle tactics discussion along with some (including whether or not they should attack yet, to which they decided they were strong enough to take on 4 goblins, they decided to attack because the plate goblin has acquired 2 more fully armed underlings and they suspected he was amassing more power). The anime probably added more goblins so that the party wouldn’t seem like they are improving too slowly. The conversation about sleep was anime original too IIRC. The setting of the fight was very faithful to the LN but naturally the fight changed given that there are more enemies in the anime.

    • skylion says:

      Unless, I missed something, or the animators missed something, but I think at least one of the goblins got away the fight; Ranta may have missed one, unless he was taken out off camera.

      • ProtoSovereign says:

        I’m not sure about that myself, it was really chaotic. Show ▼

  4. ProtoSovereign says:

    The fight was more intense/difficult and strategic/tactical (not sure which term is more correct) in the LN IMO (The party did improve a lot but in the LN the goblin’s seemed much stronger than what was portrayed here). The plate goblin was a much more formidable adversary, armed with his powerful crossbow (they were really wary about getting OHKed by it) and throwing knives (a skill completely omitted in the anime) in addition to his amazing swordsmanship, the hob goblin was chainmail clad + Helmeted (pretty much naked in the anime), the 2 new recruits (sentries) were also similarly armoured and fully armed with shields, spears and short swords as back up weapons.

    • skylion says:

      This episode really does look like the bottom half of the totem pole so far as scene blockage and basic character animation is concerned. I do wonder what the budget outlay was for the entire cour; that’s when they make their decisions about how detailed some stuff is and the basic flow of the overall story they want to follow.

      And that is what the difference is between strategy and tactics. The former is the episode and what they achieve to deliver the over tone of the later, the entire cour/program.

  5. ProtoSovereign says:

    Haruhiro was forced to engage because the plate goblin immediately spotted him for some reason. The sentries were good fighters too with plenty of technique and one of them even threw their spear like a badass. Due to team goblin taking the initiative team human was forced to semi-improvise their tactics on the spot. Also I’m still worked up that they nerfed the danger of the crossbows given that in the anime there’s like 4-5 of them and it feels like they shoot peas (in the LN only the plate goblin had a crossbow and half their plan revolved around not getting shot by it, in fact Yume uses that useless sounding evade roll she learnt last ep to bait the crossbow and make it miss).

    • skylion says:

      I would say that most , OK I confess all, of my plans revolve around NOT getting shot by a crossbow.

  6. ProtoSovereign says:

    Their thoughts pre-battle were not included in the anime but its good so I’ll post it too ‘At last. The plate armoured goblin and the hobgoblin would meet their end today. They were the ones who killed Manato. Haruhiro and the others did their best to not treat it as retaliation or revenge, because hatred would interfere with clear thinking. Those two weren’t hated adversaries; merely enemies. Strong enemies. A barrier they had no choice to overcome.’ Notice that Mary used a new spell [heal] and [counterstrike]. Mary also had a nice funny line post-battle concerning the wound from the throwing knife (bolt in the anime) “…I’m sorry to interrupt,” Mary said, raising her hand, “but can I heal myself now? It kind of, uh, hurts.”

    • skylion says:

      To be honest, I got most of that within the contexts of the scenes; the direction is adequate at showing what they were after all along.

  7. ProtoSovereign says:

    I’m worried because 4 episodes is quite a lot and IDK what they plan to take this (or if they plan to adapt volume 2 how rushed that could possibly be). Also Mogzo’s voice changing in battle was hilarious and better than I imagined in the LN, I almost thought it was a different person XD. I’m not sure if Grimgar should be classified as slice of life it feels different from that genre. Sorry for posting so much, I had too much to say (I’ll try to condense it next week).

    • skylion says:

      As far as how many volumes the show does, this is something I learned to not worry about some time ago. As average fans we have no control over this. I used to worry about it, and I ended up not enjoying the show as much. YMMV, though.

      As far as classifications go, that to is something I don’t really worry about. Genre tags can be as much a convenience as a bother.

      …and no worries…

      • ProtoSovereign says:

        🙂 Wise words, time for me to forget the genre tags and to forget how many episodes are left for grimgar.

  8. zztop says:

    I’ve heard there’s quite a bit of stuff that happens in the later volumes. Would you mind if I shared spoilers here?

    • skylion says:

      Frankly I don’t mind you posting (nearly) anything behind a spoiler tag. However I would request that you hold off until the content from the volumes look like they’ll be germane to the episode in question; as I feel a topical discussion is not only of more interest, but far less confusing. Also, honestly put yourself in the uniformed shoes, do you want someone coming along and saying “OMG I can’t wait until this happens, you’re gonna crap yourself with how awesome it is, OMG I can’t keep a lid on it! IMMA TELL YOU NOW!!!!”…or something to that effect 🙂

  9. Highway says:

    I really liked the relationship bits in this one with Mary and Haruhiro. I liked the decision to show the way she fell in with Haruhiro as he walked away from Manato’s grave, the way she chose to join him, and the way their conversation progressed afterwards. I like the way Haruhiro has been obviously as much of a novice as he can, with being a party leader, with being a friend, with helping her with her reintroduction to other people. And the way they handled him bringing up her killed party members. I’m sure others have brought them up in conversation before, and it’s hurt, and she’s pushed back against it. This time, it looked like she let the hurt wash away, and received the feelings behind the message from Haruhiro, the empathy he was trying to give, probably for the first time. That’s not to say that others weren’t empathic about it. It’s just that this was the time she was ready for it, and it came from the person who could send it.

    And I like how Haruhiro completely deflected the idea of ‘vengeance’. He’s not about that, at least not outside the moment. It was almost like he was embarrassed by the idea, which I liked.

    • skylion says:

      They did a fantastic job with Mary’s character development. It could have gone so far south, with Haruhiro being the typical male lead and doing all the heavy lifting for her, but nope. They did good instead.

      …now be careful there. It sounds like you’re trying to write Haru as “Well, my only flaw is that maybe I’m a bit too flawless…”

      • Highway says:

        Nah, because he didn’t have that intent behind it. Doing and saying the right things because you’re trying to do and say the right things is different from doing and saying them because you know that they’re the right things to say.

        The Atlantic has recently been running reader stories on their Notes blog about “When did you become an adult?” And this anime has been for me a similar kind of story: showing when these people who were obviously kids when they came into existence are going through this transition to adulthood. And really, most of those stories are similar in tone: When my parents died. When I was raped. When I left my homeland.

        Here we’re seeing these kids in various stages of this process: Manato was arguably the only adult in the group when he was alive. Now Haruhiro is feeling that transition, with the weight of responsibility settling on his shoulders. Mary’s transition has been drawn out, you could say, in that it started when her party had its tragic end, but that she is only now starting to realize her adulthood. And I think this episode also showed a glimpse of Moguzo’s emerging adulthood as well, albeit a little differently in him realizing his strength and power and responsibility at the same time. And just like there are some stories in that feature about people who feel like they still haven’t become an adult, I think we see that with Ranta, who even though he’s getting better at being a Dark Knight, is not changing his behavior or outlook to that you’d consider ‘adult.’

        I thought it was an interesting parallel.

    • ProtoSovereign says:

      Exactly, Grimgar seems to hit the right key where so many other series decide to do otherwise.

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