Hai to Gensou no Grimgar – 11

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…coming back to life again…

This was one hell of a penultimate episode (MAL lists March 28th as the final), as it had just about everything a fan could possibly want….

Death Spots is Pretty Much a Kobold Dick

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Local rage beast ruins valuable mining operation

If you had to have action set pieces, this episode had two. If you wanted a juicy drama, it delivered. If you wanted those special little moments that made the slice of life aspects of this show come alive, then that was icing on this cake. Like I said, it had it all, even the typical shortcut animation that A-1 cannot seem to want to avoid using. Along the way to the finale, it may have even shortened the gap between both Ranta and Haruhiro, while letting the former put a very fine point what the latter’s problem is.

See, they really can work together

It did rather take them the span of a huge amount of action go get there, but you can burn energy, reach a goal, and come to an understanding if you try hard enough. Despite all the complaining these two leveled at each other, when the chips are down, they can both pack a punch for great effort. Last episode we had a pretty good discussion over which one of these dinks had the best case, and I still pull for Ranta a bit more, as I think he had a very strong point to make. That one being, when Haru’s head isn’t up Manato’s Ghost’s arse, his head is still up his own.

Oh, thank Barbara…

Now, if were talking Ranta, his head’s address is Arseville as well, but Ranta is not the leader; and hanging out at that address is not the best spot for the leader to be in, and Ranta knows that, but Haru is hesitant to leave it. To me, Haru isn’t really a brick short of a load or anything like that, he is however very hesitant to tell people where to take the bricks they got. He hesitates, maybe takes a bit to long to make a decision, and he beats himself up inside. But I don’t think he let’s that show much, as his party sticks with him, and looks to him. He’s got the right attitude, it’s just his sense of urgency overwhelms his abilities.

Spell of Closure…

Leaving the brawl boys aside, we can come to Mary’s story. While the issue with Death Spots is not resolved, we can say her feelings over her departed friends are very much put to rest, and it was a breathtaking to see her literally do that with her own hands. At first I got stuck up me game rulebooks over how the undead were depicted; spells and skills looked way to strong for unliving, but this was a narrative device, not an unblinking devotion to any rules-set or straight up fantasy convention. They served the No Life King, and that was a pretty obvious analogy from the get go, as Mary’s exorcisms were just as much for her as they were for ending that mockery of life. Besides, most of them had pretty nerfed powers to begin with.

Pretty weaksauce when you think about it….

Plus, in going back to combat, these higher level “former” characters were also keen opposition for our main party. The metaphor is pretty much there for all of them, move forward and live, you have something to fight for. In the end, that’s what gave them the edge, and the reward. Of course, when it was all done, we get back to the reflective moments this show does so well. We had some nice moments where each character could find the words to express new goals for the future. Until a big angry kobold ruined it all.

Might as well JUMP!!

The second set piece was pretty good to mediocre. It wasn’t as well animated as the scenes with Mary’s former comrades, but it got the job done. I’ll take away for: most of the kobold models looked flat and lifeless at times, the direction never quite made them a threat outside of obvious nearly got them tactics, Death Spots himself really had no personality outside of knocking crap down, so any anticipation we have over seeing him slain will feel more like he was dispatched than overcome. But on the positive side, our party can really jump, can’t they?

Some other encounter drops…

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I can’t quite flip the record over just yet, so I’ll have to sound like one broken, at least for a few more sentences. This was terrific. It didn’t tie up any loose ends as of yet, but gave us some rather clear indications of what is to come. It was a great build up to a oncoming climax that they’ve been working on, with the ideals of leadership, teamwork, pulling weight, being a bit of a dick about things, being Ranta, Mary’s ongoing storyline, all come into a functional whole, and great reward for those that have stuck with the series.

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Would you guys make sure to bring me back a calzone?!

Of course we have one heck of a cliffhanger and they earned it. Yeah, I clobber the animation and they deserved it, but it still delivers and made the scenes incredibly tense despite it looking more toward the cheap side. I also give Death Spots some shade, but dammit, give me a good villain! This is half rate stuff, just giving us a blowhard that breaks things, and it’s not what I expected of this team of creators at all. But, I’ll be content with it so long as they can deliver on a good story next time…

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…See who tomorrow? Unless this is just a final episode “fondness” pic from Haru’s POV…

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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27 Responses to “Hai to Gensou no Grimgar – 11”

  1. Highway says:

    I thought that Haruhiro did have an interesting “learning to be a leader” moment when they were attacked by the three ex-people. After he assigned tasks for them, he realized that he’d basically set everyone on the wrong target, and that’s all down to his inexperience. This wasn’t something that would get them killed, but it was something that hopefully he’ll remember next time.

    • skylion says:

      Yeah, that sense of urgency overwhelms him. Or the subtext going on inside him takes over, why else set Ranta vs. the thief if only too show Ranta how hard it is to take down a thief and thus learn to appreciate Haru.

  2. Balanar says:

    What, no additional romance scene? Haru, what are you still for? Go claim Mary for yourself already! XD

    This 11th episode did rearrange the order of events from LN a bit. *minor spoiler*
    Show ▼

    Even though I was utterly failed at guessing last time. I’m more than willing to bet (again) for anime-original HaruxMary romance scene in the final Ep. (Hey, at least Ep.11 also have some, though it’s RantaxYume not the high demanded HaruxMary. -*-)

    As for why the heck those undead can roaming around in the mine for a while, here’s a bit info of (only) Grimgar world.
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    • skylion says:

      If I were making a “commerce of romance” in the world, I would not depend on the “shipping” lanes presented in this program; they are to damn unreliable!!!

      Show ▼

      • Balanar says:

        for the 1st question
        Show ▼

        for the 2nd question *MAJOR SPOILER*
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        • skylion says:

          I like the first spoiler, but only if they can keep it rock steady with the tone of this season, or else just shoving the fantasy elements in big time would be jarring. I like a slow build.

          As for the second spoiler, I’ll avoid reading it for now…Major Spoiler doesn’t sound like a place I want to go yet…

          Thank you for the info, though…

        • ProtoSovereign says:

          They most likely took out the “prologue” chapter from the end of vol 1 becuz that is about events that happen much later and they don’t want disappointed fans who hate the tease of greater things to come. Remember LN readers and Anime viewers are generally a different fan base and 1 will be more patient then the other 😉 (imo readers tend to be more patient, while viewers less so. No Offense to anybody but that’s what I believe may have influenced the director to cut that chapter from the anime.)

          • skylion says:

            ..to me it’s never been a matter of patience, speaking in this context. Just that a production knows they can tell a story from beginning to end in the time they have. When they cut things out on a cliffhanger without knowing if they’ll ever get a shot at a new season/series. I’ll take a competent ending over “at least they got precious scene A and/or B in the show” rush job.

            • ProtoSovereign says:

              Yeah, they were never going to get anywhere near the events of ‘prologue’ so if they animated that it would leaving that loose end.

    • ProtoSovereign says:

      Lol you beat me to the post. If you mean the Ranta Yume improvised hug by RantaXYume that event isn’t anime original. (Not that I think there’s anything between Ranta or Yume) Also IIRC Mary’s undead friends were skeletons in the source. (though that would have been hard to animate and hug since the hugging part was anime original) They are not true undead as defined in Grimgar’s bestiary. I’ll post the info on that soon. btw in the LN Mutsumi the skeleton fire mage actually chanted fire magic and Haruhiro could hear her voice despite her disposition as a skeleton.

  3. Overcooled says:

    Grimgar is always so good…

    I’m so proud of Mary for being able to watch her friends die twice and handling it like a champ. She reacted to seeing her zombie friends just about as calmly as humanly possible, and she didn’t hesitate to Dispel them. She literally walked through a wall of fire and finished the job quickly and efficiently. Considering she was so scarred she could barely even talk to her new party before, it’s really nice to see her grow so much. That was definitely a highlight of the episode for me.

    I also really liked Ranta basically schooling Haruhiro on how to be a good leader. He doesn’t seem like the best person to take advice from, but he does raise some valid points. I’m pretty fond of Ranta now so I hope he doesn’t die T_T

    • skylion says:

      It is clearly one of the best shows this season…

      Mary had a bag of complicated, but never conflicted, emotions going into this. She didn’t hesitate, and in fact, I think she was anxious to do so, a bit desperate to free her comrades from something that is much worse than death. And she got the all important headpat as s reward!!!!

      Ranta is awesome, I’ve always liked him more than just tolerated..so yeah, don’t die dipstick!

    • ProtoSovereign says:

      I believe I’m suffering from first girl syndrome (I read LN Mary first). I can’t take Mary seriously due to the discrepancies between LN Mary and anime Mary who’s been made more emotional and as a result less cool (actually they actually deliberately changed/excluded some of her cool actions actually maybe they decided to even it out and share her experienced professional demeanour with the party) :P. btw the anime doesn’t show it but the kobolds did leave them all injured everywhere and when Mary jumped through the flames like a psycho she was lightly burnt and her hair was singed XD. Here’s a line they cut from the anime for reference “I’m going to [PURIFY] them from this blasted curse!” Mary shouted (the translators for the LN change most of the skill names to make more sense in English so the spell used was [dispel].)

      • skylion says:

        I’m being blunt here, but I fail to see how “more emotional and as a result less cool” even comes close to any sort of arithmetic. But that’s they thing fans have with adaptations; they can’t seem to decide if they’re going to abandon the source and commit to the new version. I think to to enjoy it, you can’t afford to be absolute. But then, post LotR films, post GoT televison, I’ve had to revise how good I thought the sources actually are.

        But, I agree, Dispel is not the most precise term the translators for the show could have used. It’s there, as she is dispelling a bad effect, but Purify is much more accurate and evocative of the scenes.

        • ProtoSovereign says:

          Sometimes ’emotional’ scenes and ‘cool’ scenes conflict, not always though, you’re right about that. It just looks like the anime has played up emotional Mary and down played her mature/experinced, professional facets (through cutting out/modifications of certain parts and their original additions). That’s what I meant by the line “more emotional and as a result less cool” the director of the anime wanted to portray the character a certain way and he did his own “arithmetic” achieve that goal. I didn’t mean that emotional=not cool/less cool or cannot be cool, sorry for causing such a misunderstanding lol. I just didn’t want to write too much because when comments are too long metanorn sometimes doesn’t accept them. i.e. the comment just doesn’t process it seems.

          • skylion says:

            I’ll take emotional Mary any day of the week. Awesome/Cool character that’s awesome/cool for awesome/cool reasons is a cheap gimmick to me, not a character.

            Oh, if you feel you’re going on long. Stop, copy and paste to Note or something of that variety and carry on. Then copy and paste it back here. If you can form the habit that is…

            • ProtoSovereign says:

              Thanks for the advice but I’m already copying and pasting after learning the hard way. I felt Mary being rather cool wasn’t a problem in the LN. Its not like the anime drew a character out of thin air, anime Mary is after all derived from LN Mary however many discrepancies there may exist. In short, if you enjoyed Anime Mary, you would probably have enjoyed LN Mary. Idk how else to explain, so there you have it. Its perfectly reasonable for characters to appear cooler due to their experience though. A veteran warrior isn’t going to balk at the sight of blood whilst a fresh recruit probably would. e.g. Arslan Senki. I don’t understand why people are so adverse to ‘cool’ characters who don’t fail in everything they do; it doesn’t necessarily mean they are 2-dimensional in character or that they can’t develop.

            • skylion says:

              In short, if you enjoyed Anime Mary, you would probably have enjoyed LN Mary. Idk how else to explain, so there you have it.

              …that’s actually quite perfect….

              Why do I not like “cool” characters? I’m a middle age guy. I’ve seen it. I’ve been there and done that. I’ve seen a lifetime of so-called cool escapist style characters whose creators threw it all to the wind and just DID IT!!!! And I’m bored with it. It’s no longer fun or interesting, generally speaking. I want nuance, and want a character that is possessed by somewhat believable flaws that they can either work with or overcome. As for development, well, adding more awesome really isn’t, and while it may resemble a layer, it isn’t….

            • ProtoSovereign says:

              Mary is more complex than just ‘cool’ but it was nice imo to have 1 character who was more experienced in the group since it broadened the perspective of the party. And as much as I love the Haruhiro and co. they always second guess themselves and need others to guide them, characters like Ranta and Mary keep them rolling when they get into a rut. That’s not saying they themselves don’t have problems or doubts. They just roll with it better, until it becomes too much and more complacent people like Haruhiro need to step up their game to help them. 😉 Oh and LN Mary isn’t unemotional, she’s just less blatant about it.

            • skylion says:

              Well, there is a distinction between the two mediums, so being less blatant is a luxury prose can afford. TV time demands a bit more, short, sharp, shock, so to speak to get the point across. If the issue is her complexity, they’ve done fine with the TV version. She might not reach LN depths, but she’s deep enough with just the TV viewing under my belt.

            • ProtoSovereign says:

              Yeah, I can agree that characters with flaws are great and I thought of a good example of the ‘perfect’ kind of ‘cool, strong’ character that you’re tired of. From what I’ve seen of Souma from the extra chapter and prologue of Vol1 he seems to fit that boring mold to a T. He’s like the perfect, strongest adventurer with no personality that I can see and some loss of common sense for a flaw. I’m so glad he’s not the main character (think Kirito from SAO) :3

            • skylion says:

              Kirito was made to be nothing more and nothing less than a the purest of escapist style characters; forget his awesome sword skills and his platonic harem + sex partner…that’s the easy stuff. His horrible situation, being stuck in a game world, is the ultimate excuse for online gamers, “MOOOOOOOM I’ll DIEIEIEIEIEIEIEIEEIE if I stop playing or AFK!!!!!”.

              So in that respect, I’ve always liked the characters for what he is….

  4. ProtoSovereign says:

    Also the kobold horde was due to their carelessness, not death spots randomly appearing and Ranta would have actually died if he had to fight off death spots solo while surrounded by worker kobolds (death spots is like a lightning bruiser, strong and fast. One does not simply run away from death spots *insert meme*). I don’t think Death spots is supposed to have a personality, he’s less a villain and more like a force of nature. Something you can’t run away from and must survive if it comes upon you.Show ▼

  5. ProtoSovereign says:

    Quote from the Bestiary from Vol 1 of the LN about Undead:
    The general term for all types of undead, a new species brought into existence by the Deathless King. Technically, skeletons, zombies, ghosts are not undead as defined here, and indeed some still view them as human. Undead are those that have died but are not “dead”. They are living creatures that don’t decay and possess a powerful ability to regenerate. The only way to kill them is either destroying their brains or using fire to burn them to ash. It is said that the undead are made by infusing the black blood of the Deathless King with a corpse; however, undead priests and bishops may perform the Rite of the Undying to bring corpses back to life. The undead loses the majority of its memories of when it was alive and subsequently swears allegiance to the Deathless King. And even now, since the Deathless King had become no more, this has remained unchanged.

  6. ProtoSovereign says:

    Quote from the Bestiary from Vol 1 of the LN about Zombies:
    Due to the “Curse of the Deathless King”, the bodies of those who die become “Servants of the Deathless King” if not buried properly. Zombies are servants whose flesh has not yet completely rotted off. Once the soft flesh of a zombie is gone, they become walking skeletons. Severing the head or destroying the brain or heart of a zombie or skeleton may prevent it from moving for a while, but if left at that, they will eventually become skeleton parts or ghosts.

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