Hai to Gensou no Grimgar – 12 [END]

…my personal pick for AOTS…

It’s a story of there and back again. It’s also a story of much more than that. So did Ranta get out alive? Did Haru? Did they bring Ranta that calzone? How does this show finally stack up?

Caterpillar Caterpillar Caterpillar

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Did everybody love Ranta’s leetle friend? Zodiac is pretty much everything he deserved and more. I get the feeling that every Dark/Dread Knight has this little problem. A horrible dark little funhouse mirror of their own personality that everyone else can see with more clarity than the Knight can. But, that’s probably during the lower power phase; I’ve – and probably many gamers have – played in games where summons like this are supposed to grow with the character, and the best they can do, even at mid level, is to bear witness to thier summoner’s demise, hat in hand, with little aplomb and no dignity. Apple – tree – not far from…

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Just tell her you like her, jackass…

Which really isn’t what the dipstick deserves is it? When the chips are down and his life is on the line, he can come clean and confess how he feels. Not that the confession is anything more than prurience, however it’s better than he did before, and much better than reverting back to type once faced with Yume’s taunts. You’ve learned your better with this group, Ranta, now let the other shoe drop OK. I guess he can bromance with Haru much better than he can romance with Yume? That feels like par for the course so far.

The Late Date Spots

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Dude what are you on?

Well, really that could have been much better composed and directed. By my outlook the whole of Death Spots itself felt really forced. I mean, the dungeon boss as the load bearing beam of the entire adventure is going to be forced no matter how you stack it all up. But this one seems even more egregious than is really necessary. I called him a kobold dick last episode, and I’m not changing my mind here. But at the end of the fight this was a only an enforced drama point. Whereas the whole of the program opened with seeing the goblins as fighting for their lives as much as the humans were, the kobolds got the shaft.

grimgar 12-014

Dude, what am I on?

I would have liked to have seen the old dogs get at least half the consideration the goblins got. If only to make it feel like our party didn’t just go from needful killers to the fantasy version of solipsistic a-holes; not that that was beaten over our heads, but it did feel that way for the past couple of episodes, and Death Spots as nothing more than adventure/tension generator made it feel much more pronounced. This got a bit cheaper still as he was taken out by what I can only describe as “evocative tripping balls”; not that there is a thing wrong with that, just that it felt disconnected from the rest of the action we’ve seen all season long.  A grand finally than a good finale in some respects. As Haru asks silently for Mary to come back and lay him to rest should he fail, it really feels like that sentiment is the heart of the show, and that good old Spots was simply force majeure.

Bringing the Bounty

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Best Supporting Jerkwad…

Show ▼

Home Again 

Second Best Ship

But all is well that ends well, and the gang all got back in one piece. Moguzo is cooking like a storm coming in, everyone is chilled out and relaxed, and life goes on with everyone being fully appreciative of that. In other words, pretty much everything the story set out to tell, and perhaps a little bit more. We’re given the indication that there is significantly more to do in this expanding world, and that these guys are the ones to take the risks, the chances, and get the rewards.

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I’ll have to say, I really enjoyed this one. I only went in knowing it was fantasy, and that two of my favorite designers/animators were working on it (and if you haven’t seen either Airua or Psychic School Wars, you really should, as it makes one of my oncoming points that much more pointed). Since I loved what they did before, that got me good and fired up to see the debut, and I’ve not been too terribly upset. In all, I love what they did with the characters. There was never a forced moment with then, and everything felt natural. We had Yume staying very rock steady, not letting the world effect her positive demeanor, and the same can be said for both Moguzu and Shi, and all three moved up the ladder in their own successes as well. Haru finally found that that he was ready to move on, and step out from Manato’s lead. The fact he could not quite suss out his departed leaders weakness was left as just one of those enduring and something unimportant facets of life.

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But, for me, all wasn’t the best it could have been. You know, after citing this teams previous work (as short and a film) and knowing they would have to adhere to a television budget should have tempered my expectations, no matter how the news of a full fledged series got me anxious. In some instances those expectations were very well met, but in others I was pretty upset by the animation. We had some pretty cheap cuts that didn’t look like any thought was put to bury them or make them as unseen as possible. Also the color palette at times were a bit to muted and “samey”, a far cry from the richness of Airua’s suburban life, or PSW’s psychedelic weirdness, I wanted them to brings so much more of that to the table. It’s a shame really, as the physical media for the show is coming out, and I don’t know if stuff will be fixed for the those releases.

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But I’ll take it. I’ll happily take it for the best reasons. One, I know it’s hard to get the budget you need or the budget you want, and creative people making that work where it counts is two….In terms of writing, direction, pacing, composition, framing, scenery, and performance, nothing was ever short of top notch. This was a very talented team that knew how to tell a sharp, riveting, endearing story from start to finish. And finally, three, they could start a thought and complete it; something more expensive and flashy shows feel they can get away with not doing. The characters were incredibly well developed, and I was never bored with a single thing they did, quite the opposite in fact. This was a lovely, well loved show, and I was more than pleased to be a part of it’s audience. By whatever metric A-1 is using, I hope this show passes it with flying colors, and we can get more, and with a better budget.

Thanks for Watching!



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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38 Responses to “Hai to Gensou no Grimgar – 12 [END]”

  1. Balanar says:

    Ok, since my post about CV info seem not to connect last time. I’ll just repost it for completetion’s sake (with addition of ep.12 new character.)

    Michiki the warrior – Takeuchi Shunsuke
    Ogu the theif – Masuda Toshiki
    Matsumi the mage – Tomatsu Haruka
    Deathspot the boss – Sugita Tomokazu
    Zodiac the summonned – Satou Yura (actually 10 yrs boy)

    More post about my impression later….

    • skylion says:

      LOL, Sugitan as DeathSpots!!!! That is so weird, it’s lovely. And yeah, I thought that was a child voicing Zodiac, as adults just cannot get that sort of inflection and tone. Good stuff all around. Looking forward to your impressions.

    • Balanar says:

      Well, I actually thought the anime might hire some veteran female seiyuu to pull off that Zodiac’s voice, considering the list of guest characters (Joji-san, Asuna-chan, Sugitan etc.)

      Here’s the newbie boy if you’re curious. The page already update his new role. XD

      • ProtoSovereign says:

        Yeah I had thought he was actually a young boy too when I heard the voice. Lol how they actually stared a real boy instead of using a female seiyuu.

        • skylion says:

          There is a world of difference between a female seiyuu and a mischievous little boy…

          • ProtoSovereign says:

            …well you get used to hearing female seiyuu voicing boys when it happens 98 times out of 100 right? So it starts sounding normal until you hear a REAL 10 year old boy doing seiyuu work lol. It doesn’t help that none of the 10 year old boys (cousins) I know IRL don’t speak Japanese.

  2. ProtoSovereign says:

    HAHAHAHAHAH, Tomokazu Sugita was voicing Deathspots. Wow count me surprised, same CV as Gintoki from Gintama. Not that I would have noticed since Deathspots never actually said anything.

  3. ProtoSovereign says:

    They seem to be shipping YumeXRanta a bit this ep, which is fine cuz nothing will come of it. In they LN Ranta thought of a lot of other things to distract himself including trying to imagine super-hot girls dancing naked for him. But he failed that task becuz Mary was so beautiful that his imagination couldn’t generate anything appropriate, apparently XD. The boobs topic came around when he thought of Shihoru ofc and with her as the standard Yume’s weren’t good enough for him but he admitted that “Her plain looks were more his type, anyway”.
    Ok putting that aside, the buffed Shihoru a lot it seems (her magic missiles are like explosive missles or something), and the whole team are like ‘goddamn heroes’. Deathspots seems like a really typical villain, taking his time to attack Ranta and thereby letting him get rescued (Deathspots actually doesn’t appear until the end so ranta was just being chased around by normal kobolds). Speaking of Deathspots, he was accompanied by 3 fully armored elder kobolds, Shihoru wasn’t using magic missile like like mad (its not her specialty remember she specialises in shadow magic).

    • skylion says:

      Shipping is always a tease. It’s the journey, not the destination…

      As for Shi in particular and magic in general as treated by the anime…Well the show never gave any real specifics about what sort of magic does what, just a few bits and bobs here and there. So, Shi using a very versatile magic missile for the climax is fine, so far as the show goes.

      • ProtoSovereign says:

        yeah, no doubt they wanted to end with a bang, so having Shi fire magic missiles that hit with only the force of a semi-hard punch would have been lackluster for them XD.

  4. ProtoSovereign says:

    Haruhiro also didn’t solo Deathspots like a hero, what really happened was the whole team threw all their moves on Deathspots and couldn’t down him (he gets stronger the more he’s hurt like a berserker or something) so Haruhiro keeps it busy for a few seconds with his ‘spider’ move (kinda like how Ranta tried to be a hero last ep). After Deathspots disposed of Haruhiro with a few blows and started chasing his friends Haru toggled on his hacks (I mean he got lucky) and he went for the back stab that he knew would be an OHK (he saw the weird lines). I don’t understand why the anime always makes Haru ‘backstab’ from the front lol. Maybe it’s just to make him look cool.

    • skylion says:

      …so the whole team didn’t take down the main villain? Can you say, budget saving measure? Yep.

      …backstab from the front…yeah…that was odd…

  5. ProtoSovereign says:

    A lot of what happened after Deathspots was defeated was anime original. Haruhiro didn’t faint, he had to call back his friends afterall lol. Hence the events after that didn’t happen (except Kikkawa lauding them as Deathspots’ slayers at Sherry’s tavern but that was changed quite a bit) They got most of the overarching themes there but nothing was quite how it was in the LN. I’ve been complaining a lot but damn, Grimgar was an awesome ride, definitely one of the best anime this year (I can’t blame them, it was probably the best they could do with their limited budget, and well it was actually good too :P).
    Disclaimer: I haven’t talked about all the changes becuz that would never end. Just know that plenty of changes were made.

  6. ProtoSovereign says:

    You made a good observation Skylion “As Haru asks silently for Mary to come back and lay him to rest should he fail, it really feels like that sentiment is the heart of the show, and that good old Spots was simply force majeure.” , you are so right about that. Fyi 11/16 chapters of vol 3 are translated atm at the rate of 1 chapter a week it seems, so 5 more weeks… the anime finished before they finished translating vol 3 of the LN T-T.

    • skylion says:

      …I’m probably going to put that on my list now, but I’ll wait for a bit and see if they agree to make another season/movie.

      I’ve peeked in fan translations of the LN (manga is different cause at least you can use the images to tell most of the story and the clumsy translations don’t get in the way too much), and I’m not that impressed with it. It’s better than nothing, sure. But after slogging through six or seven fan translated Index novels, a bunch of the Bakemonogatari franchise, and last seasons 35 Shoutai, I am officially, probably, LN Fan Translation done…

      • ProtoSovereign says:

        Oh wow, IDK how you slugged through so many LN (bad translations=a bad time). I personally have read most of Haganai, Oregairu, 4 vol of Oda Nobuna, 2 vol of grimgar, 6 vol of Konosuba. And all of that was just becuz they were fun reads. The later vols of oregairu was translated poorly and are a pain to read. If you know Mahou Sensou, I tried to read the 1 chapter of that which is translated, but I think both the translation and actual source for that were horrible. Note: I’ve seen season 1 of index and I wasn’t impressed, I also gave up on watching Bakemonogatari cuz shaft was giving me seizures ;)and I haven’t seen shoutai yet. I don’t know how you slugged through their LN when they seem so subpar, unless they are secretly brillent. But I’ll have to be educated on that to know 😛

        • Highway says:

          I’ve read some pretty good fan translations, and some pretty bad ones. They’re one of those things that it’s hard to make the source material better, but you can make it worse. Haganai wasn’t bad, but IS is awful and Hidan no Aria was just outright atrocious. I don’t know how much of those latter two is because the source is terrible (and based on the anime of each one, the source is pretty terrible). DxD was pretty good, Oregairu was pretty good, and Maria-sama ga Miteru was very good. I do tend to give things a bit of a break since they’re obviously not professionally edited, tho.

          • ProtoSovereign says:

            There’s really no salvation for I.S. that’s for sure, they could only make that one worse with translation. I’ll take your word for Hidan no Aria cuz I have no idea what that’s like. As for DxD I thought that was just infamous for the uncensored oppai, I didn’t know it was well written too. (I might consider checking it out though I wouldn’t know whether to start with the LN or the anime). I’ve never even heard of Maria-sama ga Miteru however. Haganai was a nice read cuz it kept me laughing non-stop.

      • ProtoSovereign says:

        I should have replied to this comment, but its not showing up.

  7. zztop says:

    For those interested in what happens next, here’s plot summaries of Grimgar Vols 3-8(8’s the latest). Spoilers plenty!

    Show ▼

  8. zztop says:

    The later volumes introduce important worldbuilding for Grimgar’s universe.
    Show ▼

    • skylion says:

      Show ▼

  9. Highway says:

    I thought the way the finale went down was fine (except for nitpicks about how you get an unconscious guy, or for that matter a guy with a broken wrist, back up 3 levels of climbing ropes in wells… “Never mind that, it’s not important right now”). I thought the show did a very good job keeping the protagonists within themselves, not superheroes. I didn’t even think that Haruhiro’s move was that out of character, since it had been explained before.

    I thought the show did a lot of things right overall. It had a good different look, a nice relaxed pace that still didn’t dampen the tension, and some very good characterization. Hearing the main differences from the LN centered around Mary, it sounds like they did a good job in adapting it, from being a story narrated by Haruhiro to a story that we’re watching about Haruhiro (and the others). The world could certainly use more stories like this.

    • skylion says:

      You know, I think I made myself forget the broken wrist thing. It was the trippy bit that overwhelmed my senses. Which yeah, it had a bunch of set up, but I still feel that a great many of the dots are missing in that complete picture, so to speak.

      Yes, consistency is the bread winner in this equation. Despite the budget, they were able to turn out a great story. That makes me happy on all the levels.

    • Balanar says:

      … Hearing the main differences from the LN centered around Mary, it sounds like they did a good job in adapting it, from being a story narrated by Haruhiro to a story that we’re watching about Haruhiro (and the others)….

      Exactly what I want to say. I’d like to add that Renji’s scene is also a nice addition. It will actually happen in vol.3 but I think it’s much more proper to be here.

      Though my personal little nitpick for this final episode is there seem to be some weird screenshots. Some boards already play a joke about Mary’s scene at the bridge. Her zoom out face is quite weird.
      How dare the anime do this unforgivable sin!? THE GODDESS MARY SHOULD BE EXTREMELY BEAUTIFUL IN EVERY MOMENT!

      All in all, I hope season 2 will eventually come out.

      • ProtoSovereign says:

        AHAHHAHA Balanar are you going to start a crusade about it like the Lusitanians from Arslan Senki. Speaking of which has the air date of Arslan Senki S2 been confirmed? And yes despite all the changes they have made from the LN and the bad art moments Skylion likes to point out more Grimgar animated would be a real treat, becuz this anime has been amazing (lets just hope they are gifted with a superior budget next time around).

  10. Overcooled says:

    I’m so glad Ranta survived. He’s a little rascal, but that’s what I like about him. It made perfect sense that he reverted right back to snapping at people as soon as he was saved, with only a brief moment of honesty as he was crying. That’s our Ranta~

    So, how much EXP did Haru get for killing Death Spots? Is he like level 50 now? ;D

    • skylion says:

      Haru was a very earnest character, and I enjoyed him. But here, at the end of the series, I have to say I really love Ranta. That is not an easy character to right; a character that annoys the other characters but doesn’t do the same to the audience…OF COURSE YMMV.

      If I was the DM/GM at that gaming table, then everyone would get EXP of equal value. I’m egalitarian like that, and that really was a group effort.

      • Overcooled says:

        By the way, your take on Grimgar coming from a tabletop roleplaying background was really interesting. I always read your posts right after watching (although I fell behind at some point lol)

        • skylion says:

          I have much more experience with tabletop gaming than I do electronic; as I actually gave up on console RPG’s right about the middle of the second FFVII disc. I only rarely dipped my big toe into the the electronic world after that. So, that’s where my metaphor’s lie.

    • ProtoSovereign says:

      Do they even get EXP in Grimgar? And Ranta really did make Grimgar even better for me too.

      • skylion says:

        Do they even get EXP in Grimgar?

        I guess, it depends on how you abstract that sort of thing. When I run a gaming table, I reward it for all sorts of stuff, both goal based and based on other parameters; if you entertain me, as the GM, who’s job is to entertain you, then you get some more EXP…and other arbitrary things like that. In MMOs it’s much more by the numbers. In Grimgar? They kill things dead and take back spoils and get money that let’s them buy adventure guild badges….To each their abstraction….

  11. Rathje says:

    Overall, I enjoyed this series quite a bit, and would be totally up for a round two. But I agree with a few of the criticisms.

    The book handled the Death Spots fight much better with Haruhiro being tested as a leader and having to make tough decisions with his comrades lives on the line. The entire party had to go all out on the fight and everyone got beaten pretty badly with the whole thing becoming a hopeless fight. Finally Haruhiro decided to sacrifice himself to let everyone else run away, but Death Spots, after beating Haruhiro to a pulp, decided to chase down the rest of the party anyway, so even the self-sacrifice thing didn’t work. It was when Haruhiro was trying to chase after Death Spots that the “green line” appeared.

    It’s been pointed out that even in the light novel, the “green line” is waaay too convenient of a plot device. It always seems to show up just when Haruhiro needs to take down something really tough. It makes the talk of his mentor about how it’s not reliable and random ring fairly hollow.

    But at least the LN built the moment up and made it a bit more believable. I.e. it worked on an opponent who already had his back to Haruhiro and was focusing on the rest of the party. The anime setup of the fight just emphasized the plot device and made it even worse. More annoying was the fact that the party teamwork and sacrifices and tough decisions weren’t really highlighted at all in the anime version. Even the fight animation wasn’t particularly good, which just highlighted all these flaws even more.

    That said, once Death Spots actually died, I enjoyed the episode a lot more and it felt like an emotionally satisfying wrap-up to everything.

    But no – this last episode did not live up to the promise of the preceding episode.

    That said, I still give the series a thumbs-up and enjoyed it fully this season.

    • skylion says:

      Well, I’m sure you’ve heard me preach on and on about adaptation and the differences the two mediums have to obey; so TLDR: an episode has to follow it’s own logic and live up to the spirit of the story, which this show did brilliantly.

      A story is basically, can it keep my interest, have a likable conclusion, and make me feel like it wasn’t cheated? I can confirm: interest (3 months of glowing blog posts), it ended just fine (but very awkward and rushed), and I didn’t feel cheated (except for some of the animation derp).

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