A complete [All 12 Episodes] recap/ review (with Spoilers) of the first season of Hai to Gensou no Grimgar (Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash).
Episode 1: “Whisper, Chant, Prayer, Awaken”
In a way, this series reminds me of Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka?, as well as another series which came out within the last year dealing with a character whose memories were erased. With the only difference being, none of the characters noted below are potentials prodigies, nor have some goddesses blessing, and all they really have are the novice capabilities of one another. Which helps them form a family which between starvation and death, always seems on the verge of shrinking.
Characters & Story (with Commentary)
An assortment of young people find themselves in this foreign land named Grimgar, but more specifically Ortana. A place which is almost medieval and doesn’t have the conveniences or luxuries they are used to like cell phones and video games. Which, for one reason or another, are phantom memories. They remember those things existing at one time or another, and know the context of their use, but as soon as the word comes from their mouth its use and meaning does.
But with things being as they are, in which killing goblins, and other monsters, is the primary way to make a living, there is no time to write down and explore these thoughts which come and go. Hell, just taking the time to really think how they came to this place is just not an option. For while they are gifted with enough money to live for around two weeks, this collective of 6 is nearing their financial end if something doesn’t change soon. Leaving us with a group which will either rise and adapt to their new lives, or possibly end up dying by either the hands of a monster or by a sad destitute fate.
I always enjoy an element of mystery when it comes to any form of media. It presents an infinite amount of backstories waiting to be visualized, and allows you to present your own ideas and theories. Which, thanks to having diverse personalities within the show’s ensemble, it gives you many possible reasons as to why not only as an individual, but as a group, these people were possibly sent to this place and time period.
Another thing which makes this show seem likable is that everyone is very green. Yume, who is an archer, and hunter type, nearly kills one of her allies with her bow and arrow, and Shinoru, who is a magician, nearly dies at the hands of a goblin. Now, I won’t claim that I honestly believe this early on someone may meet a permanent death, but with it being hinted such a thing could happen, it brings this level of caution when it comes to investing into the characters. Something which I think will make their growth even more noteworthy for not only as a fan, but because you know survival wasn’t, nor can be, guaranteed.
While we don’t get a real taste of the culture of Grimgar, or ever really Ortana yet, you can tell there is so much which could be covered. For between the odd characters like Brittany, who is a bit of a big shot, roaming around, to wars, and monsters, and then how all the characters we meet may fit into all this, again there is this sense that a well laid foundation has been placed which so much can be built off.
On The Fence
In the story summary you may notice there isn’t really a single character noted. Well, the reason being, no one stands out really past what they physically look like. One girl is noted as flat chested, the other with large breast. Two of the male characters are only easily differentiated by their hair style, while the two men are unique due to one being burly and the other some form of average. Which was a bit of a problem for me since it pushed me to rewind a few times to note who is who, what is their role within the group, but that in itself may force me to take notice of when they have their defining moment I think.
Final Thought(s): Watch It
Despite not really developing the characters enough to really make any of them standout at first, a part of me sort of welcomes this. For, as of now, it makes it seem like they are an ensemble in which there may have a sort of lead in Haruhiro, if not Manato, but essentially everyone is highly reliant on one another to the point no one really can claim the title of being the person you should direct your focus to.
With this, no one seems, yet, to be a second fiddle, easily disposable, or anything like that. They are all potential deaths and possible triumphs. Which makes it so when someone does grab hold of you and leads you to investing in them, you can’t just single them out. For while you have your favorite here, you have to hope the others get better for they are what can keep your favorite alive, happy, or even moving toward becoming a better warrior, mage, or what have you. Hence the “Watch It” label for reasons I can’t truly fathom in my head, the potential of this story excites me and I believe could very well excite you.
Things To Note
Haruhiro: the person we perhaps spend the most time with who trains to be a thief type in his group.
Moguzo: a large burly character who seems like a gentle giant type who has trained to be the warrior of the group.
Ranta: a loud mouth with a petite body who is a bit of an ass, but could very well have that moment in which he becomes a loveable ass. He has trained to become a dark knight, a type which I can’t explain since the types aren’t really detailed.
Yume: She is a red head who sort of reminds me of the Lara Croft we see in her reboot, or remake. She is learning how to capable of defending herself, as well as mount an offense, but is so green she can easily be overcome. Her fighting type is the hunter.
Shinrou: With pink hair, noticeable breast, as well as her being shy, she is the one you know will either grow the strongest, or whose death will perhaps have the grandest impact. She is a magician and it seems she needs far more training if she plans to be an asset.
Manato: The priest type with healing powers is the named leader of the group and it quite kind, and barely featured. But, from what it seems, without him this group may not have survived after the rest of the people they awakened with decided to form their own group.
Episode List – Click on Episode Number to Jump to Recap
|In a bit of a lopsided episode, we witness the team’s first probable group kill, then spend the rest of the episode watching them shop, eat, and Ranta be a perv.|
|A pattern is forming from what it seems. One in which we should expect one bit of action, one bit of shopping and eating, the oddness of young people with hormones, and a reminder that these people couldn’t survive without one another.|
|From the beginning we knew this show had the type of cast which was highly reliant on each other. After all, together they have forged a functional family. But with them having to kill or be killed to survive, so comes the question of what would happen if one day they truly got over their heads. Well, the answer comes in episode 4 “Sky Dancing with Ash.”|
|In episode 5 “Crying Doesn’t Mean You’re Weak. Enduring doesn’t mean you’re strong.” We watch as the cast grieves over Manato’s death, and begin the process of moving on. Something they all struggle with for Manato had a multifaceted position within their party.|
|In episode 6, “Her Circumstances” we are given some background on Mary which largely is predictable, yet with Haruhiro trying to understand her comes him realizing that she isn’t the only one he may need to focus on if their party is going to survive.|
|In episode 7, “They Were called Goblin Slayers” we watch as the group slowly becomes closer to Mary, and seemingly begin to outgrow slaying Goblins. For between their armor, weapons, and new skills, it seems they maybe ready for bigger, badder, and more challenging enemies.|
|In episode 8, “In My Memories With You” it remains unclear what direction the series may take, but it seems there may finally be some sense of closure when it comes to Manato’s death.|
|Not much at all happens in this episode but it does point toward where some of the final episodes shall deal with.|
|As they party decides to move onto the Cyrene Mines, controlled by the Kobold wolves, Haruhiro finds himself focusing on Ranta and his place, and participation, in the party.|
|As everyone heads to the 5th level, Mary finds herself coming face to face with her past in more ways than one. Which includes being in a life or death situation in which one of her allies may die.|
|With Ranta in a dire situation, his party find themselves questioning what can they do, if anything. Will they go to save him or plan for his demise and have Mary dispel his soul like she did for her comrades? Either way, their decision shall push the pendulum toward either life or death.|
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