Review

Hai to Gensou no Grimgar

There is no great evil, no great powers, and no conspiracies.

AKA Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash in English. I will simply call it Grimgar.

This anime is based on a light novel. It is basically a dungeon crawler series with an emphasis on survival instead of pursuing a great evil.

In the first episode, six random people are apparently summoned to a fantasy world. The six people, Haruhiro (Rogue), Manato (Priest), Ranta (Shadow knight), Moguzo (Fighter), Shihoru (Mage), and Yume (Archer) make the starting party.

It seems clear that they are all from our modern world. However, they do not have any recollection of their past lives. There is no clear evidence of their former lives but they seem to vaguely recall cellphones although such pieces of memories swiftly vaporize as they attempt to restart their lives in this medieval fantasy world.

Such people are simply referred as adventurers. Nobody knows where they’ve come from and they’ve simply popped up out of thin air without any memories of their past.

They are forced into adapting to their new lives for one simple reason: They have nothing on’em and they need to eat. They are, however, provided basic equipment from their city since the local residents are aware of adventurers and their usefulness.

Once given basic stuff, they are on their own.

For the first few episodes, they really struggle. There is no teamwork, and they barely know how to wield their weapons of choice.

Of course, they will get a hang of their weapons and will get better. If not, this anime would have ended on episode 3 or so.

What differentiates Grimgar from most of other common dungeon crawler anime is that it focuses on mundane stuff and survival. There is also a good amount of focus on food. It does not go as detailed as it does in Delicious in dungeon but it does get focused enough to matter.

The anime also has an entire episode dedicated to a slacking day. It’s basically a filler episode with some fan service.

About the art, while character styles follow a common trend of modern Japanese style, meaning they all look genetic, environment art style is excellent and unique. It feels like water paint.

In fact, if you have Blu-ray version, you could screenshot a lot of scenes and use it as wallpapers on your desktop. I feel environment art is that good.

And its night sky – My word, the night sky in this anime makes me drool. It is really scintillating. It is just a pure joy to watch colorful stars on night sky shine.

Its anime studio is clearly aware of how awesome their night sky is since the series frequently focuses on night scenery.

Now, let’s talk a little bit of fan service. Yes, there is a degree of fan service in this anime but it is focused on only Yume, the archer.

The reason being is that Yume flirts naturally. It is within her character to act the way she does even without realizing. I am fine with this kind of fan service because, as said, it is within her character.

The anime also makes a lot of daring angles on her in addition to boost that. The way she speaks is also unique. She speaks in 3rd person and is also a bit of a goofball.

There is also one instance where Yume flirts with Haruhiro once which is totally unintentional on her part. Like I said, a lot of things she does and say can be considered charming and adorable.

She is also highly energetic and is really bad at remembering monster names, not to mention the way she names things is just horrible.

For an example, when Moguzo gets a new bastard sword, she names it “Big sword #1”.

So, the bottom line: Do I recommend it? Well…, read on.

Subjectively, I will recommend this because I do tend to like slice of life genre. And Grimgar does it pretty well. However, slice of life genre is inherently boring to a lot of people. You need to understand that first before diving into a series like this.

The beauty of slice of life genre is making stories out of mundane stuff which is pretty much the opposite of what mainstream anime go for. There is no great evil, no great powers, and no conspiracies. This is a story of a group of people who are simply trying to get by.

Until next time.

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