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Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash Discussion Thread

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  • [Winter 2016] Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash Discussion Thread

    Widgets Magazine
    灰と幻想のグリムガル

    A fantasy show about people trapped in a game-like world and having to gain experience points in order to survive their new surroundings as it is quite a brutal place. This time, nobody was playing an online game when it all happened.

    Airs: Sunday, January 10

    Studio: A-1 Pictures

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    Why are we here? Why are we doing this? Before Haruhiro had realized what happened, he was surrounded by darkness. Why was he here? Where was here? Even now, he still didn't know. Those around him were the same as him, no one remembered anything other than their own names. And when they emerged from the darkness, the world that awaited them seemed like something out of a video game. In order to survive, Haruhiro forms a party with the others, learns fighting skills, and as a soldier in the reserve force, takes his first steps into the world of Grimgar. What awaits him there, he doesn't know...

    This the story of an adventure born from the ashes.

    Notes
    As usual, please try to follow these three easy forum courtesy habits when replying:
    1) If you're the first person to post about an episode in any given week, please respond to the root post (this post) and indicate in the subject line which episode you're posting about.
    2) If someone has already posted about an episode before you, please respond to that post (or a relevant reply to that post). Keep in the right subthread.
    3) Don't use the "Reply to Thread" button because it causes your reply not to correctly inherit the subject line of the post you're replying to. Just click "Reply" to the post you want to reply to.

    For more guidelines please refer to this thread.
    Last edited by Chris Beveridge; 01-08-2016, 01:01 PM.
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    The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

  • #2
    Episode 1

    This isn't a game.

    Once again, the concept made famous by SAO materializes here, except that this time there's no game involved. Just some random people getting mysteriously transported into a fantasy world that feels like being trapped in a RPG, and the game feels more like Log Horizon seeing that everybody is picking classes to specialize in different areas. Anyway, this show feels slow-paced and this episode is mostly setup for things to come seeing that these guys have been in Grimgar for 13 days, but have yet to earn anything to set the stage for desperation to set in. So far, it has been pretty nice, but I felt that things dragged on.

    And then there's the background and with the way it looks, it feels more like Wit than it does A-1. It's something I find refreshing.
    Last edited by Buckeye; 01-10-2016, 02:00 PM.
    MyAnimeList | Avatar: Sitonai, Fate/Grand Order
    Watching: Galaxy Angel, Rayearth, Arte, City Hunter
    Simulcasts: EES-2, HIQ-4, GKY-3, IMH-2, DUN-3, IOR-3, STW-3, A3A-2, INU-Y, KHO, DBG, HIG-G, JJK, MTP, TKW, A3A, ASH, ADV, TSZ, K3B, MWZ, SLP, JEL, SDF, GBF-G, RRQ, DCF, 1RM-3
    The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Episode 1

      This was kinda above okay, which is good considering most of the first episodes I've watched this season are barely okay level.

      The backgrounds are nice. The red haired girl is kawaii. The visuals in general are good enough.

      It has a rather interesting world. They didn't tell us how these kids entered this world, which is good as it makes the world a bit mysterious – kinda like what Overlord did, not telling what exactly happened and letting the viewer come up with theories. The kids all have to make a living if they want to survive and they're doing that by being volunteer soldiers. And the group of MCs is a bunch of amateurs with only basic weapon handling training they got in a week or so. And they can't even defeat goblins who are supposed to be the weakest of monsters.

      The world is a bit intriguing here. I'm curious to see what exactly happened. One thing's for sure that these kids are in a fantasy medieval sort of land and they came from a place in modern times, but they can't remember anything prior to their appearance in Grimgar. This had some interesting stuff and I'm gonna watch more of this.
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      • #4
        Re: Episode 1

        This is rather intriguing start. At first, couldn't tell whether it was a genuine fantasy world or yet another "trapped in a game" type thing. The ambiguity at first is intentional, though, before hints towards the latter start to emerge. They only just suddenly "awakened" in this world with no memory whatsoever of what came before for them.... but when they first appear they're clearly in modern clothing. Also at times, things like video games and cell phones come up in their conversations without them realizing what exactly they are. So there's an interesting mystery to that, and would be good, even if they don't tell everything about it, that they at least start to scratch the surface of that by the end, in addition to what the main focus seems to be right now: a struggle for survival.

        Character designs seemed to be familiar, and looking at the credits, I figured why. It's Hosoi Mieko (of Aiura) doing the anime character designs, and her style looks rather distinctive. Interesting what they did with the backgrounds, too. EDIT: Now that I look, this has the same director/scriptwriter as Aiura too. Guess they are common collaborators.
        Last edited by EmperorBrandon; 01-10-2016, 11:58 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: Episode 1

          Originally posted by EmperorBrandon View Post
          Character designs seemed to be familiar, and looking at the credits, I figured why. It's Hosoi Mieko (of Aiura) doing the anime character designs, and her style looks rather distinctive.
          Oh, so that's what they were! I really liked the character designs and the backgrounds. For something that obviously has some kind of dark and traumatic plot twists coming up, this had a nice, relaxing feel to it. I enjoyed the dynamic of the group, even if it dragged in places. I'm looking forward to more. This is my first sleeper of the year; I was totally ready to close it during the first monster fight, but now I want to know what happens next.

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          • #6
            Re: Episode 1

            Very close, but I don't think I'll be following it right now. It all just seems too passive. I'm sure there will be a catalyst for change eventually, but it's boring me for now.
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            • #7
              Re: Episode 1

              Count me as impressed as well with the unexpected Aiura reunion here. It should have have been more plain to me since my reaction to the wonderful and underutilized art design--and its dynamic integration with the animation--was the same as I had to that wonderful, brief short. This is the first real surprise of the season, out of several already interesting new shows and concepts that are making this season a big surprise in general. The title and brief description made me think of only the most chuunibyou of chuuni-fied shows. But the concept is as smart and patient as its art design, offering one of the few paths left (or oddly underused) in the trapped/transported-to-another-world/game/etc. genre: the amnesiac route. Though not concerned with the same level of social/political commentary and game theory, it seems the last since Log Horizon to be able to focus more explicitly on the dynamics and details of how coming to a realized world like this would work. Specifying the guild/party differently is interesting, too, to someone like me who enjoys these stories (or these stories after SAO) who doesn't actually play RPGs.

              But that's the other side I like to this: the lack of knowledge, currently, in our heroes, makes this just as much a straight-forward (and lovely) fantasy story--back, in a way, to the origins of the genre in anime, which was (Slayers, Lodoss) conceptualized from RPGs to begin with. Something that's been rare in recent years but that is, thanks largely to the trapped-in-a-game sub-genre, on somewhat of a comeback.
              Last edited by bctaris; 01-14-2016, 10:16 PM.
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              • #8
                Episode 2

                Going for the kill.

                The party defeats their first monster in a goblin, but seeing that they just began their adventure that it took a lot of effort to do so. So after that, it's pretty much all about listening to a song while stuff is going on around town, and then Ranta decides that he just had to look at the girls in the bath and paid the price for it. So pretty much, there's not much story going on here as a great chunk of this episode is all about that song. The feeling at atmosphere certainly is something as it's more psychological than anything, but at the same time I would like to know more about the characters seeing that the focus has been more about the party trying to earn their keeps.

                So with that, I'll keep watching this show through the end of its trial period before making a decision seeing that it has a lot of competition for the remaining spots on my watchlist.
                MyAnimeList | Avatar: Sitonai, Fate/Grand Order
                Watching: Galaxy Angel, Rayearth, Arte, City Hunter
                Simulcasts: EES-2, HIQ-4, GKY-3, IMH-2, DUN-3, IOR-3, STW-3, A3A-2, INU-Y, KHO, DBG, HIG-G, JJK, MTP, TKW, A3A, ASH, ADV, TSZ, K3B, MWZ, SLP, JEL, SDF, GBF-G, RRQ, DCF, 1RM-3
                The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

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                • #9
                  Re: Episode 2

                  Wow, that is a seriously underpowered party. If it takes 6 of them to kill a single goblin with that much difficulty, it's hard to see how they are ever going to advance or even survive. Still, this is a gorgeous show to look at. We are starting to see the beginnings of relationships here: Yume seemed a bit wistful over the attention that Manato was paying to Magic Girl with the hairpin. I hope they start to gain a little bit of skill soon. Watching their ineptness is painful.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Episode 2

                    Dang, this is what it means to fight against even the lowest-level monster in this world. Even after they're actually able to get the fatal blows in, there's no such thing as cleanly disappearing and leaving the loot. It's brutal, and that has a psychological effect on the whole party too. I figured that issues were going to arise over who got the final blow. From the start of the fight getting Leeroy Jenkins'd by Ranta to that, it does have me wondering what cracks are going to emerge in their teamwork and how they are going to work through them.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Episode 2

                      Originally posted by Paranoia Gent View Post
                      I hope they start to gain a little bit of skill soon. Watching their ineptness is painful.
                      I think it's refreshing...it feels more 'realistic' (not counting shows like BTOOOOM!!) in terms of having its characters thrown into a cybergame not really knowing where to start or how to interact. So their ineptitude is understandable and does relate closely to the rest of the world-building around them.

                      And this is definitely a gruesome, yet beautiful show to look at. I can't remember the last time I've seen such incongruousness between the violence and the light-toned characters/settings rendered in pastel, almost like Monet-esque impressionism. It's really a sight to behold and A-1 is doing an excellent job so far with it. Story-wise, I'll obviously give it more time as it looks like this could develop well into something far more complex than SAO/AW and have real depth in the likes of Log Horizon. We'll see, but I'm liking what there is right now.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Episode 2

                        Oh, wow. Most agreed about the refreshing sense of seeing how real people, presumably unacquainted with actual life or death fighting, transported to a world like this would act--and react. This addresses what every other show like it conveniently avoided for the sake of providing cool and exciting action over in fact more intense psychological drama. Kind of the 'maturing' of the trapped in a game/world genre, like the difference of Vietnam war movies (The Deer Hunter, Platoon) from the WWII movies made before them. I like it. I like it a lot. (Closest in the genre would be Log Horizon, of course--but actually more so some of what is in the original novels.)

                        More curious than that, however, no matter how it was a function of animation budget, was the long musical interlude after the fight. Lovely song, of course, but practical in acknowledging the effects of the fight and its consequences on the characters instead of moving too quickly on. Any show can reveal mysterious and exciting character backgrounds and secrets, but not many demonstrate instead that they care about those characters and where any of those things come from.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Episode 2

                          This was nice. I really like how no one got some random power up to defeat the goblin. They attacked and then killed the goblin like the weaklings they are. None of them have shown any signs of having some mysterious super power or anything, which is quite nice and it should stay that way.

                          They also got a taste of this world's brutality – Haruhiro was in a whole lot of danger when the goblin jumped on him and the situation got pretty dangerous too when the goblin started attacking after playing dead for some time. They are getting more and more exposed to the dangers of this world.

                          The last part where they were just passing time roaming around and checking out stuff also felt nice and heartwarming especially because of the music.

                          This is turning out to be quite the surprise. This one's a keeper. Just hope this doesn't start sucking later
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                          • #14
                            Episode 3

                            All of that hard work will pay off someday.

                            Things have gotten really bad seeing that the party was making next to nothing for three weeks that everybody was going commando indoors. But an opportunity presented itself to ambush the goblins while they were separated, and with that they finally have enough to get by, and even splurge on a few nonessential items. While the pacing continues to be irritatingly slow, at least it's beautiful.

                            So with that, I'll give this show one more episode for it to convince me to add this to my watchlist as it's one of the shows on the bubble for this season.
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                            Watching: Galaxy Angel, Rayearth, Arte, City Hunter
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                            The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

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                            • #15
                              Re: Episode 3

                              I am really loving the pacing here – sure it's slow, but that's just what's needed. They're taking their time developing the world and the characters in it. The slice of life parts are relaxing and fun to watch. The character interactions area also quite nice. They're showing these kids experience this new world with many possible unknown dangers lurking about and a slow pace really helps here.

                              The kids, after many rainy days of failure, manage to get on a killing streak as they attack lone and vulnerable goblins in an abandoned city. Nice thinking from Manato – they learned that they can't take on more than one goblin at a time easily. Now with the money they're earning, they can buy new underwear. Good for them.

                              The next episode shows a rather concerning scene – Manato's staff is lying on the ground and another scene shows Ranta trying to run or something with Yume holding him back. I really hope Manato isn't killed yet reason being I don't really care about him much. If they would spend another episode focusing more on the group together with Manato getting relatively more focus, only then would killing him off have a bit of an impact on the viewer. They did give him some focus in this episode as he led the attack and all, but I think he needs at least another episode for me to somewhat care about him. Or well, just hope things don't go downhill, everything is going so good here.

                              Also,Yume is too damn kawaii
                              Last edited by Yamada2; 01-24-2016, 02:04 PM.
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