Hai to Gensou no Grimgar – 03

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Grimgar is definitely chugging along at a very deliberate pace, with regular pauses in action and dialogue that are usually employed sparingly if at all in the majority of modern anime. However, so far, that pace working just fine for me, thanks very much!

This is a show that tells you to forget what you know about shows with similar premises and settings. In this show, a very shy girl remains upset about being peeped on for a long time, and when the rain comes, they don’t make any money.

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While the chemistry of the cast as a whole together is still a bit uncertain, it’s the wonderful one-on-one interactions that dot this episode and give it life. Interactions like those between Yume, who sees Shihoru is attracted to Manato, is learning as the days go by that Haruhiro is a nice guy, and is consistently nice to him as a result.

Yume is bad with words, but is still able to communicate that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he saw her naked, as opposed to Ranta, because Haru would apologize properly. Yume wants respect, and Haru offers it without even trying.

The episode also shines in Haru’s narration. This isn’t a party of fighters who are trying to defeat the boss on Level 99; they’re trying to earn enough to afford new underwear.  All that activity, and dampness, is quickly destroying their primative but expensive clothes.

It makes sense that Haru, our narrator and most reliable conduit into this world, is the first to notice that the girls have the same problem as the guys, and are forced to go commando until new skivvies can be procured. He decides not to use this knowledge for evil, steering Ranta away from the girls.

And it’s Yume who helps him make that decision by greeting him warmly rather than suspiciously; Haru doesn’t want there to be further unpleasantness between the genders.

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The rainclouds eventually pass, and once the weather is good, the party strikes out to a city abandoned by humans and now inhabited by goblins, many of whom have been separated from their groups for whatever reason, making them vulnerable. It’s good to see the group getting better at performing their own jobs in addition to working better as a unit (with Manato as their general).

It’s also good to see a follow-up to the party’s thoroughly unpleasant but absolutely essential first kill. It may not be sporting to kill a goblin in their sleep, but they can’t afford new undies, they can’t afford the luxury of sportsmanship, and must put their morals aside for the sake of survival. And as we see (and Haru remarks), it gets easier, and they begin gradually raking in loot.

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Haru worries they’re starting to turn into volunteer soldiers – cold, hardened, singularly obsessed with their own survival – but Manato points out they’re already soldiers. Plus, their well-earned day of rest doesn’t bear out that worry: luxuries like hot food prepared by someone else, or trinkets like hairclips, are still very much appreciated. It just takes less to make them content now.

It’s on the day of rest that Shihoru hides from Manato behind Yume, even though it’s clear she wanted to talk with him. That leads Yume to have a talk with her back home about starting to talk to the boys again; it’s been long enough, and they’ve been good.

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The subtle little romantic subtext in the conversations continues in the boy’s bunks, with a curious mention of Yume’s name by Ranta makes Haru perk up; if the guys and girls pair off, two guys will be left out. Moguzo seems content with cooking and whittling, while Manato and Shihoru seem like a good match.

That leaves Haruhiro, Ranta, and Yume, and while Yume and Ranta aren’t on great terms right now, that doesn’t mean Haruhiro has nothing to worry about. If he doesn’t want to be just a “good friend” to Yume, he’ll have to speak up. At the same time, there’s a possibility Yume likes Manato too, making her and Shihoru rivals. (Of course, this is all conjecture, but all the various interactions and looks and tones by the very good voice cast make it so you can’t help but wonder who likes who and what that will mean to the party as a whole.)

It even looks as if Haruhiro might bring up girls to Manato, but instead simply thanks him for being their leader. For all his eminent competence, Manato doesn’t have a lot of self-esteem, believing his past self wasn’t someone who’d have many friends – perhaps because he’d elicit envy in those not as skilled or handsome as he?

Haru tries to put Manato at ease by saying it doesn’t matter who they used to be. What matters is that they’re all friends here, and after twenty-three days, they’ve managed to not get killed or kill each other … despite the fact that Ranta is a member of their party! That in itself is a minor miracle to be thankful for. Because nothing, not food, not money, not underwear, not tomorrow, can be taken for granted in Grimgar.

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Author: magicalchurlsukui

Preston Yamazuka is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

8 thoughts on “Hai to Gensou no Grimgar – 03”

  1. I actually don’t dislike Ranta as much as a lot of viewers. I think he works for the plot and the idea that these are 12 (6) RANDOM people and they’re not all going to be nice just on odds.

    That said, if EITHER of these girls ends up with Ranta I will be deeply frustrated. He has been sexist, rude, and somewhat criminal towards them, on top of being generally unpleasant. Seeing the main guy, who’s attractive, friendly, and helpful, lose out on romance to a guy who should be punched repeatedly would make me dislike everyone involved. While I’m intrigued to see where Ranta goes, whether it’s simply personal growth or maybe, in the case of romance, someone from this world, having him end up with either of these girls would be deeply frustrating.

    On that note Manato is a character I struggle with. He’s great. And that’s pretty much it. He’s the only one of them shown to be pretty good at his job, he’s the leader, everyone likes him, and now the really attractive girl who won’t talk to anyone has fallen for him. It’s a bit too much. He’s somewhat interesting in that he seems to have some (forgotten) self-confidence issues and at the same time he IS shown to be nice, so that’s good, but when he’s that perfect and everything works that well for him it just sort of makes you like him LESS when he complains, if you know what I mean.

    I honestly think throwing the romance at him this early was a bit much. It makes his perfection a bit frustrating. I actually would have preferred Shihoru maybe bond with Moguzo. She’s quiet, shy, and has serious image issues, it would make sense. Instead she heads straight for the prom king. It kind of makes her and Manato into the stereotypical popular/power couple that everyone kind of hates (and isn’t that common once you escape high school). “Oh, we have problems just like everyone else” But we’re going to go have our beautiful people relationship in the corner, you guys have fun.

    1. I think Manato is the obvious target for first time crushes though. He’s the only one of the gang that feels fully competent so far. Combine that with his charisma and good looks, and it seems only natural that at least one of the girls in the party will be looking his way. Whether it will work out or not remains to be seen.

      I totally agree with you on Ranta though haha. I don’t HATE him, but I defiantly get annoyed by him. Though that’s kind of the purpose of his character.

      I think Haruhiro has a chance with Yume though. They might be just on good friends level now, but they seem to hit it off pretty well. Even in the event that she fancies Manato (no evidence so far), I think she’s close enough to Shihoru to have picked on her feelings. Plus I doubt she’d try to edge out her shy friend in such a case.

      1. I basically agree, and that’s why I struggle a bit with Manato. They’ve gone out of their way to establish that he’s actually pretty cool. (his conversation about drinking with Haru in the last episode was very well done) It’s just his overall perfection is a BIT much. Characters that are that perfect are usually some kind of antagonist in slice of life stories. They are something for real people to overcome. This idea that he’s just that awesome is a bit strange, and so when good stuff happens, like everyone being in love with him, it’s hard to cheer him on completely. There’s an element of ‘seriously, this guy AGAIN?’ each time that I can’t get out of my head.

        And that’s my thing with Ranta. I wouldn’t want to hang out with him, but he works for the plot. He’s an interesting addition to the party because he’s kind of a jerk. I just wouldn’t want them to have one of the girls end up with him because then I’d be kind of annoyed at both relationships.

        I generally agree that I think Haru and Yume are being teased. In addition to them spending a fair-ish amount of time together, she’s definitely been given more of a character than Shihoru’s ‘gorgeous, shy, and fell for perfect guy who’s going to fall for her because she’s perfect and they’re going to go be perfect together (unless she/he dies).’

        It’s a fun, atmospheric show. It’s a little weird to be having these soap opera discussions but that’s the kind of show it is. It’s basically, so far, slice of life but in a fantasy world. And I’m okay with that.

      2. I don’t know. I know there’s a cliche in harem anime about the ikemen Mr.Perfect who’s so snotty. However I think they’re trying to avoid that with Manato. The annoying ikemen usually are outwardly perfect but actually have some kind of annoying personality to go with their good looks. In Manato’s case I think the author is trying to set him up as the one that keeps the party together, not the overly perfect to the point of annoyance handsome riajuu.

      3. I’m not sure the author has a choice. If you make someone perfect, that’s off-putting. It’s not whether or not you plan to make them a problem always, perfection is not a great trait. Yes, Manato isn’t mean, so he’s not an antagonist, but that actually means he’s MORE perfect than the usual popular pretty boy antagonist, who at least has the flaw that he’s a jerk.

        I don’t hate Manato, but for me personally he’s a flipside of Ranta. They both work better as elements of the group that Haru has to deal with than as characters in and of themselves. Ranta should be punched, Manato is basically perfect. Both serve primarily as foils for Haru (someone to be better than and someone to be worse than).

  2. Another cute and atmospheric episode. I like seeing them struggle through such a world and actually survive day to day. The whole underwear thing really hit home. They never talk about that in series like this. However, it would be something you would have to consider if you actually lived there. And it’s probably even worse for the girls, because unless getting sent to this world did something to their reproductive systems, those times of the month have to be hell.

    As for romance ships, I really have it right now as Shihoru and Manato, and Yume and Ranta. It’s pretty clear that Ranta actually likes Yume if he can ever get past his immaturity and pride. But they seem to be in that classic “hate turns into love” romance. As much as I like Haruhiro, I think his job as narrator and him be kind of a bland nice guy really kind of excludes him from such a romance ship. He’s got to be there to observe the others to tell us what’s happening.

  3. (*Spoilers* from the novel follow. -Ed.)

    As a reader of the novels, I feel that the writer/director of the anime ver. love Yume and give her more attention than in the novels. That translates in many audiences are also loving her. I never got impression that she’s that important & popular in the novels, even before Mary appeared (the new team member that seems to be Haru’s love interest later). Anime so far has added original scenes highlighted her interactions-feelings with Haru, Ranta, Shihoru, Manato. Even subtle hints for a triangle with Haru & Ranta both fancies her, some even also think she likes Manato. As a Yume’s fan I’m happy with these creative liberty expands on her character & interactions, though that begs the question on what will they do with Mary in the anime. It’ll be weird if the anime will still go for Haru→Mary after they bothered to add original scenes of Haru-Yume that resulted in HxY is gaining more and more shippers from the anime watchers. I’m not sure anime watchers will be as accepted to HxM as the novel readers, but we’ll see…

  4. Good screenplay and scripting, beautiful scenery and design, interesting pacing, Baka Ranta kept to a minimum adds up to a very good episode that was entertaining to watch.

    As for Baka Ranta’s love interest – I’m sure there is a goblinette out there just waiting for him…..

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