I guess the general perception of what a slice-of-life is would be contradictory to calling this anime a “slice-of-life”. Well, that’s because it’s not a slice-of-life. But I… I believe having those elements of exploring very mundane stuff within an extraordinary world is fitting enough to call it slice-of-life. The thing about slice-of-life shows is the whole reason I don’t like them is because of the very fact that it bases itself in real life. I’m engrossed in real life as it is; I am not gonna watch an anime about it (despite having watched over two dozen slice-of-life anime already).
So, Grimgar. Kind of slice-of-life because it explores all these things that you don’t really, like, genuinely explore within another anime. Well, maybe Log Horizon but haven’t watched that quite yet so I don’t know. The survival tactics involved and learning curves that comes with living in a fantasy world are something I have been fascinated with since my early days of watching anime. And, truly, I believe if we’re gonna drown in mass-produced Isekai shows I feel like this is a huge factor we should consider when evaluating them. I am very appreciative that Grimgar brought this to the table although considering this came out early 2016 and there’s been zero talks about it I am guessing this part of it has been discredited as “the boring part” of the series. Which, I mean… Is kind of true?
But not entirely because it’s boring but because I don’t feel like it did its job. I don’t feel that connected with the world because, truth be told, there doesn’t seem to be much of a world. Every time they go back into town it looks like a drawn mess with little to no people actually taking residence within. You got that 1 barmaid in Mary’s female-only lodgings and the guild trainers. I guess everyone just hangs out at the local bar at all points of the day? Most importantly, it doesn’t show me enough of what “every day life” pertains to people. Or like, the concept of Grimgar has drilled in this idea that the party members have to stay in a party and stay in close proximity to one another just to survive. And that doesn’t fit with the idea of a slice-of-life fantasy anime. Like, I want to know what being an actual thief is like. Not what’s obviously just a rogue that Haruhiro’s become. I wanna see more of Moguzo’s ability to cook. I wanna see Yume’s ability to track & hunt. Ranta? I remember he was into a weird way of fishing. It left an amusing impression on me but, somehow, I don’t remember what it was exactly.
Anyways, it’s these things that are not apparent or, well, shown on-screen that I care about more than fighting goblins episode after episode. I get that ‘survival’ is important but these are all aspects of survival anyways. More important ones even. Again, I believe it is very important to feature the intricacies of the world. Of course, the characters should be first and foremost. But you can build up your characters whilst featuring the method in which they choose to live their lives. The way they survive, the jobs they do. All sorts of things that make the world as well as the characters more developed. This is the whole point I even decided to make a post. But there are several major issues I have with the anime itself.
First off, the dialogue is pretty bad. Like, for example, Manato, “The Tomato” (my personal nickname for him), seemed like an absolute sociopath to me. Because his way of speech and mannerisms mirror that of one. He knew exactly what to say to every unique member of his party as if he studied them carefully and molded himself to be the perfect guy. And then there’d be this moment where he talks to the rest of his party and compliment them one by one. But all he did was kind of state what their classes do. Except for Shihoru. When it came to her he complimented her as a person. Which sounded, to me, like he noticed she was crushing on him and wanted to get into her pants. But it turns out he was just.. “a good guy”, I suppose. Another very strange moment of dialogue was when Haruhiro suggested to “change their hunting grounds” because hunting in the same area was getting “boring” because it was starting to get “too easy” and that they need to feel “pressured” for the sake of entertainment. At the time, I was thinking about the whole amnesia bit of the show and wondering if he was being effected mentally. But everyone else kind of just accepted this and they didn’t seem to be losing their minds.
Like, the idea of changing your hunting grounds for the sake of better loot and stuff like that isn’t weird. It’s just the way he phrased it that made him sound like a maniac! Anyway, I thought he was going crazy. In the end, I think they chose these words specifically to make it sound more like a ‘game’. Which I do not care for. In fact, the lengths they go to make it sound more and more like a game are all things I do not care for at all. The main character dumping expositions during fights to clarify that the characters have learned new skills almost every time they go into battle. All silly. I do like the atmosphere of the show. It’s almost melancholic in a way. It just kind of gets ruined in the more light-hearted moments. I remember Haruhiro was snuggling with Yume and I had thought that maybe that could lead to something. Of course, the moment was ruined because Shihoru happened to peak her head out the window and decided to interrupt the whole scene.
Those are my final notes. I like the idea. Poor execution. I wish there was some way Grimgar can retain some level of relevancy so that something like this can be discussed and picked apart more in-depth so that we might learn from it and improve upon it but… Guess it’s impossible by this point. Oh well.