Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash: Episode 7

grimgar72 “They Were Called Goblin Slayers”

Sundays at 11:30 am EST on Funimation

The party realize that Mary will probably never open up to them if they don’t open up to her. Luckily, they seem to be getting a lot better at the whole goblin slaying thing, allowing them to invest in some much-needed new equipment.

Aqua’s thoughts

Filler rarely works in shows as slowly-paced as Grimgar, and unfortunately, this episode all but confirmed that idea. Due to a general lack of interesting developments and details and excessive padding, this was arguably the worst episode of Grimgar to date, though that doesn’t mean my enthusiasm for the show has been tempered. The build-up to a square-off against the leader of the goblins is a promising prospect; this episode simply didn’t do a lot to justify postponing that fight another week. I appreciate that Mary didn’t become BFFs with the party all of a sudden now that they learned each other’s tragic backstories, but aside from this refreshing bit of realism, we didn’t really learn anything new or interesting about anyone in this entire episode.

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What do we get? Well, a lot of montages, for one. We see Haruhiro and his friends killing goblins, shopping, killing some more goblins, bathing, boozing and killing even more goblins, all set to a rather inappropriate song more concerned with hyping up the many, many music releases Toho Animation Records has in the pipeline for Grimgar — the band (K)NoW_NAME was assembled specifically to compose theme and insert songs for the anime — than with actually fitting the content. It’s enjoyable to see how far our loveable band of losers has come since their humble beginnings, sporting all kinds of fancy new armor, but it’s not exactly something Grimgar needed to spend an entire episode on.

The fact that it comes accompanied with another lousy exposition dumb about all the different classes and their skills and abilities only makes the whole thing more frustrating. I’m allergic explanations for things that don’t need explaining (looking at you there, Fate/Stay night), but this recent trend of ‘game-ifying’ all the concepts and mechanics in fantasy and sci-fi anime is on a whole different level. Not only does it completely break any sense of immersion viewers have, it also perpetuates this ridiculous idea that nerds won’t care about anything unless it looks like a video game. Grimgar doesn’t need video game mechanics to drive home its point. For that, the basic tropes espoused by its world are more than enough already. In fact, by trying to look more like a video game, Grimgar actually sets a step back in the direction of all the other ‘trapped in a video game’ stories it is trying to distance itself from, which will only hurt it in the long run.

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And that’s it, really. For the first time, I don’t really have any interesting character analyses or musings to espouse. Sure, I could complain a bit more about how the camera won’t stop lingering on Yume’s butt, but you’ve all heard that record by now. The truth is that this was on all accounts a transitionary episode, the somewhat unfortunate result of both Grimgar‘s slow pacing up until now and the several obligations it seems to have to both its record label sponsors and its significantly more shitty game-like source material. If anything, I have to congratulate Grimgar for tackling even the most gratuitous padding with beauty and flair: Just look at all the swell new outfits our characters get to wear during this episode, for example! Now if only it’d get on with it and let me see these losers try that fancy new equipment out on the goblin boss. I can’t wait for them to get their asses handed to them.

Random observations

  • With Shihoru being ‘the boob girl’ and Yume being ‘the butt girl’, Grimgar clearly struggles to find a fetish Mary can cater to. Maybe she can be the ‘treated with respect like an actual human being’ girl.
  • Apparently, one of Haruhiro’s Thief skills involves gaining the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception?
  • According to the character song single covers (yeah, really), the official romanization of Mary’s name is supposed to be is ‘Merry’. However, since Funimation aren’t using it and the character in question isn’t particularly, well, merry, I’m gonna stick with the more sensible spelling. Occam’s razor and all that.
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2 thoughts on “Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash: Episode 7

  1. Let me just say that every week I forget Ranta is a horrible piece of shit and every week he reminds me of that very fact. But yeah, that gratuitous shot of Yume’s naked asscrack sure was skeevy. More than usual fanservice, I mean.

    I dunno, is anyone actually enjoying the fanservice in the way it’s supposed to be enjoyed? I find it rather jarring to cut away from, like, a heartfelt conversation about grief to Yume’s butt and then back to the heart-to-heart. The momentary ass-flash is too quick to be titillating, so what is it actually achieving? It’s oddly perfunctory, or perhaps pro forma would be a better term. “Well, it’s a light novel adaptation, better get some T&A in there”.

    Although that speech about friendship in the episode takes on added meaning when one considers that the original light novel author apparently has mental health issues – social anxiety or agoraphobia or something like that. Not sure where I was going with that point, but I did want to mention it.

    • Yeah, I genuinely get the feeling the staff are just fulfilling their obligatory fanservice quota. Like there is actually some corporate suit telling them that at least 2% of all the key frames must consist of butt shots. It’s especially jarring because they’re otherwise really trying to make Yume and Shihoru into characters of their own right, which makes the bits where they randomly throw all of that out of the window just for the sake of fanservice just unbearable to watch.

      Interesting that you mention the author’s social anxiety issues. It could explain why his vision on friendship isn’t all sunshine and rainbows as opposed to the usual ‘instant best buds forever’ in most other anime. It really makes you think about Grimgar’s take on escapism — sort of a harsh reminder that your problems won’t magically go away by, quite literally, escaping into another world inspired by video games and anime.

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