The flaws and appeal of Hai to Gensou no Grimgar
Due to popular belief among my peers that Grimgar is somehow exceptional I've got to get this out of the system. Grimgar is a show I've got down as mediocre at best. The problem is that it's even more predictable than Holywood movies' conventions.
If you haven't seen it yet, the synopsis is that a group of people find themselves in a pitch black place not remembering a thing but their name. When they get out into a medieval world they're told of monsters living outside the city and how they're supposed to hunt them to earn their living. Sometimes one might say a phrase like "game" or "gj" and while everyone thinks it's somehow familiar, nobody knows the meaning.
- The writer didn't want to be bothered with characters' past so he throws it out the window and gives them all a blank slate. Because they have nothing the viewer is let to slowly build up a fondness for each of them. The characters though are so stereotipical and the show's pacing so bad that the first goblin they hunt left me with a bigger impression than the characters themselves.
- Viewers know the characters must be hardcore gamers and not the most social of beings. And it shows, soooooo... **cking... much.
- Moving past the awkwardness of characters there are clear flaws that are anime specific like someone stopping and looking up in the sky for no reason at all. It usually implies some kind of reflection or afterthought but that wasn't the case. Or a character holding something, putting it down, walk a short distance aside, do something and then pick up the previous thing from the new spot. I mean things like that usually don't get noticed but with Grimgar's pacing I can't help but be annoyed by it.
And the worst of all (ep 4):
What is the purpose of a show that relies purely on building empathy for the characters but fails miserably?
There is something good about this show though. The premise that you could live in a game world and strugle to kill the weakest mob with a group and not have money for anything but food is neat.
I'm interested in how this world works and what its purpose is.
The problem is that I know our main characters will strugle and most likely die with the way it's progressing. I hate that and I'd like to be wrong. But then again the show hadn't succeeded yet in hooking me up on anyone. Except maybe the redhead girl.
The animation and art direction is also pretty good. Voice acting could use more diversity, but then again, if the purpose is to amplify the characters' plainness, it works.
Dragged out pacing is definitely problematic. The other thing that turned me away was that I'm not very good with "spring of youth" shows. Which it is, considering the focus it puts on the human body. With the exception of the fat guy, all characters are highly sexualized.
Usually I don't have a problem with this, because in anime character designs and movement are usually superrealistic or otherwise abstracted. Grimgar is going for realistic potrayal. The way the world works only reinforces the visuals. I find that kind of jarring and disgusting to be honest, enough to turn me away.
I do agree with you, partly. The show in my eyes doesn't really have bad pacing. The shows pacing somehow reminds me of a Miyazaki movie. It just has those silent moments, where you just see the landscape and beautiful scenery. You can't just have action scenes non-stop.
One of the flaws that grimgar has are some of the characters, most of them grow and get some character development, but some get a lot more than others, which bugs me.
I found one of the flaws listed in this forum really interesting and that was the point about the past of the characters. I don't think the author left it out entirely, I just think he didn't want to spoil it at the start. I mean, where's the fun of starting a game where most of the story is spoiled at the tutorial? Their back story is a part of the shows plot and where's the fun spoiling it at the start? I hope we'll see some of it in the second part of the season and if not, the back story is surely explained in the light novels or in the manga.
The character are stereotypical I agree with that. But not all of them are like that, some grow and some don't. Ranta is already one that I can't stomach, he is laud, can't read the mood and doesn't know when to stop talking. His just that stereotypic character that you see in all anime, one that thinks he's always right and never wrong.
But overall, it's a good show, if not one of the best this season. I don't think it can beat a well established show like Durarara but it surely has some potential.
Well it's been a few episodes since I wrote that initial post. It's gotten better in the way that the characters have finally made some progress. But the way there was to painful for it's own good and I still stand by my observation that the initial pacing was very poor.
Maybe I'm being a bit harsh because I actually like a lot about this series. The setting, the animation, character design etc. everything is beautiful. But I feel the story is forcing character growth through their inner monologue instead of letting them accumulate more experience through interaction with the world and it's inhabitants. It's not just action that makes or breaks the pacing.
Ranta is already one that I can't stomach, he is laud, can't read the mood and doesn't know when to stop talking. His just that stereotypic character that you see in all anime, one that thinks he's always right and never wrong.
really? can you give me examples of other characters that are similar to this? i found Ranta to be a breath of fresh air. his obvious flaws actually make him way more of an interesting character than "quiet girl with big boobs #752".
as to the original point of OP. i just recently binged on Grimgar's 12 episodes and heres my take on it.
-inner monologue scenes drag on for way waaaaay too long, this includes the scenes where Haru is talking to an imaginary Manato. nothing is ever resolved from these scenes so all you get is a big fat dose of the main char's unease.which in this hyper realistic world isnt that bad to get the audience in the mood but there are too many scenes
-the introduction of the characters to their positions is very tacked on. they all just kind of accept they are now "volunteer soldiers" or whatever. the gay recruiter guy even threatens they will die if they dont accept.
-melee class skills make 0 sense considering the characters can use regular movement. things like backstab or front thrust are just normal attacks with that weapon.the anime displays very poorly at which times they are using a special skill or when they are just using their weapons in a creative way
-the "its fantasy but actually super realistic" take is fresh and interesting
-its interesting to see the relationships form within the party. though so far only Ranta and Haru have any kind of personality.
-the scenery scenes just throw you out completely. they went for that beautiful painted picture look and its so unlike the tone and the look from the rest of the series that i dont know if its a good or bad thing, but its definitely jarring