「普通の学園生活」 (Futsū no gakuen seikatsu)
“Ordinary Academy Life”

After Unlimited Blade Works and Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete on Saturday here’s another visual novel adaptation this season. Zephyr’s written extensively on the original game so I won’t go too deeply into it myself. Suffice to say, Grisaia no Kajitsu would certainly be one of the most significant offerings of the year and would have been the premier visual novel adaptation of the season if only it didn’t have the misfortune of sharing it with the Type-Moon monster. Not that Grisaia no Kajitsu is not a heavyweight in its own right; any piece of media, let alone an eroge, that plans to be a trilogy before the first sales figures are even out must be quite confident, if not ambitious. And you know an anime means serious business if it breaks out the 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The only room for doubt may be the staff; Tensho, the artist formerly known as Tanaka Motoki is relatively new to the chief director business, and Kurata Hideyuki on series composition has historically had mixed results. At least 8bit has provided us with an aesthetically pleasing first episode, with only few awkward shots and art that stays consistent with the original character designs. Sure, ufotable is still going to show us up every week but, hey, 2.39:1! Black bars are sexy.

Talk about the plot already

I have always considered Grisaia no Kajitsu a work of minimalistic brilliance. What is a stereotypical eroge cast but a protagonist and a gaggle of potential love interests? Grisaia no Kajitsu embraces that, creating a premise that empties the school of everyone except main characters and leaving us with a highly distilled experience. Yeah, sure, there’s also the nominal adult teacher figure in Tachibana Chizuru (Yanase Natsumi), someone so ditzy it’s surprising she hasn’t killed herself in a freak waffle iron accident or something, but she might as well be part of the harem on most days. Other than her, it’s all troubled schoolgirls, all the time. A quick pass over the roster gives us dedicated cosplayer Komine Sachi (Shimizu Ai), ‘big sis’ Suou Amane (Taguchi Hiroko), shy child Irisu Makina (Tamiyasu Tomoe), faux tsundere Matsushima Michiru (Mizuhashi Kaori), and actual tsundere Sakaki Yumiko (Tanaka Ryouko). It’s just the first episode so we haven’t gotten a lot of development beyond basic archetypes, but what we do have is character-relevant fanservice. It’s like Bakemonogatari all over again; we won’t rest until everybody gets a panty flash, and only Senjougahara Yumiko is spared for now. Underwear pattern is a character trait! Only in Japan, folks. Only in Japan.

Re: MC

I saved the male lead for last (even though he was the first on the fanservice train; good job) because I actually didn’t like him very much in the original VN. I may be the only one, but hear me out. Kazami Yuuji (Sakurai Takahiro) is our point-of-view character in the original VN so it’s important that readers can relate to him; we’re stuck inside his head the entire time. On my part, it was an uncomfortable place to be. Perhaps it was because he spends so much time lecturing. A lot of the time he even lectures to himself, which means he’s lecturing at me, except I’m stuck inside his head and have no right of reply. And since agreeing with people was not something I could just allow myself to do, it was a slightly irritating experience. In the anime adaptation, however, Yuuji has been moved firmly into the third person. He has a face! He has a voice! Sakurai Takahiro is a veteran well versed in the nuances of playing stoic young men, and his voice sounds about right for me. Not that he’s had any challenging bits of dialogue; it’ll still be some time until Yuuji grows a personality. Let’s see what the new perspective does to Yuuji as a character.

Peeking outside the garden

What makes this adaptation especially interesting is that, as Zephyr noted in his VN retrospective, while Grisaia no Kajitsu does have two sequels, those two sequels don’t necessarily build directly on Kaijitsu. Kaijitsu doesn’t have a centralised narrative per se; once it splits into different routes it never looks back. Yet, those routes are important; each one gives different reveals about the world, its intrigues, and the place Yuuji plays in them. Plus, some of them are great stories in and of themselves. It’s evident by now that Mihama Academy is less a school and more an institution or even a facility and that its inmates are a singular bunch. Amane is definitely more than just a censored fanservice machine. And I don’t need to have read the VN to know what this is; Zankyou no Terror was just last season. There are plentiful hints of more to come. If Grisaia no Kajitsu the anime plans to have sequels as well then I look forward to seeing how it manages to weave all these disparate pieces together into something cohesive. Or maybe it’d just use an omnibus structure. That would be the lazy man’s solution. I have high hopes for Grisaia, and this is just its first potential cour. In a season full of strong offerings, I hope it manages build into something deserving to stand out.


Full-length images: 16, 18, 25.




  1. All I have to say about Grisaia Anime is that
    1.) Story is consistant
    2.) Jokes is consistant
    3.) Voice acting is consistant. Not to mention Yuuji’s voice is adapted well.
    3.) Animation is consistant
    4.) Character design is consistant
    5.) Pantsu design are the same for the Heroines.

    Anyway I’ll just put this VN OP 「HERE」.

    1. Hmm speaking about the OP we haven’t seen the anime version by Maon Kurosaki yet. I have heard it and its sounds really good so i’m really looking forward to that on the next episode. Still its nice they added the original VN OP at the end of the episode.

  2. I must admit I didn’t expect much from this anime. “Another harem series with a main lead and several colourful girls, right”. But then: a suspected terrorist? An academy with only six freaking students? And the girls have some disturbing tics, that flashback of an accident looks ominous, and the MC seems to have ulterior motives.

    Now I can say it has caught my attention. The season preview in this site was most useful. Thanks.

  3. This show kind of reminded me of Shuffle!, in a way. Another show where the basic premise was a typical harem situation, but as the story went on a lot of dark and ugly pasts got revealed. I still remember Boxcutter Kaede, damn.

    So, this has caught my interest. Now let’s hope it pays off.

    1. She definitely comes off as the most mysterious girl and her issues aren’t anything we’ve seen before,it was executed quite well and IMO,it was the route which had the best romance.

  4. “The only other thing students do while secluded in their room is… They’re masturbating?” – Yuuji

    “Who called a stripper to my room? Today’s not my birthday.” – Yuuji

    “They are nice breasts.” – Yuuji

    Alpha male protagonist of the season, just it.

    1. If it’s gonna be 2-cour length,then there’s a good chance of that happening which will be quite interesting,since I only went through 2/5 of them and the material that they’ll have to skip over in order for them to have enough time for the routes can be mostly filler so it could work out really well.

  5. I loled when Yuuji deduced that they were masturbating in such a serious manner. Dry humour like that gets me every time.

    Looking forward to Angelic Howl in animation. Probably.

  6. If this is indeed intended as it is as the original VN, all 5 heroines routes will be covered.

    For those who are wondering about more of Yuuji’s, you’ll have to wait or play the second part of the trilogy of the VN(s).

    Kajitsu: All five heroines.

    Meikyuu: Yuuji’s past

    Rakuen: epic conclusion to everything.

  7. I’ll just say I loved the first episode. Extremely faithful to the source, with pieces added and shuffled where needed to make it more accessible/interesting. Takes a bit of getting used to with their aspect ratio, but hey, looking forward to seeing where this goes once the common route is done. It’s going to be quite something seeing how they do things after that.

    Oh yeah, man, that animation budget.

  8. Yeah, the first episode was pretty good.

    I liked the whole 21:9 aspect ratio and how cinematographically were shot some scenes (slow mo hug attack was awesome). Though faces of characters (and some scenes in general) were drawn a little bit derpy at times. I guess they spend all of their budget animating Chiruchiru because good lord she’s certainly moves a lot and gloriously (I wouldn’t be surprised if Dogakobo helped out a little). And that is wonderful.

    They cut a fair amount (or, as usual, decided to use some scenes in the next episodes), but it was mostly not really necessary and interesting scenes, so it’s fine. Though I’m sad that they cut the cicada scene (“HEY! Where are yoo going!?” indeed 🙁 ), but considering the amount of funny moments in the VN that’s to be expected, you simply can’t fit them all (speaking of funny moments: Yuuji’s “I wouldn’t say I’m very fond of jokes” was hilarious because just moments later he shows that he’s very fond of jokes (or at least sarcastic remarks); Yuuji, stop bullshiting people).

    Very much liked that they kept the soundtrack from the VN. Because, firstly, it’s pretty good and there’s no need to fix what ain’t broken, and secondly, after 50+ hours of reading it’s just ingrained in my brain now, so it wouldn’t be the same without it. Also, the voice of Takahiro Sakurai fits Yuuji perfectly.

    And oh boy, those last two minutes. Hell yeah I’m gonna hop on on this hype bus train. It would be really cool If 8bit indeed plans to adapt all 5 routes. All they have to do now is to finally announce that there’s gonna be 2-cour and I’ll be very happy (well, at least before they’ll start screwing up the adaptation, which I of course hope doesn’t happen).

    What I didn’t liked is the amount of teasing, especially (pretty big VN spoiler regarding Amane and her route)
    Show Spoiler ▼

    I get why they did it (to hook anime-only viewers; and looks like it worked), but still, they could’ve been at least a little bit subtle about it. Also, not a fan of pantyshots. They just seem out of place (and iirc, there’s only one pantyshot in the entire VN, and it’s right at the start), especially considering that there’s enough Amane and sexual jokes that you simply don’t need to add pantyshots. There’s enough fanservice as it is, basically.

    P.S. Dat Juicy Yuuji’s juicy butt.

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dogakobo helped out a little

      Apparently I was right. The two main animators on the show are Masayuki Nonaka and Enishi Oshima, both Dogakobo regulars. And you can see their work all over Love Lab (that’s pretty much why I thought about Dogakobo, Michiru’s scenes reminded me of the those smoothly animated scenes from Love Lab).

    2. Wow your post its just amazing lol! Love how hyped you are like me. I agree that adding the VN soundtrack to the anime was a brilliant idea. Just hearing the OST makes me wanna play the VN again lol. I’m okay with the fan service. I mean we aren’t getting them h-scenes so panty shots are the next best thing xD

    3. His body is so stacked. I mean when he stood up I thought those where the back of his legs, but then damn! Those are actually his front thighs 0_0 good god. A little man-service (especially in shows where you would mostly expect female service, aka this and Madan no Ou) here and there never hurt anyone ^_^

  9. @Passerby: So many panty shots and you only showed one of Amane’s black one’s? Guess I know who’s your favorite girl. 😉
    Seriously, I like panties, but the amount of them was kind of distracting. 😀

    I played through the demo of the VN and this first anime episode was certainly more entertaining to me, since it had none of the pacing issues that bored me.
    Of course only having played the demo, I didn’t know anything regarding the dark pasts of the girls. Amane’s childhood seems to be very gruesome, possibly being the sole survivor of a bus accident and/or abduction. And she seems to know his sister.
    If I continued playing/reading the VN, I’d probably go for her route.

    1. Personally I don’t find the objectification of women via flaunting of undergarments to be especially flattering, so I passed over much of those shots; Amane gets in because that was her full-length introduction. I’m sure a psychoanalysis of their lingerie could be very revealing (in more ways than one) but I won’t be the one to do it.

  10. I was surprised how good this first episode was. I think the writer did a good job showing some of the backstory. Really made the story more intersting that lets say the typical high school harem anime. Very faithful to the VN amd i can only see i get better. Plus all the routes in one anime oh man its gonna be a hell of a crazy rollercoaster ride we are in!! Oh and stay juicy Yuuji.

  11. I’ll be darned, could this be the fabled “good” visual novel adaptation we’ve all been waiting for? After seeing some hilarious screencaps and hearing about the anime adaptation I read through the entire VN in order to compare the two and obtain further insight into VN adaptions in general. After my last minute finish this weekend I was somewhat skeptical about how they could adapt the source material due to the sheer length of the darn thing, reliance on internal narrative, and the incompatibilities between the different routes. The good news is that this episode has gone a long way to allaying my fears and seems to understand what made the VN good.

    Grisaia no Kajitsu’s main strengths were its humor and character development. It’s too early to tell if the anime will successfully pull off the latter, but it’s at least got the humor down pat. The main two humor techniques the VN used were a vast number of extraordinarily lewd jokes played completely deadpan, and lampshading or subverting tropes harder than practically anything I can recall. Both are well on display this episode, from Michiru’s “Tsundere” being called out to Yuuji’s, erm, speculation, about what everyone was doing in their rooms. Speaking of Yuuji, he’s characterized very well in a “show not tell” manner from him calmly taking the wheel in the car to cynically wondering about the school to his deadpan reaction to a half naked girl in his room. He’s hardly the passive dormat harem lead we’re all so familiar with, but he’s got enough personality and snark to avoid being a completely boring ubermensch like Tatsuya from Mahouka (it also helps that everyone isn’t constantly praising his awesomeness). Even though it was on paper a very standard first episode (introduce the setting and characters in sequence), the humor and good characterization were well above average. In terms of pacing they’re tearing through the source material quite fast, but the speed felt rather natural and nothing terribly important was cut out. It probably helps that one of the weaknesses of the VN was being far more verbose than needed.

    There was some bad however. For example, panty shots everywhere! The VN was certainly lewd as hell, but mainly through the dialogue. Cranking up the fanservice like this just for the sake of pulling in otaku was out of place and annoyed the hell out of me. Another thing that really bothered me as a VN reader was the extremely blatant foreshadowing. Perhaps they were intended as hooks to draw the audience in, but in my opinion the opening text and the scenes at the end gave away far too much too soon. From the looks of things they’re going to try and go down everyone’s route at once, though how they plan on that is beyond me. Sachi’s scene at the end also pissed me off, unlike all the other girls flashes it give a wrong portrayal of her character and doesn’t fit with her (or any) route. Don’t you dare screw up best girl Deen (I know she doesn’t seem it at the moment, took me a long time to warm up to her but her route is my absolute favorite and by the end so was she), you won’t like it if I have to get rid of this adaption…

      1. A-hem… You both seem to have misspelt Sachi (and Michiru). Careful, such things might cause… conflict. But worry not, once you repent of your misguided heresy and accept the one true faith all shall be forgiven!
        shink shink

    1. It probably helps that one of the weaknesses of the VN was being far more verbose than needed.

      So much this,it’s why I think the anime could fix some of the pacing issues the VN has and the overall story would benefit from it. It just has to be careful what it decides to leave in and what to leave out so that the characterization won’t suffer too much from it because when you get down to it,the characters are the meat of this series.

  12. I’m personally confused as to why they’re using this aspect ratio as the scenes were clearly drawn in a different ratio. numerous scenes you can see something is partly “offscreen” like top of the head. also Show Spoiler ▼

    I wonder how they’re going to do all Routes, especially if it’s only 13 episodes(?). the common route is quite long in the VN so I wonder how much won’t make the cut.

    1. Show Spoiler ▼

      1. Nice catch. Though anyone that hasn’t already read the VN wouldn’t have a clue what it means Show Spoiler ▼

    1. I guess the better question would be: Do you want to enjoy the anime or the VN more? Seeing one and going to the other spoiled will inevitably reduce part of your enjoyment. The safer bet is always going to be the VN but the 1st ep of the anime showed promise so it might be a good risk to take.

      1. That’s a rather odd advice. Once you got through the whole triology means you already spoiled everything to yourself, then that will make the anime not worthwhile to watch anymore. Knowing the source beforehand always more less ruin your experience with adaption to certain extend.

        In short: if you really have to, watch the anime first then go through the triology later.

  13. This is a rare case where I actually played the VN of an anime,heh(although not entirely,just 2/5 routes,namely Amane & Yumiko’s and only the Kajitsu,not the sequels). To be honest,I think the anime can actually get rid of some of the issues I had with the VN,which is the pacing. The common route is WAAAAAY too long,IMO,and the fact that the anime’s time constraints will inevitably have to shorten it is a good thing in my book. That being said, I hope I won’t bite my tongue and they shorten so much that most of the characterization along with some great comedy moments are lost.

    But the 1st episode looked promising so we’ll see. I hope they’ll cut down on the panty shots though,that type of fanservice is rather unnecessary.

    Definitely a good idea to keep the VN bgm,which I don’t consider great or anything but should work nonetheless for anime-only viewers while pleasing fans the VN.

    I’m happy with how the common route was adapted so far,even though it could’ve been a bit better. Like I said, I thought it dragged on for way too long as after 12-15 hours,the jokes were starting to feel repetitive and I just wanted to move on with the story already.

    Granted,it’s not that easy as just rushing through the common route since it can lead to trouble when it comes to characterization. There are parts that should be adapted and parts that shouldn’t and this episode did well enough in that regard. I guess it could’ve slowed down just a little bit and let us hear a few of Yuuji’s inner monologues to help us get a better idea of what he’s like which probably would’ve transitioned in about 3 extra mins overall but this’ll do for now . I suppose it’s inevitable that the characterization will suffer a little compared to the VN but it’ll be fine as long as it’s good enough to get the viewers who don’t just look at the superficial aspects of the show invested in the characters.

    The anime will most likely have better pacing but weaker characterization. The goal would then be to minimize the damage done to the later, which will probably consist of carefully picking which parts of the common route to leave in & which to leave out.

    Anyway I’m definitely looking forward to this.

  14. As someone who, admittedly, didn’t really take all that much to the original visual novel (I got about halfway through Amane’s route before I just said “screw it” and never looked back), there’s really no good reason why I should feel any different about the anime; at least that’s what I felt going in.

    Now, to be sure, there was a whole lot I didn’t like here-the overused panty shots, sexual innuendos left and right, and a MC who, while he’s all-around agreeable, feels just a bit too much like Sousuke from FMP minus being a thickheaded, but lovable, idiot in certain respects (which you may feel is a good or a bad thing depending on where you’re coming from).

    That said, my main gripe with the VN was that, honestly, it just took way too damn long to get its story really going. It’s precisely why I find the manga – which also happens to focus on Amane’s route – much more bearable in that it doesn’t take forever and a day to get to the point. And given that we’ve an anime with only so much time on its hands, the same should also apply.

    That being true, and with hopefully a half-decent story to tell, I hold out hope that Grisaia’s anime will turn out a better experience than the VN for me. If nothing else, I’ll at least give it the requisite three-episode watch.

    Ryan Ashfyre
    1. I just said “screw it” and never looked back.

      Citing your prior words of wisdom, good sir: “No. Just. No.”
      You’re about as wrong as the next guy. You should try reading more VN’s.. oh wait… most of those take at least 30 good hours to read. Was verbose Grisaia too much for your brain? It’s not a light read by any means and certainly not for someone who makes such comparisons.

      I recommend you to stay away from VN’s and read more manga. And too bad you didn’t stay for the rest of Amane’s route..you just missed Angelic Howl..OMG, the level of fail…

      Helvetica Standard
    2. @Helvetica Standard Instead of trying to sound like an obnoxious fanboy,you should try to understand that not everyone’s a fan of the 12-15 hours of slice of life that Grisaia’s common route offers which continues for a while even after you enter a route.

      @Ryan While I liked Grisaia enough to see it through(well,just 2/5 routes) and considered it overall enjoyable,I completely agree on all your points,especially that the story does take way too long to get going so I’m also hoping that the anime will fix some of the major pacing issues that the VN had. The new issues might come in the form of a lack of proper characterization though but if the 1st episode is anything to go by, I think we can be hopeful here.

    3. While it’s understandable that’s not everyone like a long common route, but by vn standard this is not long. And feel like people are missing the point, as in why the common route is there, especially for trilogy like this.

    4. That’s the thing about Kajitsu, for good or ill. It was planned as the first of a trilogy, and it shows. In a way, one can categorise almost the entire visual novel as characterisation; even the heroine routes revolve firmly around their central conflicts. That doesn’t mean it can’t tell a good story, but many of its writing decisions are transparently for the sake of setting up its sequels. That is, they have invested heavily in acclimating the read with the characters. It obviously did not pay off for you. But it may later.

      1. Considering the pacing and the amount of material covered, they took their time with this 1st episode. So I suspect there’s a 2 cour planned. Unless they suddenly cram everything into the last two episodes.

        Helvetica Standard
  15. Any idea how many episodes does Grisaia have? The common route has tons of content to cover, and each individual route has atleast twice as much.

    Grisaia no Kajitsu is one of the best VNs I have ever played, but there’s atleast 3 routes with top notch stories. How will the anime pull this off?

  16. KF
  17. Damn Mr.Standoffisman is buff. I mean I knew but I didn’t understand how ripped he was! Btw, that moment when I finally realized Amane has the same VA as Sumika (Muv-Luv), I was like DAMN I know whose route I reading next!

  18. After seeing the first few moments of Sakaki Yumiko, i was instantly reminded of Kurugaya Yuiko from Little Busters.. And oh man, it was such a crazy moment when i heard Yumikos voice. It’s none other than Tanaka Ryouko. That was so cool.

  19. https://randomc.net/image/Grisaia%20no%20Kajitsu/Grisaia%20no%20Kajitsu%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2007.jpg Megane Titan?!

    Story? What story? Don’t understand what is supposed to be happening, I didn’t read the synopsis, I rarely do, I like to go in blind. The story is still supposed to make some kind of sense though.

    Yuuji works for some shady organization or the government or what? He obviously has a sniper rifle so maybe he’s an assassin.

    Maybe it’s starting to be like Akuma no Riddle, where Yuuji gotta kill some girls for whatever reason. Why else would you come to school with a gun?


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