「エンジェリック・ハウルIII」 (Enjerikku Hauru III)
“Angelic Howl III”
Why would you even consider doing pantyshots in a scene like this? And in a story about humans losing to their Id and succumbing to their base urges, too. Bah. Those of you playing the Grisaia no Kajitsu Unintentionally Ironic Use of Fanservice Drinking Game need to start chugging.
A miserable pile of secrets
So yeah, base urges. I’ve heard that there’s nothing quite like mortal danger to really turbo-charge those reproductive impulses, which may explain those strange auto-erotic accidents you see in police reports from time to time. What I do know is that when I get hungry I feel a powerful compulsion to eat. That feels pretty natural. Sex and food is about as primal as desires get, and maybe it’s fine to accept that the homo sapien is an animal like any other. But there has always been this lingering view that there is something more to the human condition, such that a slew of literature attempting to create a concept of a ‘noble savage‘—a fundamentally good human being untouched by civilisation—forms a large part of the Classical library. A different philosophy proposes that humans have an obligation to elevate themselves about common animals, and must constantly challenge itself on points of honour and morality in order to do so. ‘What is a man?’ is an age old question that writers of all stripes have attempted to tackle. Just watch Hamlet if you want to hear Shakespeare go on and on about it.
Obviously, Grisaia no Kajitsu is of a much more cynical, Lord of the Flies school, in which humans bereft of the necessary constraints of civilisation devolve into beasts. Kazuki, in fact, calls those who have crossed the social boundaries ‘demons‘, which is why she does not resort to cannibalism (that, and probably a fear of tricky prion diseases). That may be a bit harsh of her, considering all the suffering the girls had gone through before they got that way; Kazuki evidently draws bright lines when it comes to morality, perfectly comfortable with eating dog but strictly refusing the long pork. How justified the girls are in eating the friends I’ll leave for individual viewers to decide themselves. The point Grisaia no Kajitsu is trying to get across, I think, is simply a demonstration of how desperate people can get, how they can be broken in mind and spirit, and how humanity can be systematically stripped away. So it’s a bit more idealistic than Lord of the Flies; in that, civilisation fell away as a matter of course, while in Angelic Howl it had to be tortured out of the girls. Peachy.
Peeking outside the garden ~ looking ahead
And so ends Angelic Howl, but not the Amane route as a whole. Grisaia no Kajitsu has shown us how Amane got to be the way she is today, and now it’s time to do something with that character development. Character development is the reason why Amane feels like such a soft sack of uselessness in Angelic Howl. I must admit when reading the visual novel I got a bit frustrated with how much of a deadweight Amane was, but it’s for the purpose of showing growth. She also serves to soften Kazuki’s character; Kazuki was certainly capable of escaping by herself, but still chose to assist extra baggage like Amane. As cold as Holmes can be, he’s still loyal to his Watson.
Next week, I presume we’ll deal with the resolution of Amane’s psychological scars, make use of this creep, and generally bring Grisaia no Kajitsu to a close. I’m honestly surprised that we’ve spent this long on Amane; I guess the decision was to adapt one route fully, and leave the rest more abridged. The effect of the extra effort really shows. Even though the animation budget has gotten no higher, and I’ve already spoiled myself with the VN, I still found the escape sequence, and Kazuki’s sacrifice, pretty intense. A lot of it is due to an attachment to Kazuki and Amane after about forty minutes of Angelic Howl. The rest is probably due to the music; it was more dramatic than anything I remember from the VN, and probably fished from a later game specifically for this climax. I’m a sucker for melodrama. Seeing bright, blue sky again, even if accentuated by a derpy, hysterical Amane, was actually relieving. That extra time used to build up tension and atmosphere certainly helped; I just wish that the other routes had this much time as well.
Hopefully, when Amane will also finish on a relative high note, so that Grisaia no Kajitsu gives us at least one route we can look back on and feel relatively pleased about. Let us just feel good about Amane for now. She, at the expense of her Mihama classmates’ routes, has done it. She’s made it to a full four episodes. And she’s not just won herself a Yuuji; she’s won a lifetime supply of Yuuji. Amane: 2, Everybody Else: 0.
ED3: 「Rainy veil」 by やなぎなぎ (Yanagi Nagi)