“Are Goblin Pouches Filled with our Dreams?”

「ゴブリン袋には俺たちの夢がつまっているか」 (Goburin-bukuro ni wa Oretachi no Yume ga Tsumatte iru ka)

Part One – The Little Details of Everyday Life:

I think I’ve pretty much figured what Grimgar is all about. Going by these first three episodes, there is a pattern emerging, with the first part to the equation being the details of living in the fantasy world. As I’ve said before, I love a show that focuses on the little things and gives life to the world that the characters inhabit. While the actual characters aren’t the most original, the world of Grimgar feels vivid and striking. The gorgeous watercolour backgrounds do help, but being able to see the merchants at work, the characters marking their map as they go further into their quest, the little animals that wander the streets, the quest for new underwear, or the meticulous efforts that go into making breakfast – it all makes this world feel lived in. Some people may not appreciate the slow, careful pacing, but for what we’re getting in return I don’t have that much to complain about. I just hope that skeptics will not apply the 3 episode rule here, when we’re still in the beginning stages of the story.

Part Two – Perverse Tendencies:

I’ve been fairly positive with everything Grimgar, but I must bring up my one major gripe with the show, which just so happens to be second part to its formula: the prevision of teenage boys. We got a five minute conversation in the first episode that felt like it was pandering more than anything else; the second episode had the bath peeping scene, which we never actually saw occur; but this third episode dragged it out more than I would have liked. While I’m usually a fan of the simple, easygoing conversations that the characters have with one another, I found it very difficult to care about the peeing being brought up again and again. In the end, all of this is because of Ranta, who I imagine is everyone’s least favourite character at this point. Whether it’s intentional or not, his perverse tendencies are becoming tiring, especially when there’s so much more worth focusing on. Less of that, please.

One thing I do appreciate (though not that much) is how the fanservice is portrayed through Haruhiro’s eyes. There may be a few exemptions to the rule, but it struck me that all the boob and ass shots up until now have been because that is what Haruhiro is looking at. He’s not as outwardly skeevy as Ranta, but the camera does linger on certain shots for longer than I would prefer. It’s a smarter way of incorporating those scenes – rather than just shoving boobs in of a generic, limp harem protagonist – but I would much prefer if we spent less time ogling the girls’ arses and instead got to know them more as characters.

Part Three – Killing for a Living:

The final – and best – part to the Grimgar formula is murder. This isn’t your typical shonen action where fighting is cool and has us in awe. Here, violence is frowned upon. It’s a necessity to live in this world, and the characters have accepted that, but I love that their killings are framed as murder. So far they’ve only been able to take on goblins (the weakest creeps in Grimgar), and once again we saw them pounce on a defenceless goblin who was just minding his own business, sleeping in the shade of a ruined city. It’s painful to see them killed, because they clearly want to live just as much as our ‘heroes‘. It’s horrible to watch, but that’s intentional, and something that’s very rare in not just anime, but in any storytelling medium. War and violence and action is often framed as being awesome or inspiring, but once in while we get to see it for what it is, and Grimgar is capturing that perfectly.

Overview – What’s Next?:

Although I like this episode quite a bit, it was probably my least favourite of the three. We didn’t learn anything new, but rather confirmed what sort of series Grimgar is going to be. Ranta’s contributions to the series don’t have me thrilled, but there’s more than enough to keep me intrigued. By the looks of it, we’re going to meet some new characters next week, which will hopefully provide more variety than this episode offered. We can only see innocent goblins getting killed for so long…



  1. The one thing I like from the peeping part is the fact that it actually affected the boys-girls relationship for a short while. In most fiction, they usually just act as if nothing has happened once the peeper(s) got the beating.

    1. Yeah, that’s why I didn’t mind the peeping actually. It wasn’t played for fanservice (we didn’t see anything). It was played for relationship-building. We learned more about Ranta (he’s the worst) and more about Haruhiro (he’s a fairly normal, but at the core decent guy). The characters are not really made to be individually impressive. The key here is clearly in their interactions, and the peeping allowed for that. Also, despite being brought up, the episode had a fair amount else going on. Murder, exploration, haggling, cooking.

      Basically this is fantasy slice of life. I’m okay with that.

    2. I think the whole peeping thing poses a important question: Are the boys in the group seeing the girls as just ‘girls’ or as characters?

      Of course Ranta don’t care much for their opnion, shown by the fact he didn’t even apologise for his actions, and if he is the least favorite character because of it, it’s a good thing. If we didn’t yet got to know the girls as characters is because Haruhiro don’t see them as characters, didn’t interact with them, being separeted from them as the rest of the boys on his group.

      It’s one thing that most anime lack, the perception that guys will be guys, open/close perverts or otherwise, but we must learn to see girls as persons as we grow up, and its nice to see Haruhiro going down this path.

  2. As a former teenage boy, who had a lot of friends that were teenage boys, I can confirm that teenage boys are indeed horndogs. When you’re 14 in pre-internet days and you hear about the “legendary secret peephole” to the girl’s locker room (there was none), you and your friends will devote quite a bit of time to finding it. You will also stare at girls with short skirts, or if they’re showing cleavage. It’s just something you do.

    I’m not a huge fan of too much fan-service in anime, but here, like you say, it’s shown through Haruhiro’s eyes. If they’re sticking to the nitty-gritty of these characters, then yes, a teenage boy will look at what he’s looking at. Quite frankly, it’s actually subdued here compared to a lot of other shoes, so it shouldn’t be that much of an issue.

  3. I know their mindset is still “monster = bad, so kill it for loot,” but with this show in particular I really wish someone would ask the question of why this is the only job they can do. Even just a quick hand-wave to call it population control would be something, cause that’s the only point I’m stuck on. They were brought to this world and are forced to fight, why?

    I know that’s obviously a plot-point we’ll get to later, but it bugs me how the lack of choice wasn’t and still isn’t being addressed.

    1. This comment seems way off-track. They’ve made pretty clear that their mindset is NOT to just kill bad monsters. They’ve mused that the goblins want to survive repeatedly. As for why it’s the only job, that is a bit more questionable. I swear they DID mention that it’s population control at least once (I’d have to go re-watch), but that doesn’t explain why they have to do this. They got training to fight. COuldn’t they have joined the merchant’s guild?

      1. I meant the character’s mindset, not the show’s. The show is doing a good job of showing that the characters should be a lot less okay with what they’re doing, while the characters are adapting really fast. Even the last episode wasn’t about them killing what they saw as an intelligent being, just that they killed something that wasn’t exactly an animal.

      2. Edit: ah, sorry, you meant what Manato was saying about the goblins. To me, even after that it never really seemed like they saw the goblins as “intelligent” in any more of a way than a wolf is intelligent. It’ll fight back and run when it’s cornered. And killing one for the first time seemed different to the characters than to the viewers. For the characters it was hunter’s remorse, but they need to keep doing it so they became okay with it. For the viewers the fact that this is always murder is always there. I meant that they kinda talked themselves into the mindset of the goblins were bad, so it was okay to kill them, because that’s what they need to do. They don’t want to accept the reality that they’re invading other “people” because they need their money.

        Seriously questionable occupation to force on rookies to the world itself.

      3. About the goblins, while I do believe they’re intelligent and want to live and all that, I don’t for a second think they’re not ‘bad.’

        I’m well aware that this is me putting words in the show’s mouth (which I generally hate doing) but I’d say it’s fairly safe to say that the goblins do at least kill humans willfully. They’re intelligent enough to run if they’re outnumbered, but I don’t think they could talk it out or anything. While these goblins are intelligent, I don’t think we should take it further than the show wants. Goblins=bad is I’m pretty sure still true.

        As for whether they’re ‘invading,’ that’s a complex question because we don’t understand the world or history, and even in our world that’s far less black and white than people like to act. Today we have the luxury of knowing what the whole world looks like and where pretty much everyone lives. Back in the day they didn’t, and so the idea of who owned what, where was much greyer. Are the humans ‘invading’ goblin lands? Maybe? But that doesn’t mean the goblins haven’t, won’t, or aren’t invading human lands. I think the idea here is that violence has a cost and it is not pretty; I don’t think we’re supposed to be wondering about the morality of goblin-killing.

    2. It is politics. Goblins and humans fight for the same territory. That ruined city were the goblins live was a human city that was conquered by goblins and humans want it back. It is a long war of conquest and reconquest. If they were not fighting for the same territory it is possible they were neutral to one another or maybe allied. We can imagine that some other races can be allied to humans because they don´t fight for same territory.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      With the relation to other jobs the players can get, it is not possible. Medieval place, the job for kids will be apprentice, so they will be practically slaves. They have no parents for help them to survive. The “voluntary” is basically a big lie.

      They are a cheap influx of soldiers for the war. No family, no one will care if they die. And they pay for their training and gear. Better that train a soldier for some years and pay for their armor and weapons and food. And the merchants have a profit, they will resell at better prices at other human cities what they buy from adventurers.

      João Carlos
      1. It’d be nice if the show confirmed some of this. We didn’t get a reason why the city was abandoned, just that it was. And given that only outcast goblins hang out there, they can’t still want it that badly.

      2. This is one of those things where I think the story struggles with its video-game trappings against its more straight-fantasy trappings. Are the goblins the ‘weakest mob’ or are they a fairly intelligent enemy army that can and does conquer human cities and have some level of organization? The answer is probably a bit of both, but the key is that the idea of the ‘weakest mob’ is simply unnecessary in a story that’s not a video game. Let monsters be monsters. Don’t worry about levels. This story drops so many of the video game trappings that it really stands out when they leave a random one in.

      3. Show Spoiler ▼

        João Carlos
  4. I think an important distinction with Ranta is that of a terrible character vs. a character that’s supposed to be terrible. He is absolutely a jerk and an ass, in no particular order, but thusfar Ranta has spurred most of the tension in the party. Without him the only particular issue the party would have is Shihoru’s borderline androphobia, which would also be less of a point of contention without Ranta since Haruhiko, Manato, and Moguzo are far less apt to put their foots in their respective mouths. He may not be anyone’s favorite character, and rightfully so, but he’s still an important character that’s creating a lot of the conversation within the cast and among us viewers.

    Purple Bomber
    1. @Purple Bomber: You make a good point about Ranta being essentially the only source of tension in the party, but I have to question the need for that. As I noted in my TL:DR post, their situation alone could provide plenty of opportunity for discussion among the characters and some internal strife – especially when things don’t go well. That being said, another purpose I think Ranta serves is that when you have a group of strangers forced into a group, it would be unusual if all of them get along perfectly well, that there are no personality conflicts. So yeah, he’s irritating (my least favorite), but as you say, his character does serve a meaningful role. I just hope that the tension in the group isn’t always just caused by peeping. >_>

    2. I agree with this entirely. Ranta’s very clearly meant to be terrible. We are not supposed to like him. That’s the point. This is a group of random people. Not a group of friends. It makes sense that there would be one or more among them who is unpleasant, like any gathering of random people.

    3. A lot people are pointing out that Ranta is the way he is for a reason, which I think may be the case. But at the same time, it’s disappointing that he sticks out like a sore thumb. As I’ve mentioned, the rest of the cast aren’t particularly interesting just yet, but Ranta definitely stands out for all the wrong reasons.

      Will we grow to like him eventually, perhaps? I have no idea, we’ll have to wait on that one.

    4. What evidence is there that the author knows that he’s terrible? He’s not even spurring as much tension as he should be, what I remember is him getting slapped then the two girls talking about how they should open up to the boys.

    5. Well, it is a bit worrying when the author have to throw in an especially/unrealistically annoying person such as Ranta to create tension. Says something about his (in)ability to drive the story really.

      As Daikama pointed out, for a group of strangers to be thrown together, there got to be tensions, even non of them are as annoying as Ranta. Yet the author was not able to depict those frictions and have to throw in Ranta to create some artificial ones.

  5. Somehow the last 3 episodes seem to be preparing us for the “goodbye Manato” story xD or at least that’s the feeling I’m getting! A huge death flag was raised here xD If not death, it is still something not good..

  6. When will they stop the freaking fan service. I hate it when they spend more than 5 minutes talking about breast size, no pantsu, and any sexual related scenes.

    They only have 13 episodes for this. Make it count dammit.

    1. They’re being true to the source. I wish more series did that instead of making bad rush adaptations because they’re worried about getting to the “right parts” of the story. Nothing wrong with one cour being being just 1 or 2 volumes if the story fits, and this one does.

    2. Anime’s hard on you, isn’t it? This is not a fanservice show. Close your eyes and click on a random anime title in a list and there’s a 70 or so percent chance that it has WAY more fanservice than this show. This is possibly the tamest fanservice I’ve seen in an anime that is both made for boys(at least partially, as opposed to shoujo) and has romance.

      1. It has romance? You wrong. And tamest fan service? Wrong again. Take a look at one punch man. Pointless girl ass closeup shots and other fuck-taku pandering silly fanservice scenes ARE indeed annoying and ruin the show.

  7. Like Samu (and many others) I’m loving the slow pace. Honestly, more LN adaptations should follow the example of Grimgar and Rokka no Yuusha in this regard. Granted it wouldn’t work with every LN ever though. Adaptations line this also make the age-old 3 episodes rule kind of moot too in my opinion (never liked the idea of that in the first place though).

    One odd directional choice I find here is how the show handles fan service compared to the LN: first they improve the bath peeping (this was much more drawn-out and worse in the source) but then add the whole no-pantsu/skirt thought by Haruhiro (I don’t remember that from the LN which means it either was anime original or so quickly skimmed that it didn’t stick to mind as the bath peeping. Or that I have bad memory which isn’t untrue either).

    Also, while overall the characters are still pretty bland, some of them are finally starting to show more distinct and interesting personalities. Ranta was always Ranta, but this time the highlight for me is Yume. Her talk with Haruhiro was quite nice. And her being a sort of sister-figure to the more timid Shiroru is nice to see.

  8. I’d say a better episode than last one, but IMO issues remain. Short version is that despite some reservations, I’m in. I really like the premise here of normal RL people (not their characters) get thrown into RPG world and have to survive. The start has been slow, but Rokka no Yuusha started off slow and that turned out well IMO. So while I’m not as enamored of the show as some, it does have my interest and makes me think about it. Quite a bit actually which is why I’m putting the rest of my comment in a spoiler due to length.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. I kinda agree, but I never really thought they saw the goblin as an intelligent being, more of less than that but still above an animal. So “murder trauma” is a bit of a stretch. More like a step above standard hunter’s remorse. They just needed some time to adjust to the fact that their job was killing things that looked relatively human, but still aren’t. The audience sees the full horror of what they’re doing because we accept the goblin as intelligent, while they’re looking away from that fact because it isn’t like they have the choice to stop.

      The first kill takes a lot out of a person as long as it’s bigger than rodent.

      1. @Aex: You raise a fair point about how the characters might perceive goblins and whether this is “hunter’s remorse”. If that is indeed the case, then sure, I can see it being less traumatic (and easier to get over) then “goblin murder”. That being said, I still don’t like the song-insert montage (with no dialog voice over) as a way of handling the situation, but I know other disagree.

        Problem I have with that theory is that IMO the anime goes well out of its way to “humanize” goblins. I mean look at this screen cap. That’s a very “human-like” depiction – toasting drinks around a camp fire. Just the fact they wear clothes to cover certain body parts, use weapons & other equipment, can build fires and understand the value of money (they do gather coins) are all signs of intelligence. On top of that is the announcement at the end of Ep. 02 to “check out a ‘Goblin’s Journey'” on the official website. I haven’t looked at that, but just the announcement and phrasing (journey) alone along with the depiction sure seems to indicate a “goblins are people too” theme. Then there’s the way that whole scene played out in Ep. 02. Subjective interpretation to some extent for sure, but certainly something a lot of viewers picked up on, including a “this is murder” theme.

  9. It’s interesting to compare Grimgar to Kono Subarashii Sekai because both have a fantasy-world survival aspect in their plot. The major difference is that Grimgar plays this seriously, while KonoSuba plays it for laughs and parody.

    Grimgar isn’t the author’s 1st work though. He wrote an earlier LN series, Bara no Maria/Rose of Maria; which revolved around the adventures of the androgynous mercenary Mariarose. Lasted for 21 volumes. Has anyone read that one before?

    1. I find the two interesting companion series, not only to each other, but to this whole type of show. I’m not going to say either is my new favorite. They both work almost as response shows to me. Grimgar is what if you really sat down and thought about it, while Kono Sekai is what if you laughed at the absurdity of it.

      I think the ‘best’ version of this show is still season 1 of Log Horizon. If that show hadn’t kind of whimpered through its second season it would be my favorite hands down. It balances the slice of life with the action and some of the humor better than these two do, but I think these two have each chosen their POV, and I like shows with that sort of confidence. Grimgar and Kono Sekai both strike me as very confident shows.

    2. It is interesting that we get both Grimgar and Konosuba in one season. Fans of this sub genre are likely to be pleased, since they both offer something a little different (and deal with the characters’ situations in completely different ways). I really like both of them and it will be fun to compare them as time goes on.

      1. Show Spoiler ▼

      2. Show Spoiler ▼

        João Carlos
    1. All that pointless drama is a worse letdown than horribad pacing. I feel like they’re really dragging it down a lot with pointless scenes. Maybe they could have done everything in a couple of episodes

  10. The first half was pretty boring (we already know they’re poor, they can show that from time to time, but don’t need to spent half of episode on it). The second half was much better and more creative.

    I just hope the red hair guys grows up. It’s getting harder to watch this anime with a annoying guy like him in the main group. Like, the other characters are having nice conversation with an interesting dialogue, and then comes this guy: “EEEEEEEEEEEEEH, GIRLS NAKED, GET NAKED GIRLS I WANNA SEE EVERYTHING, I’M SO AWESOME, I’M THE BEST, I DON’T NEED TO LEARN ANYTHING, MY ONE SKILLS IS ENOUGH UEUHEHUEHUEHUEUHEUHE”.

    Really, WTF is a character like this doing in this show?

  11. You know what i’ve realised.

    I get that the characters have all formed attachments to Manato.. whether its a brotherly/camraderie/validation/leadership/or in the case of Shihoru… first love/romantic feelings

    which will render(and I’m going on my best guess here..)his likely loss to the party a dramatic and destabilizing turn of events.

    but for me as the viewer.. i don’t get it. His character is perhaps the least developed… his loss would likely affect me little.. aside from its implications for the other characters going forward.
    in a way.. hes a plot vehicle.. and i sort of resent that…


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