“Sky Dancing with Ash”

「灰の舞う空へ」 (Hai no Mau Sora e)

Tense Fights, Learning New Skills:

This episode is a game changer. There’s one moment we’re all going to be talking about, but before that there’s some other details worth mentioning. For one, the casual slice of life element of the show is still present, although less so compared to the previous episodes. The opening scene with Manato and Shihoru was apparently anime-original, but it served as a pleasant starter for the meaty main course that was to follow. We’ve seen hints of these two liking one another, and that is pretty much confirmed when they tripped and fell (without a boob grab!) and they had their first proper conversation. It was sweet, slow, and very pretty. The other moment like it was when Yume talked about her wolf god. Ranta stopped her to ask what the point of the story was, and it turned out there wasn’t, which I found amusing. Like Miyazaki Hayao once said, you need breathing space – you need moments of quiet so you can understand the characters more. Not every conversation has to be contrived to fit in X amount of exposition; sometimes people just ramble aimlessly, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

In saying that, we did get plenty of exposition as well, as Haruhiro went over the new skills that everyone was learning as they each got their chance to show off their abilities. If Grimgar were paced like most LN anime adaptations, I would have expected this scene in the first episode, which would have been too much, too soon. But four episodes in, this feels like the right time to get told these worthwhile details. Everyone’s getting better (Shihoru stood out the most to me) and we were subject to some crisp animation and lovely panning shots during the action scenes, in what I’d say was the second best-looking episode after the premiere.

Death of the Healer:

Now, let’s talk about it: Manato’s death. I noticed some LN readers couldn’t contain themselves, while plenty of us anime-only viewers already saw it coming. The death flags were aplenty from the premiere. After all, Manato was the leader of the group (presumably the oldest) who took care of everyone and seemed to keep everything afloat. Last week’s preview was too much of a giveaway for this to be a complete surprise, but that doesn’t matter. I’ve read people say they felt his death lacked impact or they didn’t get emotional over it, to which I say: exactly! I’m pretty sure that’s just how we’re supposed to feel. This isn’t a beloved character we’ve been following for years; this is someone we know barely anything about – just as much as his fellow teammates – and so his death serves more as a reminder of the grim reality of Grimgar. In many series like this, when a character bites the dust they usually respawn a few miles away with some damaged armour or lost memories. Here, there’s a real sense of danger whenever things get action packed. Simply put: people die when they are killed.

The whole scene with the goblin ambush was brilliant, as the OST got louder and more dramatic as things got worse. By the looks of it, there’s a goblin party with a similar makeup to our main characters, which makes this whole thing rather ironic. The last two episodes we saw goblins being killed by the river or in their sleep, whereas this time around we have the humans caught off guard, and just like with the goblins, it results in death. Manato always seemed to be too involved in the action (considering he was the healer), and he appeared to heal the most minor wounds, which likely weakened his stamina and aided in his demise.

I found it interesting that the enemy archer didn’t shoot him in the head when he had the opportunity, but instead got him in the back and made him suffer. The desperate attempts to save him in the forest were just as intense as the fight sequences; Manato was too weak and unable to reach his back to heal himself. Everyone was in a panic, and before they could do anything, he was gone. If anything, Manato’s death was perfectly fitting to the pace we’ve come to expect from Grimgar. It could have been a dramatic, tear jerking moment, but instead it just kind of happened. He suffered, they were too late to do anything about it, and just like that… he died.

Dealing with Loss – How Will They Move Forward?:

For me, the true impact came when Manato’s lifeless body was brought to the Head Priest. It was a sombre to watch him stroke his face and declare him dead, as his teammates begged desperately for a way to bring him back. This calls back to the first episode when everyone was told that death was final; it was a subtle line caught in the middle of a longer speech, so I suspect not many people picked up on it or thought much of it. But now we know for certain that there’s no coming back from the grave. With that, having a healer is more important than ever – just as important as having a leader. Right now, Haruhiro and company have neither. It will be very interesting to see how this affects them all, as each had their own relationship with Manato. Haruhiro’s desperation and anger was brilliant to watch, whilst Shihoru’s despair was saddening. Just as she was opening up to him, she was left alone again. Perhaps this is my bias for magic classes showing, but I’m most keen to see how she grows from this. She’s been fairly timid and underused so far, but this could be the chance for her – and everyone else – to get some proper development.

Overview – What’s Next?:

I knew it was coming, but it still hurt. The first half of the episode was both informative and exciting; the art has improved, and it’s good to see them taking down three goblins at once. This is bound to be the turning point of the series as everything has been building up to this moment. It will be interesting to see how everyone reacts to this unfortunate event, and I’m thrilled to be blogging it!

Full-length images: 30, 33, 34, 35.



End Card


    1. Huh? So characters dying is cliche now? I could point to at least 20 other anime this season that are less original than Grimgar. Honestly you’d be hard pressed to find a ‘trapped in an MMO/fantasy world’ anime like this. There is a lot that separates Grimgar from the crowd, so I’m not seeing this ‘unoriginal’ argument.

      1. I haven’t read the LN nor do I know what’s going to happen in this series but the pacing of the show really reminds me of shows like Haibane Renmei and other melancholy shows. Sure there’s action but the whole atmosphere is very well done.

        Going out on a limb with this prediction but:
        The kids are actually all from broken families or have suffered some kind of unfortunate circumstance that ended them here to be reborn. Possible hints of this might include why Yume always eats fast, perhaps she’s never had enough to eat in her previous life. Or perhaps why Shihoru is very shy and has difficulty opening up to people? Perhaps she was bullied for being fat and she ended up committing suicide.

        TL;DR Predicting that all of the kids were unfortunate kids who ended up getting reborn in this new world.

      2. Yeah, not only it was a cliche.

        They pretty much followed the formula: “Make the characters seems like a nice guy, make him look like a reliable to the rest of the group, and then… KILL HIM!”.

        C’mon, that’s so easy. So easy that we all knew he was going to die.

        If you don’t think that’s a cliche, then I imagine you still young and haven’t really watched a lot of anime or read a lot of books. So that’s why you get impressed by bad storytelling like that. Because it feels fresh to you, even if it’s not fresh at all.

        I mean, “I can point to 20 anime this season that are less original than Grimar”. LOL. I don’t think you can’t because Grimar is as generic and cliche as you can get (sorry, but just because the anime has drama, it doesn’t mean it’s original), but even if you could… It doesn’t mean the show is not cliche. I can freakin’ point to 500 anime from all seasons that are more original than this (Hell, even more than 500, much more).

        But I don’t even need to go that far. Let’s talk about DEATHS only. Hunter x Hunter, that is a very recent anime had really impacful deaths and touching scenes. Full Metal Alchemists also had some good deaths.

        Even freakin’ Naruto had better deaths than this. Much better by the way. Naruto may not be Shakespeare, but Asuma and Jiraya deaths were two examples of good storytelling.

        And then you have stuff like Legend of The Galactic Heroes… I really recommend watching that so you can really see what a good story and good characters look like. And let me tell you, don’t look like Grimar.

      3. By the way, this is how the next few episodes are gonna go (by the way, I didn’t watch the preview):

        EPISODE 5

        Everybody is sad at home. Looking at the walls. They don’t wanna do anything, not even talk to each other. At some point, they’re going to have a fight or something. And they’re gonna have doubts about what they should do and all that. Then they’re gonna spend some time alone… You know, to think about stuff.

        EPISODE 6

        After being separated for a few days, they’re gonna reach to the conclusion they need to stick together, they’re like a family afterall. And then they’re gonna have a dramatic moment together, they’re gonna cry, they’re gonna grow as group. They need to, for their former leader! In his honor!

        Or they’re gonna go the Dragon Ball route and train their bodies and souls, and only come back they feel they are manly enough. And then they’re gonna have that dramatic moment.

        EPISODE 7

        Now they’re fine, fighting monsters and all that good stuff. It’s time to leave the city and expand the story, you know.

      4. I LoGH you could see death of certain someone (around ep 25) from miles away. Does it make it cliche?

        In Grimgar it wasn’t supposed to be unexpected so no wonder you are not surprised. Hinted and obvious doesn’t always mean cliche. There is nothing cliche in “trapped in a game-/fantasy-like world that is brutal, bloody and harsh” way it presents. The only other anime that tried to do something like that was SAO but it threw it trough the window after 2nd episode to focus on making Kirito into a hero and getting a harem for him. And it also never was even close to what is shown here. I don’t know any other anime that instead of showing otakus wet dream gives you a nightmar in which your average otaku would wet himself.

      5. I feel like I need to issue a reminder of what Samu said explicitly in the review post: Manato’s death wasn’t dramatic or emotional because it was NOT supposed to be. It was cheap, merciless, and unforgiving, true to the situation our Volunteer Soldiers find themselves in as they scrap against goblins in ultimately meaningless battles just so they can put food on the table and have clothes to wear.

        If anything actually was sad, to me it was that Haruhiko really tried like hell to avert Manato’s numerous death flags, only to ultimately fail regardless. The struggle against the plot is cruel…

      6. @Andre : I find it funny that you compared the death of Manato to Naruto, where it has hundreds of episodes to build up Asuma/Jiraiya characterization. Same thing for HxH and LoGH (the latter one had 9 years of airing time to develop things).

        And the fact that you say Grimgar is “pinnacle of generic shows” when PSO2 The Animation and Divine Gate exist shows that you’re spewing hateful things just for the sake of hating this anime.

        I read your argument post, and to me it looks like you’re just trying too hard to look smart by spewing a bunch of cool-sounding buzzwords. And yes the classic ad populum argument “go watch LoGH you uncultured swine”

      7. @Andre
        Having already read the novel…I can say none of your prediction is correct.


        Because they are dirt poor, and dirt poor people have no time to act like your typical, stereotypical emo teens.

      8. @Andre: There’s not much point in trying to dissect your argument. Clearly, you’ve made your mind up about the series. But I will say your predictions are very vague, and based on what little I do know, they’re not entirely correct. So if you stick around you might be in for some more surprises. Perhaps Grimgar might prove itself less cliche than you think it is

      9. Samu you don’t need to explain. It has taken 4 episodes for the first bomb drop of emotion lol.

        Unlike Other Trapped Game Animes this is has it own way of plucking at the heart strings. The beautiful art and the insert song plus deep hitting questions.
        Funny we pay when we are born, we pay when we live and we pay when we die.
        And after we die the people around us pay.

        Life really does suck when you think that we the people are valued not by our individual personality but purely by the worth in gold and interest.

        Whether it Cliché or not what make a great anime is the story and to be fair this is a pretty good story compared to other trapped game animes.

        Can’t wait for the recovery phase.

        Just a quick question if they didn’t know what a mobile was and so then how did they know what tank was I mean when they compared the defensive powers it was likened to a tank.

        Thanks once again for a good review.

    2. It is Grimgar of Fantasy and ASHES, not Grimgar of Fantasy and respawn… that and the slow pace and realism of combats make a lot of diference from other “trapped in a MMO” animes. Sincerely, the group showed a lot more emotions than that guy we will not name showed when he caused the death of all his group.

      Now everyone understand why that “ashes”is important at the title. Take note that if the bodies are not cremated they will return as zombies, that is an important information.

      Well, next week we will see Show Spoiler ▼

      João Carlos
      1. The dead returning as zombies after 3~ days is very interesting and I imagine that will be an important detail down the road. Whether this adaptation gets there, we’ll just have to wait and see. This is really starting to feel like a lengthy ongoing series that deserve more than a 1-cour adaptation.

      2. that’s a hell of an implication for a feudal world with an average population by any stretch of the imagination…

        Especially if there is a significant cost associated with purging the cadaver…

  1. This might be weird but I wondered a bit why Manato didn’t say anything about his injury, or is it really as simple as he just didn’t want his party to worry and them finding out he was injured during their retreat will cause panic and decrease the chances of everyone surviving. Because I’m pretty sure he himself would know if the group lost a healer, then it’s going to be even tougher from here on. And then Samu you did point out that he was weak and he couldn’t reach his injury to heal it. That made me think that maybe when he got shot Manato thought he was already a lost cause since their party had no other healers, and that the only thing he could do was to leave everything to Haruhiko. No wondered he apologized to him.

      1. Wasn’t there something obstructing a view that forced goblin to lower his aim and shoot him in the back? I kind of remember somthing like that. Like a gate or a stone arch.

      2. Either that, or he realized it was a heck of a lot easier to hit an unarmored foe in the torso/center of mass (big target!) than head (a small target!) and modified aim accordingly.

        I wonder if the show would be a lot stronger if it didn’t have all of the silly video game RPG references, though (like picking up “skills” in semi-magical fashion and character classes)?

        Could still be the same thing – bunch of modern world people tossed into a fantasy setting – but it would certainly have a more realistic feel then the current split personality effect the show has.

      3. @Urizithar: I went back and checked and the obstruction was only there for a brief moment. The shots after showed the goblin aiming for his head in clear view before tilting his bow, which makes me think it was intentional on his part. At the very least, he was smart enough to play it safe, which perhaps proves there is some level of intelligence to them.

    1. He definitely decided to shot lower, but honestly, that was kind of strange. The “shoot a spot he can’t heal himself” argument doesn’t make any sense because a well placed head shot would be fatal. Nothing to heal if he’s dead. It could be to make him suffer I suppose. Another reason could be “targeting center mass”. It’s a higher percentage shot (and still possibly fatal) since you have a larger target area.

      1. May not have been going for a head shot. Might have been the goblin was originally aiming for the heart/lungs. Shooting lower not only made Manato’s dying more painful, it also left them with a wounded comrade that they had to deal with, slowing them down.

      2. Games have led people to really over-value headshots. They are not that easy to get in reality, and not even really that necessary. Getting shot in most places will cripple or kill you if you’re not lucky. This is why the military trains people to just aim for center of mass, trying for a headshot is a waste of effort for not particularly more effectiveness.

      3. If I remember my documentaries about Vietnam War right, the guerilla preferably wound and disable an enemy because the opposing group would be too busy trying to save him and get him out of the place and make their escape harder, whereas they may leave the body behind if he is dead (unless that group have a leave no one, even dead, behind policy). I think that’s what Gob Archer tried to achieve.

    2. IMO the goblin just aimed for the easiest to hit spot, and while that did not kill Manato immediately it created a conundrum. The party’s completely outmatched by the goblin ambush, so they have to flee or else they all probably die. Manato was likely aware of this, and had to weigh that fact against the time it would take for him to treat his injury. We’ve seen already that Manato’s light magic can take a few seconds, and prior to that he or someone else would’ve had to pull the crossbow bolt out of his back. Only after that could he reach around to his back and use the healing magic, which would be no small feat between the awkward position and having to focus through the pain (which we saw him fail at in reality). As a result it’s pretty easy to assume that treating his injury immediately would’ve given any pursuing goblins enough time to catch up, and Manato decided instead to try and gut it out… which, of course, did not work in the end.

      So, moral of this episode: good party comp dictates a secondary healer for a very good reason.

      1. As you put it, the goblin party had better team comp and that’s why they pulled it off. Also, they’re probably a lot stronger than them generally speaking. I hope we see more of those goblins in future episodes. Perhaps they’ll have a large bounty on their head or something?

  2. And down goes flagship Minato.
    I actually wanted to learn much more about him. I thought he’d have a reveal of being an alcoholic college dropout or something back in the real world, as a contrast to his kind demeanor in the new world, but alas, that potential is gone now.
    It’s was weird seeing an unimpactful death, even if it does fit the setting of the show.
    I’m interested to see just how dark it will become.

      1. @Worldwidedepp: Where would they go? They can’t survive on their own and what other group would take them? Best I can tell, Manato was the most competent and promising of the group.

  3. The last 2 episodes felt like a 10-min long. Darn, they’re gone way too fast.
    I couldn’t see Manato’s death as totally predictable as he is (was) the solid foundation of this group. It’s like losing the solo healer in the middle of the boss fight (well, it certainly looked like it). Though the death flags were there, they blended well with a proper conversation, which made the end seems a bit more special to me.

    And I’m crazily interested as to what was Manato’s opinion about Haru’s character, Manato definitely saw a leader I still can’t see, but maybe it was because our good priest was in spotlight. Definitely watching the next steps of this adventure.

      1. Well, I know what he thinks of Haru, but “Sorry, take care of them” is not what I was thinking of when posting the message, I was wondering about that moment where all pros and cons are said about each of them. It would be fun to hear that, but I think not knowing may make us take our decisions about Haru by ourselves, which is pretty exciting as well.

      2. I think that’s what João Carlos means. Manato could have been saying sorry because he never got the time to explain himself, perhaps? As some others have said, I think Manato was grooming him to be the next leader/second in command. I’m sure Haruhiro will have to be the leader now, unless someone else steps forward (though no one else seems suited for the role).

      3. Since Manato actually grasps everyone’s nature in the short time they have spent together. He knows Haruhiro has ability to lead but tends to overthinking stuffs which would put too much burden on him if he’s actually the leader. That’s why the “Sorry” part. He didn’t want to have Haruhiro leads the group but now that he has no choice.

  4. I know that he will die from the start. He should die cause he is nice and handsome one of the ain cast. Not the cruel enemy you can hate or stupid type of the guy you can hate. Well, nothing new here.

    It was first. And second. Why boys feel sorrow and look normally while girls crying in arms of each other, and their clothers draw each contur of their bodies? Isn’t it strange? Isn’t it cruel? One guy is dead while other guys in front of monitors staring at girls bodies… This duality pisses me off.

      1. The fact is that Haruhiro have a lot of problems to make anything and take any decision, so he is not the ideal leader. Take note that he was asking to Manato what to do while Manat was dying. Haru is not the hero type.

        João Carlos
      2. Of cause, it won’t be interesting if he was cool from the start. Manato was nice guy who should die for the sake of Haruhiro’ growing. Even first scene was not for the two but only for Shihoru. She will be sad, she will be cute, she need development.

        Author manage to kill Manato from the start. It is shounen. Cute girls+main character who is cool (all girls are his toys) or like Haruhiro (boys can associate him with themselfes). Our guys are: enemies, not cool friends, stupid, cruel. No rivals, no stolen girls – this is a law.

    1. A manual for Manato for next times:

      – choose another group without Haruhiro,
      – eat much as Moguzo,
      – be Haruhiro,
      – be a cute girl.

      Your chances to survive will icrease rapidly.

      Sorry, Manato, try your luck in shoujo next time.

    2. This is silly for so many reasons.

      1. Haruhiro is nice and handsome as well. Hence the fact that they fill the same role in the show and Haru will now have to take over for Manato.

      2. The girls’ clothes are tight yes, but so are Haru’s. This goes back to more of how society views women than how women actually look. It’s the old superhero comic dichotomy. Namor can wear a freaking speedo yet he’s manly-looking while a girl wearing a full body costume, but one made of spandex like nearly every other superhero costume, makes her a sex symbol. I’m not saying she’s not, what I’m saying is the problem is we, as a civilization, not that women in tight shirts balling is somehow more sexual than men in tight shirts balling.

      3. From what I understand (I haven’t read the LNs, but I know a LITTLE bit from various comments), this is not a harem show. All the girls don’t magically like Haru. I could be wrong about that though.

  5. Darn, I knew it was coming, but the feels still hit hard. Harder than when reading the LN actually. Sound and visuals really brought Manato’s death alive as a scene (as ironic as that sounds).

    Manato was too weak and unable to reach his back to heal himself

    Shiroru mentioned something about meditating, so it could be that Manato was out of whatever mp is called in this setting, or maybe it was supposed to be a tip to help Manato focus on his magic. Probably a combination of everything though.

    Also, I think you hit the mark here; it wasn’t meant to be about Manato dying as much it’s about how the others will cope with it. Honestly, this is a pretty refreshing way for anime to handle death as far I’m concerned.

    1. I think you’re pretty much right about the meditation, but my guess is that MP is not the problem, but concentration itself.

      Back in ep.01, when Shihoru is casting the spell and the gob throws a knife or something at her, her magic is dispelled. Probably you need to keep focus on what you are performing, and, well, must be quite hard to keep focused with an arrow on your back and people telling you what to do.

    2. Haru’s VA sold the HELL out of that scene. His ‘NO!'(Though that wasn’t actually what he said in Japanese, but close enough) at the priest was perhaps one of my favorite ‘nos’ I’ve heard in a long time. He didn’t drag it out Vader-style, he didn’t scream at the ceiling, he didn’t do some weird pose. Just a short sharp denial filled with all of his rage at fate and the gods and everything else. That no made my spine tingle.

  6. On the whole I’d say this was arguably the best episode so far. Unfortunately, Manato’s death came as no surprise given the clear spoiler preview last episode (bad anime – stop doing that). Frankly, him complementing the entire party during a very leisurely lunch break was kind of death flag as well. At any rate, once they got into “goblin city” (as I call it), I was waiting for him to get killed.

    Oh, Manato, we hardly knew ye. I’ll forgo the obvious snarky line, but yeah, can’t say there was any emotional impact for me, and going into this episode he was my favorite character primarily because he actually seemed to take the situation somewhat seriously and be proactive about it. But his death was not in vain for two intertwining reasons. First, it does add some gravitas to the entire situation. Granted, it’s not the same as killing off a long time main character, but eh, he’s still a main character. The second is that it solved one of the issues I had going into EP. 04. Realism. It’s amazing given the group’s overall lack of competency that no one died yet. It was also amazing that they could just stroll into “goblin city” day after day, give a hearty “fighto!!”, and then go about business as usual with the goblins acting like nothing was going on. You’d think that the goblins might notice they were being killed off and do something about it. Well, they finally did.

    Ironically, before he died Manato talked about how they had become a “pretty good party”. Um, more like they suck less. Harsh, but think about this. The goblins had better party tactics IMO than this group ever showed. Things like big armored guys in front tanking, DPS characters charging in and out, and, and an archer who actually snipes from a distance and is good at it. Novel concept. Seriously, in a way it make sense that Yume gets a melee skill, but how about the skill of not sucking at archery? Maybe try a crossbow instead. Those seem to work well. The group could have used a good archer when things went wrong. I suppose one could (should?) view all the leisurely lunches and “we’re pretty good now” talk as a way to convey overconfidence prior to things falling apart. At any rate, the group failed to take their situation seriously (RPG 101 – in hostile/dungeon territory, never let your guard down) and Manato paid the price.

    While I’m still not a huge fan of montages (which seem to be a thing for this show. I guess we’ll get some song insert montage every episode), I will say that this one was much better than the one in Ep. 02. Proper emotion clearly conveyed. I also thought the scene at the end with the old priest was handled well. The backgrounds are still nice, but this show also loves its stills rather than animating scenes. Maybe the budget won’t allow for both. One complaint that still remains is how this show treats the whole “amnesia”/from another world plot line (to the extent it exists). Not asking for a lot, but something beyond “I wonder what that word means” to show they have concern about what happened to them, where they came from, etc. by this point. That will obviously be delayed while they deal with Manato’s death, but I do hope that the issue is addressed meaningfully at some point this season. Probably hoping in vain given pacing. :/

    TL:DR = Better episode, and I’m curious to see how the group handles things going forward with no healer and no leader. Not sure what they will do about the former, but Manato pretty much willed the leader position to Haruhiro. Let’s see what he can do with it. If nothing else, they should take their situation with appropriate seriousness now.

    1. Didn’t mention it, but I did notice that. Not surprising given the RPG setting. Wouldn’t be surprised if there were dwarves and such as well. Appreciate the info, but passing on the spoiler because I don’t want to spoil myself. 😀

    2. noted and accepted.. i was never expecting just goblins…

      besides.. i just watched “Dragon Nest” movie.. there’s a lot of elf ear love in that ^¬^ that liya is just too cute

  7. I’m dropping this show.

    The plot and characters don’t feel natural. They’re pretty much forcing some poorly written BS drama in my face


    A dull world, uninteresting characters and a predictable story full of stupid plot devices.

    This is just a mediocre show with a weak plot that’s trying to force some fake sense of drama in order to make it look edge. This is amateur work (and not the good type).

    This episode with the guy dying is laughable. His is pretty much a manual on “how to NOT kill a character in your story”. And for anyone who will be here saying: “you bastared, you know nothing! This is a powerful story and the guy’s was so touching”, just go watch Legend of The Galactic Heroes. There several impacful deaths on that show. Now that is a show with good storytelling… This crap… No.

    1. I fully agree this is no Legend of the Galactic Heroes, but I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt until we see the finale. Personally I’m comparing Grimgar more towards .hack//SIGN as both shows are structurally following similar guides. Both are slow-paced, rely heavily on audience interest in their characters, and will take a while before hitting the “main” story (.hack never really geared up until the latter third for example). Just like .hack, Grimgar is going to live or die by its cast of characters.

      Although Grimgar’s character development here is starting to concern me, I’m holding off judgement for the next couple of episodes. This episode and the last shows Grimgar is hitting all the right motions, but has yet to translate them beyond shock into captivation.

    2. All this long drawn out post just to berate Grimgar like a smartass and here I am just seeing the second coming of the notorious yuri-hater of Hibike Euphoniom blogs.

      If I see you or any of your aliases in the next Grimgar blog, you’re just pitiful.

      And please don’t drag Legend of Galactic Heroes on your tasteless arguments.

    3. You’re wrong. Nothing shown so far were meant to make the audience cry. Not a single thing. We’re still in the introductory part. The author simply conveyed the reality of that world. Something along “Money doesn’t just come to your hand” or “You’ll die if you’re killed” or “The dead will never return to life”. It’s good because all of those were conveyed by showing not narrating. And, whether the audience cry or laugh at the scene is not important at all.

  8. These last two episodes are probably the best ones so far, due primarily to how the denouments are tackled. Last episode for example replaced episode two’s vacuous market peregrinations with dialogue and shortened (time-wise) the segment. Not only did we learn more about the characters through their interactions, but the entire scene did not feel out of place. A critical moment to give some badly needed development to our main cast.

    This episode followed episode two’s approach, but importantly kept the montage short. We do not see the characters wandering aimlessly, rather their grief is tied directly back to Manato’s death through imagery and dialogue. This character-emotion linkage is a critical bit lacking in episode two and the main source of (at least for me) the complaints regarding that episode’s latter half. It indicates episode two is largely a fluke and that Grimgar does have the writing chops to properly flesh out a slow-paced series. There are still nagging concerns about character development (especially regarding Ranta and Haruhiro), but I’ll take everything seen so far as optimism regarding future developments.

    Quite curious to see just where the show takes things from here.

    1. Even in the LN I feel the characterization is a bit of a snag. It feels like the writer got too stuck on the amnesia and he didn’t know what to do to give people that have hidden backstories real depth, or he’s intentionally holding back for when their memories come back. Still, I think the show is doing reasonably well with just their actions.

  9. LOL, too bad for Haruhiro, Manato didn’t say anything about him. I like this show. The pacing reminds me of Rokka no Yuusha.
    Of course, Manato’s death feels nothing to us. He’s a plot device for the other characters to grow, he is the center and leader of the group after all. Cliche? yes but that is a very subjective matter.

    1. thats what i was saying at the end of the last episode..

      and i think they did a good job of carrying the rection/emotion of the other characters to his death… the whole thing was so telegraphed that i was already anticipating every stage.. and so despite the grittyness about the death… it was not as raw for me as it was for the other characters…

      is that good storytelling? hmm i’d prefer it if the death had been more unexpected.. because then i’d be sharing emotions with the characters instead of observing them.

  10. agh manato… it was obviously coming..

    but i have to say.. what the hell… our only healer is also our “vanguard” now i don;t want to get strategic or nothing.. but no.. just no..

    thats foolish… frustrating.. and downright stupid. – he didn;t actually die as a direct result of this… but healers are prime targets in battles… they must be protected.

  11. What a noobs. Buy lesser healing potion next time :). Unfortunately I don’t really like too much drama and slice of life in fantasy, game genre. Slow pacing probably would be ok if this anime would have more than 12 episodes, even 24 is not enough in my opinion. I’ll probably wait and watch this when/if it has 3 or so seasons in one go.

  12. I do not normally make an LN purist “it’s-not-exactly-the-same-so-it-sucks-wah-wah” rant, but this time it really bugs me how Manato’s death is different.

    In the novel, they are not a,bushed. They found some bigger, seemingly better-equipped goblin. They decided to attack anyway since the bigger gob’s armor seems human-sized and they think they could loot it.
    IMO this makes the death impacts a lot less, in the novel it’s entirely their fault and they had to reflect on it. Making it an ambush makes it seem rather ramdom.

    The novel also make it more obvious that Show Spoiler ▼

    (Spoilered because this probably comes up later)

    1. I like this more to be honest. Here, we have a case where it’s hunt or be hunted. The group aren’t the only ones that can hunt down and kill, the goblins can too.

      It brought back the reality that at the end of the day, they might have a good run, but you can’t assume anything, especially in enemy territory. It was a newb mistake that caused Manato’s death, and I liked that. Not that they picked the wrong battle, but a mistake.

      At the end of the day though, both content proved a point. Critical mistakes lead to tragic deaths. It got that point across.

      I also liked the fact that the death came off as random. It’s realistic. People kill randomly everyday and an ambush is even more random considering the hunt or be hunted environment. They weren’t ready when they should’ve been. They took their success for granted, and as a result, it got a friend killed. Now they have to reflect on that. I love it

  13. Hmm. I’d have to say this was the worst episode for me. This could be petty however, the part that really bothered me was after the goblin shot manato in the back, the arrow magically wasn’t there when they showed the group running away. For the sake of consistency, I think they should of panned in on their faces as they ran to avoid that mistake.

    In chapter 4 of the manga, this entire scene was a lot more horrifying and tragic but Haruhiro’s cries of agony (what a great VA) made the scene all the more immersive— every time he gets injured it feels like he’ll die at any moment.

    I think Manato trusted Haru the most, therefore wanting Haru to take his place to keep the group together. Such a shame really, I wonder if his past will ever get revealed. I imagine that he wad the child that was told that he was never good enough even into his adult years. Parents and bosses berating him all the time. Damn, I really liked him. :/

  14. I was expecting a revive spell via shadow magic or something. Wishful thinking. The flags were there but man did that take a sharp turn..

    With an arrow in your back and stressing your body for that long, it’s not surprising he could barely speak.

  15. Did anybody get a Shin Sekai Yori vibe here? Just in physical similarity and Show Spoiler ▼

    I saw this development coming a mile away, but it should be great to see how they react and overcome. Personally, I didn’t feel attached to him because he was sort of a bland character, but it served as an effective plot device and look forward to what’s next.

  16. couple of rants:

    1. most things are cliche. Many things are even cliche storms (star wars anyone?). You are not special for pointing it out and the story is not terrible for it being true. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. People need to accept that you can not like something that is not terrible. It’s not ‘all things I like=good/all things I don’t like=bad.’

    2. You know what death affected me? My uncle dying tragically of cancer and me having to explain to his 5 year old daughter that she’ll never get to see her father again. This is TV. Get over it. If you are grieving for a TV character, that says more about you than the show. If you are not, it does not mean the show is bad or the death was done wrong, it just means it didn’t effect you, whoopty doo.

    3. TV shows are not a competition with the viewer. They do not ‘lose’ the competition if you are able to predict an event. You do not ‘win’ if you have successfully predicted an event and/or resisted the show’s manipulative efforts to tug on your heart strings. Just watch the show. If you like it, keep watching it. If you don’t like it, stop watching it. Don’t go on the internet and get ANGRY at the idea that a show is trying to manipulate you. That’s what media does. Attempt to elicit a reaction. If it doesn’t work on you, whatever, it might work on someone else. That doesn’t mean that you or that person are wrong.

    4. Don’t misunderstand me, shows CAN be bad, but it takes more than ‘I don’t like it’ to make it bad.

    1. Agree that a lot of people don’t get that if the don’t like something it doesn’t make it automatically bad and vice versa, but it seems to me that you are mixing cliches with tropes, and that’s ok i guess, i used to mix them a lot until i took an interest in writing stories and studied the basics of how to build a good story/characters, basically cliches are overused tropes done bad, IMO you can’t really call something a cliche unless it meets those conditions, a trope that has been used countless times and is being used badly now, otherwise it’s just a trope, a tool you use to build your characters, world, plot and/or invoke emotions.

      And the scene of Manato’s death were effective for me not because they were 100% unpredictable but rather because it was a tragic death that could have been avoided if they were more careful and didn’t get too confident, they really underestimated their enemies and paid the price for it, it was also effective because many shows using the same theme trivialized death-in-an-MMO thing like Log Horizon (don’t get me wrong i still loved it), i kept thinking maybe Manato’s teacher had some resurrection magic or something, maybe he was still alive, but no … he was DEAD, that’s it, it’s over for him, reaching this terminal realization alongside the characters made that scene really effective and evocative.

      Also i’m tired of people who think that being “unpredictable” is the make all be all of fiction nowadays, no people … there are many good stories that are well written and has a lot of depth without trying desperately to wow you with unpredictable plot twists all the time, strong fleshed out deep characters and worlds with rich lore and nuanced complexity can make a story very enjoyable and rewarding to watch or read, best example would be Avatar:The Last Airbender, anyone had any doubt Ang and his friends will beat Fire Lord Ozai and prevent his sinister plan from happening at the end of the series, NO .. did i still enjoy the show!? .. HELL YEAH, every damn episode, sometimes it’s really all about HOW not the WHAT.

      1. I would argue fairly heavily that the only difference between tropes and cliches (as you basically said) is whether you personally have decided they’re a bad thing, hence the mixing. I don’t think there’s some objective difference between the two, just your subjective decision on whether this particular use is bad or not.

        I liked the death scene fine. It affected me as much as any of those do (I’ve unfortunately been around enough death in the last few years that death affects me in general, which is annoying). I felt it did what it needed to do and more importantly, whatever various viewers may have felt for Manato, the VAs sold what the CHARACTERS felt for Manato very well.

        As for unpredictability, I agree completely. It’s one of the frustrations I have with Game of Thrones. I don’t hate game of thrones, but I do think a lot of ‘the masses’ like it for the wrong reasons. Game of Thrones has strong world and character building and good use of tension which, yes, is helped by the fact that it’s unpredictable and anyone can die. But it is the first part that makes the fear of death tense, whereas I feel like people focus WAY too hard on the ‘people die’ part as though that somehow magically makes the show better.

        That all aside, Avatar the Last Airbender is one of my favorite shows of all time, just amazing. Korra on the other hand is a show that, while good, IMO lost a bit partially BECAUSE it tried to be more original and ended up being a bit more random and harder to invest in. Both good though.

  17. https://randomc.net/image/Hai%20to%20Gensou%20no%20Grimgar/Hai%20to%20Gensou%20no%20Grimgar%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2029.jpg

    Im surprised how little i felt on manato’s death.

    Am I a heartless bastard?

    Did the the Anime fail at building him to someone I’m suppose to give a damn about?

    I really cant tell.

    The art was still gorgeous and all but did nothing to give me the heart wrenching feeling that I’ve come to expect in these type of scenes.

    How weird

    1. Well this isn’t the type of anime to try and get a tear out of you, its the type that will ruthlessly rob the characters of all their hopes and dreams just when they get their footing

    2. Nothing is weird. Manato’s death wasn’t meant to make the audience cry or anything. It’s meant only to show us that loss means death in that world.

      Actually, if you just read all the comments in this page, you’ll find that someone else has posted how they weren’t ambushed in the LN. They simply attacked another group of goblins but it turned out that they got opponents better than themselves.

  18. When they killed off a character it really surprised me, i didn’t realise that was going to happen. but if i was told someone was going to die than it’s kind of expected that Minato would of been killed, as he was the only one in the group on a different level to all the other characters, they were just growing and catching up.
    What i wan’t to think is that they come back all the stronger next episode, as it looks as if they might get two new additions to the party, they might even seek revenge.

  19. Maybe the party should’ve kept the advice in mind from an old man with a gravelly voice; “Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.”

    I guess this is the other side of the coin in Grimgar. Your enemies are intelligent beings, which makes killing them somewhat distasteful, but on the other hand, it means they can easily outwit you too in the same fashion. Kill or be killed. I guess it had to be Manato to bite the dust to rub that in (saw it coming, anyways).

    His death didn’t affect me that much (though I liked the intro song this time a lot better), but I do wonder what it means for the group going forward and how it affects them. Can’t imagine this didn’t emotionally scar them. Looking forward to the rest of the show, anyways.

  20. The fact that one of the characters died isn’t really surprising and as rightly pointed out, doesn’t really pull at too many emotional strings. It was something you expected given the tone and general feel of the series so far as well as the numerous death flags along the way. In fact, you can even say that it was pulled back as long as possible.

    But aside from shock value that these deaths usually invoke (which isn;t really the case here) I think what this did for the series as a whole is hammer down the point that this isn’t some “Game World” no matter how MMORPG the whole system this is a very real world. Also I think the fact that the body doesn’t shatter into light crystals but stays there to be buried or cremated really hammers down the point that all this is real which I think does wonders looking ahead.

    Not to speak ill of the dead and all but I really wanted to know how Minato really thought of Haruhito given his enigmatic answer last episode where he says he isn’t the type to have friends, you can’t help but feel that his amiable exterior is somewhat of a front and that he, with regard to Haruhito, followed the old adage, “keep your friends close but your enemies closer” Not that I think he was gonna betray them but rather that he probably felt a bit threatened by Haruhito with regard to his position in the Party or with regard to their relation with the other members. One can only speculate tho.

    I also have to say that I like the touch of showing some of the other characters, especially the members of their batch of adventurers showing their respects to one of their own even if he wasn’t part of their immediate party. It also further hammers home the point of the reality of their situation.

    1. Perhaps Minato is simply an introvert who used to keep to himself most of the time. However, considering that he is put in an unfamiliar setting with total strangers who still have not figured out their place in this world, Minato decided, out of reasons only he knows, that he had to rally these people and lead them.

  21. What was really worrying was the fact that nobody else has any healing capability. No potions or herbal remedies. All they did seem to be basic first aid. Their over reliance on healing magic seem quite dangerous.

    Without their healer, it’s doubtful they’ll go hunting next episode. At least it looks like they’ll meet a new one. Looking at her equipment in the preview, it doesn’t look like she’s the same type as Manato though.

    Manato, you’ll be missed. One possible pairing gone for good….

    1. I think this is another one of those things where the fact that this world is ‘real’ wars with its video game tropes. Real combat units don’t have magic healers, they have people trained in first aid and carrying the necessary supplies to hopefully stabilize a wounded soldier until they can be removed from the battlefield or better help can arrive. This goes double for the medieval era when they barely had that.

      The fact they have a healer is a huge boon. Assuming that it works like a video game where they could have an off-healer or carry pots is an assumption that we simply can’t be sure is true in this world until we’ve seen it one way or another. Maybe priests are the only healers and there’s no such thing as a magic potion?

      Also, I read somewhere that the LN makes a bigger deal about the fact that Manato would waste his ‘mp’ healing every little thing; something the anime showed but never really commented on.

      1. The difference with real combat medics is that the supplies they carry can still be used on his/herself. Some of those can be applied by others with minimal guidance. I do think that healing potions seem to be out, but the lack of herbal remedies was surprising. Thought those things might not have helped save Manato’s life. The real world versions that I know of are usually for infection and external bleeding.

        About Manato using up his “MP” or daily divine allowances, I don’t think we could call it a waste. Notice how Haruhiro had trouble breathing from that one arrow shot? None of them went through military basic training. Perhaps he felt those things are necessary to keep the party going. His healing seem to close wounds and relive pain at the same time. Though, I guess we’ll never know the truth.

      2. I’m not really going to get into the exact comparisons of modern military medics since my whole point is that we don’t know enough about the world to make that comparison. People all over this page are judging there item preparation and their class composition and so on and my point is we don’t really know enough to do that.

        About his heals though, Haru getting hit with a freaking arrow is not what I or anyone was talking about. That’s a VERY major wound and exactly the sort of thing he should be healing. What they have established though in the anime (without commenting on) and apparently the LNs actually straight up said, because LNs aren’t exactly known for their subtlety, is that Manato would basically heal scrapes and minor cuts. Which you do see him do a few times in the show.

        Also, getting hit with an arrow should put you down and make it hard to breathe. I actually loved that they actually gave arrows their due. Media always makes arrows seem minor when in reality if you get hit with an arrow you are DOWN.

  22. Honestly, this whole show is reminding me heavily of my Mordheim playthrough. Except, of course, Mordheim is even more brutal because we don’t have a reliable healer anywhere, our warlock’s head is looking mighty squishie, Tzeentch is feeling really bored recently and our enemies are alot worse than mere goblins.

  23. Okay, there were death flags everywhere in this episode and the previous one, with all the focus on Manato and how he worries about his comrades.
    But damn, killing the healer sure cripples the party. Honestly, couldn’t they get rid of Ranta (most expendable, least likeable in the group IMO) or even Haru (because it was hinted that thief skills will be handy later, but so far, zero chests or traps) instead. BTW, if Moguzo is the tank, why is he using a two-handed sword? Isn’t sword and shield the classic tanking startegy?

    1. Look your thinking this is a RPG based world, it isn’t there are no stats and no if you use this class than… in other words a tank uses what ever they find easier to block enemy attacks and keep an enemies attention. So the two-handed sword was a preference for his larger build.

    2. What Zahawk said.

      Also, we have to remember that these people are genre-blind via amnesia. They don’t have knowledge of games to fall back on even if the world did follow all those rules. Their tactics are largely based on common sense and a slow accumulation of experience, not pre-existing understanding of tanks and healers and dps. Presumable their week of training included the basics on what their combat roles should be.

      Also, people need to understand that Ranta’s not likely to go anywhere. He fits a very important role in the story which IS to be difficult and to rile up the party. If he were gone, we’d just have 5 fairly quiet people that all get along pretty well. Characters like Ranta are created by writers on purpose.

    1. even if he was a paladin he still would of died and Harohiro might of as well, have you seen the armour on the characters, its basically non existent still a breastplate would of helped but his healing wouldn’t of lasted as long if he was a paladin so Harohiro might of had to suck up the the two arrows

      1. One would expect Paladins to have not just better armor and weapons than a priest/healer but also defensive magic that allows them to tank and absorb damage for their allies or enchanted armor that can bounce off a couple of attacks before the enchantment goes off, basically trading off some of the potency/variety of their healing magic with better defense and survivability, and it did seem weird to me that Manato kept using his healing magic for every scratch his friends got, we worn himself out too much, i suppose that he was too worryholic and was afraid of losing any of them under his command because he felt keeping them alive was his responsibility (something related to an incident in his past life maybe?)

        In the end his death was to show they are still inexperienced and confused about their new world, they really underestimated the goblins and paid a heavy price for that, well .. you could say one doesn’t learn for free but this time the price was quite steep, so let’s hope they learned their lesson.

    2. Yup, was thinking that myself. Having a priest also be the vanguard is just dumb (unless they were a paladin), but it totally makes sense since these characters are inexperienced and continually make mistakes. This just goes to show that their mistakes have serious repercussions, which isn’t something we see too often in these sorts of show (or in anime in general).

    3. To be a healer in vanguard, one should at least be able to properly self heal no matter the case. In lots of RPGs clerics can become the best tanks. What happened in the chapter made me remember Tsunade’s teachings about medics in ninja squads (from Naruto).
      Manato’s teacher did a terrible job teaching him, someone should have told him.

      His worst error was probably his chosen skill, a mere mace strike… I’m sure there was something better. Stupid Manato!

    4. I said this above, and maybe I’m wrong since I’ve not read the LNs, but people are assuming a bit too much about this world based on the similarities to video games. Do we even know if there is a paladin class in this world? And even assuming there is, do we know if it had a guild located in this town to train them? Also, as PurpleBomber pointed out, the ‘build’ that Manato was clearly going for was the classic D&D cleric (armored frontline healer) which is actually a really powerful class and good at that.

      But this is ‘reality.’ He screwed up and he died. It happens in battle. Before you think of how much better you’ve done in games, remember how many times you died as whatever class you were playing and ask yourself if every game was a ‘hardcore mode’ game where one death meant that character was done, how many of your characters would have made it past level 5?

    5. Cleric or priest? Hmm, Shinpu seem to fit both just fine. Manato’s teacher seem to view him highly though. Makes you wonder how he views Renji’s priest since it looks like she’s from the same guild (same cloths). Considering she’s the smallest, I don’t think she’s a vanguard.

      Starting to want to see Renji’s group for comparisons sake. Already got a goblin party comparison here.

  24. I sort of agree it was kinda cliche, though I could feel death flags coming from episode 2, and Manato fit the bill. The main guy wasn’t going to die, the annoying Dark Knight def wasn’t going to die, and the two girls probably weren’t. The big guy didn’t seem fleshed out enough (no emotional investment was put into him), and Manato had just the right amount of characterization from the last two episodes to make an impact.

    Still sucks, but that’s the direction you could tell the show was going, especially that they got overly confident and comfortable in killing easy goblins, it was time for them to face a challenge, and once the main guy said he’d never get the chance to ask him, that was that.

    Bamboo Blade Cat
  25. I really hope they will explain why and how they came to be in Grimgar.

    Hope the author has thought of it instead of just putting it in to draw readers to the slice of life drama (first?). In the same regards, Log Horizon seems to be working towards it and SAO gave an answer.

    Or is it truly just a gimmick and the author just want to do a fantasy slice of life.

  26. Okay, so I was sort of pissed of by the music right now. While it definitely has variety, the studio kind of always slacked off whenever it’s a “music time”.

    So, accepting death of a party member and cremation. It’s definitely an interesting topic. But instead of using that 4-ish minutes of song to properly detail the process, what we got was too many static cuts. While static cuts could be used properly and close up shots of expression could be important, but too many repetitions of the same thing are not good. Especially when the last 30 seconds of the song (which is tempo-ed to be a dramatic reff) was used on a still shot of people standing with no more new elements added.

    Why don’t give details about other things? Grimgar was so lacking with anything that explaining/showing the setting so far, and giving even a little bit of details about cremation and how people of this world handled death could be a good start. They could erased the ED and send the whole song to the back so we could get more details instead of a looping 5-6 minutes of non stop song with relatively low contents. Even if they are wanting to focus only on characters (why?), there’s definitely more depth you could add to characters by getting a little bit more creative with storytelling.

    So well, Grimgar definitely got some ambition and potential. However, I think they could improved on execution a lot. Which is a shame since I liked their execution of episode 2 (at least before the “song time” part).

  27. I get the feeling that Manato was an extremely capable person before he lost his memories. He may have stood out from his peers, and because of that, was isolated from others. Perhaps many people became jealous of him and he was never to be able to be friends. That could be why he says he didn’t like hierarchies, and prefers a group where everyone is equal and supports each other. Alternatively, he could of been a dropout from school and was looked down upon, but I think the former is more likely due to his temperament and looks. It is a bit of a disappointment the show or LN may never touch upon their past lives, but it would of been interesting to see.

    Anyway, RIP Manato. Nearly everyone could see his death coming from a mile away, but I think his death scene was handled rather well. I could really see Haruhiro’s anger, denial, and frustration he felt when he yelled at the priest, and everyone else breaking down in their own way fit their personality, like how Ranta just looked shock and in full disbelief, unable to say anything at all. I’m looking forward to how Haruhiro will lead the group. I’m personally hoping Ranta starts to become more likeable since it was pretty easy to hate him from the start, and the other characters get some much needed character development.

  28. The problem is not the death, it’s how I don’t give a damn nor care about the person who died. Seriously, wait at least 10 episodes to kill someone off and give him/her sufficient development first.

    I feel nothing, the characters are pretty cliched and caricatures of tropes.

      1. is it bad i dont even know their names? i just see the rogue.. the warrior tank.. the mage.. the dps warrior ..the hunter..

        mm how do they hire a new cleric? they just ask for one from the guild? or they are screwed and gotta run around w/o a healer from now on? … atleast their mage went crowd control … otherwise they be totally screwed ..

        oh nvm that mage gonna be second to die (i bet)

  29. Ep 05:

    I think i can see a bit myself in this Warrior in the tavern scene, when he gots angry. That’s are also my line

    men, if you let the action go, and focus on the relation only between them, then i finally found the treasure of this anime

    The action is only there for the show, this show focus on other things


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