OP: 「Knew day」 by (K)NoW_NAME
Mary and the Story of Losing Friends:
Slow, mellow, and sombre. Grimgar continues to be as the name suggests: grim. This episode was all about Mary, the new priest on the block with an attitude problem. Much like before, she comes off stiff and unhelpful, but it quickly became obvious that she knew more than she was letting on. I suspected that we’d find out why she wears such a rigid expression and refuses to cooperate with the group, and I also managed to guess the reasons why that is. It always seemed to me that Mary was a girl who had witnessed the horrors of this world more than the rest of the cast, who are still in the very early days of Grimgar. Here, we learn about her tragic past and why she has no party at the present time, which all boils down to her failing to save her teammates in one unfortunate mine raid.
As it turns out, Mary used to be all smiles, and – like Manato – healed up her teammates whenever they got so much as a scratch. I brought it up before that healing all damage isn’t a successful strategy, and that is confirmed once again when Mary was unable to heal her teammates after using up all her magic. Although we never knew any of these characters until now, you feel the effects of their loss in the two surviving members. With this, we now know that Mary made the same mistakes as Manato, but rather than losing her own life, she was unable to help her friends when they needed her most, making her current icy disposition much more believable, and helps make her an all round likeable character.
The Beginnings of a New Party:
The rest of this episode showed how Mary was fitting into the party. Manato’s expertise and confidence may be missing, but Mary clearly knows what she’s talking about, and occasionally shows hints of her true self. Despite the mask she’s put on since her tragic accident with her previous party, it’s clear that she’s a caring, honest girl. The little moments – like her replying to Haru’s “good morning”, apologising for not healing Moguzo’s deep gash, or when she declined to eat with the group and almost said “see you tomorrow” – prove there is compassion within her. Those snippets build up the eventual reveal of her backstory and make everything come together in a natural way. I’ve been made aware that Mary is considered the most popular character of the LNs, and I can already see where those people are coming from.
Speaking of the characters, I’d like to mention that somehow, without my own awareness, I’ve grown to love the characters of this show. Ever since Manato’s death we’ve seen each of them grieve in their own way and come closer together because of it. For the first few episodes there seemed to be invisible walls between everyone, but now those bricks have been broken and there’s a real sense of togetherness within party. Shihoru is now speaking with the boys, Yume’s obliviousness to sexual innuendoes is endearing, Moguzo is starting to get snarky, Haruhiro is learning what it means to be a leader, and even Ranta isn’t as annoying anymore; but I could do without his “flat chest” nonsense. As Haru points out, Yume is averagely endowed. It’s those inserts that remind me that we’re watching anime… and you can’t be watching anime without some ass shots and boob jokes! (sigh)
Overview – What’s Next?:
This was most certainly a Mary-centric episode, and I’m glad that’s what we got. As the newcomer, she’s got a lot to prove to the audience, and so far I’m really enjoying her presence. I look forward to seeing her warm to the rest of the cast and hopefully be smiling again before too long. And if things do work out, hopefully we won’t be fighting goblins for six more episodes. Also, I’d like to point out how much better the visuals are for the updated opening. The girls may be sexualised in most episodes, but so are the boys and their bulging muscles.