“In My Memories With You”
The Quietness of Winter:
Sorry for this post being a little later than usual. One of the reasons for that is I feel this episode mainly speaks for itself in what little words it has to say. Like the others before it, this episode is slow and sombre and a good chunk of it is without dialogue; and what dialogue there is feels cautious and careful and doesn’t serve to cover plot points A, B and C, but instead allows us to witness these characters grieve and interact in a way that feel natural to them. It’s funny to think that I considered the characters the weakest part of the show in the first few episodes, because it seems so obvious now that they are more than just walking, talking tropes. Sure, they’re all similar to other characters you’ve likely seen in many other anime before, but very few shows like Grimgar allow the characters to just live like they do here.
I’ll go backwards with my impressions and first discuss the B-part of the episode. I don’t know how much time has passed since these characters woke up in this foreign world, but it seems like several months by this point, perhaps closer to a year. I’ve not paid much attention to the changing seasons – if only because it always seemed like it was spring/summer until now – but now we have the snow falling and everyone wrapped up for winter. If anything, this episode felt like a finale. As the credits were rolling I caught myself thinking: “What if this was just an 8 episode series?”. If that were the case, I think this would be a good place to end – with all the characters visiting Manato’s grave, as Mary has now officially joined the gang and become one of their friends. And yet there’s still four more episodes left to go…
Humans vs Goblins Showdown:
This episode sure had its contrasts. The near silence of the second half only worked so well because of the adrenaline-filled action that preceded it. Damn, it was awesome. The artwork was pretty shoddy once you focus on the screencaps or are left lingering on a shot for too long, but it all worked well when in motion. Like every other important fight before, it felt dangerous, real, and difficult. There were more tactics used here, with characters having to go the extra mile to get their kills. Of course, Mary being shot down was the emotional highlight of the whole sequence, bringing the audience and the rest of the characters back to the exact same thing that happened with Manato. It could have gone horribly wrong, but they pushed through and achieved victory, hopefully putting an end to this goblin killing plot.
Now that they are no longer with us, I want to touch on the goblins one final time (unless they respawn and return next week). This episode more than ever, they felt like actual sentient beings. When Ranta first tried to desperately murder one in the second episode many of us were taken aback by how brutal Grimgar was portraying it; but since then our characters have gotten used to the killings and so have we, the viewers. But seeing the goblins sleeping, enjoying the view of the city, playing chess with each other, and desperately trying to fight for survival… they felt just as human as the humans themselves. In the end, I was rooting for our heroes to land their kills, but Grimgar’s approach to these fights has been refreshing, proving this isn’t an action show like every other out there.
Overview – What’s Next?:
As I said, this feels like the ending of the series. But now I’m wondering what’s to come for the season of March. The preview gives nothing away, mainly showing scenic shots of places we’ve already seen before. I assume this marks the end of the first light novel, so either we’ll be going into more material or will be going anime original. With four episodes left, we’re two-thirds of the way through, and there’s no long-term goal in sight. Though, I suspect that goal may simply be: “Let’s keep living in this strange, foreign world we’ve happened upon.”