“How to Rest”
A Day Off in a Fantasy World:
It takes guts for a series as slow as Grimgar to have an episode dedicated to the characters taking a day off. I’ve previously stated that I don’t mind when a series is slow – in fact, I often prefer it that way – but damn, even this episode felt like it was pushing me close to the edge. Honestly, I’d say it was the first episode where I could feel myself drifting off. Part of that comes down to the easygoing mood prevalent throughout most of the episode, but there were parts where I could tell this was padded material that wasn’t really going anywhere. I wouldn’t say this episode was boring, it just wasn’t especially interesting. It’s nice seeing everyone enjoying the simplicities of life, but there always seemed to be a balance between the action and the mellowness that was missing this time around.
One scene that did happen that I wish didn’t was the exchange between Haru and his class teacher. Her name may be Barbara, but she might as well be called Walking Tits and Ass, because that’s all she is. I’m sure some viewers (likely the main target demographic) got a kick out of this scene, but for me it was a tremendous step down from everything we’ve gotten this past month. There have been complaints about the hints of fanservice in Grimgar which I haven’t focused on that much, but when Barbara enters the scene, that’s all you can remember. She may have encouraged Haru and answered his question and proved how capable a fighter she is, but the whole thing felt so cliché and ham-fisted, especially after episodes of realistic violence, sombre grieving, and genuine affection for the traumas the characters have suffered through. In comparison, this exchange was cheap and almost insulting, and a sorry reminder that this is a LN anime at the end of the day.
Haru and Mary:
Now for the good! Haru and Mary got plenty of scenes this week. I’ve heard that some of them were anime original or extended when compared to the source material, but they were the highlight of the week for me. I did say I was part of the Haru x Yume ship early on, but I go back on my word; I like them as friends, and find it funny how oblivious Yume is half of the time, but there’s serious chemistry between Haru and Mary. For some strange reason I was reminded of Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium (am I opening a can of worms here?), in that they’re not “official” but their interactions feels so honest and heartfelt, as both characters understand what each other is going through.
I don’t think full-blown romance is going to happen, and part of me would like things to remain the way they are – but there’s an undeniable air to Haru and Mary’s scenes that is missing with any other characters. Mary especially has developed greatly these past few episodes, and seeing her open up is both rewarding and heartwarming. I just hope that doesn’t disappear when she’s confronted with a familiar raid that continues to haunt her.
Overview – What’s Next?:
This review may seem more negative than usual, but I didn’t hate this episode. Though, at the same time, I didn’t love it. I enjoyed particular scenes a great deal and was irritated by others, and at the end of it all not much actually happened. It was a risky move to have an episode about (almost) nothing when people already complain that nothing happens. I usually ignore those remarks, but I would say this time they wouldn’t be mistaken. At least next week looks to be more exciting, as we move on from goblins to knolls, as they return to the place where Mary lost three of her friends. I can’t see them securing victory at their current skill level, but it should be interesting to see how the team’s emotions come into play here.