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Hai to Gensou no Grimgar – 11 »« Hai to Gensou no Grimgar – 09

Hai to Gensou no Grimgar – 10


“I’m Not Fit to Be a Leader”


「リーダーの器じゃないけれど」 (Rida no Utsuwa Janai Keredo)

Return to the Mine:

Don’t you hate it when that one guy in your party just won’t co-operate and ends up getting you wiped? Yeah, me too. But before I dive into Ranta being a pain, I’d like to say that this was a definite step up from last week’s episode. This was closer to what Grimgar does best: brutal action and presenting emotional conflicts that feel human. As far as the action goes, we’ve switched from goblins to kobalds (though these kobalds look a little different from the ones I’m used to), allowing everyone in the party to show off their new abilities and prove they have definitely grown over the winter season. Initially I was skeptical as to whether they would be able to handle this new quest, but after learning about the different levels of the mine and the hierarchy of the kobalds, it allows for a progression that feels true to the team’s strengths, while also highlighting their weaknesses (of which there are still plenty).

But perhaps the most fascinating to watch during both these raids was how Mary was coping. When they cleared the first few levels she seemed perfectly calm, even smiling when she had that back and forth with Haru. But when they got deeper into the mine, that’s when things got interesting. But of course, that’s where the episode had to end. Mary meeting the kobald who killed three of her party members must be devistating. She is clearly affected by this reunion, and Haru, who is struggling with being the leader the party needs, is left in a bit of a pickle. The team has gotten stronger, but the foundation is cracking to the point where I don’t think they are near ready to take on this current floor of the mine. It would be boring if they didn’t try, but this is where things are going to start getting very difficult.

Haru’s Leadership, Ranta’s Priorities:

Now, let’s talk about Ranta. I’ve been kind to him in the past month or so, but now I’m gonna have to go back on all that and say he is officially The Worst Character again (though that spot was never truly taken by anyone else). I’ve never been a fan of his obsession with boobs, but his arrogance and his priorities in this episode are way more aggravating. While this is all clearly intentional on the author’s part, I’m still wondering where this is going to take his character. As he implied this episode, it doesn’t look like he would leave the team just because he’s causing disruption. Either he’s going to have to accept he’s making things more difficult for everyone else, or things are going to get messy. Basically, Ranta sucks right now. If I were Haru, I would probably just kick him out, even if it meant going somewhere easier to fight until they can find a replacement second tank.

Speaking of Haru, he’s finding things a little tricky, and I don’t blame him. He’s got a lot to balance with this mine raid, and Ranta’s attitude is just making things more difficult. The part that got to me most was when Ranta nearly stabbed Haru in his hurry to kill the kobald. He came that close to injuring (or killing) his team leader, and he still doesn’t see he’s in the wrong. Haru tried to speak with him earlier, but that didn’t really go anywhere. Don’t get me wrong, it was a very good scene and it felt like all the other perfectly natural conversations we’ve seen up until now, but I’m still concerned about where this development is going to take Haru, Ranta, and the rest of the team.

Overview – What’s Next?:

A better episode than last week, but some of the character interactions are tricky and I’m unsure how this is going to wrap up with only two episodes left. It seems clear that Haru, Mary, and Ranta are going to get the main focus in this final arc, which I’m not too disappointed by as two of them are actually good characters! I could make a detailed prediction as to how this raid will turn out, but I’ll wait it out and see what happens. All I know is that things won’t go swimmingly. Haru is struggling with leadership, Mary is reliving her traumatic experiences, and Ranta is just being difficult. Hopefully we don’t have another Manato situation before this season ends.

Preview

End Card

March 15, 2016 at 5:47 pm
63 comments »
  • March 15, 2016 at 6:18 pmseltzermx

    Damnit Samu! Complaining about boobs again?! Just kidding :)
    Nothing wrong with a boob obsession however. Plenty of fun to be had there ;)

    • March 15, 2016 at 6:29 pmSamu

      I promise I’m not intentionally doing this! People can love boobs, but if we’re talking about Ranta I just can’t help it.

      • March 15, 2016 at 6:51 pmMincemaker

        In the words of wise Cyrus, Scout Sergeant of the Blood Ravens: “This is neither the time nor the place (to be talking about boobs).”

      • March 15, 2016 at 6:59 pmSamu

        I only mention it because if I’m listing off reasons why I dislike Ranta, I might as well bring it up. It would be silly to ignore it. Of course it doesn’t matter all that much, but that’s why I only used 10 words (not even half a sentence) for that point before talking about what’s more relevant to this episode.

      • March 16, 2016 at 4:27 amHanabira.Kage

        “There is a time and place for everything!”

      • March 16, 2016 at 5:32 amMincemaker

        I was mocking Ranta.

  • March 15, 2016 at 7:05 pmBalanar

    Damn you, Haru! What’re you waiting for? Give your girlfriend a comfort hug already! XD

    • March 15, 2016 at 9:09 pmIncest Emblem

      Well, he saw what happened the last time he gave an emotionally distraught female party member a hug. The reactions would not have been very good for their much needed stealth.

  • March 15, 2016 at 7:20 pmKabble

    I will say Ranta had a point on the team being capable of handling things on their own a bit more to expand tactics.
    I do not agree with the way he’s going about anything. Cause he’s being an ass.

    • March 15, 2016 at 9:08 pmIncest Emblem

      The ability to fight solo if the need arises can indeed be valuable, but fighting solo does not mean that the fighter functions apart from the team. There are at least two serious problems with Ranta’s approach to developing his solo fighting abilities, even if it turns out that he is right about ability to solo.

      First, even if he does not engage a specific enemy in tandem, his fight is still related to the fight of the party. In other words, his solo fights still fits into the team tactics. A failure to communicate his intention and goal means that the team leader, Haru, cannot properly take into account his fighting style when planning engagement tactics.

      Second, the fact that his team mates generally fight in tandem–and have been doing so since the beginning–means that they are likely to finish their enemies before he does–as is the case this episode. They will then turn their attention to the enemy Ranta is fighting–as Haru did. His failure to communicate that he is fighting solo means the team mates are likely to intervene, resulting in the type of near injury situation that happened with Haru this episode.

      Some blame might be placed on Haru for not seeing the value of developing solo abilities for contingencies, but having seen the supposed weakness of the team strategy, it is up to Ranta to communicate his strategy. Not only had he not done so, he had articulated no good reason for withholding information. “I don’t have to check everything with you” is the exact opposite of how a party member should behave in a cohesive fighting unit.

      Even if Ranta were correct on his assessment of party tactics, his behavior this episode would still be utterly inexcusable.

      • March 16, 2016 at 6:50 pmhaseo0408

        That was an incredible analysis Emblem-san but I think we can all agree that the root of the problem could be described in one simple sentence: “Ranta is a inconsiderate asshole”.

      • March 16, 2016 at 7:51 pmdaikama

        @Incest Emblem: The issue as you point out is lack of communication, and a good part of that, but not all falls on Ranta. He’s also not exactly the best team/party player as you say. While he has some point about seeing what each can do regarding one-on-one fights, there’s a time & place for that along with communication. Experimenting with RPG dungeon exploration can be very dangerous. Good/proper communication is something this party lacks as a whole, and that falls in large part (along with decisive leadership) falls on Haru. Ultimately, someone will need to rein in Ranta a bit, but Haru right now isn’t the guy to do it.

      • March 17, 2016 at 12:57 amRentarou

        You’re all too harsh on Ranta. He feels uiteru (kind of separate from) from the group and has an immature emotional response to that while still trying to maintain the group fighting force, carry his own weight, and as Haru himself points out, he’s thinking about things in his own way.

        Some of us are born a little more antisocial than others, every group has to know how to work with people who aren’t quite so feely-feely and don’t live outside their own head quite as much as others. Socialization doesn’t come as naturally to him but while you all excuse timidity readily you refuse to excuse sullenness?

  • March 15, 2016 at 7:25 pmGrahav

    The only character that I can consistently remember the name is Ranta.

    The guy that everybody hates.

    For me it is also the characetr that can bring the most interesting conflicts and plots here depending how the author deals with him.

    • March 16, 2016 at 7:16 amAjira

      Ranta is like Joffrey from Game of Throne
      he draws a great hate and love from fan only Ranta more humanly and clearly more brave than Joffrey
      even though Samu and others hate him they unconsciounsly aided Ranta to grew in popularity.
      people should realizes that Ranta is the best things in Grimgar.

    • March 18, 2016 at 1:35 pmJerry

      Ranta is arguably the most realistic and necessary member of the group.

      Put aside the author’s intent for him to be a caricature, and object of scorn.

      Ranta’s attitude, his “go-get-em” ethos, his tendency to press forward and push the envelope – even his dark humor – is exactly what you’ll find in military setting. Granted, not many servicemen would mouth-off to their superiors in the field, but in any military culture, the “edge”, the attitude is necessary.

      On another level, the attitude is also the difference between a corporate culture and an entrepreneurial culture.

      In the former, almost all levels are ridden with sloth because the organization is filled from top to bottom with people who are content – unwilling to take chances because it might rock the boat. In such a climate, “conformity”, “inertia”, “stagnation” rules the roost – and like all companies under such a corporate culture, “decay” and eventual “death”.

      But in the entrepreneurial culture, you’ll find people like Ranta all the time. Most don’t mean to be abrasive or “eccentric”. They aren’t ostracized or marginalized. They’re co-opted or elevated. Yes, they need supervision, especially the young ones who think they’re God’s gift to the world. But even if he’s not the greatest thing since sliced bread, he’s still a valuable resource with something to contribute – if you’re smart enough to know how.

      All of the members of Haru’s team like to moralize and “play it safe”.

      Except Ranta, who rightly accepts the situation of killing his enemies, and letting his “God” sort it out, whilst moving onto bigger – and hopefully better – objectives.

      Inert elements are not enough; sometimes you need to add fire. It could blow up in your face, but that’s the risk we all take in search of progress.

      • March 20, 2016 at 3:02 amDrasca

        Mouth off? Trust me, they do. A lot. Also while there’s a team leader, it is questionable to call him superior at this point.

        Team leader is not doing the leading right. He’s not communicating and in over his head.

  • March 15, 2016 at 10:29 pmWorldwidedepp

    Ranta playing most now Solo, let the Healer focus more on him. So she needs or spend more Mana on him where with Team play there is no need. I think this will lead in our Healer run out faster on Mana, with his Style to stretch his fights out, because of his “manly” side pride

    • March 15, 2016 at 10:31 pmWorldwidedepp

      If he continue to be Solo, someone other will Die, because the healer is focused on him or run out of Mana. My bet? Its the Mage

  • March 15, 2016 at 11:46 pmtheirs

    I kinda enjoyed watching Ranta in the beggining of this episode. He was stupid, but not yet a menace to the team. That changed during the second half though.

    If there’s one thing Haru should do, I think he should let Merry handle Ranta. Though I think Haruhiro is the best choice to lead the team, he’s not really good with words. Yume’s the same, even though she could ramble on and on. While Moguzo and Shihoru are just too quite. We can clearly see he’s having trouble communicating with Ranta, maybe it’s time to delegate?

  • March 16, 2016 at 1:17 amSMinstrel

    In RPG terms, Ranta’s the secondary tank and “dodge tank”, using evasion to tank hits. He can also aggro and kite very well.

    Him able to handle at least one enemy alone does take the pressure off the party and especially Moguzo /main tank. As dodge-oriented tank he won’t be killed anytime soon even if he’s unable to finish off the enemy right away. He won’t be very useful in a fight that Moguzo can tank alone, but will prove his worth in a chaotic, many vs many battle where Moguzo can’t cover everyone.

    So, his role in the party is really “soloing (off-tanking)” the enemy he will be fighting. This is also reflected in his class, as he need to score the last hit to acquire vice to feed his demon.

    As the resident jerkass though, he can’t explain his role very well to Haru without sounding like…a jerk.

  • March 16, 2016 at 1:44 amMormegil

    Someone’s going to die in the next episode or so, aren’t they? And it’s probably going to be that little shit Ranta’s fault.

  • March 16, 2016 at 2:11 amZJZJ

    I think most viewers either suddenly like Ranta now, or hate him a lot now. As for me, I find myself liking Ranta as a character a lot more after this episode. Rather, I was pretty annoyed at Haruhiro during that conversation. Ranta is difficult, but I didn’t like how Haruhiro dealt with him too. Maybe someone else would have had a better chance with talking to Ranta.

  • March 16, 2016 at 3:11 amHeisenberg

    So no more Manato ghost huh? kinda missed him already.

  • March 16, 2016 at 5:43 amBamboo Blade Cat

    Ranta has always been obnoxious, and acts like an asshole much of the time, but like all surly thin-skinned pricks, he gets upset when Haru calls him on it after he pisses him off or others on their party, not to mention he’s now endangering them with his antics. What a pleasant fellow.

  • March 16, 2016 at 6:07 amArchiepiscopus

    More like Ranta is too good for that party.

    “Let’s kill those sleeping kobolds before they come back later and bite us in the ass.”
    “Ranta, you’re a monster.”

    Oh really? And what happened when Manato told you guys to kill that one goblin who was asleep? Their hypocrisy is off the charts. Oh yeah, killing monsters while they’re sleeping is bad and inhuman, but casting magic which makes them sleepy in order to kill them is somehow okay? Get outta here.

    “Oh let’s be honorable and fair” Do they even realize what they’re doing? They’re invading the kobolds’ homes, murdering them and looting their corpses for a quick buck.

    • March 16, 2016 at 7:37 amTassadar

      It’s scary how accurate the above turns out to be :P Poor, good natured Shihoru is a MONSTER, then! Murdering other living beings to buy a new pointy hat!

      • March 16, 2016 at 8:20 amGiorno Giovanna

      • March 17, 2016 at 12:35 amTassadar

        Can’t argue with that to be honest! Although I am more of a Yume fan :P

    • March 16, 2016 at 3:12 pmBamboo Blade Cat

      I think there’s a fine line between the two, case in point is when Ranta yanked the nose ring right off the dead kobold. There’s a huge difference between that and respectfully removing items, because before you know it, you’re wearing a kobold testicle necklace around your neck with a multiple kobold bone bracelets looking for your next “souvenir” while you butcher small kobold children running from you in fear because you just wanna skin them to sell their hides! What Ranta wanted to do in this episode was kill in cold blood, not in self-defense (as a result of their aggression in what’s essentially a home invasion), and while very practical in their world, that’s a very slippery slope to descend into.

      You can either try to cling to your humanity while engaging in what’s essentially mass murder or you can slowly turn yourself into a monster by engaging in small acts of barbarism that will turn into larger more vile acts. It’s certainly an interesting moral question posed in terms of RPGs.

      • March 16, 2016 at 4:30 pmArchiepiscopus

        “There’s a huge difference between that and respectfully removing items”

        That’s like saying there’s a huge difference between stabbing someone in the belly, and stabbing someone in the belly after asking them very politely to please die.

      • March 16, 2016 at 7:13 pmBamboo Blade Cat

        That’s quite the false equivalency you’ve made. A good real world example is war. Some people just to their duty to do the awful things they’ve been tasked to do. Others may develop a sadistic streak if they don’t keep themselves in check, which is what Haru’s point is. In any event, what they’re doing is terrible, but don’t think there’s no difference in respecting your enemies and treating them inhumanely or making a sport of it, which is a big reason why the whole of Asia still has bitter feelings towards the Japanese.

      • March 16, 2016 at 8:05 pmAshifili

        >killing in cold blood
        >killing in self-defense

        I’m not really sure you understood Archie’s point, Bamboo. They’re still killing them in cold blood, and they have definitely killed in cold blood before. As a matter of fact, none of what they’ve done so far have been for self-defense. They invaded the goblin’s conquered city, ambushed those that they’ve outnumbered, killed those that were asleep, and assassinated those that were patrolling. After that, they sorta just yank the necklaces off the goblins and leave the corpses to rot.

        Ranta is simply continuing that trend, but this time, applying it to the kobolds. See a bunch of sleeping kobolds? Shank ‘em for easy loot and Vices. As a matter of fact, I’m not exactly sure when Haruhiro began flaunting a sense of morality when it comes to their hunting…it really did feel like he rejected Ranta’s idea because it’s Ranta.

      • March 16, 2016 at 8:42 pmBamboo Blade Cat

        Self-defense is certainly not the right phrase, they are invaders no doubt, but they’re not killing in cold blood when they invade and attack. They do have to defend themselves once in battle, was what I should’ve said.

        Yes, you are right, they killed that goblin while he was sleeping, and it was indeed in cold blood, but they did so because they were weak and inexperienced at the time. Does that make it any better? Not really, but the way Ranta is doing it comes off a lot colder now that there’s no excuse of being inexperienced to fall back on, and there’s a little bit of reckless sadism to his actions which is never a good oath to travel.

        We have to keep in mind, these are still just regular people/kids, and thinking they can just transition to killing without hesitation at all times is the issue. It certainly doesn’t help that Ranta comes off as an entitled jerk much of the time, and it might not be fair to judge him because of that, but that’s the reality. He’s free to be surly and obnoxious, but that doesn’t make him free from the consequences that come with it..

      • March 17, 2016 at 6:21 amArchiepiscopus

        From where do you get this idea that Ranta is interested in sadism? Yanking the nose ring off a corpse is not excessively cruel by any means: the dead can’t feel any pain. When has he ever wanted to inflict unnecessary pain or torture on monsters? He’s only interested in efficiency, and always goes for the kill however he can.

      • March 17, 2016 at 1:14 pmBamboo Blade Cat

        Ranta’s been taking a little too much glee in not only killing (getting a little too into it/enjoying it), but also in his looting, so yes, I’d call that a touch sadistic. it doesn’t have to be full on torture to qualify, and treating a dead body with disrespect is certainly not honorable. The dead feel no pain but your actions still shape you, and if you treat the dead without respect, soon you’ll be treating the living with similar disrespect, which he already does in many cases.

    • March 16, 2016 at 4:25 pmAvalon

      Uhhh…it was one goblin. Ranta wanted to do it when 1) they are in a new more dangerous area, 2) there were MULTIPLE of them, and 3) they would probably have been swarmed within seconds if they had tried.

      Think about the situation before you start spouting hypocrisy.

      • March 16, 2016 at 7:58 pmAshifili

        Why is there being many of them a problem? I remember there being around 3-4, while there were six party members. Shihoru has her Shadow Bond, which can effectively remove one of the Kobolds in case they wake up, while Ranta, Mogzu, Yume, and Haruhiro can all go stabby-stabby on the neck.

        It honestly does feel like a wasted opportunity. And while you can argue that they are, indeed, in a new area, their fight previously was fairly loud as well (against multiple kobolds too!), yet they weren’t swarmed like mad, as the upper floors aren’t as populated as the agricultural floor, so yeah…can’t really say that it was a super dangerous idea.

      • March 17, 2016 at 1:58 amSMinstrel

        If alerting other Kobolds in the proximity is a problem, Haru should have said so.

        In this particular case the communication problem do not originate from Ranta, and thus he’s not to blame.

    • March 16, 2016 at 8:15 pmdaikama

      @Archiepiscopus: “More like Ranta is too good for that party.”

      Eh, I don’t know about that. Does he have a point about being practical (i.e. goblin murder “kobold murder”) in general terms? Sure, either do it or not. It’s literally a kill or be killed situation – one the party is actively seeking. (OT, but did the kobolds take over abandoned mines, or did they invade and capture the mines?)

      However, Ranta’s still not truly a team player, and still too much “Leeroy Jenkins”. At times he’s over zealous and probably over estimates his abilities (though perhaps not the only one too complacent… again >_>). Avalon above makes a very good point. Would they have successfully killed those kobolds in their sleep without raising an alarm in that situation? Are there more kobolds nearby, etc.? Is it worth the risk vs. ignoring them and moving on?

      RPG 101 is team work and as I noted above, that involves good communication between members. OK, he’s “thinking of the party”, but does his thoughts match the plan? Didn’t even bother to say anything (communication works two ways, but he bears his share of the blame). Then there’s him being an ass-hat for the sake of it. OK, you can be “professional” rather than go the nakama route, but there’s also being combative and grating as well. Party members hating each other isn’t going to work in the long run.

      I’m NOT spoiled at all, but I would not be surprised in any way if someone dies as a result of Ranta doing his thing. Doubt it would ever happen given the story, but the party did find another healer in Mary so I do wonder what would happen if they booted Ranta out of the party. How easy would he find another party and how easy would they find a replacement (they would need another fighter way things are going)?

  • March 16, 2016 at 8:21 amrh75

    For those that say they would boot Ranta, ask yourself this:

    How frustrated/annoyed would you be with a team that stays in the starting area for MONTHS?
    Would you complain when everyone is content to make the minimum needed to scrape by because it is safe?

    Ranta is annoying, but so is everyone else in their own way. The team is a good example of the pot calling the kettle black.

    • March 16, 2016 at 3:19 pmBamboo Blade Cat

      Meh, in general RPG terms where they simply can reset or buy new lives, sure, but since death is permanent in their world, and to them it’s real life, they do have to worry and take the proper precautions, so it makes Ranta seem like a inconsiderate asshole.

      • March 17, 2016 at 9:14 amcryarc

        And remember that there is no “level” concept in this world. It’s kind of real world where you’re not magically getting better at fighting after killing a certain number of monsters, it takes years of daily training for martial artist to achieve black belt and in real fight, at most they’re still amateur fighters with only a couple of months experience.

      • March 17, 2016 at 1:07 pmBamboo Blade Cat

        There is the exception that they learn skills that are easier for them to pick up, than say moves from martial arts classes that need many more repetitions to set in just so you can do it somewhat competently.

      • March 17, 2016 at 2:07 pmErimaki

        And even with that exception, it’s not as easy as “go to guild -> pay money -> master skill”. They still train them under their masters (despite what Barbara might want to make you think).
        Grimgar’s skill learning probably falls somewhere between video game time and real time, though the somewhat unclear passage of time makes it hard to guess.
        Heck, stuff like Ranta being surprised about what his skill does and Yume training with her knives in the morning seem to imply they don’t fully master those skills during training at guilds.

      • March 17, 2016 at 11:27 pmcryarc

        And Barbara even mention some people dies on learning skills, it means that even in that world people having different talent like real world in learning skills, some people more adapt at it while other lacking. We don’t even sure if they are executing their skills properly. I rarely excercised and if I suddenly lost my memories and thrown into Grimgall’s world, I will probably die early since I can’t learn any skills from guild with my weak constitution. I’ll avoid people looking for thrills like Ranta like hell and try my best to do it as safe as possible.

        Oh by the way I was expressing agreements to Bamboo’s opinion not the otherwise, just in case my comment is taken in the wrong way.

  • March 16, 2016 at 9:30 amzztop

    Haru’s insecurity of being an unfit leader is a recurring theme in the later novels.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    • March 16, 2016 at 6:47 pmhaseo0408

      Considering Haru´s introverted nature surprised he hasn´t broken down at this point, leadership is hard, very hard, specailly when the lives of your are on the line. Rob Stark once said in the books that only a madman would actively seek out a crown because of how it binds a man with so many respoinsanilities and desavantages and very few advantages.

  • March 16, 2016 at 9:41 amzztop

    If these kobolds were cute monstergirls ala Monster Musume, we’d be less symphathetic for what Haru and co. are doing.

    https://i.warosu.org/data/tg/img/0410/58/1436220392922.jpg

  • March 16, 2016 at 1:30 pmCrunchie

    It feels like there might be an outburst of “you should have died, not Manato” later on…

    • March 16, 2016 at 6:43 pmhaseo0408

      Of all the people of the original party I think Manato was the safest choice to kill off, the was too perfect hold on in the world of Grimgar, someone like that always has a tremendous amount of pressure on his shoulders, even more if take into consideration the natural pressure and responsabilities that come with leadership, the guy was bound to break apart badly at some point; it was lucky that he died before the breakdown could happen, the part would have fall apart instantly considering how much they depended on him.

  • March 16, 2016 at 8:49 pmdaikama

    A few points:

    – Liked how Haru ordered the party back due to becoming “complacent”, because what I was watching them, I kept thinking “here we go again” with the lack of situational awareness and complacent approach. Can’t say the group hasn’t learned anything, but they still haven’t learned some valuable lessons.

    – Also liked how party seems to have been caught due to lack of situational awareness (when Ranta was giving his dissertation about black knights and shouting at the end). At about the 8:00 mark a big kobold comes out of a tunnel seems to hear the loud-ass party, then goes back inside the tunnel. Speculation on my part, but I took that as why the giant death kobold (“death spots”?) was around at a much higher level than expected (if I have things right) when they set off the alarm on the 4th level(?). Also wonder if those alarms were always there or recent additions.

    – Ranta’s still an ass, and as noted in a reply above, while I’m NOT spoiled, I would NOT be surprised at all if his actions get someone killed. I mean, he almost stabs Haru and is like “whatever, an extra “vice” for me”. Dude’s asking to get “accidentally” back-stabbed.

    – At the risk of repeating myself, More “WWMD?”!? (What Would Manato Do?”). Seriously, the guy wasn’t even that great/good of a leader (as much, if not more, party pacifier than true leader). Yes, he died. Got it. In spades. At some point can the story move on without him being mentioned every episode?

    – Ranta being the one to set of the alarms (MORE party complacency) didn’t surprise me. That’s not on Ranta – could have been anyone (especially Mogzo with his huge ass sword). However, if things go bad (which I expect them to – next episode title is not encouraging), then there’s another log on the fire for more party angst, arguments/discussions, etc.

    – Next episode should be interesting. Fight? Run away? Someone even die? Shihoru has had a suspicious lack of screen time – less than Mogzo (though he’s also a possibility) Can’t see the others getting killed off at this point.

  • March 16, 2016 at 9:36 pmChromeNova

    With all this Ranta hate, I’d like to play devil’s advocate a bit. I’m also piggybacking a bit from a interesting comment I read on anime haven by Hooded Owl. Note that this is all just theories and may not actually be true since I haven’t read the light novel.

    First and foremost, yes, Ranta is still an ass and acts like one time and time again. I’m surprised Haru has the patience to deal with him yet still makes an effort to get to know him. With that out of the way, I think some of his actions this episode are good. First, killing monsters while they’re asleep is fine. Honestly, when you’re already instigating an attack on the monsters, your goal is to kill them and make money off what you poach. Morality is already kind of out the window. It’s a bit stupid for the party to leave them alone when they could come back to bite them in the ass.

    Second, when he pointed his sword at the mole pigs, I think he wants to see how they would react. If they ended up being hostile, it would make sense to be alert and even try to kill them instead of them trying to ambush their party. You can’t assume they’re harmless even if they look the part.

    Third, I think his selfish attitude for rushing headlong and being stubborn about trying to one V one a monster isn’t just a matter of pride. I think he understands that letting Moguzo be the only tank is a lot of stress and responsibility for one person. If he gets taken down, he should serve as the secondary vanguard to draw a monster’s attention. And he did elaborate to Haru about how tactics could be expanded if the party knew what he was capable of.

    Fourth, and this is totally piggybacking from Hooded Owl, but Ranta understands he’s an asshole, and that doesn’t bother him. I think he is distancing himself from his party members and isn’t afraid to act like a jerk because he doesn’t want people to grieve too much over him. Think back to Manato’s death. The party completely broke down, and he may have realized then that when someone is so integral and well liked, the effects are disastrous. That’s why he intentionally acts the way he does, so that people are less hurt when he does die. Example, when Haru said “let’s surround it and we might not lose anyone.” Notice he’s the first to act and instantly goes for the finishing blow.

    It’s quite possible I’m giving Ranta too much credit, but I do think he cares about his party and he is very self aware that he isn’t well liked. It still doesn’t fully excuse how uncooperative and reckless he is, and I think almost killing Haru with that reckless attack while he was behind the monster would piss of anyone. But I’d like to think Ranta is a complex character that means well in the end, he’s just not the type of person to explain why he does certain things.

    So there’s my take on Ranta. If we ever get to learn more about him or when he gets his proper character moment, I hope he does end up being more likeable.

    • March 16, 2016 at 10:26 pmBamboo Blade Cat

      Now this here is a well crafted counterpoint and defense of Ranta. A lot of your points make a lot of sense and make me reexamine his actions in a whole other light since I admit I’m biased towards him. Very interesting take.

    • March 17, 2016 at 10:47 amErimaki

      One interesting thing about Ranta that I see mentioned very rarely (unfortunately) is that since the LN is written from Haruhiro’s point of view, it’s biased against Ranta by nature. After all, the chemistry between those two is pretty bad and Haruhiro’s opinion of Ranta is bad by default. Not to say Ranta isn’t an ass, he definitely is. As well as unreliable, selfish, annoying, etc. etc. But there’s also a definite element of Haruhiro being an unreliable narrator about this, at least to some extent. Not that that really transfers to screen anyways.

      Of course, it’s up to debate how much of this is intentional on the author’s part and how much it’s just my own interpretation.

    • March 17, 2016 at 8:03 pmdaikama

      @ChromeNova: Some thoughts. NOTE: Not to say Ranta doesn’t deserve any credit, or that the others are perfect. The are not. Certainly Haru has a looooong ways to go as leader, but Ranta does crap the others don’t, and his response to almost stabbing Haru is just mind boggling. Accidents are one thing, but he just didn’t give a sh*t if he killed Haru or not. If that’s some BS bravado, then it’s still on him.

      Addressed point #1 before. As for your second point, my thought is why muck with the mole pigs in the first place? This is an infiltration operation = don’t mess with crap if you don’t need to. What if he accidentally pricks one the things, then it runs off squealing loudly, alerting the entire place? To me he seemed a bad mix of curious and bored, so he screwed around more than checking if they were “death demon mole pigs” in disguise, and thus a threat.

      Third point is yes & no IMO. To me it highlighted three things. One, Ranta’s thinking is still doing things on his own. As for 2nd tank, seems he’s been doing quite a bit of that (both goblins and kobolds already), so what did we really learn? If his worry is about Moguzo, then why not think about how to better support to Moguzo directly (e.g. he deals damage to foes Moguzo’s tanking)? Having a “Plan B” is fine, but good idea to improve “Plan A” as well. It also fits that it’s a pride thing with him as well (one more “vice”). Two, Haru’s still not thinking tactically enough in terms of roles and party coordination beyond some basics (i.e. squishy mages and unarmored priests in the back). Does Haru understand what Ranta can do well within the party structure? Three, as noted before, overall communication sucks which is on both of them.

      Fourth point, honestly, is by far the weakest argument IMO. Frankly, I think it’s a disservice to Ranta to suggest this is his rationale. It’s like grandma or grandpa being total ass**** to their kids and/or grand kids because that way the kids/grand kids won’t be so upset when they die. That’s not how relationships work – at least good, functioning relationships. Yes, Manato’s death was a big blow to the party, but they did get over it (some faster than others) whereas Mary’s still dealing with her PTSD. Also, when does Ranta die? What if he doesn’t die for 10 or 20 years (or more)? Be an ass**** for a decade or two? Really? Purposefully being an ass**** is toxic to the party NOW.

      Lastly, and probably most damning, is that Ranta was an ass BEFORE Manato died. So… he planned all this out from the very first day? Can NOT buy that. He’s an abrasive character for the sake of having an abrasive character and how that may affect a party (which again is NOT a bad thing at all for storytelling). It also is a easy set-up for character development (if it goes that route). Perhaps even a redemption plot line if he does get someone killed. Heck, could combine that with a romance (Ranta x ABC and ABC helps him change/redeem himself/etc.).

      • March 22, 2016 at 1:42 pmChromeNova

        You make fair points. I definitely agree that the fourth point is probably a little too hopeful, and almost doesn’t make sense in a normal relationship. However, they lost all of their previous memories, so they never really had a foundation for what is a good relationship is supposed to be like.

        Yeah, he was a jerk even before Manato died. I did make it sound like he is only being an asshole for the sake of not having an effect on his party, but I’ll clarify I meant that it could be one of his reason’s for staying as an asshole. Manato’s death may have triggered a thought along the lines of “When someone is so well liked and integral to the party dies, everything goes downhill.” It may have just reaffirmed his previous behavior, like there’s nothing wrong with acting the way he does. He would probably be an asshole regardless, but somewhere along the way, he realizes he does care for his party and he doesn’t want them to die nor grieve for him. I’d like to believe there is something more to him when the anime gives so much focus in him acting like a complete jerk. Perhaps he may have a romance that causes him to change, but somehow I doubt he’s the type of person that will change his ways because of a girl. Obviously I could be off the mark with what I said, but that’s me being optimistic.

        Lack of communication is definitely the biggest issue here, both with Haru’s inability to speak about his own problems and his ineptitude in the leader position, and Ranta being an uncooperative jerk. I’m interested in seeing how they’ll tackle his character from now on.

  • March 16, 2016 at 9:38 pmCorin

    One of the strongest points about this show, I feel, is its commitment to subtlety, while not diluting its message too much. Case in point, this episode – the review is extremely harsh on Ranta, but let’s not forget what the episode title is, because this whole 25 minutes was Teambuilding 102 – How Not To Do It.

    The overnight talk was the most obvious bit. On one side, you have a pricky jerk understandably, but unhelpfully, on the defensive and convinced (not wrongly, as it turns out) that what he has to say will be ignored. On the other side, you have the leader who beats around the bush while taking an obviously censuring tone; who thinks to himself he’s getting too heated up, and then proceeds to lose his temper anyway; who, confronted with the question of what his faults are, thinks to himself that he has too many to count… and then immaturely refuses to answer the question, implying strongly that he just doesn’t want to admit it to Ranta, of all people. It’s also not obvious from the subtitles, but Haruhiro’s terminology in his internal thoughts is just as, if not more, antagonistic towards Ranta – for instance, his use of ‘koitsu’ rather than ‘kare’ or even ‘kono hito’ when thinking about Ranta.

    There was literally no way that conversation could have gone well, with the attitudes both were bringing to it, and as leader, as the more self-aware individual, and as the one to initiate the conversation in the first place, it’s more on Haruhiro than Ranta there. Which is, I believe, part of the whole point – this is as much, if not more, about Haruhiro’s failings as a leader as about Ranta’s failings as a team player. Even Haruhiro’s normal ‘what would Manato do’ refrain gets in on it this time – because mentally seeking affirmation for his own irritation and aggression by ascribing antagonistic relationships between Ranta and the rest of the party members (who, aside from Yume, have notably not actually had any real onscreen arguments with Ranta) is probably not among ‘things Manato would do’. The key, then, is how Haruhiro is going to have to get over himself – because while he’s certainly not cut out to be a leader, he’s the best option they’ve got in this bunch.

    tl;dr – Ranta’s a jerk, but Haruhiro’s a lousy teambuilder who fails at dealing with said jerk as an equal, and the subtlety that goes into showing that is where this show is best.

  • March 16, 2016 at 11:04 pmDavid

    All the blogs and comments talking about Ranta all seem to ignore one very particular point in the episide: When Haru asked Ranta about his weaknesses, Ranta turned that around on him, and very rightly pointed out that Haru can’t play that blame game if he’s not willing to step into the ring too.

    They all have weaknesses, and they’re each trying to address their own in their own way. Haru is trying to be a better leader, but does so by trying to emulate an imaginary Manato, and has only the most superficial idea of the needs of the team. Mary is trying to overcome her crippling fears, but at least she’s willing to face them. And Ranta is trying to make his place in the party *meaningful*.

    The Dark Knight is a showy class, but quite often (in various RPGs), it’s not actually good, if you run the underlying numbers. And Ranta seems to be coming across that rather hard. He doesn’t have the speed and grace of Haru and Yume; he doesn’t have the strength, durability, and overwhelming power of Moguzo. The only magic he has are cheap tricks that barely work (as seen today).

    The only thing he has is a bit of a dodge tank capability, and even that only works if the monsters fall for it (again, demonstrated today). Despite Haru calling him their second tank, that’s only because Ranta tries so damn hard to turn his class choice into anything even remotely useful. He’s the person who would have the least effect on the party’s capabilities if he were removed.

    Haru won’t talk about his own weaknesses, despite griping about Ranta’s, but he’s also not paying attention to just how weak Ranta is, and how much that’s a problem for the party if they don’t find a way to take advantage of whatever Ranta can bring to the table. And Ranta is well aware of both that, and the fact that he’s the most disliked of the group anyway.

    Ranta may be an ass, but he’d probably be one of my first picks as a team member, because he’s constantly trying to think up ways to overcome his own limitations, and actually pays attention to the possibilities of what’s going on around him. He just needs someone who will actually sit down and work with him, and recognize his efforts, instead of complain about him. He’s probably the closest to being a traditional shonen protagonist.

    • March 17, 2016 at 4:17 amBamboo Blade Cat

      I agree with some of what you’re saying, but turning an argument around about the other person’s weakness is a common deflection/counter accusation technique. Haru should’ve mentioned one of his own just to give Ranta less room to maneuver, that’s how you cut that off from the start so you can attempt to resolve the conflict and show you’re not bringing it up just to be petty.

    • March 17, 2016 at 4:29 amBamboo Blade Cat

      He may have a lot of potential and he may be like a lot like a shounen protagonist (debatable), but with real life stakes on the line, those qualities aren’t beneficial for a team setting. And like you said, one of Haru’s weaknesses is he doesn’t know how to work around/with that. To be fair, it’s tough to have to work with someone like that unless you have good coaching tools, which Haru doesn’t. Just look at the regular working world and see how well people like that work with others.

  • March 17, 2016 at 2:14 amえっと

    It must be easy writing Haruhiro’s monologue. Fill half the page with ellipses. Splatter youna, kedo and kamoshirenai at the end of every phrase. That’s 3/4 of the page written for you.

  • March 28, 2016 at 4:58 amlastSKYsamurai

    Wow. Only two episodes left? I Absolutely love the pace of this series, love it! but it’s only a 12 episode season? shame. This show really needs a bump in episodes per season or a whole lot of seasons just to satisfy my needs.

    It’s great to all the girls coming out of their shells. But Shihoru & Yume have hardly been explored at all. All the more reason for a 24 season bump-up next season please!