Anime at a Glance: Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash

Haruhiro is dashing to get behind a goblin engaged in combat with Ranta in the forest. As he closes the gap, the goblin moves out of the way so the two of them collide with each other instead. They start to bicker during the fight as an arrow flies right between them shot by Yume, the Hunter of their group. Moguzo charges the goblin and swings his Great Sword, but it gets stuck midway into a tree, sparing the goblin a severe blow, the goblin slashes him away from his sword and falls back. The goblin hears some branches cracking and shifts its focus towards Shihoru, approaching from a small ledge above them and as it heads towards her she panics and misses her spell cast and gets pushed over and slashed in the leg. Manato comes by and smashes the goblin away with his staff and uses Cure to heal Shihoru. They all ‘ready up’ to attack and Haruhiro realizes that this lone goblin, weakest of all enemies in the land of Grimgar, is probably stronger than their entire group.

A few days ago Haruhiro and the others all awoke with another group of people in a dark room, lying on the floor, and no one really knows anything about how they got there. As the group asks around they’re directed towards a Volunteer Soldier office. The person in charge of the office gives the two groups some coins to start out their journey and tells them that they must pay for their Brigade Badges to move up to the main army forces. They need to go out and hunt monsters to get money for their badges, but it seems that Haruhiro’s group is a little bit behind and lacks experience. They spend most of their days heading to the forest and finding groups of goblins that wouldn’t be too difficult to fight, pinching their coins and barely scraping by with enough food to eat. They practice their skills and head out to the forest and, after several days, finally struggle to get their first goblin kill. When they head back into town they find out that the few spoils they found with it were actually worth quite a bit. After celebrating their first kill that night, Manato comes back late from the Tavern and let’s everyone know that he heard of a better place for them to start out; an abandoned and destroyed town where goblins live and roam. As each day passes they get more and more confident as they’ve mapped out more and more of the town and have gotten used to carefully dispatching the goblins.

They have to stay careful and aware at all times because, one mistake and it could lead to a fatal encounter, this isn’t a game. Wait, what it is a game? No one really seems to know why they say some words, sort of just out of habit, but they don’t know what the phrases or words mean. Maybe it has something to do with the clothes they were wearing when they appeared in Grimgar, or where they even came from. I guess the biggest concern is making enough money to be able to eat every day. They’ll find answers along the way, they aren’t going anywhere.

This has been one of the most interesting Anime this season but, be warned, it seems to be going for a slow burn. Most episodes are pretty slow paced but it gives a lot of detail and sets the story for what is to come. The entire story mingles around everyone in the group but the main point of view is from Haruhiro, the group’s thief. I usually base a lot of my initial opinions of the shows after they’ve aired three episodes and Grimgar has released 5 episodes by the time I’ve reviewed this, but I don’t think they’ll be holding any punches for the rest of the season. The few places I look at anime have compared this to being another Sword Art Online clone for this season except, right now, it’s uncertain if people are in a game or if they’ve been pulled from our world. It does seem to be a life or death situation and everyone seems to be living as though they were in an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game), but everything has more of a sense of realism than a game could have.

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