If I had to put this anime into one word I would say that the word would be slow. With the current anime age that we are in now, we get a ton of more series with a faster pace to hook the watcher quicker. So watching a series like this was personally a breath of fresh air. The anime called Hai to Gensou no Grimgar (Grimgar: Ashes and Illusions) is an isekai series, but I see it more as an adventure series. As in this story a group of teens from another world sent to this world of Grimgar. But, they have no recollection of their previous lives. With that they live in this world that is beautiful and full of life. But, it is also very dangerous and frightening as it is filled with so much unknown. So as you are watching this you really feel like you are discovering a whole world as you are following the story of these kids as they try to live in this world.
Now before I talk more about the series in depth. I will say that if you have yet to watch it. GO WATCH IT and then go read the light novel cause it is great. If you want a series that is full of adventure, has amazing world building, and good characters I recommend this series for you.
*** Entering Spoiler Territory ***
The reason that I enjoyed this story so much is because of the true grind of this story. As the cast of characters are not some all powerful group with all world abilities. Nor are they a group of chosen ones that have some ridiculous power up potential where they are unbeatable in a couple of chapters. The group is a party of regular people that are just trying to survive in this world. Slowly leveling up to become stronger. I really enjoyed that it took them 3 episodes to go from barley beating a single goblin. To then forming tactics and defeating multiple goblins in a day. And it all feels earned and not just given.
Then, when they are not fighting monsters to earn money. You see the relationship between all of the people in the party grow and see what they do in this world. As you see some fall in love, while others become closer friends, and moments of just wonder of the new world that they are a part of. Along with all of the mystery that is in this world. Making you care about these characters. So when the first death of the series came you felt that.
Before I talk about the death that happened. I have to say that I have seen some foreshadowing in my life. But, this one was one of the most blatant foreshadows that I have ever seen. Back to the topic. When the death of Manato came, it showed me a couple things. One being that this story is one that is not afraid to kill anyone in this series. Two, it showed me that this world is not some fun isekai where everyone can live by some luck or a miracle. Making this world feel more real as an isekai world. Death is real in this world and I like that from this series. Now the death of Manato was one that saddened the party heavily and you can feel that through episode 4 and through the rest of the season. But, with his death, it made the party stronger and more cautious in this unforgiving world. And I have to show respect to the author to the handling that was put with it.
Now about the party and my thoughts about them. I want to start with my personal favorite episode of the season. Being episode 5 with everyone trying to move on with the death of Manato. With everyone dealing with it in different ways. Then leading to the awkward situation as the guys added Merry to the party. As they had to move forward from his death. But, it made everyone distant, from the way they fought to the way they talked with one another. It was all distant but then Haruhiro decided to just go to Yume and talk about it. Have a real conversation and just air out their feelings and really it was one of my favorite moments of the season because of them just clearing the air and them growing through such a tough time for everyone. Leading to everyone being better because of it.
Now Merry is a character that I enjoyed seeing her backstory and her growth in the collection of episodes we got with her. As she was the perfect person to join the party after the lost. Their might have been another person that might be better skill wise or even more cooperative in the beginning. But, it would not have grown this party to the amount they did by the end of this season.
Haruhiro’s character is one that is very perspective of his surroundings and one that I respect for having to deal with such a tough task of keeping the group together and understanding them all. He is technically the main character of the show and I really do like him as a character this season. As he was real a lot of the time. Yume is the person that I see as the secondary leader of the party. Being the emotional backbone of this party. I feel that she keeps this party together as much as Haruhiro and I love her character for that.
With the other characters of the party being ones that I was not as high on watching the anime as they filled the typical anime roles of the shy girl, the rowdy guy, and nice guy. But, I did enjoy them all in the story. Though, not as much as the three of Merry, Haruhiro, and Yume in the anime. Along with a collection of secondary characters that we did not see a lot of in the anime. But, if you read that light novel you will see a lot more about them and this world.
Non Spoiler Light Novel Discussion
I am not gonna say anything spoiler wise about the light novels. But, I will say that it is crazy that this anime has only covered 2 volumes of the entire light novel series. A series with 17 light novels currently out and counting. And as a person that has read a couple of volumes I will say that the first season has only touched the tip of the iceberg to this massive world of Grimgar and it is sad that it might never get season 2.
I will say that the anime cut some things and changed some things to the final arc to make it feel like a complete story. But, I am glad that they ended the season with both Merry and the party to get their revenge and closer for their fallen comrades in the last two arcs. It was one that was enjoyable to see after all of the work that the party put in the beginning to see them now. Overall I really just appreciate the grind of this isekai that is not really a isekai.
Thanks to Karandi for recommending this series to me. As I did not expect to love the story so much that I decided to read the first couple volumes of this story and make a review of the anime. Thanks to everyone that took the time out of your day to read this post and until next time, be great.
Also this was a hard choice but Yume is the best girl of Grimgar.