Grimgar of Ice and Fire. Is a story about a group of amnesia suffering youngsters that wake in a generic fantasy world. To survive in this new realm they must band together, become “Voluntary Soldiers” and slay the native monsters for money. Basically imagine Sword Art Online if the main character(s) were completely hopeless, like when your parents try to play a video game.
Let me start out by saying I actually really enjoyed this series, so take every negative point I make with a grain of salt. The pros include its characters, well crafted setting and intense action scenes. Admittedly the characters and setting aren’t very original, I mean just look at the fact I mention SAO, because you’ll definitely get a familiar feel. Though its probably more Log Horizon than the former in terms of storytelling. Starting with the characters we have a few notables and the rest are fairly decent, if a tad unfulfilled. Yume takes my prize of Best Girl as she is amusing, charming and capable in a fight, while not falling prey to the Asuna curse of becoming completely useless when a hot boy is around. Following her up is Ranta whom takes the place as Best Guy(No Yaoi,) mostly because he is the prime example of the asshole badass character. I find his character quite interesting, especially after the later episodes where he is give a proper shot in the spotlight.
Moving on to the action scenes and setting. The latter is beautiful to say the least, reminding me of the original Berserk series with its water paint-like backgrounds. A few minutes are dedicated to panning across this scenery, which is either a negative or positive depending on your perspective. But I must say its a refreshing treat since it really looks like someone put a lot of effort into it. On the other hand we have the action scenes, oh my these are brilliant! The art of making realistic fight scenes is a rare skill, this series(at least early on,) does this incredibly well. The fights feel more like a legit struggles of life and death. Compared to a overdramatic punch ups between Gods or Ninja’s, with increasingly ridiculous special moves and progressively less relation to actual ninjaneering. Characters that struggle to kill not just because of skill but personal feelings add to the realism. While heart wrenching screams and glorious blood splatters satisfy us psychopaths.
If I have to say some cons then they are mostly involving the main character, Haruhiro.
Overall he is actually a decent character, but there are particular scenes in which his behaviour is rather backward to me. Near the end of the series the group is forced to change hunting grounds, so Haruhiro blurts out that they should try the nearby Mine. Now prior to this the characters learnt about the history to this place, thus should have full knowledge of a certain member’s personal feelings towards it. However Haruhiro, characterized as being empathic and thoughtful chap. Just throws it out there without warning. Then to top it all off, acts surprised when said member freaks out.
This strange behaviour later happens inside the mine, when he scorns Ranta for suggesting they kill some monsters while they sleep. Noting they did exactly that earlier on in the series, how Haruhiro justifies killing awake monsters comparatively, baffles me. Lastly is a conversation between Ranta and Haruhiro, who is attempting get to know Ranta personally after prior disagreements. When pressed by Ranta to share his weaknesses, Haruhiro replies “I don’t see why I should tell you that.” Right after asking similar personal questions to Ranta. Not sure where he learnt to converse, but that’s not how heart to hearts work, matie.
In short, Grimgar is a great series with a lot of tasteful art and action scenes. What it lacks in originality and the odd bizarre character moment, it makes up for with detail. Now there is a lot more I could say about it, but without further ado. I fully recommend the series to those that enjoyed Sword Art Online and Log Horizon. With that said, this has been El Psy and thanks for reading!