Anime of the Week: Hai to Gensou no Grimgar

Hai to Gensou no Grimgar, otherwise known as Grimgar: Ashes and Illusions or Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash, is a show that took me by surprise. I had never heard of it before and just happened across it while browsing MAL (My Anime List). It took and interesting spin on a genre that’s beginning to be overused in the Anime world, which is the ‘Transported to Another World’ genre. Let me walk you through.

Art. Let’s start with the art. The character designs are rather simple, despite being a fantasy show, but I think it adds to the emotion of the story. And speaking of adding emotion, the color palette does an amazing job of setting the tone of the series. It uses faded and worn tones and hues that contribute to its subtly dire and uncomfortably real mood.

Characters. If you’ve read my other Anime of the Week articles, you’ll know I tend to like complex characters. This show’s characters are a good example of...an exception. However, I wouldn’t be quick to say that they’re gaudily simple either. They’re far beyond two dimensional, each of them dealing with very real-world problems. How they learn to handle them is what kept me hooked on Grimgar.

Plot. Now, as I said before, this is another ‘Transported to Another World’ anime, but it does something very different compared to the others of this genre. While the other isekai normally go with learning how to live in this new world and its laws, Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash does the inverse. It takes very real world problems and applies them to a fantasy setting. Yes, there is still learning about the mechanics of the new world, but that’s unavoidable. Anyway, here is the basic storyline. When Haruhiro awakens, he’s in the dark surrounded by people who have no memory of where they came from or how they got there. As the darkness fades, a fantastic new world called “Grimgar” appears before them and their adventure begins—but first, they’ll have to choose their guild, class, and special abilities. But survival in this new place won’t be as easy as they think.

I don’t want to hype this show too much, because it really shines the less you know about it. Sure, it’s not the type where you’ll probably become invested in it, but it will definitely have a chance of enticing you to finish the anime. Hopefully it surprises you like it did me.

Rating: 7/10 Confikeys

MAB III