Before I begin the review, there are some things you need to know about process that all of us go through when we lose someone important in our lives. Some may know of this, but for those who do not, they would the 5 stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Anyone with an interest in psychology or anyone who has lost a loved one will also know that the stages do not always happen in that order either. Now, why is this important for this episode? Well, I believe it is centered around the stages. Let’s get into it and find out how.
SPOILERS AHEAD! If you haven’t seen this episode, I would recommend that you stop here. If you haven’t watched the series, please have a look at my first impression of Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash, it’s spoiler free!
The episode kicks off with our characters by Manato’s grave grieving. It is obvious that this is taking place right after the funeral we had in the previous episode. From my perspective, it looks like the series plans on spending the previous episode and this one on Manato’s death and how the characters react to or grieve over it. When it comes to an episodic series, I noticed that you can handle character deaths in various ways. One may spend an episode on it with the main character getting over it in a short span of time or you can spend a couple of episodes on the matter to imply how serious the death is. It seems Grimgar plans to let the death sink in since this is a series that is heavy on character interactions. I generally prefer the latter method since character deaths tend to be important, especially in anime.
During the episode, we can see how the death of Manato has affected the party; they’re sad, angry, they are starting to blame each other for Manato’s death and Ranta even talks about quitting life in general. This relates to the 5 stages of grief; we can obviously see anger and slight depression going on, heck, even Moguzo, who is usually the calm one, is getting angry at Haruhiro and Ranta for getting mad at each other. I believe that Ranta doesn’t know how to handle death well, given the fact that his only response is to move on with an attitude that clearly implies frustration, which prompts Yume to give him a good slap because of his childishness.
We get introduced to Kikkawa and due to the situation, he’s the type of person Haruhiro and the rest do not want to be talking with right now. His personality comes off as that one person that loves to overhype everything with positivity and that can rub some people the wrong way, especially when they’re angry. If you look at Haruhiro’s facial expression, you can tell he’s frustrated by Kikkawa’s presence; who wouldn’t be? I mean, he doesn’t even remember their names… Luckily, he talks of the party finding a new priest since the team does need one, but let’s just say the new priest they find isn’t on the cooperative side, which brings up some issues…
Here comes the new member of the party, Mary, and she’s….well, she’s not the ray of sunshine the group needs since her attitude is so demeaning, that it’s no wonder she’s still looking for work.. You can tell the girls are upset about Mary since Haruhiro and the rest didn’t tell them about her and their facial expression shows this as well. You know, Mary may not be pleasant, but she is right about one thing: The party is a mess. Everything has been off since Manato died; their communication has dwindled, their strategies aren’t working anymore, and the air just feels off. Haruhiro finally admits this after we see Renji come in and offer a gold coin as a gift, which he refuses due to pride and the fact that Manato wouldn’t want it this way.
The final scene is the meat of the episode and is probably going to be the most emotional scene of this season. Haruhiro and Yume talk it out and from there the music escalates as they both release everything that has been on their minds while crying out, all at the same time. Haruhiro apologies for the lack of communication and Yume cries because of the feeling of loneliness and separation that has been going on throughout the party had the feels going strong. The impact of the music, facial expressions, tears, and voice acting added to the emotional value of the scene and that was the moment where the feeling of acceptance kicked in for Haruhiro as he finally tells himself and accepts that Manato is truly gone. Throughout the scene, I noticed that the way both Haruhiro and Yume held each other felt very…romantic. I know you hold someone when grieving, but they continued to hold each other, even after crying out, which could imply some romance that could happen later down the road. Also, Yume not totally freaking out that Shihoru saw them in the act makes me believe that she might have some romantic feelings for Haruhiro.
Overall, the episode didn’t have much other than character interaction and drama, but it took what happened in the previous episode and keyed in on how the aftermath of Manato’s death affected the party. It even brought in some psychological concepts when it came to death, which it dealt with well. Other than that, the episode was good and it looks like we get to learn on our new member next episode, so I’m looking forward to that!
Check out the other Winter 2016 Anime season related articles!
(Screenshot Credits: FUNImation)
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