I am going to be honest here, I thought this episode of Grimgar was a great one. There were many elements in it and they were mixed in a way made it very enjoyable to watch, alongside additional factors that are the “cherry on top” for me. Let’s go ahead and jump in!
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 & Zach’s article on Why Grimgar Of Fantasy and Ash is One of the Best Shows this Season (both spoiler free)!
The first scene showcases Mary and her old team heading off to Cyrene Mine and while it doesn’t look like much, it is important for upcoming scenes. Starting where the last episode left off, we see Mary come back to her senses in order for Haruhiro and the rest to go to the safe floor, but things get crazy from there. From this moment on, the episode starts to grow stronger and stronger, eventually setting up for the finale of Grimgar. Mary encounters some of her old teammates, whom have been zombified due to the No Life King’s curse. If the previous episodes about Mary were for her character development, then this episode is the peak for her. According to Haruhiro, Mary has been preparing for this day; the day where she purifies her friends of the curse to let them rest. This showcases the importance of the first scene; it displayed that she loved her deceased friends very much and now she has to put them to rest. Not only was the action fun to watch, but seeing Mary take the center for her friends was glorious. This was her moment; everything she has been through, trained for, was for the sole purpose of saving her friends. The symbolism of the ash in Mary’s palms gave away the meaning of “Ash” in the series title, because in this world, ash symbolizes death as we have seen before during Manato’s death.
Despite Mary having her moment to herself, the episode remembers its other characters as they compare their skills to the cursed opponents they just fought knowing that they need to get stronger and still have a ways to go. From here on out, the episode only becomes more tense, as Death Spots arrives and to make matters worse, his war cry summons the other Kobloids in the vicinity, forcing Haruhiro and the others to flee for their lives. Grimgar has always excelled at character interaction and growth, but it also excels at building up tension and the later half of this episode proves that. We see Haruhiro and the team run for their lives, working together to get out of the mine in one piece and with the music added in for tension value, it feels like they could die at any time.
The final scenes are setup for the finale for Grimgar, as Ranta is the only one who doesn’t make it out. Being the caring leader that he is, Haruhiro is not about to abandon his friend, and the same goes for the rest of the team. All in all, the episode was amazing. Not only did it have action, but it contained a key character moment for Mary, as well as slight development for the rest of the characters. To add to that, it raised the tension high and kept it at that level until the very end. Lastly, the art and the music were also fantastic, with the the soundtrack playing in the right moments and the coloring staying as gorgeous as ever. With the endgame of Grimgar in sight, it looks like saving Ranta is top priority, but I wonder what else it will bring to the table for the finale? Grimgar has been a pleasant ride, so next week could definitely be a treat if it goes out with a bang!
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