Being a fantasy series centered around a main cast of characters, Grimgar likes to take its time with the pacing to help us get to know the characters, you know, see them grow, react and more. Even when a character we grow attached to dies, it doesn’t stop developing the characters, and the same applies to the new priest, Mary.
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 was centered around Mary and how Haruhiro and the group learn to adjust to her and communicate with her better. The episode also has some brief comedy to lighten the mood from the previous two episodes, with Ranta freaking out about Shihoru’s misunderstanding about Yume and Haruhiro being in a romantic relationship together. Despite the effort from Haruhiro and the rest, Mary isn’t having any of it, which makes it that much harder for the group to accept her as a member. If you take a closer look at her body language and facial expressions, it feels like she isn’t distancing herself for a dumb reason, rather, she looks…defensive or hesitant. You can also rule out that she is heartless and cold, since she did try to protect Shihoru from the attacking goblins. Heck, she even used a skill on one, so there is something more going on with Mary.
We get introduced to Shinohara and find out how he and Mary are connected to each other, which could lead us to find out more about Mary herself since she has connections with another person. I like how Grimgar, despite having a cast of unique characters, can remember that Haruhiro is the protagonist and still show the audience his monologues and moments to himself. We see that Haruhiro is struggling with trying to become a leader; Manato left him a large task to carry out and Haruhiro is not sure he can carry out that task. Despite his doubt, Haruhiro knows that he must carry on with being a leader because, if he can’t do it, then who will? The best part is when we see Haruhiro actually grow when he starts analyzing his team and realizes that if he is aware of his friends and surroundings, then he can become a leader. It is moments like these that make Grimgar shine the most. Sure, it has a slow start, but most shows that take their time to explain everything and develop their characters at their own pace end up becoming great shows.
Towards the end, Haruhiro and the rest talk with Shinohara about Mary to find out more about her. To make a long story short, Mary has been in a similar situation to Haruhiro, where a friend died, but in Mary’s case, it was worse. Finding out about what happened to Mary gives good reason as to why she acts distant and cold; it’s actually a defense mechanism and having lost three of your beloved friends can make a person distant and depressed. Hearing this, Haruhiro and the rest look like they can sympathize with her, given their situation, but I wonder how they will use this to become closer to her. I’d assume bluntly telling her about her past will do more harm than good, so I am looking forward to how Haruhiro and the rest will handle it.
Being at the halfway point, Grimgar hasn’t disappointed yet, but it has yet to deliver something grand that can leave a satisfying ending. I just hope the next few episodes can slowly build up to that grand finish, while maintaining its own pace. You’re doing well, Grimgar, so keep at it!
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