5/22-5/25 Anime Review: “The Fruit of Grisaia”, “The Labyrinth of Grisaia”, and “Engaged to the Unidentified”

The Fruit of Grisaia: Skip
The Labyrinth of Grisaia: Skip
Engaged to the Unidentified: Stream

The week started out with Grisaia and I needed something sweet to cleanse my palate, so I finished with Engaged.

The Fruit of Grisaia: 6/10
This was a very odd series. The show starts with our main character walking over a hundred kilometers, because he doesn’t like trains, to enter an ‘ordinary school and have an ordinary school life’. Yeah, no.
Nothing about the school or the students is ordinary. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a space/fantasy/magic/high-tech show. It’s pretty much set in the ‘normal world’, but it’s populated with total oddities. The main character is basically a 16 year old veteran of the government’s ‘wet works’. You read that right. He’s being giving this ‘ordinary school life’ as a retirement present for service. So, if you can accept that, get ready for the fact that the entire school has a total of 5 students, all girls of course, plus him as the new transfer. He spends the season ‘fixing’ each girls unique (and very strange) situation. I will say that I actually liked the resolution of the youngest girl’s situation, but all of this is just a ‘Gary Stu’ perfect main character going through a wish fulfillment show. I’m giving it a 6 out of 10 simply because it’s animated, and acted well, but the overall story is just a bit too much for me. I’d recommend just skipping this one.

The Labyrinth of Grisaia: 5/10
This is basically Grisaia, the prelude. You get to see a LOT of the main characters back story, and I really don’t think it improves the show. This guy should NOT be a moral, upstanding, confident human being. With everything that has happened to him, he should be a walking basket case or psychopath. There is another season to the Grisaia story after this one, but I’ve decided I don’t want to watch it. It’ll no doubt have the main character taking on the one surviving ‘enemy’ of his childhood, and showing the woman that ‘saved’ him and how she did that. This is a deep enough well of human misery that I’m just going to lie down and avoid it. Skip this one unless you actually liked ‘Fruit’.

Engaged to the Unidentified: 6/10
After the depravity and human misery shown in Grisaia, I needed a palate cleanser and chose this short rom-com. It’s sweet, has tons of tropes and lets the female characters carry it. (No really, the male ‘lead’ might speak 3 sentences a show on average, including nods and grunts.) Basically I liked the interaction of the girls, the youngest one was adorable, while the oldest was suitably ‘wacky’. The story goes for all sorts of tropes but tends to duck them at the same time to kind of wink along with the audience, ‘yeah we knew you were expecting that, but what if we do this instead?’. If you want a romantic comedy that is quick and sweet this will fill the bill. I’d recommend streaming it.

As per always I’m trying not to spoil anything in the ‘review’ above, but I’ll gladly delve into them in the comments!