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

TLDR:
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!

5/15-5/21 Anime review. “Haganai”, “INVADERS of the ROKUJYOMA”, and “My Bride Is a Mermaid”

TLDR:
Haganai: Skip
Invaders: Stream
Mermaid: May be worth buying, definite watch.

Longer version:
“Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai” (“Haganai”):
This show had two seasons but no ending. Worse yet, I don’t think it will GET an ending, which is too bad because it was starting to come to a conclusion at the very end of the second season.  I’ve since read up what I could find online about the series, and apparently the original writer of the light novels had a huge falling out with the editors of the anime and wrote a ‘horrible’ ending to his novels, so the anime is dead. No conclusion means I just can’t recommend it. Basically this harem goes no where so just avoid it.

 

“INVADERS of the ROKUJYOMA”:
This series also doesn’t conclude, but there may be future seasons to rectify that. If there does end up being a second (or even third) season and they end up as good as this first one, this’ll be a definite recommend.  It’s not anything really new in the harem genre but I actually liked all the characters in this one. The main character isn’t an idiot, the girls aren’t either, and I like that. They all have their definite agenda’s and they clash, but they are all finding ways to appreciate and work with each other. The magic/sci-fi/ghost combo just works here and I fully expect a time travel arc in a future season. I usually HATE time travel in TV and movies but I think it may actually work here.  I’m recommending this one be watched but just stream it. The recommendation may change if it does/or doesn’t get future seasons.

“Seto no Hanayome” (“My Bride Is a Mermaid”):
This one basically has a conclusion after the first 26 episodes. There was an OVA but it’s basically just 4 short stories showing the wacky going ons in the characters lives. Basically this story is, “Drowning boy gets saved by a mermaid. Mermaid law demands they marry. Mermaid’s family is actually Yakuza and her Dad thinks a better solution is to just kill said boy because nobody touches his precious precious daughter!” Hi-jinks commence.  I know this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and I’ll admit the first half of the first episode is kind of ‘meh’, but I was laughing my ass off the rest of the way.  This show was hilarious and I say that after watching it in English. (Usually a sub kind of guy but the English voice actors did a really good job here.)  I’m not going to say more here but I’m seriously considering this a series I’ll buy. At the very least find a way to stream this if you can.

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