Hai to Gensou no Grimgar Review — B+

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People move to an MMO world. If you die in the game, you die in real life!

We’ve seen variants on this premise a lot recently, but this is the first that I’d say has been genuinely good, no strings attached. It’s basically the mechanics of a game world with the harshness of the real world. You can use magic, but life is nasty, brutish, and short. You don’t have to worry about defeating the demon king, because you’re probably going to get shot in the back by a goblin and die, or starve to death because you can’t afford food. It’s kill or be killed— and killing is also nasty and cruel. Those low level goblins that you grind for experience? They also have lives, and bleed blood. Our heroes are essentially starting on a quest of mass genocide.

Grimgar had an excellent atmosphere. It’s great at making you feel like shit. It did maybe go a bit overboard with the insert songs, but whatever. The first one at least fit excellently. I should also mention the artwork is gorgeous, particularly the watercolor (??? I know jacksquat about art) backgrounds.

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Also, great shipping. And fuck Ranta. He’s great. (At being an asshole.)

  • Storytelling – B – Slow paced, great at building the atmosphere.
  • Voice – A – Great style and atmosphere.
  • Characters – A – Amazing development. Lots of nuance to them. Developed through small things and body language.
  • Attention Grab – B – Did lose interest on occasion (especially when they’re hanging around town / insert songs.)
  • Production – A – Looks amazing.
  • Overall – B+

Recommendations – Haibane Renmei

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