My review of the fall's anime continues with The Fruit of Grisaia.
Grisaia no Kajitsu (The Fruit of Grisaia) (Le Fruit de la Grisaia)
Grisaia no Kajitsu, also known by two other titles, The Fruit of Grisaia and Le Fruit de la Grisaia, follows Yūji Kazami, the "janitor" of the underworld, who cleans up the proverbial "mess" as an assassin. However, Yūji wants to experience a "typical high school" life, and as a reward for his work as an assassin, he transfers to Mihama Academy, which only has five female students on the campus featuring prison-like security.
Grisaia no Kajitsu takes a standard harem trope of one guy at an all girls’ school and gives it a dark twist. After the first three episodes set up the characters, the following episodes are split into story arcs between one to four episodes in length, which expands upon each girl's dark backstory and how Yūji attempts to assist them.
Yūji is a refreshing harem protagonist, who is cold and calculating due to his military background, yet he is not afraid of girls like 97% of other harem protagonists. His personality is excellent at both producing humor from his blunt responses, and also at being believable as an assassin in the more serious scenes.
With the story arc format, not all of the stories are going to succeed, particularly the first arc with blonde tsundere, Michiru. Her arc is not bad, but it is noticeably rushed and confusing, and the sixth episode is also rushed, albeit still relatively effective. Also, depending on your preference, the story arcs can be heavy handed in terms of the drama, although that was never an issue for me. Thankfully, the other arcs all range from very good to amazing. In fact, the final arc, "Angelic Howl," is possibly the most disturbing thing that I have seen in 2014. What is shown is not exactly the most disturbing, but rather what it implies and how grim the situation becomes is what makes it disturbing and suspenseful.
In-between the dark storylines, there is quite a bit of humor, and while it is not particularly original, it made me laugh when it needed to.
Studio 8-Bit's art style is simply superb. The character designs are beautiful and crisp, and the lighting used throughout is exceptional. The animation itself does not have to do much since the series is light on action, but it still looks amazing.
|Yūji's Bluntness is awesome.|
Despite my praise, there is one glaring flaw in Grisaia no Kajitsu: the fanservice. Throughout the first few episodes in particularly, there is a lot of fanservice, and if you have any aversion to fanservice, these early episodes are likely to deter you from watching the series, and I can only recommend it for mature viewers.
Interestingly, the series ends with a teaser for two more upcoming anime each based on the prequel and sequel visual novels in the Grisaia franchise, Le Labyrinthe de la Grisaia and Le Eden de la Grisaia, both of which will be airing in the Spring. However, other reports have said that the prequel and sequel will be adapted into one series that covers both games. Regardless, knowing that Grisaia is receiving a sequel, especially one so soon, makes the series much easier to recommend due to certain events that take place, which should receive a degree of resolution in the sequel.
Overall, Grisaia no Kajitsu is one of the better ecchi/harems out there. It is not without its flaws, and if you played the visual novels, you are likely to be disappointed; however, as a standalone piece of entertainment in a genre that often lacks serious drama, there are not many that can match its dramatic storytelling and visuals.
Watch if you like: Ecchi/Harems, Dark drama, Fanservice, Monogatari,
More Fall Anime Reviews:
In Search of the Lost Future
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