- Genre : Fantasy, Adventure, action, political
- Studio: A-1 Pictures
You know, this week has been a highlight in the Winter Games. Although I feel like Yuru Camp has been better in past weeks, Grancrest makes up for it with one of the best episodes it has had to date. I know, I’m as shocked as you are. It wasn’t fantastic by any means but it also wasn’t bad. It Wasn’t Bad! Let’s celebrate eberyone!
I’m writing this on Saturday because I was actually pretty exhausted from the week when I got home last night and opted to play video games instead of watching Grancreat and writing the review. As a result I’m cramming both this and the Sanrio review in today plus a lot of editing. Happily, watching the episode was uncharacteristically enjoyable and I’m even a little happy to talk about it with you guys.
The episode was divided into two clear arcs. The first half, a long flashback sequence dedicated to showing us how Marinne and Alexis met and fell in love, was more or less a superficial Romeo and Juliette retelling with a bit less tragedy but it was surprisingly sweet and left me appreciating both characters more.
And here all you cynical people thought Marinne wasn’t as dedicated to the romance as Alexis but if anything, she might love him more than he does, she simply has a strong sense of responsibility she can’t ignore. It’s hardly a new dilemma, we’ve seen it done a lot. However, it’s relatable, well explained and compelling. As for Alxis’ impossibly naive do gooder attitude, it will almost certainly doom him to crushing disillusionment and betrayal, and worst of all, potentially become annoying to watch, but for the moment it at least gives him a consistent personality which is more than I can say about most characters in the show.
The shorter end half of the episode, was an almost smart reminder of what has taken place so far and reassessing of the plot points. By having the major players meet for a conference and calmly discuss the current situation and latest events in the land, the narrative managed to re-situate the viewers, clear up the storyline and even let us know where we are heading.
In one straightforward and unassuming, they manage to address a lot of the issues plaguing the show. Not saying these issues are completely solved but it’s a step in the right direction.
I now care a lot more about Marrine and Alexis, and consequently about the entire conflict happening around them. I have a pretty good idea what Villar is trying to do and why and how Theo and Siluca generally fit into that plan. The puzzle pieces are finally starting to fit into place and I have hope that we may get an image in the end.
There are still way too many characters that seem completely uneeded. It’s telling that this episode which I enjoyed so much (it even had a passably acceptable ball scene) had no hint of werewolves, vampires, chaos creature, demons or even crests. Just actual narrative ground work. It was refreshing.
I am quite curious to see what impact the fact the Marrine and Alexis are clearly siblings ( possibly twins) has on the overall story. Also, am I the only one who finds that people that don’t close their eyes when they kiss are super creepy? It just looks off. Maybe it’s just me.
I admit it, I’m foolishly daring to hope here. It’s ridiculous to start setting up your foundations at episode 8 but hey, this could be the start of…let’s be honest an okay anime with occasionally interesting moments.
I am disappointed I didn’t get to rewrite some particularly ridiculous bit of dialogue though. Hopefully we still get those moments as well.
A cohesive narrative has reinvigorated my ambition to actually guess what’s going to happen. So far most of my points have been through ridiculously dumb luck so I’m a little scared that the earnest strategy will backfire but here goes:
Plot: Marinne and Alexis will reunite (even if just for a short while)
Character: Siluca will worry about Theo (sadly these two are still cradboard cutouts)
I haven’t had a chance to discuss this week’s episode with Astral, Leap and TPAB. We rarely agree on our tastes in anime so there’s a fair chance they found this week’s Yuru Camp the best one ever and this episode of Grancrest boring and ineffectual. I can’t wait to go read their posts. Who do you guys agree with?