I thought about writing Grimm instead of Grim but then realized it was a pretty weak pun and probably no one would get it except me. Besides I make so many typos that most people would probably just assume it was one of them. If you’re new here, welcome to my blog! It’s super duper professional!
Let me start by saying that I liked this episode. It featured characters I really like and I think it was well paced. I was pretty taken by the action and even got a little nervous here and there. I feel compelled to assure you of my appreciation right off the bat because I have a feeling I’m about to rant and sound really negative. This episode doesn’t deserve that. I wouldn’t call it my favourite by any means but it wasn’t bad.
To me, the weakest element of Somali and the Forest Spirit is the open animosity between the grotesques and humans. This is no surprise, I’ve ranted about it a few times already.
On paper, it’s not a bad concept. It’s not uninteresting and it’s wrought with natural conflict. Seeing a world where humans were defeated from the standpoint of the victors is something we pretty much never get to do and it constantly keeps the pressure on with regard to Somali. In many ways, it’s a pretty sharp little storytelling device. But it’s just handled so brashly and clumsily that it brings the show down, In my opinion of course. Too bad it’s sort of at the core of the overarching story line.
If I were to try and script doctor Somali and the Forest Spirit really quickly, I would replace the malicious war with either a natural extinction or even some type of disease. (I know my timing is really bad but hear me out…) A plague of some sort would still make humans scarce and difficult to find and you could still have them be hunted but out of self preservation instead of old prejudices. I figure it would allow for a more nuanced representation. Then again, the timing would have been horrendous and the season may have been put on hold so maybe it’s good that no one is asking my opinion.
And I was totally wrong about Grandma being a bridge character. She’s super evil. They try to make her a bit ambiguous by throwing in some some sob story about how evil humans were brutal to her village when she was little but then they give her a line about wanting to eat Somali’s liver and draw her with super sharp pointy teeth and all the subtlety goes right out the window.
Also the sob stories about grotesques and humans being mean to each other are starting to get a bit repetitive. Or a lot repetitive. If you’re going to keep going over something, give us another flashback of early days of Somali and Golem and have him cut her hair! I’m not giving up on that.
I did really like that Somali still has a tooth missing. I lot of shows forget about details like that.
Good thing I told you I liked the episode right from the start! You might not have noticed otherwise!
10 thoughts on “Somali and The Forest Spirit Episode 11 – Things Are Looking Grim”
Seems like just yesterday I was saying something about “protect your little sister and the rest of the world be damned!” Today’s thought is “protect your daughter and the rest of the world be damned!” (Ah, what character development I exhibit!)
Thankfully the sow clearly agrees with you. As did the other one for that matter of fact. Protect cute girls is pretty common anime motto.
Indeed, although I was actually expressing the IRL motto of protect family.
The humans vs. grotesque angle is just ill thought out. I mean bigotry isn’t rare in our world, but we generally don’t eat people we’re afraid of. Have you ever wondered why cannibalism is taboo in most societies? I don’t think Somali has. They probably don’t even see the possibility of this being a case of cannibalism, since the “grotesque” aren’t human. And that attitude right there is the problem. If it’s taboo between species to eat each other, why are humans exempt? Them being bigots doesn’t cut it, really.
1. No eating humans (except for equally dispised criminals).
2. No near-extinction and hunting. Instead, controlled populations with no political prospects and usually severe economic and social integration problems.
3. As a result no “looking for humans” plot. Instead, looking for suitable parents (human or otherwise) for a child who’s grown up in the forest with a golem and thus doesn’t really fit in anywhere and has no racial identity.
Who counts as a parent would be a moral problem, but this also means that universally kind people like the Oni would be a problem for the plot (as it’d be over soon, unless there are political and legal obstacles: “I heard its legal to adopt humans in so-and-so”), so I don’t know.
That would change the story considerably. It does sound really good though
Evil aunt: Humans killed my kind. That’s bad.
Somali: Feels sad
Evil aunt: So we killed them back. And eat them, too.
At least, that how my internal writer would have written the scene, and that’s how I would have known that I might want to add a _little_ subtlety…
But the scene where the hunters grabbed Somali? That was really hard for the dad in me to watch.
Somali’s character design would sell anything I think
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