Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash has come to a close, and despite a somewhat rocky start, and some issues that persisted throughout the series, it has been a real blast and ends spectacularly.
Picking up right after episode 11’s events, with Ranta on the run from the Kobolds and the rest of the party planning to rescue him, we’re treated to an exceptionally strong finale that gives some complete closure to a few of the character arcs that we’ve been following.
Ranta, Mary and Haruhiro all have their character arcs, no matter how short or long, come to satisfying conclusions as the party works together to get out of the mines.
We see Ranta come to terms with his desire to live, and his regrets with the rest of the party (albeit in his usual crappy and perverted manner) as well as the payoff to this last minute push of character development – punctuated by his demon familiar and its constant taunting.
Haruhiro comes to terms with being a leader, and how he differs from Manato, tying up that arc for him, as he acknowledges how the party balances one another out, and what he needs to do in the position he found himself in.
Finally, Mary’s arc comes to a close through her shift in attitude towards the party as a whole, shown through some scenes with the whole group earlier in the episode and her moments with Haruhiro (they make a ridiculously cute couple by the way) towards the end of the episode.
All of this is wrapped around a conflict with Death Spots as it continues to hunt the party on their way back up the mines, ending with Haruhiro finally killing it after the two of them fall further back down into the mine.
It works really well, and leads into a series of conclusions and epilogues for the series that really tie everything up nicely and leave hope for the future of this party – and maybe a continuation if it does well enough.
That all said, there were a few issues with the episode that prevented it from standing out as much as the previous one. First and foremost, it felt a little lazy in its animation.
Still frames are used a lot in this episode, something that the entire series has been quite guilty of doing. It maintains character models, and allows the backgrounds to remain gorgeous, but it feels cheap in the finale.
Also, there are some animation flaws, particularly one where, while utilizing his exhaust ability, Ranta is seen with his helmet on; something that the opening of the episode makes clear is lost on the floor below them.
Overall though, we were treated to one of the best finales of this season and a real push for Grimgar to be one of the top series of the season, and another front runner for the overall year so far. I would love to see more of this world, whether through another season or the novels being licensed, but for now I’m just glad that they truly stuck the landing and made a great show that is definitely worth watching.
Episode 12 Rating: 9.5/10
Grimgar streams exclusively on Funimation.
Note: I’m not done with Grimgar yet, as I will be discussing the dubbed version of the series in a review once that has completed airing. Please look forward to it.