Grimms Notes the Animation – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Set in a fairy tale world in which everyone receives a book when they are born. These books determine every little detail of that person’s life. Written by the mysterious storyteller, each book traps that individual into a preordained fate. The story, however, stars a hero without a story, someone free to decide his own fate. But since he has only blank pages he can only wander to find his purpose. Our hero travels to lands and meets characters straight out of the pages of some of the most famous fairy tales. He must work together with the characters he meets to fight to get back his story. (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: The fact that Grimms Notes takes its inspiration from popular fairy tales and folk lore may not be terribly original but it does give it a rich field to draw from, making it ripe with potential. Episode one is a look at what happens when the story of Red Riding Hood takes an intriguing and dark turn. However, the bright colours and playful banter between our group of heroes keep the show from feeling too dark or edgy, which could make the episode feels disjointed.
Tom: Anime based off video games, such as Grimms Notes, more often than not feel like cheap cash grabs, especially Gacha based titles. Grimms Notes first episode feels surprisingly competent. There’s some strong animation whenever the series delves into the action. Things move at a brisk pace, keeping the story evolving each minute of the episode, never once feeling like a boring chore. Even the few exposition dumps the episode relies upon to flesh out its story are much tighter than normal, and only act as the most minor of speed bumps. By most accounts this is a fun, 23 minute episode.
Linny: Grimms Notes rushes through its narration and set up almost in an attempt to prevent the audience from thinking too much about its plot, because if you do you might notice a few holes or loose threads and there’s no denying that the characters all feel paper thin and under explored. The episode also breezes through the explanation of its mechanics, which leads me to believe that the anime is all about focusing on the showdowns between our heroes, who can take on the appearance and wield the powers of famous fictitious characters, and the various villains they will come across. I also have to point out that not only do the designs of these famous fairy tale characters take on a very anime style interpretation, looking nothing like you’d expect but they also wield powers that can feel random; such as Cinderella having magical healing powers for whatever reason. Overall, Grimms Notes the Animation feels like a show for people who enjoy semi playful action adventures that boast bright colours and characters and don’t want you to look at its actual plot all that closely.
Tom: I’d be willing to give Grimms Notes a recommended due to how enjoyable the first episode is, even with its thin characters and a couple plot holes, if not for a few extenuating factors. Grimms Notes is based off a video game, and even when an adaptation like this starts strong they usually fall off a cliff later on. It can be due to assuming familiarity with the story, becoming a lazy adaptation, what have you. The greater factor though in my trepidation however is complaints from Grimms Notes small, but devoted fandom. Grimms Notes Gacha Game came to the U.S. last year and then shut down a mere three days before the anime began airing (The Japanese version is still running.) This was due to extreme mismanagement and the fans complaints kinda slip into the anime as well. Grimms Notes skips an entire chunk of the early game’s story, and apparently greatly condenses the narrative for the red riding hood tale featured in this first episode. Where the story felt focused and direct, I now wonder if it wasn’t rushed, trimming down on character to force the meat of the narrative into one episode. Grimms Notes has a good first episode, rushed or not, but with most Video Game adaptations I’d cushion your expectations for disappointment when moving forward.
Grimms Notes the Animation is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.