Peter Grill and the Philosopher’s Time – Mid Season Anime Review
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Synopsis: Peter Grill is the world’s strongest fighter, but his ascent to the top came with an unexpected consequence: Women around the world, human and monster alike, want to bear his genetically superior children! Since he’s currently engaged to the love of his life, Peter isn’t too keen on his sudden popularity, and it will take every ounce of self-control for Peter to keep his hands to himself and his relationship with his paramour in one piece. (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Peter Grill is a title built for viewers overly familiar with the ecchi/harem genres. Tired of stalwart leads able to resist the amorous affection of the numerous women surrounding them? Peter Grill is here to ‘save the day.’ Unlike most every other harem protagonists, Peter Grill’s undoing is his own, youthful libido, which is incapable of resisting these vixens’ advances one after another, no matter how much he professes to be in love with his long time crush, and girlfriend Luvellia. It’s in this way that Peter Grill feels fresh for long time ecchi fans, offering a hero who’s, probably, a tad more realistic to how a young man might, even if upsettingly, behave when women are throwing themselves at him left and right. That’s where so much of the comedy comes; how poorly Peter is able to resist any of these girls advances, and how disappointed he is in himself the next morning after he’s failed temptation yet again. Unfortunately, this approach to our hero is a double-edged sword. While he might be a breath of fresh air for long time ecchi/harem audiences, Peter Grill is, in truth, kinda hard to sympathize with, let alone actually like.
Peter consistently cheats on Luvellia, not once, not twice, but approximately four times over the course of the series’ first 6 episodes. While Peter acknowledges with each outing some wrong-doing, he mostly works tirelessly to cover the truth up, and paper over his transgressions in favor over coming clean. First it’s with a couple ogre girls, who simply won’t take no for an answer, both insistent that they carry the children of the world’s strongest man. Peter ends up giving in of his own accord. In the case of Vegan Eldoriel however, an royal elf girl also eager for Peter’s baby batter, Peter has to be bedded in a more forceful manner. Vegan places a spell on Peter, one that threatens to see his junk suffer, unless he gives into her demands. In this instance it seems so much easier for him to come clean to Luvellia as he’s being forced into this encounter, yet Peter doesn’t, only compounding his willingness to deceive his love and save some sort of face. That’s the central conceit of the show though; Peter always taking the worst possible path forward, and turning an otherwise good, decent man, into a willing lech. And viewers sort of have to sign on with that; that our hero is, in truth, morally bankrupt.
This ask of the series might be easier for non-ecchi aficionados to stomach if Peter Grill offered a bit more oomph in other departments. Winter 2020’s Interspecies Reviewers sits as an excellent comparison to Peter Grill. Interspecies Reviewers focuses on a band of brothel hoppers, who are constantly engaging and reviewing the local ‘night life’ each episode. They’re not exactly likable, what with sex on the mind at all times. But because the series has strong comedic writing, and excellent animation, it’s easier to fall in love with that band of horny missfits than it is Peter Grill.
Peter Grill is without a doubt a title working on a far thinner budget. These fifteen minute episodes, a perfect length by the way for this type of content, rarely offer stand out visuals. Any art that isn’t offering pure cheesecake feels ho-hum, rushed, or the bare bones minimum to keep the episode going before we’re onto the next lurid shot of our buxom, Peter hungry girls.
The writing for Peter Grill is passable, but wrought with missed opportunity. Peter Grill offers one, decent, ongoing joke; the man’s inability to say no to these curvy girls so eager for his seed. The show rarely takes the opportunity to offer greater comedic variety. The one other consistent joke is the portrayal of Luvellia’s father, essentially the series’ ongoing antagonist, as a maniacal villain, but that wears thin early on. Comedy isn’t crafted often outside of the core joke, making any sequence guiding us from one adult transgression to the next feel long, even with but a fifteen minute run time. Perhaps the best example of missed opportunity however, is in Episode 6 itself. To set the stage; Peter has slipped up behind Luvellia’s back thrice now already, twice with the ogre sisters, and once with the high elf. Luvellia’s father, who inherently dislikes Peter, sets him up with a girl from the Orc clans as part of a political alliance. When Peter slips up and spends the night with Piglette (her actual name) he attempts to talk her into keeping their night of passion a secret. While a potentially funny idea; Peter twisting his tongue to provide Piglette a convoluted reasoning for why her silence of the night benefits her, without mentioning how much he needs it too, the dialogue simply isn’t there. Peter’s reasoning is but a sentence or two long, where as it could’ve been so much more amusing to see him rattle off an increasingly convoluted, overwritten explanation that, while ultimately making little sense, becomes enough to confuse Piglette into agreeing with Peter’s view. Alas, we don’t do that, and rather than pull from audiences a raucous laugh, we’re afforded more a minimal chuckle.
And ultimately I’d say that’s Peter Grill in a nutshell; a minimal chuckle. For ecchi fans there’s a lot to enjoy from that more pervy viewpoint. There’s cheesecake abound each episode, and while censored (To varying degrees depending on if you’re watching the regular version or the ‘Great Philosopher Version) it’s still clear how much effort goes into each of these more lurid shots. But if fan service isn’t your thing then the comedy really has to hit home, and unfortunately it just isn’t that strong. Peter Grill isn’t bad, but it’s also not some ecchi that manages to transcend its pervy focus with hilarious writing that allows even non-ecchi fans a good laugh.