Grisaia no Kajitsu Episode 2: Special Circumstances

Well first of all, there are a lot of complaints about the fanservice. All I can say is…yes there is, I’m sorry, I didn’t think they would be this blatant with the fanservice. I can’t blame anyone who drops it for this reason, but I will still hold my opinion that its story is top tier. I’ll point to my old post on OreTsuba, which was far, far worse with its fanservice where even I, with pretty high tolerance, wanted to drop it multiple times, but it is still probably the most impressive (due to the difficulty of its storyboarding) visual novel adaptation ever. Point being, while I won’t defend criticisms of the show for its fanservice, it doesn’t change my stance that the story has really great themes to tell.

The episode begins immediately with Yumiko (aka not-Gahara) trying to stab Yuuji which he expertly dodges. The scene switches to Amane discussing the not-Gahara problem with him while doing some things under the desk. While I just said I wouldn’t defend fanservice, I’ll note that fanservice surrounding Amane is very in-character for reasons to be later revealed. Anything about character interactions that seems strange is due to “circumstances,” which some people are interpreting as poor characterization.

Complaining after you failed to stab someone
Complaining after you failed to stab someone
Amane takes every chance she gets
Amane takes every chance she gets

The opening debuts and I can say I really love some of the things they did with it. To avoid risking spoilers, that’s all. Figure it out yourself if you’re curious enough.

What a maid
What a maid

Yuuji once again mentions his “master’s” teachings about reading books in well-lit places. He then notices Makina sleeping with an apple, notes it isn’t poisonous (hi Snow White reference) and decides to continue reading in the cool shade near her. After waking up, she heads to the pond to catch some “clawfish.”  After some short lines, she decides to call Yuuji, onii-chan. He then helps her catch a crawfish and explains how they can turn blue. Makina gets excited and decides to try it herself.

Sleepy sleepy
Sleepy sleepy
Makina is quite amused
Makina is quite amused
They seem to be getting along rather well
They seem to be getting along rather well

Meanwhile, Yumiko recalls how she had been looking into Kazami Yuuji and could not find any information on him. It should be noted that Yumiko does have resources beyond a random normal person, so if she cannot find any information on him, you can be assured that something is amiss. For some reason she refuses to accept him.

1 million yen, about $10,000 USD
1 million yen, about $10,000 USD

Her attacks continue, this time in chibi form! I can say I’m really glad they included the chibi art, as it was one of the charms of the visual novel. Chizuru explains that fake Gahara is scared of a new person of the opposite sex who she knows nothing about intruding into her “territory,” as she was a student since the school’s founding.  On the other hand, Yuuji expresses some of his feelings for the first time. Despite having fun, he feels uneasy, as if having fun does not suit him. Chizuru explains that’s how all the students felt when they first entered, confirming that all the other girls are similar to him who bear certain “circumstances.”

The chibi art is beautiful
The chibi art is beautiful
Michiru's animation is also beautiful
Michiru’s animation is also beautiful
As a reminder, everything here is ordinary
As a reminder, everything here is ordinary
How dare you smile!
How dare you smile!
You mean "ordinary" circumstances. Because this school is ordinary.
You mean “ordinary” circumstances. Because this school is ordinary.

It seems Makina has opened up a lot to Yuuji as she follows him around like a little sister and asks for a story. I’m sad they will not be including Yuuji’s brilliant storytelling, at least not yet. Amane is surprised at how fast Makina opened up to Yuuji and hopes he can do the same with Yumiko, who apparently initiated some volunteer work, showing she is not solely some maniac killer. Then she notices a blond woman outside the school gates…

Yuuji storytelling is saved for another day
Yuuji storytelling is saved for another day
That awkward gap denoting preference
That awkward gap denoting preference

Yuuji goes out to meet the mysterious woman known as JB. She says how she is checking out his normal school life at a normal school after “preparing a solid history for him.” She also warns him about a potential “accidental death.” Furthermore, apparently he walked 200 kilometers when he first cam here because he hates train rides.

JB wants to make the joke too, but we're already tired of it.
JB wants to make the joke too, but we’re already tired of it.

The girls are quite curious as to who she was. He explains she is his boss and guarantor. His job is to clean some garbage and describes it as dirty work. So basically, a janitor. He also explains how before this, he was a freeloader of JB’s friend. After this friend died, JB took charge of him and gave him the aforementioned janitorial work. Amane is adamant about confirming that he has no girlfriend, and Michiru gets more animation.

Those quotes are really unneeded.
Those quotes are really unneeded.

Just as he is about to open his room, Yumiko appears with extra crazy eyes, about to stab him (again).  This time, rather than just dodging, Yuuji harshly stops her with brute force, twisting her wrist. He quickly explains how he failed to hold back because he was too surprised and tries to convince her that he is not an enemy. After a little banter, she finally calls him by his last name for the first time, showing a little progress has been made. Finally, in a strange decision, the prologue is thrown into the ending which isn’t until the 3rd game. We see each of the girls as they transfer into the school, with potential hints into their pasts.

Welcome home!
Welcome home!
"Only because I couldn't kill you"
“Only because I couldn’t kill you”
Circumstances
Circumstances, I promise

Not much to say about this episode. This and the next few should just be developing basic character relationships as they adapt the common route, although they seem to be cutting a lot. I don’t think anything too interesting will happen until they start on an actual route. Otherwise, the adaptation has been as good as I could hope for. The only unease I have is the length since 1 cour is guaranteed to failure, but considering what they’ve foreshadowed and shown so far, I can’t imagine they’ll screw up so badly. At least I hope not.

It is obvious by now that Yuuji is aware all of the girls have special circumstances. He, too, has his own circumstances, and one can probably assume everyone here is aware of this fact. Regardless of how ordinary the school or students may or may not be, the circumstances of each student are nothing but. People do not transfer into this school without such pasts. However, Yuuji is not interested in judging them for whatever their circumstances may be, because he is aware they are similar to him. Without prying into their pasts, he befriends them as best he can, such as playing with Makina who acts like a child. Christians can learn a lot from this, as we are all similar to each other with the same circumstance of being sinners. Judging others, especially atheists, is not our role but God’s. Instead, we should be more like Yuuji who understands that others have their own special circumstances and rather than judging, simply accepts them and does his best to get along with them – even if she is trying to stab him.

Kaze

Kaze is a graduate from the University of Tokyo who currently works on developing gene therapies for genetic diseases. He is a Nanatard since 2009 and mostly spends his time reading VNs and studying Japanese. Strangely enough, also a devout Christian.

19 thoughts on “Grisaia no Kajitsu Episode 2: Special Circumstances

  1. I haven’t seen this episode, but from what I’ve read it has much less fanservice.

    Speaking of it, I don’t think there is justification for it, even when “in character”… some weeks ago, I was reading an article in other blog that criticized “objectivizing” fanservice, but supported it where it showed the characters as “sexual” characters, and not something to just oogle… that’s just ridiculous, “objectivizing” takes a second or third place compared with the true problems of fanservice, that are related to occasion of sin, lust, and custody of the eyes.

    As I said in the other Grisaia article, I hope they don’t adapt the yuri elements I was reading about, that the VN contains.

    I’m still surprised of how this has such good animation and art direction, while a cleaner series like World Trigger has a rather cheap looking animation. Very sad.

    From what I’ve read, the story from this series is well liked, and that is what makes the VN worse. Something like that, but with a good story.

    1. If a story depicts someone sexually immoral, it is going to include some aspects that are objectionable to Christians. To inherently deny all depictions of it because it is associated with sin without considering the context of the story, characters, and situation, is a rather narrow-minded approach. If you personally refuse to associate with it, that is a different story; however, if fiction as a whole is not allowed to depict sinful things to tell the story of sinful people, then the messages stories are trying to impart are greatly hampered. I’m not saying it’s always okay; I’m only saying things need to be taken on a case to case basis.

      I believe you are mixing up Grisaia and Fate/Stay Night.

      1. Well, certainly the are other ways to imply things, no need to have it “in your face”. People could understand what is going on without showing it. I think sometimes the authors just want to include fanservice, and use these plot reasons as an excuse.

        No. Maybe you were reading a censored version of Grisaia or something, but I was checking at various sources, there are yuri scenes there.

        1. I know what you’re talking about. However, you made the comment on the F/SN post, not Grisaia, and I find it strange you are bringing up scenes which do not occur in the story but are just random add-ons to the game to please those kinds of people.

          1. Ah, sorry, just checked the article about the first ep. I got confused. I made a similar comment about Grisaia but in another blog, and I thought it was the same that I posted here.

  2. I have nothing against the SD (aka chibi) scenes, but lifting them almost exactly from the visual novel felt a tad lazy.

    The prologue flashback was interesting and well directed. I haven’t read the source material for that part yet, but if it’s from Rakuen as you say, it gives me hope that the writers are working on creating one unified story from the material in all three games. A good sign, as long as they get enough episodes to tell it properly.

  3. I’m still in the category of “undecided”.

    On one hand, the fanservice is pretty annoying, but on the other it thus far seems like the visual novel is superior. If it is getting an all-ages adaptation as you mentioned to me earlier, I’m considering dropping the show in favor of waiting.

    Thoughts?

    1. The visual novel is superior in the sense of text naturally portraying things in more detail. So far, the anime has done about as good a job as it can. That said, there are two main things you should consider. First is the sequels retconned the first game without addressing it (basically they implied routes sort of happened but in different ways/no romance/etc. with zero explanation) so the anime is highly likely to cut/change things around to maintain consistency. In this case, reading the VN is almost certainly going to be superior. The flip side is the VN actually has a ton of sexual jokes. Even if it’s all ages, they’ll be keeping most of the jokes (perhaps toning down or removing the more explicit ones). I’m not sure how you feel about text based sexual jokes (Mangaka to Assistant comes to mind), but keep that in mind as the anime will inevitably cut away a lot of it simply due to time restraints. So perhaps in your case it comes down to dealing with sexual jokes or fanservice.

      1. I’m generally more accepting of text-based jokes.

        I’m not really offended by the fanservice of the anime thus far as much as I’m just annoyed by it. It’s much more difficult to find a time and place to watch it away from prying eyes than many of the other shows airing right now.

        We’ll see how the new episodes of other shows this season go before I decide whether to drop it.

  4. Yeah, I’m undecided too. I think it depends on how they explain the series conceit, because it’s a weird mix of conventional harem hijinks in this episode, and some possibly darker themes. But most of the episode was pretty conventional “protag bonds with loli” stuff. Compared to something like Dangan Ronpa it’s a slow burn.

    1. I’m curious which part is enticing you, since I don’t think it was all that different from the first ep, and the fanservice is definitely still around.

      1. Not any part – more of your insistence that perhaps we should overlook the fanservice and continue on with the series.

        1. Well you’ll have to let me know what you think. I currently have the series categorized as “on hold” until I hear that either the rest of the season is great, or that I should just wait for a localization of the VN.

        2. I mean, I completely understand that the fansevice is too much for many, and I’d feel terrible if the anime goes wrong and wastes everyone’s time and patience, so perhaps you can just put it on hold like Japes. But I will entice you a little more and mention that redemption is a recurring theme, if not the overarching theme.

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