Grisaia no Kajitsu Episodes 3&4: The Twintail Tsundere

I was actually hopeful after the first two episodes, but after this, I am forced to admit this anime is on the fast track to failure. I almost want to imagine they actually don’t even care about Kajitsu and only care about a proper adaptation of the 2nd/3rd games, but really, with how these 2 episodes went, I’ve given up on anything close to a good adaptation. As I mentioned before, my greatest fear was a 1 cour adaptation, and given the pacing, that now looks like the reality. At least I don’t have to defend the anime anymore. Since it does seem like they will still  adapt all the routes, I’m happy enough to continue writing on the themes but I may need to give some extra explanation that the anime is skipping.

Episode 3 ended up adapting several skits from the common route, without a single regard to transitions, making for an incredibly disjointed episode. Granted, the actual common route is like this but given the nature of a VN and vast amount of additional text, it worked out fine. As an anime, it is pretty darn lazy to just immediately cut from one skit to another with no explanation or transition, though the foreshadowing (which doesn’t really matter anymore now does it?) was impressively on point.

The first skit involves Amane sneaking into Yuuji’s room to wake him up. Little does she know he is already returning from a morning jog, and upon seeing her, he concludes she must be trying to assassinate him. Nope, actually she ends up just doing some censored things.  This is the least uhh interesting scene that readers care for. Yes, I chose to just censor everything.

A potential assassination attempt?
A potential assassination attempt?

Next, Sachi accepts everyone’s requests for drinks and heads out, following her duties as a maid character. Amane and Makina also leave, remembering they are responsible for setting up the projector. Yumiko mentions how Amane is much different now compared to before, and that she is aware Amane has some kind of mental illness. Meanwhile, Sachi was heading to Hokkaido to obtain some milk. Then again, no one in this school is normal, including Yuuji.

A traffic accident causing a mental illness?
A traffic accident causing a mental illness?
Traveling hundreds of miles for a glass of milk isn't normal?
Traveling hundreds of miles for a glass of milk isn’t normal?
That puts the count at...an abnormal number.
That puts the count at…an abnormal number.

Yuuji is reading when he hears Michiru…being assaulted by an adorable cat. She seems to not like it, so Yuuji decides to mess with her, getting her swing her twintails at the cat in an attempt to scare it away; unfortunately, it loves her more. When it finally runs away, she slips that she’s already given it a name. Tsundere even to cats.

Yuuji actually messes with them all the time
Yuuji actually messes with them all the time
Yes, any cat would run in fear from this.
Yes, any cat would run in fear from this.

Another random cut to another random scene. Yuuji has agreed to something with Sachi. This is the kind of humor that the common route excels at. Basically, Sachi started talking about how glorious sharks are, and Yuuji decided to auto-pilot the conversation by replying with only 3 phrases: “I see,” “amazing,” and “It’s not your fault.” In fact, it essentially works, except he just agreed for Sachi to make him a shark pouch to wear 24/7, without even realizing it. In an attempt to buy some time, he asks Sachi if it can be changed to a bush dog instead; it will take some extra time: 20 minutes. Unable to figure out how to get out of his predicament, Sachi arrives with a shiny bush dog pouch. Michiru, however, suddenly grabs the pouch and convinces Makina how great it is. If she wants it that much, Yuuji has no choice but to let Makina have it! He thanks Michiru but she seems confused, and if you were paying attention, her eyes changed color…

Let's be honest, we've all done this at some point
Let’s be honest, we’ve all done this at some point
the closest the anime will get to Juicy Yuuji
the closest the anime will get to Juicy Yuuji
Sachi sure is knowledgeable
Sachi sure is knowledgeable
He is sacrificing himself for Makina's happiness
He is sacrificing himself for Makina’s happiness

Suddenly Amane hurts her ankle and Yuuji takes her to the nurse office and treats her. She then asks him to be her boyfriend and confesses to him. He seems annoyed, so she decides to change the offer to being his older sister, but he’s still not interested. She manages to get him to play along though, and she ends up cooking him a bento. With Makina included, he has 2 new sisters. Amane notes she’s being nice to him not for his sake but for her own. Even so, he wonders if he has the right to be happy with his current life.

Uh huh sure you do.
Uh huh sure you do.
Well that's not a depressing line at all.
Well that’s not a depressing line at all.

Episode 4 is where there is a quick shift from the common route to Michiru’s route, wherein a ton of content is skipped. The episode starts with Yuuji and Michiru talking on a hill. She is getting along well with the cat from earlier. Although the conversation goes dark quickly when she starts talking about death.

Would you like to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior?
Would you like to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

The other girls discuss how Michiru might be an alien…or rather that sometimes she acts like a completely different person. Suddenly, a loud scream is heard and Yumiko is crouching on the ground. A door bursts open and Michiru comes out with some strange outfit. Apparently she occasionally does a strange dance – turns out she was bleaching her hair.

You're all weird enough to be aliens.
You’re all weird enough to be aliens.
Yup, alien. Definitely an alien.
Yup, alien. Definitely an alien.
The shocking truth: she's not a natural blonde.
The shocking truth: she’s not a natural blonde.

In another event, the characters discuss whether guys and girls can be friends. When they ask Michiru, she runs away. Yuuji chases after her to find her in great pain and she runs away again. He continues after her to the hill where they were before. After some talking, Yuuji asks who she is, as she is definitely not the Michiru he knows, but she brushes it aside and talks about life and death. She ends up kissing him as an apparent experiment, and then the normal Michiru returns, quite confused as to what is happening.

Who needs friends when you have cats!
Who needs friends when you have cats!
She's allergic to friends.
She’s allergic to friends.
Well uh, hmm I guess so.
Well uh, hmm I guess so.
Didn't Amane just confess last episode?
Didn’t Amane just confess last episode?
"Suddenly," you say, but you just kissed him.
“Suddenly,” you say, but you just kissed him.

Yuuji is pondering about Michiru’s different personalities and ends up trying to repeat the kiss with Michiru, at her request, since she pretends to know what he’s talking about. She runs away, takes some pills, and yells at the cat who then runs away from her. In regret, she goes looking for him, and Yuuji also finds her on the same hill as before. Yuuji remembers some business and sends Michiru ahead of him. Turns out he actually found Nyanmeru – in the street, presumably run over by a car. Michiru comes back to find them, and breaks down. They get in a taxi to try and save him, but Nyanmeru coughs up a lot of blood and stops moving.

What a lucky cat to be so loved.
What a lucky cat to be so loved.
Or not. "An anime which kills cats is trash" - Japanese netizen
Or not. “An anime which kills cats is trash” – Japanese netizen

It’s unfortunate that the pacing is going to be so poor and so much content is skipped which should otherwise provide more emotional and even logical impact. To be fair, I suppose they chose the best scenes to adapt given the restraint of “adapt a route in 2 episodes.” I can tell they have thought about how to storyboard this quite well, and the foreshadowing has been great with the exception of episode 1’s ending. However, trying to fit a ~60 hour story in 13 episodes is simply going to bad no matter how you do it. For comparison, Unlimited Blade Works is roughly a 20 hour route and it’s getting 2 cours.

That said, I’ll summarize what we now know about Michiru. The first is she clearly has a split personality. There is the normal personality we see who acts like a tsundere and is essentially the idiot character you still love, and there is the inner personality who is far more calm and collected but still has her quirks. Both Michirus seems to have an uncanny interest in the topic of death. The inner Michiru seems to know everything but the regular Michiru is apparently unaware of her other self. Then again, we did see her taking some medication. Furthermore, Michiru has trouble with idea of “friends,” which seemed to trigger a painful response. I’m not sure how a single episode expects to detail the real problem, explain how it happened, and solve it, but if it’s truly 13 episodes total, we’ll be getting this 2-episode formula for the rest of the season.

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.

14 thoughts on “Grisaia no Kajitsu Episodes 3&4: The Twintail Tsundere

  1. Just read the beginning paragraph because now I’m holding out for a localization of the VN.

    Unfortunate, but definitely not uncommon when it comes to adapting VNs. After reading Clannad, I think I can confidently say that the Clannad anime is the only anime I’ve seen that has actually adequately adapted the source material to the point of being either as good or better.

    1. Yeah Clannad is easily one of the best VN adaptations since most are just terrible, though ef is up there too. Since you stopped reading, I’ll reiterate here that Grisaia is actually still doing a great job, given the condition of adapting 5 routes in 13 episodes. It’s just…that’s going to be bad no matter how you do it.

      1. Ef was actually the other adaptation I was thinking of when I said that, but since I haven’t read the VN I can’t really speak to it. (Ef is one of my favorite anime!)

        And yeah, sadly, I understand… 🙁

  2. Eh, it only seems so if you read the VN. I haven’t, and I dropped it after ep 3. A lot of VN really only make sense if you go through all the routes, and seem really, really arbitrary otherwise. Like who cares if the main MC is an assassin if all he does is go to school and talk to girls like any other protag? At first I thought maybe they were all assassins, but loli and tsundere don’t seem such, and there’s really no reason so far why they all need to be sequestered.

    It makes me appreciate Celestial Method more because we know what’s going on and its paced well enough that I’m not wondering why. I think I’m really soured on the whole VN anime adaption thing; between Little Busters and this I’ve lost patience.

    1. From what I’ve seen, the majority opinion of anime-only viewers is that it is good/interesting (though I guess to be fair, negative opinions will drop the show and comment less with each episode). In Japan, a lot of people ended up buying the VN already because of the anime, to the point it became the top seller. Sure, you don’t like it, but I don’t think you can say it’s due to having read the VN or not.

      It sounds like less of a VN problem and more that you just don’t like stories which purposely leave viewers in the dark. I again point to anime-only viewers who have been theorycrafting based on all the hints Grisaia has dropped. If nothing else, they are having fun with it. That said, VNs have always had a poor history of anime adaptations (I did say at the beginning that all my hype for it would fail!), and LB was never going to work as an anime given the nature of the plot.

      1. Japan also seems to go nuts over The Irregular at Magic High School so I pretty much take any popularity of series there with a grain of salt.

        I don’t think it’s so much being in the dark-I mean I love Serial Experiments Lain for one. It’s more that the series tends to drop weird detail and yet not really has reached any plot beyond interact with cute girls. The main character is humorous yet there’s nothing he’s really doing in any macro sense, nor is there any hint why all of them are there.

        Like a good comparison is angel beats. Both are 13 ep series, but at this point in AB you know what the basic conflict is, and there’s some sense of what the characters need to do. Here you get a lot of little scenes but no real conflict or plot. there’s no real reason why Yuuji needs to be an assassin, nor any self-awareness of why the girls are in a school with only six people. The VN-style “help a girl” stuff doesn’t really jibe with the details in the same way the maid character is shown briefly making bombs; it’s just there, but there’s no explanation.

        1. I suppose I should’ve mentioned that it knocked F/SN out of its #1 spot, which it has otherwise held onto for the majority of 10 years, so it was a pretty huge deal when it happened. It’s still probably the 2nd most popular (after F/SN) VN in the West though, for however much that’s worth to you. That said, I agree, popularity itself is not a good indicator of anything.

          I honestly think you missed or are not thinking about some of the details presented. You don’t get conflict or plot, but you get a lot of hints. It should be at least suspected that this is only a school in name and is closer to something of an experimental psychiatric ward/prison (I’m avoiding spoilers so this is something I pulled from an anime-only viewer theory). Yuuji does not need to be an assassin, but he needs to be screwed up with enough circumstances to force him to enroll in this school like all the other students; given that, is being an assassin so much worse than any other absurd occupation that would achieve the same thing? The anime has also told you Yumiko is absurdly rich and was originally the only person there, so that should have raised some other suspicions. I won’t say the reason is satisfying, but it’s definitely been hinted. As for showing stuff like making bombs, that’s exactly why I complained about it, so I agree there.

          1. I was thinking the ward/prison, but the hints are so over the place that there’s no real point. All of the girls were shown to arrive their either under their own power or on weird vehicles. If it’s a ward, why does Yuuji get to bring a gun? If it’s a prison, why does that one girl get to leave to get stuff? Why do we see no staff? Who maintains the building?

            It’s just like “nah, we really want to show pantsu and have a pointless loli included. We want to have one girl lust over the MC and that be her only defining characteristic. The other one can hate him and try to stab him. No reason why.” I honestly think they make these anime for people who have played the VN so they can fill in the blanks.

            1. hahaha the lack of staff is probably the biggest plot hole, I’ll give you that. As for their freedom, that’s part of the mystery, or perhaps problem. Amane and Yumiko are definitely the 2 worst written characters (and if you keep following, you’ll see me hating on them when their routes come), but in the former’s case, that’s partly because she has mental problems. The goal is supposed to interest people enough to go buy and play the VN, and regardless of what you think of Japan’s idea of quality and tastes, they succeeded =/

  3. I was reading about the third ep… so, they included some vulgar stuff. I guess they want to sell lots of BD’s, although I wouldn’t discard the possibility of the director just wanting to show that.

    From what I keep reading about this series, the story seems interesting, sadly is tainted by certain things. Speaking of anime based on VN, what would be a more adequate way to adapt them? I’m not familiar with these type of games.

    1. Adapting them well is difficult. One major problem is no one is willing to put in the money to give them the amount of episodes they need, so we get things like this which is just horribly paced. To be fair, it is an absurdly huge risk investment if someone did put in the money; there is simply no good reason to do so. The second problem is that the visual novel medium often has stories which are written in a way that doesn’t translate well to the anime medium. For example, there are several different “routes” which is basically you choosing a heroine to go after. After completing her story, you restart the game and follow a different heroine’s story. Good VNs will utilize this inherent mechanic to tell the same story from several different angles, allowing readers to only understand and appreciate the full story after completion of all routes. This doesn’t work in anime. Usually, only 1 route is adapted so only a fraction of the story is told. Or they attempt to adapt all, but this causes either the strangeness of “restarting” the story after each route or trying to combine them all which results in inconsistencies because things such as romantic interests must be changed. As a result, it is oftentimes just not feasible to adapt these stories into anime. It is unfortunate, but this is why people default to assuming an anime based on a VN will be bad.

      1. I see.

        Yes, adapting all of these routes sounds difficult. I guess these can contradict each other too.

        So, there isn’t an adeuqate way to adapt these yet?

  4. “Japan also seems to go nuts over The Irregular at Magic High School so I pretty much take any popularity of series there with a grain of salt.”

    I’d be interested in finding out why the popularity of shows in Japan differs from the popularity of shows here. The same trend exists in the video game world (Although there I tend to agree with the Japanese 😉 ). I’ve noticed in my own observations that at least one difference between the two cultures lies in how incredibly cynical our culture is. Our suspension of disbelief is weaker, and so is our tolerance for cheesy stereotypical media. But by the same token what I love about anime is its willingness to delve into mythic story elements and associations that have stood the test of time (Without demanding that all character motivations be those of real people). The very same mythic elements exist in God’s story as well.

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