I’m Left Not Disappointed As I Expected Nothing, But I Am Left With One Question

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Grimms Notes Episode 12 Review

There were almost no expectations riding on this episode. Given after eleven episodes Grimms Notes still hadn’t really properly explained its own premise or really justified the motivations of the group I guess we’re supposed to care about there seemed little point in hoping that this final episode would do much to bring things together. If anything, Grimms Notes managed to miss even those low expectations.

Loki - Grimms Notes Episode 12

Perhaps the worst thing this final episode does is give the villain about two seconds to explain their motivation and then have the heroes dismiss it without further consideration or discussion of the implications. It really demonstrates that this anime never intended to actually care about its own premise or the underlying reasons. The group of heroes are saving story zones because FEELINGS and that is GOOD and anyone destroying story zones must be BAD. Don’t ask any questions beyond that because the story is utterly uninterested in them.

Curly and Loki - Grimms Notes Episode 12

Outside of the overall plot of this anime being completely toothless, this final episode does well enough with a fight against the Jabberwock and then Loki (Curly somehow vanishes and is never seen again so why she bothered to even make an appearance is something that might be questioned). However, the heroes get royally taken down by Loki.

Grimms Notes Episode 12 - Tao transformed into John Silver

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At which point Ex here’s a voice and uses the weird power we kind of got told he had to connect with heroes he hasn’t met, but we’ve never seen outside of the episode when we’re told he’s special, and he connects with Ludwig Grimm.

Now I’m stumped. Given the title and references to fairy tales and folk lore (though a large number of the story zones have not been based on Grimms tales at all), I kind of would expect a twist that maybe Ex could connect with Jacob or Wilhelm Grimm but Ludwig? Unless there’s some grander plot where Ludwig is apparently seeking to steal control of the story-zones from his famous folklorist brothers that just makes no sense. And if there is some grander plot, why on earth didn’t we get to watch that?

Grimms Notes Episode 12 - Ex transformed into Ludwig Grimm
Good question Ex transformed into Ludwig.

And true, maybe the source does explain all this nonsense but as is my usual stance, if I have to seek the answer outside of the anime, the anime isn’t very good.

So I’m left confused, and mostly indifferent to the mess that ultimately was Grimms Notes. Now, it isn’t unwatchable. Not even slightly (and I apologise for the quality of the screen caps but that is definitely an internet/streaming issue on my end and not the anime). The thing is though, that in the vast sea of anime, there are significantly better anime out there to spend your time on. So unless you are in the mood for nothingness peppered with story references, maybe don’t bother. That said, I’ll get around to a full review of this one later.

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Karandi James
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In The Absence of A Reasonable Argument, Rely on Sophistry

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Grimms Notes Episode 10 Review

Well, the villains finally take the time to speak with Ex regarding their ambitions in Episode 10 of Grimms Notes. Curly asks Ex whether it is more important to protect Jeanne D’Arc’s life or her fate and Ex utterly fails to answer, mostly because despite 9 episodes of dashing into story zones and correcting fates, Ex has never really addressed the big question of whether or not his actions are right.

Grimms Notes Episode 10

Just when you think he might be developing something resembling a reasonable character who at least contemplates his actions, he throws aside thinking it through or the consequences and just accepts that Jeanne is committed to her fate, as written in her book, and so he’ll trust in her feelings.

Grimms Notes Episode 10

The problem with that argument is that we don’t know how much Jeanne is actually in control of those feelings. Her rising up and leading the French was written in her book of fate. As was her acceptance of their ultimate betrayal and her death. So trusting in the feelings of someone being controlled by fate as a justification for defending that fate is at best a flawed argument and is more likely a form of self-deception so that Ex doesn’t need to ask himself the big question of whether or not he’s actually the one doing more harm than good by assisting Reina in tuning story zones.

Grimms Notes Episode 10

The ongoing avoidance by this story of looking at this big question is really starting to bug me because exploring it and having the characters really deconstructing their motives could have been a really interesting affair. Instead the good guys are good because they are and no matter how logical the villains seems they are the villains of the story. The nebulous story tellers have so far escaped being questioned for their questionable morality in creating characters who are clearly sentient but are then forced to live out lives that involve avoidable suffering.

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It all just seems like a strange premise if the story isn’t willing to actually address any of these issues.

But hey, another story tuned and back on track. Jeanne can lead that army, at least until she is killed.

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In The Absence Of Direction, Make Your Fate

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Grimms Notes Episode 3 Review

To say this is the best episode so far isn’t really saying much given the dull mess the first two episodes were in. Yet despite this episode explaining some things, like filling in Ex’s background and giving the audience some insight into what it means to have a blank book of fate, other things are still very vague. You know, the whole creation of story zone things where characters are assigned roles and play out the same stories over and over again. Why would such a thing exist and why do people in the zones placidly follow their books of fate particularly those who are suffering, know in advance they are going to suffer, and could probably find a way around it given they are pre-warned?

Grimms Notes Episode 3

Maybe they’ll get around to an explanation that justifies it but mostly this just feels like poor world building. Someone wanted characters to move between different stories and came up with the idea of story zones but then didn’t really think about what that would mean for the people living in them and how insane it sounds. It’s episode three; it might yet be justified but so far the reality here is not selling itself which makes it difficult to care.

Grimms Notes Episode 3 Young Ex
Ex was pretty cute when he was younger.

Still, they did at least get me a bit more interested in Ex this episode. Without a role he was kind of an outcast and so he found his own path. He decided to help a friend get to their happily ever after and that was enough to keep him going. However, on the eve of his friend, Cinderella, going to the ball, Ex is left wondering just what he can do next (because clearly nobody in the universe ever thinks about the future given it is all preordained).

Grimms Notes Episode 3 Ex transformed

Fortunately for Ex, or unfortunately I guess, the story zone is attacked and he meets Reina who gives him the magic bookmark thing and he transforms into some unnamed hero. But they realise Cinderella is probably the centre of the story and that she’s going to be targeted and race to save her as the episode ends. I’m going to assume they succeed next week all things considered and then Ex goes on a journey with Reina, but none of that explains why people want the stories to continue on their path and why there are people messing with them. Or what anybody stands to gain from saving or destroying a story zone.

I did mention though that this was the best episode so far so it kind of feels like this might find its feet even if I never get anything resembling a satisfactory explanation for why any of this exists.

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Karandi James
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