Grisaia no Kajitsu | The Prequel to a better Second Season
We have Yuuji, a male thrown into an environment where there are not many supervisors to look after them at school. To top it off, all the students are girls there from various backgrounds. Most of them also seems to be interested in Yuuji in some way although unlike a harem anime, they don’t all just throw themselves at him. But what do you do when you’re the new kid at school? For Yuuji, this gets tricky as he learns more about each girl.
Some of them seems to have a connected past with him while others such as Yumiko wants him gone. The basis of the premise also suggests that there are specific reasons why they are enrolled there. If you put yourselves into Yuuji’s shoes, it’s easy to find yourself curious with the events going on throughout the series. That’s because there are cryptic hints thrown there that suggests the school is hiding something; or perhaps the characters themselves.
The show chronicles each of the other girls who interacts with him in their specific story arcs. The problem though is how they are rushed and condensed in a format in which some cases are unacceptable. Yumiko is a strong example of this with her route being shortened to a single episode. In this case, her relationship dynamics with Yuuji is severely cut to a point of being non-existent. Luckily, this isn’t always the case as other routes highlights more of their moments. They also seem to focus a similar path in ways of problem, plan, and solution. Every arc/route does resolve in some way with Yuuji playing a prominent role.
Focusing on the stories of the girls, we find out that each of them have some sort of tragic past. Rather than telling their story, the series shows it with precision. And by that, I mean getting directly involved. Yuuji strives to help the other girls get through whatever problem they have regardless the consequences. This is clearly seen when Yuuji takes daring risks to help Michiru dealing with the loss of a friend or protecting Makina from an assassination. During Amane’s arc, Yuuji learns of a secret from years ago that has some connections to his family. While he isn’t directly present in such the arc, it still provides the viewers with the fact that Yuuji can provide emotional support and later on get involved during the present timeline. The past isn’t easy to deal with after all especially once you’ve seen this show and realize how tragic some of the girls’ pasts are.
It also doesn’t take long to realize there’s romance in the show; some more noticeable than others. Unfortunately, most of this isn’t characterized too strongly by the length of the show. There are some noticeable parts that can be emphasized especially in regards to relationships. However, it just feels like important parts are cut out or should be there to raise the focus of such relationships. There is also less focus on some of the themes in the show. One other question raised is in regards to the symbolism found with the fruits. The tree that seems to symbolize the Garden of Eden while the fruits suggests that each of the girls relates to their personalities. Unfortunately, it’ll be up to the viewers to decide how to interpret these symbolisms. Go figure.
Artwork is surprisingly well done on most parts even for a studio like 8-bit. The series has a unique way with a movie feature like format to enhance the overall quality. For the characters, each of them are designed well to fit with their personalities. The setting is also highlighted well with the high class designs of some of the interior rooms and structures. Not only that but we also get action in the series as well thanks to Yuuji. His kickass attitude brings an action flick in particular with a route involving Makina.
On most parts, soundtrack is above average. The OP, “Rakuen no Tsubasa” By Maon Kurosaki song offers foreshadowing and a catchy way of giving each character some spotlight. Similarly, there are various ED songs for each arc featuring each of the girls. All of them are alright, nothing really memorable though. The only song I do have on my phone from this Anime is the OP I personally really liked it.