Grimms Notes The Animation Episode 6: A sudden turn

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The queen consults the mirror

I ended up enjoying this week’s episode a lot more than I expected. It’s kind of a strange departure from the previous episodes, ending with the main characters changing the trajectory of the Story Zone they visit rather than restoring it. The episode gives me hope for the series as a whole, since it seemed to finally call the Book of Fate into question. This is what I wanted to see from this series, and I’m hoping it builds on it in the future.

Tao warns everyone about the danger of staying

This episode certainly brings up a lot of interesting ideas, such as what we see from this scene. The presence of blank Books of Fate seemingly endanger Story Zones by design, which makes the main characters a disturbance if you really think about it. I wish they’d gone into more detail about the consequences of derailing the story, though. Do they become the same as Chaos Tellers?

Snow White finds her prince

Here’s another interesting concept. When Ex screws up the story in Snow White’s Book of Fate, she implicitly assumes that he’s fulfilling it. She later reveals that she knew all along that he wasn’t her prince, but I still like what the scene suggested about the faith people have in their fates. They can be easily deceived by people with blank books, it seems.

The queen's fate is to die

I liked how the episode built up the feeling of dissonance with the queen. It lays out an inevitable conclusion in the Book of Fate that’s horrible enough to make you wonder if it’s even a good thing for the story to continue as written. It calls the rest of the series into question.

The queen tells Snow White her fate

That’s later compounded when it’s revealed that Snow White doesn’t actually hate the queen. It actually almost feels like a meta thing when I think about it. In the original Brothers Grimm tale, the queen is killed as is fated in this episode, forced to dance with red-hot irons on her feet. In a way, the main characters change the story to soften it, almost like how our modern-day culture has softened the story of Snow White through Disney. Just a thought.

The Storyteller is questioned

I really hope the main characters start doubting this tuning thing going forward. It’s pretty clear from this Story Zone that fate is not always the right way to go. That being said, I wonder if the episode also undercuts itself a bit with the ending. It leaves off with this half-conclusion that suggests that fate might not be so easy to change, which bugged me a bit. Still, I remain a lot more hopeful than I was before.

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Grimms Notes The Animation Episode 5: The obligatory beach episode

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Yep, this is the beach episode

This week’s episode was a strange one. From a logical standpoint, it felt weak, despite having an interesting concept behind it. I honestly think that the series is moving towards a promising direction, even if this episode overtly seemed like a return to the structure of the first two episodes. The introduction of a larger villain at the end of the episode gives me some hope at something deeper in the story, I guess.

Meeting the beached Silver

Part of what I liked about this episode is that we’re no longer focused on Ex. In previous episodes, I got the sense that the episodes largely revolved around him, but he felt mostly non-existent in this episode. I think it’s important for this to happen, since we still don’t have very strong characterization on the other three members of the main cast.

Shane concludes that this is Treasure Island

This line from Shane seemed like a bit of a throwaway, but it actually raised a big question for me. Why exactly are the blank book holders familiar with the stories of the various Story Zones? Are they standard literature in every home world? Were they taught all of the major fairy tales?

Tao likes adventure

It’s weird that this episode focuses so much on Reina’s clumsiness, when it seemed to want to emphasize Tao’s own personality. Maybe I’m just overthinking it.

Silver tricks Jim into finding the gold

I don’t really have a problem with Silver’s double-cross, but can someone explain his plan to me? From what I gathered, he was trying to lure crews to Flint’s treasure in order to turn them into villains to build his own pirate crew. However, Reina states earlier in the episode that he could have already turned them into villains if they hadn’t been holding blank books. So…what exactly was stopping him from just changing the people on the ship he attacked rather than leading Jim to gold?

Everyone dons swimsuits

I assume this is a reference to some kind of swimsuit event in the game that this series is based on. I mean…it works.

Silver fights against his fate

Also, I felt like the underlying theme of this episode was largely underdeveloped. Silver has a perfectly reasonable motivation for his actions. Why should he let fate decide whether he should pursue his dream? In the end, the story seems to end with the idea that you can still do what you want even if you know you’ll fail, but it doesn’t address the role of the main characters. By defeating him as a Chaos Teller, they’re effectively telling him that he has to accept his fate, which is a weird message.

Grimms Notes The Animation Episode 4: The happy ending

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Cinderella's story is told

I might have approached this episode with the wrong mindset, since I hoping for a bit of a darker turn. Instead, the resolution for Cinderella’s story is pretty standard and doesn’t seem to cause any trouble. This episode seems to conclude our “introduction” into the world, which is nice. My hope now is that the episodes to come don’t just fall back to the pattern that we saw in the first two episodes, though.

Reina warns Ex about the consequences of his interference

I did like how Reina portrays the blank books in this episode. Because they introduce the uncertainty of “free will”, they create the possibility for negative outcomes. I would have liked to see the conversation go further, though. Even if Ex’s interference could make Cinderella suffer, he has also seen her suffer as a result of her fate.

The fairy godmother wishes to save Cinderella from suffering

So…does the book of fate stop at the “happy ending” like a fairy tale would? It seems like Cinderella should see this coming. There’s always the possibility that this is caused by people with blank books, but it feels like it would be common in any story if that were the case.

Ex's wild crest is revealed

Well, this answers a question I raised in an earlier episode. Ex has a wild card power after all. It was also nice to see the other main characters use protagonists from different stories.

Reina reacts to seeing Alice

It was totally random, but I really enjoyed watching Reina fawn over Alice.

Loki introduces himself

Honestly, Loki still seems like he has a decent point with his goal to free people from their scripts. He just seems so much like a token villain to be taken seriously. Also, the series seems to be hiding some kind of connection between Reina and Loki for some reason. Are they siblings?

Reina decides on her own role

I actually think it might be interesting if the holders of the blank books were inadvertently sticking themselves to a script by trying to fix the stories. I guess I’m still holding out for some sort of dark twist in this series.

Grimms Notes The Animation Episode 3: Back to once upon a time

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Ex watches a bird fly through the sky while pondering his fate

This week’s episode takes a step back to reintroduce the characters somewhat. This story was hinted at in the previous episode, but I didn’t expect to actually see it play out in its entirety. In some sense, I think that this episode starts to provide the context that’s missing, but it feels weirdly abrupt. I’m curious to see how it plays out, since it feels like it might finally explain the show’s direction.

Cinderella meets Ex

To put it bluntly, I think the timing of the episode is strange. I understanding starting in the middle and then going back to provide context, but it feels like this episode should have happened last week. Don Quixote’s story stands on its own, so there’s no real benefit to showing it before this one (other than to showcase Red Riding Hood again). Additionally, starting this story in the previous episode would mean that Ex’s backstory would reach its climax at that all-important episode three mark.

The townspeople gossip about Ex's lack of a fate

I really want to like this concept of the books of fate. Honestly, I can relate to Ex, since I had a similar sense growing up. I never truly had a good sense of what I wanted to do in life, and I was often surrounded by people with burning passions for their futures. As the indecisive one in the group, I can understand feeling lost when everyone else seems to have their entire life planned out.

Cinderella discusses her fate

That being said, I can’t exactly agree with how the books of fate are portrayed in this series. They feel so cheap. I can understand why people would rely on something like that, since certainty provides a lot of comfort. But it feels so disconcerting to watch people feel so happy about having a scripted life. It’s hard to get myself into the mindset of these people, never having known the uncertainty of normal life, and I don’t think the series conveys that concept well.

Loki messes around

As I mentioned with the previous episode, I find it hard to fully disagree with the concept of the Chaos Tellers. In a scripted world, giving the people choice seems fine, so I have trouble seeing them as evil. I feel like the show is going to have to do a lot to convince me in that regard.

Ex becomes Roxas

Okay, this series looks more and more like Kingdom Hearts with each passing episode. I’m not sure what character that’s supposed to be, but he looks a lot like Roxas.

Cinderella is the main character

As a side note, I find it interesting that Reina constantly takes Cinderella’s form in the first two episodes. It could be an atonement of sorts for failing to save her here.

Also, I find it weird that this focus on finding the “main character” is just coming up now.

Grimms Notes The Animation Episode 2: A quixotic episode

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The main characters stand in the Fog of Silence

Well, I give the show points for at least trying to explain itself a bit more. The timing of it makes it seem like it could have happened in the first episode. I find the concept of the Story Zones to be a bit sketchy, which actually gives me hope for the series overall. Now that we’ve been told that the constant story loop in the Story Zones is intentional, it raises the question of whether that existence is even worth saving. And given that the heroes are trying to restore that repetitive life, can we even call them heroes?

Only those with a blank Book of Fate can travel through the fog

Of course, it’s possible that the series never goes in that direction, so maybe I’m just hyping up the wrong things. That being said, I think this whole idea of the blank Book of Fate is strange. It’s introduced as if it’s supposed to be particularly special at the end of the first episode, but that’s immediately undone when the start of this episode reveals that all of the main characters have a blank book.

Don Quixote makes his entrance

But I’m getting off-topic. This week’s episode is supposed to be about Don Quixote, after all. I’m surprised that the story even counts as a fairy tale, but I honestly thought that the character himself was funny to watch in this episode. I originally read Don Quixote in a Spanish class, though, so I can’t promise that I had the best understanding of the story.

Don Quixote rallies the townspeople

I have such a strong memory of Don Quixote being a complete nut case, so it was surprisingly entertaining to see him successfully rallying the villagers.

Loki taunts Ex

This scene makes me worry that this story will just devolve into a typical “good vs. evil” plot. Loki seems to be such a strong embodiment of chaos that I have a hard time believing that there’s a bigger theme going on. But I guess that remains to be seen.

Ex turns into Red Riding Hood

I’m okay with the idea that these guys can turn into the other characters that they meet, since it means that those characters remain relevant for more than a single episode. That being said, it’ll be kind of boring if Ex is the only one who switches (unless there’s a good reason for that, like the Fool character in Persona games). Ex had the strongest relationship with Don Quixote too, so it would be weird if someone else turned into him.

Grimms Notes The Animation First Impressions (1): Telling a grand story

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Alice attacks a monster

In many ways, you get what you’d expect from this episode as a game adaptation. As far as a fantasy series goes, it’s not a bad concept, but I don’t think this first episode did a good job introducing its main premise. Going by what’s obvious, the story takes place in a world based on Grimms’ Fairy Tales, in which each inhabitant is given a Book of Fate containing the story of that person’s life. The main characters are in search of Chaos Tellers, beings which create monsters to terrorize stories…for reasons.

Reina explains about the Chaos Tellers

While I do appreciate that the episode tries to weave its exposition into what it’s doing. Using Ex as the newbie to give the other characters a reason to explain themselves is fine, for the most part. I still don’t get who the main characters are, though, and why they’re seemingly able to traverse stories that aren’t their own.

Villagers consult their books

I do find the concept of the Book of Fate interesting, and I’d be curious to see how the story uses normal people to show how these books influence society. It reminds of me of “Yulia’s Score” from Tales of the Abyss, which I thought was an underdeveloped aspect of that series. Maybe this series has something else to say about that.

Red Riding Hood is a title passed down

Along those same lines, I do wonder if other stories are like the one we’re introduced to in the first episode. Here, the inhabitants of the “Red Riding Hood” world seem to be locked in some kind of loop as they perpetuate the popular fairy tale. Is that normal? It gives the main characters an excuse to relive the events of each fairy tale, I suppose.

Shane questions Red Riding Hood

I don’t mind the twist that Red Riding Hood is actually playing host to the Chaos Teller, and I liked this scene in particular. With the way Shane calls out to Red Riding Hood in her interrogation, I’m assuming it’s meant to be a call back to the way Red Riding Hood questions the wolf in the story.

Red Riding Hood turns the hunter into a wolf

One (slightly) big plot point that I didn’t understand in this episode was the wolf. Is there actually a separate wolf who’s meant to eat Red Riding Hood or is it supposed to be the hunter? I get the sense that there’s meant to be another wolf, but it’s weird that it just never makes an appearance in the episode.

Alice discusses battle strategies with Cinderella

Wait, so Ex is actually in control of Alice when he transforms? That must make things interesting.

Ex has a blank book

So…what? Without even knowing if Ex is the only character with a blank Book of Fate, it’s hard to really draw any conclusions from this scene. As I mentioned before, we don’t exactly have any idea who the main characters are supposed to be.