Grisaia no Kajitsu Review
(This post will contain spoilers from the anime AND visual novel.)
Heres the summary from Crunchyroll since I couldn’t think of a good summary myself:
Mihama Academy is a prison-like school built to preserve “fruit” that has fallen too far from its tree. It is home to five female students who each have their own reasons for enrolling in the academy and live their life idly within the walls of Mihama. One day, Kazami Yuuji—the institute’s first male student—arrives and throws the orderly rhythm of Mihama off balance. Is Yuuji what the girls need to grab hold of their lives once more, or will the weight of their pasts prove too steep a wall to overcome? Or, is his past even heavier than any of the others?
When I first saw Grisaia no Kajitsu on the list of upcoming anime for Fall 2014 it caught my interest. I had no idea what it would be about, but I put it in the back of my mind as a show I was planning to watch. When the first episode aired I found the protagonist to be fairly interesting. His cynical and sarcastic attitude as well as all the foreshadowing in the first episode got me interested so I looked up the visual novel. Noticing that it had an average rating of almost 9, I decided to play it when I got a chance.
After I finished watching episode 6, the anime had covered the common route as well as both Michiru and Yumiko’s routes. I decided to start the visual novel. Noticing I already had it downloaded, I opened it and started playing.
Common route (episodes 1-3)
You can easily see how rushed these episodes are compared to the source material, but I still think it is a good start to the series. Being rushed isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, as when I went through the visual novel I found the common route quite slow at some points. I think the anime did a good job of introducing the characters and setting up everything for the later episodes.
Michiru’s Route (episodes 4-5)
Again, you can easily see how rushed the adaption is. Although, after playing through Michiru’s route in the visual novel and comparing them, I think the anime’s adaption is pretty good. They took some content out of this route, mainly anything to do with their ‘pretend dates’ since Yuuji doesn’t actually get romantically involved with anyone in the anime adaption. Other than that, however, the adaption of Michiru’s route is the most accurate. I think the anime did a good job of adapting the most important parts of the route. The conclusion of Michiru’s route was one of the more satisfying endings. I was disappointed that the ‘Other Michiru’ doesn’t come out in any of the other routes.
Yumiko’s Route (episode 6)
A single route adapted into one episode. This route was more rewritten rather than being rushed. The first part remains almost the same until they get attacked on the riverbank. In the visual novel, they get attacked numerous times before eventually ending up leaving the school and living in hiding for a few months in the city. If you choose to confront Yumiko’s father they end up going back to the school to a setup similar to the anime’s conclusion. I liked the anime original ending so when I got to the ending in the visual novel I was disappointed that it was different from the anime. Instead of the ending that was in the anime, Yuuji’s plan was to have Yumiko’s father lose his position in his company, making his objective of bringing Yumiko home have no meaning.
Sachi’s Route (episode 7)
Another route adapted into a single episode. As i think Sachi is the least interesting heroine, I’m not really complaining about the short route. In the visual novel, Yuuji actually gets Sachi to blow up the school, to let her realise that how important it was to her. For this route, I think that the visual novel did a better job overall, but I am glad it wasn’t any longer than one episode, as Sachi’s route is the most boring story wise, in my opinion.
Makina’s Route (episodes 8-9)
Fairly well adapted, a few changes here and there. This route covers some of Yuuji’s past, so it’s pretty important overall. Was pretty obvious about the rushed adaption in this route as well. I think the visual novel was better for this route overall, but that bad ending was creepy.
Amane’s Route (episodes 10-13)
This was the first route I played through in the visual novel. When you first start on her route, there is sex scene after sex scene. I actually started to regret playing the game and was wondering if there would actually be a good story at all. When i finally got past that though, it got much more interesting. Thankfully there’s actually a reason for all the sexual content at the start.
This route was adapted well, there wasn’t much changes, they rushed a few parts of it but it wasn’t really noticeable. It covers the circumstances around Kazami Kazuki’s death, which was the main reason why Yuuji’s family collapsed when he was young. I’m not sure how obvious it was that the bad meat they died from eating was the meat from the sick girl who died, It didn’t seem too obvious in the anime but i couldn’t tell since I already knew what happened.
The ending changes from the visual novel again. It’s the same in that Chiaki’s father tries to get revenge on Amane, but the method is different. Also, Amane bites him in both versions.
I was pretty happy with my experiences of both the visual novel and the anime. I liked the protagonist most of the time, and I am looking forward to watching both Grisaia no Meikyuu and Grisaia no Rakuen when they are animated. Since they both are listed as 10-30 hours playtime length on vndb, I’m thinking they won’t be as rushed as Grisaia no Kajitsu. There was still quite a few questions left unanswered so I’m looking forward to them being answered as well.
I gave both the anime and the visual novel a 8/10.