I had hoped and prayed that this wouldn't happen, but part of me knew it was inevitable.

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Grisaia no Kajitsu is originally a VN from FrontWing. If you know me, and have read around any of the posts concerning Grisaia on TAY, you'll know that I like the VN quite a bit. When the anime was announced, I was kinda excited. But it's a VN adaptation, so I while I was happy it was getting adapted deep down I could only think of one thing. They're gonna fuck it up.

There have been many hype articles this season telling you what you should watch. So here's something different. This is an anime you should not be watching.

The first three episodes were okay, they weren't extraordinary and they had their own problems. Scenes were cut out, but it was the common route, so of all things to get shortened, I was fine with having a shorter common route. It was an unavoidable side effect of transitioning to an anime, and I was prepared for it.

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Second, they added a lot of meaningless fanservice. I'm not the kind of person who really gets in a fit about fanservice, but when you mess with the source material to include this kind of thing for a superfluous reason, I get kind of upset. Grisaia's not about fanservice, and almost none of the fanservice shots were in the VN (aside from Amane, but that's her character). I feel that this almost undermines the integrity of the series, as it's not meant to be so blatantly fanservicy.

Third, they threw subtlety out the window. By the end of the very first episode, you already knew way too much about each of the characters. A lot of the things they showed, you got to discover bit by bit over the course of the VN. Grisaia starts out almost like a fairly typical harem comedy and it keeps up that masquerade for a very long time. It's only after being continually exposed to all these characters that you can slowly see that there's something odd about these characters which eventually branches and turns into their routes. The anime just throws it all in your face without care, and a lot of the mysteries behind these characters are ruined. It may have been to throw out a hook to the anime watchers, but it weakens a lot of the impact of the character routes.

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Even with all these negatives within the first three episodes, I still clung onto the hope that they could at least deal with the heroine routes effectively and turn things around. After watching episode four, I can say with confidence that my prior thoughts were a mere pipe dream. The anime threw any semblance of the development you need before getting to drama into the trash and didn't look back. There's no sense of tension when you have barely gotten to know the characters, and you don't fully understand the relationship between Meowwel and Michiru to have any sort of compassion for what happens in the episode four. For reference, here is the scene select menu from the VN. The boxes that are crossed out are the ones that were shown in the fourth episode.

To skip essentially all the development makes the reveal of the drama seem trite and inconsequential. Factor in that the title of the next episode is Vox in Box means that they're going to finish off the route next episode. The anime is fucked. It's already shown too much of its hand going into each heroine, meaning in order to omnibus through everyone's route, all of them have to be done in two episodes. I can say with without a doubt, you cannot do any of the routes in this game justice in two episodes.

I wanted Grisaia no Kajitsu to be good. But at this point now, it's impossible for it to turn around. I almost never get angry at anime. At worst I'm usually ambivalent, as I can usually find some faucet of entertainment in a bad series. The Grisaia no Kajitsu anime makes me mad. I can't even feel disappointed, as I deep down I knew it was going to happen, but not like this. It's a travesty and may as well be my Tsukihime anime; the fewer people that see it, the better. There are many good stories in Grisaia no Kajitsu, but the anime is simply not the place to experience them. The VN has an English fan translation out, and a Kickstarter for the entire trilogy to be translated will happen in November. If you want to experience the story that way, I wholeheartedly recommend it. Just stay away from the anime.

PS: If you do choose to play the VN, I would recommend playing Makina's route first as it goes into the most detail about Yuuji, and Amane's last as its epilogue is a good way to finish the VN. The other three can really be played in any order in the middle but for reference I played it Michiru —> Yumiko —>Sachi.