Terrence's Reviews > Level 1ː A Whisper, an Aria, a Prayer, an Awakening

Level 1ː A Whisper, an Aria, a Prayer, an Awakening by Ao Jyumonji
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it was amazing

So Grimgar, as you may know if you watched the anime, is an MMO influenced world that a group of strangers is brought to. These strangers all happen to be a bit shaky on their past lives up to the point of arriving in Grimgar, but they do occasionally have moments of brilliant deduction that would require real world knowledge about subjects like “games". These kinds of hints make you think there is more going on under the surface of the world, so if that kind of story interests you maybe stick with this for the long haul (I believe it’s going to be a series long thing they don’t solve until the last volume, or leave up to interpretation as to what the world is, who these characters are, and why they’re here).

Speaking of existential questions like “why are we here?”, the characters in this story ponder many subjects. Much of the story is spent wondering about character motivations, feelings, and history. This is a thinking man's book for half of it.

The other half? It’s bloody brutal. Haruhiro and company square off against monsters, mainly childlike goblins, and these fights are graphic at times. Heads splitting, teeth gnashing, just a lot of visceral stuff happening. The enemies don’t bloop out of existence, but painfully die, twitching, crying, and bleeding out. It’s not gratuitous violence though, as it all has a point to underscore how human everyone and everything is.

Do I recommend this book? Of course. I recommend this to people who don’t mind the plodding pace of rookies learning their way in a fantasy world from zero to… not quite zero. I look forward to catching up with the anime after the next volume.
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Quotes Terrence Liked

“If you can't grope around blindly in the darkness, you'll never be able to reach anywhere.”
Ao Jūmonji, Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash: Volume 1

“I ought to get some shut-eye. All this thinking isn't doing me any good. Something good might happen tomorrow, anyway. Today's over now. I can't do anything about that. Tomorrow's what's important now. What will I do tomorrow?”
Ao Jūmonji, Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash: Volume 1

“Ranta: Let's just pray that she actually is a tsundere... Though, if she were a tsundere, obviously, the one she'd go dere for is me, you know? That's kind of... not so bad, I guess?

Moguzo: O-Obviously, she wouldn't go dere for Ranta, I think...

Ranta: Oh, shut up, Moguzo!”
Ao Jūmonji, Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash: Volume 1

“When I die, I wonder what will happen to me. Is there some place like heaven, and will I be able to meet you there someday? I don't know. There's no way to know. No one knows what comes after death. But at the very least, we won't be able to talk until then.

There's a wide, deep and fast running river between the living and the dead. Once you cross that river, no matter what happens, you're never coming back. It's a one way trip.”
Ao Jūmonji, Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash: Volume 1

“Why are we here doing all this stuff...? Even that doubt is starting to feel hazy, as if it might melt away at any moment.”
Ao Jūmonji, Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash: Volume 1


Reading Progress

August 22, 2016 – Shelved
August 22, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
December 8, 2016 – Started Reading
December 14, 2016 –
15.0% "This is Grimgar, which is being published in English by J-Novel Club, the new digital light novel publisher.\n\nRight off the bat, the one thing to notice is that the light novel production has way more opening story content than the anime production. Characters, place names, heirarchy, just a lot that wasn't explained in the anime. Things like depositing money at a shop, getting lost in town, and internal thoughts."
December 17, 2016 – Finished Reading

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