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Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash: Volume 1

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Why are we doing this...? When Haruhiro came to, he was in the darkness. Not knowing why was he here, or where "here" even was. With him were others who also remembered little more than their own names. What they found when they came out of the underground was a world that was "just like a game." In order to survive, Haruhiro forms a party with others in the same situation Why are we doing this...? When Haruhiro came to, he was in the darkness. Not knowing why was he here, or where "here" even was. With him were others who also remembered little more than their own names. What they found when they came out of the underground was a world that was "just like a game." In order to survive, Haruhiro forms a party with others in the same situation as him, learns skills, and takes his first steps forward into the world of Grimgar as a trainee volunteer soldier. Not knowing what awaits him... This is a tale of adventure born from the ashes.


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Why are we doing this...? When Haruhiro came to, he was in the darkness. Not knowing why was he here, or where "here" even was. With him were others who also remembered little more than their own names. What they found when they came out of the underground was a world that was "just like a game." In order to survive, Haruhiro forms a party with others in the same situation Why are we doing this...? When Haruhiro came to, he was in the darkness. Not knowing why was he here, or where "here" even was. With him were others who also remembered little more than their own names. What they found when they came out of the underground was a world that was "just like a game." In order to survive, Haruhiro forms a party with others in the same situation as him, learns skills, and takes his first steps forward into the world of Grimgar as a trainee volunteer soldier. Not knowing what awaits him... This is a tale of adventure born from the ashes.

30 review for Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash: Volume 1

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho

    I really enjoy this book. Everything in it felt really dark and gloomy. After seeing the anime I had great expectations on the series since I know that no season 2 is on the making but I wanted to know what happened to all those people... In this book it depicts probably the first 6/7 episodes. The first 150 pages - the group forms (There are some differences here from the anime) the group train, first goblin kill, the death of a friend (Manato). The second part of the book deal with the loss of I really enjoy this book. Everything in it felt really dark and gloomy. After seeing the anime I had great expectations on the series since I know that no season 2 is on the making but I wanted to know what happened to all those people... In this book it depicts probably the first 6/7 episodes. The first 150 pages - the group forms (There are some differences here from the anime) the group train, first goblin kill, the death of a friend (Manato). The second part of the book deal with the loss of Manato and how everyone coop with it and the coming of a new priest Merry. Haruhiro is the main character and almost everything we see or know its true his eyes. Ranta is the same in the anime and book (snarky / brash / arrogant and troublemaker), Moguso (is a bit different - in the anime they all band together but in the book Moguso join another group that stole all his money), Shihoru (is almost the same but in the anime there is no indication that she is in love with Manato - but in the book Haruhiro hints at it) but Yume it's all different. In the anime she is very brave and energetic (same as book) but in the book she talks like... "Yume thinks that is wrong." - "Maybe Yume don't want to learn that" - "Yume don't have tiny tits" and so on... in the anime she is quite normal lol Strange... Then we got Merry/Mary which is a new healer totally different of Manato. But very equal in the anime and light novel. Basicaly the story follows a band of people that awake to be in another world (isekai) but have no recollection of their previous world/life. They know same words of things that don't have there (Cell Phone, australia, tsundere, game and other words). what's odd is that they never try to figure that out and basically accept with resignation their lives. They are to in a group of trainees where everyone will follow a path (fighter, rogue, ranger, magician, priest and Dark Knight among others) and band together to stop some evil guy that might come out. Most of the book it deals with this struggle of first battles - what I really enjoy is that in the beginning even a single goblin is difficult and not easy peasy like per example "In Another World with My Smartphone". It's really grim(gar) with the loss Manato but there are moments of comedy (not like Konosuba bear in mind) - well basically everything Ranta does). Really enjoy the novel and going to buy the next ones...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    I love how much more "realistic" this series is than the rest of the "dropped into a game" type of story that is becoming more common lately. It does a great job showing how tough it would be as a level 1 character with no particular talents or skills in a world where you have to buy food, lodging, and even underwear.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tarl

    I actually got turned onto this light novel series from the anime. It was an interesting take on the whole 'thrown into another universe' theme, and I wanted to see what the book had vs the anime. First off, there's a lot more to the novel. The anime did a good job hitting some of the beats from the book, but with the book you get a lot more out of the characters. You understand them and their confusion when first being thrown into this new world. Even side characters are handled better, coming a I actually got turned onto this light novel series from the anime. It was an interesting take on the whole 'thrown into another universe' theme, and I wanted to see what the book had vs the anime. First off, there's a lot more to the novel. The anime did a good job hitting some of the beats from the book, but with the book you get a lot more out of the characters. You understand them and their confusion when first being thrown into this new world. Even side characters are handled better, coming across as richer, more interesting people. But this is normally the case with books that have had film adaptations. I have to say, I enjoyed this book. Compared to other light novels out there, it was a bit slower, taking its time with the plot and letting the reader know the characters better. It captured how interparty relationships would work, and how, much like real life, non-communication between teammates can kill pretty much any teamwork. Where other light novels concentrate on things like boobs, action, or how powerful their protagonist is, this one is far more down to earth. It presents a realistic view of what fantasy life as an adventurer would be like. Now, with all that said, this book has a lot of exposition and does a lot of telling rather than showing. And when I say a lot, I mean it's most of the novel. Normally this would have me chomping at the bit and annoyed, but for some reason, it worked with this novel. I still caught myself noticing it more than once, but where in other stories it's one or two tells in a novel of showing, because telling is the norm in this book, it just doesn't stand out like a sore tooth. You actually get used to it as a reader. Does it suffer because of that? I believe it does, which is why this is only 4 stars rather than 5. But as I said, it seems to work with the author's writing style, and showed me that yes, a good novel can be done with telling rather than showing. It would be a fantastic novel if they showed rather than told, but as it is, it's still a good book. So in the end, if you want an interesting fantasy novel with a pretty interesting take on just how traumatic it is to kill one goblin, this would be a book I would recommend.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Having seen the Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash anime and liked it, I was excited to finally read the first light novel volume. I think it ended up being just as good as the anime! The story progresses well and the cast is likable when they're supposed to be and questionable when they're not, which makes them realistically flawed. The plot at first seems typical-- teenagers get sent to another world and can't get back home-- but the added twist makes it special. One of the quotes from Manato later in Having seen the Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash anime and liked it, I was excited to finally read the first light novel volume. I think it ended up being just as good as the anime! The story progresses well and the cast is likable when they're supposed to be and questionable when they're not, which makes them realistically flawed. The plot at first seems typical-- teenagers get sent to another world and can't get back home-- but the added twist makes it special. One of the quotes from Manato later in the book makes you question what kind of world this really is, something you don't usually find in similar light novels. Unfortunately, the downside of watching the anime first was that I was not shocked at anything in the story. This is not to say that it wasn't exciting; a first-time reader would definitely be surprised at what happens. Grimgar is very well-written and the story is interesting throughout. I plan on reading the rest of the series; in fact, it's on the top of my to-read list at the moment.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I admit I kept putting this off because of the Manato thing - imagine my surprise when it turned out that the anime dealt with it much more fully than the original novel! Not that it isn't well handled, but it's not the prolonged examination of grief that its adaptation turned it into. What it did do, however, was make it clear that in order for Haruhiro to grow as a character, Manato had to die - had he not, Haruhiro would have remained dependent and eventually stagnated. Since I've always thou I admit I kept putting this off because of the Manato thing - imagine my surprise when it turned out that the anime dealt with it much more fully than the original novel! Not that it isn't well handled, but it's not the prolonged examination of grief that its adaptation turned it into. What it did do, however, was make it clear that in order for Haruhiro to grow as a character, Manato had to die - had he not, Haruhiro would have remained dependent and eventually stagnated. Since I've always thought that was a major issue in the Record of Lodoss Wars series in terms of Parn and King Kashew (or however you spell it), I can't really fault Jumonji...and I also was kind of happy not to be reminded of the depths of grief. Full review of this and volume 2 eventually appearing on ANN.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sean O'Hara

    Wow, this really is Murder Hobos: The Series.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Pros: Incredibly great story line. Character development at its best. Very deep and a little dark. Fantasy RPG based world (goblins, mages, warriors, etc.) Artwork is nice. Very funny Good length book and EVENLY paced. (never a dull moment) Emphasis on character downfalls, economics of living, and philosophy than glory, action, and bling. Cons: Can be a little derogatory sexually against woman (can be a turn off for female readers) Translation can be a little funky (but not too distracting). Everyone see Pros: Incredibly great story line. Character development at its best. Very deep and a little dark. Fantasy RPG based world (goblins, mages, warriors, etc.) Artwork is nice. Very funny Good length book and EVENLY paced. (never a dull moment) Emphasis on character downfalls, economics of living, and philosophy than glory, action, and bling. Cons: Can be a little derogatory sexually against woman (can be a turn off for female readers) Translation can be a little funky (but not too distracting). Everyone seems to be too beautiful apparently A typo. Review: A group of young people awake and enter a fantasy world with no memory of their pasts whatsoever. They then become soldiers of various types such as warriors, priests, and thieves in order to survive. After watching the anime, I just had to read the light novel and I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed the anime. What makes this a great light novel is the detail and chemistry between each characters and the situations they are put in. You know those last few kids who would get picked last in dodge ball? That's who are protagonists are. People you would have never thought would become a group of friends learn to work together in order to survive kind of story. It's also a rags to riches kind of story where even the smallest necessity such as underwear or a simple leather bag is costly to these group of soldiers trying to work for a living. We also get a rich amount of thought dialogue from our main character as he critically thinks about each and every character, every situation, and even his own strengths and weaknesses. The artwork is nice and there is a lot of comedy. But the story can also be quite touching and sad at many times as well. What I didn't really enjoy was the derogatory dialogue attitude towards females provided by both characters and narration. This could possible be a cultural thing in Japan, but it was a little tasteless for my taste. An example would be one of the male protagonists (I'm looking at you Ranta!) would keep making fun of one of the female protagonists about her small sized breasts while always complimenting the other female protagonist about her larger ones. This happens a bit too much and can get awkward. I mean seriously, who in their right mind does that? But thinking who this character is, it really is no surprise and can be a little awkward to read. Translation is a little weird. Sometimes some dialogues just doesn't make sense or worded very strangely. I think Yume (one of the female main protagonists) is the best example of terrible dialogue. Her structure in sentences as well as her weird personality just makes it a little harder to understand when she talks especially since she talks third person about herself. I guess this is again a Japanese cultural thing of what is looked as cute when speaking in third person. There's also what I believe a typo but I can't find it anymore. Apparently almost all the girls in this story is sooooo beautiful or cute. It gets a little annoying when you have to read a small bit of detail of why each one of these characters are just so amazingly pretty (long straight SILVER hair!, nice body figure, BIG BOOBS, shows LOTS of SKIN, etc. etc. etc.). Luckily that's all there is for most of these characters and the author is able to kick in their personality and you realize they are just another human being. Conclusion: It's only about $8 on Amazon. Buy it if you are into fantasy RPG like stories. Despite the cons on the blatant attitudes towards women which can be a turn off for female readers and the funky translation, this story is quite deep and delves between the relationships between each character and their unique personalities. I also love the bits of details on economics of living as well as it shows the difficulties of starting from square 0 from living in the slums, to hoping to earn enough just to eat. I already purchased the second light novel and will be reading that shortly.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Andrias Scheuchzeri

    You would guess there are already enough RPG stories focused in the "person in a strange world", you are wrong. What is special about Grimgar compared to others (.hack//SIGN, Sword Art Online, Log Horizon to name a few,) is that you don't new to actually know about RPG's to understand and enjoy them. Grimgar treats you as a total noob, meaning that you are new to what is about to happen and the author will guide you in this new world and everything you need to know to survive, as in guilds, skill You would guess there are already enough RPG stories focused in the "person in a strange world", you are wrong. What is special about Grimgar compared to others (.hack//SIGN, Sword Art Online, Log Horizon to name a few,) is that you don't new to actually know about RPG's to understand and enjoy them. Grimgar treats you as a total noob, meaning that you are new to what is about to happen and the author will guide you in this new world and everything you need to know to survive, as in guilds, skills, looting and 'parties' or clans. It a nice change of pace compared to those other stories aforementioned that want to make you feel nostalgia and surprise the gamers with how accurate and well portrayed RPG's are in them.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Torpor

    One word: mature. LitRPG tends to mirror their game counterparts, they're power fantasies. Not so with Grimgar. The most striking part is the exploration of grief. Small tragedies and large abound. Characters struggle with PTSD, displaced anger, emotional isolation, fear, anxiety, depression... Even though it's framed as a game, it's not an easy one. The first half is dedicated to the realization that their enemy too wants to live. It's such a contrast to the mindness mooks in other stories. They One word: mature. LitRPG tends to mirror their game counterparts, they're power fantasies. Not so with Grimgar. The most striking part is the exploration of grief. Small tragedies and large abound. Characters struggle with PTSD, displaced anger, emotional isolation, fear, anxiety, depression... Even though it's framed as a game, it's not an easy one. The first half is dedicated to the realization that their enemy too wants to live. It's such a contrast to the mindness mooks in other stories. They see goblins forming friendships and demonstrating personality -- but they still have to kill them. Brutal stuff. Reminds me a lot of Battle Royale; realistic characters in an unrealistic environment.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Derek Field

    A strong start, with room to grow. When a group of modern young men and women emerge from a dark tower, they are unsure what life in a new world has in store. Any fan of traditional fantasy RPGs can appreciate this book. While the writing is clearly more suited for a younger audience, I still found plenty of enjoyment. I also watched the anime before reading, which did help me visualize all the proceedings. A fun read that was interesting from start to finish.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Raymond Montilla

    A great read. I honestly lost hope beacause of all this generic light nivel titles that have been a trend lately but this one suprised me. I hadnt enjoyed a light nivel like this since I read Baccano!! so it should be no suprise that i reccomend it, especially for those that are looking for something fresh and interesting.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne Nelson

    Most of the conversations felt stupid and unnatural, and the story was mostly cliché, but after a while the story-telling got better, although a bit darker, as our heroes get to know more about Grimgar and other adventurers. Clearly not the best light novel in my collection, but I will continue to see where this is going.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Pedro

    It's not that well written, but damnit I can't stop reading the series.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Deckard Ra

    Reads like an RPG. Would love to find out what happens next. Still worth reading even if you have watched the anime series. There are minor differences between light novel and anime.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alec Rebert

    It was very entertaining; I enjoyed the banter between Haruhiro and Ranta... looking forward to see where this series goes

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tomcat

    Good story. Good story with great RPG elements, the author nicely introduce RPG elements in a subtle way. The story is also engaging and is nice to see the characters evolve.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Arc James

    Good

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    I want to know what happens next, but I also feel like I'd regret reading the next book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dan Pugh

    Loved this book, I like the very different approach it takes to the character development. It makes it seem more rewarding for the challenges that the team over come.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Al-Hemmaly

    The best trapped in game/new world setting I read! The protagonists aren't focused on being heroes or villains, they just want to survive this world. The LN features a lot more than the anime. (This Book covers the first 8 episodes of Season 1)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sukma Wardana

    Awesome... The only word I could muster when finishing this light novel. Having thrown into sword and magic world, yet the main character not have any special power or cheat-like ability make the progress of this story really interesting. Not only focus on the main character, but every person in the party is really interesting and they're not only there for complementary but make the story more lively. Having slow pace sure is mean there is little action showing on this book despise this story abo Awesome... The only word I could muster when finishing this light novel. Having thrown into sword and magic world, yet the main character not have any special power or cheat-like ability make the progress of this story really interesting. Not only focus on the main character, but every person in the party is really interesting and they're not only there for complementary but make the story more lively. Having slow pace sure is mean there is little action showing on this book despise this story about sword and magic worlds, but it gives many strong point from this book revealed. Something like how hard to adjust from normal teenager become volunteer soldier is describe very well, killing single goblin sure need a lot of energy not only physical but mentality too. Yeah, this is not story about hero! Only couple of teenager that need to survive in the harsh world of Grimgar. The only thing that make me little bit irritated was the mystery about how this people thrown into Grimgar was not mention at all. The main character and the rest so easily accept that being a volunteer soldier is normal things. I hope this mystery would solve on the next book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Terrence

    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 w 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.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Xyleen Qien

    The artwork-ings are amazing. although there's no explanation for their previous life erasings, how they got to grimgar or anything, it's definately different from the usual sucked into the game. somewhere along the story, i thought up a theory that they are actually characters created from us humans in the real world, playing a game called GRIMGAR. just that this grimgar story is actually the game characters and events being "humanized"

  24. 4 out of 5

    Srdjan Solkotovic

    I know I am letting my gamer spirit out on this one, but did I love reading this! A really interesting story with a few plot twists that leave your mouth wide open. Yeah, sure there are some cliche things, like in everything else, but there is this feeling of wanting to know more. Like the story is wanting you to live through the shared pain, happiness and all the other emotions of the characters. Just epic!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sanji Wakyo'

    Pretty good idea, love the Idea actually. But in my opinion need more details during battle scene and sometime i get "skipped" story telling..... And I just "eh..eh.. Is that how it end?" Without getting more information about it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ricardo Matos

    Some people complain about the writing. I believe that they just aren't familiar with the way Japanese speech is built. The translation work is quite good with some notes at the end to clarify it even further. Can't wait to get started with book 2.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dido

    I never expected the writing to be decent (well, decent in translation), but the concepts also failed to impress. Dull. Did not finish. Do not recommend.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Fun light novel, prefer the anime, though it definitely explores some of the subplots and motivations that aren't covered in the anime.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tristan Clendenning

    Amazing!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Nagy

    Solid portal fantasy into RPGish world partially because it's sort of deconstructing alot of it, quite good so far.

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