For the second week of July’s reading program, we will discuss the second third of Psycome (volume 1) and Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash (volume 1). For Psycome, you need to have read up to the chapter titled “Fifth Period: Lucifer in the Cocytus.” Meanwhile for Grimgar, you need to have read up to chapter 16: “Aiming for the Top.”
If you have read further ahead, please refrain from spoiling anything past the points in the stories mentioned above. (Also, obviously, if you’ve experienced a manga or anime adaptation in the past, don’t reveal what happens next.)
Life goes on in the dangerous school prison, but just barely. Kyousuke witnesses firsthand Maina’s destructive power, gets caught up in romcom-esque shenanigans with Renko, and learns the truth about Eiri. Also, the truth about the school?
What do you think about Maina? Do you believe she is legitimately just a clumsy girl?
What do you think about Renko? Does she actually like Kyousuke? How would she react if she learned the truth regarding his twelve murders?
What do you think about Eiri? How does the reveal of her secret profession affect your understanding of her actions thus far in the novel?
How do you feel about the way the story has handled tone? Would you call Psycome an effective blend of comedy and horror?
Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash
Life goes on in the dangerous world of monsters. After successfully killing goblins for some number of days, the party decides to take on a tougher hobgoblin. The raid ends in disaster however, with the priest Manato falling in battle. Following the loss, a priest named Mary is enlisted to assist them in their monster hunts, but she does not get along well with anyone. Haruhiro finds himself struggling to lead the team in Manato’s place.
Nobody commented on Grimgar last week, so I’m guessing this series isn’t as popular as I thought? At any rate, the story has gotten a little more interesting in my opinion, though I’ll reserve my judgement for the story as a whole until next week.
How do you feel about the way the plot has progressed in regard to Manato? In what ways does his death further the plot and themes of the book?
Amusingly, while nobody in the story liked Mary, I’ve quickly found her to be my favorite character. Perhaps because she seems the most sensible one in the book? I always found it odd how the story depicted its priest as a character fighting on the front lines, and frantically healing every single injury that befell anyone. The group as a whole, in all honesty, has had poor teamwork and planning… I can not tell yet if all of this was the author’s intention or not, but in any case I agree with Mary on each point she has made, as callous as she might be.
We’re also getting some drama that could easily lead into a romance-driven point of conflict (which I find a breath of fresh air, after so many pages of fighting generic monsters). Any predictions on that front?
As mentioned before, feel free to discuss any point you would like to bring up about either (or both) of these two books. General impressions, predictions for how the stories will play out, some compare/contrast between the two books, or any random observations and things you’d like to analyze are all fair game.