I’m not really certain how to take Le Fruit de la Grisaia (“Gurizaia no Kajitsu” or “The Fruit of the Grisaia”), as it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, as much is kept hidden from you and you must take a kind of voyage of discovery to understand it all.
Yūji Kazami (the only guy) transfers to Mihama Academy, a school with only five female students and prison-like features. Every student in the school have their own “circumstances” for being there, but Yūji is not required to do anything about their situation, as he asked for a normal student life. This is funny, as there is nothing ‘normal’ about him or the school. He has a questionable and/or unsavory past, which he tries to forget, but not even a zebra can change its stripes.
The five ladies, whom he shares an almost empty classroom with, are (left to right):
Sachi Komine. The maid. She always wears the maid outfit as a sense of duty.
Amane Suou. She is kind of the house mother and wants to seduce Yuji
Makina Irisu. Although innocent and carefree, she suffered a deep emotional shock
Michiru Matsushima. She is standing atop that thing and has a split personality, so you never know who you are talking to.
Yumiko Sakaki (far right). Don’t mess with her, as she wields a box cutter with devastating results.
The other two folks are Yuria Harudera (sitting at the top), who is Yuji’s boss, handler and contact and Kazuki Kazami (silver hair), who is Yuji’s sister. She does not live at the school.
The series follows the lives of these very different, very difficult, very divisive people as they learn to try and get along together. It feels very brief for a 13-run series, but that is because two additional series are coming out (and might already be out when this review hits. Those are called “Le Labyrinthe de la Grisaia” and “Le Eden de la Grisaia”.)
There has been a lot of confusion as to what a ‘grisaia’ is. Understand it is not a fruit, although the girls are all represented by fruits. Now, as to WHY they are and what it all really means, well, that’s on your for now, although it will all be revealed eventually.
Sachi = apple
Amane = cherry
Makina = strawberry
Michiru = lemon
Yumiko = grape
Some say the word is a corruption of ‘grisaille’, a painting technique using monochromes or near-monochromes, so the show could be called ‘The Gray-Colored Fruit”. Now it starts to make sense, as this gray-colored fruit could be guilt, as all of these girls have huge amounts of guilt. There is a four-episode closing season arc where we see a rather disturbing tale regarding Amane and the guilt she carries about.
It is an involving show, but as long as you understand that we are building to something larger, and have to establish the foundation and framework, you will not be disappointed with a rather flat end, or a dangler, as we have barely gotten anywhere.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (The ladies are cute)
Plot 6 (Things aren’t fully explained)
Pacing 7 (Runs oddly)
Effectiveness 7 (As it is an extended story)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 4 (A similar show would be “Gurren Lagaan”)
Overall 7 (Too much not said)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Don’t touch me.