Grimms Notes The Animation

September 15, 2019

Just when you thought classic western fairytales have been given their fair share of anime style adaptation and interpretation throughout the years, here comes another one. Grimms Notes The Animation now takes many of those classic stories from the Brothers Grimm’s collection and turn it into another anime based on western fairytales. Yeah, we’re running out ideas, aren’t we? The stories here are indeed somewhat ‘twisted’ but that is only because some anomaly is turning the stories to not follow their original script and go astray. Hence a group of young people going about through different stories to correct them to its original tale. Yeah, I guess that is why people love originals instead of reboots, retellings and remakes… Or even sequels. Oh yeah. Those were the days where fairytales just ended without any sort of sequels that some franchises these days do that tainted the overall story.

Episode 1
Ex, Reina, Shane and Tao defeat a Villain and revert it to the human it possessed. They are looking for Red Riding Hood because something is happening in this Story Zone and they need to destroy that Chaos Teller messing with it and restore everyone’s fate to what it should be. In town, everyone is worried since Red Riding Hood has been missing for a week. They are even worried about meeting the travelling quartet since their Book of Fate says nothing! So they follow the Woodcutter into the forest as he was the last to see her before she disappeared. When they arrive in a cave behind a waterfall, there she is hiding. She chased away the wolf?! Actually somehow the Woodcutter transformed into that. As they walk along, Red Riding Hood tells of her worries. It is understandable that she is going to be eaten by the big bad wolf. Her fate and life lead up to this. Ex assures her when that happens, they’ll save her. Uhm, isn’t that going against the fate of the story? As they return to the village, everyone has turned into a Villain. Outnumbered, they run to grandma’s house. Nobody is around and Shane realizes something amiss. Asking Red Riding Hood a few questions, it is revealed that she plans to feed them to the wolf. They manage to get out of the burning house as they realize Chaos Teller has possessed her. Red Riding Hood laments her fate. She knew the Woodcutter used her to get close to his mom. Because all men are wolves, she turned him into one. Because everyone knew she would be eaten and didn’t care, she has had it and will make them all suffer. She thinks people are worried only because she might not be eaten by the wold as was supposed to. No choice, the quartet use their Bookmark of Guidance to transform themselves into other fairytale characters to fight her and the hordes of Villains. After she is defeated, Reina tunes everything to return it all back to normal. Though, everyone’s memories of this will vanish. The story returns to normal. Red Riding Hood’s mom cares for her and gives her the strength to go face the wolf. The Woodcutter plans to marry her mom and talks to Red Riding Hood about it and assures they both love her very much. Ex narrates everyone is given a Book of Fate when they are born that dictates their entire life. But how is one supposed to act when it is blank? That is Ex’s Book of Fate.

Episode 2
The quartet are a small group of people with a blank Book of Fate. This allows them to travel between Story Zones to correct them. Now they enter the Story Zone of Don Quixote. He offers to help them fight the Villains but thanks to his back pain, they are the ones who did the bulk of it. He also keeps thinking Ex is Sancho. Back in town, he has a reputation of being a lying old man due to his exaggerated stories. They are brought to see Dulcinea who is helping the nuns tend the wounds of refugees who fled from neighbouring towns. The quartet split up to find out more about Don Quixote. When monsters pop up to attack, Don Quixote will fight them and some of the people are pessimistic. But Dulcinea rallies them to fight alongside him since the threat is real. In the end, they emerge victorious. That night, Ex is confronted by Loki who mocks Don Quixote as just a sad puppet dancing to the Storyteller’s tune. Ex refutes him but Loki tells him Red Riding Hood is now trembling inside the wolf’s stomach before disappearing. He reminds him that they are always right beside him. Dulcinea talks to Ex and Reina. They should know she is not a real person. Don Quixote’s imagination is so strong that she became real. It all began when he mistook a windmill for a monster and after that she was created. It is most likely his desire to be a hero created the Chaos Teller. Speaking of the devil, the windmill monster then attacks the town. Don Quixote bravely defends it from its hurricane attacks but there is only so much he could take before he hands it to Sancho, or rather Ex. Cue for the quartet to use their Bookmark of Guidance and save the day. With Reina’s tuning, Dulcinea disappears and this Story Zone reverts back to its original state. Though he insists that Dulcinea is real although the real fat and ugly Sancho thinks it’s another one of his fantasies.

Episode 3
Ex’s flashback. Born with a blank Book of Fate, his uncle and aunt took him in after his parents died. Though they aren’t very fond of this and hope to get rid of him one day. Is that written in their Book of Fate? Or is this just whimsical? Soon he met Cinderella and helped her with her errands. As we all know, she lives with a wicked stepmother and equally b*tchy stepsisters. She finds solace befriending Ex and when he learns her Book of Fate to go to the ball and then marry a prince, he vows to help her achieve this. Uhm, I know he doesn’t have a role but wouldn’t this still be her fate regardless he intervened or not? Many years passed, on the day that the ball is to be held, Ex is confronted by Loki who claims he has made preparations for this unforgettable event. Ex starts thinking about his fate once Cinderella is done with hers. For some reason that night he went out and stumbled into Reina fighting Villains. Yeah, I’m surprised the heavy log she is stuck beneath didn’t kill her. She gives him her Bookmark of Guidance that turns him into a hero to slay the Villains. She doesn’t want to explain or answer his questions but lets him keep her Bookmark of Guidance? WTF. Eventually she just tells him. For the sake of progression of this story, I guess. Reina is looking for the main character of this Story Zone. Well, what do you know? Cinderella’s Book of Fate sounds like she is the main character… So cliché, right? So they have to rush to her because since she is the main character, Chaos Teller almost always lurks around them. Better hurry because the fairy godmother has turned Cinderella into a splendid princess (also, T&C apply because that 12 midnight caveat too) while Loki has turned everyone in town into Villains.

Episode 4
Cinderella arrives at the ball. Eh? Wrong ball? Because this looks more like a Villain party! It is revealed the fairy godmother is on cohorts with Loki as she wants to preserve Cinderella’s happiness. Wait. So to do that she now turns Cinderella into Sleeping Beauty? This is confusing. With Ex meeting Tao and Shane, Reina explains more about the Chaos Teller. When they are to power up using their Bookmark of Guidance, they are shocked to see Ex is a wild card. This means he can connect with any kind of hero unlike the rest, the heroes they can connect to are limited based on their crest. Time to kick some Villain butt as warmup before the big showdown. As they get into the castle, Loki shows up. He is one who creates Chaos Tellers and he believes he gives others hope to break out from their repeated fates. Reina only accuses him of making everyone suffer. Then they face off with the fairy godmother who is no other the Chaos Teller. She rants about Cinderella’s fate. Despite being married to the prince, she never found true happiness. Yeah, married woes. You mean they really divorce after that? So making her sleep is for the best? Fairy godmother then turns into her true hideous form. Ex eventually defeats her and manages to speak to Cinderella for one last time. Must be exhausted from that nightmare, huh? Reina is about to begin her tuning and this means Cinderella will not remember Ex after this. He doesn’t mind since that is what he wants. After all, he wanted her to have a happy ending and can’t get in her way. In the aftermath as the Story Zone returns to normal and Cinderella happily married to the prince, Ex joins the rest on a journey and an adventure he can call his own. He thought being born without a fate was normal. But now he realizes he has yet to pick one.

Episode 5
Beach episode? Well, they pull out John Silver almost drowned at sea. Yup, welcome to Treasure Island. According to Silver’s Book of Fate, he is supposed to help Jim find Flint’s treasure but that boy went down with the ship when a monster attacked. Tao is eager to help him the treasure since he has the map. But Reina almost messes things up with her bad luck, setting off traps. I’m starting to think that because of her bad luck is so bad, she survives all the traps. Yeah… When Shane spots somebody else, she follows him hiding in the cave. Turns out to be Jim and he reveals that Silver is the culprit who sank their ship just to get the map to the treasure. Conveniently when the truth is out, Silver bombs and traps them in the cave. Don’t worry. Shane has some bombs to blow them out. Then they make their way to the treasure. If something feels wrong with the treasure being so openly displayed, it’s because it is definitely a trap. The moment Jim touches it, he turns into a Villain. Cue for Silver to cue in and rant about screwing fate because it tells him he could never get the treasure or become the greatest pirate. Our heroes transform. I suppose they all had to transform into female characters because fanservice swimsuits. Anyway they face a hard time until Tao sheds some light of truth whatever. A vision of Flint is enough for Silver to admit his loss and accept his fate. After Reina tunes this Story Zone, it seems Silver is still trying to be a rogue but doing it on his own and without the power of a Chaos Teller.

Episode 6
Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who is the fairest of them all? I think we know the answer. Until the mirror tells more about the ugly truth that one day the evil queen’s daughter, Snow White will surpass her. Ex and co are in this Story Zone when Ex is whisked away by, uhm, 7 septuplets are actually the 7 dwarves? They force Ex to kiss sleeping Snow White. She wakes up and thinks he is her prince. I’m sure the rest aren’t too happy to see Ex getting kissed but whatever. So these 7 idiots are actually fairies named Tsuberks? Whatever. Seeing there is no error in this storyline, they want to leave but Snow White refuses to let Ex goes and really believes he is her prince. She throws a tantrum that she gave him her first time (what a way to say a kiss) and needs to take responsibility! The rest thought the story will restart if they bring her back to the castle and Snow White is delighted as she wants to introduce Ex to her mother queen whom she loves so much. Flashback shows she was strict but as loving. Then there’s a twisted time she told Snow White that her Book of Fate said she will be killed by her own daughter. When that time comes, don’t hesitate. Meeting the queen, she wants them to stay as thanks for saving Snow White. Dinner is great but desserts? Apple themed… Damn, this looks suspicious. Snow White didn’t think twice in sinking her teeth in but luckily or unluckily, those 7 idiots barge in. They ruin everything but saved her. Because Snow White still loves her mom, the queen reveals she was the previous Snow White. After eating the apple, she hated her mother and eventually went on to kill her. So that flashback was hers? The apple’s poison actually made her forget the love instead of killing her? The memories were enough for the queen to realize her mom also loved her a lot and let jealousy get the better of her. Mother and daughter have the greatest big hug. Reina theorizes because Ex broke the curse before it could take effect, it is a reason why the apple didn’t have an effect on this Snow White. As they leave, Snow White admits she knew Ex wasn’t the real prince but couldn’t let him leave because he was such a wonderful person. Don’t worry, you’ll find a much better prince. It’s in your Book of Fate, right? Oh wait. Does this mean she must eat another poisoned apple and fall into a deep slumber?!

Episode 7
In this Story Zone, Ex and co stumble into an unconscious lady in the snow, Gerda. Sorry, not Elsa. They take refuge and rest up in a nearby cabin belonging to a blind lady, Curly. As we all know the story from Frozen, oops, I mean the Snow Queen, Gerda is on a mission to retrieve her brother Kai who has gone to serve the Snow Queen. Next day as they arrive at the ice castle, Kai pops up but refuses to return with Gerda. He will be contracted to the Snow Queen as stated in his Book of Fate. However Gerda then thought of exploiting this contract loophole. She immobilizes Shane in hopes she would take Kai’s place instead. However the Snow Queen isn’t amused and sends the ground crumbling. Our heroes are okay at the bottom. Gerda feels confused with what she has done thanks to partially some cursed mirror shards stuck in her eye but due to recent events, she is getting some of her feelings back rather than being some emotionless girl. Shane and Gerda really hit it up as they talk about siblings’ love. They manage to get out and confront Kai again. He reveals his contract is to stay by the Snow Queen’s side forever and in exchange she will remove the shard from Gerda’s eye. However Shane points out that the Snow Queen will not remove it but Kai himself. Because you know, when the siblings start reconciling, lots of emotions welling up, voila! The shards break from Gerda’s eyes. Because tears of happiness. With the happy siblings reunited, the only one not happy is the Snow Queen. No prizes to guess she is the Chaos Teller. She reveals that she was the one who brought sorrow to them so as his sadness and all are purest. That makes him beautiful. Whatever. Can we just transform, fight and defeat this crazy b*tch and move on? There. Easy win. Before Reina could tune things, Curly pops up. She claims she created this Chaos Teller and warns them about forcing her into eternal solitude. Giving other cruel fairytale fates, she believes this is the only way these characters can break out from their vicious cycle. Turns out Loki is working under her and whisks her away to do some priestess duty. Gerda is grateful and will forever remember Shane. Yeah, wait till Reina tunes everything. Ah, all back to normal.

Episode 8
Tao once told Shane since they both had a blank Book of Fate, they can wander anywhere. However to prevent being lost, it is best they venture together. Since it isn’t Tao’s policy to take on a servant, he made Shane his family. Now the travellers are in Momotarou’s Story Zone, Tao and Shane’s homeland. Momotarou being owned by Villains? As he explains, he already went to Onigashima and defeated them. However his animals did all the work and left him. He hopes they can help him defeat a few oni making boats as they are planning to assault the coastal village. Shane recognizes Onihime as dumb Momotarou tries to attack her. Tao knocks him out. It seems the oni aren’t going to attack humans but return home to Onigashima. Tao agrees to help them. When Momotarou wakes up, he is told what happened by grandpa. Even more so about Tao being the traitor because he was the one who betrayed the previous Momotarou and let the oni defeat him. Without his animals, Momotarou is lost. Don’t worry. Grandpa has new servants for him. By the time Tao and co reach Onigashima, the place is razed. How the f*ck did Momotarou get there faster than them? Yeah, he’s got Villains as his servants. He talks about Tao’s betrayal and although Tao doesn’t deny it, his friends believe in him. Momotarou further tries to implicate Shane as she is an oni born without horns. Tao then tells the true story. As a boy despised by others because of his blank Book of Fate, impressed with Momotarou, he wanted to go on a journey with him and was made his partner. It is believed that the oni injured Momotarou and because he didn’t want Tao to die along with him, he pushed Tao into the sea to escape. Now this Momotarou is in disbelief. He orders the Villains to attack but they turn against him. Grandma reveals the weakness in his heart and it gets creepy as grandma and grandpa are the same person! Is this Quirinus Quirrell?! Then they transform into their true twin headed oni form. Yup, they’re the Chaos Teller. Time for our heroes to transform and defeat them. In the end after Reina tunes this world, it is back to the oni planning an attack on humans. Tao and Shane aren’t sad and have accepted this. Tao further remembers Momotarou despite his Book of Fate saying he will be victorious, he still have doubts. Because it said nothing about Tao. It could be possible their fates have changed. Momotarou although considered Tao his family, however it is not eternal. One day he must find new connections and leave. And when he finds that, never let it go.

Episode 9
The gang finds themselves in the desert. With Reina dying for water, she is saved thanks to Aladdin. Now that she has got her groove back, Ex notices her book is missing. Damn thief stole it! Luckily she manages to track him down and slap him. Guess what? He likes it! Is this some sort of awakening?! In fact, he loves her and wants to marry her! But that aside, it seems Aladdin got his magic lamp stolen by the sultan. But don’t worry. His Book of Fate says he will get it back and will eventually marry a princess. That’s Reina, right? As the Story Zone is starting to collapse, so is Reina. Aladdin is intrigued with her past so the rest say she wants revenge against the Chaos Teller who destroyed her home. She was a princess in her Story Zone and Loki destroyed that. With Villains all around, the rest go fight them. Yeah, Aladdin left to protect his princess. WTF he is a wimp? Luckily Reina had enough strength to get up and fight back. But the next Villain stabs Aladdin as he protects Reina. Oh sh*t?! Main character died?! Really?! Although Reina can tune this Story Zone, it doesn’t bring the dead back. Somebody else will become Aladdin and the story goes on. Then Ex gets this idea. What if they get back the magic lamp and wish for Aladdin’s revival. Nah, that’s not going to cu- WTF you mean they believe it is going to work???!!! I hope this isn’t made up. As they head towards the palace, Loki is before them. He mocks Reina’s hate and continues to blah his usual of freeing the people. Then he warps them into the sultan’s palace. Is he going to give up the lamp? Of course not. I wonder if this lamp has unlimited wishes as he orders the genie to attack. Red genie? Better than being blue. I mean, the new blue one and not the old original one! They transform, fight and defeat the sultan. However Reina can’t use the lamp. It’s broken! With the Story Zone close to collapsing, Reina has no choice but to tune it. She has come to accept the choices made by others and because of those choices is also why they live. So why is Ex b*tching about?! Can’t he see this is hard on Reina too? Poor Aladdin remains dead. The world returns to normal as the gloomy quartet ponder on their actions. Well, a new Aladdin became the sultan after marrying the ex-sultan’s daughter. And they at least saved thousands of NPC lives, right? Yeah… Meanwhile Loki and Curly are glad their long awaited ritual is soon finishing. Soon they will end all old tales and write their own stories!

Episode 10
Wait a minute. Is Jeanne d’Arc a fairytale? I thought she was a real historical figure? Anyway, with Ex and co joining the French’s side after the battle at Orleans, Ex seems to be very worried about Jeanne. Ex also spots Curly here but she finds it baffling that he is worried about Jeanne. Does he not know how her fate ends? That night he goes to talk to Jeanne and the latter isn’t particularly afraid of death but rather failing to achieve what she believes in. She fears there will be no one to carry on her feelings after she dies. Cue for some weird English monk fairy monster (?!) to sneak in and own them. He takes Jeanne and will execute her soon. Because Ex is cursed, he is weakened and grounded while the rest try to go save Jeanne. Curly visits Ex and this guy tries to be strong for Jeanne. He isn’t concerned about her fate but her feelings that he wants to protect. With that, Curly heals his curse. Do as you wish. Meanwhile Reina and co have a hard time fighting the monk since he has no physical form and was born out of the hatred of the English. Gee, he is so focused in trying to eliminate them that he didn’t hear Ex free Jeanne? Because now Ex rejoins the group, now their attacks connect and they can defeat this monk?! I thought they can’t even touch him?! With Ex talking to Jeanne about believing in fate till the very end, I guess Jeanne lets him carry hers. Because Reina tunes to world to return everything back to normal. Ex still feels sad that Jeanne will eventually be executed by the English but hey, remember he has the duty to carry her feelings like he has for other characters. Hope it doesn’t get too heavy the more feelings he takes on in time…

Episode 11
We’re in Alice In Wonderland now! Reina is being flirted by Mad Hatter and March Hare when Alice comes in to arrest them? She’s part of the moral police squad?! But Reina is amazed to see Alice. She is a big fan of this story. But no time to admire, they have to run or risk being arrested. In town, Alice continues being a b*tch to arrest anyone who violate the slightest of rules. Reina won’t have that and reveals all her dark secrets to turn Alice squirming. This allows Mad Hatter to kidnap her to their base to have a tea party. Reina wants to talk with Alice. The latter thinks stories and fantasies are stupid and is done with those stuffs. But Reina thinks otherwise and the reason she loves this story because it saved her. Alice relents and they talk about Reina’s other adventures over tea party. However, Alice’s assistant, Watch Rabbit surrounds the place to arrest them. Because Alice doesn’t think they are bad people, Watch Rabbit thinks she has been corrupted by them and will arrest them all. Reina and co are ready to put up a fight but Mad Hatter gets kidnapped. Watch Rabbit retreats. Bad news because Mad Hatter will be put on trial by the Queen of Hearts and her ruling always ends in death! So as they arrive at the palace, they are surrounded. It is all a setup. Alice was just playing along to lead and capture them in one fell swoop. The Queen of Hearts (damn, she ugly) orders their death and of course our heroes won’t go down with a fight. Transform! They are going to show Alice why stories aren’t useless as she thinks they are. Eventually they defeat her and this confuses Alice. Yeah, her entire outlook about being an adult staying rooted in reality just got smashed. Too late for Alice wanting to talk more with Reina but she starts tuning the world. However something is wrong. Alice still remembers them and the Queen of Hearts is missing. Mad Hatter is the culprit as he unleashes a dragon to go on a rampage. Everything going according to plan…

Episode 12
This dragon is Jabberwock and Mad Hatter was just his false form he used. Jabberwock’s attack separates the team. Ex is forced to take Reina to safety but she gets emotionally upset thinking Tao and Shane are left to die. Cue for her explanation why she is traumatized when people die. Because everyone in her world died instantly and she was all alone. That’s why she must continue to keep living. Cue for Ex to assure he will always be with her. Trolling romance scene interrupted with Shane and Tao popping up. They’re doing fine eavesdropping their faux romantic conversation. Reina is so happy that she hugs them instead. Also with them is March Hare. However they realize this is not her from Alice In Wonderland but Through The Looking Glass. She and Mad Hatter help draw a map to the Red Queen’s castle where Alice is supposedly held. Of course stopping them is Loki and Curly. Time to remind us they are from Church of Fortem and their role is to free this world from Storytellers. Freeing by destroying? They consider others here like puppets and having no feelings. Like NPCs? On the contrary, Ex and co would love to disagree. Since they can’t agree on this, no more talk, action time. After a tough fight, Jabberwock is down. But Loki intervenes. Since he has a blank Book of Fate, he transforms into Aladdin. Not just Aladdin but Chaos Aladdin! Stronger and faster! I’m sure this guy wants to traumatize Reina because he aims for her. Ex is weakened when he hears a voice telling him if he wants to keep his promise, say his name: Ludwig Grimm. He transforms into this character and kicks Loki’s ass while defeating Jabberwock for good. Met your match, eh? Ludwig disagrees in Church of Fotem’s ways because what good would all that do by destroying the one who tells the story? With the battle over, Ex reverts back to normal as they listen to Jabberwock’s rage of only existing within the poems and wanted more listeners to get out. Sure they don’t understand but Ex knows he is lonely. But now he has friends whom he can share his feelings. Damn, is that what a dragon needs? Oh well, time’s up. Back to your slumber. Alice is returned and as they exchange their last words, Reina then tunes this Story Zone. I guess Reina needs everyone’s assurance that they’ll stay with her. Okay. Off to your next adventure.

The Pagemaster: Spoilers Alert!
Oh well. Looks like the story has only just begun! Since we still know nothing about the Church of Fortem except for the fact that they want to free the Story Zone from the cruelty of the Storytellers but I guess that would be a story for another time. Translate: If this is popular and profitable enough, stay tuned for next season! But sadly this is where this season ends for now. A story that is left hanging and incomplete. Heh. I wonder if there is a Book of Fate that writes your life’s story halfway and then suddenly it goes blank. Yeah. You were just getting to the good stuffs in your life and then suddenly all the hints and spoilers just ran out. Life abandoning you and you’re on your own.

My only advice is that if you really want to love this series, it is best to play the role playing game this anime was adapted from. There are more heroes in addition to the quartet and possibly features ‘big bosses’. You know, the Storytellers! I didn’t play the game so I don’t know the story and mechanics but it would have been awesome to see them face off with the likes of William Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Hans Anderson, Charles Perrault, Dorothea Viehmann and even, get this, Mother Goose! Damn, this could turn out to be like Kingdom Hearts but Brothers Grimm version!

Despite the story having a good premise, but that is all only on the surface. When you try to think deeper on the mechanics and everything, it all falls apart. There are so many loopholes and the unexplained that you will start to think that it was poorly written and not thought out properly to begin with. For instance, every character in Story Zone possessing their own Book of Guidance. While it looks good that all the characters know their fate, but that’s about it. Because everything else just feels like hogwash and nonsense if you really start to analyse and think deep about this Book of Fate thingy. With this Book of Fate dictating that character’s fate from start to finish, I find it odd that people can still go about living their daily lives. Like as though the book isn’t part of their lives. You see, with everything laid out almost to perfection for their lives, do you not think that they are motivated to do beyond that? Hey, it is stated here in my Book of Fate. Can’t argue with it, right? Just blindly follow it. My life already has spoilers so no need to worry. No wonder, everybody with a Book of Fate here is NPCs! Besides, can you get rid of your own Book of Fate like burn it?

Then there is the issue of others knowing what is written in your Book of Fate. At first I thought everyone can read it but it is subsequently said that only you yourself can read what is in it. So who is to say that you would lie about your own Book of Fate to others because if your fate is less favourable, what are the chances that you would lie and make up some other stories, right? Hey, it’s not like other Book of Fates have something to cross check your story, right? So one who destined to live a life of poverty and die of hunger in the streets, you think they would try to lie to others and say hey, I’d be a normal salaryman or something. But then again, remember all of them are like NPCs so everybody is following their fates so diligently. Wow. Like as though they are programmed to do so. Besides, if one is fated to die in a cruel way, it is just mind boggling for them to accept that fate. Yeah, it’s my fate. Can’t do anything about it, can I? Like Red Riding Hood who is forever destined to be eaten by the big bad wolf. No wonder I keep calling these extra minor characters as NPCs!

The other mind boggling thing is how this story isn’t just a looping story. Sure it does loop but that story happens again like the next generation or something. So it is mind boggling that when someone becomes Snow White, she becomes a lesser somebody else after she becomes old? And then her daughter or some other girl becomes the new Snow White? I was once Snow White in my heydays. But now I’m just an old jealous hag and trying to stop my own daughter from becoming the next Snow White! WTF?! Sounds really weird and messed up from all aspects if you ask me. And if you wonder if it is in their Book of Fates to meet Ex and co, well, remember their Story Zone is being corrupted and out of line. Definitely they weren’t meant to meet blank Book of Fate adventurers and that is why when Reina tunes the world, everything returns to normal like as though contact with those adventurers were never made in the first place.

Another interesting concept but also fails in its execution is the baddies’ intention to free all the roles. I can sympathize and understand why Loki wants to free the characters from their cruel fate. Isn’t it much more fun without spoilers? I mean, you go to watch a movie and somebody spoils you the ending. Not fun anymore, right? The same case can be made here. You people are happy living what is being told in your Book of Fate despite how crappy it is? Why don’t you go write your own damn stories! This idea looks fun and nice but it is poorly fleshed out as our antagonists seem to be biding their time and with Reina and co being successful in tuning a lot of the Story Zones, it feels like Loki isn’t really interested in freeing them but merely seeing Reina’s party do what they do. On a side note, if those characters are freed from their Book of Fates, wouldn’t that be chaotic? Because Snow White wouldn’t be Snow White. Cinderella wouldn’t be Cinderella. Alice In Wonderland wouldn’t be Alice In Wonderland. That is why there are spinoffs and alternate retellings. With this, now I am in a dilemma to support whether or not these characters should be free because the story will change and it will not be the original we know anymore!

But don’t worry if you don’t know if all the stories here and if you think that they are being rewritten again. Good news is that in the beginning when Reina and co enter a new Story Zone and the start of getting involved in this ‘trouble’, viewers will be told how the original version of the story goes or at least what it is about. A good short narration told in some silhouette style storytelling. Not everything is totally made out or strayed differently from the original too. For instance, those Tsuberks whom at first I thought it was just nonsense. But my Google search ‘enlightened’ me as I discover that it is a bad translation of Zwerg, which is German for dwarf.

On to the characters, well the main characters feel like they are also poorly written and not much is developed from them. Ex, Tao and Shane are given their own so called origins but somehow I feel that they are ‘shallower’ than Reina. Because we don’t know which story Reina comes from. All we know she is a princess in some story (thousands of stories have princesses and even so, is she a lesser princess?). Therefore personally, Reina seems to have a lot more ‘personality’ than the other trio because they write her character to be some sort of a joker and comic relief. Because her traits are easy to get lost AKA poor sense of direction as well as a very gullible and naïve girl when it comes to treats. You can see that in many troublesome situations the gang doesn’t want to get involved but with Reina being susceptible and already taken the bait, I guess it can’t be help. Time to stick our noses in. Then the rest like Ex is the newbie and the more serious guy who is worried about those around him, Shane sounds like a slacker but shows great interest in antique guns (unfortunately this is never fleshed out properly) and Tao trying to be a lead character and calling everyone in his group as his Tao Family. These characters may have blank Book of Fates but they are sure not writing their own stories well! But I have a speculation that these characters who hold a blank Book of Fate, they could actually be the Storytellers themselves. So Ex’s real identity could be Ludwig who is part of the Grimm Brothers. Hence they are diving into their own stories to save it from being corrupted by those who intend to destroy their original tale. Yeah. It’s too bad that in today’s world, the original authors are not alive to see their works being readapted with different versions. Definitely turning in their graves.

Even the antagonists, Loki and Curly are a bit of a joke. Sure, I did say I somewhat support their idea of freeing the NPCs (who doesn’t sympathize with Thanos’ intention to snap and wipe out half of the universe’s life to save resources?), but like I also said, it seems that they prefer to see Reina and co in action and bide their time to wait for something rather than take action now. For example during Jeanne’s story, Curly was like being an ally to Ex than being a thorn by his side. Not that she has been a thorn as much as Loki did but what I am saying is that if these baddies really want to achieve their goal, they could have done so from the start. But instead we see them pull the strings by turning certain characters into Chaos Tellers and let the havoc wreak for a while. And when Reina and co are successful, it’s not like Loki is super upset when he retreats. He looks a lot satisfied with today’s entertainment. All according to the plan. All according to the script… It would have been also good to flesh out the past between Rein and Loki but I guess with only a dozen episodes, better to parody other fairytales instead. Not sure if Loki is gone for good but I highly doubt it. After all, considering Loki is just another character, a Storyteller can just bring him back to life with the flick of the pen. Yeah, revivals and resurrections are so the in-thing in today’s stories and franchises that love killing off their characters too.

The fight scenes aren’t the best nor the main draw of the series. They felt like obligatory scenes needed because, how else do you defeat the Chaos Tellers? It’s like a side distraction that is unnecessary but only necessary because the script says so. Ah… After all, it always comes out predictable. The Chaos Teller despite being cocky and confident (because who doesn’t want to be the ruler of their own world?), usually their downfall is because they underestimate our heroes. Yeah, it’s all in the script already… Didn’t see that one coming, huh? One thing that confuses me is how the heroes obtain the fairytale characters in their crests. Do they have a set of stories laid out already in their crest or they only obtain that character after visiting his/her Story Zone? If that’s the case it sure feels confusing because since Alice In Wonderland is the final episode of this season, I remember seeing our heroes using Alice in prior episodes. Unless you tell me they’ve been to Alice In Wonderland before and now they revisited it again because the baddies decide to mess with it again thinking they might have forgotten this story they have saved. Hey, nobody said you can’t alter a story again after it is tuned, right? If that’s the case, truly a vicious cycle.

Having our heroes transform into different fairytale characters look interesting at first but it quickly becomes boring. Their special moves are based on the story is from and they are not memorable at all. Yeah, they all shoot some sort of fancy magic with effects and their names of the moves are boringly named after their traits in the story. No prizes to guess whose move is called Beware The Wolf! Do you know Miracle Of Orleans belongs to who? Yeah… And those useless Villains feel like all those useless foot soldiers you see in those tokusatsu series. They’re just there for the numbers to give the hero some warming up before they fight the big monster boss of the week. Not threatening at all unless you’re a wuss. Like Aladdin… Yeah, that is still the most ‘shocking’ one because I never expected a main character to actually die! But yeah, the heroes transforming into their fairytale characters do feel like some tokusatsu imitation. But all in all, still better than that Marchen Madchen series disaster!

The art and animation are just pretty average. Classic western fairytales being given the anime style treatment, I guess I still can’t get used to Snow White or Cinderella looking this kawaii and bishoujo. Damn the Disney’s version of them is still strongly stuck in my memories after all these years… And Alice doesn’t look anywhere near with that trademark blue pinafore that I always pictured her (thanks again, Disney) but this Alice’s uniform somewhat reminds me of the uniform used in Absolute Duo and Koi To Senkyo To Chocolate. And those Villains are so lazily designed that I thought they were ripped off from some tokusatsu series’ foot soldiers and added a pinch of Halloween. Seriously. This anime was done by Brain’s Base who did Baccano, D-Frag!, Durarara, the Natsume Yuujinchou series, Tonari No Kaibutsu-kun and Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru.

Voice acting isn’t anything special. I didn’t recognize any of the main characters but it is ironically that the cameo characters appearing in the different stories whom I recognized some of the veteran seiyuus. For instance, Aoi Yuuki as Snow White, Yui Horie as the fairy godmother, Yuu Kobayashi as the Snow Queen, Sayaka Ohara as the Queen of Hearts, Risa Taneda as Red Riding Hood and Fumihiko Tachiki as Don Quixote. Some seiyuus play several roles like Reina Ueda (Miyako in Watashi Ni Tenshi Ga Maiorita) doubling as Reina and Cinderella, Miyu Kubota (Medusa in Jashin-chan Dropkick) handling Shane and Alice while Rumi Ookubo (Aguri in Gamers) also did Jeanne and Kai. Sumire Uesaka (Sanae in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai) did a lot of roles like Curly, Jim, Onihime and Dulcinea. I guess they must be quite flexible in their voices that’s why I didn’t realize they were the same character. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention as I was trying to wrap my head around the weird stories…

Anyway, the rest of the casts are Ryota Ohsaka as Ex (Climb in Overlord), Takuya Eguchi as Tao and Aladdin (Koikawa in Mushibugyou), Takahiro Mizushima as Loki (Christopher in Scrapped Princess), Hiroshi Shirokuma as Silver (Gazef in Overlord), Ai Kayano as Gerda (Darkness in Kono Subarashii Sekai Ni Shikufuku Wo) and Sachika Misawa as Momotarou (Sakuyo in Mahou Shoujo Ore) and Junji Majima as Mad Hatter (Kinji in Hidan No Aria). I was expecting Ayana Taketatsu to be voicing one of the cameo roles but unfortunately she only performed for the opening theme, Innocent Notes. Typical rock outfit, kinda fitting for this genre, I guess. Iris sings the ending theme, Endless Notes that sounds more like a slow rock ballad. I guess this one also sounds okay. There are a few BGMs that have that medieval feel which is fitting seeing the origination of these classic stories.

Overall, the animation adaptation may have a lot of shortcomings despite its interesting premise and idea, it falls short in a lot of aspects like its execution, characters, action scenes and even the mechanisms. To put it shortly, a bad story. With so many stories being left out and not told yet, it could only get ugly if this series went on for another cour. Or have another season. Because I’d be flabbergasted to see Rapunzel using her hair as a whip and to strangle everybody! Or the Ugly Duckling turns out to be a giant fowl that runs rampage over the kingdom! Then there’s the naked emperor who went on flashing as a serial streaker to his people in his kingdom… And Goldilocks killed the bears just for their paws to be sold to the Chinese for medicinal properties! Grim indeed! Hansel and Gretel? They become a pair of witch hunters! Oh wait! Hollywood did that back in 2013!

So you see, in today’s world where nothing is that original anymore because we keep borrowing elements here, there and everywhere, it all boils down how you tell a story. Many stories are best left as it is in its original form no matter how twisted and dark it is (remember The Little Mermaid had a true tragic ending?). Because it is definitely weird to see cross culture fairytales being given such an adaptation like white guys playing samurai (remember that Tom Cruise one?) and white guys playing Dragonball characters (still shuddering over all that mediocrity?). It’s like we all want to write our own best of the best stories but we often forget that all of us are the main characters in our own story known as life. After all, what good is a story if there are no listeners and people to tell to. But unfortunately for this series, this is one story where we will put down away forever after picking it up. Left to grow dusty on a forgotten bookshelf in time… Didn’t hear of anybody’s Book of Fate saying this series could be rescued…