Ayane SakuraMaaya UchidaAtsumi TanezakiGrisaia
Grisaia: Phantom Trigger The Animation: Stargazer
Medium: film
Year: 2020
Director: Kosuke Murayama
Writer: Takashi Aoshima
Actor: Atsumi Tanezaki, Ayane Sakura, Maaya Uchida, Tsubasa Yonaga
Keywords: Grisaia, anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 59 minutes
Url: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=23499
Website category: Anime 2020
Review date: 9 July 2022
I quite like the Grisaia franchise, although I miss the original cast. It's really a series of adult visual novels (i.e. multiple-choice computer porn games), but I only know it as anime. There were two TV series and a 47-minute movie in 2014-15, then the franchise went quiet until it unexpectedly returned in 2019-20. You might see this film listed either as the second or third episode in this short Phantom Trigger follow-on series, depending on whether you think the 2019 release was one 96-minute film or two 50-minute episodes.
Grisaia's world is one where schoolgirls (and a token male schoolboy protagonist) are criminals, killers, soldiers, assassins, etc. The 2014-15 series was comparatively circumspect about that, but the Phantom Trigger characters are employed full-time by a government black ops agency. They do assassinations. They go on commando raids. They're elite special forces soldiers.
...but, of course, they're still schoolgirls. This film even has a squad of schoolgirl commando nuns. Leave your suspension of disbelief at the door. There's also an innocent non-combatant schoolteacher who'll be comedically distressed by the fate of two chickens.
It's quite good, though. It's also porn-free, although it would only count as "family-friendly" if your children often see people being shot through the head.
Our girls' mission here has two challenges. One is to kill bad guys who sell biological weapons. The other concerns a girl who got abandoned by her superiors in mid-mission and now has a retrieval order. The high-ups don't mind whether she's dead or alive. One of our heroines can relate, because her mother got killed similarly on a mission and then afterwards the girl had to hunt down and shoot her own father who'd taken revenge on the commander. Should they capture or kill Megumi?
That's easily enough for an hour-long film. It's a hard-bitten military story, but it also has an emotional core, light-hearted scenes and even a little fanservice and comedy from two goofballs who've been benched. The movie's not really strong enough to recommend, but I'd be happy if they continued the series.