You don't need to grind in these games, you need to have a thorough understanding of the mechanics.
Anyway, give it a break for a month or two and come back to it later, refreshed and clear.
Dude, 1-2 months is way too long of a break from a game like this. Jumping back into the middle of a JRPG like this after not playing for that long is practically impossible, IMO.
I don't think its all that crazy, I played Lost Odyssey at launch and then got almost to the end, and then stopped and I'm just now picking it up again so I can finally finish it. It took like 10 minutes to get my bearings, but it all came back pretty quickly, making my way through the final dungeon now. Although there's probably some little things I don't remember, I feel like I remember most of the story as well.
If you are fighting every enemy you see and actually grinding, stop it, stop it right now. There is no need to grind in that game even on normal. But if by grinding you mean fighting a few battles every floor then, yeah knock it down to easy or watch the ER on the site, Vinny and Jeff's commentary makes the story even better. I really liked the combat, but I can see how it would be annoying if you don't like it and want to see the rest of the story, but if you don't like ER's then I don't know what else to tell you. But honestly your at the point of the game where it starts to get almost too easy, you could probably just run past almost all the enemies if you wanted and have no real issues.
Honestly I don't really care when I see it, when they get past undergraduate classes they're gonna be screwed from all their bad study habits, so they'll be getting whats coming I'm sure. My history class I'm pretty sure 90% of the class just used their phones on the last test we took, because the professor doesn't even glance around the room, so he really doesn't seem to care. I don't personally cheat, even when it would be easy as that class, because I know that relying on that is just gonna fuck you over later on when there aren't anymore multiple choice tests.
Manus is probably one of the most intense bosses I've ever done in a game, especially alone. Artorias and Kalameet are pretty cool too. In the main game I think Smough and Ornstein are my favorite, the four kings is also pretty terrifying the first time as well. Priscilla is also a pretty interesting boss fight.
I think its pretty lame that it started with an arbitrary list rather than compile a bunch of top ten lists like we did with goty last year, also the voting for each ends really fast, so its only the part of the community that checks the forums everyday thats actually voting the games up now are all really good and deserving though, it just probably isnt all that representative of the whole of the gb communitys gotg.