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GRANBLUE FANTASY The Animation – 03

「風の出会い」 (Kaze no Deai)
“Meet the Wind”

I won’t hide it: it doesn’t take much to bribe me. As far as anime goes, I can be cheaply bought and easily pleased. Basically, if there’s steampunk airships, it’s a good show. I basically can’t remember anything that happened in Last Exile, except that there was airships, so I know I enjoyed that one. Since Clockwork Planet is not nearly as steamy and punky as we require, this season we need to get our fix of improbable pre-Industrial technology from Granblue Fantasy. You hear that, Square Enix? Airships. Give me back my airships.

Perhaps I’m biased towards this show, then, since it definitely knows what I want. At the same time, though, I wonder if we’re overindulging. It’s evident, by this third episode, that Granblue Fantasy is in no hurry to go anywhere at all. As you may have read in the comments, episodes 01 and 02 were, in the videogame upon which this anime is based, the tutorial chapters, and indeed in the adaptation they seem to have been almost a prologue, and only in episode 03 are we arriving in chapter one. Granblue Fantasy takes its time here showing off the set, playing around with quirky character humour, and shoe shopping, when you would have expected a tighter show to have already dived into the plot. Not that there’s not progression, but it’s still mostly orientation, building the world and introducing characters—characters that we already know will join the party anyway, because they’re in the ED. When it’s episode 03 and only now does a show want you to know that its world is infested with squeaky hobbits, you can tell that it’s taking things step by step.

So yeah, still sort of setting up, but at least Granblue Fantasy is setting up some potentially interesting things. A few more B villains have been thrown into the mix, and while they didn’t really do much except explode things, at least they made our heroes run around a bit to keep everyone on their toes. And it also adds some nuance to the plot. Nuance, you ask? Even when one of them is theatrically evil? Well, mostly the extra antagonists show that there are multiple parties interested in Mysterious Blue Girl. Some of these folks want our merry band off the island asap, while others are still bent on the recapture directive. While the Bad Guys so far have all been lumped under the banner of The Empire, the different motivations implied suggest that there’s more going on, and perhaps when Granblue Fantasy is done with its initial worldbuilding we’ll get to see some sort of powerplay behind the scenes. That’ll help the story avoid being reduced to a one dimensional good vs evil struggle.

For now, though, since Granblue Fantasy is still setting up, your judgment of these first three episodes will depend largely on whether the stuff its setting up looks interesting to you. My experience with JRPGs is that they tend to be expansive in scope and can go very long. While Granblue Fantasy has 14 episodes this season, which is a bit more than most, considering the current pacing I can’t really imagine it being done in just one cour. Either it stops at some arbitrary point, or it’s going to have more in store for the future. So there’s some potential here for a grand, old-school adventure to unfold. As I said last week, perhaps not brilliant, but definitely solid. As long as you have a bit of patience.

April 16, 2017 at 2:54 am
11 comments »
  • April 16, 2017 at 4:17 amDude

    Pleasantly surprised that her character allows these moments of cuteness. It really rounds her character off very well.

  • April 16, 2017 at 5:14 amPsyId

    RACKAAAAAAAAAAAMMM!!! *explosions happen*

  • April 16, 2017 at 5:27 amWorldwidedepp

    Last Exile used some kind of Fluid to keep the Ships afloat. You could say, its like in Mass Effects, where this Zero Element negate the G Force

    Also in Last Exile an Guild overlooked this Fluid Engines for bigger ships. So the wisdom was controlled

    Here its a bit different, they know how to repair and bring these Ships back into Air. Yeah, but the design is nearly the same. Steam punk

  • April 16, 2017 at 8:24 amzztop

    Info on Granblue’s demihuman races:
    http://randomc.net/image/GRANBLUE%20FANTASY/GRANBLUE%20FANTASY%20The%20Animation%20-%2003%20-%2017.jpg

    Drang (left) is Erune, the catpeople. Most Erunes are shown wearing backless clothes in the game.
    https://gbf.wiki/images/thumb/a/a3/Lowain_%28Event%29_B.png/480px-Lowain_%28Event%29_B.png
    Sturm (right) is Draph, the bullpeople. While males are tall & hulking, females are shorter and big-boobed (children too).

  • April 16, 2017 at 7:17 pmdaikama

    Better. Not vastly so, but yeah, I did think this was a bit better than the first two episodes despite being somewhat slow paced due to exposition/world-building. I do like world-building so that’s fine, and the anime did give me the impression that the GranBlue setting is expansive and detailed. Maybe just me, but I thought overall visual quality was better than the previous episodes as well.

    As for the pacing, adding a comment from the same person/source I mentioned in my Ep. 02 post. NOTE: This was made after Ep. 02, not 03. They wrote the biggest potential issue is that a single season would leave it still in it’s introductory stages assuming it keeps up the 16~stages/2 episodes pace. [emphasis added] That means it will not even start to truly get into the heart of the plot until something like episode 9~10. Now the anime may speed things up/cut some stuff, but something I think anime-only viewers should keep in mind.

    So a little better, though IMO there were a couple minor issues with Ep. 03 (not as bad as previous episodes and not bothering to list them). Definitely I also need to keep in mind this is “all ages” given how some things are so spoon fed, comedy “B” villains, etc. On the plus side, getting past the tutorial material I mentioned last episode does seem to improve things (not a surprise).

    Overall, GranBlue so far still strikes me as “OK”, but perhaps now “OK+” vs. “OK-” before. Adding party members to the cast may help since I’m not enamored with the two leads (and Vyrn definitely does NOT help).

    Still undecided on this so giving it anther episode. Not high on my list this season, but some improvement is still improvement. Let’s see how Ep. 04 goes.

  • April 16, 2017 at 9:44 pmIncognito

    Katarina–beautiful badass lady knight…

    http://randomc.net/image/GRANBLUE%20FANTASY/GRANBLUE%20FANTASY%20The%20Animation%20-%2003%20-%20Large%2010.jpg
    …totally loves cats.

    http://randomc.net/image/GRANBLUE%20FANTASY/GRANBLUE%20FANTASY%20The%20Animation%20-%2003%20-%20Large%2026.jpg
    Rosetta, I presume?

    OK, so I’ve seen the first two episodes last season, I’m using a little “cheat sheet” just to familiarize myself with the characters (including some crossover event-only characters who may or may not get a cameo–*cough*iM@S:CinderellaGirls*cough*), and the first three episodes so far are a slow burn pacing-wise (though I hope it will pick up speed in the next few episodes).

    But the “show, don’t tell” method they took for the anime is still holding up well and the worldbuilding so far still keeps me interested. (For one thing, I do wonder if that “Napoleon” of an Empire general introduced in this episode would be continually chasing the protagonists throughout the season like Lupin the Third‘s Inspector Zenigata.)

  • April 22, 2017 at 11:08 amWorldwidedepp

    ep 04:

    Yes, this Anime are in the present, they cut here and there or modify the manga story to fit into anime. But there is still something missing for me. perhaps i am to oldschool

    the starting music sequence at the end, lacks on power… for my gusto

    yeap, no surprises here just solid jrpg

  • April 29, 2017 at 12:09 pmWorldwidedepp

    ep 05:

    Yes, Granblue has borrowed some lines out of Last Exile, i still can remember these lines in Last Exile. I want to see the World with my own Eyes…. and in Granblue it is the same drive for the Boy

    i mean, its okay. But Granblue can not hide (or should not try it) that they got inspirited a bit from Last Exile, too. Also from Sky of Arcadia (the Sky island and such setting)

    This Anime landed on my Watchlist, but to be honest, more of “feeling at Home” Vibes. But solid Vibes

    • April 29, 2017 at 12:17 pmWorldwidedepp

      but, some “Space Female Pirate” aka Mouretsu Pirates Vibes inside me are vibrating, too.. because of the Crew setting showed in the ED…

  • May 14, 2017 at 5:57 amWorldwidedepp

    Ep 07:

    Granblue lost his momentum and beging to play the “asspull” strings for progressing the story.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    GranBlue is and was an “old school” anime in JRPG style, not experiments no new improvements

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