My alternate title for this post was “The Forgotten Girls”. It sounds a bit like a YA murder mystery. Having multiple titles for a post is usually a good sign. I don’t tend to have that much inspiration if the episode was boring!
And I have to say, this was one of the most visually interesting episodes Granbelm has aired. You can see exactly what I mean by visiting my gallery over HERE.
What I Thought Would Happen
I figured Mangetsu would find out what she really is and freak out about it. (Low hanging fruit I know). Meanwhile, Kuon would have a setback, failing to defeat Suishou and save her sister so she would have to go to Shingetsu and Mangetsu for help.
Seeing Mangetsu distraught, Kuon and Shingestu would rally to her side and the power of love would prevail! Allowing the three of them to start coming up with a plan to defeat Suishou together in the next episode.
What Did Happen
Mangetsu found out what she really was and freaked out. And that’s about it for what I got right. Kuon had way more than a setback and she ain’t rallying to anyone’s side. In fact, Shingetsu has her own issues to deal with as Suishou has now turned her sights on her and she is doing a spectacular job at tearing poor Singetsu’s little mind apart. Suishou also hinted a few times that she may not be human, or entirely human, but we do not know what she is. Another doll perhaps?
With all of this happening, Mangetsu ended up going to Nene for comfort after finding out her own family didn’t know her and that she no longer had a reflection. Mangetsu»’s had a weird day… We find out Nene’s forgotten Kuon and that there are probably countless girls that have died n Granbelm and have been erased from history by the Magiconautus (?) which begs the question: why?
The girls are starting to suspect that there may be more to Granbelm than they had been led to believe. Kuon’s sister or her ghost or something is having a grand time while all this is going on.
What About the Characters
I love the Mangetsu twist. It works so well with the character and really fixes all my issues with her. Clearly, this was planned out from the start because it fits with everything we’ve seen. Yes, she had no reason to attach herself to Shingetsu, to want to participate in Granbelm or give her wish away. It didn’t make sense because it wasn’t supposed to. Mangetsu was never operating on normal human logic. She already had a pre-established purpose. Honestly, I’m impressed by this bit of development. I don’t see how they could have done any better.
Nene continues to be charming. This week more than ever her presence is a source of comfort and a port in the storm. It’s a good way to keep her character relevant and a nice contrast with what has happened to all the other Granbelm losers.
Meanwhile, Shingetsu is completely unravelling. Of course, we were starting to realize that she had been getting undone for a very long time now but this episode sped things up considerably. I like stoic and efficient characters so I’m not sure I’m enjoying vulnerable broken Shingetsu as much. It is, however, the logical direction for her character.
Last be never least, Suishou is the best thing that happened to this show. Of course »I love a troll so I might be biased, but a focused and clearly irredeemable antagonist has been a great way to keep this story on track. And ramping up her character from bad girl to potential demon lord has only made her more fascinating. What if she actually wins? It won’t happen but….
What I Liked
Suishou. I did just put this point in as a reusable block. 🙂
Actually, this was one of my favourite episodes, and I’ve liked a few. The suspense was good, the balance was decent and keeping some of the budget for the finale was a smart production move.
The time spend with Nene was also used as a small info dump to get the audience up to speed before the final battle (I assume), and it was most welcomed. I am now perfectly clear on everyone’s motivation and everyone’s suspicions which is what is really driving the story at the moment.
The strong mystery element remains and my interest along with it.
What I Liked Less
I find it difficult to tell the robots apart or remember who is piloting which mecha. This is one of the main reasons I don’t enjoy the Grandbelm battles much. I have no idea who’s who and therefore don’t know what’s really happening.
The dramas were justified but a bit much for my taste. There were a lot of young girls crying in this episode.
As I mentioned last week, Luon’s cursed sister is, in my opinion, a weaker thread and the last scene makes me think we’re going to be seeing a lot more of her.
A strong episode leading up to the prefinale. If this keeps up, and it is promising, Granbelm will have turned out to be one of my most unexpected personal hits. It was a rollercoaster of a show mid you but let’s enjoy the upswing!
Mood: Tired but happy
Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!
Want to see more thoughts from Irina on Granbelm?
Images from: Granbelm. Dir. M Watanabe. Nexus. 2019.