I was going to make another “The Disappearance…” title but I think I’ve personally overused that formulation. Instead, I’m focusing on the camping part.
As Granbelm is getting ready to wrap things up, it’s looking pretty gawsh darn good. It was always a surprisingly pretty show. Why surprising? I’m not sure. I just constantly find myself going, huh, this show is actually very pretty…I’ve been watching for 11 episodes, I should have picked up on that by now. And I’ve been doing galleries, the latest one is here!
What I Thought Would Happen
Mangetsu had started out her long dark journey of the soul in the closing tab of the last episode, it was only natural for her to continue it. To wander the city in search of meaning and look within herself to find if there’s anything there.
Her friends, those few who remember her would need to rally by her side. Of course, first, they would need to find her and who better to do that than Shingetsu. In a way, she’s Mangetsu’s mother and all.
And of course, we have the magically awake Kuon’s sister who probably wants revenge on Suishou for just about everything. That revenge may best take form in helping Shingetsu win the Granbelm. As you can see I had this episode pretty well figured out.
What Did Happen
The writers disagreed though. Yes, Mangetsu did a bit of soul searching but it was over pretty quickly. She came to her conclusion that helping Shingetsu was really her purpose and for the moment, that meant cheering Shingetsu up and bolstering her moral for the coming fight.
What better way to do that then getting all their friends together and going camping. For general information, please no one ever take me camping in order to cheer me up. I will escape the first chance I get!
And so, every magical girl and forgotten family member that’s still around came together to have a nice little evening under the stars. It was cute!
What About the Characters
I wrote in one of my galleries that I found Singetsu and Mangetsu similar to Homura and Madoka. In that post, I meant simply by design. One is taller with long straight black hair, sharper features and purple coded costume the other shorter with short pink hair, more rounded features and a pink costume.
However this week, the similarities seeped into the characters themselves I think. We found out that stoic and seemingly cool Shingetsu is actually insecure and has always felt lonely and apart. Despite seeming aloof she’s actually profoundly attached to Mangetsu and quite emotional. This may even lead her to make a grave mistake.
On the other hand, Mangetsu is almost suspiciously pleasant and seemingly harmless while possessing a great power that’s not really her own. She wants to do good but it’s hard to tell what if anything is really her own will and what she has been manipulated into. Ironically her best friend who loves her dearly is the cause of her very difficult situation. She’s shy and a little overwhelmed but when she makes up her mind she can be a tower of positivist. She seems to have resigned to disappearing for the greater good.
I’m not saying it’s the same show but the parallels between the characters really jumped out at me. I liked recognizing them and enjoy seeing these similar characters in such a different situation.
Also, Kyubei is Suishou even though they are incredibly different and somehow both the best.
What I Liked
As always I liked Nene and her family! In fact, it was just kind of fun seeing everyone together like that. A nice little break in the tension. Sure you could call it filler but it was useful filler. This was a good spot to slow down and break everything up a bit before barrelling to the finish line.
The images were very pretty this week. Of course, I’m partial to non Granbelm episodes (as in episodes that take place in our world).
There was the glorious return of Mangetsu’s very average cooking running gag. Always cause for celebration in this house!
Although it was sad, I found it quite powerful that Kuon’s sister had forgotten her. It’s perfectly consistent with the story, yet somehow the possibility hadn’t crossed my mind and when that happened, I was rather shocked. Similarly, I knew Shingetsu liked Anna but I hadn’t realized how much. The episode drove home just how guilty Shingetsu is feeling right now.
What I Liked Less
There were a few moments of melodrama that I could have done without but it was fine.
Kuon’s sister was fantastic in the opening scene but to me, she seemed so out of place in the rest of the episode. Why would you invite this stranger and why would she go. It was off to me.
I’m never going to be someone who finds camping fun. It’s fine. I guess I would have enjoyed seeing them all go on a shopping spree and try on clothes. Heck bikinis even. Or go to an onsen. We haven’t had our fanservice episode yet
No matter how I look at it, to me this episode was filler. Filler that I was happy for but not something I have a lot to say about. It was a great calm before the storm.
Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!
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Images from: Granbelm. Dir. M Watanabe. Nexus. 2019.