Granbelm Episode 5 – This. Is. GRANBELM!

Granbelm ep5

Guys! that was actually the last line of the episode! I’m not kidding. Just like in 300! Humm, ok maybe some of you didn’t get that reference. It’s an old movie. You can probably google it…

In short, it’s an over stylized and ultra violent ode to classic ideas of masculinity and a lot of fun when you’re in that type of mood. Now, I’m not implying that Granbelm and 300 are basically the same thing. But that is what Granbelm said!

It’s always easier to follow along when you have some images in your head. You can get a whole load of them by visiting my Gallery HERE.

Granbelm ep5-3 (4)
galleries are great!

What I Thought Would Happen

I thought Nene would also form an alliance with Shing and Mang and we would get the roots of a sort of revolution. Where all the magical girls would come together against this cruel system pitting them against each other to finally free the world of whatever Granbelm is. That part of the story is still super murky.

And I also thought we would learn a lot more about Kuon’s sister and what the impact of magic is on the muggles around you. They don’t actually call them muggles but I think it’s the official word now.

What Did Happen

On super long Mecha battle. I have so much difficulty focusing on the show during those battles that I can barely tell you what in fact happened. Nene did not form an alliance, instead it was more akin to an open declaration of war and everyone was pretty much gunning for her during the fight.

Despite being almost taken out last week, this week Nene was super duper strong so she got rid of a lot of the competition and ended up one on one against Mangetsu. Meanwhile, Anna and Shingetsu were working out their own issues through robot fighting. You know, the usual.

Granbelm ep5-1 (1)
I still don’t know what this thing is

What About the Characters

Not much. Maybe we did learn something. Like I said, I have a really though time focusing during to battles. To me, this episode was very much a status quo as far as  characters went. Everybody just went on being themselves.

One thing they keep insisting upon as that your mecha and your power in Granbelm is based on (as powerful as) the wish you make. They are all competing for a chance to get their wish granted and the more they want it, the stronger they become. Kuon wants to cure her sister, desperately. Nene want her family reunited and her mother back. In a heartbreaking flashback, we saw just how much this means to her. Shingetsu wants Granbelm to end as it is hinted that it has cost her all her most precious relationships.

We are not sure what the other girls want but we know at least Anna seems to also have suffered. But Mangetsu just kinda wants to do something cause she wants to leave a mark on the world. OK. However, this vague wish of just winning something and defeating a bunch of girls is way stronger then people who are trying to save their families? Are they that callous or is she a bit of a sociopath?

What I Liked

Not that much. I suppose what I enjoyed most was the idea that we just had a very mecha heavy episode so the next one might be focused a lot more on the girls and their regular lives. That would make me happy.

Of course Suishou does remain a bright spot of trollish sunlight. Her brief contribution to Granbelm this week was not only delightful as per usual but also brought up one of the only intriguing plot points. Kuon, as I mentioned, is trying to save her sister. However, Suishou tells her that her sister “is not the one that’s cursed”. That single line of dialogue contains so much information. First that you can get cursed. Second that Suishu knows about the situation. And of course, she could have been lying just for fun, seems like it would fit her character, but if she wasn’t, then what did she mean? I would like to find out.

Granbelm ep5-3 (1)
I hope she gets her own spinoff!

What I Liked Less

I told you guys how much I liked Nene and what a good foil she is. How I look forward to seeing her interact with the others. Pretty sure she’s out now. Yay

Needless to say, most of the episode falls into my liked less category. As far as I’m concerned it was boring and didn’t add anything of value to the narrative. I think I could have skipped it altogether without much loss.

I am really not a fan of the new kid who is better than everyone because reasons. The actual definition of Mary Sue. If you want to know exactly what I mean by that, the ending of this episode is a good example. To me, it feels like lazy writing.

Closing Thoughts

After spending weeks telling you ball that this series is much better than most people think, I fall on an episode like this and feel like a liar. This is what I feared the show would be like after the first episode.

This said, the series has build up enough momentum to get me back in the seat next week. I’ve sort of accepted that this aspect of Granbelm will never be my favourite but I’m hoping the rest will make up for it.

Mood: Mildly annoyed

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.

4 thoughts on “Granbelm Episode 5 – This. Is. GRANBELM!

  1. I, too, didn’t much care for the episode, but just in case I’ll summarise what I think happened:

    They’re having a granbelm, and Nene is good as always. But she’s having a crisis of faith: her method has been to hide and spam area attacks eventually honing in on targets. And when she’s found she runs and starts anew, but she doesn’t like that, so she decides to fight head-on. This actually gives her a power-up, and because Shingetsu and Kuon are busy with their own feuds, it’s Nene vs. Mangetsu. Mangetsu faces power-up Nene and sees herself losing. This means she will get kicked out of the Granbelm and go back to being a no-name, useless schoolgirl whose lunches only taste normal. This leads to panic and unleashes dark Mangetsu: primal instinct unhampered by goals, sheer survival, a cornered animal. (Note the purplish colour coding.) So the very moment she obliterates Nene, she connects with Nene’s wish and when it’s over she realises what she’s taken away from her, and that’s when the episode ends.

    My guess for the direction of the show is that Shingetsu and Mangetsu really do have a very similar motivation, but come to different conclusions: I’m guessing Mangetsu will try to find a way to have everyone collaborate to make everyone’s wish come true, while Shingetsu won’t believe that’s possible and thus will continue to try and obliterate the Granbelm. (I wonder if magic is fueled by consuming energies of other wishes? You know, like living things have to eat other living things to live.)

    In any case, the show really isn’t at its best when they’re fighting all the time.

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