I tried to make my Dr. Stone review shorted this week and I failed. But I’m going to try again with Granbelm… We’ll see how it goes. It seems I don’t have the succinct gene.
What I Thought Would Happen
Honestly, the last episode knocked me out a little. I didn’t really know what would happen this week, I was just really hoping it wouldn’t be another battle royal.
I guessed they would tell us what happened to Nene a bit. Last time a girl got knocked out, we did see her also get kicked out of Anna’s place!
What Did Happen
Well, we saw Nene again! She’s taking it really well. I guess we don’t have to feel bad about the Granbelm losers. Also, she really is older than she looks, as she’s the oldest of the three sisters, but her best friend is still Mangetsu’s little sister so I’m a bit confused. Best not to overthink this one.
They tried to explain Granbelm a bit better and I will give them credit for at least attempting it but the explanations all boiled down to “the magicaunotus (sp?) did it” and they didn’t tell us what a magicaunotus is. So although they tried explaining everything, I’m not sure they succeeded.
Something similar happened with the rest of the episode which was mostly dedicated to Shingetsu and Anna’s backstory. They grew up together but we don’t find out why they aren’t together anymore or why they don’t like each other. We do find out that Shingetsu was adopted by Anna’s mom because of her magical power and that Anna is in fact quite weak, something that’s apparently very unpleasant for the champion of a famous mage family. But how the mom found Shingetsu or why Anna hates her remains a mystery. Is it just jealousy?
Meanwhile, Suishou having found out that Anna is not as powerful as she thought promptly betrays her in a deliciously Suishou move.
In the final moments Shingetsu and Anna reconcile…maybe…
What About the Characters
I was happy to see Nene but I think she may be gone for a while now. We saw a bit of everyone but not enough for it to make much of a difference. Except for Suishou who was barely a minute onscreen and managed to upend everything. The girl is just boss!
The only character that had some good development this week is Anna. You could say that was the entire purpose of the episode. You would be right about it. Unfortunately, it wavered wildly and way too quickly from one extreme to another and made her seem crazy, or just not that well written.
Ana has always been prone to anger but I figured she was, in fact, a decent person who didn’t handle frustration well and was carrying around some type of deep trauma. But from what we saw this episode, she’s this angry at Shingetsu simply because the latter is better at magic? That’s a bit lame. And this jealousy burns so deep and bright in her heart that she actually attacks her with a battleaxe. That’s downright unhinged. She has a breakdown when her mother tells her the hard truths (i.e. she lacks magical talent) and then one a dime, less than a second later, is fine smiling and loves Shingetsu again.
The change was too quick and the catalyst to weak to make the scene hold together. Unless they go back and fill in some backstory, Shingetsu just seems completely irrational and potentially homicidal now.
What I Liked
Whereas Anna losing it was messy and incoherent, Suishou pulling the old switcheroo fit her character perfectly and was super fun to watch.
I generally enjoyed the fact that we stayed in the real world.
I liked the running gag of Mangetsu cooking for people and them telling her her food is o.k. Not great or anything but you know, fine. You never see that. It’s usually the best thing ever or completely uneatable. Somehow, this seemed more insulting.
What I Liked Less
With such a short “What I Liked” sections you may think I didn’t in fact like the episode at all, but that’s not the case. I thought the ending was way overblown and came out of left-field but otherwise, I didn’t dislike the episode at all.
It was a fairly neutral episode.
Oh, I also think that the more they try to explain Granbelm, the more they confuse things. At this point, they should cut their losses and just pretend magical mecha battles are a normal thing everyone should already know about.
It’s not like Granbelm doesn’t have anything to offer but it’s quite clumsy in places. Unfortunately, two episodes in a row have been less than stellar, although I much preferred this one.
I’m really curious to see what Suishou will do next!
Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!
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Images from: Granbelm. Dir. M Watanabe. Nexus. 2019.