I love using quotes from the show as post titles! Short of having themed titles like I did with The Promise Neverland and Given, it’s my favourite way of naming posts. Mostly because I’m horrid at coming up with titles. Almost as bad as creating written banter for opening paragraphs. So let’s talk about Granbelm.
What I Thought Would Happen
I thought Anna and Shingetsu would hug and Anna would now be helping the main to win Granbelm just like Nene is. Maybe the adorable little sister would be coming in and out of the show being adorably delighted that her family is reunited once more.
I also hoped that this would mean Siushou would be picking up the slack on the villain front and we would get to see more of her.
Also, as I figured we would need a new focus of dramatic tension, I thought the cursed white-haired sister would get worse and a race for the cure might start. Potentially even pitting old allies against each other as ends vs means becomes an issue.
What Did Happen
Anna’s little sister was indeed adorable though it was in an anguished way instead of a delighted way. Shingetsu is super talented and powerful which has been a source of constant torment in her life because people are mean and also feelings.
Meanwhile, it seems Dawnstorm was right and Anna is far from OK, instead, she’s gone off the deep end, forsaken family, Granbelm and everything else just for a chance to hurt Shingetsu. Feelings! And they decide to settle the score like two mature adults by fighting with huge yet chibi looking mechas in Granbelm.
On intense and emotion robot fight later (which takes up most of the episode), and things are “settled”. I’m not sure actually, the resolution is a little open-ended. It feels like a conclusion to Anna’s episode arc but I’ve been wrong about that before. Heck I was wrong about precisely that last week.
What About the Characters
I understand what Anna’s progression is and although I’m not exactly thrilled about the jealousy as a motivation thing (I guess you could read into it and assume that the huge Fugo family crystal is putting some type of spiritual pressure on her which is driving her a bit crazy), I still understand it as a concept.
The execution of Anna’s character arc is what I’m less than thrilled about it. Probably due to a lack of time, there’s a lack of transition in her evolution so a lot of her shifts are too sudden for me to emotionally engage with. I haven’t had time to sympathize with her emotional state before she overthrows it.
For her part, Shingetsu turned out someone whiny this week. She brought down her stoic facade but what was underneath was so so in my opinion. I think they should have pushed it more, made her out to be a self-righteous spoiled brat. In my opinion that would have been more amusing than the victim of her circumstances archetype, they are painting her as.
The rest of the characters stay firmly in the background and pretty much true to themselves. Nene is back for a bit and as awesome as ever. Suishou also shows up to be equally awesome but in a very different, very trollish, sort of way.
I’m having a bit of trouble connecting with Mangetsu. She’s a lot like me which to me is one of the most boring things you can be. I do really enjoy the running gag of her putting all this effort into cooking for people and everyone else being rather indifferent about it. It’s a great character moment even if it really doesn’t tell us much.
What I Liked
Suishou. I should just put this point in as a reusable block.
To be honest, I think this week’s mecha battles were one of the best. It was fairly easy to follow and everyone’s goals and motivations were clear from the stat so that viewers can pick a side and sort of understanding when the tides are shifting.
Nene’s return and her adorable golden piglet communicator were a bright sprinkle of good humour. I’m happy to see that she wasn’t completely written off the show.
What I Liked Less
The attack on Anna’s mom did not serve much of a purpose other than add yet more tragedy. It seemed excessive to me.
This is by no way Granbelm’s fault however, at the 15-minute mark or so, Crunchy started seriously lagging, freezing and loading every few seconds. I watched 5 shows that even, Granbelm was the only one with issues. Since I wasn’t that vested in the mecha fight I simply let it play, picking up this adorable Yuri webtoon to read while it’s buffering.
Guys, I loved that webtoon – I’m going to tell you about it if you like. I’m currently operating on 4 hours of sleep because of that webtoon!
I don’t think I can properly assess Granbelm due to the unique technical difficulties I experienced. However, I am noticing that in the early season I seemed to be alone watching this and I was surprisingly enthused by it. Recently a lot of bloggers seemed to have picked up on it and are singing it’s praises while I’m a little over it. Am I a reverse sheep (just as bad – maybe worse than sheep)?
Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!
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Images from: Granbelm. Dir. M Watanabe. Nexus. 2019.