The Return of The
When I reviewed season 1 of Granblue Fantasy The Animation back in 2017 I said I enjoyed the anime enough but followed that up by saying it wasn’t really something I would recommend. As season 2 begins I was kind of torn as to whether I would continue, but to be honest, Granblue while a little too safe and a little on the duller side was always pleasant to watch and pleasant is sometimes relaxing enough to watch even if it isn’t overly memorable.
And so we embark on season 2 with Gran, Lyria and the rest of the crew and it is exactly the same as it was. I actually really liked the opening to this season. Instead of forcing through character reintroduction we had a sequence on the airship with Vyrn chasing an apple and interacting with each character as he pursued it. There was no dialogue and the sequence just worked. It reminded those who had watched season one of who was now part of the crew and their basic personality and it did it expediently. Much appreciated.
This was followed by the OP which is very generically pop but it works and honestly it fits the tone of what the first season offered perfectly and given what followed in this episode I can’t say that the OP isn’t appropriate.
There’s a sequence early on where the characters are eating and the owner of the Knick-Knack Shack gives them a new adventure to go on and I loved how the necessary exposition was embedded within real conversation around passing salt and asking for more food and the general chit-chat that would occur when a large group were dining together. Admittedly, in a high stakes anime or one with a driving story, this kind of scene would just be eating screen time, but here it is Granblue. The characters are pleasant to spend time with and they have downtime as well as times when they are in danger.
Soon though we are back out on a floating island and hunting down the source of a strange noise. Turns out it is a primal beast (when isn’t it) and once again the Empire are torturing the thing in the name of research (when aren’t they). Gran and the others are forced to fight the crazy beast and the fight sequence is a little messy visually, but it is resolved the way these fights always are.
There is an attempt at the end to set up the next stage with one person from the Empire asking Gran and the others to attend a peace negotiation. It is clearly shady but no doubt they’ll head along to it anyway and really I don’t expect much from this anime anyway. If you want a generic fantasy where you don’t really need much emotional investment (and you are wanting a break from isekai stories), Granblue Fantasy might be worth the effort but don’t jump in to season 2. Without season one this episode makes little sense.
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Images from: Granblue Fantasy The Animation Season 2. Dir. Y Umemoto. MAPPA. 2019.