Did Anyone Take the Pardon Seriously?
A good six minutes of episode 4 of Granblue Fantasy Season 2 is taken up with Vira reminiscing about her time at the academy making sandwiches for Katalina. Apparently sandwiches are an indicator that you are a deeply amazing cook and someone eating them is a sure sign that you are soul mates and should sacrifice literally everything for the rest of forever for someone else. That might sound a bit catty, but I’m just wondering what we were supposed to get out of this flashback. Sure it is a different perspective but other than the food there really isn’t anything new revealed that we didn’t already figure out from the previous flashbacks.
Of course, Gran and the others have decided that taking matters into their own hands involves essentially tearing up the pardon while taunting the empire’s representative. They couldn’t just sneak in and steal Katalina away. It most definitely had to be loud, flashy, and involve jumping off of a precipice and onto the deck of an airship before engaging in a fight with the empire’s soldiers who despite living in a world full of people who can use magic seem endlessly surprised when it is used against them.
But ultimately none of that matters because Vira’s plan is for Katalina to stay with her forever and she already arranged for the general to blow the others out of the sky regardless. Which makes almost all of what we just watched pretty pointless. And then of course there is the inevitable betrayal where the general decides to just blow everyone up including Katalina but gets defeated almost instantly when Vira loses her cool.
Granblue Fantasy is never the most subtle or well written of anime and the characters most definitely lean toward the simplistic, however this episode also feels like they jettisoned their brains and just ran-around on auto-pilot hoping somehow that we’ll come out the other end of the smack-down that will probably start next week with most viewers still viewing. I don’t know that it is a solid plan.
Equally concerning is that each episode has given a small teaser of other people doing other things and setting things in motion and it all looks so much more interesting than what the majority of these episodes has delivered. Had they wrapped up Katalina’s story in two or even three episodes it would have been fine, but now it feels like they are stretching the friendship. I guess we’ll see how much longer this story will drag out this conflict.
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Images from: Granblue Fantasy The Animation Season 2. Dir. Y Umemoto. MAPPA. 2019.