Sword Art Online Season 1 Series Review

Before I get into the review today, I just want to have a minor celebration as this is my 150th anime series review (admittedly, I am counting the SAO abridged series review that I did so maybe this is actually review 149). Whichever way, I was tossing up between SAO and Psycho Pass but I think I want to wait a bit more before trying to review Psycho Pass so SAO it is. Thanks to everyone who keeps reading these, hopefully they are either helpful or entertaining.

Overview:

I’m pretty sure everyone knows the story of SAO but essentially there’s a new game that uses technology that allows players to pretty much completely enter the game (or at least feel like they have) and on the day the game is launched the creator of the game essentially traps them all inside telling them they have to clear all 100 floors before they can log out. No problem then. Oh, and they’ll also die in real life if they die in the game due to some design in the equipment that allowed them to enter the game (because people are really likely to sell you a helmet that can fry your brain). Of course, that’s only the first arc and that takes up about half the season before we move into the second arc of fairy dance which is mostly about rescuing a Princess in a cage.

Review:

In case I seemed overly snarky in my overview, I’m just going to say this straight out, I love Sword Art Online. I get that the story has its flaws and that you could throw insults at most of the characters if you really, really wanted to, and yes there are some technical issues with the delivery of the show in some scenes while others are really beautifully done which kind of leads to an inconsistent viewing experience, but you know what, none of that actually matters to me. I loved this anime from episode one and through the entire first arc. I completely and totally fell in love with the virtual world and with watching Kirito face each challenge and overcome it. To point out how much I loved it I will say I only have three anime plush characters and Kirito is one of them (the other two being Maka from Soul Eater and Sailor Jupiter from Sailor Moon). So while I will admit there are issues with this anime, this review is more of a reasons why something doesn’t need to be perfect to be good.

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To be a bit logical about my approach I’m going to start with the plot. It is really incredibly simple and that’s fine. Here’s all these people trapped in a game that can kill them. Here’s the way out. Get from point A to point B and don’t die along the way. It can’t get much simpler. Of course with all of those different characters trapped in the game responding to this threat and challenge in different ways, there’s plenty of material to keep the story interesting even as the basic narrative works because it isn’t trying to be anything more than what it is. There’s no convoluted twists or surprise rules that come out of nowhere. Even Kirito admits SAO’s rules are always fair even when they suck. Although, that’s kind of what kills two moments in the first arc that should be really amazing.

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The first is the reveal of who or what Yui actually is. Up until that point, the programs and the game have run incredibly smoothly and all in the way in which the one who designed the game intended. So Yui as a program being cut away from the players makes no sense. Why create her in the first place if you aren’t going to let her function? And if you decided you didn’t need that function, why not just delete her? More importantly, why can she act outside of her program at all? I know they try and do an exposition dump explanation for this but it really doesn’t work with the rest of the setting and plot and mostly just feels like they really wanted to add in a cute child for Kirito and Asuna, which certainly works but you kind of have to check your logic at the start of the episode to really accept that.

The second part that is kind of faulty is the end of the arc itself. Previously, Kirito had received an item that would allow a dead player to be revived within 10 seconds of their death (which didn’t help him at all given the character he’d been trying to revive was well past that). The implication being that between your health bar hitting zero and the game frying your brain you had a 10 second grace period. So what’s with the conclusion to the arc when Asuna clearly gets herself killed and Kirito then does his game breaking move to win the fight though it ends in mutual destruction and there’s Asuna waiting for him, not yet dead. If they are trying to say that sequence took less than 10 seconds they are seriously kidding themselves.

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However, outside of those two issues where the rules the show itself has established seem to fall apart, the plot during the first arc is really well handled. We get the first episode where the world is established and we meet Kirito and Klein as they kind of stuff around and teach the audience the main game mechanics before we get the shock reveal that they are trapped. Then we time jump to the first boss fight which takes a major emotional toll on a lot of people. We keep time jumping for a bit given the series covers two years of time in half a season and we aren’t made to watch the players grinding. Instead we see the major events, we consider how they might affect the characters, and then we jump ahead and can see how the character has coped or not with previous events. For some, this method of narration is jarring and feels like a cheat, but to me it was kind of the perfect way to just get to the points we needed to see and yet still have that epic feeling of being trapped for two years. I honestly think seeing anymore of the boss fights or floor clearing would have been incredibly dull because they aren’t necessary to the overall character or plot development. Sure, they may have been cool fight sequences but without purpose it would just be filler.

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Unfortunately, then we move into the second arc and while my bigger concern with Fairy Dance is the characters and how they are treated, the plot itself is needlessly cluttered. Essentially everyone was saved at the end of the first arc except for those players who weren’t. They just didn’t wake up. Turns out they are trapped in a new game as experimental subjects, except Asuna who has just been put in a bird cage. As I said, I have issues with the treatment of the characters but this plot is so incredibly unnecessarily complex. If you want to experiment on people you have heaps of people logging in and out of the game every day. Surely you could run a few tests on them, alter their memories a bit, and send them home. Why trap someone in the game world forever? More importantly, why run an experiment inside a game? Why not just move that data outside of the game world altogether and then no one could come and release them because they wouldn’t be able to ‘beat’ the game?

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The other issue is that the events in Fairy Dance happen over an incredibly short period of time in the real world and it really felt like a story and scheme as grand (or insane) as that one, needed more time and to be properly fleshed out.

Basically, while I will rewatch the first arc of SAO endlessly, Fairy Dance isn’t anywhere near as interesting or compelling. The story is a victim of its own premise which was characters trapped and need to be free. End of first arc sees the characters get free. Its kind of done and no matter how you force scenarios after that to make dangers in the game world for them to face, the best story has already been completed. And that complaint could probably carry over to character development as well, particularly for Kirito. I like how he progresses during the course of the first arc but then he seems literally frozen in time after that just going through the motions of saving other characters.

But that’s kind of jumping ahead. Let’s wrap up plot. Regardless of whether this story has an intricate or deep plot, what SAO does is tell its story in a way that draws the audience in (and given the initial popularity of the show, even if people are on the hate wagon now, when it aired they were drawn in). The sweeping grandeur of the first episode is an effective hook and while events afterwards may not quite live up to that, they at least logically flow on for the most part and issues and complications are resolved in a meaningful way. Not to mention, it is fun. It’s fun in a way that other trapped in a video game stories haven’t really captured for me. Certainly there’s the high stakes threat of characters dying in both the game and the real world, but for the most part they are just kids bouncing around a video game world and it is fun to be a part of that.

Onto the characters then.

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Okay, Kirito does gain quite the harem by the end but that’s in the most superficial sense of the word. It becomes quite clear early on that Asuna is the only one Kirito actually sees as a real person and not a ‘little sister’ or ‘damsel in distress’. So while he certainly helps the other cast members out and they certainly do follow him around there-after, it isn’t the usual harem like setting where the protagonist hasn’t made a choice. More importantly, even the girls themselves seems to realise Kirito has already made his choice and so seem fairly happy to take on that ‘little sister’ role. So with that out of the way, what is Kirito actually like as a character?

In episode 1 he’s great and a lot of the reason I was sold so heavily on this series. He’s a gamer cliché and what little we learn of his life outside of the game is that he has some issue with his family, spends a lot of time alone in his room, and is obsessed with games. he then enters the virtual world and we see him come alive. This resonated so well with me as I kind of had the same experience as a teenager where I just didn’t feel like I fit and games and stories were something that could make me feel alive. Despite being built off a cliche, they spend a bit of time showing us that while he is anti-social even in the gaming world, he does want some human connections so he isn’t willing to sever ties instantly with Klein but nor is he willing to take on Klein’s friends as part of his responsibility. The process of Kirito making the decision on how to act at the end of that first episode really made him feel real. He did make a rough call and he did end up abandoning everyone else to try to secure his own survival, but he’s a teenage boy who doesn’t get how to be around others in the first place. He was human enough to try to reach out and save Klein because he thought he could without exposing himself to unnecessary danger, but he wasn’t willing to risk his own life for strangers. It just made him a very believable person to me.

The time jumps after really do track Kirito’s progress as a character. While each event we see isn’t crucial to the overall plot, each event they jump to is crucial to the changes we see occurring in Kirito that take us from the guy who fled the town of beginnings by himself to the guy who challenged the creator of the game in order to save everyone. Every episode we see a slightly different Kirito. These aren’t massive changes or a totally reinvented character, but one who has experienced weeks/months/years in a death game and reflected on each of the previous encounters and grown from it.  While he’s never going to be the biggest people person and his first priority remains his own survival (although you could argue he prioritizes Asuna’s survival over his own after about episode 10), he slowly learns to let people in.

Why is he so slow about it?

Because the first time he tries to join a guild and actually make friends his own indecision and poor judgement gets them all killed (or at least so Kirito thinks). It isn’t necessarily true because even if he’d told them how strong he was they might have still walked into that room and Kirito may have still failed to save them, but it doesn’t matter what the reality was it is more how Kirito views the situation. That may have been enough to stop Kirito ever letting anyone else in except that he receives Sachi’s message later on and that allows him a small window to move forward.

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He doesn’t then just become champion of justice and all around good guy. We see through his encounter with Silica that while he’s acting the hero on the surface, he’s mostly just going through the motions. In fact, he’s been hired by someone who experienced the pain of seeing his friends killed and Kirito could relate so he decides to exact ‘justice’ given he can’t do anything about his own situation. Silica is initially just someone Kirito uses to achieve his goal however that encounter again changes him. Later episodes we see him actually seeing the person and finally actually caring about others.

Admittedly, the other characters in SAO don’t get a lot of love as the first arc at least is all about Kirito and his journey. There’s certainly a wide range of characters and each time we re-encounter them, they’ve changed a bit because of their own experiences but we don’t really know what they are so it has less of an impact. While Fairy Dance brings in some new characters, it is the core group from the original game that are the more interesting characters (amazing what putting a group of people through a near death experience will do to them).

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However, something does need to be said about the villains both of the first and second arc. While the first arc one could argue doesn’t really have a villain and his motives remain fairly confusing, the second arc introduces a pure scum type villain who ends up being so cartoonishly over the top you can’t help but wonder if you are watching an entirely different show. The only real positive of the villain in Fairy Dance is the real world crisis that the villain presents to Kirito as it points out clearly that no matter how amazing Kirito gets at playing games he still can’t control the real world.

This has gotten quite long so I’m going to quickly go through the last few things. Visually, I love this anime. I like the look of the game world and the action is great. The equipment the characters have and the way the towns and cities operate just reminds you of being in a game world. I love the sound effects and music and think that really adds to the immersive experience of the show.

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As I said at the beginning, I love this anime. I won’t try to tell you it has no faults and I won’t tell you that everyone should love it. What I will say is that this is a fun anime to watch and should be watched for fun. While it touches on some more complex issues, the basic narrative works because it doesn’t clutter itself up with too many different ideas. Basically, worth giving a go to if you like fantasy/action type anime. It may not work for you, but you may just find yourself having a lot of fun at least in the first arc.


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Granblue Fantasy Series Review

Overview:

Granblue Fantasy tells the story of Gran who wants to look for his father who left to find the island of the astrals. It doesn’t seem like Gran has much hope of making his dream come true until a girl literally comes crashing into his life and Gran gets swept up in an adventure.

Review:

This sounds like it should be a really cool fantasy series and up to a point it kind of is. There are dragons (well primal beasts), villains, magic and swords, flying ships, and everything else you would need for a great fantasy. The issue is, the story is kind of calm and pleasant and even the more intense moments barely rise about minor concern for the characters. So instead of getting some epic fantasy story about a small group of plucky adventurers, what we get is kind of the after-school special version of that where everyone just wants to be friends and the villains are completely hopeless.

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That doesn’t mean the show isn’t fun. Each week I found the episode to be perfectly watchable. The characters are sweet, a little boring, but fine. The animation and visuals are pretty good and are probably better for someone who can stream at full resolution without their internet frying itself. The music is upbeat and pleasant. It all just kind of works and everything does its job.

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For me though, this series is a bit of a miss. I’ve watched it through, I still don’t know how the journey ends, and I’m kind of fine with that. I have no investment in any of the characters or their journey at this point. If the show had run another 12 episodes I probably would have kept watching but I doubt my opinion would have changed.

There were a couple of things that did bother me about this show though.

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The first is Vyrn, the flying lizard thing. I genuinely have no idea why he exists. He isn’t funny, he isn’t mascot like, he doesn’t add any insight, and he doesn’t even save the day at one point just to prove he has a reason to exist. If we add on to that he has an annoying voice and his flight defies any kind of common sense (not such a huge issue in anime but when you already dislike a character and you are nitpicking it is a legitimate issue) Vyrn really does bring a lot of scenes down. I’d have happily forgotten his existence except that he just has to add his two cents in even when they add nothing to the progress of either character or plot.

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The second thing that bothered me was how useless most of the empire’s soldiers seemed to be. You know, storm-trooper jokes aside, I somehow doubt that any empire is going to last any length of time if their troops can’t capture a boy with a flying lizard, a girl and one trained soldier. Not to mention, all of the leaders of the soldiers just came off as either crazy or stupid and neither of these traits seems particularly promising for longevity either.

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Lastly, I just wanted their adventure to have more focus and purpose. They keep flitting between goals and it just meant so much of what we were watching felt kind of like whimsy rather than purposeful.

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Still, let’s end on some positives. Because they are on an adventure you get to see a wide range of locations and meet some really fun bit part characters who actually outshine the main cast (too bad they drift in and then out of the story). Some of the fight sequences are very cool. And did I mention this anime has dragons in it?

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I’m not actually going to recommend this one. If you’ve watched it or you like a light hearted meandering adventure story in a fantasy setting, you’ll probably have some fun here, but it is pretty forgettable.

That said, I’d love to know your thoughts if you caught this show during the season.


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The Silver Guardian Series Review

Overview:

The synopsis on Crunchyroll tells me this is the story of Suigin saving Riku Rei. It kind of starts that way from about episode 2 to episode 4 or 5. After that I’m not so sure even the writers knew what this show was actually about. I reviewed this show weekly so if you are interested in my episode thoughts click here.

Review:

While I will admit this show is not as toxic as something along the lines of Hand Shakers, it must be said that this is probably my second biggest regret for the year that I didn’t just drop it at episode 1. Part of me kept hoping this would turn into something like Spiritpact and build on its strengths recovering from a poor first episode, and while the first half of the series certainly showed promise, the second half just kind of gave up caring.

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But rather than just hit out with poor comparisons and the like, I should probably review the show itself. The problem is, I don’t have much to say because everything is still kind of in introductory mode even though we’re 12 episodes in. A season 2 is apparently on the cards (why I do not know) but it isn’t until next year and by them I’m pretty sure nobody is going to remember this even came out.

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Keeping it simple then, let’s look at characters. Suigin is the main character and he is generic, nice protagonist model C with a side dish of poor student / obsessed gamer just in case we didn’t think he had any distinguishing traits. Oh, and he wears a red scarf. This seems significant in episode 1 and in the opening but never after that.

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Riku Rei starts out looking like she might be a character. The opening narration is done by her in episode 1. She’s the kidnap victim that sends Suigin racing around trying to save her (for about half an episode before we just get into random game play situations). Her father developed the game that she’s apparently trapped in after his murder. It kind of seems like she should have some personality but nope.

Everyone else is pretty much forgettable including the one note villains who don’t have anywhere near enough presence to be considered memorable or interesting.

The story itself is simple enough but for some reason the show doesn’t want to focus on the story. Suigin, go save Riku Rei. This isn’t that hard a concept to get. Why are you raiding that tomb? Why are you out of the game at all given she’s inside it? Why haven’t you actually finished the tutorial yet? Oh, and why are we watching some random players randomly playing? How do they relate? The second half of this show is maddeningly frustrating in how it wants to stretch out its wafer-thin plot as far as it possibly can even if that means smashing the wafer to pieces and scattering the dust from here until wherever the end of the series actually is.

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Visually, it works. The music is pretty cool at times. individual fights are kind of interesting. But as a whole this is one to skip. Short episodes or not (13 minutes), we all have better things to do than wait for this show to find its own plot.


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Granblue Fantasy Episode 12

Review:

All the way through this I just kept thinking it felt like the end of a season. It wasn’t giving us answers but it just felt like this was the final battle. Turns out episode 13 is an extra so that feeling wasn’t misplaced.

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So then I have to ask, what was the point? Yes, the journey continues and there are all these new characters with very cool fighting skills (meanwhile where were these guys during the last fight in this city) and all the old faces have returned but we’re no closer to the island of the astrals, Gran’s father, or knowing anything about Lyria. Though, Lyria did at least get a nice character point where she finally wants to know about herself. Still, 12 episodes of floating around, fighting the occasional primal beast, meeting people and the like; fun as it was, it really is kind of pointless.

Still, watch Gran win another fight? Okay.

Granblue Fantasy is available on Crunchyroll.


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Hunter X Hunter Episodes 43 + 44

Review Episode 43:

Well the auction wrapped up fast. Kind of amazed at how quick Baise died given they had bothered to introduce her but at this point I guess that’s pretty standard given how many of the extras died during the entrance exam. This show doesn’t seem overly concerned with its body count nor does anyone waste any time caring about the number of dead bodies as everyone goes straight into fight mode.

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We do get a quick discussion from the geniuses over at Phantom Troupe about whether there is a traitor amongst them and then that idea gets quickly hut down and the big guy pretty much tears through the mafia and kills them all. While there was a high body count and quite a bit of action this episode it wasn’t exactly compelling so kind of hoping for a bit more from the next episode.

Review Episode 44:

This got a bit more interesting. I’m thinking the real issue with episode 43 was that none of the characters we actually care about were doing much. To be honest, Kurapika still doesn’t do much this episode and yet still manages to be very scary for a short, blonde guy. Really, really shouldn’t let him see spiders.

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Anyway, it seems like things are about to get worse for the bodyguards and I’m not really sure what Kurapika’s plan is going forward, but I guess I will found out on the next episode.


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Granblue Fantasy Episode 9

Review:

While there is nothing wrong with a show foreshadowing its plot (I would argue its fairly necessary if you want any kind of cohesion), when an entire episode seems to serve no other purpose but setting up a single event and it does it in a heavy handed and fairly bland manner you have to wonder how the writers thought they were providing entertainment as well as setting up a plot point.

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From the very start of this episode we get that there is a heavy Gran and Lyria focus. She’s having nightmares and he’s comforting her with the usual certainty that comes from unimaginative anime protagonists. There’s some other stuff on the beach and Lyria’s hearing a faint voice that Gran can’t hear. Later the group get split up to do odd jobs for an old friend of Rackham’s and Lyria and Gran get sent together to do odd jobs. They have a great time shopping but you just have to wonder why we don’t get to see Io healing those who got wounded fighting monsters or Katalina training soldiers. Both plot points seem more interesting than Gran and Lyria sightseeing but this episode isn’t particularly interested in the story going on with the war or anything else. All this episode is interested in is setting up the dramatic finish which of course is supposed to be shocking but given there was no other way for the episode to end was kind of eye-roll worthy.

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Anyway, if there was any doubt where this story was going, just listen to the conversation when Gran buys the hair clip for Lyria and you just know there are no other options. She’s about to get kidnapped. It was pretty clear earlier that’s where we were going but that conversation just keeps hammering that point over and over and over again like no one has ever seen this development in a story before.

The only thing I’m left wondering about is if we’ll finally get to address the point of how far and how long Lyria and Gran can be separated with the whole soul sharing thing.

Granblue Fantasy is available on Crunchyroll.


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The Silver Guardian Episode 9

Review:

It’s always a bad sign for a series when I’m googling the episode count by the end of the episode. Basically I’m wondering whether this is close enough to done that I should just see it through or whether I should let it go. The concept was always interesting enough and earlier episodes (not episode 1) kind of felt like they were moving forward. However, the last two episodes have just kind of felt like we’re traipsing through the worst clichés of the stuck in the video game/chosen hero genres and they aren’t being done particularly well.

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Seriously, who is buying this?

In all seriousness, this episode is entirely pointless. The bad guys we met previously are now robbing random players, Suigin is researching Grave Buster (which seems to have a fairly complex history considering it was meant to be a new launch game), and for some reason the bad guy who is holding Riku Rei calls to introduce himself. That last part is still baffling me as to why.

The Silver Guardian is available on Crunchyroll.


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Hunter x Hunter Episodes 41 + 42

Review Episode 41:

Well, this was a lot of set up. Gon and Killua are trying to earn money but kind of don’t have the business sense to succeed at this point. Their efforts are cute but fairly futile.

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Meanwhile, it looks like the underground auction is going to get interesting, only not in the way anyone wants it to be interesting, except maybe Kurapika who seems pretty thrilled by the current turn of events. But again, not a lot actually happens in this episode as we just seem to be moving characters into position. Looking forward to what happens next.

Review Episode 42:

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Just in case we didn’t already have enough players running around the town, now Killua’s brother is heading there as well. Though, it is probably a good thing Killua and Gon have joined up with Leorio. He may not be much use but he has slightly better business sense than they do. Admittedly, I’m with Killua in worrying that the strategy is going to take too long unless they change things up. Again, this episode is more set up than action and still the characters are getting into position and waiting for things to get going. They are really dragging this set up out so hopefully it is worth it when we get there.


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Rokka- Braves of the Six Flowers Series Review

Overview:

Legend says, when the Evil God awakens from the deepest of darkness, the god of fate will summon Six Braves and grant them with the power to save the world. Adlet, who claims to be the strongest on the face of this earth, is chosen as one of the “Brave Six Flowers,” and sets out on a battle to prevent the resurrection of the Evil God. However, it turns out that there are Seven Braves who gathered at the promised land.

From Crunchyroll

Review:

I copied and pasted the overview this time because essentially this is supposed to be a mystery and given the series ends at an episode titled “The Time To Reveal The Answer” kind of means that if you have already been tipped off as to who the seventh is there isn’t a lot of point in watching. Mostly because even though the established premise of this series is that the braves have to go and fight the demon god, the series ends with them going to fight the demon god. Way to shoot your storyline in the foot.

So we end up with something that kind of feels like a prequel series to the story of how the braves defeat the demon god, and admittedly, it is interesting enough. As the characters point out about episode 4 or 5, it is a locked room mystery that needs to be solved. We’ve got a limited cast in a confined area and while there is no murder yet, all of them believe it is only a matter of time before the seventh tries to kill them so why not kill the seventh first.

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This is pretty much my biggest issue with this series. It ignores the grander plot of the world to focus on one step of a journey these characters are on (which would be fine if this were the first installment in an ongoing saga but as far as I am aware there’s been no announcement of a continuation of the anime) and the characters fall back on the silliest of all assumptions. They assume suspecting each other and trying to find the culprit is actually the best option when all it does is nearly lead to them taking each other out (which is more likely the plan in the first place). If they’d actually just looked for a way to deactivate the seal from the start and decided to not worry about whether someone was a fake or not, the fake would have had to act (giving themselves away) or would have simply failed.

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Having got that gripe out of the way, I really enjoyed watching this. Adlet is a really fun protagonist. Yeah, he boasts a bit and at times plays the fool, but he’s a lot of fun to watch in combat, to travel with, to see the other characters from his perspective, and he doesn’t have amazing plot armour saving him from harm though he does rely heavily on luck, a fact even he acknowledges toward the end. There are a few inconsistencies in how injured he is at times where it looks like one minute he can’t move, then he’s standing, and then he’s collapsed again, but this is a minor nit-pick.

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Actually, the four of the seven braves we meet are really fun characters (even if they aren’t entirely likeable). Unfortunately that leave three that mostly just fill a particular plot point or role and don’t really endear themselves as actual characters. This is kind of a problem for the simple reason that it really limits the number of suspects the audience actually has when putting the mystery together. There’s really only two probabilities from a fairly early point in the series and by episode 8 it should become reasonably obvious which on is the culprit and which one is the red-herring. They did try a small twist at the end by making you believe the red-herring was the culprit but that didn’t last particularly long before attention turned to the one who was the obvious suspect. I’m going to leave that line of speculation there because anything further just spoils viewing for others.

I wasn’t a fan of the theme song for this series. It isn’t bad by any means but it is just kind of there and the visuals are kind of ordinary. Considering the tone of the show and the over-the-top nature of some of the characters it would have been great for the opening to really get you ready for the show but mostly it was just kind of there and then we began.

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Visually this show is interesting. The fight sequences were fun to watch. Right from episode one where Adlet interrupts a sacred tournament, I enjoyed watching the combat in this show. Each character has a truly unique style and weapons and they tend to use tactics more than brute strength (though there is definitely an aspect of brute strength in a few of the fights). I liked the designs of the temples and cities with its very central/south american feel even as none of the character designs or weapons matched that particular setting. What it ends up feeling like is something wholly unique and it works even if it isn’t particularly logical at times.

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Really, this was fun to watch. I started it because I had a long weekend and wanted just to declutter my mind and ended up not really being able to stop watching. I did stop at episode 8 the first day and finished the remaining four episodes the next morning, but otherwise did this almost without pauses. I knew going in that the overall plot line wasn’t going to finish so that was less annoying than it might have been and the mystery was wrapped up neatly even though they then threw some sequel bait at us. Basically, if you haven’t given this one ago and you’ve got some free time, it will probably be an enjoyable few hours of viewing.

What are your thoughts on Rokka?


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Karandi James.

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Granblue Fantasy Episode 8

Review:

And we are on our way to find the island of the Astrals and to reunite Gran with his father and maybe we’ll even find out what the deal with Lyria is.

No. No we are not. Instead we are taking another fetch quest from the shopkeeper while she ‘gathers supplies’ and the crew are exploring some ruins in a forest.  There isn’t a single thing wrong with this as an episode but it contributes nothing to the overall plot and we learn nothing new about the characters. As a younger viewer I’d have happily sat through this episode and thought it was great fun but now I’m just left wondering what the point was. If they were attempting to introduce new characters it hasn’t succeeded as we really didn’t learn anything about the other two treasure hunters other than their choice of weapon and fighting style. So yeah, it works as an episode but I could have happily not watched this one this week.

Granblue Fantasy is available on Crunchyroll.


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Karandi James.

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