Granblue Fantasy: The Animation – First Impressions

Granblue Fantasy: The Animation is a new anime series that’s an adaptation of the mobile video game, Granblue Fantasy. I remember the video game was a big deal because the music was co-produced by Nobuo Uematsu, who is an extremely renowned talent known for his contribution to the Final Fantasy gaming franchise. The anime is being made by A-1 Pictures and will have about 14 episodes total.

I have never played the mobile game, so I can’t make a comparison between the two. I’m just going to go into this series as it being a fantasy, sword-and-sorcery type of show because that’s the vibe that I got after watching the first two episodes.

The story basically revolves around a young girl named Lyria and a boy named Gran. Lyria flees captivity on an airship with the assistance of a commander named Katalina. Through certain plot elements, Lyria ends up falling to the world below where she meets Gran. Gran sees a girl in distress and offers to help her. Gran’s a kid who has ambitions to leave his small village and pursue adventure, like his father did, with the hopes of reuniting with the man one day. By the end of the first episode, particular facets have tied Gran, Lyria, and Katalina together as they embark on their journey.

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From what I’ve gathered, I feel like Granblue Fantasy will be a typical, run-of-the-mill fantasy show. There’s magic, cool critters, an overarching quest to save the world, and beautiful environments such as floating cities. There really aren’t that many qualities that would set it apart from other serials within the genre. If there was a standard checklist of criteria to meet, this anime would probably have them all like a manufactured package. Regardless of how standard it is, I’m still pretty interested in seeing more.

One of the first things that caught my attention with the show is the animation. Some people think it’s average (based on commentary I’ve read on the episode pages) and many others believe it’s very pretty. I fall in with the latter. The settings have great detail work to them, the character designs retain that fantasy video-game-esque disposition, and Bahamut looks totally fucking badass. While it may not be perfection, it’s definitely pleasing to the retinas. I also haven’t seen anything from A-1 Pictures yet that hasn’t been simply beautiful. This is no exception for me.

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I liked the pacing and the action. It starts off with a suspenseful chase and ended with a decent explanation of what’s to come over the course of the next twelve weeks (after two episodes). There wasn’t any dilly-dallying to fill up time-slots, or to stretch out a vulnerable, thinly written tale, at least not yet. I liked the forty-minutes I spent watching and found myself feeling quite curious, and a tiny bit impatient, for the next obstacle they’re all going to face.

Overall, yes it’s a basic fantasy anime series. But I love fantasy and I haven’t seen a decent fantasy show, anime or otherwise, in far too long. This is a hopeful title in the Spring line-up.

You can catch Granblue Fantasy: The Animation on Crunchyroll at Saturdays, 9:30 am PST!

**In case if anyone is wondering, I am NOT sponsored by Crunchyroll. I just honestly think they are a great and accessible platform for watching anime legally, thus helping us support the anime industry as a whole.**

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