First Look: Granblue Fantasy The Animation

Game Adaptation by A-1 Pictures
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

After meeting a girl who fell out of the sky, Gran ends up in a poorly-balanced fight with a five-headed dragon. Later, we have adventures!

Euri’s verdict: Another good mobile game adaptation? Wha?

Having a second mobile game anime adaptation not be a flaming pile of garbage is perhaps more exciting that it truly should be. It’s a tiny blip when weighed against the shows that weren’t so well crafted, but it makes me wonder if the animation houses are finally noticing that a shit anime is a shit anime, even with a popular mobile game attached to it. Perhaps it’s the doing of the game publishers themselves that want to make sure that an anime adaptation isn’t going to drag their name through the mud. Perhaps it’s just another outlier and we’re going to get dull fantasy shows and magical academies until the end of time.

Whatever the case, Granblue The Animation is a pretty good show so far, joining Rage of Bahamut: Genesis in the unsurprisingly small ‘shows that I was fully prepared to hate on before I pressed the play button but ended up loving’ category.

A lot of this, I think, comes down to the show’s art style. It reminds me a little of the art from Final Fantasy Tactics, albeit toned down a little in its extravagant fashion sense. Not that this show is free of it entirely; Gran has a hoodie instead of a chest plate and Katalina has about six too many belts, but it all seems to fit in with the world that has been built for them. There’s also something about the lining in the art that makes particular shots look like hand-drawn art you’d expect to see on the cover of a SNES box. The only design I’m not particularly sold on is the Kugimiya Rie mascot character, who has a little too much going on for my tastes. Overall, I’m pretty darn impressed, and curious about how much of this story and world has been invented for the anime, and how much was actually in the game.

As far as the story is concerned, I’m not convinced we’re in for an epic or anything, but the first two episodes are paced well enough that we know the general direction in which we are headed. The evil dude has already run off to find someone more evil, we understand Gran’s motivations for wanting to travel, and we’ve had a preview of some of the characters that will be showing up a little later. I’m not sure 14 episodes will be enough for the kind of romp I’d want with a party of seven or eight people, but I’m jumping the gun a little bit. Early signs look good, and while Rage of Bahamut: Genesis is still the show to beat, I’m excited to see if this one can come a bit closer.

colons’ verdict: I hadn’t realised they’d already made a Zelda x Digimon mobage

I share Euri’s enthusiasm for this show, but I have little to add here other than a few specifics that I enjoyed. The protagonist is basically Link from Breath of the Wild (except he lives on Skyloft), nothing about it seems particularly exploitative so far, and there are Digimon in it.

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2 thoughts on “First Look: Granblue Fantasy The Animation

  1. That mascot annoys me. It’s like a dragon thing (which would have been cute) got put into a blender with Happy from Fairy Tail. But any comedic elements of said character were, of course, removed.
    Aside from though, what I’ve seen of this so far is pretty solid for a fantasy title. Standard story, to be sure, but some of my favorite shows have simple setups. It’s gonna land on how they play their characters and whatnot.

    • Definitely agree, though it’s nice that it wasn’t immediately hot garbage from the get go 🙂 You’re right about the mascot dragon-thing too – I get the feeling that I’m so used to Kugimiya Rie-voiced animals and armours that they just don’t stand out much any more!

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