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Granblue Fantasy comes off pretty much by the books in terms of story and almost a bit dated when it comes to art style. Leaving you very little reason to commit to this series unless you need background noise for your Saturday afternoon nap.
In a feudal looking world, we come upon an island where a young man named Gren lives. He has aspirations of becoming a soldier and looks forward to the day his practicing of his swordsmanship can be put to use. Well, today is the day. For when a young woman named Lyria falls from the sky and lands somewhere near his village, this young man who thirsts for adventure goes out and seeks her.
He finds her quickly and the trouble she attracts not too long after, and though the soldier who gave Lyria her freedom shows up, we learn they are going against the dreaded Empire and Captain Pommern. Someone who has control over a multi-headed fire breathing dragon and has the support of a royal family who will do anything to get the powerful Lyria back under their control.
Thus giving us our story: Lyria on the run and two people, a professional soldier and a wannabe, a skilled one I should note, protecting her as Katalina tries to get her freedom.
You’ve Probably Seen This Story Done a Million & One Times
There is a mysterious girl with powers yet to truly be tapped into, a gung-ho young man who wants to prove his skills, and a veteran soldier who freed the mysterious being who is thankful to the young man and takes them under their wing. It’s a well-known archetype which, unless the characters are vibrant and interesting, leads to what feels like the same old storyline starting up in a different point of the year.
Making the fact Katalina, Lyria, Gren, and even Captain Pommern coming off like thinly crafted characters a bit of a disappointment. Especially because it was such a pain to get the synopsis of this show without digging a bit.
But let’s go a bit deeper. With Gren, we are just presented this generic, everyday boy, who you could easily mistaken for an adult though likely he is a teenager. As usual, he dreams of the life of a soldier but you aren’t sure why, outside of the possibility of travel. For he seems happy in his little island town. There is no war to face and the only issue seems to be the monsters in the forest. Of which, they aren’t talked about as if they are any threat to the village so it is slightly hard to fathom where this need to be a soldier came from.
Then with Katalina and Lyria, being that Katalina is that usual soldier who comes from a well-bred family, one famous for their swordsmanship, and yet she went against her country, perhaps that should be noteworthy. However, Katalina is as dull as they come. She is all skill and is shown without anyone being a real challenge as one strike usually takes down whoever she faces. Thus robbing us of any sort of interesting swordfights.
As for Lyria? She has no past, we are given no real insight on what her future could be, so pretty much she is just a catalyst for all the drama we will see. Much less, you’ll have to wait to see the full extent of her powers and learn why she was perhaps created. Though, as noted, what reason is there to stick around when she is your generic pretty mystery girl? I mean, the only thing missing to make this truly run of the mill would have been her landing on Gren in a compromising position.
Leaving Captain Pommern. Is he eccentric and perhaps some form of charismatic? Yeah. However, his eccentricity has become a sort of norm in captains who send men to do battle and we never see them fight. Well, unless cornered. So as boisterous as he may seem, with him not getting his own hands dirty and his flamboyant nature being without any edge, he too lacks the ability to get a real reaction out of you.
On The Fence
The Animation Seems a Bit Dated
I don’t know why, but something about the animation gives a 90s vibe. Maybe it is how the background feels ultra-static and the characters which move like paper cutouts placed in front, frame by frame.
Overall: Negative (Skip It)
There are currently two episodes available but within 9 minutes of the first, you will likely be ready to move on. For on top of generic characters, there is this flying dragon being named Vyrn with this look and voice made for a kids TV show. And while I would love to find something positive to say about this show, I come up short because to compliment this show for doing the basics would honestly not mean a single damn thing.