Granblue Fantasy The Animation

November 5, 2017

Time to adapt another RPG fantasy. Although fantasy genres are one of the top categories in my anime preferences, Granblue Fantasy The Animation might look like a typical and ordinary RPG game being given the anime treatment (it goes all the way back to Ragnarok The Animation over a decade ago) and nothing really extraordinary that stands out. At least from a synopsis point of view. A young adventurer who is in his teens and his merry party going on an adventure of a lifetime. From fighting the forces of evil to saving the people along the way, infused with lots of magic and fantasy elements, what made me really look forward to it was its game developer, Cygames. No, I have not played any of its games, mind you. So? They also made that freaking awesome Shingeki No Bahamut: Genesis which was also adapted from a game they made. So this has also got be so awesome, right?

Episode 1
On an Empire army’s airship, Lieutenant Katalina Alize is taking Lyria to flee. Lyria’s pendant glows and blows her out of the ship. Conveniently the forests below cushion her fall. Seriously, can anyone actually survive a fall from that height? In the sleepy village below, Gran and his dragon (or is it lizard or fox) pet, Vyrn see the airship’s explosion. Gran tries to be a hero to investigate. He finds Lyria nice and in one piece. They quickly get to know each other because we have to move the plot along. Like how a couple of Empire soldiers have found them and wants Lyria handed back to them. Any normal kid who doesn’t want the wrath of the government would definitely do so but remember, Gran is main character material. So he fights and takes Lyria to run. Those guards must be useless for them to even lose to a kid like him. Of course there are more competent ones and that is why conveniently Katalina finds them in time to give them her much needed battle aid. Katalina briefly explains Lyria is a special girl that has been held captive in the Empire for a long time and is now chasing her down. Katalina doesn’t want Gran to get involved further but you know, main character. It is his duty to see them safely off this island. Whatever. Doesn’t it boil you blood to see those soldiers threatening and forcing villagers to help in their search? Yeah, time to really establish them as the bad guys. A few ass kicking here and there till the big boss of the ship, Captain Pommern finds her (typical baddie sex maniac look). He uses his trump card, the multi-headed dragon, Hydra to get things done. And that’s the problem with Gran trying to be a hero. He gets killed! OMG! Main character dies in first episode?! Game over?! Not so fast. With everyone so sad and Pommern commenting this casualty will be the only thing they’ll get off lightly compared to countless chaos and destruction when a certain person unleash her powers, Lyria then uses her power to bring Gran back from the dead! Together they summon a badass dragon, Bahamut!

Episode 2
Feel the awesome might of Bahamut because its blast almost destroys the mountain! Pommern is so scared that he orders the retreat. Reprieve for now. Once the threat is gone, Bahamut which is part of Lyria’s power, vanishes. Then Gran collapses. Don’t tell me he died again. Flashback to young Gran. He treasured a letter from his father that he has reached the ends of the skies, the Island of the Astrals. It is Gran’s dream to be a skyfarer like him. Gran wakes up much to Lyria’s relief. Katalina now expands her explanation of what is going on. The Empire has been researching the power of primal crystals to expand its domain. Lyria is that key. Katalina pitied her for being locked out and wanted to show her how big the sky was. Lyria’s power comes from the primal crystals as she is able to control Primal Beasts, relics of the Astrals. Unfortunately she has no prior memories before the Empire woke her up. How convenient and expected. So if it wasn’t Lyria’s magic that revived Gran (because apparently no magic in this world can do that), what did? Lyria merged her life force with his. Erm, doesn’t that sound like magic? Heck, it isn’t science that’s for sure. In short, they cannot be separated too far from one another or they’ll die. Geez, I guess this gives him a big excuse to go adventuring with her, eh? Especially of his dream to head to the Astrals and solve the mystery of the Astrals. And also take responsibility thingy. So that’s why when the villagers throw them a feast, he tells them he will be going on a journey with these beautiful ladies (and his lizard pet is coming too for the sake of the series’ mascot). Well, everyone agrees as it was to be expected. Except for his old friend-cum-rival, Aaron. Yeah, who is going to be around to pick on? Thankfully it is solved since Gran promises he will come back. So the next day, the quartet being their adventure. If Katalina wasn’t such a terrible pilot, they would have had a smooth take off. And it will be just hilarious if she didn’t climb in time and they crashed into the mountains! End of adventure! Holy sh*t!

Episode 3
I believe Katalina is really a bad pilot. She crash lands on the island of Eingana. The plane is a wreck though luckily they are in one piece. This guy passing by, Rackam even complains how a perfectly good ship is ruined. They head to the main town to find a passenger ship for their next journey but everything is fully booked. As Katalina tries to look for more available flights, the rest look around town. Gran’s fascination with airships attracts Rackam’s attention because he too loves them. Though, he has his reasons why he can’t fly them anymore. Currently he spends time fixing them. He has taken the liberty to haul back their wreck and if he manages to fix it, they can fly it. Free of charge. His only condition is to find a better helmsman. A couple of weirdoes, Drang and Sturm approach them. It seems they know about Katalina. Immediately they think they are part of the Empire despite not in uniform. They start running while being chased through the maze-like alleys. Gran wants to be a hero again by fending them off so Lyria could go find Katalina. I’m not sure how big this town is or how far they should be separated but don’t you think it risks them dying? Luckily they won’t have to since Rackam guides them through the underground sewers. Conveniently they pop out where Katalina is. Rackam doesn’t want to get further involved and leaves. Katalina learns what is going on and feels the need to make haste off this island. Then this petite Harvin kid, Siero knows an offer of a used airship on sale. Even if it is affordable, no one knows how to fly an airship. Well, there is a free helmsman sitting around. That’s Rackam, right? So they go find his base outside town. You can’t miss it. It’s that huge used airship sitting there. They have to start hiding when this bratty Harvin, Furias and his army planning to blow up town for humiliating him! Those opposing his intention gets killed! This horrifying sight gives Gran and co’s position away. Furias orders to fire there. Luckily they have escaped but now that they are known, Furias is pleased to see Katalina the traitor in the flesh. He can tell she was trying to escape this island on that used airship and mocks that piece of junk can’t fly. He isn’t laughing when Rackam is taking pot shots at them from a distance.

Episode 4
Gran and co retreat down the old underground passage. Rackam leads them back to his home. When Gran tells of their request, he has to turn them down. He points out to that used airship, Grandcypher. It was abandoned for a long time and it was his dream to fix and helm it. Over the years, he scavenged parts and repaired it and when it came to fly it, a storm took it out. Ever since, he couldn’t get it to start. Superstitiously it could be that Grandcypher didn’t choose him to fly it. Until he takes off with her, he has no intention to fly other airships. When they go to town to look for other options, Drang and Sturm once again offer to give them a lift off this island in exchange for Lyria. Once again they turn them down. I guess the only way is to fight. However a freak storm hits the place. Drang and Sturm retreat knowing that this is part of Furias’ plan to destroy the island. The storm is wreaking havoc all over as everyone takes shelter in the sturdy town hall. There is one airship left at the dock enough to carry women and children off but the helmsman is injured. Rackam has no choice but to fly it. However it is shot down by Furias! He then arrogantly explains how this place has a wind goddess named Tiamat. After prodding it, Tiamat got angry and unleashed her stormy fury as the people had forgotten about her by reaping its benefits without returning any offerings. Lyria believes she can stop Tiamat although her powers cannot reach her from here. I guess somebody needs to fly an airship close enough. Is there any available airship? So what makes Rackam think he can operate Grandcypher now? He believes Grandcypher was trying to teach him that he shouldn’t be arrogantly operating it alone. Perhaps it was for a time like this. And miraculously it starts up. Time to appease the heavens.

Episode 5
As they head closer to Tiamat, she senses them and attacks them with… Lasers? You bet with Rackam at the helm, Grandcypher can easily dodge them. When they’re close enough, Lyria tries to communicate with Tiamat but it seems she isn’t listening. It could be that pendant on her chest controlling her. Lyria wants to use the power of Bahamut. So what does Gran do? He jumps off the ship and heads up to Tiamat and strikes that pendant! Tiamat is free as she saves Gran from free-fall. When the wind calms down, Tiamat gives Lyria a stone gift. They return to the island and remind the people to reflect on their actions so as not to let this happen again. When Lyria and Gran touch the stone, they see visions of a certain location. Siero says it is a piece of a Sky Map, legacies of the Astrals. You need to gather all pieces to pass through Grim Basin that divides the skydoms. The location they saw could be Fremel Island on Valtz Duchy. Gran talks to Rackam and hopes he could be their helmsman. Learning Gran wants to go to the Astrals, he agrees. Katalina is worried she got another person involved but since Grandcypher is now moving, he wants to show it different skies. But their next destination is Valtz Duchy as Siero informs a client there wants to meet them for a job. The Empire doesn’t have influence there so they can decide after meeting the client. Oh, Gran is made the captain of this new merry crew because why not?

Episode 6
At Valtz, why is Siero also here?! Because she is everywhere and nowhere at once! So deep? It it’s just creepy. Siero brings them to meet a guy from the government intelligence who hopes they would lend him a hand. Their archduke Tzaka is missing and rumours has it that he has been kidnapped by the Empire and hence they cannot move so freely. But the people are starting to get suspicious. And because everyone is so nice wanting to help, Gran agrees to take up this request. First they ask the townspeople for information. They get a lot of contradicting detail. Tzaka is loved by the people as he works hard for the country. At the same time, some say he is making a mass weapon of destruction as he has been gathering resources lately. Next day they decide to venture to the outskirts for further investigation. They know someone has been tailing them yesterday but don’t need to bother to flush her out since she is being ‘bullied’ by the trolls. After saving her, Io explains she is Tzaka’s mage who taught her magic and she thought they knew something about his disappearance. She knows her master’s kindness and doesn’t believe he is capable of doing something bad. She decides to join them in their investigation. The more helping hands, the better, no? Io could sense Tzaka’s magic at some old stone quarry. It reveals a hidden underground factory. But guess who they find? Drang and Sturm! Don’t worry. They’re not here to fight. They are here only to accompany their master, the supreme advisor of the Empire and one of the 7 Luminary Knights, the Black Knight. The armour looks heavy… She claims they have been wrongly accused because the Empire funded a joint research proposed by Tzaka. They are looking for him since he disappeared with the research results. It has something to do with incorporating primal crystals into a machine. She warns them it is Lyria who is being targeted by him. Sounds familiar? A machine beast powered by Tzaka’s magic attacks them. Io tries to speak to her master but I don’t think he is listening.

Episode 7
They get away via a small passage. Io laments her voice isn’t reaching Tzaka so Lyria plays the motivational speaker not to give up. They follow Tzaka’s magic that leads them to a giant armoured creature, Colossus. Lyria could sense some Primal Beast within. When Tzaka shows himself, he is ranting about protecting Valtz. Thus he wants Lyria with the power to control primal crystals to activate Colossus. Watching Black Knight orders her doll, Orchis to infuse her power into Colossus to test. Colossus activates and attacks. I believe normal attacks can penetrate its armour. Not even summoning Bahamut for Gran put a scratch. Lyria then summons Tiamat to power up Io. The weapons of the rest also power up as now they have a fighting chance to take down Colossus. In the end, Io’s power takes it down. Tzaka is distraught over his failure so Io lectures him about protecting Valtz this way. Tzaka regrets doing so. As Tzaka recuperates, Io explains how after her parents died, she stopped caring. That is when Tzaka picked her up and brought back her smiles. He introduced her to magic and became her father figure. Wait. Lyria is crying over her story? Well, she is sad she doesn’t even know her own parents and feels for Io what it’s like if she loses Tzaka. Tzaka was ‘obsessed’ with Io’s smile because he views a nation has no future if its children cannot smile. With so many problems, how can one keep smiling? That’s why he wanted some kind of power to protect his people. Someone approached him and gave him this so called power source. His memories aren’t clear after that but he knows he did a mistake. It is his fault since he made the choice. Lyria gives him a Sky Map fragment from Colossus but he wants her to keep it. Touching it, they see visions of a blue island in the middle of an ocean. Could it be Auguste Isles? Next day as Tzaka sees them off, looks like Io is also coming along with them. She is going to be the best magician, as strong and dependable as Tzaka to protect the smiles. Since everybody agrees with it, welcome aboard our new party member.

Episode 8
The gang stops by an island for supplies. Siero thanks them for letting her hike on their ship and tells them about a client who has a request to find some ruins. Maybe Gran sucks reading the map. Finally they are at the entrance of the ruins when the ground caves in. I wonder how Vyrn can ‘fall’ since he is always flying. The party is separated. But Gran and Lyria can somewhat sense each other thanks to their shared life force. However, in their bid to reunite, they seem to be sensing each other all over the place. Luckily Lyria has Katalina by her side. You don’t know how many times she has been saved from all the traps she fell into. On Gran’s side, they stumble into a couple of treasure hunters, Mary and Karva fighting a sand golem. Care to join in? All their attacks are useless since it is made of sand and it regenerates quickly. What is the only way to deal with sand? Io summons her water magic to harden it before Mary tosses her bomb. Because she misses, Gran slam dunks into it! Conveniently Lyria comes sliding down to him. Now that everyone is here, they enter the chamber that the golem was guarding. Wow! Lots of gold! But what attracts Gran is a sword in the middle. When he pulls it out, it is shining shinier than all the gold! Then poof! All the gold turn into sand. Boo hoo! Because the ruins ‘disappeared’, Siero apologizes she can’t pay them because technically it isn’t found. Gran thought he could cheer up the treasure hunter duo by giving the sword but they don’t need it. Besides, they have got to keep a better treasure: Their lives and their friendship. But Karva didn’t learn her lesson as she plans to drag Mary into their next dangerous adventure.

Episode 9
Lyria dreams of all her comrades died. And the culprit is… HERSELF! Landing on Auguste, the beach could have been picturesque if not for some smelly blobs polluting it. They are told to stay away from it by an old guy, Eugen. Seems Rackam knows him from a long time ago. Eugen thought Rackam is here with his family. So wrong. As he takes them back to the beautiful capital of Mizarea, he explains Auguste is currently at war with the Empire as they have been dumping their experiment wastes here. He is confident they will win since they have the guardian deity Leviathan on their side. Our party makes themselves useful with Io volunteering to heal the injured, Katalina will train the people to fight better and Rackam (reluctantly) help tune some ships. What about Gran and Lyria? Why, they probably got the best job ever: Going out shopping. Well, if it doesn’t look like a date and if they’re too shy to admit it, I guess we’ll settle it as sightseeing. Nothing really much happening with today’s most ‘explosive’ thing is Katalina in the kitchen. Yeah, it’s really a disaster when she’s there. Never let her cook… Gran has time to even buy Lyria a blue charm. More precious moments, more special memories, I guess. And then he made the mistake of going to finish the last chore himself instead of taking her along. She gets kidnapped. Gran rushes to find her and when he does, why the heck does he need to shout her name and give himself away?! Chase all he want but the waterways are pretty much like dead ends to those not navigating on boats. Yeah, she’s gone. And all you can do now is scream her name.

Episode 10
The Empire’s ships led by Pommern also attacks the place. Lyria is brought to him as he tries to put some guilt in her mind that all this happened because she ran away from them. Lyria still resists him so he continues to remind her that she is a tool that destroys. He jogs her memory of her being some test subject and there were many other test subjects with her. What happened to them? They all died. Therefore as a weapon that destroys, she cannot walk in public or go travelling with her friends. They’ll all end up dead because of her. Hence the only safe place is in the Empire where they can control her destructive nature. You think Lyria will give in this time, right? Nope. But what makes her closer to that? Pommern destroys her blue charm. By the time Gran comes in and kicks all the soldiers’ ass (the entire troops are just useless), he gets even angrier seeing Lyria’s tears. That’s it. You’re gonna pay. At the same time, Leviathan wakes up and wreaks havoc by gunning down the Empire’s ships. Gran charges towards Pommern and not even a shot to his shoulder could slow him down as he gives a flying kick in his face to send him down into the sea!!! Leviathan then causes a massive tsunami engulfing everyone before returning to the sea. Thanks to Rosetta, she pulls out Gran and Lyria.

Lyria is in a comatose state and not responding as Rosetta explains to the gang that she has blocked off her mind like as though she is trying to protect something. Trying to force wake her might make it worse. This state of hers has nothing to do with the awakening of Leviathan as it became aggravated from the Empire’s constant pollution. Right now the only thing they can do is talk to Lyria but their words aren’t reaching her. You know what? Only Gran will be able to do it. Not because he is just main character but remember their lives are linked. She can tell them how but since some are sceptical about Rosetta, they need time to think. Katalina tells Gran about Lyria’s state before they met. She saw once the army conducted some dark research on Lyria as a weapons development programme on an uninhabited island. Some monsters as test subjects went berserk when received some dark essence. She isn’t sure what Lyria summoned but it was enough to destroy the entire island. It was deemed that she be confined and isolated so she wouldn’t lose control again. Katalina was then put in charge to look after her. At first Lyria acted more like a robot than human. But with Katalina spending time with her, she soon opened up herself and became interested in knowing more about the outside world. The rest is history. Safe to say that after meeting Gran, she changed tremendously. Gran blames himself for not being able to protect her. But Katalina feels it is her own fault for letting this happen to them. After Gran talks to the rest of his crew, he finally decides to take action. He talks to Rosetta he wants to save Lyria (obviously) so she will take him to the Primal Beast with the power to help him. So early next morning, they depart to the lush jungle in the Lumacie Archipelago.

Episode 11
Arriving at a tree in Lumacie, Rosetta brings them to a Primal Beast, Yggdrasil. They are quite acquainted with each other. She will help Gran enter Lyria’s mind. Before he dives in, Io gives Gran the blue charm. She fixed it back with Vyrn. Can he bring that into her mind? Gran finds Lyria reading books inside a huge library. She claims they contain her lost memories. The reason she doesn’t want to remember them is because they all bring misfortune. And so begins the ‘debate’ of Lyria blaming herself and at fault for everything (examples cited: Katalina lost her position in the Empire and Gran was killed the first time they met) while Gran tries to argue otherwise. So now Lyria thinks she has to disappear in order to ‘save’ everyone from future disasters. She is going to eject him out of her mind and will give all her life to him. Bye. The charm drops out and it calms her down. Really, how did that get into her mind? Chance for Gran to persuade her she didn’t destroy but created their bond, this journey. As simple as that, Lyria goes back with him and an oddly coloured rainbow as cue to make a vow they’ll always be there to protect each other. With Lyria waking up and Yggdrasil becoming part of her power, time for an emotional reunion. But it is cut short since Pommern is hunting Lyria down. Another round of argument that Lyria is a weapon versus Lyria is human. Pommern uses his crystal to control the wild animals and target them. But they are held down by Rosetta’s vines. With Lyria powering up Gran and the rest backing him, he is able to destroy the crystal. Lyria then summons Tiamat and blow all the baddies away. Rosetta is nowhere to be seen but Gran has a hunch they will see her again in the future. Lyria explains she heard Leviathan’s voice it wants to protect its land and the people but the pollution made it too weak to protect even itself and go berserk. I guess it’s decided. Next mission: Return to Auguste and save Leviathan.

Episode 12
Just in time. Leviathan is attacking the city and unleashing an army of, uhm, flying demon fish? Lyria can feel that Leviathan is trying to purify the sea but in order to do that, it is forced to take life of others, something it doesn’t want to do. But summoning the monster fish has only made it weaker. So I guess we have to keep those fish at bay, huh? How is Gran and his little merry company going to destroy all the fish? Don’t worry, there are other heroes who will help them. Aside Mary and Karva, the rest of the debutants look like weirdoes worthy enough to join an RPG party. Among them include a twin sword wielding sexy bikini furry, a twin sword wielding chibi uncle, a sword wielding butterfly girl, a sharp shooting lady, a cannon shooting lady, a strong manly uncle, a young lad who shoots lightning out of his fists, a short princess with a tall crown and a holy spear lady. Wow. Really diverse casts here. With Leviathan turning the monster fish into deadly whirlpool attacks, Eugen believes there is a commander among the monster fish. Easy to find out because it acts differently from the rest. So after he shoots it down, all other monster fish disappear. Cue for Lyria to use Yggdrasil’s power to help power up Gran as he destroys that cancerous crystal beneath Leviathan’s throat. There. The day is saved. Leviathan is absorbed into Lyria and what do they get from all this? A Sky Map. However the Black Knight has Orchis steal part of Leviathan’s powers from Lyria. Lyria wants to know more about Orchis but the Black Knight doesn’t feel it is that time yet. Bye. Naturally with the city saved, everyone celebrates a job well done. Eugen comes to ask Gran if there is any recruitment in his crew. Yeah. He wants to join. There is someone he needs to deal with and after witnessing Gran in action, he believes he can do it. He promises not to get in their way. Okay. You’re in. And so our heroes leave Auguste with the happy crowd cheering on them.

Episode 13
This is a filler episode and definitely an alternate setting. Instead of Gran, it is this cute girl, Djeeta who found Lyria instead. So all the adventures so far are the same, except replace scenes of Gran with Djeeta. I guess we need some lesbianism. Plus, they have recruited a whole bunch of new members from Mary to Rosetta and that bunch of weirdoes in the previous episode. They are on Auguste and Siero thanks them for helping with the opening his new shop by allowing them to go on vacation here. And so we have got our swimsuit fanservice fix with the ladies playing on the beach as well as seeing Lyria being a big eater. Yes, she has big servings of food and still wants more! But it’s down to the main ‘plot’ for this episode. Seems the resorts are running out of ice and the supplier isn’t telling why. As usual, our gang has to go investigate the cause because goodwill. So they investigate the cave where the natural ice comes from. There are lots of low level drones obstructing them but Djeeta cuts them down like as though it is training day. It makes you think those drones are made in China… To their horror, they discover Pommern and his soldiers trying to steal ice. What else? Fight! When the other female members arrive, I guess they get so violent that we can’t even see how they beat the sh*t out of their enemies. It must be. Because Katalina covers Lyria’s eyes and we can see from Pommern’s face how shocked he is from what he saw. Yeah, it scares the sh*t out of them as they run away. And so the day is saved. They have their shaved ice reward while watching the fireworks. Life is good. Adventuring is good.

Adventuring For Life
Well… It wasn’t all that bad but it wasn’t all that good either. Nothing really extraordinary that makes it feel very different from other similar RPG adapted into anime since the adventure is just taking off and lots of potentials and developments are abound from the way I see it as the series ends. At least this coming from a casual viewer and one who doesn’t even play the game. Heck, I never knew it existed until I heard of the anime. Not that I am interested to play after watching it either even knowing this came from the same creators who made Shingeki No Bahamut. Even I didn’t even play that one. So honestly if you ask me, Shingeki No Bahamut still is a better fantasy action adventure. Sure it has another season but the first season was much more awesome than this anime so to speak.

I don’t know but I’m starting to see a pattern here despite its short single cour season. Every time Gran and his party land at some destination, they try to help out the locals with whatever trouble. So once they solve the trouble and usually there is some Primal Beast involved, Lyria will absorb it into her crystal. And then they’ll receive a Sky Map as clue for their next destination. In the meantime, they obtain a new crew member. So if this trend keeps up, Gran will have hundreds of crew members and Lyria possessing powers of hundreds of Primal Beasts by the time he reaches the Astrals! I’m sure Grandcypher can accommodate them all. Or Rackam is going to need to build a bigger ship.

Well, it is going to be a very long journey after all. A journey that may last a lifetime and Gran might never return back to his hometown. Assuming his hometown is really at the far end of where he is heading. So why is it when some adventurer choose a destination to go, it must be very far away? Of course. If it was close by and easy to access, it wouldn’t have been such a legendary place to be. And yes, this is your basic plot to stop on all the different towns and locations along the way for all sorts of adventure. It wouldn’t be so fun if everything ended so quickly, would it?

The characters are a great potential to turn this series interesting and it is unfair to judge everything with just over a dozen of episodes. I didn’t play the game but I am very sure that the characters would be better fleshed out there. And with so much more potential characters as seen, things are going to be a lot lively. Some would be a hit and some would be a miss but Gran’s party would definitely be in the highlight because you know, why have a game/series named after somebody then? Alternatively if you have too many crew members as seen in the alternate setting of Djeeta, many would just make their cameos and nothing much is focused on them. After all, it is just only a single episode and there is hardly anything to develop and pack it in.

For Gran, it is very hard for me to truly look at him as a genuine character because he just reeks of typical main character material and cliché. He is young, he has got his set of justice and ideals to believe in and he is racking up friendships and crew members wherever he goes. The more the merrier? I believe Gran doesn’t have the best fighting ability in his crew. Even Rackam who shoots his gun feels like he is a better fighter in this sense. Heck, I don’t think Gran is even a very well trained swordsman. He gets some little power up help from Lyria and his awesome luck seems to have him defeat Empire soldiers. Yeah, speaking of which, it makes them look like ridiculous fools. Fully armoured from head to toe and with at least basic training, how the f*ck can they lose to such a greenhorn kid? Yeah… Because main character. See how hard it is not to stray away from that? I can’t say much about Djeeta since she makes her appearance in the final episode. She looks pretty decent and a bit retarded if you ask me as she is more of the brawns kind of character as you can see how easily she swings and destroys with her sword. But it is too early to judge her.

It is also hard for me not to see Lyria as a useless damsel in distress. Basically she needs to be so protected especially by Katalina and Gran because you’ll never know when those sneaky Empire bastards would just pop up and take her away. Without them, it’s as easy as taking candy from a baby. It’s like an entire game with that dreaded escort mission, know what I’m saying? I know she has a terrible past in which it unfortunately becomes her life sentence. I really do sympathize with her and hence to prove she is not a weapon and is just as human as any ordinary one, we see her grow her emotions and bonds among the crew members. Otherwise she is more of a support role during fights. Other than that, this cheery lady (when she’s not in gloom mood, that is) feels more like a side character whom viewers are waiting for the day when Gran x Lyria romance would materialize but know better it will never happen. But come to think about it, since Gran shares her life force, wouldn’t it be weird if they start making out because it’s like masturbating, playing with yourself? Oh sh*t! STOP!

The other crew members are okay, each having their own reasons to join Gran and his journey. Like Katalina feels like a big sister and big mother for Lyria. It’s like to show that the Empire aren’t made up of all bad people (despite many of them are as we are shown to believe they are big dicks – heartless Pommern and cruel Furias as your cliché examples) because with Katalina’s defection, at least we have this diversity of someone who knows a bit of the in and out of the Empire. I feel there is this odd relationship going on between Io and Rackam. Could it be there is some sort of romance sparking off between them? Gasp! Sure or not? Well, they often quarrel and make a mountain out of a molehill. What does this kind of sign tell you? It feels weird because their physical appearances don’t match their age. Rackam is a young man but looks a bit like an ossan while Io is a grown lady despite looking like a loli. I can see the danger if they ever get into a relationship because it would look like some sort of sick pedo thingy. Yeah…

I believe that Eugen joined Gran’s crew is because he is trying to hunt down his daughter which is greatly hinted as either the Black Knight or Orchis. I’m betting my money on the former. So it’s some family thing. Same thing with Rosetta. It is greatly hinted that she was on Gran’s father’s crew, thus the reason she helps him out without hesitation. As the most mysterious character in Gran’s crew (at least based on the opening and ending credits animation), Rosetta is shown to have popped up from time to time even way back at Eingana. She often watches over Gran. Why is she doing this? Could she better off somewhere else or at Gran’s father’s side? I don’t know, could it be that she is a ghost? And that Gran’s father is also dead? I mean, he is conveniently ‘missing’ despite the letter saying he has reached the Astrals. Come to think of it, if Astrals is such a faraway place and the letter reached Gran when he was young, would he be dead by now? Oh f*ck all that logic. Just send Siero to do the impossible. That Harvin kid defies all logic. He is like the unofficial crew member of Gran because he goes wherever he goes, pops up wherever and whenever he wants because apparently this entire world supplies are supplied by him. Yeah, everywhere and nowhere… Mind blown? More like mind f*cked. Since he is opening shops all over the place wherever the crew goes, will the Astrals finally have a shop there? Only time will tell…

Speaking about animal mascots and comic relief, I guess that is what Vyrn is. Basically he is the most useless character, even more useless than Lyria. I feel that his main roles is primarily to complain seeing that he has a bit of pessimism in his personality. I guess everyone doesn’t mind because he is cute. Wait. Nope. Not in my books. Man, he looks ugly this dragon or lizard whatever. The other comic relief is Drang who often reveals more than he should and thus often gets poked by Sturm. It’s their running joke. Heck, she even pokes him for no reason. It’s like she enjoys it. So whatever the Black Knights and her subordinates’ plans are, are yet to be seen and from my guts they aren’t the real antagonists despite that menacing and ominous looking armour.

Action wise, I feel it is pretty decent although somewhat predictable. Not to say that it is boring but it is anything hardly exciting because Gran and co basically use the same moves over and over again. I mean, how much more can Gran swing his sword? He has it only powered up if Lyria does so and even so that just makes his swing have more power. Then we have Rackam shooting his gun, Io using her magic and Katalina using a mix of her sword and magic of it and that’s about it. And of course they’ll prevail over whatever monsters and especially the useless Empire troops because they are main characters. Otherwise game over, no? It’s a shame that with Lyria accumulating lots of Primal Beasts, I believe I remember seeing Bahamut only once and that is when it first appeared. Maybe it was bidding its time in the other series, Shingeki No Bahamut? Just kidding. No, seriously. I thought both series are going to have some sort of connection with this dragon and maybe a crossover somehow. The more Primal Beasts Lyria has, the less she uses Bahamut because it’s like the big bad beast and using it would harm others, right? Well, with great powers come great responsibility. Now that Lyria knows her past, all the more to be cautious in using it.

I need to mention something about the art style visuals. Personally… It’s not that good. Okay, let me try to explain. I have this feeling (though it may be wrong) that they might be trying to emulate that pencil colour style visual trademark of Senjou No Valkyria. But it isn’t close to that here. The artwork of the characters looks very sketchy at some points and it is quite obvious. Like as though they were rushing to get this episode out or they were short of hands and employed some amateurs to do the job and thus some of the unimportant scenes are left unpolished and rough. Otherwise, it is the background and sceneries that steal the limelight as they look gorgeous with all those fantasy elements. Some may look sketchy too but it is better looking than the characters. CGI is also used sparingly especially on the bigger monsters but they don’t seem as bad or disrupt the blend with the 2D animation.

Also I want to add that the character designs feel a bit average and plain. Like Gran whose outfit is just really plain. Just slap on a few armour here and he is ready for a lifetime adventure. And why does Lyria look like she is going to dangerous places in her sleeping negligee. Oh, Katalina’s armour might look plain just to show her curves. Because you don’t want to be so overdesigned like the Black Knight whose armour is so intimidatingly ‘heavy’ that you wonder if it is for aesthetic rather than practical purposes. I guess that’s why Io’s dress doesn’t really make her look like a mage with just simple designs. Rosetta’s dress makes her look like some Spanish/Latin girl who is just ready to go tango. And Pommern’s dress… Is he like, wearing a skirt?! No wonder he looks gay.

Voice acting feels okay with a few recognizable seiyuus like Rie Kugimiya as Vyrn, Miyuki Sawashiro as Katalina, Nao Touyama as Lyria, Yukari Tamura as Io, Romi Paku as the Black Knight and Tomokazu Sugita as Drang. Heck, I recognized a lot more of them making their cameos especially those heroes making their cameos fighting Leviathan such as Kana Hanazawa, Ai Nonaka, Rikiya Koyama, Shigeru Chiba and Kana Ueda. It has been such a long time since I heard Rie Tanaka so I didn’t know it was her as Rosetta. Did she come out of retirement? Then there is also Minori Chihara as Orchis but I could barely hear her so I didn’t pick her out. For the rest of the other casts I didn’t recognize, they are Yuuki Ono as Gran (Isami in Shokugeki No Souma), Hiroaki Hirata as Rackam (Sanji in One Piece), Kazuhiro Yamaji as Eugen (Jabberwock in Beelzebub), Kanae Itou as Sturm (Sanae in Shinryaku! Ika Musume), Emiri Katou as Siero (Akatsuki in Log Horizon), Akiko Hasegawa as Mary (Rena in Ro-Kyu-Bu), Juri Kimura as Karva (Kyouko in Seiren), Hisako Kanemoto as Djeeta (Ika in Shinryaku! Ika Musume) and Wataru Yokojima as Pommern (Alexander Lloyds in Tiger & Bunny). There is a whole bunch of much more seiyuus lending their voice to the many characters in the series despite many of them just make their cameos.

Hearing the opening theme, Go by Bump Of Chicken for the first time, because of all the bells, it made me feel like Christmas time! It doesn’t sound like a typical Christmas song but just hearing the bell sound effects just somehow remind me of Christmas. The ending theme, Sora No Parade by Haruhi feels like the singer is a bit sleepy while she was singing this song. This song in a way feels odd because the lyrics alternate between English and Japanese. If the first line is sung in English, then the next would be in Japanese. Repeat pattern. It’s like for people who are bilingual because if you understand your basic Japanese enough, you can tell that the lyrics are continuous, just that it is sung in a different language every alternate line.

Overall, another one of those typical and cliché RPG game adapted into anime. If you love fantasy, that would be its greatest selling point to watch the anime. Otherwise, I have this feeling you would be better off indulging in more and have more satisfaction by playing the game. So with Gran and his merry crew setting off an adventure of a lifetime and achieving his lifetime dream, it made me think in the end what if all the bad guys in video games and series were actually once young adventurers with dreams but they failed to achieve it? Holy crap! Just like how all evil queens in Disney movies could be young girls whom the hero or prince failed to save. The price to pay for a failed adventure…

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