Just like the first season, Granblue Fantasy The Animation needs that gender bender episode because what better way than to scream feminism all the way as your entire crew is made up only of females (a certain flying lizard doesn’t count). And hence we have Granblue Fantasy The Animation S2: Djeeta-hen. Just a single episode focusing on the female version of Gran and her crew in some random adventure.

One More Adventure
Djeeta along with Lyria, Vyrn, Zeta and Beatrix are outside some ruins. It is believed this is where the treasure called Wish Egg is located. Of course Djeeta heard this from Siero who told her about this fairytale of a skyfarer who journeyed through adventures till he and his crew came to this place and stumbled upon this treasure. A treasure that is said to fulfil anyone’s wish. As they head into the ruins, a large guardian statue stands before them and tells them to throw away their weapons if they want to proceed with the trial. While everyone agrees to follow this rule, Beatrix isn’t so eager to part with hers. That is when the guardian unleashes an army of undead to attack them. You mean these puny skeletons can put our girls down? These girls kickass! Cliché moment when a moving spike trap approaches them. Run! For more drama, Lyria trips so our girls have to pick and carry her and jump through the door for safety just in time. Phew. But in this room, there is a little girl, Myra. Is she lost? She seems to be possessing a book that gives (vague) hints on how to solve puzzles in this ruins. How convenient. But it’s still no cheat book, though. In the next trial room, from what it looks like and they are told, they must step on the correct plates and open the correct door. Beatrix thinks she can show off but stepped on the wrong one and the floor caves in! Phew. Myra uses the clues from the book to suggest where they step. Then they reach the door, it’s like some form of weird Twister game where everyone has to touch certain plates so that the door could open. When Djeeta opens the door, it seems they are back where they started. The floor collapses. Only Djeeta and Myra didn’t fall through. Not sure if this is another level since Lyria and the rest find themselves in a similar room like this plate one. Since Djeeta and Lyria are connected, they can sense each other alive so nothing to worry about.

Djeeta and Myra take a break as the latter blames herself for this mess up. Djeeta talks to her why she is looking for the Wish Egg. Myra was born with a weak body and can’t do things herself. She dreams to be a skyfarer one day. So she reads books in her bed and got enthralled by fairytales. One day she learnt this place exists and told others about it but they don’t believe her. Hence she came here to prove she could do it. Now it is Djeeta’s turn to tell her dreams of heading towards Estalucia, the island of the Astrals. She considers them both as fairytale buddies and that’s why she can’t give up. Time to get their asses back up and solve this puzzle. They look at the book again from another angle and voila! This time they do it in another sequence and the door opens to another room. This is the treasure room, right? As instructed, they must pull out this obvious sword sticking out like a sore thumb. There. Easy. Once done, a rock beast comes to life and tells them to make a choice with the sword. Use it to fight for the treasure or the key to escape this place. Isn’t it obvious? They’re going to get the treasure! That’s why they came here, right? Djeeta is having trouble fighting it since it regenerates. But don’t worry, here comes Zeta and Beatrix to the rescue. The hint tells them to place the sword in some place so while the combatant ladies fight the monster, the non-combatant ones drag the sword and place it in. The light weakens the monster and allows Djeeta to finally cut through it. In the end, the treasure turns out to be a huge ship. It is an ancient model believed to be from the war. So this is the Wish Egg? Because the guardian says since they have passed the trials, their strength, wisdom and willpower can have them go anywhere they wish! I don’t know about you, I just felt I have been scammed. Djeeta decides to give this ship to Myra. I mean, they already have Grandcypher. Myra promises to fix the ship and study how to fly it so one day she can go on an adventure with them. They’re fairytale buddies, right?

One More Crappy Fairytale…
It just feels weird even if this is just a non-canon OVA. Happy ending for everybody in what seems to be one heck of easy trials. Nobody ever done it before because I am assuming the people on this island don’t have fighting abilities so they don’t bother stirring the hornet’s nest. With these girls having the brawn and brainpower, it just feels a little too easy. So with Myra getting a step closer to her dream, I hope that she won’t take very long to become a skyfarer. Because if she waits too long, Djeeta and her crew could have journeyed very far and Myra might have to take some considerable time to catch up with them. That is, assuming no bad greedy adults decide to take or steal this ship of hers for their own nefarious ends. Fairytales are one thing but reality is another.

I also somewhat noticed that in all of the Djeeta specials that I have watched, why does Djeeta’s crew change? It seems Vyrn and Lyria are the only constant members in her party. The first one had Mary and Rosetta, then the second Halloween special had Ferry and Cagliostro. And now for this castle ruins we have Zeta and Beatrix. Who the f*ck are they?! Well, I tried to briefly search the internet about this Granblue game thingy and I saw lots of characters. A LOT OF THEM. Hence my assumption is that the next time Djeeta gets her special, Zeta and Beatrix will no longer be around and they will feature another couple of characters from their library. So it just begs the question of what happened to Djeeta’s previous crew members. Did they quit? Did they die? Or Djeeta just fired them? Changing crews this often isn’t very good in the long run, you know… Oddly, the opening credits animation they cut out Gran’s character and replace it with Djeeta but they didn’t do so for the other crew. Eugen and Rackam still around. It means those guys still do exist even though they aren’t featured in the OVA. Should have just cut them out and replace them with Zeta and Beatrix just to be convincing. Just saying…

So I guess my only ‘excitement’ is getting to hear Kana Hanazawa as the voice of Zeta and Aya Hirano as Beatrix. Otherwise, this is one crappy OVA that I didn’t really enjoy. It was just cheesy and filled with weirdness just to check the cliché box of what is needed. An all-female crew, check. Some action and fighting sequence, check. Some puzzle solving, check. Some small time cheesy jokes (Beatrix?), check. Some small talk about their dreams, check. Happy ending, check. Third season of this series… Uhm, let’s leave that up in the air now, shall we? But I agree that we are all fairytale buddies because who among us do not dream such grand dreams? Like how I dream of an epic crossover of Gran and Djeeta intersecting with each other in an alternate parallel world! That’s not a fairytale! It’s just crappy lazy fan fiction! Oh wait… Didn’t they somewhat ‘meet’ in the video game title of Granblue Fantasy Versus?! (FYI, f*cking Djeeta character is f*cking DLC!!!!!!!!!).Wow. Some fairytales do come true after all.

I didn’t see this coming. Yeah, I didn’t expect Granblue Fantasy The Animation to have a second season. At least, not after 2 years since the first season aired. That itself might not be a long time but in anime years, it does feel like one. Oh well, better than a few animes suddenly having a sequel or spinoff after more than 5 years since their last airing. The last time the journey was far from over. And this time I am thinking more or less the same. After all, it wouldn’t be worthwhile if a journey ends too quickly. But don’t take too long too because we’re not immortals either.

Episode 1
Siero hands Gran and his crew a job request. Because it is dangerous as it involves some Primal Beast, Siero will gladly pay for their dinner. Hence we see them shamelessly ordering as many things they want! I guess this means they have taken the job, huh? So on this floating island, it seems the villagers are worried hearing strange sounds coming from somewhere. Lyria senses it is the voice of a Primal Beast but cannot pinpoint where. A few boys are playing near the chasm (do they know better?). They drop their toy sword so good Gran decides to go down and get it. I know it’s a long way down and he dropped his lantern. But he could see from all the way up there that there is a body???!!! Anyway, bringing her back and feeding her, Aliza comes back to life. She is on a training journey to train martial arts. She was also trying to find the source of the sound but slipped and fell. She leads them to where she was trekking and guess what they’ve found? Some experiment by the Empire on a Primal Beast. Worse, is that pussy Pommern in charge and he has found them. He is going to test this Primal Beast and let it run loose. Pommern and his men then evacuate the island as they expect the Primal Beast to destroy and sink it. So Gran and co are left to do the dirty work to tame Tezcatlipoca. Of course the trick is to take away its dark essence on its back but you know it is not going to make it easy for them. But of course, our heroes combine their powers and eventually Gran being the main hero rides it and pulls it out. Now that Tezcatlipoca is tamed, Lyria puts it to rest. Pommern doesn’t consider this to be a failure either as he has collected the necessary data. Gran and co leave the island as Aliza stays behind to continue her training. During their journey, Furias sends a messenger, inviting them to Albion. He want to propose a peace negotiation and offer full amnesty to them. Hmm…

Episode 2
Gran and co contemplate this could be a trap or even a conspiracy by the Black Knight. But Gran will take this gamble if it means freeing Lyria. Grandcypher is given a warm reception and a tour around Albion, an academic city that also trains the finest soldiers. This is also where Katalina graduated. They are soon met with Vira Lille who not only is the lord commander of Albion but Katalina’s former classmate. She is here to witness the negotiations. Furias signs the agreement and promises never to go after them again. The rest don’t look happy… I mean, he’s been chasing Lyria for a long time and suddenly he’s just giving up? Well, got to learn to cut your losses. But Lyria’s a top secret asset. Sure, but the Empire isn’t going to continue funding a failed research. Furias leaves but the rest remain sceptical. The contract is genuine too. Vira doesn’t want them to fret over this. They’re free, right? Besides, there is a modest banquet prepared for them tonight. Hence our men and ladies looking gorgeous in their dress. During the party, they hear a bit more on Vira and Katalina’s past as students of Albion. Meanwhile Eugen finds it suspicious that Furias is still hanging around despite negotiations are way over. Sure he isn’t here for the party? As Gran takes a breather, he sees Lyria heading over to a large painting as she feels some resonance from it. Vira explains this is actually a Primal Beast, Luminiera. One who watches over and protects Albion. Only the strongest can become its master and it is done via special martial arts tournament. Once bonded, that person becomes the lord commander and can never leave Albion. Vira took on that role when her predecessor suddenly fell ill and died 6 years ago. That night after the party ends, Gran can’t sleep and he too sees Katalina awake. You know something is wrong when she’s talking about how she believes Gran and Lyria can make it to the Astrals and beyond and how glad she is to have met him. Because the next day, Lyria finds a goodbye note left behind by Katalina. She has decided to leave the crew.

Episode 3
I guess everybody isn’t happy either. Something feels wrong. They want to hear it from Katalina’s mouth. Gotta find her. However they are now not allowed inside the main palace. Hence some stupid diversion created by Vyrn for them to sneak in. Damn, those guards are slacking. With all the guards now looking for them, Gran and co are hiding but also overhear how Katalina is here as well. When they corner a high ranking official and make him spill the beans, you mean this guy just really tell them that Katalina is offering herself to Albion? And also a condition to let them free was to allow the Empire to use Luminiera? When reinforcements arrive, he slips away and so the chase is on. Meanwhile sneaky Furias is waiting for the moment he will fire at Grandcypher. Gran and Lyria find Katalina. They think she can’t sacrifice herself just for their freedom. Eh? Didn’t Gran say he’d do anything for Lyria’s freedom? Now he’s got that, don’t you think he’s a bit greedy wanting everybody to be on board? Of course Katalina further explains this decision is also done for Vira’s sake. Katalina’s dream was to become a knight but because she was clearly superior, she was expected to become lord commander and be stuck at Albion forever. During the tournament finals, she faced off with Vira and her hesitant caused Vira to gain the upper hand and win. Because of Vira’s sacrifice, Katalina managed to live out her dream. But now Vira and Luminiera’s bond has been broken. It won’t respond to her. She believes all that pressure has taken its toll. Katalina views her selfishness and weakness to force Vira to take that role. Now she will take Vira’s place as Albion’s new lord commander. You’d think that Katalina telling them this and making up her mind, Gran would let her go, right? Nope! I suppose it’s please rethink your decision until it’s the right one we accept. With Vira and the guards taking Katalina away, Gran and Lyra are thrown out. Outside, they see Rosetta who asks about letting Katalina’s sacrifice go in vain. Yeah, Gran doesn’t want her to sacrifice for them. Would he have done it too if he was in her shoes? Heck, they are even prepared to cancel their agreement just to take Katalina back! Wow. Putting everyone in danger > sacrificing letting 1 knight girl do what she decided. You guys are sure greedy, huh? They tell us they will really give up if Katalina continues to insist. Let’s hope so. But we know how it’s going to turn out.

Episode 4
Vira’s flashback. Her life was so boring. Yeah, real boring. Until the day Katalina saved her from death at the paws of some monsters. It is then she started getting infatuated with her and spent more time with onee-sama. Of course, she overheard Katalina’s argument with a superior that she was the favourite to become lord commander. Hence, during the tournament, Vira’s great will has her besting Katalina so that she could free her from this fate. Now, Katalina still has her friends on her mind so Vira isn’t going to delay the ritual any further. Meanwhile Gran goes to see Furias and tears up the contract. Yup, he wasn’t aware of all the terms. Furias is like, whatever. He isn’t sure what’s going on and just plays along. He won’t let his guards go after them because he believes things are going to get interesting now. And so Gran and Katalina interrupt the ritual. Don’t worry about this barrier that keeps them out. Just keep spouting that friendship and freedom thingy. Especially you, Lyria. Time to let all your feelings out for Katalina. Make her question what she is doing now is what truly makes her happy. That friendship power has the barrier broken. And Katalina swayed by their words. Yeah. They’re right. Even if she sacrificed herself, nobody will still be happy. She might make the same mistakes again. And the triggering moment is when Katalina takes Lyria’s hand. That’s it. No more nice girl. She snaps and lets out a huge blast! Vira reveals the truth. She actually still has control over Luminiera. She blocked its powers so as to deceive them and make it look like otherwise. She relates how she cried every night when Katalina left. She thought she could endure it as long as she was living her dream. Then she heard she became a fugitive. That was the last straw. Thus, Vira is mad because she didn’t become lord commander so Katalina could turn into a criminal. Well, she’s got a point but now she’s looking so yandere. Suddenly Furias fires into the hall! Fun time begins. He is taking signs of Vira snapping to attack. Vira gets to hear Furias’ selfish thoughts of betrayal. That’s when she powers up and cuts up his entire ship! HOLY F*CK!!! Don’t mess with her. But yandere Vira now turns to exterminate those pests by Katalina’s side.

Episode 5
Those Empire soldiers sure don’t learn. They think they have the numbers and firepower to bring Vira down but apparently they’re all dumb enough to stand in a straight line so that Vira can shoot them all down! Whatever. Those pests gone, she turns to Gran’s crew. Katalina tries to talk to her but she sounds more and more like a yandere. Eventually in the nick of time Gran’s crew escape. They could just leave the place but Katalina can’t leave things unfinished. Yup. Back to Albion. Gran and Katalina fight Vira who is now like a broken tape recorder. The usual b*tching about her onee-sama mixing with those people and how their future should just be them. Enough setting up by Io has Lyria summon Leviathan to fight off Luminiera and shatter the latter’s power on Vira. Now that she’s lacking the power of a Primal Beast, Katalina can fight her and ‘talk’. Oh well. Same thing. Wanted to see her onee-sama be happy and live her dream. Sighs. You know the drill. Even when Katalina says because of Vira’s sacrifice that allowed her to gain the freedom she has never known, that isn’t the answer she’s looking for. So everything will be okay if Katalina just stays by her side? That’s what Katalina thought too. But then, they’ll be making the same mistakes and nobody would be happy. I bet Vira would. So Katalina says they should choose a path that will lead to happiness. So Vira’s goal of being with Katalina isn’t that? Vira tries to stab Gran. Guess what? Katalina comes between. Hope this makes her come to her senses. Now we can talk, right? Got so much catching up to do. Yeah. That’s it. Fight’s over. Lyria using her power to absorb some of Luminiera’s power. Though Vira is free and is not bound to Luminiera anymore, part of Luminiera still wants to stay by Vira. Wow. Happy ending for everybody. In the aftermath as Albion is being rebuilt, Vira declines Gran’s offer to join his crew and go on adventures. She needs time to reflect on things. Well, not so obsessed about onee-sama anymore, huh? Before Gran and co leave, of course Vira’s ‘warning’ to him to protect Katalina and if you put her in danger, oh boy, you’re going to ever regret the day you were born.

Special 2
Apparently this was the second special of the first season that I somehow forgot to watch when it came out back in late 2017. Now they are rerunning this Halloween special this season. I guess it’s better than a recap episode. Anyway, this means instead of Gran, we have Djeeta as the lead. Together with Lyria, Vyrn, Ferry and Cagliostro, they are in this town that celebrates the annual Halloween festival. Of course there are rumours about Lost Jack bringing the dead back here for this festival. Ferry is particularly interested since she is a ghost. Uhm, but everybody can talk, see and touch her. And she eats too. Can ghosts do that? Anyway, the girls don’t have candies so they have to run away from cheeky kids who want to prank them. They take refuge in a cookie shop. Somehow the widow tells about her late husband her son who is probably going through that phase and hence ‘missing’. You bet the girls are going to help look for her as repayment for her cookie hospitality. They make no progress until a girl points out she saw that boy. Hmm… That church outside town, eh? Possibly the scariest place in town. Inside, they see the boy. Being chased by pumpkin familiars?! Eventually they realize they are just after candies. Oh, there’s Jack too. The boy explains he came here because he thought his dad would be here and wanted to show him something. He wants to be a great cookie maker like his dad and hence made this jar of cookies. But Jack and his familiars couldn’t understand that. So how? Leave it to Lyria to translate! Okay. That worked. But how will they find his dad? Plus, they can’t see ghosts, right? Don’t worry. Jack will help them. I guess everyone in town believes in this legend so they didn’t freak out seeing Jack and the spirits of their deceased loved ones coming back to life. Yeah, they just suddenly casually talk like as though it’s normal! The boy sees his dad and tells him his dreams. Obviously ghosts can speak or eat so conveniently mom is here to taste the cookie. Mmm, just like daddy’s. After giving everyone else taste his cookies, Jack signals the return of all the souls. Goodbye just like that, huh? I hope everyone isn’t high on meth to just accept everything like that. The cookies aren’t laced with meth, are they?! With the festival over, the girls are glad this festival leaves everyone happy. As for Ferry, she is still unsure if she’s dead but since Jack wasn’t interested with her to begin with, perhaps her real existence is still a mystery. Hope she isn’t just a figment of their imagination then! And of course our happy girls would love to come back next year to this town again.

Episode 6
In order to escape from Pommern, Grandcypher crash lands into a mist shrouded island. It has its urban legends so you bet the Empire isn’t going to risk it all to enter it. On this haunting island, Lyria seems to be very afraid. She afraid of ghosts? Oh Eugen, please don’t add more scary urban legends about a ghost ship. While Rackam, Eugen and Katalina fix the ship, the rest head to town to find more info. Then they stumble into… Zombies!!! OMG! But they’re friendly zombies. In fact, 100 years ago, an epidemic swept across the island. Then a ghost ship appeared and shrouded this place with mist and turned everyone into zombies. Yup, nobody can die but nobody can also leave the island. They are happy to have guests but didn’t expect another so soon. Oh, there was another before them? It’s Orchis, Sturm and Drang. They almost start fighting if not for their stomach growling. Phew. Saved by the growl. After food, Drang explains he is here to find some treasure. He offers them to help. Not to find the treasure but to rid of the Primal Beast. He believes that ghost ship is a Primal Beast and it pops up from time to time to devour zombies. Gran agrees a temporary ceasefire to solve this crisis. Lyria being shy to make friends with Orchis, well, Io finally becomes their ice breaker. Along the way, Lyria and Orchis spot a girl. Unfortunately the rest cannot see her. Zombies you believe but not ghosts? Don’t scare us… When Lyria touches her, she becomes visible. Claiming she has no memories, Drang takes the opportunity to call her Ferry and she agrees. Ferry brings them to some abandoned house as she explains her own circumstances. She woke up here 100 years ago with no memories and has been trying to search for it since. This house belonged to a doctor who was trying to find immortality. It is said the Celeste the Primal Beast brought immortality. This island was part of its migration route. So the doctor needed sacrifices to conduct a ritual. Hence, faking some epidemic thingy and lying to the people it was to cure it. Though the diary didn’t state anything further than that, Ferry believes she was dragged into the doctor’s scheme and became like this. She thought Celeste would knew of it but apparently nobody could see her. So these guys are the first? And then Lyria and Orchis detect a Primal Beast nearby.

Episode 7
Lyria, Io and Orchis get devoured by Celeste. When they wake up, they find themselves in a flower field. So this is in the belly of Celeste? Hey, Lyria you don’t mean to sound more surprised than Io after hearing that, huh? There is also a door in the middle of nowhere. Opening it leads them to a different scenery. The process repeats until one point Io starts weakening and spacing out. For a while there, she almost forgot who Lyria is. Lucky for the rest, Ferry has found the notes on how to summon Celeste. They’re not magicians but wanna bet that Gran’s connection to Lyria’s soul is going to be the catalyst that will summon Celeste? Back inside Celeste, the trio stumble into the core of Celeste. Before them is that doctor. Or whatever this consciousness of him is left. He claims this where all the souls are stored. In exchange in giving them peace of all the beautiful memories, he will then take those memories for his nourishment. So all those landscapes that the girls been through are actually Io’s memories. The doctor then devours Io to take her soul. Lyria and Orchis believe that this is not what Celeste wants. That is why they were summoned here to stop this mad doctor’s schemes. When the doctor realizes their power, he now wants to devour them. Weak girls can’t do anything. So cue for Lyria to scream out Gran’s name. That’s it. The ritual works and here comes Celeste.

Episode 8
Celeste is going to devour everybody! I don’t know how Io is purged but I guess they need somebody to tell them what they discovered. Yeah, some flimsy reason she was purged because she was swallowed alive and hence Celeste has trouble absorbing her totally. I guess Celeste was kind enough to let Grandcypher to return and warn the villagers. Yup, enough time to make some weapons. When Ferry tells them the only way to prevent them from being devoured is to defeat Celeste, this also means they have to say goodbye to this place. The villagers are okay. They want to rest in peace. 100 years as a zombie can be pretty boring, you know. So the weapons pierce through Celeste just to hold it back from approaching the village? Oh well, cue for Gran to jump in and settle things. He sees memories of his hometown. And then he has to fight his shadow clone who is hell bent on becoming a skyfarer at all costs. Gran fights his shadow and of course you know, he is not alone anymore and that power is what he needs to overcome his clone. With the doctor now trying to kill Gran, Gran ‘powers up’ by believing in his promise to travel to the Astrals with Lyria. The defeated doctor means a freed Lyria and Orchis. Together they try to purge the doctor’s curse. But this loser doesn’t want to die and tries to forcefully take Lyria’s life directly. Apparently he can’t. So he is left dying in shock that he wasn’t the chosen one after all. With Celeste returning to normal, the zombies turn into souls and rest in peace eternally. The mist is also lifted. Lyria gives Ferry what is believed to be her memories. She regains them as we see she and her father were the doctor’s sacrifice. The doctor was shocked that it was Ferry who gained immortality instead. So he hijacked Celeste to get his revenge from there. How the f*ck did he control a Primal Beast that easy?! Ferry also remembers she has a sister who left the place to find a cure for her illness. After Gran’s team parts ways with Orchis, we see Drang’s true goal. His grandma had a frail body and lived apart from her family to get treatment in a bigger country. During that time, she heard her hometown became shrouded with mist and became worried about her sister. She brought that worry to her grave. Hence Drang’s promise to grandma was to save her. Wow. Cool that Ferry is his grandaunt but how the f*ck did he know Ferry is still alive???!!! Did grandma even know she is an immortal?!

Episode 9
Arriving at the island of Golonzo, this is Rackam’s childhood hometown. He doesn’t have pleasant memories. At least, he looked spaced out most of the time. They are here to fix up Grandcypher. The head mechanic recognizes Rackam as a cry-baby although he has changed. No wonder Rackam wants to get out of here as soon as possible. I hope this doesn’t give Io more ammo to tease him. Anyway, the repairs will cost a lot. Even with Rackam helping with the repairs to cut cost, it is still hefty. Where to find a job? Lucky for them, here is Siero with a job for them. You bet they’re desperate enough to take whatever is at hand. Siero also tells them not to make promises nonchalantly because there is a legend that a Primal Beast will have you make good in keeping whatever promises you make, even verbal ones. Later Eugen sees Siero for some info he wanted. Although it is not conclusive, it is enough for him. As the days passed, Rackam starts questioning himself if this is the future he had wanted. On the final day when Grandcypher is to undergo final checks, a young boy, Noa (you mean he’s not a girl?!) comes to take a look at Grandcypher and is impressed that Rackam finally flew this baby. Apparently Noa knows him but Rackam doesn’t recall about this kid. Because they’re short of time, Noa warns that Grandcypher is in danger. Just as Gran and Lyria return, they are surrounded by Pommern and his soldiers. Not this guy again. Using the dark essence, not only Lyria stars weakening but Noa too. Pommern commands Noa to wreck Grandcypher. So it just turns rusty? At this point, Rackam remembers Noa. Once that is done, Pommern retrieves Gran, Lyria and Noa and has his men withdraw. Mission accomplished finally? Rackam is left abandoned on Grandcypher and still in shock.

Episode 10
When Rackam was young, he told Noa about his dreams to become a helmsman as well as to pilot Grandcypher. Noa believed he will achieve his dreams. You bet the other Grandcypher crew is going to get justice so Siero tells them that Gran and Lyria might be taken to the garrison. Apparently the Empire has a research lab there as they experimented on Primal Beasts’ powers. Not only Siero will join in on this rescue operation but Rosetta as well. They manage to sneak into the place hiding in the food crate. It is then Rackam wants to go his own way because he wants to rescue Noa. Gran and Lyria are taken to see the Prime Minister, Freesia Von Bismarck. She asks them how much do they know about the skies. She continues to explain the history of how the Astrals appeared in this realm eons ago. With their superior weapons, they invaded and held sway over everyone for a long time. But the people revolted and won. That is the history but is that the real history? She believes this current world was created by the footprints left by the Astrals. Her goal is to rewrite this history. She notes Lyria’s amazing track record of subduing Primal Beasts. This is the power she wants to use to rewrite history. She thinks this world is flawed and based on the Astrals’ corruption. This is not how it is supposed to be. So she wants to edit out that Astrals never existed? That’s dangerous. Meanwhile Rackam and Rosetta defeat the meagre guards guarding Noa. Noa mentions Rackam couldn’t remember him because the Empire’s experiments that kept taking away his powers. He only kept going because of Rackam’s promise. Rackam is grateful to him because he is the only one who believed his dream. Gran and Lyria are to be put on some transfer ship. Of course their crew ambush and rescue them. You think the guards are stupid for losing to this bunch but their options are limited. Pommern ordered not to harm them in addition to capture them. Yeah, it’s going to be tough. Uh huh. Escaped again. Freesia moves the operation to the next phase.

Episode 11
Noa is too weak to revert Grandcypher to its original state. If he continues to push himself, he will use up all his energy and disappear. Of course that’s a no-no, right? And yes, everybody wants to help out but how? Mithra, the Primal Beast of fulfilling wishes. Before they can renew their promise, Noa suddenly becomes possessed by the dark essence. You bet it is Freesia trying to turn Noa into some berserk mode by feeding him with more energy until he completely vanishes. This means absorbing the vitality of everyone on Golonzo. Noa turns into some giant whale after merging with all the other ships on this island. Rosetta recognizes it as one of the Astrals’ battleship and Noa is its architect in its distorted form. Gran then makes a promise to Mithra that he will save Noa and continue their journey on Grandcypher. The rest too. Apparently this cannot be constitute a promise if Noa doesn’t hear it. Ah, there’s the catch. So if Noa can’t hear them, they’ll make him! With Freesia increasing the absorption rate and making everyone weak, Rackam flies Gran and Lyria into Noa. Inside, they have to fight off strange alien creatures. Is Gran’s sword enough to hold them off? Eventually Rackam reaches Noa and vows to fulfil their promise. You know the rest of the story. Mithra hears their promise. Noa reverts to normal. Reverts Grandcypher to normal. Returns all other ships to normal. Because Noa has exhausted all his energy, although he won’t disappear, he’ll be back again after restoring his energy maybe in a few hundred years. Hey, at least he kept his promise, right? Gran and Lyria are on their way back to their crew but before them is the Black Knight and Orchis.

Episode 12
Looks like the Black Knight really wants to take them out. Lyria tries to summon her Leviathan but Orchis can do the same and is more powerful. Gran is losing but thankfully there is that window of opportunity to escape. Lyria sinks into depression thinking about Orchis’ case. They’re alike. Sort of. She fears they can never be friends. And what do you know? Orchis finds them. Seems she is not doing this under the Empire’s orders. She decided herself that she wants to protect Apollo. Time for a flashback. When Orchis woke up, she had no memory of who she is or this person before her. Apollonia or Apollo for short as she is called. Apollo treated her very well. Bringing her out and doing stuffs for her. However Orchis never returned to the person that Apollo wanted for. And just when Orchis opened up a bit, Apollo became bitter and cold. Even so, Orchis vowed never to leave her. Gran protects Lyria from harm. He questions the Black Knight’s goal so she claims that it is not dreams or freedom but power that wins. It is the only thing. No matter how hard Gran fights, he can’t best her. His sword even breaks. So can Lyria protect him herself? Don’t know how, Gran musters all his strength to knock off the Black Knight’s helmet. No surprise. Apollo, right? Then a warning shot from Eugen. Cue for Black Knight to leave. Don’t want to take the helmet with you? Freesia is pleased with the data she receives as well as the achievements of other objectives. So much so she decides to leave Lyria in Gran’s hands for now. Gran, whom she identifies as the son of the Primal Killer. Katalina and Io discuss about the Empire’s goals. It is more than just Lyria and they must be conducting some experiment too. Gran tries to ask Eugen about his connection with the Black Knight but he gives excuses and worms his way out. A sign that Gran knows that Eugen doesn’t fully trust him yet. Gran’s troubles aren’t over. Lecia who is from the fourth fleet of the Crew of Enforcers, reads to the Grandcypher crew that the Black Knight who was the Empire’s former supreme advisor, has been arrested for treason on Golonzo. Hence she is requesting them to appear as witness at Amalthea Island, their base where the hearing will be heard. We know where we’re stopping next.

Adventure: The Pursuit Of Life!
Well, looks like things are going to get interesting but it is still unclear if there would be another season. Heh. Maybe in a few more years. With the developments and ‘cliff-hanger’ at the end, I’m pretty sure it should get its deserved follow up. But for now, as Gran himself says, he doesn’t have what he needs to see this journey through. He is going to need a lot more than the power of dreams and friendship if he is going to go up against other stronger players who strong-arm their way via power (hint: those with deeper pockets get to buy better power ups, get what I’m saying?!). So what else does Gran need to complete his journey? Hey viewers, that’s a sign to plead for help to dig into those pockets and buy the BDs so that the production team can have more funds to make the next season! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Okay, I’m just kidding. But no, seriously. Season 3 when? Please don’t give me more of that Djeeta spinoff crap, okay?

This season feels okay and just like the first, although it isn’t all that bad, it isn’t anything that I would consider overly good or exciting. This season’s stories focus on some of the Grandcypher crew, namely Katalina and Rackam. And maybe that weird Lyria-trying-to-be-friends-with-Orchis can be considered as one. They are nice stories that fleshes out more of their past, a reason to make good and peace with it so that they can continue their journey without that ghost of the past being a thorn on their side that will one day catch up with them. While overall this season doesn’t move the plot much, but like they say, it is the journey and not the destination that is most important. Stopping at these islands and having their own mini adventure arc in it is all part of the bigger picture. Because what happened to that Sky Map thingy that is supposed to be a clue for their next destination? I would have forgotten about it had I not refer back to my previous blog. And hence, this season proves my previous theory wrong that Gran would obtain a new crew member wrong for every island they reach. I guess they don’t have to expand Grandcypher now. Imagine Grandcypher now having Aliza, Vira, Ferry and Noa as part of the crew. Not much but still new recruits.

And Rosetta continues to be the fringe and unofficial member of Gran’s crew. She only pops up when there needs to have extra helping hands. Damn, she should just stop the charade of just observing them and join them outright for whatever reasons she is just biding for the right time to make her next decision. Hope they don’t drop us this plot twist that she is also a Primal Beast! Same for that Siero kid too. Instead of going off and do whatever business, he is always around when Grandcypher crew needs some extra job requests. I say, just join their crew and they can get all the jobs they want. After all, the requests that they have done, you can say they have a 100% success rate and the rewards often pay well. The rest of the other Grandcypher crew remain the same as we know them. But is it me or does this season has much less Io x Rackam quarrelling? Did they grow out of it? Oh well, no worries of some ossan x loli relationship happening then.

The big revelation this season is the truth about the Astrals (albeit just the tip of the iceberg) and hence the main reason for inception of Lyria (I guess Ferry being Drang’s grandaunt was also cool but that was predictable). After all, we weren’t really given much details on what the Astrals are in the first place except that is Gran’s destination since that is where his dad is believed to be. But there could be a twist to that and something more than meets the eye. Freesia could be the main antagonist for Gran and his crew seeing she is very keen on her ambitions of rewriting history. However unlike many villains who often have a ‘valid’ and ‘reasonable’ reason in wanting to change the world (it is just that we don’t agree with their methods to achieve them), I cannot agree with Freesia’s. You see, by wanting to rewrite history and make as though the Astrals never existed, this is as good as not learning from history and hence the danger of repeating them. Even in the case that the Astrals are very bad beings, what has been done is done. The people living in the current era should learn from this and take steps to prevent any future invasion. So if Freesia was successful in altering that history, who is to say that the Astrals will not invade them in the future? Because the people will not know about them and cannot take the correct action.

So I hope in this sense that Freesia will eventually fail (don’t worry, plot convenience will eventually play out so) but with the Empire continuing to hunt Lyria down since she is their prized possession for their ultimate goal, sometimes I feel that it is becoming a running joke (other than Sturm poking Drang for any and no reason). The Empire having lots of guards and other equipment just can’t seem to actually capture Lyria and the rest of Grandcypher. They’re just a small crew, you know. Do Gran and co really have that much luck? Even if they do get captured, luck will have them be freed in no time. This is getting annoying. Like many of the Empire’s generals. I don’t know if Furias is dead but I hope he is because this little brat is really annoying with his mightier-and-holier-than-thou attitude. I hope Pommern would bite the dust next too because it’s getting irritating to see this gay guy chasing after Gran’s tail all the time. Can Gran make another promise with Mithra to have the Empire stop chasing after them? More effective than some fake contract. Definitely.

The Black Knight feels very fringe this season. Almost close to non-existent had not those few scenes that last only a few seconds scattered across the season that see her doing something that isn’t enough to conclude anything. That’s why the final episode seems to be somewhat rushed so as to remind us that she is still somewhat of an obstacle that Gran needs to face if he is to pursue his dream. Of course coming with it all is a few revelations of the Black Knight AKA Apollo and Orchis. I’m sure this is very much determined that Apollo is indeed Eugen’s daughter whom he is looking for. Remember this from the first season? Thank goodness I read my previous blog or I’ll be scratching my head at this point. We just need him to make it ‘official’ by telling it to Gran. Now that she is arrested for treason, it remains to see where all this will lead to as her plans still aren’t clear and so it is still not conclusive enough to tell whether she will be truly a friend or a foe. On a side note, is it me or do I now noticed that the Black Knight’s cape looks more like a blanket? I don’t know. Could she picked a better design? And Orchis is now starting to resemble a depressed Hatsune Miku. Yikes!

Love it or loathe it, sometimes the power of friendship thingy may sound ridiculous and gone too far. Take for instance the Albion story. You know, Katalina was almost so damn sure of abandoning Grandcypher just for Vira and what do you know? Gran and the rest couldn’t really accept that. So much about freedom to choose, huh? So they’ll talk to her until they get the results they want? After so much deliberation, even Katalina gets confused and realized that being free is still way much better to atone the responsibility that she shoved over to her yandere kouhai. Yup. Certainly it is. So did the power of friendship save the day? Yes it did at least for Gran’s crew. Anybody is welcomed to join but you really need to take a hard look at everything if you want to leave. Oh boy. Power of nakama. Got to love it for plot conveniences.

The action parts are still decent like the first season but I feel that they have a lot of luck on their side and hence that is why the tide of the battle is usually in their favour. After all, I didn’t see Gran honing any new skills or combos. Just continuing to swing his sword like before. Rackam and Eugen still using their gun, Io still using her ice magic and Katalina still using a mix of both sword and magic (although her magic is more of defensive than offensive type). And Vyrn continues to be the useless mascot… Also another thought and suggestion: Shouldn’t Grandcypher be fitted with a few weapons like cannons instead of relying on some puny gunshots and magic from the crew? Just saying…

This season’s opening theme is Stay With Me by Seven Billion Dots. Sounds more like a song that a boy band would have sung back in the 2000’s. Ao by Adieu is this season’s ending theme. Rather okay and nothing really special. Sounds more like a generic pop song. New casts joining the line-up this season include Asami Imai as Vira (Ikaruga in Senran Kagura), Yuuko Kaida as Freesia (Ryoumou in Ikkitousen), Kaito Ishikawa as Noa (Iida in Boku No Hero Academia), Natsumi Takamori as Aliza (Mei in Another) and Madoka Yonezawa as Ferry (Ui in K-ON!).

Overall, because I’m not really a big fan of the series, I’m giving it just a generous pass. It is still worthwhile a watch if you are into fantasy and adventuring. There may be another season in the works (which of course I’ll still be prepared to watch) since as I have said, the journey is a long one and that it is more of the journey rather than the destination, Gran and his crew are going to stop on more islands, meet its locals, encounter more Primal Beasts and slip away like a slippery eel from the pursuing Empire. Oh well, it has all become part and staple of their adventure. And they wouldn’t have it any other way.

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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