Granblue Fantasy The Animation (First Impressions – Episodes 1 to 4)

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Producer: Yuito Kimura

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy

Episodes: 4/13

Production Studio: A-1 Pictures

 

Introduction

Any fellow Granblue Fantasy players here? Well, I’m a fairly new player that quite likes this game and I actually just caught wind of the Granblue Fantasy anime adaption. A little late on the bandwagon, I know. As someone who has pretty high hopes for the anime, judging from the amazing visuals of the game itself, I guess you could say I’m somewhat on the fence about whether I like the adaption or not. Here’s why;

 

Storyline premise

Alright, so anyone who has played the game would pretty much know the storyline of this anime but if you haven’t played the game or even heard of it, worry not. Here’s the gist of it.

So since this is a fantasy anime, don’t be so surprised when you see the floating islands. A guy named Gran, who dreams of becoming a skyfarer, saves a girl called Lyria from the hands of the evil Erste Empire along with Katalina, who is acquainted with Lyria and aided in Lyria’s escape. Did I mention she was formerly from the Empire?

Gran dies playing hero and Lyria brings him back to life. Thus, resulting in their life forces being connected. Katalina is set on hiding from the Empire with Lyria and Gran suggests they look for his father in Estalucia and off they head to Estalucia, the Island of Stars, meeting new companions along the way. You know, your average adventure anime.

What I’ve seen up to episode 4 has led me to believe that the plot of the anime is heavily reliant on the game. I can’t say for sure how the rest of the anime will go, it may stray from the original plot, introducing new characters for the game or maybe it might not. So far, I think it has great potential to be an amazing stand alone anime but oh well, we’ll see.

Verdict: Heavily reliant on the plot of the game and has amazing potential to be a great stand alone anime.

 

Animation and Art

So this is a section I’ve been waiting to get into. To be completely and utterly honest, I was very put off by the animation in the initial scenes. Usually when you see that an anime is in the Fantasy genre, you expect animation that is at the very least clear and sharp enough to make all the fantasy anime fanservice look all the more enticing but you won’t see that here.

The animation is quite choppy and I can’t even explain how unreasonably put off I feel about the art itself. Did they lineart everything with a dying pen?

Sourced from http://geekxpop.com/2017/04/05/granblue-fantasy-the-animation-episode-1-review/

There’s more where that came from. I feel very conflicted as to whether I like the animation or not because of scenes like this;

Katalina in her tiny-eyed glory.
Sourced from http://geekxpop.com/2017/04/05/granblue-fantasy-the-animation-episode-1-review/

I find that the scenes are breathtaking when it matters and though it’s understandable, I believe the overall animation quality of an anime will greatly impact how well received it gets.

Verdict: Animation and art only outstanding when required but I’m personally dissatisfied with the overall art quality. Especially when this is animated by the same studio that animated the music video from ‘Shelter’. Expected more from it.

 

Sound and Music

One of the aspects I cannot deny liking about this anime is the music and voice acting. Like most anime adapted from games, the OST from the game itself was used in the anime and though it may not completely trigger the emotions you’re meant to feel during a certain scene, it really makes me think about the game and it’s similarities while watching. I personally really like the music in the game already, so that explains why I’m so fond of it being used in the anime.

I’m personally also a huge fan of the OP which is Go by Bump of Chicken. I like Bump of Chicken’s music a lot because it’s very calming to listen to and it suits the whole intro thing Granblue Fantasy has going on. With the introduction to the main character, his background and his pure intentions, I think this song suits the theme of how it’s currently running very well.

I also like how the voices in the anime and game were retained. When you play the game, you’ll tend to get attached to certain characters and the voices are what really brings out the personality of the characters. Thank heavens for voice actors. The voice acting was great in the game already, it’s pretty good in the anime too so I’m quite happy about it.

Verdict: I like how the music and voice acting turned out. Super happy about it but we’ll see how it goes for the rest of the anime.

 

Characterization

Gran is a righteous and kind person as we can see in the anime. He wastes no time hesitating to help a random girl that probably fell from the sky. He even draws his sword on the soldiers of the notorious Erste Empire to protect her putting his own well being behind him just so this girl could run free. Though this may be a generic trait for naive protagonists, I have to say that I think this will aid the story quite well as his skyfaring comrades will increase over time because of his kindness and whole hearted will to help those in need. Oh and he also has a talking pet ‘dragon’ named Vyrn that looks like a lizard with wings.

Verdict: The protagonist has a fitting personality given what will probably conspire throughout the anime despite being quite generic.

 

Conclusion

I can’t say much about how I feel about the plot itself because well, I’m four episodes in and I can’t possibly tell if I like it or not with this little knowledge of what’s coming up in the plot of the anime. My best guess is that the plot will religiously follow the plot in the game but with faster pacing and Djeeta, the girl character you can choose to play as in the game, may make an appearance but we’ll see. I’ll have a final review of this anime up soon where I can be more in depth and not be so conflicted over my feelings so check back regularly!

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