Granbelm Episode 13: A Better World

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So here we are, at the end of Granbelm. While for the most part I’ve loved the show a lot there’s  always been an edge of caution to this; As good as it’s been the possibility of the entire thing going sideways into suffering porn has always been hanging out at the edge of everything, and a lot of that was always going to come down to how it ended. A chance to end on a high note or throw everything away at the last moment. It stuck the landing.

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The biggest takeaway I’ve had from the show to this point was that it was about challenging negative systems more than anything else. The whole Granbelm setup was from the beginning inherently built in such a way that the only real outcome could be suffering. Nobody was ever meant to win, Suishou was created to prevent that from ever happening, while being eternally denied her own victory. There’s no one person who could truly be trusted with absolute power, therefor no one While those who sealed magic away initially might have had good intentions in mind; hoping that some day a worthy person would somehow appear, they ultimately created a structure that existed only to perpetuate suffering.

Suishou’s final stand continued to build the stark divide between her and Mangetsu, despite their shared purpose as obstacles to Shingetsu. Where Mangetsu was able to dream of a world free from the cycle of suffering she found herself caught inside of, Suishou chose instead to embrace it. Fighting against the system was never an option for her because there simply wasn’t an alternative. The only way to be free of Granbelm was to win and become the Witch. Her goal in doing so was to allow herself escape from the system by perpetuating it rather than challenging it. While Shinegetsu did ultimately win for herself her goal was always to tear things down. Even if doing so meant hurting herself further by forsaking Mangetsu, the chance of sparing others the heartbreak she’d endured was enough. Suishou meanwhile continued to believe only in the structure she was born into: there is no alternative to Granbelm, you might be able to take control of magic by winning but a world where it doesn’t exist is impossible.

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Having finally won the right to shape the world as she wished Shingetsu’s ascension was met with one last attempt to disuade her. Magiaconatus borrowing the images of the other girls who’d fallen in this fight in order to once again remind her of the cost of destroying magic. By erasing it she’d also be erasing those who fought and died for it, as the new world without magic would have no place for their memories. While on the surface there’s some truth to this argument it didn’t phase Shingetsu for the simple reason that the alternative was continuing the system that killed them; if Shingetsu got this far and didn’t erase magic then all of those girls died for nothing, instead she chose to end the system which destroyed them.

And with magic gone Shingetsu faded into a sort of half existence, akin to Mangetsu after her own presence became questionable. While Suishou framed it as a curse, continuing to exist in a world which no longer acknowledges her,  she instead embraced it as a chance to watch over the new world she’d created. While on the surface nothing much changed, a world which was never aware of Granbelm to begin with continued on as it always had, it was still a better world, one in which a senseless system that existed only to perpetuate itself was no longer pulling the strings. Destroying oppressive structures is never a painless process and always comes at a cost but in the end the chance to create a better world is worth it. Shingetsu paid that cost and got to create a more hopeful future. Mangetsu’s implied return in the final scene ties this up nicely, even in a world where she shouldn’t exist anymore Shingetsu isn’t truly alone. There’s always hope for everyone because nobody has nothing.

After the disaster that was space fishing I’m glad this one turned out well. For all that I was always somewhat cautious about it I enjoyed the ride a lot, even if it had fallen short at the ending I’d still have had a bunch of fun watching and writing about this show. granbelm14.jpg

 

Nene was the real winner here tbh, she finally got taller. granbelm133.jpg

Granbelm Episode 13: A Better World

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