Granbelm was one of 2019’s biggest surprises, I had no idea what to expect going in and it ended up being my favourite new series of the year. I also blogged about the whole thing so feel free to check that out if you want. On the surface of it Granbelm is just another battle royale deathmatch type show, this time with cool robots, but it’s got a few tricks up its sleeve to help it stand out. Today’s topic is one of those tricks; its use of meta expectations as obfuscation.
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.
This episode managed the improbable feat of actually making me feel sorry for Suishou. So that’s impressive. She’s always been more of a force of nature than a coherent character, gleefully antagonising everyone else because well, she’s the antagonist. An implacable obstacle to the others because that’s what the story called for. This time around we finally got to see what’s driving her and it turns out she’s having a pretty miserable time of things herself. Continue reading “Granbelm Episode 12: A Thousand Years”→
Well this is late but what the hey. My excuse is that a lot happened in this episode and I needed time to mull it over (it’s acutally just procrastination but shh). Being this late means I’ve already seen episode 11 at the time of writing but I think most of my takeaways from this one haven’t changed too drasticly so let’s do this anyway.
Somewhat obviously for an episode putting Suisho at the center of things there was a lot of deception at work this episode. These lies were also coupled with a lot of reveals though, as Kuon and Nene managed to push what’s really going on further into the light. Continue reading “Granbelm Episode 9: Truth”→
The inevitable showdown between Anna and Shingetsu finally became unavoidable this week, and the show didn’t pull any punches. While not a single long battle like Nene’s the majority of the episode was once again devoted to a single climactic fight. As always the show’s visuals were firing on all cylinders too, pushing things to even higher levels of visual spectacle. Continue reading “Granbelm Episode 7: Hot and Cold”→
Weirdly enough that’s sort of novel these days. I apreciate the show continuing to not be suffering porn. Nene got over her loss last week surprisingly quickly, tracking down Mangetsu more out of curiosity about the person who beat her than anything else, and even offering her assistance going forward. Being able to fight on her own terms for the first time was clearly a cathartic experience which has allowed her to open up to others a little more. She’s even able to finally acknowledge Kibou’s friendship, she might be out of the contest but Nene’s in a far better place than she used to be.
This episode was one long drawn out battle and it was spectacular. The show’s always looked good but they definitely went all out this episode. Beamspam happened, big fancy magic sigils were cast, it was generally a good week for cool robots.