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EP. REVIEW: Granbelm


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Chrono1000



Joined: 05 Oct 2013
Posts: 1241
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:12 pm Reply with quote
Granbelm is an interesting magical girl mecha show and they put a lot of effort into making the world. It is taking inspiration from Madoka Magica, Magic Knight Rayearth, and Fate stay night but it is doing well at making the characters and story feel unique. It doesn't look like there will be any actual villains in this show and it is more an issue of contradictory goals with the possible exception of Anna whose envy and hate is driving her a bit crazy. It is a lot tamer than other late night magical girl shows and the third episode with the magus family politics was like an all ages version of the magus family politics from Fate stay night. I am always curious to see where an original production goes and so far it is looking good.
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Tanteikingdomkey
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Joined: 03 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:54 pm Reply with quote
So why do people seem to really not like episode 3 in comparison to the other episodes
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ICO44



Joined: 28 Aug 2015
Posts: 84
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:33 pm Reply with quote
What surprised me about this show is the mech are actually hand drawn, very pleasantly surprised,
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kotomikun



Joined: 06 May 2013
Posts: 700
PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:09 am Reply with quote
Tanteikingdomkey wrote:
So why do people seem to really not like episode 3 in comparison to the other episodes

Going by the "community scores" on this article, episode 1 is the unpopular one (3.5 vs. 4.4 and 4.2), probably because a lot of people watched only the first episode, downvoted it, and dropped it. Why that is, I'm not really sure. Reviews on CR are all over the place, and the negative ones don't give much of an explanation, beyond it being too fast-paced.

So far, I'd say this show has actually been relatively slow-paced, not that that's a bad thing--it's got a lot of subplots to deal with. "Magical girl mecha free-for-all to become the witch queen" isn't a concept you see every day; the main characters do resemble Madoka and Homura but their personalities don't really match, and the rest of the characters are entirely their own things, so I can't see this as one of those overzealous imitators, at least so far.

The subtext, if you could even call it that, between the two 'getsus in episode 2 certainly wasn't going for subtlety, though whether this series contains real yuri or only "pretend" yuri remains unclear.

Quote:
In-story, they only happen when a full moon rolls around, so just a couple times a month.

...I guess I need to be the obnoxious one who points out that a lunar cycle is about a month long. (A little less, so you can have two full moons in one month, but you usually won't.) That's why it's called a moon-th, after all. Razz I wasn't paying attention to whether the show itself got that right, but they gave a believable time for a full-moon-rise, so probably.
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Tanteikingdomkey
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:31 am Reply with quote
thought the 3.5 was for episode 3 and not ep 1 my bad
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 3525
PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:53 am Reply with quote
I'm very happy to have a show with hand-drawn Mechs, now I can watch it without my brain going 'that's a CG mech' over and over again, and can instead just enjoy the show.
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Kitsu Kyouno



Joined: 22 Dec 2018
Posts: 89
PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:14 pm Reply with quote
I could suppose that the main reason why it is unpopular is because it abandons all kinds of attractive bait and morbid by a real and calmed development of a story, you know is like the case of tension that many could not stand an worldbuilding except of those who knew the material in advance to know why it is important, but if you shows the protagonist in the first chapter suffering some injustice you ensure that people stay.

Anyway I like how they develop the characters slowly and the friendly relationship, but until now moderate between Shingetsu and Mangetsu.
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Kicksville



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 765
PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:18 pm Reply with quote
This has been quite a good start, and I hope everything they're setting up here comes together as well as it seems to promise. Quite a likeable lead duo.
ICO44 wrote:
What surprised me about this show is the mech are actually hand drawn, very pleasantly surprised,

This is what grabbed my attention immediately, since I'd assumed we'd probably never get such things again. I'd wondered in the past that maybe it'd be possible if there were more organic robot designs or something - since like, abstract them to a certain point, and are they really that much different than drawing anime gals and guys? Perhaps that's what's happening here, with the stout, simple, basically-SD-from-the-start types that recall Wataru/Lamune*/Ryu Knight from the early 90's.

*Now available on Crunchyroll, wouldn't you know - yaaay!
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steelmirror



Joined: 22 Oct 2015
Posts: 269
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:06 pm Reply with quote
As one of the people who watched the first ep and then dropped it, I guess I'll throw my 2 cents in. I'm going to be totally honest, 50% of the reason I dropped is those mecha designs. They simply don't appeal to me, and even though the animation surrounding them was actually really good, every time things slowed down enough that I could get a good look at one of them again, it yanked me right out of things.

The other 50% was that the show is very clearly made up of pieces I've seen before. That's not a dealbreaker by itself, especially not in an episode 1, but combined with above it convinced me to leave this show for now.

The reason I'm still here and reading the reviews is that I'm open to the show turning out to be better than my 1st ep impression, so I'm keeping tabs on what the response is from the reviewer and others watching. If that ends up being very positive, I'll probably give it another chance!
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Yuvelir



Joined: 06 Jan 2015
Posts: 380
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2019 4:36 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
If there's anything to fault Grandbelm for at the outset, it would be an overambitious desire to accomplish too much. These core characters I've discussed are just at the spoke of a very large wheel of new faces. The show just can't contain itself in detailing these girls on the fringes, from an acquaintance of Mangetsu's sister who seems to be an older girl reduced to a younger body, to a silver-haired girl who just barely got involved in the battle after Mangetsu. All these characters, in one way or the other, seem to be intended to embody a facet of Granbelm's surprisingly grandiose storytelling style. However, while it may make sense in terms of getting the audience to latch onto different potential faves, it can often come across as overwhelming. This fleet of characters might do better having backstories paced out over the course of the show, that are encountered in their own arcs. As-is, it makes it too easy for us to lose track of all the players in this brand-new franchise.

Eh, I'll always take a show that keeps a few characters in the backburner but always on sight over one where disposable characters pop in, deliver their sad canned story and are removed before the episode is over.
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dharlow



Joined: 17 Sep 2013
Posts: 16
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:50 pm Reply with quote
steelmirror wrote:
As one of the people who watched the first ep and then dropped it, I guess I'll throw my 2 cents in. I'm going to be totally honest, 50% of the reason I dropped is those mecha designs. They simply don't appeal to me, and even though the animation surrounding them was actually really good, every time things slowed down enough that I could get a good look at one of them again, it yanked me right out of things.

The other 50% was that the show is very clearly made up of pieces I've seen before. That's not a dealbreaker by itself, especially not in an episode 1, but combined with above it convinced me to leave this show for now.

The reason I'm still here and reading the reviews is that I'm open to the show turning out to be better than my 1st ep impression, so I'm keeping tabs on what the response is from the reviewer and others watching. If that ends up being very positive, I'll probably give it another chance!


I could have written your post myself as it is exactly how I feel.
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kotomikun



Joined: 06 May 2013
Posts: 700
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:21 am Reply with quote
steelmirror wrote:
The other 50% was that the show is very clearly made up of pieces I've seen before. That's not a dealbreaker by itself, especially not in an episode 1, but combined with above it convinced me to leave this show for now.


Honestly, I wasn't really sold on it after episode 1 either, since it was mostly just a ton of battling without clear stakes or any character development to speak of. The next episode(s) do a whole lot more to flesh out and humanize the characters, and explain what's going on and why it matters. I'd suggest watching episode 2 when you have time; that should give you a much clearer idea of whether it's worth continuing.

Mecha designs are something I barely pay attention to in general, so can't really comment on that.
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VerQuality
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Joined: 01 Oct 2016
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:18 pm Reply with quote
I was also a little uncertain after episode 1, but this really does feel like something special. It's an original story, not an adaption, which indicates a decent amount of ambition in the project, and it has hand-drawn mechs, which shows a lot of commitment to the project as well. The writing could fall apart, but so far its been functional if not exceptional, and the other aspects of the production are strong enough (the background art is beautiful, the sound direction is still a notch above, the character animation is nice and expressive) that I really respect the drive behind this series.

And as far as the mecha goes, I really like their aesthetic. They're almost like game sprites, but the cockpit shots and overall direction do a really good job at giving them a sense of scale and impact, which (to me, anyway) are really the core components of good mecha action.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2466
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:02 pm Reply with quote
kotomikun wrote:
steelmirror wrote:
The other 50% was that the show is very clearly made up of pieces I've seen before. That's not a dealbreaker by itself, especially not in an episode 1, but combined with above it convinced me to leave this show for now.


Honestly, I wasn't really sold on it after episode 1 either, since it was mostly just a ton of battling without clear stakes or any character development to speak of. The next episode(s) do a whole lot more to flesh out and humanize the characters, and explain what's going on and why it matters. I'd suggest watching episode 2 when you have time; that should give you a much clearer idea of whether it's worth continuing.

Mecha designs are something I barely pay attention to in general, so can't really comment on that.


Well ep 2-4 were pretty much par for the course for dark magical girl and battle royal type of show, so if steel mirror was worried about that I'd say there's not much point watching ep 2 since it'll just reinforce that feeling. At this point wait till the show finish and read an overall review to see if it does anything drastically different by then.
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Yuvelir



Joined: 06 Jan 2015
Posts: 380
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:42 am Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
Well ep 2-4 were pretty much par for the course for dark magical girl and battle royal type of show, so if steel mirror was worried about that I'd say there's not much point watching ep 2 since it'll just reinforce that feeling. At this point wait till the show finish and read an overall review to see if it does anything drastically different by then.

I don't agree much. The emotions of some characters are very intense and there are some ominous themes in the Chinese family but so far nobody has suffered any physical or permanent damage. And overall the themes and ambitions of the main duo are pretty hopeful and there's nothing really threatening them.

It's more mature than mahou shoujo shows directed at children but not exactly dark either. It's closer to Revue Starlight (without being as Ikuhara-ish) than Mahou Shoujo Taisen.
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