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EP. REVIEW: Granbelm


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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2465
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:54 am Reply with quote
Yuvelir wrote:
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.


If you want to consider "has lower stakes" to be a major difference from the usual dark magical girl/battle royal, then I guess you could say that this is pretty different from usual fare, but I don't think that's what most people think of.

Plus it really feel like it was initially written with the idea that there was significant risk of death/injury for the participant. Otherwise why try so hard to stop the contest forever and stop someone from joining in when there's literally no consequence to them losing? Maybe if the participant tried to kill each others in real world, but that also doesn't seem to be the case.
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Yuvelir



Joined: 06 Jan 2015
Posts: 369
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:09 am Reply with quote
meiam wrote:

If you want to consider "has lower stakes" to be a major difference from the usual dark magical girl/battle royal, then I guess you could say that this is pretty different from usual fare, but I don't think that's what most people think of.

Plus it really feel like it was initially written with the idea that there was significant risk of death/injury for the participant. Otherwise why try so hard to stop the contest forever and stop someone from joining in when there's literally no consequence to them losing? Maybe if the participant tried to kill each others in real world, but that also doesn't seem to be the case.

Well, it is dark in the sense that some people are having a bad time.
Then there's that stuff Shingetsu says about twisting fate and nature in ways that weren't intended... but then again those are effects akin to obtaining the Triforce: they aren't bad or dark by themselves (plus Mangetsu replied with a more hopeful message by multiplying those lillies). This reflects Shingetsu's personal grievances rather than the reality of the world.

As for the consequences of the contest, there was when Mangetsu was in actual danger because she was a puny human against giant robots but even then that didn't feel too threatening. Otherwise, all the negative impications are power hunger and politics (Rosa getting expelled, Anna being consumed by jealousy...). That's what Mangetsu statedly wants to end, the contast competition between families for prestige and domination rather than the direct harm that the power of magic can bring to the world.
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kotomikun



Joined: 06 May 2013
Posts: 695
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 4:13 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
I reviewed The Price of Smiles. I'm fairly certain everyone's already forgotten that show

Oh, I certainly haven't. Not for the same reasons as you, though. The show itself had issues, for sure, but the toxicity of the viewers... yikes.

I still think people kinda missed the forest for the trees on that one; the underlying problem with Smiles was clearly lack of budget and/or time. (And perhaps the fact that its title abbreviates to PoS.) If it wasn't clear already, ep. 5 certainly proved that Granbelm doesn't have either of those problems. A mismanaged show usually deteriorates with each episode as deadlines take their toll, but Granbelm has been improving week to week. I'm still kinda mystified by its low popularity. Maybe summer season is just too competitive for an anime-original to get noticed.
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zrnzle500
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Joined: 04 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:52 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Just a few seasons ago, I reviewed The Price of Smiles. I'm fairly certain everyone's already forgotten that show, but it was another anime-original mecha series that aired on Fridays, and while I started out quite taken with its potential, it ended up utterly failing to live up to any of those promises.


Oh, I still remember it, though mostly for ending up a disappointment, as you said. I swear, what is up with reviewers underestimating viewer's memories? Just cause we don't actively talk about a show doesn't mean we have forgotten about it.

No such qualms with Granblem though. Even putting aside the excellent 2D mecha action, I'm interested in where they are going with the story and characters, especially Mangetsu. If people were put off by the SD mechs, I think that is a shame.

I second the comparison to Revue Starlight, if only because the ED reminds me of that show.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 11:17 pm Reply with quote
kotomikun wrote:
Quote:
I reviewed The Price of Smiles. I'm fairly certain everyone's already forgotten that show

Oh, I certainly haven't. Not for the same reasons as you, though. The show itself had issues, for sure, but the toxicity of the viewers... yikes.

I still think people kinda missed the forest for the trees on that one; the underlying problem with Smiles was clearly lack of budget and/or time.


Yeah... no, not at all. A bigger budget and more time would just have exposed how incredibly incompetent everyone in the production was, chief amongst them the writer. When a show finish on spoiler["Yay! We committed genocide on an unimaginable scale for no real reason, hurray! And this brought world peace!"], it has much deeper problem than budget.

As for granbelm 5, it was fine. I do agree that they have great production value and the fight looks good, but they have poor choreography and everything just finish with giant laser destroying everything. I don't get a sense of people strategy/tactics/fighting ability/skill translating into better combat performance, who win a fight just feel arbitrary (how the hell did Shingetsu hold her on 1 v 3, when now she can barely handle Anna 1 v 1?).
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yuzumei



Joined: 03 Dec 2016
Posts: 17
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:16 am Reply with quote
Frankly, I am completely bored with the Anna/Ernesta conflict. I am really tired of it.
Not only with Annna/Ernesta but I am getting bored with the the rest of the characters as well.

Seeing the same characters fighting and screaming at each other over and over again gets boring and it doesn't matter if they change the battle location and add upgrades to their mechas. It's just boring and repetitive.
The action sequences are alright, but considering that the show is about magic mechas the action can be a lot more creative.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 3514
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:21 pm Reply with quote
I love how after she breaks in swinging a axe around, which taking into account that she swings it hard enough to smash a hole in the floor, makes it pretty certain that if she had hit Ernesta, she would be dead, they all forget about it. And then after the conversation they just leave like nothing happened.
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Probablytomorrow



Joined: 04 Aug 2019
Posts: 9
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:37 pm Reply with quote
Oh, the mother leaves, all right...
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Yuvelir



Joined: 06 Jan 2015
Posts: 369
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:01 pm Reply with quote
Considering the never-ending comparisons, it amuses me greatly that "Madoka" is the evil one here.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:26 pm Reply with quote
You mean to tell me that the girl who stormed out of a cellar with a freaking battle axe maybe should have been watched? Nooooooooooo. Rolling Eyes It's like nobody even realize she just attempted murder. The entire Anna story just end up being farcical that I can't take any of it seriously.

Although I will say that it's pretty rare that a show message is "don't try stuff, you suck at them anyway, hard work is meaningless, raw talent is everything". Its definitely an interesting theme to explore and one that's rarely ever touched, but I kinda feel like the show itself doesn't realize what it's own theme is.

Oh and I really hope there's more to Shingetsu backstory to explain why her wish is to eliminate magic. Cause right now they keep talking about how awful it is to be a mage, but it still hasn't shown a single downside to being one. Why did Anna have to be protected/replace?
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kotomikun



Joined: 06 May 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:36 am Reply with quote
Actually, I take back what I said. This show actually is a lot like Price of Smiles... in the sense that the ANN crowd (mainly one specific poster, admittedly) increasingly wants to rip it (and me) to shreds for reasons I can't quite wrap my head around. I mean, why even keep watching this show, if it bugs you this much? Is this that "hatewatching" thing that's cool these days?

The reviews have had a more levelheaded take on it than the comments, as one would expect, but the writer still keeps talking about how it's surely going to crash and burn at some point. And I guess this week's bit of critical narrative is that the downfall has begun. I mean, I'm a very pessimistic person, too, but I still don't get the point of trying this hard to see everything in a bad light, especially when, as you keep saying, a whole lot of things still haven't been revealed.

The awkwardness of Mangetsu involving herself in this without a deep important reason for doing so is, indeed, one of the main themes, brought up in most previous episodes at least once. I'm surprised that this comes off as an alien concept, since it's a metaphor for the common experience of "impostor syndrome"--feeling that other people's effort levels and/or reasons for being in your line of work are far better than yours, and you don't deserve the success that you have. This episode, meanwhile, mainly showed up that Anna is not just a crazed psycho; she was deceived by Shingetsu and her mother, making them partly at fault for her, uh, unique personality. Doesn't mean it was OK for her to start slitting throats and stealing overpowered magic crystals, but I don't think she's meant to be completely unsympathetic.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure I'm just shouting into the void and making myself upset by coming here, so I'm signing off, literally and figuratively. Gonna just watch the anime and maybe talk to some other people, who hopefully won't wildly sling hateful comments like a battleaxe.
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Yuvelir



Joined: 06 Jan 2015
Posts: 369
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:18 am Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
Oh and I really hope there's more to Shingetsu backstory to explain why her wish is to eliminate magic. Cause right now they keep talking about how awful it is to be a mage, but it still hasn't shown a single downside to being one. Why did Anna have to be protected/replace?

Did you even watch this episode?
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:34 am Reply with quote
Yuvelir wrote:
meiam wrote:
Oh and I really hope there's more to Shingetsu backstory to explain why her wish is to eliminate magic. Cause right now they keep talking about how awful it is to be a mage, but it still hasn't shown a single downside to being one. Why did Anna have to be protected/replace?

Did you even watch this episode?


So Shingetsu got adopted into a loving rich family and Anna is a weak mage but still has super power that have literally no downside, i.e. Anna > normal person (she's also completely stark raving mad, but lots of non mage are). Sooooooo yeah, what's the horrible part?

(M)angetsu: "Oh Shingetsu why do you want to erase magic"
(S)hinges: "All the backstabbing politic just ruins people life, I was adopted into a family just to compete in the tournament"
M: OMG did they torture you and mistreat you?!
S: Oh no, not at all, they were a loving family that probably liked me more than there own daughter.
M: ... Okayyyy, but they must have forced you into a situation where you had no choice but to compete and were forced to be somewhere you didn't want to be!!
S: Oh no, I was free to leave the family at any time, no repercussion. I can also quit the tournament at any time and there would be no repercussion if I lost.
M: ... Oh... but they must horribly mistreat Anna for her lack of magic, maybe they tried to stop her from ever using magic again to avoid the secret of magic being exposed?
S: No, they always stayed a loving family to her too, she never lost any of her rich background privilege even when she was clearly going insane.
M: ... (Note to self, double check to make sure magic doesn't kill brain cell when used, would explain a lot)
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zrnzle500
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Joined: 04 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:49 am Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
So Shingetsu got adopted into a loving rich family and Anna is a weak mage but still has super power that have literally no downside, i.e. Anna > normal person (she's also completely stark raving mad, but lots of non mage are). Sooooooo yeah, what's the horrible part?

(M)angetsu: "Oh Shingetsu why do you want to erase magic"
(S)hinges: "All the backstabbing politic just ruins people life, I was adopted into a family just to compete in the tournament"
M: OMG did they torture you and mistreat you?!
S: Oh no, not at all, they were a loving family that probably liked me more than there own daughter.
M: ... Okayyyy, but they must have forced you into a situation where you had no choice but to compete and were forced to be somewhere you didn't want to be!!
S: Oh no, I was free to leave the family at any time, no repercussion. I can also quit the tournament at any time and there would be no repercussion if I lost.
M: ... Oh... but they must horribly mistreat Anna for her lack of magic, maybe they tried to stop her from ever using magic again to avoid the secret of magic being exposed?
S: No, they always stayed a loving family to her too, she never lost any of her rich background privilege even when she was clearly going insane.
M: ... (Note to self, double check to make sure magic doesn't kill brain cell when used, would explain a lot)


No, they did not mistreat Anna, but her family loves Shingetsu as much as the rest of them, and in her mind they love Shingetsu more than her. She feels that Shingetsu has wormed her way into her family, stolen their love for her, stolen her rightful spot as the successor from her, even though she performed magic that her predecessors could not do alone (little did she know that Shingetsu gave her a helping hand in that), and her family still doesn't see how this wicked devil has bewitched them. Shingetsu saw how this was affecting her beloved adopted sister and left the family, but that still hasn't abated Anna's rage, jealousy, and resentment. Even though no one was mistreating Anna or Shingetsu, the contest to obtain all the magic in the world still caused a rift in their family (and between the events of the most recent episode and the next one will likely spell doom for the family), incited by Suisho though it may be. Sure Shingetsu could drop out without any problems for herself, but eventually Anna's iniquities would have been revealed to everyone and herself, and even if it wasn't her family, others would be harmed by the intrigue surrounding the chance to obtain all the magic in the world, like Kuon's sister who was cursed (probably by Suisho), or Rosa who was expelled from her (master's) home - and lost the privileges than come with being a part of a prestigious family, even as a servant - after she was defeated.

Also, given Anna's mother's warnings about using a bigger magic stone than you can handle, I think we're about to see a downside to using magic. I mean if Anna can't handle the big stone, I'm not sure she could handle practically all the magic in the world.
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LastPage 3



Joined: 13 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:27 am Reply with quote
Wow, Shingetsu and Anna's mom are horrible. I don't normally sympathize with antagonists much, but this time is an exception.

Seriously, they continue to lie to Anna for years to avoid hurting her, yet every time we see them interact with her on screen, they're hurting her anyways through their dissmissive attitude.

Then there's Shingetsu's lecture to Anna. This person you claim to love is on the floor, broken to pieces, and you decide to tell her that watching her waste her life because of a lie you perpetuated was very useful to you, and that she should just give up and protect a house full of people that lied to her while you accomplish her dream for her.

What makes it worse is that Shingetsu lied to Anna again, because we know she has no intention of accomplishing Anna's dream, because she's trying to destroy magic.

I guess that explains why she's avoiding the family. I thought it was because of Anna, but it's probably because she's planning on betraying them in the end.

I'm honestly kinda rooting for Anna next week.

meiam wrote:

So Shingetsu got adopted into a loving rich family and Anna is a weak mage but still has super power that have literally no downside, i.e. Anna > normal person (she's also completely stark raving mad, but lots of non mage are). Sooooooo yeah, what's the horrible part?


Did you miss the part where Kuon mentioned that using magic makes people sick? Or what happened to Kuon's sister or Nene's mother or Nene herself?
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