Granblue Fantasy the Animation
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 12 of
Granblue Fantasy the Animation ?
Before we discuss the episode, can we all take a moment to appreciate that Vyrn participated in the toast at the end by raising an apple? Not only does that give me ideas as a non-drinker, but it was a great moment of individuality for him, once again taking the time to show that he's got a personality of his own beyond “vaguely irritating mascot character.”
This was the final “official” episode for GranBlue Fantasy, although there will be two more before the series actually ends – those appear to be labeled as “extras,” however, so whether or not they'll continue the main storyline established in the previous twelve is up for debate. As a semi-finale, this week doesn't quite give us the promised naval battle (or what I foolishly interpreted as such), but instead focuses on saving Leviathan from the accumulated pollution that has plagued the Beast thanks to the Empire. The show uses this episode as a way to throw a ton of new characters at the wall, who all have individualized designs and clear enough personalities that I presume they're important in the original game.
On the plus side, there are some really beautiful designs in the bunch – the butterfly-girl and the harvin sorceress are particularly nice-looking. Some of these new characters seem to have been hanging around the city or possibly living there, while others appear to have been tracking Gran and Co. in their travels like Rosetta was – one makes a comment that she's not supposed to interfere in events, which implies some surveillance. On the part of the Empire? Or is there some third party who wants to keep tabs on what Lyra and Gran are up to? Might they be related to Rosetta's involvement in the story? It would be nice if the extra episodes offered us a little insight into this, but honestly I'm not holding my breath.
In any event, the battle this week reminds us what superstitious seafaring folk have known for centuries: do not piss off the ocean, because she does not react well to being disrespected. (Respecting the sea was one of the first boating lessons I learned.) Since this is a fantasy, that takes the form of Primal Beast Leviathan and her ability to summon angry magical fish with pointy teeth – unable to cope with the pollution any longer, Leviathan sends her fishy minions to attack the city, and although they appear to be made of water rather than flesh, they're very capable of causing a lot of damage. Most of the episode feels like Gran and his crew running around and bumping into all of those new characters I mentioned, which gives things a disjointed feel. The new characters are impressive fighters, especially the giant of a man who jumps in to help Karva and Mary, who make a return as part of the extended cast. It could be argued the point of this episode was to show the whole city showing up to help defend the defenseless out of respect for Eugen, rather than a shameless bid to get as many game characters into the show as possible. That doesn't change the fact that the actual plot, wherein Gran and Lyra defeat Leviathan and Lyra's evil twin reappears, takes about five minutes near the end.
What's more important is actually the pre-credits scene at the very beginning – Eugen picking up a child on the beach while Leviathan looms in the sea beyond. He calls the child Apollo, and we learn that she's his daughter at the end of the episode, who was carried out to sea and protected by Leviathan. This is significant not only because it drives home to Eugen that Leviathan is essentially good, but also because the Black Knight with Lyra's evil twin is also called Apollo – potentially revealing her past identity. This is the major impetus for Eugen joining the crew, although he's not telling anyone that just yet, and it stands as further evidence of the Empire's corrupting influence; it's impressive that Katalina wasn't changed for the worse by working for them.
As Gran and his crew sail off into the distance, it's made clear that this is just the start of their adventure, and I admit to hoping for a second season somewhere down the line. It will be interesting to see what the two remaining episodes choose to give us in terms of story, because this week could easily have served as a fond farewell to the gang, as they continue on their journey without us.
Granblue Fantasy the Animation is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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