Granblue Fantasy the Animation
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 13 of
Granblue Fantasy the Animation ?
This episode is likely to be more appealing to those who have played the original game than anime-only fans. Rather than taking Gran as the hero who finds Lyria and embarks on a quest with her, this thirteenth "extra" episode instead puts Djeeta, the female choice for player character, into that role. Djeeta's not just Girl Gran, though – she's clearly got a very different personality that's interesting on its own, giving her relationship with Lyria a different flavor as well. Where Gran is a little stoic and naïve, Djeeta is outgoing and cool-headed, making the scene this week where she just charges ahead into the danger feel somehow less dangerous than when Gran makes a similar move. (Of course, that could be because we never saw Djeeta die.) When she's swinging her sword around, she's totally confident, a sense I never really got from Gran, and her relationship with Lyria feels more friendship-based, rather than two outsiders finding each other. It's an interesting change to say the least, and I'd be interested to see a version of the show (or a second season) with both Djeeta and Gran in it.
That aside, this is essentially a lighthearted fanservice episode, since Djeeta has amassed a much larger, predominantly female crew – not only are Rosetta and Mary official members, but basically all of the girls we saw in episode twelve's battle are now officially onboard, as well as a small group of guys so that Rackham still has to share a bathroom. The storyline takes place at Auguste, the oceanic island, but instead of having to fight off Pommern in a deadly battle, the ladies decide, at Siero's inevitable prompting, to have a beach vacation. This necessitates Djeeta modeling bathing suits before everyone settles on some of the most complicated (yet revealing) swimwear I've ever seen.
Given the seriousness of the last regular episode, it's kind of nice to see everyone relaxing, but this episode really doesn't add much to the story. It feels like a bone thrown to Djeeta fans, which isn't a bad thing, but it is an understandable bar to entry for non-game players. The fanservice aspect may make the episode more appealing if that's your thing (and Katalina does fill out her suit nicely), but on the whole this is totally skippable. The enlarged crew doesn't play much of a role at all, especially the males, and the draw here is basically the twin lures of Djeeta and bikinis.
There are a few entertaining small details that are worth noting, of course. Did we ever see laundry being done during the regular series? The addition of so many women on the crew seems to have sparked an interest in it, although I can't imagine any captain or shipwright being thrilled about having the rigging used for laundry lines. Katalina also covers Lyria's eyes at one point during the silly fight with Pommern so that she can't see…what, carnage? Someone's bathing suit falling off? It's something goofy, at any rate, which falls in line with the overall lighter tone of the episode. Lyria summoning Colossus to carry the girls across a stretch of water is also a nice touch, although it begs the question of how their backup got there.
And so we bid farewell to Granblue Fantasy for now. Despite this not being the best show, it really did have its own charm, with soft artwork, a theme song I still can't get out of my head, and a plot that never resorted to filler, even if it didn't always use its characters to their full potential. Somewhat to my surprise, I'll miss this show, and I do hope that we'll get to follow more of Gran and Lyria's adventures in some future season.
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