Magical Girls & Mecha?
Well not quite, but it’s close enough. Granbelm is an original 13 episode series that aired in the Summer 2019 lineup. It had a fair bit of buzz around its production staff, most notably for the connections to Re:Zero as both productions share a director and character designer. The big question is if this lived up to the hype or not, so, did it?
The short answer is, yeah, mostly. It was a solid show with a seemingly impossible production (there was an episode animated by ONE person for heaven’s sake). In a word, Granbelm was consistent.
The long answer is that Granbelm was more consistent than Re:Zero, but it lacked something that the latter had. I really can’t identify what this was exactly, but I just couldn’t get into this series the same way. That’s saying something because it wasn’t exactly like I loved Re:Zero or anything like that.
Maybe it was the weird mech designs, or perhaps the short length of 13 episodes wasn’t enough time for characters to fully blossom. I sincerely can’t identify one thing that was truly wrong with Granbelm, but there was something holding it back.
However, I feel like if you liked shows such as Madoka or the WIXOSS series, there will be something here for you. Is it as good? Definitely not. Was it one of the shows I actively looked forward to during the season? Absolutely, yes.
Really, what better endorsement could there be? It’s getting compared to some legitimately excellent shows, so clearly Granbelm is doing something right here. Some downright impressive moments of visual flair, decent depth of ideas, and the story is pretty dang unique. I don’t know about you, but I’ve not seen mages need to duke things out in a magical realm, between space and time no less, with astral mecha before. That’s just the surface.
I’m genuinely conflicted here because I am excited by Granbelm and the unique things it brought to the table. It was really well produced (outside of that terrible ED, I can’t fathom that), most the characters were pretty great, and it reminded me of shows I really loved. However, it was just missing something. That’s really all there is to it.
I probably sound like a broken record in this review, but I do recommend Granbelm for what it’s worth. This one does need a little time to get going, but once it does it actually does you’ll probably want to binge through. That’s about it for me folks. Give Granbelm a try if you haven’t already.
What are your thoughts on Granbelm? Did you feel it was missing something that stopped it from being truly great? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. If you want to support my work, please utilize the donation buttons below. Thanks for reading!