Last month I reviewed the first part of Granblue Fantasy for Anime UK News, and today I’m back to take a look at Part 2! As this contains the final episodes of this fantasy series, I’m excited to find out where Gran and his crew will be going next as the anime heads towards the finish line.
If you haven’t read my previous review of Granblue Fantasy then you can do so here, and please be aware that this review contains spoilers for the first half of the series.
Our story begins with the 8th episode of this 12 episode series, as Gran and his crew continue to travel around the world, avoiding the eyes of the Erste Empire and learning more about Lyria’s past and abilities. When their journey brings them to the city of Mizarea they meet an old friend of Rackam’s but also discover that the city is in grave danger. Faced with what could be their toughest fight yet, Gran and Lyria must overcome difficult trials in a bid to save the city from certain ruin.
Being so close to the end of the series, it’s difficult to talk about the plot in any real depth without ruining it. However, I will say that I loved these final episodes. The arc is an emotional one and there is a lot at stake for the cast, but what I really liked was how it incorporates many of the characters from the Granblue Fantasy mobile game. These characters just happened to be in the city at the same time as Gran and co. and they too want to prevent tragedy from befalling the place. It works out well because despite not previously knowing who these characters are (unless you’ve played the game), they feel like a natural fit for the situation. It doubles as an open love letter to players of the game, while giving non-players the chance to sit back and bask in the glow of these cheerful and admirable heroes.
Initially when I was given this series to review I was wary about it being a two-part release because the show’s only made up of 12 episodes. It seemed like a cash grab rather than giving the series one release containing all of the episodes. However, upon receiving Part 2, I was happy to discover that this set also contains two OVA episodes, which brings the number of episodes on this set to seven. This seems like a reasonable reason to split the series into two releases at least.
Speaking of the OVA episodes, these offer something a little different than your usual OVA outing. In these episodes the protagonist, Gran, has been replaced with a female protagonist called Djeeta. Djeeta’s the protagonist for both OVAs and her story seems to be set much further into the overall setting than Gran’s, with Lyria commenting about how big a crew they have and how many people they’ve travelled with. The nice thing is that Djeeta isn’t just a female version of Gran and sports a fairly distinct personality all of her own. The two do share similarities in their personalities, but Djeeta is a refreshing lead due to her more bubbly and outgoing personality – and in the end I almost liked her more than Gran in the protagonist role…
The first OVA is a beach episode and revolves around Djeeta, Lyria and one of the other girls solving a problem the islanders are having. It’s fairly generic for what it is but it’s entertaining nevertheless. The second OVA, however, is a lot better on the whole and takes place in a town which is celebrating Halloween. Part of the reason I enjoyed it is my love of Halloween in general, but what I really liked about the episode was the emotional story it tells. Dejeeta and the crew are less of a focus and more bystanders in a bigger tale. The episode quickly became my favourite on the whole set and fans of Granblue Fantasy are definitely going to want to watch it.
The quality of the animation stayed consistent with the first half of the series. The animation is fantastic during action scenes but still has the issue of being somewhat blurry in regards to the characters, which is a huge shame. As mentioned in my previous review this is not a problem caused by MVM’s release, instead being something fundamentally wrong with the anime itself.
In regards to the music, this too has stayed consistent with the previous episodes. There are many tracks used throughout the anime’s run and they all pair perfectly with the on-screen action. Where the voice actors are concerned, they too continue to do a great job. I didn’t sample any of the English dub this time, so if you want to know more about that then you can read my previous review. As far as the Japanese VAs are concerned, no complaints here!
This Blu-ray only release comes to the UK thanks to MVM Entertainment and, as previously mentioned, containsEpisodes 8 to 12 of the TV series as well as 2 OVA episodes. The set includes both Japanese audio with English subtitles and an English dub, otherwise there are no extras to speak of.
Overall, Granblue Fantasy remains a captivating watch right to the end. Although the animation issues prevent me from recommending it to everyone, I still believe there is a lot to like for those who can look past these issues. With the inclusion of the OVA episodes this is a must-have release for existing fans of Granblue Fantasy.