Note: Review copy supplied by MVM Entertainment
Title: Granblue Fantasy Part 2
Anime Studio: A-1 Pictures
Publisher: MVM Entertainment
Genre: Adventure / Fantasy
Released: December 3rd 2018
Language: Japanese / English
Running Time: 175mins
This is the Sky Realm, a sea of clouds and floating islands.
Gran and the crew land in the beautiful Auguste Isles. But they are immediately greeted by foul-smelling slime on the shore and a disquieting mood in town. They meet Eugen an agent and old acquaintance of Rackam, who explains that the Erste Empire is responsible for Auguste’s current state.
That’s when Lyria begins to hear the faint call of a primal beast…
Picking up where last month’s release left off, Granblue Fantasy The Animation Part 2 gives us episodes eight to twelve, plus the two bonus OVAs. As you would expect, the brunt of the actual progression for the series is done in the five main episodes. Or rather, the final three of these. Truth be told, the first two episodes on the disc feel more like diversions than actual plot advancers, right up until the final moment. That’s not to say that they’re bad though; on the contrary, both episodes offer plenty of enjoyment if you were a fan of the first release. Most notable is perhaps the introduction of Mary and Karver, who interject some real fun into the proceedings. In a way, it was a shame we didn’t get to see more of them.
Once we clear this early filler, everything slots into place, leaving us with some fine examples of the series at its best. The story progression mostly seeps in in small drips. While both Gran and Rackam get some moments to shine in that regard, the standout story scene for me was a brief conversation where Katalina is talking about Lyria’s past. In many ways, little has changed for the characters though. Yes, they all take baby steps forward, but their end state is really not overly different to where the release began. That in itself isn’t a bad thing though, as the main team maintains a really fun dynamic that mixes the serious moments plenty of light-hearted fun. Plus, a second season ahs been announced, so there’s plenty of time for more progression.
The series remains full to the brim with decent character designs, albeit still fairly standard for the genre. Verne is as adorable as ever, and though the opening still feels off when set against the overall tone of the show, the core soundtrack is phenomenal. Oh, and Lyria’s hair wiggle when she’s listening intently? That was a cute touch. It’s the little things like that that make the show stand-out more than it would otherwise.
Throughout the series, the action has been really strong, and that too is no exception here. This is most prominent during the final main episode, which sees everyone flying into action in a thoroughly exciting – not to mention large – battle. The quality there was such that it really felt like the best part of this release.
The two OVAs are nice additions, though not entirely important to the canon storyline. The first, Another Sky, is an alternate universe tale that briefly transforms into a standard anime breach episode in the middle before switching back to normal. The second is a Halloween special that is mostly an excuse to show of some fancy dress costumes, though it does give us a cool little snippet about Ferry.
In all, this is easily on par with part one. Despite having more filler, the series is consistently entertaining, and the technical aspects are as good as ever. Yes, it’s at its best when the actual story is on track, but it’s never dull. If you want exciting action and a colourful cast of characters, it’s an easy recommend. 4 out of 5.