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February 10, 2024
By Zoe Crombie.
Have you ever imagined an anime series that combined the cute slice-of life antics of magical girl with the spectacular action giant mechs? If so, then wonder no longer – GranbelmThis series is for you. It combines these evergreen subgenres of anime with a surprising amount of success. This series, which is based on a once-in a-blue moon tournament to determine who will be the one that keeps the art of practicing magical arts alive in the modern day, has all the spectacle you could ask for. GundamShow with the pick-a favourite fun that a magical girl cast brings.
From its first episode. GranbelmStarts with nothing held back In media res as our protagonist Mangetsu heads to her school to grab a lunch bag only to stumble into a battle she’s entirely unequipped for between massive yet oddly chibi-fied mechs. Fortunately, she’s saved from magical annihilation at the hands of some bloodthirsty high-schoolers by the brooding Shingetsu, who explains the rules of the world: the winner of the tournament – or, the Princeps Mage of the Granbelm – gains control of the Magiaconatus, which contains all the magic in the world. Mangetsu and Shingetsu become close as they investigate their own mysterious connection to this event. They share similar lunar-themed names, such as Full Moon and New Moon, and are both determined to win the Granbelm.
For those new to anime, the uniqueness of its genres will appeal. Unlike American cinema or TV that tends to be divided into comedy, drama, horror, romance, and more, anime is often more hyper-specific, at least in part due to the historical division by age range that’s also a contributing factor in deciding content: the rules aren’t hard and fast, but you’re more likely to find high-octane action in a shonen While a series shojo Series tend to be more personal and melodramatic.
That’s what makes Granbelm’s genre experimentation so fascinating – the synthesis of the two goes so much deeper than just Girls in giant mechs. The fusion of the two genres works surprisingly well; they share traits like complex lore and narrative twists, as well as otherworldly aesthetics. Although the girls each possess a magic stone, which gives them their abilities, you could argue their dedicated mechs with names like White Lily or Viola Katze function as the robot equivalent of more traditionally magical objects like wands. SailThe following are some examples of how to use Moon or Cardcaptor Sakura’s cards.
The visuals are GranbelmThe film does a fantastic job of incorporating both of its major genre influences. Coloured with a palette of celestial blues and purples, punctuated by the neon tones of the Armanox mechs, it’s always a pleasure to look at, conveying the feeling of magic and grandeur promised by the plot. Though the character designs are fairly stereotypical, indicating what you’d expect from each girl – the girl with long dark hair is serious, the curvaceous woman is arrogant and brash, and so on – they’re effective nonetheless, with their outfits in particular working well to convey their attitude and motivation in the competition.
While it’s far from being totally self-serious, with a healthy but controlled amount of comedic moments in most episodes, GranbelmThis hybrid anime has more plot twists than you might expect. It also plays with the tropes associated with high school anime. Again, this is one of the best parts of this hybrid anime – it doesn’t ride entirely on the novelty of its premise, and is able to craft an engrossing story beyond the promise of cute girls in massive mechs.
Granbelm currently also stands as the only entirely original work by the studio Nexus, who tend to produce adaptations of light novels – they should certainly branch out more often, as this anime reveals a great understanding of the appeal of the mode and the ability to pick and remix some of its more compelling tropes. It’s worth mentioning that it isn’t entirely novel, as the anime series Magic Knight Rayearth The early 1990s saw a similar amalgamation of genres. However, when an anime tried this in the 21st-century, the results were very different.
Even within relatively conventional series, anime genres offer a fertile ground for experimentation. GranbelmThis is an excellent example. This thirteen-episode series is a great example of this. It has a rich plot, compelling characters, mech battles that are engaging, beautiful ethereal visuals and a plot which goes deeper than expected.
Zoe Crombie works as an associate lecturer, PhD student and Studio Ghibli researcher at Lancaster University. GranbelmAnime Limited is releasing the UK version of the game.
Original content by blog.alltheanime.com – “Granbelm – All the Anime”
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