Sep 11, 2019
auroraloose (All reviews)
Granbelm is interesting because it's not normal.

When it tells you what it's going to do, Granbelm goes all-in and is over-the-top. When it doesn't tell you what it's going to do, and you try to guess based on the genre and anime logic you're used to, you end up wrong.

I'm not all that enthused by the plot (though depending on what happens in the last few episodes that may change), as Granbelm leans on several standard tropes. That said, Granbelm's execution of said tropes is always excellent: we know exactly what has to happen in episode 7 with angry girl, but the show carries everything out with such intensity that it doesn't matter that we know. When Granbelm gets like this you can tell its creators were enjoying themselves. I love how everyone's hamming it up, particularly the villains.

But what makes Granbelm interesting is that the choices it makes completely thwart those viewers who insist on combing anime for clues and speculating as to what's really going on. It always reveals only as much as it has to—or perhaps, as little as it must—as it moves forward. Rather than ask (or tempt) viewers to absorb it by rummaging through all the supposed clues it's left, Granbelm lets you enjoy each episode as it happens—and makes sure there's plenty to enjoy. It doesn't foist the work of understanding on the viewer; you just enjoy the ride. And in this way you can be genuinely surprised.

Granbelm is interesting because it forces you to engage it differently from your average genre entry. If you approach it expecting to puzzle-solve, you're probably going to end up bored and irritated, because Granbelm doesn't want you to speculate about it, and it deliberately thwarts attempts to reason out what ought to happen based on previous episodes. If you approach it instead as presenting you with something new, with characters who do their own, crazy things, you'll be happy you watched. Granbelm does the hard work of building something new out of old parts—and is snazzy while it does it.