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As I hoped, this episode fills in many of the blanks from the first episode by going back and explaining the lore of the series. I’m sticking with what I said last week about this series being the Grail Wars with giant robots. However, I guess it seems considerably less dangerous. Even with her further introduction in this episode, Mangetsu feels hard to place. There’s definitely a lot of mystery surrounding her, but she seems like she could be interesting to unravel.
While the magic in this series doesn’t seem like too much, I do appreciate that it has a sense of subtlety to it. When Shingetsu does things in the real world, we don’t see any otherworldly effect or things like magic circles. Given that the series makes a big deal of establishing that magic is lost in this world, this type of magic makes that claim feel more plausible.
Despite the explanations in this episode, I don’t feel like I’m completely clear on the terms. To be specific, I’m not entirely sure whether “Granbelm” refers to the contest as a whole or the world that the combatants enter. And if it’s not the latter, does that world have a name?
A large part of the episode seems devoted towards Mangetsu’s decision to join Granbelm, but I’m not entirely sure I buy it. It’s true that we still don’t know all of the details, but the competition itself doesn’t seem particularly dangerous from the perspective of the audience. A later scene shows that Rosa is totally fine despite being defeated by Mangetsu in the first episode. What does Mangetsu have to lose if she participates? I feel like that’s not made totally clear, so the dilemma isn’t believable.
Is this secretly a time travel series? I feel like this explanation about magic is important. Shingetsu makes it sound like she directly interfered with the flowers in some way. Based on the wording, I interpreted as meaning that she messed with their “fate” in some way. Are the mages in this world screwing with the future?
On the one hand, I feel like Mangetsu’s idea that she has no redeemable qualities is a little bit too harsh. It seems like it’s trying a bit too hard to establish that her magic is strong to compensate. That being said, I find it incredibly interesting that she has convinced herself of this idea to the point where she’s defensive of the notion. It’s certainly a relatable thought, but seeing her cling to it makes me curious to see how it will manifest in the future.