Granbelm Review: Magic always brings suffering

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Mangetsu is apparently a genius

I suppose you could call this series “magical girls with mechs”. To be more specific, the show takes place in a world where magic has long been sealed away. However, it’s last remaining vestige is Granbelm, a monthly battle amongst mages who wish to become the Princeps Mage and gaining their one true desire. The main character, Mangetsu Kohinata, is randomly drawn into that battle one night. She’s rescued by Shingetsu Ernesta Fukami, who teaches her about Granbelm and inspires her to help Shingetsu win Granbelm.

Shingetsu can't be defeated

While the overall outline of the story is a pretty familiar tale, I think the series has some interesting twists along the way. There’s a lot of discussion about identity and finding meaning that I quite liked while watching the series. The main characters also have strong personal stories, but I would say that this comes at the cost of side characters.

Mangetsu tries to flee to safety

To give an example, I thought that Anna had a decent arc, but I found her personality to be frustrating to watch. Other characters, like Rosa, are completely cast off after the first episode, never to be seen again. On the other hand, I quite liked Mangetsu’s character. She starts out as a girl seemingly stuck being mediocre, and she eventually finds her own sense of purpose.

The spell is complicated

If I had to point to a single issue that I had with the series, it would be a weak explanation of the world. Granbelm is supposed to be a special competition that happens once a month, and yet the series tends to skip to the battle whenever it can. In addition to that, the magic of the world pretty much does whatever it wants. There’s no sense of consistency when it comes to the abilities that a particular mage has, and it’s hard to tell who deserves to win any given fight.

The robot is summoned

Unfortunately, the logic behind a magical world is one of those things that I like to think about, so I would say I had some trouble getting through the series. Overall, I thought that it had some cool ideas, though, so I would still be willing to say that it was a decent showing for the season it was in.

Final Score: 7/10

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