Granbelm

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Granbelm
Granbelm promotional art.jpg
Promotional image for the anime.
グランベルム
(Guranberumu)
GenreMecha,[1] Magical girl[2]
Anime television series
Directed byMasaharu Watanabe
Produced byInfinite
Written byJukki Hanada
Music byKenichiro Suehiro
StudioNexus
Licensed byCrunchyroll
Original networkMBS, TBS, BS-TBS
English network
Original run July 5, 2019 September 26, 2019
Episodes13 (List of episodes)
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

Granbelm (グランベルム, Guranberumu) is a 2019 Japanese anime television series created and produced by Nexus. The series was directed by Masaharu Watanabe and written by Jukki Hanada, with original character designs by Shinichirou Otsuka, and music composed by Kenichiro Suehiro. Granbelm aired from July 5 to September 26, 2019 on the Animeism programming block. The series follows a group of 7 magical girls that pilot giant robots called "Armanox", where they fight in a battle royale where the winner obtains the title "Princeps Mage", allowing the user to wield all the magic inside the "Magiaconatus".

Premise[edit]

Long ago, the world was rich with magic, until the wizards and witches used magic to wage war on one another, bringing the world to the brink of destruction. To prevent this, a group of wizards sealed all the world's magic into a device known as the "Magiaconatus" (マギアコナトス, Magiakonatosu), and since then, magic has been largely forgotten and wizards have been slowly disappearing, with just a few magical families existing all over the world.

In the modern age, however, magic is making a resurgence thanks to the Granbelm, a tournament involving magical girls that pilot giant robots called "Armanox" (アルマノクス, Arumanokusu), with the winner becoming the "Princeps Mage" (プリンセプスの魔術師, Purinsepusu no Majutsushi) and becoming able to wield all the magic inside the Magiaconatus. Mangetsu Kohinata finds her ordinary life forever changed when she discovers she is a mage and earns her own Armanox, the White Lily. As Mangetsu fights in the Granbelm, she meets other girls who fight to have their wishes granted.

Characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

Mangetsu Kohinata (小日向 満月, Kohinata Mangetsu)
Voiced by: Miyuri Shimabukuro[3]
A seemingly normal high school student who suddenly finds herself caught in the middle of the Granbelm. She has no particular talents or aspirations, so she tries to be as helpful and friendly as possible to make up for it. Beneath this facade, however, she is very insecure about her being "empty." After meeting Shingetsu and becoming friends with her, she slowly begins to open up and decides to help make her wish come true. She is eventually revealed to actually be an artificial being created by the Magiaconatus to help Shingetsu win the Granbelm.
Her Armanox is White Lily (ホワイトリリー, Howaito Rirī), a white mecha with a sword as its primary armament, through she also has some ranged attacks. Though untrained, as a being made by Magiaconatus, she possessess enormous magical readings and can sometimes enter a state of extreme concentration, during which she is capable of overpowering her opponents through brute force. Shingetsu also teaches her how to summon her own familiar, Orca, a whale-like magical spirit that aids her in battle.
Her given name literally means "full moon", mirroring Shingetsu.
Shingetsu Ernesta Fukami (新月 エルネスタ 深海, Shingetsu Erunesuta Fukami)
Voiced by: Atsumi Tanezaki[3]
A mysterious young woman who moved back to Japan from Germany in order to compete in Granbelm. Although she is initially opposed to Mangetsu entering Granbelm, she teams up with her and teaches her how to fight, which leads to their friendship. She was once friends with Anna Fugo, until the latter's jealousy towards her magical talents ended their friendship. This led her to hate magic resulted in her wish for winning the Granbelm being to erase it completely. It is eventually revealed that the Magiaconatus already decided for her to become the Princeps Mage and the entire Granbelm is actually just a test to determine if she's worthy.
Her Armanox is Viola Katze (ヴィオラカッツェ, Viora Kattse), a black mecha capable of both melee and ranged combat. Due to her experience as a mage, she possesses a large arsenal of spells and tactics. Her trump card is Gnome, a spirit that takes on the form of a giant golem.
Her family name literally means "new moon", mirroring Mangetsu.

Granbelm participants[edit]

Anna Fugo (アンナ・フーゴ, Anna Fūgo)
Voiced by: Yōko Hikasa[4]
A proud mage descending from one of Europe's most powerful mage families. She was once friends with Shingetsu, until she learned that she was brought in to become the family's successor over her, which led her to try to defeat her throughout the Granbelm to prove herself. By the time she discovered her mother wanted her to live a life free of the pressures of being a mage, it was too late as her jealousy of Shingetsu and obsession with beating her had caused her to fall into madness. She is the third mage to be eliminated from the Granbelm, after being defeated by Shingetsu. Afterwards, her existence was erased from the world, causing everyone not present during the battle to forget about her.
Her Armanox is Aconite Gris (アークナイトグリス, Ākunaito gurisu), a red mecha resembling royalty. Despite having very low magical power, she is able to fight in the Granbelm due to her Armanox providing her with a great deal of magic. She specializes in her family's trademark magic of temperature control, allowing her to manipulate both fire and ice. She is also able to make decoys to fight her battles for her.
Nene Rin (林 寧々, Rin Nene)
Voiced by: Yurika Kubo[4]
A mage who hails from Hong Kong who fights in the Granbelm with tactical assistance from her sisters; Nana and Mimi. Although she's an adult, her child-like body has caused her to be assigned to a middle school, where she becomes acquainted to Kibō, Mangetsu's younger sister. She is the second mage to be eliminated from the Granbelm, after being defeated by Mangetsu. Afterwards, she continues to keep an eye on events and later begins investigating the phenomenon where Anna was erased from reality, which eventually leads her to uncover Mangetsu's nature as well as the truth behind the Granbelm.
Her Armanox is Ji Guang Long (ジーグァンロン, Jī Gwan Ron), which unlike of Armanox takes on the form of a spaceship rather than a mecha. Because of this, it relies on stealth and its powerful long-range abilities to fight. However, its true form is that of a huge mecha, several times larger than other Armanox, which uses its sheer size and longer reach for close quarters combat.
Suishō Hakamada (袴田 水晶, Hakamada Suishō)
Voiced by: Aoi Yūki[5]
A carefree mage who descended from a very minor mage family and the pilot of Drosela Nocturne (ドロセラノクターン, Dorosera Nokutān). Although she was initially Anna's lackey, she really has no loyalty to Anna and only followed her orders out of convenience's sake. When she learns Anna is a weak mage, at least compared to Shingetsu, Suishō stops working for her. It is also heavily implied, and later confirmed, that she was the one who cursed Kuon's sister Shisui into a coma. However, Kuon discovers that Shisui actually tricked Suishō into consuming a part of her soul in order to give Kuon a chance to win the Granbelm.
Rosa (ロサ)
Voiced by: Chinatsu Akasaki[5]
A young mage that initially worked for Anna and the pilot of the Crest Anthurium (クレストアンス, Kuresuto Ansu). She is the first opponent Mangetsu defeats in the Granbelm. With her stone shattered, Rosa can no longer participate in the Granbelm and Anna throws her out of her house. In the new reality created after Anna's defeat, she is the elder daughter of the Fugo family.
Kuon Tsuchimikado (土御門 九音, Tsuchimikado Kuon)
Voiced by: Manaka Iwami[6]
The younger daughter of the Tsuchimikado family. She participates in the Granblem in the hopes of finding a cure for her sister Shisui, who has fallen into a magically induced coma. She later becomes enemies with Suishō, suspecting that she is responsible for her sister's condition. She also agrees to an alliance with Mangetsu and Shingetsu, so they can survive the Granbelm. Kuon is one of the very few that remembers Anna after her defeat in the Granbelm causes her to be erased from history. As the Granbelm continues, Kuon realizes Suishō consumed a part of Shisui's soul and Suishō uses this particular information in an attempt to demoralize Kuon, but Kuon later discovers that Shisui only did that so that Kuon could have a chance at winning the Granbelm. Despite her renewed efforts, however, Kuon is killed by Suishō and the Magiaconatus alters reality so that everyone, except the remaining Granbelm fighters, forget she ever existed, much like Anna before her.
Her Armanox is the Setsgetsu Baika (雪月梅花, Setsugetsu Baika), which can manipulate the environment and uses light-generated fans for battle.

Supporting characters[edit]

Kibō Kohinata (小日向 希望, Kohinata Kibō)
Voiced by: Hikaru Akao[5]
Mangetsu's younger sister, who is unaware of her role in the Granbelm. In reality, however, she and her family are just being made to believe that Mangetsu is her older sister by the Magiaconatus. After Mangetsu's true nature is discovered, she and her family forget she ever existed.
Nana Rin (林 菜々, Rin Nana)
Voiced by: Juri Kimura[7]
Nene's younger sister, who gives her tactical assistance in the Granbelm. She has the appearance of a high-school student.
Mimi Rin (林 美々, Rin Mimi)
Voiced by: Nozomi Kasuga[7]
Nene's youngest sisters, who gives her tactical assistance in the Granbelm. Despite being the youngest her mature appearance makes her seem like she's the oldest.
Claire Fugo (クレア・フーゴ, Claire Fūgo)
Voiced by: Marika Kouno[7]
Anna's younger sister. Much like Anna, she knew Shingetsu since childhood, but unlike her sister, she never stopped loving her and hoped she would return to the Fugo family. After Anna is erased from reality, she forgets she ever existed and now believes Rosa to be her older sister.
Sasha (サーシャ, Sāsha)
Voiced by: Yumi Uchiyama[7]
The Fugos family's servant.
Shisui Tsuchimikado (土御門 四翠, Tsuchimikado Shisui)
Voiced by: Yukari Tamura[7]
The elder daughter of the Tsuchimikado family and Kuon's sister. She has been placed into a coma and Kuon participates in the Granbelm in order to save her.

Production[edit]

The producer of Granbelm, Takayuki Nagatani, approached the anime studio Nexus in wanting to create a new series with them. Nexus told Nagatani that they are interested in creating an anime that features a "chibi-style robots", and Nagatani accepted the idea as he also love those kind of anime. Nagatani left the creative process to the studio while he would organize it. While hiring the Granbelm 's staff, Nagatani and the studio firstly decided to bring a director, with Nexus suggesting Masaharu Watanabe as the director for the series since they worked with him in his production of Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World, thus Watanabe was appointed as the director. The series composition was handled by Jukki Hanada. When deciding on who should be responsible for the series' character design, the staff discussed that they wanted "mellow visuals for the anime because it’s the story of girls fighting with all their might", hearing that, director Watanabe suggested Shinichiro Otsuka, who's known for illustrating the artwork for Re:Zeros light novel. For the mecha designs, Nexus recommended Jimmy Stone.[8]

Nagatani stated that Anna, a controversial character in the series, is the character he liked the most and stated that he understands her "personalty" and sympathized with the character for carrying a "heavy burden". He praised Hanada on his ability for making each of the main characters "charming as well as unique", and states that "each character has their own great attributes" but Anna is the one that fascinates him the most. Nagatani thinks that as the story progresses, the viewers' favorite character will change.[8] During the scenario meetings, the staff had agreed on the idea of "girls and magic" themed-series. When asked on why there aren't any male character in the series, Nagatani replied: "We decided that the Granbelm would be an all-girl battle pretty early on. I can’t even recall us talking about any male characters joining the battle. We called the participants of the battle ‘witches’ and the story was about the female line of the family. I think that’s why we didn’t even consider a male character. I’d say that it naturally became an all-girls affair."[8]

The anime was announced by Nexus on March 1, 2019. The series is directed by Masaharu Watanabe, with Jukki Hanada handling series composition, Shinichirou Otsuka as the original character designer, and Kenichiro Suehiro composing the music.[3] Infinite is producing the anime. Eir Aoi performed the series' opening theme song "Tsuki o Ou Mayonaka" (月を追う真夜中, Following the Moon in the Middle of the Night), while Uru performed the series' ending theme song "Negai" (願い, Desire).[6]

Release[edit]

Granbelm aired from July 5 to September 26, 2019 on the Animeism programming block on MBS, TBS, and BS-TBS.[4][5] It is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Episode list[edit]

No. Title[9] Original air date
1"The Only Mages in the World"
Transcription: "Sekai de Yuītsu no Majutsushi" (Japanese: 世界で唯一の魔術師)
July 5, 2019 (2019-07-05)
2"Why I'm Here"
Transcription: "Watashi ga Koko ni Iru Tame ni" (Japanese: 私がここにいるために)
July 12, 2019 (2019-07-12)
3"The Bell Tolls at the Full Moon"
Transcription: "Mangetsu ni Kane wa Naru" (Japanese: 満月に鐘は鳴る)
July 19, 2019 (2019-07-19)
4"Feng Shui Master Lin Fen Fen"
Transcription: "Fūsuishi Rin Fen Fen" (Japanese: 風水師リンフェンフェン)
July 26, 2019 (2019-07-26)
5"A Small Girl's Small Wish"
Transcription: "Chīsana Shōjo no Chīsana Negai" (Japanese: 小さな少女の小さな願い)
August 2, 2019 (2019-08-02)
6"Magic Stones"
Transcription: "Maseki" (Japanese: 魔石)
August 9, 2019 (2019-08-09)
7"Miss Ressentiment"
Transcription: "Misu Rusanchiman" (Japanese: ミス・ルサンチマン)
August 16, 2019 (2019-08-16)
8"What It Means to Become a Mage"
Transcription: "Majutsushi ni naru Toiu koto" (Japanese: 魔術師になるということ)
August 23, 2019 (2019-08-23)
9"NOCTURNE Changes Colors"
Transcription: "Nokutān, Someagete" (Japanese: ノクターン、染め上げて)
August 30, 2019 (2019-08-30)
10"The Pensive Doll"
Transcription: "Mono omō ningyō" (Japanese: もの思う人形)
September 6, 2019 (2019-09-06)
11"Even If My Goodbye Doesn't Reach You"
Transcription: "Tatoe sayonara ga todokanakute mo" (Japanese: たとえさよならが届かなくても)
September 13, 2019 (2019-09-13)
12"Magiaconatus"
Transcription: "Magiakonatosu" (Japanese: マギアコナトス)
September 20, 2019 (2019-09-20)
13"For the Only Two of Their Kind in the World"
Transcription: "Sekai de yuītsu no futari no tame ni" (Japanese: 世界で唯一のふたりのために)
September 26, 2019 (2019-09-26)[10]

Reception[edit]

Granbelm has been well-received by critics, with Andy Pffeifer of Anime News Network listing the series as one of the best series of the summer 2019 anime season.[11] Patrick Frye of Monsters and Critics described the series as "a mashup of multiple genres from super-powered robots to magical girls with a tragic destiny ala Madoka Magica", while also noting that its "battle royale" is similar to Fate series. Frye nevertheless wrote that the series "manages to stand on its own by having fun character development and enough major plot twists to surprise audiences" and states the finale "provide a satisfying spectacle".[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chapman, Paul (May 18, 2019). "Magical Mecha Clash in GRANBELM TV Anime Teaser Trailer". Crunchyroll. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
  2. ^ Creamer, Nick (July 19, 2019). "Conflicts of Color in the Granbelm Anime!". Crunchyroll. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "New Summer Anime Series Granbelm Revealed With Staff, Cast, Video, Visuals". Anime News Network. March 1, 2019. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Granbelm Original Anime Reveals Promo Video, Visual, More Cast, July Premiere". Anime News Network. March 23, 2019. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d "Granbelm Anime Streams 1st 10 Minutes, Reveals More Cast, July 5 Debut". Anime News Network. April 24, 2019. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Granbelm Anime Reveals Eir Aoi Song in New Promo, More Cast". Anime News Network. May 18, 2019. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Granbelm Original Anime Reveals TV Ad, 5 More Cast Members". Anime News Network. May 24, 2019. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c Ikegaya, Takashi. "Interview with Granbelm Producer Takayuki Nagatani". MANGA TOKYO. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  9. ^ "STORY" (in Japanese). Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  10. ^ "グランベルム #13(最終回)「世界で唯一のふたりのために」【アニメイズム】[終][字]". Tokyo Broadcasting System (in Japanese). Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  11. ^ "The Best And Worst Anime Of Summer 2019". Anime News Network. September 27, 2019. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
  12. ^ "Granbelm Season 2 release date: Creators of Re:ZERO anime/light novels make an original story". Monsters and Critics. September 28, 2019. Retrieved November 26, 2019.

External links[edit]