Blu-Ray Review: Granblue Fantasy: The Animation – Part 1

We take a trip to the sky islands in order to explore what MVM Entertainment’s Blu-Ray release of Granblue Fantasy: The Animation – Part 1 has to offer; so let’s take a look!

Synopsis:

Based on Cygames’ epic fantasy mobile RPG that has amassed a following of over 14 million players, GRANBLUE FANTASY The Animation brings all the fun to your TV! Watch as all your favorite characters adventure together into the blue, and beyond.

Gran and Vyrn live on the sleepy, far-flung island of Zinkenstill. Their quiet lives are rocked by the sound of a sudden explosion and the sight of a battleship in the sky. They follow a light that falls from the battleship into the forbidden woods, where they encounter a mysterious girl.

Our View:

Based on the world of Cygames mobile fantasy role-playing-game Granblue Fantasy this anime, known as Granblue Fantasy: The Animation, follows the journey of Gran after he encounters the mysterious Lyria and her guardian Katalina Alize. It’s a journey filled with magic, monsters and an ever-growing empire out for total control; but that aside Granblue Fantasy: The Animation features a unique animation style that blends beautifully with the interesting storyline that is being portrayed.

This story begins when Gran, who dreams of becoming a skyfarer like his father, finds a girl known as Lyria hurt in the woods. It’s revealed, through Lyria’s protector and former lieutenant of the empire Katalina Alize, that the empire plan to use Lyria’s unique abilities for their own selfish agenda. This agenda is not entirely made clear but it could spell destruction for anyone involved. As a result of this Gran, along with Lyria and Katalina, join forces to stop the empire in recapturing Lyria and this involves a journey through the sky in order to locate there next objective.

From here its a collection of episodes which see Gran, Lyria and Katalina arrive on various islands, as in this world people live on islands in the sky, in hopes of finding an answer to Lyrias problems; but upon doing so must overcome great difficulties and avoid detecting from the empire. Some of these events can be episodic; but for the most case it is a continuous story dragged across multiple episodes.

Regardless these episodes introduce new characters, who soon becomes friends, and eventually Gran, Lyria and Katalina obtain their own ship after saving an island from destruction as well as recruiting a young mage in training, known as Io Euclase, to their ever-growing crew of adventurers. The focal point of this adventure is the journey itself but notable talking points include the saving of an island from destruction and the protection of one kingdom from the empire; both of which offer an entertaining prospect to storytelling and highlight what this world has to offer in anime form.

Extras:

It seems MVM Entertainment have opted to use the same disc masters as those authored by Aniplex and as such the only supplementary content is the opening and closing animations for the series itself.

A simplistic menu design, which lists each of the seven episodes, with an ever-changing-background with different character artwork, compiled with the textless songs is all this Blu-Ray has to offer. Sure enough it’s a disappointing (especially when you consider the source material) but at least the opening and ending songs themselves are pretty good to watch.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50
Region: B
Running Time: 2:46:41
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: LPCM 2.0 (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Featuring seven episodes across a single disc Granblue Fantasy: The Animation – Part 1 begins the adventure of Gran as he leaves his home island after saving Lyria and Katalina from the attacks of the empire. This journey sees the trio venture to different islands in hopes of finding a way to stop the empire and completing Lyria’s objective and upon doing so find themselves taking part in various quests upon the cities they arrive in.

Some episodes will offer stand-a-lone stories but for the most part it is a continuous adventure that helps develop the characters and grow their personality; with Lyria being given the most treatment due to her “bird in a cage” personality. Initially the series starts with a simple discovery, but after some ‘interesting changes’ which see Lyria save Gran from death, Gran helps the group in completing their objective. As the story moves on th the trio, after overcoming obstacles in other islands, eventually find themselves building their own crew with the help of other wannabe adventurers.

Truth be told I have completely forgot what the true objective is within this first half of the series; but from Gran’s perspective it is about exploring the world, finding his father and becoming a skyfarer like his father. This aside the stories of each episode, and the characters they introduce within them, are interesting and fun to watch. Let’s not forget the unique animation style is superb and really offers a different type of anime experience that mixes well with both English & Japanese audio tracks. Personally the Japanese audio track was the better choice, especially for the female cast, but the English dub has its redeeming qualities as well.

The Granblue Fantasy game might be relatively unheard of within the UK, but this anime inspiration of the mobile RPG acts as a great introduction to the characters and world; but more importantly it offers a good story that translate well into anime form and looks spectacular on this Blu-Ray release. Naturally only half of the story is being shown so far; but so far so good despite the Blu-Ray itself being overly simplistic in terms of bonus features and menu presentation.

Score: review-stars-4

Granblue Fantasy: The Animation – Part 1 will be available on Blu-Ray and DVD from the 12th November 2018.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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