Title: Granblue Fantasy
Gran longs to travel the skies, following the path of his father, an adventurer who found a legendary island—or so claims his letter. The man himself never returned. Enter Lyria, a mysterious girl who falls from the sky escaping the Empire. In helping her, Gran ties their fates together, and the two of them set off on the adventure Gran has always wanted.
This isn’t going to be for everyone, but anyone who likes older JPRGs about amnesiac heroines and kind heroes is going to feel right at home. Personally, I loved it. The style is very reminiscent of a game, but it doesn’t often get bogged down in callbacks to its game. For example, some extra characters show up for the final battle in episode 12 that are almost certainly game characters, but there’s no need to know about them to appreciate a few hard-hitting nameless characters who want to spice up the final battle.
The cast is good, too. Katalina is a lieutenant in the Empire who helped Lyria escape. She’s a strong and capable woman, but doesn’t begrudge her need of others to help her with the impossible task of protecting Lyria from the rest of the Empire. I liked Rackam too. He’s a more technical guy who likes airships, but isn’t all that interested in anything more complicated than an engine problem until the Empire drags him into the whole mess. The only one I didn’t care for as much was Io, but that was more because I found her voice annoying in Japanese.
The story in these first twelve episodes doesn’t wrap much up. It’s more a gather-the-crew series of missions that drops a bit of backstory or worldbuilding here or there. I do hope the series continues (I believe a second season is likely, although I don’t see an official announcement yet.) Episode 13 is completely skippable, although possibly fun if you wanted to see a beach episode featuring the female player character Djeeta instead of Gran (it’s mostly an excuse to get all the female characters in swimsuits).
All in all, I think the first episode or two should be a good indication of whether or not you’d like the series. I enjoyed it and am hoping there will be more episodes in the future, long enough to get to the island and whatever final boss will reveal itself. I rate this show Recommended.