Granbelm #13 — Suicide is Painless

September 27th, 2019


Still having real problems getting behind this show's glorification of self-obliteration.

Oops. Apparently TBS aired this episode yesterday, a day earlier than usual when I wasn't paying attention. Oh well. I am sincerely trying to get a season preview done too. Hopefully on Monday. I'm out of town next week Thursday through Sunday anyway though before a week's home vacation for the meaty part of the season preview stuff.


Like most of the fights in this show, I could not at all follow any of this one, and simply had to hope that whatever they were spouting made sense. It didn't, but I guess friendship power or something happened, which was Suishou's final undoing, because nobody in a thousand years had been friends yet, I guess. So nice that she was reduced to a mad cackling lunatic all at once. This isn't to be confused with Magic Suishou, the avatar of the big magic wish rock who blessed the power of friendship (that it itself created) and said, yeah, good a reason as any to obliterate myself on this teenager's whim. No turning back now. It's not like we learned a valuable lesson about friendship or anything, or that it's not magic's that's causing all your problems. Or learned anything at all. Wait, wasn't our ghost girlfriend that is the perfect companion here a second ago? Oh, right, she's a big fan of suicide too.

It should probably be taken as a blessing that it stopped just short of showing Mangetsu revived anyway, rendering the last month of nihilistic glorification moot. At least they left the possibility that it's just some random other person who lights up Shingetsu's life when they walk into the room. 

Final Thoughts:

The core problems with this show are entirely with the writing, both in the exceedingly verbose action scenes that rarely made sense, but far more so in the resolution of pretty much every character's arc, or rather, the lack of one since really grew or developed. There was certainly potential in especially Mangetsu, created to be a fanatical and devoted comparion, ready, willing, and downright eager to die for Shingetsu, except that all of it was presented not as some kind of twisted version of friendship or a person, but the purest most ideal form of friendship. "I exist solely to die for you" was bad enough, but things were made worse by the rules changing constantly. The first two people eliminated suffered only the consequence of not getting to play the game any more. The next one had her life rewritten. The fourth was obliterated from existence, which they also tried to romantisize instead of reacting to it like a fate worse than death. I was already fairly aghast at how blasé they were about driving a girl insane and then rewriting her entire life instead of making amends or acknowledging their own roles in driving her off the bend. 

The action bits were a bit better, but the writing undercut that a lot of the time too. I could not for the life of me tell you how Suishou tanked being stabbed, or if you showed me five different pew pew beam barrages, which ones were the real ones that counted versus the ones that were just going to be explode harmlessly against someone's face, which didn't stop them from narrating what was supposedly going on and how one had the upper hand, but not really, but yes really… all the while it's just a laser light show while squat little mechs zipped to and fro against a technicolor background. Some of the fights were decently enough done, but simplification and a lot less random technobabble would have helped just as much as solving the dramatic issues.

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