First off, I’m a big JRPG fan. Back in the heyday of the Playstation 2 era, I scrounged up every Japanese role-playing game ever made for the system and finished most of them. Let’s just say I’ve logged a lot of hours! For this reason I picked up the Granblue Fantasy manga, which itself is based on a mobile game and has an anime by the same name. If it’s got this many incarnations it’s got to be stellar, right? Well… I was hoping for a grandiose tale and characters who break the conventional mold, but the mobile game apparently didn’t stray too far from the tried and true JRPG story, complete with cliché characters.
Now, I realize this mindset bears wearing jaded glasses, and many of what I consider typical JRPG troupes can be considered comfort food. So I’m not here to poo-poo over everything. I just think it’s a fair warning. With that being said, the characters may be cliché, but they play their parts well. Gran is the typical teenager who’s been yearning for an adventure outside his village. His comic-relief wyvern sidekick, Vyrn, doesn’t disappoint with his incessant one-liners. There’s the mysterious girl Lyria who has an entire empire after her, and her literal knight in shining armor, Katalina. The party even meets their grumpy “old-guy” who’ll dole out some knowledge as well as the crazed opposition who’s trying to recapture Lyria. The entire first volume is pretty much setting up things to come, and if the plot stays on point with the tried and true JRPG formula, things may become exponentially better.
The BIG thing that impressed me the most was the artwork. Granblue Fantasy is gorgeous. Like any manga, the majority of its pages are done in grayscale, but there are so many shade variations it’s like looking at a monochrome painting in each panel. There’s a softness to the character designs which feels fresh and new. Plus, the design of the airships are eye-candy, and I hope they continue to upgrade the ship because you know they’re going to wreck it at least once – or at least that’s what I predict.
For right now, however, not much has happened in volume one. Plot points felt a bit rushed at times, but I’m guessing that’s in an attempt to advance the story along to the good stuff. Guess I’ll just have to volume grind and level up in order to see if Granblue Fantasy proves worthy of the time investment.
Ever since his father left home, Gran has longed to search for Estalucia, the mystical island in the sky. Gran’s adventure begins when he runs into Lyria, a mysterious girl being chased by the Imperial Army. Even though Gran perishes trying to save her, she uses her powers to resurrect him, and this incredible act binds their fates together! Now, Gran and his pal, Vyrn, must fight to protect Lyria…and to find their way to the end of the sky!Add to CartLearn More