Together with her intelligent sword Grandeek, itinerant warrior Tia travels the world in search of the greatest weapon in the world. It’s no surprise, therefore, that she ends up on the Isle of Weapons, a place where numerous blacksmiths practise their craft in search of that same perfection; but on arriving, it becomes clear that all is not well. A stolen sword has possessed its owner and forced them to go on a killing spree to sate its anger, but with the murderer having gone beyond what it means to be human, can anyone stop them?
After stumbling across some attractive pictures drawn by Kohime Ohse, I knew I had to learn more about what she had done (which, ironically, included some character designs for Gust’s Atelier Elie), which naturally led to investigating her fantasy manga series Grandeek. Unfortunately, with the manga itself proving elusive to track down, I decided to make do with this one-off OVA.
As with so many of these standalone OVAs, Grandeek may look nice, but it isn’t really anything special- since we don’t have the necessary background on the main characters, all we can do is watch them go through the motions of solving one particular case without having any deeper questions answered. Worse yet, Grandeek’s plot is far less exciting than it sounds; despite being about a cursed sword on an island filled with weapons, there is precious little in the way of action or noteworthy events- instead, everyone just sits around talking about swords. Admittedly, this provides great fuel for a parody (expect to see such a thing soon), but in terms of actual enjoyment, it doesn’t achieve a great deal.
As well as Tia, a girl who may actually be a demon, Grandeek boasts one more main character- a blonde swordsman hired to deal with the possessed killer. Presumably both of them are well developed in the original manga, but here there is no time for that, so viewers can only speculate on their back stories.
Visually, Grandeek has well drawn settings and the attractive character designs that first drew me to the series, but overall the look seems rather washed out and bland. As so often happens, the background music is so forgettable that it cannot be recalled at the time of writing.
Like so many other brief OVAs based on long-running manga series, Grandeek is something of a pointless endeavour that fails to entertain and doesn’t really provide much insight into how one might enjoy the original material. Even if you have a spare hour to fill, there are many other, better, ways to spend your time.