Grand Blues! is the official webcomic/manga spin-off for Granblue Fantasy drawn by Kiku Hitomoji, written and published by Cygames. It is an ongoing Gag Series that focuses more on the comedic aspects of the RPG game's characters, with various hijinks pertaining to fourth-wall hints and breaks, lampshaded tropes, Deconstructions, Running Gags, Brick Jokes and numerous character-related exaggerations. Basically, it's Granblue with all the seriousness tossed aside for the sake of making fun out of the lore using alternate, chibi-fied versions of the characters.
The comic series is presented using a 4-koma format, with the first panel on top being fully-colored. Each new comic strip is usually tied to the currently-running story events or celebrations of the game. Although these are originally released in Japanese, Cygames also releases official English translations for the older comic strips by batch. Grand Blues! is freely-accessible from the main screen of the game. It was later printed into manga volumes.
Starting from the April Fools' Day event of 2017 onwards, the Grand Blues! spin-off has been somewhat integrated into the story of the RPG game via the "Big Bad Shadow" event and its iterations, making the series a case of a parallel world wherein the comical alternate selves travel to the Skydom via portal cracks, interacting with the real crewmembers for the duration of the events.
Like the browser game it is derived from, Grand Blues! should not be confused with Grand Blue.
Tropes in Grand Blues!
- Actor Allusion:
- Before and during Crossover events, Cygames would usually make Grand Blues! comic strips featuring Granblue characters who share the same voice actor with a character from the third-party franchise, such as Niyon constantly having comic appearances while the Code Geass collab (featuring C.C.) is taking place. C.C. and Niyon are both voiced by Yukana.
- Grand Blues! Comic #852 featuring Seofon, is titled "Blade Works Not So Unlimited". This is a clear Shout-Out to Fate/stay night and Emiya's Unlimited Blade Works Noble Phantasm, as well as an actor allusion for Junichi Suwabe who voiced both Seofon and Emiya (the former is even known by the players for being an Expy of the latter, by having the similar ability of summoning multiple copies of blades).
- April Fools' Day: The "Big Bad Shadow" series of April Fools'-exclusive events in the browser game has the Grand Blues! version of Vyrn invading and serving as the raid boss, while the similar comic counterparts of some skyfarers team up with their real counterparts in order to stop him.
- Art Evolution: The earlier chapters of the Grand Blues! 4-koma has an art style closely resembling the NPC artworks of the characters. Later chapters turned the overall aesthetic to a more chibi style such as having rounded eyes, larger heads, and lesser jagged edges. Vyrn is one of those who have underwent a noticeable change.
- Artistic License Chemistry: In Grand Blues! Comic #112, Vyrn uses the Litmus Test to know which among the two bowls of soup is made by Katalina since he can't distinguish between her and Teena's soup at first glance. The paper turned pitch black, which is not in the pH scale's range of colors.
- Ascended Meme: These are either concepts pulled straight into and out of the Grand Blues! comics, or inspired by the community's memes and fan nicknames:
- The Chat Stickers contain plenty of these, such as Rackam being known for his infamous Duration skill has earned him a bunch of in-game Stickers (and an outfit!) to commemorate both his "legend" and his Duration. In fact, all Chat Stickers are colored versions of specific panels taken from the comic series.
- Grand Blues! Comic #736 is titled "Ramenverse", which parallels with the Shadowverse playerbase's habit of deriving fan nicknames from "_____verse" into specific topics of interest such as "Waifuverse" and "Aggroverse".
- The official English translations of Grand Blues! Comic #948 and #1102 are titled "Rosetta's Only a Girl! JK!" and "Ilsa Joins The JK Club" respectively. The acronym JK is a fan nickname for Rosetta, who appears in both comics.
- Grand Blues! Comic #1386 depicts Aliza doing the "Hands-Free Bubble Tea / Tapioca Challenge" with her Draph assets. Granblue fanartists already made these images with some of the game's characters even before Cygames made an official comic out of the meme.
- "Awesome McCool" Name: In Grand Blues! Comic #1007, the Lowain Bros. discuss on how a "Xeno" primal beast has such a terrifying power, and conclude that it is due to the name. They then imagine adding Xeno prefixes to their names to match up with the beasts', from Xeno Lowain, Xeno Vira, and lastly Xeno Predator, whom Tomoi calls a "Wicked Cool Name".
- Beat Panel: Comic #294 of Grand Blues! has Sarunan looking for ways to extend Honey's lifespan. A curious Aster asks him about what can she do to help. Sarunan explains that he needs a child Erune as his successor since they have the longest lifespan. The next panel has an awkward silence where Aster is visibly trembling and that Sarunan is looking straight at her. The last panel shows the two unleashing their Charge Attacks at each other.
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Happens in Grand Blues! Comic #1074 where Eustace doesn't know how to properly classify Wulf."A Dog... Or A Man? A Dogman!"
- Breaking the Fourth Wall:
- In Grand Blues! Comic #781, Zehek, Lunalu and Orchid attempt to deconstruct Lyria's traits... by mentioning some tropes!Zehek: The Girl in Blue who commands Primal Beasts... Now taking on the strong and silent trait?
Zehek and Lunalu: Imperial Secret, Life Link, Girl in Blue, Amnesia, Primal Beast, Skies and Stars
Lunalu: The number of Anime Tropes you embody is too great even for me!
Lyria: Anime Tropes?
Orchid: If Lyria didn't speak, we'd be sharing the same trope...
- In Grand Blues! Comic #938, Clarisse is amused by Cagliostro's Cagliosled outfit, while saying "You're so cute you make me wanna Tweet!" Cagliosled later responds with "Tweet What?". The next panel is later an example of the Star Character Twitter template of Granblue.
- In Grand Blues! Comic #781, Zehek, Lunalu and Orchid attempt to deconstruct Lyria's traits... by mentioning some tropes!
- Brick Joke: A common theme among several comic strips of the Grand Blues! series. A joke will sometimes get continuations in future strips, along with a written reference to the strip number of the comic where the joke was previously mentioned or used. An example is given below:
- Several strips feature Alec and Albert (two Lightning-users) in the Engine room, strapped to machines that drain electricity from them just to power up the Grandcypher. While this became a Running Gag every time the two appear in the comics, some characters wondered how they could help the duo. In a comic released during the "Bzzt! Amped-Up Summer" event, Orchid sneaks in an "electric eal" into the ship, and instead of having it disposed for being a potential threat, Vaseraga suggests replacing Alec and Albert with the electric eal. It worked, with the two finally free from the Engine Room, while the eal takes their place.
- Crowded Cast Shot: The 1000th comic strip of the Grand Blues! series features a wallpaper of almost the entire cast (in their chibi appearances)◊ to celebrate both the milestone of 1000 and the 4th Anniversary of the game.
- Grand Blues! Comic #936 takes a jab at how real physics/gymnastics would apply to be able to simulate the 2D Side-Scroller genre.Arthur: Try moving sideways while facing forward. Now jump at the right moment while strafing... And you'll practically be flying!
- In Grand Blues! Comic #1132, Vyrn deconstructs wrestling matches as a form of forced entertainment when the crowd goes wild after seeing Ladiva and Therese fight. Of course, Therese hears this and thinks of the other way - that duels and wrestling are a real sport. She later intimidates Vyrn into a "real" fight.Vyrn: Well a Duel's scripted to be entertaining after all! There'd be no room for fancy-schmancy moves like that in a real match!
- In another Grand Blues! comic, Grimnir takes too much time in his monologue that he is left vulnerable to Vyrn's punch. Vyrn then deconstructs the Talking Is A Free Option trope and suggests that any Genre Savvy can use this to their advantage against a talkative opponent.
- Grand Blues! Comic #936 takes a jab at how real physics/gymnastics would apply to be able to simulate the 2D Side-Scroller genre.
- Don't Try This at Home: A disclaimer is placed in Grand Blues! Comic #1080 as Karva tries to slide her hand on the razor spin blades.
- Double Knockout: In a training sequence of Grand Blues! Comic #1025, A small flaming meteor hits Threo's chest and bounces to Soriz's forehead, knocking both of them out cold.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Aside from the distinct difference of art styles between the earliest comics and the latest ones, there have been short Running Gags in the Grand Blues! comics that have now become obscure or forgotten, primarily because these gags are only exclusive to the comics and require specific tropes to work, something that can be difficult to replicate as a long-running gag. For example, Comics #9 and #27 have Vyrn being thrown like a projectile because someone mistook him for a rock or a bomb. Another example is Altair getting his glasses repeatedly shattered.
- Episode 0: The Beginning: Grand Blues! Comic #187, and #190-192 are all titled "Rosamia Unmasked", with the later chapters continuing the story of the previous ones, but #187 starts off the numbering with 0.
- Excited Show Title!: The official Gag Series 4-koma is titled Grand Blues!
- Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Done in Grand Blues! Comic #1042. When Aliza asks who would win between Masked Vypher and Al-Khalid, all of the ex-contestants continue each other's sentences, to which Aliza thinks their speech is very well-coordinated and Seox calls it a "Unified Armchair Commenting".
- Forehead of Doom: A Running Gag of Carren, Ghandagoza and Dante in the Grand Blues! comics. Their shiny large foreheads are exaggerated to be able to produce and reflect so much light that can even exorcise Jeanne d'Arc's dark persona, amongst other ridiculous feats.
- Foreshadowing: A common trend of Cygames in the Grand Blues! webcomic is to release a comic strip starring a specific character, only to introduce a new event or gacha version of the said character in-game afterwards. One notable example is Alexiel, whose playable version was introduced just around 2 days after having her first comic appearance. This led to players taking hints from the comics to predict future additions in the game's character roster. Chances are, if a character suddenly appears in a comic, he/she will be received an updated version, or will star in a future story event.
- Gag Series: The official Grand Blues! manga counts as this, complete with many examples of Character Exaggeration, Affectionate Parody, and Lampshade Hanging. Notably, this series served as the basis for the 2017 and 2018 April Fools events "Big Bad Shadow" - Grand Blues! was stated to be an Alternate Universe from the main game, with the manga version of Vyrn featured as the raid boss.
- He Knows About Timed Hits: In Grand Blues! Comic #1054, Vyrn explains the Uncapping mechanic to Lunalu about Hazen's sudden change in facial expression, stating that a character's appearance may change when uncapped.
- Idiot Ball: In Grand Blues! Comic #21, Imperial Soldiers having a crush on Katalina decided to wear Vyrn masks after knowing that she is in love with Vyrn. Unluckily for them, it only resulted to receiving slashes from her sword.
- Imagine Spot:
- A comic strip featuring Sturm and Drang has the latter asking for a "game of horsey" moment from Cagliostro. Sturm immediately thinks of a perverted scenario where Cagliostro rides her partner, while in reality, Drang wants to ride the Ouroboros.
- In a chapter of the Grand Blues! comic strips, Korwa insists that if Sturm and Drang won't try to act like a romantic couple, they should at least act like close siblings instead. The next panel has Drang imagining the two scenarios whether Sturm becomes his older sister or a younger one. It ends with the real Sturm stabbing Drang out of nowhere.
- Lyria and Io once had an argument in the comics as to who is the stronger one between Eahta/Okto and Ghandagoza. The two men then started to have a pushing Brawler Lock stand-off. It then cuts to Io who realizes Ghandagoza won't have a chance because Okto can use his katana-equipped ponytail to whack the former's head.
- Loophole Abuse: In Grand Blues! Comic #1016, Tyrias mocks Lyria as the abominations are pre-programed to handle anything the party throws at them thanks to studying the crew's previous combat data (particularly the combat they've been through in the Grand Blues! Comic universe). So Lyria instead summons Zaoshen, Adramelech and Ankusha, three primal beasts that were never used before in the comics.
- Lower-Deck Episode: Grand Blues! Comic #1175 is the first comic that doesn't feature any playable or story-relevant characters, just some minor unnamed NPCs.
- Mundane Utility: Commonly used in the Grand Blues! comic strips. While there have been plenty of cases where the individual characters make mundane use of their weapons and powers, there are instances where groups of characters combine their abilities for one mundane purpose.
- Comic #985 - Since Teena has troubles giving chocolate to his brother Lucius, Medusa helps her by petrifying the lower body of Lucius so that he can't escape while Feena offers her drill to help extend Teena's reach.
- Comic #988 Gawain and Anre use their Damage Cut buffs on Thelonim, who's been eating Katalina's chocolates. But these went to no avail, since Lowain describes the chocolate as "Death Gloopified".
- Perfectly Cromulent Word: In Grand Blues! Comic #1019, Airi mentions "momminess" to which Tyrias replies "Is that even a word?"
- Pun-Based Title: Several Grand Blues! comic strips have titles written in this manner, such as "Pet-ty Arguments", "Walder You Tryin' To Prove?", "Duel Personalities", "Ice to Know You", "Run Farrah Farrah Away", "As Farrah's She's Concerned", "What Zehek?", etc...
- Red Herring: Grand Blues! Comic #173 even has the title "Red Herring" where Carren attaches Vyrn to a fishing hook in order to bait Fafnir... not to feed him to the enemy, but to attract Katalina and make her charge in Vyrn's direction. Just as Fafnir and Katalina are charging towards the bait, Carren pulls Vyrn up and the lieutenant stuns the primal beast with a headbutt.
- Solar-Powered Magnifying Glass: In Grand Blues! Comic #42, Drang asks Sturm to "fry" Furias as he is irritated with the Harvin. She promptly follows, but the forehead of Furias simply reflects the ray back at Drang.
- Takes One to Kill One: An inanimate object variant. In Grand Blues! Comic #1024, Magisa sends a meteor against a larger one, with Threo even commenting "Fighting Meteors with Meteors".
- Talking Is a Free Action: Deconstructed in a Grand Blues! comic. Grimnir spends so much time in his hammy monologues that he is left vulnerable to Vyrn's punch, who explains that the best opportunity is to "hit them while they're talking.". As if acting like a Genre Savvy, Vyrn only explains this tactic after he has finished beating up Grimnir.
- Visual Pun: In Grand Blues! Comic #1001, Cagliostro breaks down a "4th Anniversary Wall" with her magic.
- Written Sound Effect: The Grand Blues! comics are rife with this for comedic purposes. Like in Grand Blues! Comic #1057 where Snow White's hard abs go "Doink" compared to Yugu's soft abs going "Poing" when poked.
- Yonkoma: The game has a series of 4-panel comic strips titled Grand Blues!, which are accessible in-game.