Manaria Friends 1 – Introducing Grea and Anne with some Game Lore

Manaria Friends as said in the title is about the “friendship” between Anne and Grea – the two most iconic characters of the Mysteria faction. (Manaria is the English localization. Please note that I’ll use the original Mysteria for this post).

With eight episodes airing and only two more to go, I could state with some confidence that Manaria friends is mostly slice-of-life. If there is any plot, I haven’t seen it yet.

That said, I think it is still worth watching for the cute interactions between Anne and Grea (their gayness is oft the chart!) If that is not enough, you can taste the eye candy here because the visuals are gorgeous. And finally, if you played some Cygames product – you might like the anime simply for the lore expansion.

While Rage of Bahamut is sadly not available outside of Japan, Mysteria and the characters associated with it had appeared in many other Cygames product. Notably, GranBlue (which is considered the spiritual successor of Rage of Bahamut) and Shadowverse. As a casual Shadowverse player myself, Mysteria is really hard to forget especially with the way they dominated the meta for the past months. ^^

Anyway, on to the show.

Between the tasteful fanservice of Grea and Anne getting dressed, I liked that the show didn’t waste time establishing the personality of the two leads.

First, we see it in their dormitory rooms. Anne’s room is frankly a mess filled with a gazillion books. Beside the full bookshelves, you can see it on every surface – the table, bed, sofa, chair and even the freaking windowsill has books on it. Grea’s room is practically spartan in comparison.

We later learn that Anne is a magical prodigy – her having that many books about magic are only fitting particularly since Mysteria magic is grounded on book-learning.

Young Anne – Isn’t she adorable?

Lorewise, this also fits. Anne, Belle of Mysteria card flavor states “Young Anne’s appetite for knowledge of magic well outstripped what her teachers shared in class. Some nights she would sneak into the library at night and spend hours poring over ancient grimoires.

So yeah, Anne is the overachieving student which the teachers hardly need to teach anything. As for Grea …. to be honest, if Grea isn’t studying in a magical school, I question if she knows magic. As a battle couple, Grea is more of a warrior to Anne’s mage so I wouldn’t be surprised if Grea doesn’t pursue magic besides what is required in the curriculum.

Second, I think the way they get ready for school tells us about their personality as well. Grea woke up on time and leisurely got ready while Anne woke up late and hurried to school. On the surface, we could say that Grea is more organized than Anne. Going deeper as the anime unfolded, we learn that Grea is the cool headed one and Anne, the hot-headed one

Finally, we also see their personality on the way their peers interact with them. We see Anne being hailed as soon as she stepped in the room. Some of her classmates even stand up to say hello. This reception is unsurprising. Anne beside being a magical prodigy is after all the princess of the country wherein the academy is built upon; most of the people of the academy are her royal subjects.

If Anne’s reception is predictable though Grea’s reception from her peers is unforseen. Seriously, for someone who is a half dragon – Grea is almost invisible to her classmates.

We see Grea getting breakfast peacefully with no one paying her any attention. Normally, I would assume that this is because dragonkin are common in this world and thus for the student body having horn and tail is a common sight. But, this has been disproven, Episode 2 has hammered that the school doesn’t know much about dragonkin. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Grea is the only dragonkin in attendance.

Metawise, I’m surprised as well because I was expecting a much worse reception than was portrayed. Seriously, the flavor for the Grea, the Dragonborn card state this:

The dragonborn fled from her home among the serpents early on. When she arrived at Mysteria Academy, students and teachers feared her strenght and hesitated to approach

So yeah, I was expecting a much colder reception for Grea.

That said, the lore state that this was at the beginning. It is possible that after a long time of spending their school days together and seeing that Grea is basically cinammon roll harmless. her classmates managed to get inured to Grea’s presence

That would also neatly explain Grea’s hesitance in some places. She’s expecting to get rejected in some way.

Lots of lovely Grea Expression

In any case, I really love how Anne is so open about her affection for Grea. Even with most of the student body greeting Anne, the first thing Anne does is look for Grea.

We even have a beautiful shot of Grea framed in the light which I’m interpreting as taken from Anne’s perspective. (Yes. Anne we agree with you. Grea is gorgeous. In this case, the horn and wings add to the appeal ^^)

The ensuing conversation is also quite illuminating.

We have Anne getting Grea to call her without saying -Princess. Saying that they have the same status considering that Grea is the “Dragonkin princess”.

Quite interesting.

Remember the previous card lore regarding Grea says that she escaped from her home.

Subsequent interactions in this conversation show Grea is uncomfortable about the topic. When Anne asked Grea to describe her home, we see Grea taking an awkward pause before stating that the animals are bigger. Finally, we see Grea wearing a forlorn expression when she said that she’s a half human and half dragon.

It is easy to see that Grea might have faced some discrimination from being a halfie in the past. If you remember the previous reiteration of this franchise, we have a pure dragonkin trying to kill the protagonist because of their human blood. So yeah, dragonkin having some superiority complex about their race is entirely expected.

Considering Grea’s theoretical background it is easy to see why she would fall easily for Anne. Anne is just so accepting of Grea’s dragonkin traits. It doesn’t help that the anime emphasized that Anne may find Grea’s appendages attractive. For someone that may have been discriminated for those same traits, something like that would be both a great relief and hope.

It also doesn’t help that Anne is quite a catch herself. After all, who could resist a charismatic princess with prodigious magical abilities. Certainly, not Grea. ^^

As for Anne herself, one of the things I’m grateful is the expansion that the anime gives for why Anne would fall for Grea. On the surface, Anne is simply amazing. But, we see, even just in the first episode that there is some fine print attached.

For example. while Anne’s prodigious magical abilities are amazing. The lowest setting seems to be “nuke” so it is not really helpful most of the time. Then, as we see in the aftermath, due to the combination of her prowess and her social position Anne sometimes feels a bit lonely and a bit misplaced.

It is a good thing that Grea is waiting for Anne though! Even if it takes a whole day. Grea is such a wholesome cinnamon roll. Enjoy your late dinner date, you two!

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