Today, during the final round of the Granblue Fantasy Versus Cygames Cup Special 2023 in Osaka, Japan, Cygames revealed one of the new characters that will appear in Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising, Anila.
Anila is one of the Twelve Divine Generals, characters inspired by the Chinese zodiac usually introduced with the new year event in the mobile game. Specifically, she was associated with the Year of the Ram in 2015 and she was the first to be introduced Divine General to be introduced, which is rather fitting considering that the original Granblue Fantasy launched in 2014.
She is voiced in Japanese by Aoi Yuuki, a star-level actress who played Futaba in Persona 5, Pascal in NieR: Automata, Renne Bright in The Lend of Heroes series, Lumine in Genshin Impact, Lysithea in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Yuuki in the Sword Art Online series, and many more.
Of course, the big news is that the character is getting an English voice actress for the first time. The mobile game has an English localization, but only Japanese voices. Anila will be voiced in English by Leona Renee.
If you're not familiar with Leona Renee, she used to work in localization for Xseed Games for a very long time, and she's responsible for helping bring a metric ton of Japanese games to the west, including many by Nihon Falcom. She's also a big Granblue Fantasy fan, so it's great to see her cast for the role.
Anila is described as a polearm-using all-rounder able to unleash a variety of projectiles, anti-air strikes, and rush-down attacks. She has a powerful set of tools that can be used by players of all skill levels.
You can see the character in action in the brief teaser trailer below. Her gameplay has not been introduced just yet and will likely be showcased on March 4 when the next trailer will be released.
We also get more details about the game as a whole, provided directly on stage by director Tetsuya Fukuhara. The high-level concept of the new game is to elevate moment-to-moment strategies and options to the next level with new features and characters. The core of the game and the vision of a fighting title that can be enjoyed by both novices and veterans remains the same as the original Granblue Fantasy Versus.
New mechanics have been introduced, starting with Dash Attacks (which you can check out in this video) and they're described as follows.
"A quick attack that can be performed while dashing—close the gap and keep the pressure on with different variations using light, medium, and heavy attacks. Some characters have dash attacks that can be chained into combos or used to catch blocking foes off guard!"
Next is Triple Attacks (here's the video).
"Just like the Auto Combo system, Triple Attacks can be performed by pushing an attack button three times in a row. The third hit, however, can be changed to an overhead or low attack depending on your input. Use them to open up a defensive foe and keep your pressure going!"
New online features coming to the game are Casual Match Mode and an update to Versus Rank display. Speaking of tournaments, the game will be an official main title at Evo Japan where an open beta tournament will be hosted. That being said, Cygames is preparing other ways to try out Granblue Fnatasy Versus: Rising, and fans are encouraged to stay tuned.
Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising is releasing worldwide for PS5, PS4, and PC in 2023. If you'd like to see more, you can enjoy the original reveal and previous screenshots and details.
Incidentally, the March 4 release date for the next trailer pretty much confirms the 9th-anniversary livestream, which may possibly come with news about the action JRPG Granblue Fantasy: Relink as well.