5 Point Discussions – Record Of Grancrest War 2: “Ambition”

by Sage Ashford

Siluca and Theo face their first challenge as the owners of a new land!  But will their tiny forces be sufficient to face an entire army? Remember, if you like this article and 5 Point Discussions, please share them on Facebook or Twitter! It really helps. And if you’ve got any comments or questions, please hit me up @SageShinigami.

1.When Theo took down Lord Mesto and claimed his crest and property for himself, it was almost a given that he was going to run into some opposition fairly quickly. His first opponent is Lassic, a Knight with a small army of his own skilled warriors including his loyal mage Moreno, and a talented archer and berserker who can turn his body into steel, Colossus-style. He decides to take over Theo’s land in order to become a Lord himself, and bets literally everything on it. He buys dozens of troops and basically bankrupts himself in order to take Theo down.

Grancrest is working things out slowly with its sorting algorithm of evil, which isn’t a bad thing because it cuts down heavily on the asspull solutions. When villains are overwhelmingly stronger than the heroes, the heroes should just lose, not pull an impossible win from out of nowhere. In this case, Lassic’s forces don’t seem that much more impressive than Theo’s and he basically has to financially ruin himself to get the numbers advantage. This gives an otherwise gamey series (with its strict rules and regulations) a sense of realism that was desperately needed for most viewers.

Back at the castle, we go into a bit of detail on Theo’s life up to this point, with Siluca probing deeper and deeper into Theo’s intentions as a mage. It’s a bit exposition-y, but we learn Theo feels as if he abandoned his people to their fate in his home town while he went off for adventure. This kind of character development is a bit forced, but feels necessary in order to make him feel like more of an actual human. His doubts, fears, and insecurities are reasonable, yet there’s a nobility in them. We need that, because given how this series is developing he’s going to wind up with a lot of people following him really soon and there needs to be a reason. He needs to be a person worth being followed.

2. Welp. Anime of the season confirmed. Siluca’s intelligence network (essentially just Irvin right now) discovers they’re about to be attacked by a neighboring army and realizes they need some help in order to come out on top. Her first solution?  Summoning a cat familiar named Sir Balgary, prince of the Cait Siths. Grancrest isn’t afraid to delve pretty deep into D&D-style geekery–Siluca’s spells have long, complex casting to them, while the series is drawing upon gaming and mythology alike to create something that feels familiar and new all at once.

Back to the plot, Siluca sends our adorable talking cat to find her best friend–it’s something that he doesn’t take well to, but does anyway at the promise of snacks. I can identify with that.

We briefly return to a discussion between Theo and Siluca over her goals. The more they talk, the more we gain an understanding of Siluca’s intention. She’s tired of the wars between men with too much ambition for their own good, and she joins up with Theo because his ambition is so small. He doesn’t want to rule over the lands, he simply wants to protect the people he can, and make his home village a place that can be happy.  It’s this lack of desire to control everything that Siluca feels is worth defending and working under.

3. As the army is arriving, Siluca’s friend Aishela appears in time to bolster the meager forces of Theo’s army. A friend of hers from the Mage Academy, she instead chooses to emphasize her combat abilities over becoming a mage, which has some pretty neat implications. Though Contract would have you believe that things are much more absolute and everyone’s locked into whatever “class” they have, here we learn that there’s no small amount of malleability.  Siluca’s friend abandons most of her mage abilities in favor of becoming an Artist, a class that for now we know nothing about but it apparently involves close combat weaponry and strength-bolstering curse signs.

Aishela herself is a little…insane though, and I’m not sure how I feel about her right now. Anime has no shortage of psychotic, overly sexual women (…for some reason), and that’s exactly who it seems we have here. She starts out obsessed with Siluca, but while on the battlefield gains an affinity for a smart tactician helping Lassic. She eventually attacks him with a kiss…and tries to choke him to death before he places her in a bear hug and tries to take himself out by letting the other troops get close to their far stronger, faster opponent. It’s weird, and I hope some character development turns her into a bit less of a cliche.

4. As normal as this battle attempts to be, it’s still a case where our protagonists are outnumbered three to over a dozen, with Lassic having his own special troops in addition to fifty regular soldiers. Siluca asks Theo to stand aside and watch, but as he sees her in danger battling against Lassic’s mage Moreno, he is unable to wait another moment and steps in on her behalf. Unlike last episode, I can’t exactly call it unnecessary, as Siluca’s already done her share by knocking out over a dozen soldiers and fighting with Moreno until he’s winded.

Theo stepping in here is less about him not believing in Siluca and more about the belief that he should support his people, and the woman who’s brought him this far. He’s not the best swordsman, but still…using a sword isn’t Moreno’s focus and he’s already exhausted so it eventually leads to…

Moreno finds himself captured by Theo and Siluca, and fortunately Lassic turns out to be a decent enough person to actually care about losing such a key piece of his army.

5. We end this episode with Theo essentially gaining a proper army, as Lassic surrenders under the belief that working for Theo will mean he’ll eventually gain a land to rule of his own. We don’t really get into why Lassic wants to rule, but there’s time enough for that later. In the meantime, Theo and Siluca have cleared their first challenge as knight and mage!

But Siluca’s forgotten something. Before swearing herself to Theo, she was supposed to become the Mage of another Lord, and it looks like he’s eager to discover why she broke their contract. She was warned of consequences to ignoring a mage contract, and it looks like that’s where the storyline’s headed next. It’s good that we’re wrapping that up quickly, as it’s a plot point that needs to be resolved, but could easily ruin the pacing of the story if it comes too late in the game as it’s not that important in the long run. She’s already working for someone, he’s got a whole army and has proven himself three times in two episodes, let’s not dwell too long on the creep she didn’t think was worth her time.

Record of Grancrest War is available on Crunchyroll.