Theo goes up against the militaristic Dorni Rossini in an effort to win his country of Sistina. But will he and his party be able to withstand the machinations of The Black Witch? Remember, if you like this article and 5 Point Discussions, please share it on Facebook or Twitter! It really helps. And if you’ve got any comments or questions, please hit me up @SageShinigami.
1. Since we only have ten episodes remaining, Grancrest 14 picks up several weeks into Theo’s insurgency in his homeland of Sistina. Cities across the island are experiencing uprisings, as the fall of Salvador Rossini has given the people hope. The show opens with the remaining members of the Rossini family discussing how absurd it is to be dealing with these uprisings, which is…hilarious. Somehow they spent generations oppressing people and are still surprised when they don’t immediately attempt to overthrow them at the first sign of hope.
The leader of the family Phederico is down to two remaining sons: Lassic-lookalike Dorni Rossini, who’s pretty aggressive, and the more diplomatic purple-haired bishounen Juzel Rossini. Much like Lassic, Dorni’s first reaction is to head out and try to crush the resistance immediately, but is convinced to hold off long enough to assemble a sizable military force.
Meanwhile, Juzel wonders if they could’ve handled things another way. His father notes that for generations they’ve only ever ruled with an iron fist, and now anything else would be seen as weakness and get them all killed. (Eternal problem of dictators everywhere.) Watching the discussion and seeing how much Phederico cares for his sons though, you realize much like Alexis and Marrine, he’s become a slave to the world’s expectations of him. The biggest nobles in this series wind up making themselves ineffectual (or less effectual) in some way or another because they refuse to change, often resulting in things happening for the worse. Marrine ran away from Alexis and has plunged the nation into war. Villar defended his country to the last instead of escaping to fight another day and was killed. And Phederico rules by fear because its the way his family has behaved for decades now; he doesn’t know anything else.
That’s why the biggest changes in this series have all come from those who are most willing to flout the rules and do what they believe is right, like Mirza and Theo.
2. Speaking of our villains, Jana and Salvador’s personal assassin meet up and devise a plan to strike down their enemies. The assassin swears to kill Irvin because he promised his former client he would, while Jana wants to destroy Theo and Siluca because they want to end the Chaos, potentially cutting off her source of power. They’re both simple enough motivations, but it’s more than enough to pull us into their upcoming conflict.
3. Theo faces off against Dorni Rossini with all the citizens of Sistina he’s gathered, and despite Dorni having an army five thousand strong, he’s still outnumbered…and out powered, with Aishela and Siluca serving as aces helping to turn the tide of battle even further in Theo’s favor.
But the “real” battle occurs in a different theater, as Irvin is forced to confront the assassin working for Salvador Rossini, while the werewolf maid twins get to battle against the witch that killed their mother. The assassin on assassin battle is satisfying–two lightning fast warriors going at it in a scene that wouldn’t have looked out of place in an early episode of Naruto. It does feel like the werewolf twins could’ve gotten more time though–they face off against Jana after she summons a monster to protect her. She spends most of the fight mocking the girls and not taking them seriously, so it’s satisfying when they use the idiotic “technique” of one getting on the other’s back to jump high enough to hit her. Fight like an idiot, lose to something stupid.
She gets away and tries to ruin Theo’s victory later on by attacking with a comet blast, only to get completely rebuffed when Siluca counters her comet spell with one of her own. It feels like it should’ve been more work to take her down, but at the same time there’s only ten episodes left so this probably is it for her.
4. For all of Dorni’s early bluster, once he realizes he’s losing he starts to lose faith in himself, causing the berserker effect of his flag to fade. From there it’s a domino effect, with his soldiers noticing their losses and deciding to abandon the battle altogether.
Theo’s grown quite a bit since the first episode. Originally barely able to defeat grunt soldiers, this week he’s just running through Dorni’s personal guard like it’s nothing. And while Dorni gives him some trouble, he’s also smart enough to know his own limitations, and decides to simply wear the guy out Rocky 3 style. After he’s exhausted, we get what’s easily Theo’s bloodiest kill scene yet–slitting Dorni’s throat with a blood splatter that looks straight out of a Bleach episode. With him growing in skill so rapidly, I can’t help thinking a Theo vs. Mirza battle is coming soon.
5. With Dorni’s army routed and the Rossinis down to their last two family members, bringing their reign to an end comes easy. While with Grancrest pacing is always an issue, Sistina being conquered so quickly makes more sense than it being a lengthy arc. Even being moderately successful with his earliest efforts was always going to lead to Theo winning this war. The Rossini were truly awful rulers, and its specifically mentioned no other country is ruled so poorly. The people were begging for the opportunity to overthrow them.
Still, the end of this episode is a surprising reaffirmation of what makes Theo so admirable. When Phederico tries to get his last living son to escape, Juzel instead chooses to negotiate with Theo in the hopes of leniency. Honestly, he had no real reason to expect such a thing–the Rossini have ruled in such an egregiously callous manner, and they’re responsible for Theo’s father being murdered. And while Theo has always been forgiving when it comes to things that have happened to him, there’s no promise he would’ve maintained the same energy when it came to people he cared about. Another series might’ve seen him take the lives of everyone involved…but from the very beginning, Theo’s only ever sought peaceful rule.
So while Phederico’s life is forfeit, and most of the fortunes of the nobles who supported the Rossini have to go back to the people…Theo still agrees to work with Juzel to bring happiness back to the people of Sistina. It makes sense politically, as there will still be no small amount of Rossini loyalists to deal with…but also plot wise, he’s got to get back to the main continent and pull victory from Marrine and Mirza for the Union.
Record of Grancrest War is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu.