Armies collide in the Forest of Eternal Darkness. Have the tides of war shifted against Mirza and the Alliance, or will he find a way to rule as king? 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. As expected, Mirza charging into a magical forest with supernatural inhabitants ends horrifically for his army. Werewolves tear many of them to shreds, while witches bomb them with lethal gasses from below. The few that manage to make it into the maze to meet Theo are forced to retreat when they realize they can’t properly assail a castle while dealing with the forest’s strange attributes at night.
I’d seriously hoped Mirza would be finished off here, but thanks to the wise advice of his mage Telius, they abandon their attack. You’d think after this Mirza would start simply taking the advice of his tactician without constantly complaining, but he’s still too prideful, which costs him later in the episode.
2. As the remaining episodes dwindle down to the last, the pace has picked back up and become breathless again. Much of this week’s content is handled in an overview manner rather than following the men and women on the ground. Plus after weeks of gruesome battle, the tactics and politics have all come back into play again.
Realizing Mirza’s only recourse is to wait for Theo to emerge from the Forest and attack him where they have the superior numbers and knowledge of the land, Siluca comes up with a different plan with the help of her fellow Union mages. Taking advantage of Villar’s brother Selge’s reputation as a coward, they lure Mirza into conquering the land of Regalia. While they waste time securing Regalia, Theo manages to convince the people of Altkirk to form into an army together–assembling a force 50,000 strong. Boasting only a tenth of that number, Mirza and Telius retreat to Castle Unicorn…but only after Telius nearly loses his head for even suggesting such a thing.
This is actually a pretty ironic turn of events. Mirza mocks Theo for his inability to make Lords like Selge believe in him, only to be forced to confront the people Theo actually does inspire: the citizens of Altkirk, a land that’s supposed to be his. Mirza looks down on it as a coward’s tactic.
3. I… *sighs* Y’know what? Fuck it. An “anime amiright, guys”? Does this column a disservice. This was stupid. I got what they were going for, but that didn’t make it any less goofy for a show that’s actually been fairly serious up to this point.
After Eudokia lost her naval fortress, the Queen of the Sea, in battle against both Mirza and the Nords’ naval forces, her army was left essentially defenseless. But that didn’t stop the Nords from moving in on her territory, so instead she decided to offer money and resources to them. This was set up a couple weeks ago, and while Theo’s been gone saving Sistina, she’s still been doing it…until they had finally emptied the nation’s coffers in an attempt to appease them while maintaining their connection to the Union. But since it didn’t work, they were forced to come up with something to motivate their armies.
And so her mage decides that the Queen should strip in front of their soldiers, symbolizing how she had given away literally everything to save the nation and it still wasn’t enough, and so now it was time to rise up and fight against their oppressors. It’s one of those things that would be pretty cool if anime wasn’t constantly trying to titillate, if it weren’t perpetually horny. Admittedly, upon giving her speech her men also decide to strip in a show of support….but that just makes you wonder why an army would take off their armor and go fight an enemy nation in nothing but their underwear. This just feels like something someone came up with during whatever roleplay Ryo Mizuno and his buddies were doing, and Mizuno was just too lazy (or too horny) to edit it out and place something more logical in its place.
The only thing I can say is that they don’t dwell on it, and the camera angles aren’t particularly exploitative. But this is still one of those scenes you’d describe as “when you’re watching anime and you hope no one walks in on you”.
4. The far superior strategy this week comes when Ururika, Princess of the Nords, arrives on Eudokia’s lands and attempts to challenge them. After having sent Juzel Rossi last week to the Nords’ slave army to sow dissent, Juzel stealthily rushes through the crowd, talking about how they should rise up alongside the army of Eudokia in order to gain their freedom.
Hearing that their brethren back home have already started an uprising, Ururika loses half of her army in one fell swoop, and is forced to retreat to get back to her homelands just to protect her father. The Alliance is falling apart, and I couldn’t be happier about it starting with the army of a jerk kid and her jerk dad that seem to be the only nation in the continent that decided slavery was a good idea.
5. By the end of the episode, Theo has surrounded Castle Unicorn, and it’s all Mirza can do to hold on and wait for reinforcements from Queen Marrine and Ururika. Of course, Ururika’s army is busy quelling a slave uprising and Marrine can only spare a few thousand soldiers, still leaving his men outumbered over five to one.
And it gets worse! After assembling an army of peasants already enough to force Mirza out, Theo gets help from Ultimate Bro, Lassic, the King of Sievis. Adding another thirty thousand troops, Mirza’s army is now in a more desperate situation than ever. With only eight episodes remaining, it’s only a matter of time before the Alliance’s biggest gun is taken out, and the nation of Altkirk is freed.
Record of Grancrest War is available on Crunchyroll and Hulu.