The Factory Union finally joins the fray in earnest, taking back one of their lands and making an attack on a major ally on the side of the Alliance. Plus…who’s behind the Great Hall Tragedy? 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. This week’s episode might have Marrine’s most savage moment yet. I mean, yeah she’s committed chemical warfare to take a territory, but nothing compares to what goes down at the start of this episode. Lord Dawson was convinced by the Alliance side to betray his Union brothers, which is why last week he was responsible for killing a leader of a major Union leader and military power. In case you don’t remember Dawson (easily possible since Grancrest has far too many characters for such a short runtime), he’s the royal who threatened Villar for claiming Alliance territory at risk of damaging Altkirk.
As the Marquis Alexis finally becomes motivated to take action, he marches on Lord Dawson’s land with enough soldiers to legitimately surround Dawson’s castle. Naturally, Dawson requests help from his new allies…only for Marrine to say she’s busy and to handle it himself. Ouch. It hasn’t been a month since he betrayed the Union and already she’s turned her back on his loyalty…though admittedly he couldn’t have been that loyal to begin with.
From there, Dawson tries his best to alter the situation in his favor. He attempts to negotiate a return to the Union, but Alexis is finally Done With This Shit and tells him he can live if he hands over his crest and his territories before fleeing. He declares battle shortly afterward, succeeding in getting many of his soldiers murdered. Turns out, Alexis is an excellent strategist and creates battle formations like an artist creates a painting. Surrender happens shortly after the battle begins.
2. I knew I’d hate the Sea King, but I wasn’t really sure how much until this episode. We really hadn’t seen much of the guy up until now, as his daugter Ururika has been calling most of the shots. But with Alexis taking the field, it necessitates sending more than just your second-in-command. The two combatants meet out in the sea, and despite Marrine trying to warn him, he rushes out into battle against a guy who owns massive iron ships because he hopes his experience will win the day.
We’d heard before the King of the Nords allowed slaves–Ururika even seemed to believe slavery meant for more docile subjects–and we get a reminder of that again this week. While Erik keeps an army of soldiers atop his ships, they’re all powered by slave labor rowing them places. Hard not to want to see the guy get murdered when he’s not only endorsing this, he’s forcing it on his own people.
3. Fortunately, with only five episodes remaining the show’s in crunch time so if you hate Erik like me, you don’t have to wait long. Alexis’ troops dispatched with much of the Nordic army with ease, focusing on long range weaponry in order to take out as many men and ships as possible. But it’s never that easy, so Erik finally resorts on the power of his crest. He could’ve retreated, but there’s only five episodes left and ain’t nobody got time for that, so he goes full offensive–his crest activating a berserker mode on him and his troops.
His troops are hard enough to stop, but with Erik’s crest turned on himself, he turns into a legitimate video game boss monster. An entire mini platoon of troops surrounds him? He turns them into tomato soup. He takes damage, but he’s literally the true definition of the classic Berserker: no hit stun, no realization his life is in danger–he just wants to kill Alexis before he dies. And since Alexis isn’t a fighter, he’s forced to rely on his allies. It looks grim for a moment, but eventually someone fires a freaking harpoon through his chest…which somehow only slows him down. He rips out out, gushing more blood than a Tarantino film and a Bleach fight scene combined, and it’s only then Alexis’ guardian reveals herself to be an assassin, and she attacks him with poisoned knives. But even THAT doesn’t finish him off; a soldier just has to cut his head off for him to stop….at which point his body comically floods the upper deck with blood and he finally dies.
It’s been a day since I watched the episode and I’m still not sure if the scene was bad-ass or hilarious; as fantastical as this series has been, it usually doesn’t take this much to put someone down. Plus unlike Mirza, Erik wasn’t built up at all–we barely got to know Ururika–so his overwrought death almost doesn’t feel earned.
4. With Erik, King of the Nords down, Marrine meets with Siluca to discuss brokering a ceasefire. She immediately rejects Siluca’s proposal, even though in theory it would now be two armies (the Factory Union and Altkirk Treaty) versus one. It’s not a sound idea, but Siluca leaves anyway…but before she can, Marrine asks what was said to Alexis to cause him to take to the battlefield. Siluca explains he probably doesn’t want to see her suffer under the weight of being a ruler any longer.
Now rightfully, Marrine calls Siluca out on this. To be sure, she’s not doing what she wants….but it’s disrespectful for Alexis, Theo, and Siluca to get together and make that choice for her. Admittedly, Marrine’s been screwing up since she walked away from Alexis at the altar, but she’s also been doing her best to reduce the suffering as much as possible by winning the war quickly. They’re writing off her own opinion and thinking for her, and you have to imagine a large part of her objections at the end come from this disrespect.
5. During their talk, Siluca suggests she’s aware of who’s truly behind the chaos: the Mage Academy. Siluca lacks any obvious proof, but there’ve been little moments peppered throughout the series to tip smart viewers off to the truth. How quickly they got rid of the Black Witch, knowing mages would lose their powers when the Chaos is banished, and the all important question behind any murder mystery: who benefits? Everyone in both sides would have seen a benefit if Marrine and Alexis married, as it would have caused peace on a wide scale. Everyone except…the Mage Academy, who would lose their standing amongst royals.
Curiously though, Siluca brings this up in the presence of her father. It feels likely, since he’s the only mage we’ve seen, that he isn’t merely complicit, but caused all of this to begin with. THAT’s going to make the next family meet up hard.
Record of Grancrest War is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu.