All three sides meet upon the battlefield for the first time. Will Theo and Alexis be able to convince Marrine to stop fighting? What about the “real” enemy of Order? 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. With Marrine having forced this into a proper confrontation, she moves back to Altkirk to attack the lords of the Treaty. Arriving with a force 40,000 strong, she charges on Theo and the others with an accompaniment of all the forces she has left–including her crossbow using Knight at Arms as well as a new forces’ magical monsters, including a massive armored rhino.
Things break down to a battle of attrition, strategy, and home field advantage as the Altkirk Treaty attempts to hold on as long as they can until Alexis and his soldiers arrive. I spent half of this fight wondering what happened to Theo’s massive 50,000 troop advantage from his battle with Mirza, especially when Mirza avoided battle with most of them and charged straight for Theo. Then I realized Theo’s army then were citizens instead of soldiers, and upon gaining control of the Altkirk Treaty he probably sent all of them home. Sometimes being a good guy comes with downsides, because they wind up quickly overrun by Marrine’s superior numbers. Siluca has to do the job of five women, blocking their troops from the work of other mages.
On the bright side, the Nords make one more appearance in an attempt to get revenge on Edokia and her people…and fail miserably when Edokia’s mage uses her abilities to crash a bunch of bomb ships into their forces. A reminder: the Nords were the same people who consistently stole from Edokia’s nation until they completely emptied their coffers, and still tried to conquer the nation. Also, they perpetuated slave culture for their commoners. So it’s never going to get old watching them be humiliated.
2. Whenever the show goes to these major battles between important factions, you realize just how fast this show moves. They do a fair job of masking it by focusing on the smaller scale, personal interaction stuff, and the larger battles like this one don’t even happen all that often so it’s easy to forget, especially when you want to like the show for its (usually) beautiful animation and likable characters. But then episodes like this come along and you’re reminded, all too suddenly how much better this show would have been if it had run longer.
This week, we get the appearance of more Lords on Marrine’s side, and they’re all Eastern inspired. The continent of Atlatan seems to have nations from every major empire of global history, from the Nordics to Middle Eastern, to East Asian warriors…but almost none of them have received any development. The actual light novel series ran roughly ten volumes, and even some filler wouldn’t have been unwelcome if it meant fleshing out the worlds of these individual fiefdoms and this complex court rank system.
Even the battle this episode could have been more intense if they’d had more time to sell how it felt to be slowly worn down by Marrine’s superior numbers.
3. Alexis finally shows up and Theo immediately calls for a meeting between the three sides. They sit down and discuss another truce, but Marrine rejects it instantly. She points out they’ve still not solved the problem of someone clearly wanting them to fight, which makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is how they all seem to know it’s the Mage Academy’s fault, and yet none of them seem to think about how stupid it is to discuss this in front of their contracted mages. Obviously Siluca is trustworthy considering she tried to stop the Great Hall Tragedy to begin with, but the rest of them? For sure we know Marrine’s contracted mage helps run the Mages’ society. Why wouldn’t he be in the loop, and how doesn’t he eventually betray her??
4. This episode finally sees the resolution of the Marrine/Alexis plot, but it happens in literally the worst way possible. Basically Alexis pulls up with some corny romantic gesture and Marrine just says screw it and decides to marry him. None of this makes sense. Just two minutes prior, she mentioned how the Great Hall Tragedy would repeat itself if they tried for a truce. Nothing changes her mind, she just decides she’s tired of going against the grain and gives in to marry him.
I’m also very much not a fan of how she brings up the whole “lost virtue” thing from the episode where her and Mirza banged in order to finalize their alliance. Alexis handles it like a boss by saying he doesn’t care about it, but it’s still pretty skeevy and feels like they finally gave in and interpreted her actions in that episode the worst way they could. I wouldn’t have minded if she’d been honest and said she wasn’t faithful, but the idea that she’s somehow less pure for having sex is garbage, even if technically a story taking place in pre-modern era probably would look at it that way.
Also, I’m totally against her being cheered by the troops for finally marrying Alexis. By her own admission, her actions are responsible for the tens of thousands of lives being lost. She technically killed Villar and his lover Margaret with her attack on Castle Unicorn. I’m barely sure she gets to be happy, but she certainly shouldn’t be cheered for achieving her happiness. In the end, I guess I’m fine with the broad strokes of the events…I just hated the execution, and I’m not sure if its a good thing we had to breeze through them, or if additional time would’ve allowed these characters to develop in a more satisfactory way.
5. If you looked enough for spoilers, you knew where this story was going for months now. I definitely have…at least, up until now. With peace having been achieved, the forces behind the scenes who were pushing to keep things at war are now starting to surface. They’re “purging” any mage who’s contracted to a lord, which means people like Lassic and Theo are going to have to be particularly protective of their friends going forward.
We’re given a few hints about what’s going on here, as they make it obvious not every mage is in on this, and this is all being done in the name of some woman who wants chaos to reign. Man, wouldn’t it be wild if Priscilla turned out to be the primary villain here? She’s been working in the background all this time to gather all the crests for herself? I doubt that’s where this is going, but the person behind this did mention a “her”. Also, the Vampire Lord finally makes a reappearance after being gone since episode 5 or so. He made it plain he wants to keep chaos around so he doesn’t die, so I’m guessing he’ll be a mid-boss in these remaining four episodes.
Now I’m in the dark again on where the plot’s going, I couldn’t be more excited to finish off these last four episodes, and hopefully all of them are stronger than this one.
Record of Grancrest War is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu.