The Mage Academy finally makes its move against the Emperor. Wait…isn’t Theo the Emperor?! 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 of Game of Crests starts off with the Mage Academy throwing off all pretense of benevolence and going for the throat–literally. While Theo and Siluca are trying to have a relaxing night together, Siluca receives a communication from a mage elsewhere in the country. He promptly informs every mage within earshot that if they’re loyal to their lords, they need to break their wands. The Academy’s decided they’ve had enough and are just killing anyone who bought into their fake system. One thing I have to congratulate this show on is it continuously finds ways to shock me with its brutality. That’s not a “good” thing all the time, but with everyone in the show being so idealistic it keeps the series from being too sanitized. This week we don’t get to see much bloodshed, but we hear the blood-curtling screams of those murdered in the middle of the night by fellow mages.
2. Learning the mage academy really are their enemies, Theo and the others have to move immediately to take a stand. They discuss moving on Eramu, but first decide to reform the Union, Alliance, and Altkirk Treaty into one unified Imperial Army. Afterwards, they give everyone who wants the opportunity to sit out their next battle…but surprisingly most of the mages stay.
At this point, you can’t help wondering what the Academy was thinking. Siluca’s understandable because she’s fallen in love and in this series love forgives sins up to and including chemical warfare, so it’s believable she would toss away everything that mattered just to be with Theo. Edokia’s mage Laura? Her life was saved by her current Lord, which would override loyalty to an academy. But Marrine’s mage, who was high up in the Mage Academy at one point? He’s been a stickler for the rules all the way up to now, and this is where he changes his allegiances?
One has to assume they didn’t even bother approaching most mages with this and kept a tight inner circle, which feels impossibly stupid at this stage. The mages even all agree to shatter their wands to avoid giving away their locations or be heard by the Academy accidentally. (Man, talk about devoted. We’ve known people are listening to our cell phones for years. Nevermind trashing them, we just keep buying better ones.)
3. After the group agrees to attack the Academy, it falls on Siluca to devise a strategy for the remaining soldiers in the Imperial Army. She works into the night, until she finally passes out from exhaustion. And it’s there Aishela makes an attempt to kill her, revealing herself to be a traitor. It fails, but only because Irvin is there to stop her before she buries the dagger in Siluca’s heart.
My biggest problem with this was how obviously they telegraphed her turn. We got a bunch of close up shots on her face while they discussed how the Mage Academy was making moves on all the Lords to wipe them out, even though she hadn’t been relevant in weeks. I know they needed to do some foreshadowing, but this threw Chekhov’s Gun out the window and was more like a big, neon sign saying “AISHELA’S A TRAITOR”.
4. Of course, after Aishela spent so much time obsessed with Siluca (who we learn this episode is her adopted sister), it’s hard to wonder why she even went through with this. After all, if her masters were so persuasive then why would they even need to purge mages at all? Well, turns out for those in the inner circle they place magic circles on them (referred to as Geas, which makes me wonder if Sunrise wasn’t on the phone after this episode came out) to force their servants to obey or have their hearts stop.
After betraying them and explaining she’s been reporting on Siluca and Theo from the beginning, her circle starts to activate and nearly kills her…until Priscilla steps in. She uses her magic ability to cleanse her of the circle…but in doing so completely negates her magical abilities. She’s free of any sign of chaos and is now a regular human. Guess there was some truth to the Order taking people’s powers after all.
5. The weirdest reveal of this episode might be learning who was behind the scenes of the Mage Academy. Known as Pandora, they’re actually all dropouts or failures of the academy. Although that doesn’t necessarily mean they were bad mages, it’s still a 180 from the expectation of there being a hidden caste of top tier mages controlling things from the inside.
In a weird way though, it does make sense–the dropouts would be far more likely to be willing to break from the traditions mages are supposed to stand for. Though it’s up in the air exactly why Pandora is moving to kill everyone, the current suspicions are they want Chaos to stay and be “controlled” so they maintain their powers, and they want their political power over the lords to remain. On its face, this makes perfect sense–assembling the Grancrest doesn’t really help them at all; they stand to lose everything, which means the upcoming Imperial Army vs. Mage Academy battle is about to be quite bloody.
Record of Grancrest War is available on Crunchyroll and Hulu.