Record of Grancrest War Episode 13: The Liberator Returns and a Lukewarm Reception

Quick Summary

In Record of Grancrest War Episode 13, “To the Homeland,” Theo Cornaro, Siluca Meletes and their party arrive in Sistina to find a less warm reception than they had hoped. Pederico Rossini and his sons have trapped the islanders in a powerful web of greed, deceit, and despair. What can Theo and company hope to do against such an entrenched way of life — when even his childhood friend turns against him?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

What’s In This Post

Quick Episode Summary
3 Favorite Moments
Thoughts
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3 Favorite Moments

While I can sympathize with her sentiment, Theo is right: Aishela can’t just go around massacring the population! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
  1. Their plan was to be conspicuous so the Rossini family would find out they were in Sistina. The good news is that they found Salvador Rossini in the first restaurant they tried! The bad news is that he was entertaining Yana (Jana?), the witch they defeated in episode 5, and she apparently carries a grudge. Salvador felt compelled to defend her honor (just a turn of phrase, of course; she really doesn’t have much honor), and things started to degrade from there. Do you remember the Rossini-funded attack on Theo back in episode 7? The attack that almost got Alexis Douse killed? Turns out that the Rossini family crest turns its followers into homicidal maniacs (reminds me of Reavers from Firefly, but only as a temporary condition and with better skin). My favorite moment is between Aishela and Theo. Realizing that Salvador was going to use his crest and make the bystanders fight on his behalf, Theo says that Aishela, Siluca, and he should leave (5:05). Aishela is aghast at the thought of retreat and says that “all we have to do is massacre them all” (5:15). By reining her in, Theo gets to make a public statement that he’s not like the Rossini family — he won’t put the townspeople at risk if he can avoid it. And I guess Aishela didn’t get the memo about making nice with the population!

    I have to wonder if Theo knew his comrades wouldn’t believe him if he just told them the islanders wouldn’t rise up. So he had to show them! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
  2. I have to admire how the show didn’t take the easy route when it comes to Theo convincing the population to rise up. At their first stop, they get a serious reality check: the village elder tells them it’s impossible to overthrow the Rossini family (7:05). As the conversation drags on, Theo stresses that he wants to lead the people to victory, but he listens patiently to the elder explain how the Rossini family has gained and maintains control over all of them — to the point where the elder warns Theo to watch out for “snitches.” This just makes sense: The Rossini family has been ruling with such effective brutality that no one’s willing to risk their lives to help Theo! I thought it was interesting that Theo didn’t berate them for their feelings. It was almost as if he expected it — and maybe he did. Maybe he had to show Siluca and the others how things were so they could formulate a better plan. I wouldn’t put such a demonstration past him!

    Let’s just say I won’t mourn Salvador’s passing — or raise an objection to how Theo took care of business. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
  3. We really didn’t learn anything new about Salvador Rossini in this episode. We’ve known he and the rest of his family are despicable tyrants who routinely mistreat and even kill their own people — or get them to do those things to themselves. But somehow, seeing him brutally stab Rebecca (20:32), along with here wide-eyed reaction to being stabbed, drove home the point: this degenerate needs to go. So my third favorite moment this episode was Theo chasing down that monster and burying the hatchet — in the back of the fleeing coward’s head (20:46). He deserved no better a death. And I think it shows just how much Theo’s character has grown. Before, I think he might have stood on principle and insisted on fighting face to face. Now, he just get the job done, and subtleties be damned.

Thoughts

Do you feel like the pace has gotten easier to follow in the last couple of weeks? I do, and I think I like it. I like seeing our main characters get a chance to grow and develop. This week, Theo showed even more evidence that he’s going to be a great leader, and the signs weren’t always obvious.

Consider my second favorite point this week: Theo almost seemed to expect large-scale reluctance to his plea for the natives to rise up. In fact, I think he completely expected it, but he went through the motions to train Siluca and the rest on the extent of the problem. Siluca’s still too young and naive to accept the facts if Theo just told her out right, so he had to show her. By the end of the episode, she had a solid and realistic grasp of the situation. I don’t think her education was complete until she saw, with her own eyes, just how bad things were even in Theo’s home town. And after she had heard the story’s of the circumstances of Theo’s father’s death.

It was only after Rebecca told the story of how Theo’s father died that Siluca and the others understood the situation — in all its grim clarity. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I think that showing his team the real problem was a great example of Theo’s leadership. What do I think was even better? How Theo shows the population of his home town that beneath their despairing acceptance of the Rossini rule, there was still a glimmer of humanity. Just as he knew that he had to show Siluca and the rest that the natives wouldn’t rise up, Theo knew that words alone wouldn’t move the population to act. So he went with Rebecca knowing that Rossini’s men were going to ambush him at the grave. He gambled that he’d be able to convince her with his words and actions before it was too late.

He also gambled that his education of Siluca would pay off. He gambled that her plea to the villagers, enriched with the fact that Theo was putting his life on the line for them, would sway them. Despite what they’d done to his father — and were about to do to him. By the time they asked why Theo would put his life on the line for them, Siluca was ready with the perfect answer: “Because that is what a true Lord is” (17:02).

He’s come a long way since he charged head-long into a company of brigands!

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that it was good to see Theo’s entourage with him, including Irvin and the werewolf twins, Ema and Luna. Along with Aishela’s firepower and Priscilla’s healing, they’re a wildly formidable team! I hope the show’s focus remains on this small group, at least for a few episodes. It’s not that I don’t like the sweeping “Record of” aspects of the show. I actually enjoyed them! But I feel like it’s a treat to get to focus on this group!

What do you think of Theo’s leadership qualities? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!

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Post Author: tcrow

  • You are so optimistic about this show and it’s kind of nice. I think I lie this episode better in retrospect then I did when I watched it

    • Well, there’s a reason I’m so optimistic. Same reason I’ve evolved this site to celebrate anime. Cynicism comes so easily to me that I figured I needed to do something to offset it! So I’m going to be optimistic and positive even if it kills me! And seriously, the forced perspective change helps me see things that I catch things I wouldn’t’ve otherwise.

      Thanks for stopping by!