Record of Grancrest War Episode 15: The More He Tightens His Grip and a Council of War

April 23, 2018

Quick Summary

In Record of Grancrest War Episode 15, “Return,” the Mage Academy convicts Yana/Jana of summoning the demon lord who killed the Alliance and Union leaders back in episode 1. But even after the way Yana took control of her own execution, Siluca Meletes didn’t seem convinced of the witch’s guilt. Mirza Kooches’s mage convinces him that he hasn’t been brutal enough to the population, so he gets more violent. Shockingly, that doesn’t go as well as he hopes. Finally, Theo Cornaro (now an Earl) stands before the Lords who signed the Treaty of Altirk and convinces them that it’s time to go after Mirza — and that he will personally fight and kill the tyrant. Will the Lords accept his suggestion, or will they continue to spurn his leadership — unofficial or otherwise?

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

What’s In This Post

Quick Episode Summary
3 Favorite Moments
Thoughts
Related Posts

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3 Favorite Moments

You’d think someone from the Mage Academy would be more circumspect, wouldn’t you? Unless he wants Siluca to know something’s up… Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

  1. I’ve always thought that how a people treats their prisoners says more about the people than the prisoner. Honestly, I think no matter how terrible the crime, burning someone alive is barbaric. Yet, here we are, witnessing Yana’s execution by flame (4:05). I briefly wondered if Theo would intervene and offer to just behead her or something. Then there’s Siluca, wondering why the Mage Academy rushed Yana’s trial. So it was with no small feeling of satisfaction that I watched Yana take control of her own execution (4:17). But that’s not what makes the scene one of my three favorite moments. It was Siluca’s expression when she saw the twisted smile on the Mage Academy’s representative (5:30). The Academy’s up to something — has been up to something. It’s going to be interesting to find out what.

    There aren’t enough honest friendships in the world. It’s nice to see this one! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

  2. I get a twofer by picking this next scene as my second favorite moment: Theo returning and greeting his friend David Lassic (10:07). First, I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to see David and Theo’s friendship. There’s no strife between them, they’re loyal to each other, and they seem to enjoy each other’s company. That’s too rare in fiction (heck, it’s not exactly rampant IRL, either)! Second, we find out that Laura Hardley isn’t dead after all! Remember how it looked liked she poisoned herself rather than serve Milza in episode 11? At the time, I had thought was a terrible shame. Though not given much chance to shine, she and the other two mages with Villar Constance (Coleen Messala and Helga Pialoza) struck me as competent and kind folks. You know, the kind you’d like to have around? So I was really happy to see that the “poison” Helga had given Laura wasn’t permanent. And she’s in the service of Eudokia Kalaha now! Though apparently it’s the episode where Siluca makes all kinds of faces, and she looked almost dubious about Laura’s new role. I’m not sure what that was about…

    A really good leader creates an environment where people like Selge can admit their failings without fear of reprisal. Little details like this are important! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

  3. Have you ever tried to write a scene like the Altirk Treaty Lords’ Summit (11:41)? I have, and I’ve found it really hard to strike the right balance between that kind of scene’s elements. There are so many characters with differing agendas, and so much information to convey, that if you’re not careful, the scene either degenerates into boring posturing or boring exposition. I thought this scene avoided those pitfalls and was fascinating to watch! There were several cool moments. For example, Theo asking for a moment of silence of remember those who had fallen while he was away (11:52).Ellet quite reasonably pointing out that if some of the Lords present wanted to blame Theo for people dying while he was away, then those same Lords should accept responsibility for failing to protect those people (have I mentioned that Ellet is my absolute favorite secondary character?). But what makes this my third favorite moment is how Moreno Dortous was surprised twice by people openly admitting their mistakes: first, Theo taking responsibility for the deaths of the Lords who died while he was in Sistina (13:50) and second, when Selge Constance admitted that he couldn’t take on Milza and win (14:28). It’s a subtle thing, but a great leader can, by his or her example, make it okay to be honest about failings. That sets the stage for realistic planning. After all, if everyone’s focused on saving face, no one can spare the energy to actually build feasible, complex plans and move forward. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen that play out IRL…

Thoughts

I’m beginning to think that the writer of Proverbs 16:18 had Milza in mind when when penning (or quilling or stylus-ing) the words, “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.”

Given how I’ve criticized the show for its pacing in the past, I’m happy to point of an example of the opposite. There are a handful of characters who have enjoyed extensive and well-written character development, and one of them is Milza. I can tell partly by how much i detest him and his approach to life. He thinks that strength is all that matters; beat or slash your way to success; weakness is abhorrent and is a reason to cut down someone. I wouldn’t have that kind of reaction if the character wasn’t well-defined.

Seriously, Milza: What part of “don’t underestimate Theo Cornaro” isn’t clear to you? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Another example is Milza’s reaction to Theo. Theo is just about Milza’s polar opposite. He’s all about collaborative leadership and building teams whose strength more than makes up for the weakness of any individual. Even Theo’s fighting style, which starts our as defensive, is offensive to Milza. So, it’s natural Milza should hate Theo.

That’s why I say that these are examples of good pacing: taking the time to develop good characterization. I’m sure you’ve seen a series where the villain makes a tactically stupid decision that is out of character. The moment feels flat, doesn’t it? It pierces suspension of disbelief and it ruins what could have been a dramatic moment. That’s why I’m so glad that Grancrest Senki has taken the time to show us how and why Milza hates Theo. He hates Theo so much that he’ll eschew any possible sign of weakness, like having to change tactics because of Theo taking up position in the Forest of Eternal Darkness.

Seeing someone make a bad decision because of a character flaw is much more interesting, don’t you think?

Are you excited about the upcoming confrontation between Theo and Milza? What were your favorite moments in this episode? Feel free to share in the comments!

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  • Irina says:

    Your reviews are really giving me a broader perspective on this show. I’m really enjoying your take and it’s making me enjoy Grancrest more in turn

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