Record of Grancrest War Episode 17: Through the Eyes of Death and the People’s Crest

May 7, 2018

Quick Summary

In Record of Grancrest War Episode 17, “Two Heroes,” Mirza Kooches decides to go on the offensive despite the urging of his mage. Is Mirza really in a rush to protect Marrine Kreische and her forces? Can it really be possible he’s thinking of someone other than himself? The forces of Theo Cornaro and Siluca Meletes whittle down Mirza’s army using sound tactics. Can Mirza get himself through not only Siluca’s magical onslaught, but the attacks of Aishela, Luna, Ema, and Irvin as well? Can even their amount of fire power stop the red-crested butcher?

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

Doesn’t matter if the enemy has cavalry and you just have infantry — if you can force your enemy to line up for you! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

  1. If your enemy’s Mirza/Milza, you just know he’s eventually going to get impatient and charge. That’s just who he is. Theo has known Mirza long enough to know this, so the strategy in this episode was to wear him down. Not outlast him during a siege, because that only works against patient foes. First order of the day was to whittle down Mirza’s cavalry. As the bloody Lord led the charging horses across the bridge between Castle Unicorn and the shore, we get to see that instead of an impenetrable wall designed to keep the forces contained, Theo’s soldiers had constructed walls to force the horses into the middle of the road (5:24). Theo’s troops let Mirza’s leading edge get through, then used pikes and swords to impale or slash their enemy and enemy’s horses (5:34). What I particularly like about this tactic is that it’s perfectly suited for use against someone like Mirza. Since Mirza thinks in terms of setting up the next duel, I don’t think he even realized what was happening — or cared if he realized!

    Is Aishela awesome or what? If it hadn’t been for the horse, I’m convinced she could’ve saved Theo a lot of trouble. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

  2. A “death from on high” moment can be an absolute blast to watch. Turns out, there one character in the Grancrest Senki cast who’s perfect for the role. My second favorite moment is when Mirza has to pause his headlong rush at Theo because Aishela hurled herself at him from the sky — offering to escort him to the afterlife (12:08). She knew exactly where he’d be because Siluca’s lightning blast forced him to stop. That gave her time to launch her attack. Seeing Mirza have to grit his teeth at the effort it took not to be crushed was a beautiful thing! Honorable mention goes to Luna and Ema for trying to use Mirza’s moment of immobility to slash him; and to Irvin for nearly slicing his neck. But among those attacks, Aishela’s was the one that almost killed him outright.

    Theo has proven he’ll do what needs done. And this deed definitely needed done! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

  3. It’s been 17 episodes in the making. All of the hints were there: Theo knowing how to pace himself; Mirza’s impatience and over reliance on up-front brutality; Mirza’s unfamiliarity with ruling or, apparently, its effect on his crest; Theo’s experience using his crest to strengthen his troops. But in their one on one battle, Theo finally exhausts Mirza and disarms him (17:27). That was cool and all, but do you know what I thought was even better? Theo’s victorious words (17:46): “I’m going to ask, as a formality. Your Crest, or your life?” Mirza and Theo both knew how that moment would play out. They both knew Mirza would never surrender. On one hand, Theo obeyed the formalities to satisfy honor. On the other, his expression said it all: Theo wanted to kill Mirza. And he wasn’t going to lose a moment’s sleep over it. He did what he knew needed done for the sake of the future he wanted to build.

Thoughts

As a matter of professional pride, I really don’t like cliches. They’re like unfair shortcuts. Writers should have to earn their keep by coming up with news ideas and motifs, right? That’s why I kinda hate that the cliche of the sun coming out just in time for the victory still works (20:36). Siluca just looked so happy after all the gloom! Sigh.

Did you notice how Mirza tried to stand up and show how strong he was as Theo’s sword penetrated his neck? Kinda impressive, until you realized that in the end, it resulted in the same thing as the rest of his decisions: blood and death. This time, though, it was his. I’m glad to see him gone.

Something happened that improved my opinion of this show. At the same time, I am a little miffed they waited this long to introduce what could be an amazing theme. What am I yammering about this time, you might ask? Popular rule!

Siluca seemed to understand the voice of the people. Her support seemed to be what finally convinced Theo. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

The topic came up four times in this episode. First, we get to hear Mirza bemoan the coming of a new age that he feels completely incapable of accepting or even functioning in (1:56). He phrased it as “this era didn’t choose me.” Later, one of the Lords in the Treaty of Altirk lamented the coming age of commoner rule as something whose very concept he detested (6:35). He was of the opinion Lords should come from a long line of rulers — hereditary rule, maybe what we’d think of as the detestable divine right of kings. This Lord seemed to loathe even the idea of living in such an era.

Even though he’s the poster child for the movement, Theo was reluctant to embrace it at one point in this episode. He wanted to dismiss his non-professional (peasant) troops for their own safety (10:10). But they would have none of it! They wanted to fight beside him. They were alive to the idea that Altirk was theirs, and they wanted to fight for it. With Siluca’s help, they convinced him to let them fight.

Finally, after Mirza’s fall and the appearance of the Chaos associated with his crest, Theo paused before absorbing it. He wanted to get Selge Constance’s approval (19:07). In part, I think Theo wanted to get permission from the brother of Villar Constance, the previous owner of a portion of that Crest. Beyond that, Theo seems to understand that he needs (and seems to want) the consent of the governed.

Theo’s come a long way since his Crest looked like a scale model of the real thing! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Maybe I should have put the pieces together earlier. Look at Theo’s power: through his Crest, he can raise the fighting level of those who follow him. A Crest having the ability to affect followers isn’t unique to Theo and his popular leadership (remember the Rossini’s Crest?). However, by and large, Theo has been leading people who decided to follow him, as was the case when he freed Sistina. So in a sense, he’s a much more modern leader than most of those around him.

Which makes me wonder: Do Crests just empower the innate characteristics of those who wield them? Are the just passive augmenters, or do they take some kind of active role in determining events? I suspect it’s the former, and that just makes Theo’s leadership all the more remarkable in this society.

What do you think? What were your favorite moments in this episode? Let me know in the comments!

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  • Karandi says:

    They really do need to explain the crests as this is something that keeps just doing whatever the story needs it to do at the time. Knowing how they work would really help the logic of this show. And the theme of popular rule was kind of interesting, but seems like it suddenly became important very late in the series where it could have been built up from the beginning with a little bit of thought.

    • tcrow says:

      You bring up two very good points! I’m enjoying the show, sure, but the Crests almost feel like a MacGuffin right now. The themes this episodes introduced feel like they don’t have a foundation to build on.

      I wonder if the manga had any more explanation of the Crests?

  • irina says:

    I agree with Karandi the mechanisms of crests, the rules governing magic and the nature of chaos all deserve a bit of fleshing out. But that has been my general problem with the sow. Inconsistent exposition. My favorite part by far was the standoff between Theo and MiLza. The had been building to it for so long and I thought it was a worthy payoff. I’m just afraid it may have been a bit too soon and that the remaining episodes will lack direction without him.

    • tcrow says:

      “I’m just afraid it may have been a bit too soon and that the remaining episodes will lack direction without him.” I’m a bit concerned about that, too. I would be happier if I’d seen more foreshadowing about the role the Mage organization had in the wedding disaster. We’ve seen a little bit, but not enough I think to change the whole focus of the show. At least, not and remain dramatically satisfying.

      I really hope they stick the landing. The show’s last several episodes have been a lot of fun!

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