Record of Grancrest War Episode 19: A Well-Orchestrated Attack and Odin Would Have Been Proud

Quick Summary

In Record of Grancrest War Episode 19, “The Awakening of a Noble,” Alexis Douse advances his army against the traitor Lord Dawson, who immediately begs his new Lord, Marrine Kreische, for reinforcements. Can you guess her answer? Later, Sea King Erik, the leader of the Norse, infuriated that the “moppet” Alexis would dare challenge him, sails into battle. Will his berserker Crest prevail? Or will Alexis’ unorthodox naval tactics turn the tide?

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

I have to give Alexis credit: He knows how to use his tools! Who knew a paintbrush could be so deadly? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
  1. I’ve been wondering how Alexis’ Crest would work. He’s a gentle man, and he loves the arts, so I was expecting something that would incorporate those themes. I have to say I wasn’t disappointed! Part conductor’s baton and part paintbrush that results in the movements of armies instead of the application of paint, Alexis’ Crest helped him conduct the battle like a conductor would direct an orchestra (3:32). Apparently, he used paint and canvas as tools to plan the battle before he took the field. I also give him a lot of credit for using flag semaphore, drums, and trumpets to communicate to his troops as they fought. I have no idea if such tactics would work. But I thought they looked dramatic and left me with the impression that Alexis knew what he was doing. His troops, too! Plus, can I just say what an idiot Dawson was for leaving his castle? I’ve always known he was not an intelligent man; but I didn’t think he’d be reckless with his own life. I hope we won’t have to see his face again.

    It took Erik long enough, but he finally figured out that Alexis, a “moppet” who valued arts and leisure, had out-strategized him. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
  2. The Nord fleet has two primary advantages: it’s ships are very, very fast and they’re packed with warriors who are driven near the point of insanity by their Lord’s crest. Their goal was to hit hard and fast, board the enemy ships, and defeat the enemy in hand-to-hand combat. Alexis’ strategy took that into account, and by evening, the Nord Lord realized what his foe had done: turned their battle into a siege (12:23). The state of the battle — his fleet’s near defeat — enraged Erik. I think he felt a personal shame, because the day before, at the Nord banquet, he had taunted Alexis as a “moppet.” On one hand, I have to lament another disastrously bad battlefield decision. Against the advice of his mage and top advisors, the Nord Lord decided to end it all in a suicidal charge. On the other hand, his decision marks the first time I had to acknowledge that such an objectively stupid decision made sense in terms of the character. He was known as leading a feared, unbeatable sea power, but he’d been crushed by a man of leisure who loved the arts. That had to sting. Maybe not fatally, but at least I understood his perspective.

    It’s hard not to admire skill, dedication, and attitude! And she has plenty of all three! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
  3. This sounds strange even to me as I say it, but I liked how Alexis remained adverse to physical conflict even as he demonstrated his superior skill as a strategian and leader of his forces. When the Nord Lord boarded Alexis’ iron-sided flagship, he began to relentlessly target Alexis. Alexis seemed horror-stricken at both the carnage and his personal danger (15:02). Why would I like such a thing? Doesn’t that suggest cowardice — something that shouldn’t be lauded? Two reasons. First, I don’t think it’s cowardice at all. A coward would have stayed home! Instead, I think it shows that though he’s firm in his resolve to win this war, he’s still Alexis, the man who values art and beauty. His new-found resolve didn’t change his character, and I think that’s a positive. Second, it set the stage for my new favorite character to act! There’s a woman who we’ve seen often standing with Alexis. I thought she was the head of his household, but no, she’s his assassin (maybe a demon-seal holder like Irvin and Aishela?). I haven’t been able to find her name (Noelia? See Thoughts, below), but she reminds me lot of combat-capable version of Henrietta from Log Horizon. She was fast, furious, and she seemed to really enjoy her job! I like seeing people enjoy their work.

    Grancrest has this habit of introducing interesting characters, then either forgetting them or killing them. I hope it makes an exception in her case! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Thoughts

Is Alexis’ assassin’s name Noelia? I couldn’t find the name in any of the usual places (like MyAnimeList, Anime Planet, AniDB, the Wiki, Anime News Network, or the official web site).  So, seeing a spot in the ED where I thought there might be voice actor credits, I captured the screen and uploaded it to Google Drive. Then I opened the image as a Google Doc, which gave me OCR of the letters.  Finally, I copy and pasted the results into Google Translate. Here’s what I pasted into Translate:

丰中入下 アレクシス・ドゥーセ 井口祐一 ホスティオ・フィグルス 遠藤大智 ノエリア

山村

That came out to roughly:

丰 中 入 入 下 Alexis Duse Seiichi Iguchi Hostess · フ ィ グ ル ス Doshi Endo Noelia
Mountain

Or something like that. Benigmatica’s review of this episode (see Other Anime Sites, below) named her as Noelia, so I’m going to go with that.

Man, I wish I could read Japanese!

What did you think of Erik the Sea King’s last stand? I’ve watched it twice now — the first time on an iPad and the second time on a larger screen. On the smaller iPad screen, it was exciting to watch. Apparently the Nord Lord’s Crest can not only grant berserker rage to this followers, but it can enlarge him — complete, it seems, with an ocean-like amount of watery blood! And though the was exciting to watch, this brings up two things that bothered me. First, the amount of blood was just excessive. It was too watery, too, though maybe I could explain that by saying he’s the Sea King, after all, so it’s part sea water that flows in his veins?* It also bothered me that he took an enormous ballista harpoon right through the spine — and he could still walk! Inhuman strength and endurance, I can understand. But without a spine, how’d he transfer force… Oh, never mind…

The meme’s an oldie, but I’d argue a goodie. And it pretty much captures my concern about the last battle against Erik! Created using imgflip.

On a larger screen, though, it was worse. Erik often went off model. Alexis’ troops often stood and waited for Erik’s battle-axe to kill them, or they’d surround the Nord (good tactic!) and then just stand there (way less good tactic). These issues took away from what was a dramatic sequence. Or, rather, could have been a dramatic sequence.

Truth be told, I still enjoyed how Alexis stayed in character. I still (thoroughly!) enjoyed Noelia defending her Lord. But the issues with that last fight were really tough to overlook.

Were you able to ignore the problems to enjoy the episode? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!

* No, I don’t believe it either. But I’m trying to keep an open mind! No, scratch that: I’m trying to be positive! Maybe an open mind would be better…

Other Posts of Interest

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Post Author: tcrow

  • This time I think we’re in perfect agreement on this episode (although I’ve read some conflicting posts…) I’m looking forward to the next one. Second half of the season has been a marked improvement on the first

    • “Second half of the season has been a marked improvement on the first…” You know, even though I enjoyed the first half, I agree the second half is more consistent, at least from a pacing and narrative/construction perspective. I sure hope they can stick the landing!

  • I think it made enough sense. Alexis’ troops probably also aren’t accustomed to actually fighting, since he doesn’t engage in a whole lot of warfare; they also seem more experienced in ranged combat than anything close quarters. Not surprising that they might freeze up or run at the sight of such an inhumanly strong warrior.

    I almost wish we could have seen more of the sea king prior to this; he was pretty savage. I’m hoping his fiery daughter comes for revenge now.
    Also, yeah Noella is pretty cool too.

    • I hadn’t considered that, but that’s a good point. You also mentioned they were better at ranged combat, which also makes sense: that’s something they could practice without actual combat.

      “I almost wish we could have seen more of the sea king prior to this” That’s a common theme for me in this series: there are a lot of potentially interesting characters that we meet for an episode, then they die. Remember Lord Solon? I don’t blame you if you don’t! One minute, he’s staring in episode 10; the next minute, he’s dead in episode 10!

      I will be really annoyed if that happens to Noella/Noelia!

          • Yeahhhh. Don’t get me wrong, here, I’m enjoying the series still, but I can’t shake the feeling that it could have been SO MUCH better if they had just slowed down a bit, and stretched these 24 episodes up to Theo’s liberation of Sistina maaaybeee the fight with Milza. The we would have had time to see some of these other great characters in actions, rather than just hearing about it through dialog.

          • Yep, I hear you! I can try to defend what they’re doing by saying it’s the record of an entire war, but I still feel disappointed at times!