Record of Grancrest War Episode 21 Review: Foundation of Empire and She Did What She Could…

Quick Summary

In Record of Grancrest War Episode 21, “Purge,” the Mage Academy prepares for battle with Emperor Theo Cornaro and his chief strategist, Siluca Meletes, by killing all of the mages who are loyal to their Lords instead of to the Mage Academy. How many mages will stand with Theo, Siluca, and the other Lords allied to them? And who’s the traitor in their midst — someone so close that even Siluca didn’t suspect them?

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

What’s In This Post

Quick Episode Summary
3 Favorite Moments
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I had to laugh when Aishela, a powerful warrior, was so unabashedly delighted to see the cat. Who doesn’t like being called a cat. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

The real story about how Siluca’s father, Aubest Meletes, almost contributed to Siluca’s death in her academy days was interesting enough. Apparently, Siluca had freed Bulgari from the magical zoo, and the head master declared Siluca should be put to death for breaking the rules. Her father, a member of the faculty, stood by those rules and did not interfere. So, it was nice to see that he didn’t actively seek her death. But that’s not why this scene is one of my favorite moments. What did make it my first favorite moment is when Bulgari, apparently sensing they were talking about him, showed up and says it’s rude to call him a cat (8:50). Aishela’s reaction bordered on life affirming! She’s a powerful valkyrie. She’s fearless in battle. She conquers men on a whim. And yet she almost giggles at the sight of Bulgari! He tries to escape, but Siluca grabs him and starts petting him, prompting Aishela to say, “But you purr when we pet your neck.” And to cap it off, Bulgari hissed at her! I could stand more scenes like that.

Aishela could have killed Siluca and Theo easily — but she didn’t want to. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I could tell the story was foreshadowing something about Aishela, but I really bought the misleading explanation that she was nervous because she was forced to be around Aubest, her adoptive father. So I really wasn’t expecting it when Aishela tried to run her knife through Siluca’s heart (12:39)! And kudos for Irvin’s timing! If he’d been a split-second slower, he could not have blocked the knife. Aishela’s explanation was convincing. She had to make the attempt to kill Siluca, or the magic circle/geas over her heart would have killed her. Instead, she decided to make an attempt she knew could be thwarted! She likely knew her failure meant the magic circle would punish her, but I think she hoped she would have enough time to warn Siluca and the others about Pandora (the “hidden organization within the secret agency”). I really enjoyed how this scene played out.

Little moments can carry a lot of emotion. Siluca and Aishela have been though a lot together, so I was glad Siluca understood the spirit of what had just happened. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

You might think that this shouldn’t rise to the level of a favorite, but I cherish a good character moment. A messenger arrives and announces that several Lords and Artists are rampaging (more applications of a geas?). Priscilla’s healing may have saved Aishela, but it removed the Chaos that made her an Artist. However, she’s still intent on helping, so she begins to leave. After nearly loosing her friend and sister Aishela, Siluca’s overcome with emotion and embraces her from behind (19:55). Aishela acts surprised as Siluca apologizes and thanks her all at once. Did you notice Theo? If you need evidence that he’s a Good Guy(tm), look no further — he wasn’t even jealous as he left to give them a moment alone!


When Siluca guessed that the magic circle on Aishela’s left breast was actually a geas, did you, even for a moment, wonder how the heck Lelouch Lamperouge from Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion had reached into this anime? If they can just figure out a way for C.C. to show up… Hey, maybe she’s the head of Pricilla’s order? Even if it made no sense, I might actually like that!

The more I think about it, the more I think that it would work!

That geas is a great capsule summary of just how evil the Mage Academy’s leadership is. It compelled Aishela to try to murder Siluca. If she didn’t obey, it would kill her. If she tried to tell anyone about her orders, it would kill her. If she tried to tell anyone about the geas itself, it would kill her. It was so insidious that even when Aishela was circumspect by asking Siluca to look at her left breast, it realized that Aishela had betrayed her orders, and it tried to kill her.

I’m not sure which was more surprising: That no one seemed to flinch when Aishela casually asked Siluca to look at her left breast, or Siluca’s matter of fact agreement to do it! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I’m going to put aside any complaints I have about the story’s narrative structure — for example, wanting to have known more about the Mage Academy as the true enemy earlier through more direct foreshadowing about 18 episodes ago. Instead, I want to mention something that’s been bugging me about (what still looks like) the central conflict.

As emperor, shouldn’t Theo be able to form the Grancrest?

At the beginning of the series, Alexis and Marrine’s marriage was going to bring about the formation of the grand crest — the Grancrest. We don’t know exactly how, though. It’s not the act of marriage, because Theo and Siluca are married. It’s not the accumulation of Crests or association of Crests by allegiance, because Theo has the loyalty of the entire imperial army and its Lords.

Does he need the allegiance of all of the Lords, even those not present? But weren’t all the Lords we knew about previously allied with Alexis, Marrine, or Theo himself? Shouldn’t that count?

If being emperor isn’t enough to generate the Grancrest, then what is? We should know more about the basic mechanics by now. And so should Theo, Siluca, and the rest! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I’m not saying the show’s been inconsistent with how it has treated this concept. How would I know? We haven’t been given enough information! It’s given us precious little about the ideas around the Grancrest.

What I am saying is that not knowing this is interfering with my enjoyment of the series. Without knowing the basic mechanics, I can’t get excited about what Theo is about to do, and I can’t feel apprehension about how his enemies might try to thwart him. This state of affairs blunts the anticipation I should be feeling this close to the climax.

That’s a bit of a bummer, don’t you think?

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

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4 thoughts on “Record of Grancrest War Episode 21 Review: Foundation of Empire and She Did What She Could…

  1. I assumed they didn’t want to form it becasue they knew the Mages would come after them once they tired (like at the wedding), but maybe Irina is on to something, in that they don’t actually know how it’ll play out. They know in theory, but it’s been how many years since it’s been done before?

    1. So a “lost in the mists of time” sort of thing? That could be mysterious and fun! Wish they’d let us in on the secret, and soon!

  2. well now that I realized no one knows what he Grancrest does – maybe they are cautious about forming it?

    1. I think that’s safe to say! And I’m left with YAQ (Yet Another Question): If no one knows what the Grancrest does, why are they trying to build it? Is this a case where the Mage Academy is going around screaming, “Oh noes! If they build the Grancrest we’re all doooomed!” All the while knowing it’s actually a tool designed specifically for the Mage Academy to dominate the world?

      We really shouldn’t have questions like this at this stage of the plot!

      Missed potential bugs me!

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