Record of Grancrest War Episode 23 Review: An Ancient Monster Revived and a Compelling Invitation

Quick Summary

In Record of Grancrest War Episode 23, “Castle Walls,” Emperor Theo CornaroSiluca Meletes, and the Lords under his command begin their assault on Eramu. But there’s a slight problem: the Mage Academy has unleashed an ancient beast on them — a beast barely quelled in centuries past. What chance does David Lassic and his mage, Moreno Dortous, stand against such a beast? And even if they can defeat it, can Theo, Siluca, and their special force refuse a compelling invitation, knowing that the loss of Theo means the loss of the war?

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

What’s In This Post

Quick Episode Summary
3 Favorite Moments
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Though I’m sure he appreciates David’s vote of confidence, Moreno doesn’t seem excited about the idea of attacking the Cyclops. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

What do you do if you’re faced with an Cyclops that, in ancient times, took a troop of mages to defeat? Well, if you’re David Lassic, you… Wait, he didn’t just rush in? He stopped to make a plan? See, this is one of the things I like about this show. Theo’s a great leader, and he cultivates great leaders like his King David. In many of the fantasy anime series I’ve watched, the protagonist rushes in and uses the Power of Improv ™ to destroy the monster. Not in Grancrest! After deciding they were going to make themselves look good to their emperor by destroying the monster, David wastes no time in grilling Moreno on how the best was destroyed the last time it showed up (6:02). Together, they came up with a plan of attack that was reasonable and used what they had at their disposal. That’s solid leadership, that is!

Instead of forbidding David’s plan and undermining his confidence, Theo loudly proclaimed his support. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Speaking of good leadership, Theo has his turn to show he knows what he’s doing. When a messenger informs him of David’s plan, Siluca is aghast and strongly suggests Theo forbid it. But Theo’s smarter than that. He explains to Siluca that a) it wouldn’t do any good to forbid it, because David would do it anyway (6:56), b) the alternative would be to waste time and troops (and lots of troops at that) trying to bring the cyclops down, and finally c) doing so would demonstrate that Theo doesn’t trust David’s judgement, which would be catastrophic to his relationship to his subordinate — and his friend (7:30). That last part really resonated with me. Sometimes, if you’re in a position of authority, you have to let those you lead take risks. For me, that’s the hardest part of being in a position of authority. I’ll never forget the time I watched my deaf son back the car out of the drive way and pull away, alone, for the first time after earning his driver’s license. And that’s nothing compared to the decision Theo just made!

Moreno was able to do a pretty good job without his wand — apparently, he has a backup ring for just such an emergency! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Three cheers for teamwork! Moreno and David’s one-two punch against the Cyclops was super effective! Moreno’s light blast (12:00) looked spectacular as it plow into the Cyclops’ only eye (kudos to the sound effects, too — they really added a depth and realism to the scene). And do you know one of the ways to tell a good horseman? The level of trust the horse places in its rider. With that as the measure, David must be a fantastic rider, because his horse trusted him enough to ride up the Cyclops’ leg and deliver its rider to the beast’s chest (12:34). David was then able to use his Crest-infused spear to deliver the death blow (12:46). The scene was animated in the raw, almost feral style that we’ve seen the show use for battles before. The most effective was Siluca’s defense against Yana back in episode 14. In this episode, it was a little more rough, but in the words of Miles Lane, “I’ll allow it!” I thought it was effective in communicating the scene’s emotion and violence.


Was I the only one who thought of the Styx song Castle Walls when I saw the title for this episode? Man, that was a good song! Doesn’t really fit the episode, though…

Gracq did his part to bring down the Cyclops — and almost gave Moreno a heart attack at the same time! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

And now David Lassic will forever be known as the Giant Slayer. He and his team earned it, too! Glad to see that Gracq survived, too (Crunchyroll spelling). Even as Moreno was pronouncing him dead (stomped by the Cyclops), I wondered if his heart just stopped beating while he was in steel mode. Turns out I wasn’t wrong!

It’s the next to last episode, and do you know one of the things I’m going to miss about this show? Its generally realistic battle tactics. From Alexis’ use of decoy siege towers (where’d they get those so quickly? Ikea?), to camouflaged fighters, to Siluca lighting the battlefield, to a human pyramid to scale the walls without having to haul ladders across the field, I thought the show either used tactics that would work, or (as importantly), used tactics that looked like they would work. Honestly, I have no idea how battle would play out in this world, given the variables of Mages and non-human actors, but it sure looked convincing to me.

Theo doesn’t let his emotions make decisions for him. He’s more mature than that. That’s one of the traits of a good leader! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Something else I found convincing — and akin to a breath of fresh air? Remember just after Theo’s forces had secured Eramu’s outer walls? He railed against having to stand and watch, and Siluca reminded him that was his role as emperor (20:46). And did you see how he reacted? He agreed with her! He followed wise counsel! He’s come a long way from the wandering Lord who blundered into the brigands trying to assault Siluca in the first episode. It’s always great to see character development, and as rushed as Grancrest Senki can be, it took the time to show Theo grow as a leader. That’s something I think I’m going to remember about this show.

Only one more episode to go!

So what did you think of Theo’s decisions in this episode? Did you enjoy David’s tactics against the Cyclops? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!

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