Record of Grancrest War Episode 8: Love Denied and So Close, Yet…

February 26, 2018

Quick Summary

In Record of Grancrest War Episode 8, “The Congress Dances,” a flash-back shows the lengths to which Alexis Douse, the Prince of the Sun, went to win the heart of Marrine Kreische — so why does she rebuff him now? Villar Constance makes his move in the congress, and Theo Cornaro provides impeccable support. But a short-sighted Lord and his followers vehemently oppose Villar, with Alexis’ unwittingly help. Can Villar and his faction seize the opportunity to strike the Alliance? Or will the chance elude them?

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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starry / Mashiro Ayano

3 Favorite Moments

Should Marrine have yelled “Fore!” as she let loose her fury? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

  1. Most people have a sense of rightness — sometimes buried deeply, true, but it’s there. Is there anything more satisfying to that sense of rightness than a jerk’s possessive smirk being wiped off his face by a swift kick in the balls? As Marrine descended the stairs looking for Alexis, a grabby Lord spoke lewdly to her and tried to touch her in a non-consensual way (what anime does he think he’s in — citrus?) (6:19). Apparently, he didn’t get the hint when she smacked him with her hand fan, because he acted all entitled and tried to twist her arm. Nor did he get the hint with Alexis asked him — quite politely, I might add! — to leave the lady alone. The creep sucker punched Alexis (who is obviously no fighter!). What was Alexis’ last sight before he passed out? Marrine hiking up her skirt and kicking the smirking man right where he least wanted to be kicked (7:03). Hearing his self-satisfied chuckle abruptly change to a gurgling gasp was just icing on the cake. He got what was coming to him.

    Alexis looks so crestfallen that Marrine can’t help but kiss him. I guess that’s one approach to winning friends! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

  2. Marrine accounts for 2 of my 3 favorite moments this episode! When Alexis finally comes to after being knocked out, he sees Marrine waiting for him. They talk and say the kind of lovey dovey things you would expect them to say. He describes how he knew he was in love with from the moment they met, and she protested that their families were enemies and that such feelings could only end in tragedy. He looked so crestfallen at her words that she was overcome with emotion and kissed him (8:38). That’s perfectly in keeping with his character; it’s perfectly in keeping with hers. It was all the more poignant when she said that they just couldn’t be together and left to the sounds of him pledging his undying affection even as he said he would respect her will. This episode did a great job of building the sense of tragedy around these two — that kind of thing makes a series memorable to me.

    Villar was a good enough leader to know the time and circumstances — including his heritage — weren’t right for his ascension. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

  3. To file under the heading of “So close, yet so far…” Villar played the Congress very well. He let the hot-headed Lord run his mouth until he’d gotten ahead of his own intellect, then cemented his position by saying that he would come to the air of any Union Lord — contradicting what the hot-headed Lord had implied. Had the situation remained stable, Villar would have been able to move forward with his plan to strike the Alliance and achieve victory. That’s when the well-meaning Alexis stepped in (17:38). He proposed that Villar become the new leader of the Union, in effect being named the new Archduke. By virtual of his own bloodline, which he discussed in previous episodes and briefly touched on in this episode, Villar said he could not accept that position. The hot-headed Lord was able to seize on the moment and turn matter back to his own agenda. I’ve seen meetings go back and forth like this before. I know that business meetings don’t have as much as stake as a Congress discussion war, but the politics are similar.

    It was almost Alexis’ naiveté that won her over — she found it incredible that a leader should put so much stock in the happiness of his people. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Thoughts

The idea that a leader should build a country where the people can live in bliss resonated with me (11:28). Alexis goes so far to say, “If a sovereign has forgotten that, he’ll eventually bring his people to grief.”

Why was he able to say that and not look like a naive idiot? And yes, I’m saying that I don’t think he looked like a naive idiot! The reason is simple: he showed that based on his vision for the world, working to build such a kingdom was completely reasonable. He showed that he had hope that he could bring it to pass through hard work and dedication. Finally, he showed that he had put the ideas onto practice on a small scale (with the singing children), so he knew the concepts would work.

How much better off would we be if our leaders took this idea to heart? And yet, here we are…

I’m in the US, so take this with a grain of salt. A couple hundred years ago, we overthrew what we called English tyranny, in part for economic reasons, but in part based on ideas of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Those are things we can all get behind, right? We had to overthrow a monarchy because the decisions of a single person could obliterate all three of those things. And some wise folks put together a plan that would, in theory, try to keep any individual from being able to do the same in the new country.

It might be an over generalization, but it seems like the political landscape in the US is dominated by people like this hot-headed Lord. People like Alexis can’t even get a word in. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

But we keep coming back to the same problem, albeit with a sightly different spin. Instead of having to worry about one person depriving citizens of their lives, freedom, or ability to pursue their dreams, we now have political parties. People in those parties accumulate power in different ways, but as the last presidential election showed, demagoguery is alive and well in the United States. Demagoguery can’t thrive without villains to rally targeted segments of the population against. So now minorities, immigrants, the LGBT community — all are under constant threat. All are on the verge of having their lives, freedom, and means to pursue their dreams compromised.

We solved the problem of protecting people from a monarch. We still have the problem of protecting people other people.

The question is, how do we put people like Alexis into power? What kind of society can we build that would reward his world view instead of demagoguery or others forms of oppression and cruelty? How do we build a world where power is used for service?

Is there a solution to the equations of power that leaves Marrine and Alexis together? Or will politics destroy them? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

If we can answer that question, we’ll all be better off.

I think it’s the sign of a good series when it can inspire me to think about real-world problems in a realistic way. I’m really interested to seeing how Alexis and Marrine’s relationship plays out. I hope they can find an answer that’ll leave them together and happy!

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

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