Record of Grancrest War (Season One)
Desperate to undo the corruption that has plagued his homeland, Theo ventures into the world to get stronger. A chance encounter with a young mage, Siluca Meletas makes his dreams become a reality.
What did you watch?
At the end of 2020, I made a change in my schedule and decided to focus on shows from prior seasons that I either loved and didn’t review, or hadn’t had a chance to see. Record of Grancrest War fell into the second category. I had added it to my to-watch list but never got around to watching it. As a big fan of epic fantasy, I thought this would be a perfect series to dive into and fully immerse myself, especially as it was twenty-four episodes long. As such, there’s going to be a lot to unpack and, as normal, there will be spoilers below.
After witnessing the Great Hall Tragedy when she was a new mage, Siluca Meletas excelled at mage craft and was assigned to a lord that has a reputation for only making contracts with young attractive mages and cutting them loose once they reach a certain age. In short, she didn’t want to make the contract, so when a young warrior saved her from some bandits and had dreams of becoming a lord, she made that a possibility and bound their fates together with a contract.
Theo had no idea what he was getting into, not the extent of Siluca’s ambition. It would all help him out on his quest to free his homeland from a corrupt and abusive lord, but that would have to wait. First, he would need to prove himself in battle. However, there is much more going on than Theo or Siluca are aware of. Their journeys are just beginning.
What did you think?
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that this series had some issues. The pacing was probably the biggest problem as it seemed to race through some aspects and then dawdle on others. That can squarely be attributed to the fact that this story is too big for a twenty-four episode run. It could easily have been one hundred episodes long, and if that was the case, I would eat it up. Overall, I really enjoyed the series and found myself ploughing through the later episodes as I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. It takes a while to fully get into, but it’s worth it in my opinion.
What was your favourite moment?
I’m a little torn with this one. Part of me really wants to say that Theo’s fight with Milza was my favourite moment. It was epic and showed everything that Theo stood for and the strengths he had developed. I can’t fault the scene at all, however, if I’m going to for sheer unadulterated fun it has to be when Edokia addressed her troops in the nude… I jest!
No, my favourite scene was when Theo’s army had made it to the city that housed the Mage’s Association. Not wanting to be undone, the Mages released a giant cyclops that had been imprisoned for centuries. David Lassic, one of Theo’s greatest allies, took it upon himself to battle this giant monster. The fight was epic and it went into one of those phases where the animation gets a little rough. It’s an intentional thing and you either love it or hate it. I loved it and was left absolutely breathless afterwards.
What was your least favourite moment?
It had to be the moment that Marrine made her agreement with Milza which involved sleeping with him. The entire scene was brutal and felt gross. Seriously, it really was a very uncomfortable moment and one that enraged the viewers following it. This was likely because of Marrine’s decision to go through with it, but it is something that would have happened in an equivalent time period of our history. Either way, it was a powerful if dark moment.
Who was your favourite character?
And we’re back to Lady Edokia… Just kidding, but not really. No, I actually really enjoyed Theo’s journey. Sure, he was very much a bit of a puppet always doing whatever Siluca told him to and ultimately ended up as the Emperor because others told him to do it. However, he remained true to his values and strengths which we saw in his fighting style. His shield was as much of a weapon as his sword. He would wear down his opponent by making them do all the work and then strike when the opportunity presented itself.
Who was your least favourite character?
Well, this really is the easiest decision in the bunch. Milza is the obvious choice despite not being the main villain. Admittedly, the Mages’ Association didn’t reveal itself until the end so they get away, but it wouldn’t have mattered. Milza was an arrogant and stubborn character who believed he could take whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. Seeing Theo defeat him was a highlight in the series for sure.
Would you like some more?
I think this series showed us glimpses of a fascinating world with an interesting magic system. As far as this story goes, it’s been nicely wrapped up, however, I would have liked it to have been expanded into the series it was meant to be. It would help with the pacing issues and I think would end up a much stronger series. I’m sure the speed of things at the beginning put a lot of people off.
What have you learnt?
I tend to write fast-paced stories, but I also love epic fantasy and am doing whatever I can to try to slow things down. I don’t think I’ll ever go as slow as Tolkien as I still prefer action-based stories, but if I can take a little more time to allow characters to develop naturally and the story to flow, I will do that.
As we saw with Record of Grancrest War, pacing is a big deal and can be the difference between someone sitting through the whole thing or walking away after a couple of episodes. Not everyone is as stubborn as me. I’m glad I sat it out because it really was compelling towards the end. I will remember it with fond memories, but also that it could have been so much better. It could have been epic!
Other Posts in the Series
- Season One
- Episode 1 – Contract
- Episode 2 – Ambition
- Episode 3 – Battle Flag
- Episode 4 – Decision
- Episode 5 – Forest of Eternal Darkness
- Episode 6 – March
- Episode 7 – The White Prince
- Episode 8 – The Congress Dances
- Episode 9 – The Black Princess
- Episode 10 – Blade of Betrayal
- Episode 11 – The Fall of Castle Unicorn
- Episode 12 – A Treaty Formed
- Episode 13 – To the Homeland
- Episode 14 – The Liberator of Sistina
- Episode 15 – Return
- Episode 16 – Outpost
- Episode 17 – Two Heroes
- Episode 18 – Leader
- Episode 19 – The Awakening of a Noble
- Episode 20 – Pitched Battle of the Three Forces
- Episode 21 – Purge
- Episode 22 – The Holy Grail
- Episode 23 – Castle Walls
- Episode 24 – Grancrest