Record of Grancrest War Ep. 10: More war games

Last week’s episode was chockful of character drama. Sadly, we are right back to dry, boring war planning for the majority of this week’s episode. 

— Did I really need to hear Milza’s grunting right from the get-go? Apparently. In any case, he has now succeeded his father. In other words, he murdered his father. Good job, Marrine. You sold your soul to the devil.

— Villar meets with his advisers and starts giving out orders, but troop movements have never been more forte. I’m just not particularly interested in wartime strategy. Give me human drama and I’m there. On the other hand, telling me that X will go here, and Y will go there will soon make me want to claw my eyes out in boredom. I’m just going to focus on the fact that Theo will soon have to defend himself against Bultava, an enemy I’ve never heard of until now. Such is the way of this adaptation. Also, Villar will seek aid from neighboring kingdoms, but they’ll just go down with him if they lend a hand. That’s how I imagine this narrative will unfold. We’re nearing the halfway point in the series, so it’s due time for things to go dire fast.

— Who are these guys? Don’t know either. I think we’re meeting them for the first time. If not, they must not have met a very strong impression when they last appeared. Such is the way of this adaptation.

— We continue to meet more new faces. Check out this woman being attended to by some dark-skinned servants. Hmmmm. Apparently, she has a real big ship. A really, really big one.

— Then we cut to this guy addressing his battalion of soldiers. His men sure do resemble the ancient Roman army.

— Finally, the focus returns to Theo and Siluca, but even though they should officially be a couple now, we won’t be addressing what happened last week. After all, they’re about to be attacked by Bultava, and Theo won’t have very many men by his side. But hey, he’s the protagonist, so he should be used to being the underdog by now. What’s going to happen is that he’ll pull through somehow with his meager forces, then someone goes, “BAKANA!” Or they’ll say, “Omoshiroi.” It’s always one of the two.

— A Dartanian fleet fast approaches Castle Unicorn, but it’s obviously not that the aid that Villar is hoping for. He does at least get to see a friendly face, though. Margaret has come to warn Villar of Milza’s character, but I mean, he should’ve never trusted a man who looks like that. Evil people always look evil. Such is the way of this adaptation. On a more serious note, what I don’t get is how Villar is acting as if he’s truly surprised by Milza’s actions. The man has said over and over that he will only support someone with ambition, so how did Villar not see this coming? Not only that, Milza has proven himself to be completely merciless and bloodthirsty in battles. I doubt that this has somehow been concealed from Villar’s eyes. So unless our lord is just putting up an act — and I don’t know why he would do so around Margaret — he just seems hopelessly naive.

— We get to watch Milza butcher some more people. This week’s episode has been high on new faces and violence, but woefully low on interesting characterization or drama. I’m kinda bored.

— Seriously? One of Altirk’s great weapons is a giant mirror that focuses (I think) magical energy into a beam of destructive power. What’s sad is that the poor mage operating the device is not a killer. This is probably the first time she’s ever had to take a life, so I feel for her. After all, Villar blundered himself into this conflict.

— Those fire effects are hella bad, though. C’mon, A-1 Pictures. Did you run out of your SAO money already?

— Villar vows to confront Milza directly on the battlefield, because he doesn’t want any more of his precious men to die. Ehhhhh, it’s a bit late for that. Moreover, he is one step closer to his death. Would we really go to all this trouble just for the guy to best Milza in combat? And sadly, I suspect he’ll drag Margaret down with him. The mage will turn against her country because Milza supposedly annihilated her clan. Once again, the rushed adaptation destroys any possibility for Record of Grancrest War to tell a compelling story. There’s a lot of hate between these characters, but these strong emotions are never properly developed. Instead, we merely learn about them through a single line of dialogue.

— Theo ends up being able to summon more men to his side than he and Siluca had initially predicted. The mage wonders if he’s actually beloved, but he denies it. Everything just feels so rushed, rushed, rushed.

— Haman’s giant ship, a.k.a. the Palace of the Sea, almost looks modern. They manage to repel Milza’s fleet for now.

— As for those new faces we met at the start of the episode? They’ve already been routed in battle. Rushed, rush, rushed!

— B-b-but what about Lord Solon!

— The guy shows up just in time to help the Earl of Regalia escape, but he proceeds to fall in battle within the next two minutes or so. Rushed, rushed, rushed! Like sure, I’m not the biggest fan of war scenes, but I still prefer to have these battles play out properly. A guy shows up and immediately dies by the end of the episode. This tells me that he isn’t very important. If he isn’t very important, why are we wasting our time with him? This confounds me, because in the after credits scene, we learn that Theo is successful in defending his territory from Bultava. Theo is important, and yet, we barely spent any time with him last week. We wasted all our time and energy elsewhere instead. Solon has a lot of machismo, so I have no doubt that some viewers will be tricked by that and find him awesome. But for me, his role in this story is nothing but cheap filler.

— Anyways, after receiving all the bad news, Villar seems rather fatalistic about his current predicament. He tells his mages that they still have the sea as their ally, but he is not speaking with much heart or conviction. He seems prepared to lose.

— Don’t you hate it when episode titles end up being spoilers? It’s not a big secret that Altirk will fall or anything, but this just seems easily avoidable. Ah well.

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