I can't say for sure what convinced me to stick with Grancrest Senki until the end, but it became a surprisingly good JRPG inspired action-adventure series.
Record of Grancrest War is, in my opinion, a shining example of how a story can be brought to life remarkably with a talented director. The director Shinichi Omata previously perfected his craft with Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu, he’s proven by now that he’s capable at adapting a good source material; plenty of his visual storytelling quirks are visible in the political drama this series offers. Grancrest is quite different from the drama oriented Rakugo in that its story is
fantastical and its setting revolves around the battlefield.
In adapting this different kind of story, Omata employs new methods to realize the more battle-focused structure. However, this adaptation would prove to be a much tougher ambition. The light novel Grancrest Senki was adapted from is quite long, which is the cause of pacing issues in the first half. The plot moved quickly at first, but upon rewatching all 24 episodes at once they're not nearly bad enough to ruin the show. After all, this is a fast-moving adrenaline-pumping battle show, moving from one battle to the next prevents it from growing tiresome. However, the fast pacing does make it hard to keep track of all the characters and plot lines when watching it weekly. This is likely the cause of so much hate for the show, I know it turned me off at first, but giving it a second chance was definitely worth it. I highly recommend watching this series all at once to enjoy the story at its best.
The story’s premise is relatively simple, Chaos reigns throughout the world and only lords with the power of Crests can stop it. Rather than focusing their efforts to put a stop to the chaos, the lords choose to fight and take one another's Crests because having the power to purify the chaos means control over everyone in the continent who needs protecting. Enter the mage Silica, the series heroine who despises the lords for their greed, through a chance encounter she meets the compassionate wandering knight Theo, seeking to save his homeland. Together they join forces and in a style not dissimilar to a standard JRPG or Dungeons & Dragons, they assemble their party of lords and gradually grow their army. With the goal of unifying the crests and ending Chaos, so more or less world peace, they’re really easy heroes to root for.
This isn't an original story by any means, but it did manage to engage me in spite of this. Not even the fast pacing of the first half could make it difficult to understand what is occurring, although it does help to watch the show consecutively rather than weekly. Rewatching Grancrest after witnessing how it develops in the second half led me to pick up on many details I had initially ignored. The first time I watched it I was mostly disinterested in the plot until the pacing slowed and allowed the main cast time to develop enough to be likable. After rewatching the first half I noticed how despite the cast being incredibly large, the series always makes an effort to give it’s characters motivations.
The source material is probably more in-depth with backstories and more extensive dialogue, but somehow this adaptation is able to compensate for what it’s missing with fantastic directing. One of the best and most frequent examples of this is during important discussions, the director loves to clue you in on how one of the major characters is reacting. He uses very purposefully uses close-ups to consolidate a subtle emotional reaction at the perfect moment. It’s like how you could praise a joke for being well timed, the close-ups are timed right when a key phrase is said invoking a small but important reaction. Perhaps using close-ups like this is sort of a shortcut in writing, but when you have so many characters to juggle with so little time it’s a very helpful way to keep the audience engaged with the cast.
The cast themselves are a fairly standard JRPG party with Theo Cornaro as their leader. Theo is your typical nice guy protagonist, except he actually uses the power he gains to make the world better throughout the show. He’s sort of misguided at first; one of his best lines representing this being “Why can’t we get rid of taxes?” and as usual Silica gently implies that he’s kind of an idiot in the same way a kindhearted little kid is. Even without having the most complex personality, he proves consistently that he is a compassionate person by always putting others ahead of him. Regardless of how high his status rises throughout the series, he doesn’t let himself forget even his foot soldiers.
Frankly, Theo’s simplicity isn’t an obstacle for enjoying the show because he doesn't dominate center stage, he shares it with his partner and eventual love interest Silica, who is a considerably more compelling character. Thankfully Silica is given plenty of agency in the story, she strategizes Theo’s wars with and sometimes for him while he riles up his army with niceness. I hate seeing the love interest character shuffled off into the corner with no pull in the narrative, so Silica’s defiance and individuality are quite refreshing. Their burgeoning romance throughout the series feels incredibly organic, they don’t fall in love because Theo is the guy with the power but out of mutual respect for one another and passion for the same goal. He wants to unite the crests so they can be used to protect everyone and she expresses disdain for the lord's misuse of the crests; they’re a dynamic duo and they have genuine chemistry together in and out of the battles.
And the battles, so many battles. I wasn’t prepared for exactly how much fighting would be in Grancrest Senki, but I suppose it does live up to its English title Record of Grancrest War. The battles are how the series progresses its story, similar to the JRPGs that inspired it. If you want an ally, fight them and prove you’re worthy. If you have a disagreement, fight them and prove who’s right. Thankfully, the action is passionately animated. Action scenes are dynamically directed with many different fighting styles used, with different animators hired throughout the series to keep this approach to telling the story refreshing. Even the guy who animated the breathtaking sakuga in Fate/Apocrypha returned to do a few episodes here, and dare I say they fit Grancrest even better thanks to its strong emotional core. There were, however, a few times where the visuals weren’t up to snuff and it was clear they were saving the budget for a grand climax. Other than those low points, it’s visually quite solid.
The various art styles and animation techniques used to great effect make Grancrest Senki feel more experimental rather than the standard look you’d expect from A-1 pictures. Director Shinichi Omata reminds us of his penchant for well realized dramatic moments with great editing on and off the battlefield. Notably, some of the storyboards used for one of the show's cruelest antagonists Milza are suitably moody with alienating points of view constantly hiding him in shadows. Another great way the villain is portrayed is through the striking thicker lines and his character design being engulfed in darkness aside from his eye and weapon, perfectly conveying the intimidation meant to be felt by the heroes. The visuals superbly define the tone at many points throughout the show; whether it be sweeping establishing shots of lush castles, the dark abstract style to show the presence of chaos, and especially the hopeful horizons illuminated by the setting sun to convey levity after a war. Also, the use of its thrilling orchestral pieces and occasionally uplifting ones do wonders for ensuring emotional beats are on point.
The most impactful part of the story comes at the very end with the most satisfying and rewarding finale the series could have possibly had. Resolving the conflict in a way that beautifully reincorporates the uplifting themes and previously unresolved character arcs. Although the plot's direction is predictable to anyone who has played a JRPG of its type, what matters is the execution. This isn't some kind of mystery story, although there are plenty of twists and even a couple of shocking betrayals sprinkled in, the story's main success lies in how it's stellar story-telling. I can't say more without spoiling it, but just know that the ending truly feels like a reward for completing the series.
[Final Score: 7/10]
Grancrest Senki’s standard tale of underdogs rising to power is so engaging because of great visual storytelling. If you’re looking for a combat-oriented action-adventure, with plenty of in-depth strategizing, and a romance featuring two compelling leads, then chances are you’ll find this series as enthralling as I did.
***Caution: This review contains spoilers (the specific spoiler discussions will be clearly marked for you to see) so if you can't predict a cliched anime’s cliches, skip the spoiler sections I've marked. Also, do not read this review if you are a Grancrest diehard because it'll probably trigger you, unless if you're objective. If you're neither of these parties, read on with a free mind!***
Grancrest was the first seasonal I picked up in 2018 (not saying much since it released in Jan 6 anyway) and unfortunately my 2018 mean fell right off the bat. Grancrest stumbled out of the gate and fell flat on its
face for the first few episodes and took a long time to get it's footing right. There are different places where I found the show good or bad, which is why I don't consider this show absolutely trash (surprise surprise, not FranXX anyway). So it's first episode started off very conveniently in such that Theo appears out of nowhere, beats the Lord after coming out of nowhere, and picks a somewhat scantily clad girl after as mentioned (not unlike most other isekai or fantasy anime, but I'm not complaining, nothing wrong with fanservice I say :P), coming out of nowhere. Sounds like a rant so I'll tone down for the next bit.
The show tried introducing it's characters little by little, introducing us to examples like Lassic, Milza among others for the early episodes and introduced others later down the line too. It's always good to see that not all the cast is revealed in its first episode, but unfortunately that didn't help much because we had to make room for our Oh-so-great green haired MC, Theo. Many praised his “badassery” and his “forward-thinking” and him “not being dense and weak” and I was terribly confused since none felt true except for his dense part which was randomly and conveniently revealed in a later episode. That is the problem with the show, it's that it's too convenient. “Oh Theo is gonna die” but something convenient happens and he's saved. “Oh this is gonna happen” but then to benefit Theo’s side it doesn't and the opposite direction is taken. I mean, the show makes Theo out to be like he's the coming of the Messiah or something. He comes, conquers VERY easily, is kind to people (more on that in a bit) and has people serve him in droves. I know it sounds like a rant but to be objective there's nothing wrong with having a righteous MC. It's just that in its current premise I doubt that's what's needed or what makes the most sense. What do I mean? The show is trying to prove that war is dark and to win a war there are sacrifices to be made but Theo goes Yang Wen-Li and wins the war without any well thought out tactics? No thank you. This isn't how you do a war show and definitely not how you make a badass MC. I mean, speaking of Yang, that show excellently shows why war is dark.
Where there is war there is loss on both sides and this MC is the complete opposite of that. Is there anything wrong with never losing? I don't think so, I mean, a guy like Yang Wen-Li has lost at least once and Theo never did? Don't joke with me A-1. If you're making your MC win as well, MAKE IT BELIEVABLE. Speaking of believable we've got the laughable “battle tactics”. Once again, it's a show about war so it should have a proper description of what battle tactics are right? WRONG. There is absolutely no mention or any sense in the “battle tactics” involved and it's just “Charge and win” which I doubt is something that works even 10% of the time, especially when you're constantly outnumbered. A simple “We'll attack from here and there to trap them” isn't how a battle tactic works. Sense? No, definitely not. Oh and speaking of no sense, we go back to our MC, Theo. To be fair, he did have a decent backstory, I definitely have to give credit where it's due and Theo’s backstory is one that deserves a clap. Just a clap. Why? It's because it was seldom explored after that one episode and they just threw in a pre-show romantic interest and let's just say “tried to be edgy” by giving her one heck of a bombed send-off. And bombs is not the word here. The battle tactics used there as well were close to zilch I'm sad to say. How can inexperienced commoners beat an advanced army? I sincerely apologise because I do not know. Neither did the show.
Then we move to the so called “romance subplot”. It was pretty obvious that Theo would be paired up with Blondie and unfortunately as I expected it wasn't done well. Why does Japan have a hard on for ruining blonde love interests in subplots? (Once again, there are exceptions, we have seen some good blonde love interests in other anime romance subplots before but not as often as one might expect). And this isn't about hair colour here. She was underused and overblown at the same time. She had around 2-3 important lines to say in each episode that were of value, no scratch that, 2-3 important lines every 2 episodes (severely averaged for ease of comprehensive analysis). Her only use was to satisfy the fanboys who already love Theo the “Hero" and want a romance subplot with all the kisses and vows. What if you like me don't like Theo? Zannen-deshoka, you won't be satisfied at all.
You might say Siluca herself might be able to stand on her own as a character but unfortunately that's not the case with most of the people in the cast. Why? It's because all the characters are cast as stepping stones for Theo-sama to step on and take this place as the best character and biggest badass in this anime. Result? Let's tone down before I turn this into a rant (“wait, it isn't?” I hear you say :P), disappointing. Convenience and stepping stones was the word here unfortunately. Now that I've spewed enough poison over poison, let's calm our nerves down with the plus points of the anime apart from the sadly less explored Theo backstory, the soundtrack. I'd be lying if I didn't tell you I jammed to the second OP each time it played, oh it was so epic. The music selection was needless to say, fantastic, and that's NOTHING to say of the BGM (that's BackGround Music to those who don't know), it was Grancrest's signature achievement. It sent chills down your spine and made you smile in anticipation of what's to come (spoilers: disappointment) and it pumped you up. The visuals thankfully weren't so bad in the OPs and EDs and on a personal note I loved both the EDs. You obviously may not see eye to eye with me but I loved both of them equally and served as an antidepressant for the earlier events of the episode.
Now back to the negatives because I'm out of positives to give, that one scene with Milza and Theo. Since this is a major spoiler so skip approximately 3 lines if you don't want to know about this predictable fight.
***Spoiler begin: The thing is that Milza had given mercy to Theo when Theo didn't ask for it and was about to be killed in the first duel, but in the second and apparently more important one, Theo kills Milza. Nani? Why? What? How? Exactly. I thought they wanted to make Theo look like the next Messiah, what happened here? Well, one could say they wanted to make Theo look badass? I don't even know anymore, needless to say, it was in all literal and figurative sense, a bloody mess. Spoiler end***
Moving back to the stepping stones, the characters. We go with another spoiler section (will not start immediately so hold on), Alexis and Marrine’s “Romeo and Juliet romance”. Pardon me while I vomit. Okay, let's continue, in terms of anime if you've seen my dropped list I've had the Romeo x Juliet anime at a 2/10 so if you like the story of it in anime form, I don't think you'll hate it so much, unless, if you treat Grancrest like it's equivalent. Romeo and Juliet, the Shakespeare play didn't focus on war as much as the romance, because surprise surprise, it's a romance first and foremost, and another important part is that there's tragedy involved. Does Grancrest follow any of these? No. Why is Marrine and Alexis’ romance related to Romeo and Juliet? Blame the fans, but that's not the issue here. It's that this type of romance won't work in a war show.
I've said this many times in different situations above, Grancrest does a lot of non-war things in a war show and it ruins many of the existing things relative to war shows as well. Going back to the Romeo and Juliet part, some say the Great Hall Tragedy shown in the first scene of the anime counts as tragedy but to that I say “read the original play”. In a later episode, in the final arc, the “final battle” which was hyped since the first few episodes that too, went with a POOF. And by POOF I don't mean a bomb. I mean “The anatomical juxtaposition of two orbicularis oris muscles in a state of contraction." As described by Henry Gibbons. In other words, a kiss. Nani? What? Why? When? What happened to the deaths and sacrifices of all those who fought leading up to this event? Why did they hype this battle if this was how it would end? What sort of timing is this??? Marriage? Kiss? Love? Unity? Nothing wrong with all these, but the question remains. If you HAD to follow it this way, then what was the meaning of those previous 20 episodes? Were they to waste? Did they serve as bait? Couldn't this series start off at like episode 16 or 18 and be an OVA? So many questions, and little to no answers.
And so, jumping back to the “It's a war” excuse, in a war you have major character deaths right? Where did the major characters die? Apart from a few minor characters who were obviously forgotten after the next 2 episodes when did we see the death of a main character? Once again, to be fair and objective, there is absolutely nothing wrong with not having major deaths in an anime, I agree, but if you are indeed trying to show that Theo’s side was weak, then why didn't you have important deaths? Yes, the deaths in the first half did exist and they definitely served their purpose, so that's a plus point, but we didn't see anything after that… Now, a rebuttal to what people might point fingers at my review at, I'll definitely hear the likes of “Almost all your points against the show are targeting the war aspect of it. You don't know how war shows go. This show isn't about war, it's about blablabla”. Except for that last one which will definitely be used by those who don't even know what the anime is about (please, do not misunderstand, most of you aren't a part of this trope so do not worry), This show is all about war, it's called Grancrest Senki. So it's about war.
Another example of a “war show” would be Gakusen Toshi Asterisk, which according to MAL in English is “The Asterisk War”. My point? Even though their names include the word war (or at least their English counterparts) none of them actually do follow the principles of a war show, less so in Grancrest, since it's whole premise was based on it and that immediately puts it just above Asterisk. So even though Grancrest is about war it rarely sticks to the proper formula of it and no, don't tell me it's a deconstruction, I'll kill you.
Finally, we move on to the last issue of the show which I'll cover, the show’s artstyle. Made by A-1, I expected the show to do okay but it couldn't do that either. Character models looked weak, CGI was used in many scenes (not all), the choreography of the fight scenes themselves were so bad I cringed under my bones and to top it all off, I couldn't find it good at all even at 1080p (yes, I upscaled to 1080p episodes mid-season and still suffered with the artstyle). To go into a little more detail, the character models weren't that eye catchy and to cover for this factor they tried deploying fanservice into the war show to try and make things look attractive (oh fun fact: ever heard of showing your nude body to your army to bolster their morale? Me neither) and I'm not complaining about fanservice (since I love it when used properly) but that it's used in the wrong place and at the wrong time. Perhaps the only “fanservice” that was used at the right time was Siluca’s outfit, which was… attractive :P
Apart from that the fanservice used in the show wasn't done well and A-1 after that episode stopped deploying it and went back to CGI war sequences. Once again to make it clear. I don't have any problem with fanservice, I enjoy Ecchi, it's just that they should be done at the right time, many would say that there's no such specific time for fanservice but I’d say otherwise. If it's not an Ecchi show, don't do random fanservice please thank you. Moving back to the main artstyle, it in simple words wasn't done well for the reasons explained above.
***Spoiler begin: One of the most pathetic and biggest cop outs in the anime was how quickly they changed the villain from Marrine to the Mage Academy. It felt like a ridiculous cop out since the previous episode already ended the whole conflict of the past 20 episodes with a single “I still love you” (oh if only life and war was this easy) and as such this obviously leaves a hugely negative taste in the viewer’s mouth. But wait! There were still 4 more episodes! How ever could they fill them? By adding another villain and acting like “they were the villain all along” sort of crap. So, the whole 20 episodes of what you watched was for nothing bc Marrine suddenly became good and the last 4 episodes are important because the Mage Academy were the villains all along? They never showed up in the show before though? No mention of them was made and nothing was talked about. Yet they suddenly and extremely conveniently make their appearance to quickly put an end to the cries of “What was the point of the past 20 eps???” and from what I can see, that failed spectacularly. They continued with this bullish nature till the end… Spoiler end***
For anyone wondering about it's ending, Grancrest’s ending does bring closure. Although on the cliched Shoujo side. It had it's purpose to play. The first half of the episode was as disappointing as you'd expect from the show. But the second half tried to mend those to little avail. Yeah it was cute I could say but such an ending is the same as what happened with the Marrine vs Alexis war… Not something I'd call amazing but eh, it served it's purpose I guess… I guess they wanted to follow the fairytale? Either way, Grancrest left me unimpressed.
And so with a heavy heart I must conclude that Grancrest isn't at all what I'd like to call a “good” show this year. It's plot was excrutiatingly convenient, the characters were made such that they were stepping stones for Theo, Marrine and Alexis’ romance was horribly handled and had a ridiculously lame “resolution” later on, the Artstyle wasn't what I expected, the battle tactics weren't at all present, the “final battle” was a laughable cop out, etc. the show had one or two positive points to it namely the soundtrack that was brilliantly done and Theo’s backstory was somewhat decent. This is all I can say to end on a positive note on this semi-rant and semi-review hybrid, not unlike my Dakara boku wa H ga dekinai review which was done in my old format back when the year started. If you made it till here, thank you for taking the time to read this review and if you do decide to watch Grancrest, please don't expect too much of it because the end result is far lower than that. Most of what you expect from Grancrest can be found elsewhere in shows that are actually good anyway right?
P.S: ***MAJOR SPOILER: Another show where the Hero restores peace to the land eh… how tiring and cliched. Not that the villain should win but this journey was terrible throughout… MAJOR SPOILER END***
Fantasy-genre shows, often times, have the dilemma of getting too caught up in their own facade, resulting in an omission of the basic rules of adequate storytelling (i.e. developing realistic characters and a coherent plot). Grancrest Senki not only fails on the latter account, it also doesn’t concentrate enough effort on the fantasy itself, instead opting for, rushed, battle scenes with insufficient background knowledge to know why certain events are taking place. Needless to say, the viewer is left in a state of confusion, wondering why events seem disjointed from one another, and what the purpose of the show is as a whole.
Despite these glaring oversights, the show attempts to display a sense of grandeur with its use of magical spells and crest powers; however, it feels rudimentary in its approach, failing to distinguish itself from the crowd of analogous shows that came before its time.
It is, in a word: commonplace.
In fact, I would venture to guess that the show’s staff spent more of its time discussing what color a character’s hair, or eyes, should be, rather than determining an interesting way of presenting a strong narrative. Sure, there are numerous, unforeseen plot twists that produce genuine shock, but they don’t meld well with the ongoing story. They are, in essence, empty events, lacking necessary substance for the viewer to latch onto, and become empathetic to what is happening on the screen. To crystallize these claims, look no further than episode nine, a major turning point in the series. In a scene that is oddly reminiscent of episode eleven in Berserk (the 1997 series), Theo and Siluca take shelter in the base of a tree from precipitous rainfall. Siluca, unable to control her emotions, confronts Theo about his thoughts towards her, as he admits that he loves her. Besides being overly-romanticized, their infatuation for one another lacks the appropriate depth to feel authentic. These two hardly know each other, except for the fact that Theo is a “prodigious” wanderer, and Siluca is a mage who get’s infuriated when other’s stare at her scantily clad outfit — for god’s sake, just wear something else you whiny tramp.
Speaking of which, that brings me to the next whore, Marrine Kreische. Being the “clairvoyant” that she is, Marrine decides that she cannot win the war without Mirza (the perpetually angry dude); thus, she passively offers herself to him in a scene that can only be described as inane. I mean, let’s be honest, she just conquered the entire nation of Starck with little-to-no effort, because of the use of miasma. Why, then, is it essential for her to have Mirza to the point of having intercourse with him? Besides being proficient with his sword (hehe), he doesn’t offer much in terms of strategic planning or anything else that requires a modicum of actual thought. Therefore, her decision to do the nasty with him doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. It’s not the content of the scene that I’m enamored with — as far too many fanboy’s are — it’s the execution, and the lack of build up to her eventual fall from grace.
The story, for lack of a better term, is nonsensical, and with each resultant plot twist, the damage becomes significantly worse. Instead of concocting logical battle plans or implementing the use of military tactics, we see an angry Mirza slashing his sword through countless enemies, as his troops, apparently, watch him as he does so. Swords glow, blood spills, magic happens, and new characters/countries are introduced with each passing episode; but, ultimately, it’s all window dressing to conceal the vacuous character’s that plague the viewer’s enjoyment. Investing two minutes of each episode, to chronicle pivotal attributes of each pertinent character would have been time well spent; instead of resorting to cheap fan-service ploys (a-la Queen Eudokia when she “inspired” her troops).
The omission of narrative flow is evident from the outset, as episodes leap from one critical moment to the next, without ample explanation to bridge the narrative gap. Simply put: it is a gallimaufry of perplexing events. The crux of this issue lies with the desire to construct an expansive story with a myriad of nations. Nothing wrong with striving for breadth in an anime series, but when character’s are glossed over, and battles just seem to a happen — as if, from thin air — it becomes frustrating to solve the puzzle that the anime staff was too indolent to solve themselves. Furthermore, there is no historical context as to why the Factory Alliance and the Fantasia Union are at odds with one another in the first place (let alone the intrusive involvement of the Mage Academy). We are given a generic explanation that the various Lords want to collect the crests to increase their influence and power. But, even then, where did the crests come from, and why do they possess such miraculous powers? Can anyone become a mage, or only certain people? Why didn’t we hear about the divine beasts until episode 20, and did they rip that concept off from Zelda: Breath of the Wild — certainly seems like it!
Though, with “inspirational” lines like this, “It’ll all work out somehow,” from Theo Cornaro, the show’s main protagonist. It’s not terribly surprising the show left numerous questions unanswered. In the end, it aimed for everything (mostly through appropriation), yet it was all for naught, as it became the medieval equivalent of an Expendables movie.
War isn’t so bad but it’s what and how it leads to it. It seems in fantasy war stories these days, we rarely encounter a story that isn’t saturated with the most generic tropes possible. Romance, tragedy, revenge, politics. You name it. It’s there. What does that say for a show like Grancrest Senki (Record of the Grancrest War) though?
To be fair, I’ve never read the original light novels before. It’s written by a guy named Ryo Mizuno who created the Record of Lodoss War series. Even as an anime original viewer, it felt like a series that was easy to jump into. The
premise isn’t overly complicated as we learn about how war broke loose in the world of Grancrest Senki. Humanity uses Crests that are capable of utilizing magic to deal with supernatural threats such as demons. The most powerful crests are known as Grancrest. Unfortunately, humans are flawed and war broke loose as people seek to gain the most powerful crests themselves. The series chronicles the story of Siluca Meletes and Theo Corano as the two hopes to end the conflict between humanity themselves and defeat the demons.
Ok. It's not complicated but as an anime viewer, I’m baffled by the storytelling pacing of the show from the very start. It’s lightning fast that by the time I finished the fourth or fifth episode, it felt like the series jumped way over itself. It would be fair game if the show focused on the story with concrete development but instead, we are introduced with many characters early from the start. Besides Siluca and Theo, the show contains lots of characters of nobility. Aristocrats are a common sight and stands at the high tier of society. On the other hand, there are also characters that dedicates themselves to their own devoted duties such as Aishela, Irvin, and Margaret, and Marrine. Unfortunately, most of these characters have flaws like the way humans do. Some of their decisions in the show are very controversial. Marrine is a prime example in one of the later episodes as she makes a choice that will rub people in the wrong way.
I have attempted to forgive the characters’ choices making as it’s not easy for a show like this to make adequate ones. In other words, how should we judge the characters? Let’s talk about our main protagonists, Siluca and Theo. These two come from different backgrounds but are perhaps the least corrupted individuals in their world. Siluca may be an inexperienced mage but she has a heart of gold. While not as skilled as some others, Siluca is a character with a clever mind although can be forceful at times to get her point across. It didn’t surprise to me that she would sometimes take risks to accomplish her goals. On the other hand, Theo is a man who is perhaps one of the most calm characters in the show. Always keeping his cool and in control of his emotions, it feels like the show designates him as an eventual leader. He also has human morals that are often shown through his actions and words. Often choosing a path with the least violence, Theo does engage in fighting if he feels absolutely necessary. While you could say that these two are perfectly suited for the show, they do make mistakes as well. It’s also inevitable that romance would eventually develop between the two as many hints are dropped in throughout the show. However, unlike most couple pairings, it seems these two really are destined to be together with their similar ideals. This is in contrast with some character pairings such as Marrine/Alexis or Villar/Margaret where fate somehow interferes with their love. Still, the show tries its best to maintain a balanced war story. Romance is actually subtle even with some of the background storytelling such as the one between Marrine and Alexis. In a show like this, I have to admit that throwing in many tropes at once doesn’t help it flow better. It’s like an amalgamation of fictional elements all coming together that may leave viewers feel distracted. The political affairs in the show also feels forced on many occasions despite being necessary for the overall story.
With 24 episodes, the show’s pacing somehow still takes a stab in the heart. Some episodes are abruptly resolved while others loves to play around with its tropes. The storytelling itself is also predictable with some events that are inevitable to happen. As I mentioned before, there are too many characters that some are just left in the dust and others hardly developed. Aishela is a crime of this as we barely finds out anything about her at all until near the end of the show. By then, I wonder if viewers even cares. Others such as Priscilla and Mirza suffers from characterization as there are hardly any memorable qualities about them. It feels like the author decided to thrown in all sort of characters in at once to make the show feel credible. This even extends to characters with supernatural origins such as werewolves and vampires. Well, I suppose the creators wanted to take that risk but to me, it wasn’t rewarding in the end. With so many characters, Grancrest Senki felt like a play with an overstacked roster where not everyone got their chance to shine.
To the surprise of no one, A-1 Pictures adapts the show as many of the series have a similar style when it comes to fantasy series. Because this show also involves war and magic, you’ll definitely get a familiarity of what they present each episode. First of all, I would like to say that the animation quality does look sharp especially in early episodes. The action choreography looks smooth and characters are decorated with enough details suitable for this show. However, the character designs themselves leaves little to be desired. Siluca’s ridiculous outfit is a prime example of being distracting to the point that she herself is aware of it. Others such as Marrine and Alexis looks incredibly one dimensional that fits with the nobility stereotype. Oh and of course, fan service exists. There’s skinship in some episodes that leaves little to the imagination while action is shown in brutal uncensored details. To say the least, A-1 did its job but not one that I can confess as impressive overall. The production quality does drop over time in typical A-1 fashion as time passes.
Compared to a few other fantasy war stories I’ve watched, I’d say that Grancrest Senki has a moderate soundtrack. It didn’t set the bar high though as it still sounds very generic even during climatic battle scenes. The theme songs contains the sort of J-Pop style lyrics you probably hear often these days. Character voice mannerisms are moderate at best although I have to admit that certain cast members really sounds motivated. Even Siluca has her own moments that are sometimes worth quoting despite her personality.
Watching Grancrest Senki reminds me of playing a video game where the developer wants you to love what the designed. Truth to be told, I think the show is average at best. It reached its high points in the show on some episodes while making an ill early impression. Quite frankly, there are way too many characters that by the time the show is over, I can only recall a few names. The pacing feel sloppy and really could have improved on many levels. Watch it if you want but be prepare for being underwhelmed.
I have one word for the creators of this show: PACING!
I don't think I've ever seen a show that had so little grasp of how pacing should be done in a form of entertainment. One episode we're watching a full war scene where every detail is being focused on with flashy fights, decent choreography, and plenty of magic. The very next will have any battles just skimmed over as "yeah some people died, here's a 5 second clip of people dying." One episode will go deep into the politics and bonds present in the show, then it switches to either skimming over
important things or it changes back over to thinking it's an action show. Pick a speed, and pick a theme to tell your story, don't just mash everything you've got into a pile and call it a tale.
Story aside, most of the characters are as unbelievable as they can possibly be. The MC Siluca has the loyalty of a squirrel that's found someone with a nut it wants (other MC: Theo). Here we have an extremely talented mage who is already setup for fame and fortune throwing it all away to dedicate their entire life to a random stranger they found on the side of the road...what? Theo is a complete mess of a character as, again, the authors can't seem to decide what he is. Is he naive, is he smart, is he dumb, is he aiming for the top, or is he simply looking to accomplish his goals? You can't make a good character by answering YES to all of the above!
On top of all of this the story suffers from several elements being shoehorned in for no reason at all. Why does Siluca wear revealing clothing? Because she was wearing them at the start of the show and is apparently incapable of ever changing them, despite constantly complaining about them and how everyone else leers at her. Why did we need a sex scene between two people that have never even met before? Yeah, remember the pacing issue? Five seconds of people dying in a horrible battle for territory, but here's a full timeslot dedicated to watching the two opposing rulers banging each other under the moon simply because he asked. No reason, nothing added to the story, guy just walks up and says "I know we're enemies but I want to have sex with you." Who wrote any of this and thought it made a single degree of sense?!
This show is a complete and utter mess, which is a shame as the art is actually pretty good. The crests and clothing are colorful and really add to the atmosphere of the setting. Too bad it's only dolling up nonsensical characters and awkward scenes. The only reason I'm still watching this at all is out of sheer curiosity of where this trainwreck is going to finally stop.
If there an anime studio that I hate the most it would be A1 Pictures. Not because of Digibro with his 12 part Asterisk Wars sucks series. I hate A1 pictures is because the way they constantly ditching out garbage left and right as well not learning from the mistakes. Some people way say that Toei and Pierrot are the worse but least at times they can actually ditch out some quality and enjoyable projects every now and then compare to A1 Pictures where almost all the anime that were done by A1 are either mediocre or steaming pile of shit that shouldn’t exist. In
a nutshell, they are basically the anime equivalent of Electronic Arts where they love to pander to the lowest common denominator with the buggy releases, forced micro-transactions, and overall shallow games.
Record of the Grancrest war along with Darling in the Franxx which is mainly a A1 show mind you are the latest A1 shows to come out from A1’s dog collars to deliver us two seasonal anime train-wrecks in order to once again please the lowest common dominator of anime with the atrocious writing, bland tropey characters, subpar art and preachy themes.
Like with most A1 productions I kept my expectations very low because honestly the moment I praise a show from A1 the show would go back to its awful roots by having a stupid plot twist that completely goes against the narrative that has been previously been set up in previous episodes to having creepy and horrible sex scenes… Needless to say, I and my good friend decided to marathon this train-wreck of a show and by the end of it, we were shocked of how bad it was to a point where I actually one of A1 worst shows. Now with that, all said Hello everyone this is Shawn aka PhantomKurata and welcome to my review of Record of the Grancrest war and with that said let’s dive into this train-wreck shall we.
Atlatan, a land ruled by Chaos. Fearing disaster brought about by chaos, the people lived protected by “Lords;” those with the power of “Crests,” used to suppress the chaos. However, the Lords decided to abandon the concept of protecting the people and turn against each other, stealing each other’s Crests to gain dominion over one another. The story follows Siluca a young mage who scorns the feuding lords for abandoning their people. One day she meets a wandering swordsman and Crest holder Theo who is trying to liberate his hometown from its tyrant lord. Seeking for an opportunity Siluca helps Theo raise his rank to a knight as well forming a contract with him. Joining forces, Siluca, Theo and their allies fight together to end the war between the different noble factions, and put an end to the threat of Chaos.
Like with most A1 productions they all have great concept and ideas on paper, however, A1 Pictures has the really nasty habit of taking things that have great potential and decides to screw it all up in actual execution and Record of Grancrest War no different.
The story in Record of Grancrest War is only interesting if you have never seen any action fantasy anime in your life because it’s one of the most generic run of the mill fantasy story that there is. A character starts off as a nobody but as soon as he gets invited to set army and trains for a while he became one of the strongest characters from the army. All of the fantasy cliches are present here.
The writing is poor at best as it features a lot of questionable acts that go happened within the show, for example, the end of episode 9 where the alliance Marrine wanted to meet with Lord Milza so they can perform a ritual together by having sex in the open of a countryside. What the hell were you thinking A1 Pictures? It’s bad enough that they have sex in the open where at anytime they can get shot down by arrows by any faction but the way Marrine was acting during that sex act was incredibly disturbing and made me feel uncomfortable. I don’t sex scenes in anime but they A1 Pictures does them is creepy and forced. I hope to god that A1 Pictures will never animate a sex scene ever again because these incompetent bastards don’t know the meaning of sex.
Don’t get me started with this shows directing because I have never seen a war fantasy show that skips fights/battles and a great example of this was in episode 17 where the Kilhis army focus was planning to attack the Dartanian army and instead of showing the whole battle as soon the leader puts on the golden mask on the show fades out and the next shot we see that the Killhis forces were defeated and to add insult to entry the leader info-dumps all the events that happened in the battle instead of showing us the battle… WHY JUST WHY. I understand the show wanted to establish of how powerful the Dartanian army is but this was the cheapest way to do it. It’s like they clearly ran out of budget just for that scene.
The worst thing from this show that single-handily killed the show was the pacing. The pacing in Record of Grancrest war is way too fast for its own good. It’ was okay in the beginning but it really became a big problem as the series goes on and because of the shows fast pacing almost all of the things that go on in the show feels incredibly rushed. The perfect example of this show awful pacing is with Theo character progression. In the beginning of the series, the show establishes that he is a sloppy fighter who cannot defend himself but in a couple of episodes later he suddenly becomes an expert fighter as well a ruler of his own lead who is very capable of taking over mutable lands. The sad part is thanks to the shows fast pacing we barely got to see any character development and growth from Theo at all. This was single-handily Record of the Grancrest war biggest mistake and because of that the show became an insufferable train-wreck most A1 productions
Overall the story for Record of Grancrest Senki is just awful.
Like with the story the characters are only interesting if you never seen a fantasy anime before because they are all just generic fantasy characters that we all seen before. Am not trying that having generic characters in a fictional work is bad because generic characters can actually be likable and charming if done right. The problems is apart from Siluca all of the characters in Record of the Grancrest war are all generic and one dimensional who have no charm at all.
Theo is your typical fantasy lead that we all seen before other fantasy animes in the past. His character development is nearly non-existent thanks to this show pacing issues and his personality is boring.
Siluca is a pretty decent female lead overall. She’s strong, likable, and just very enjoyable to watch. It’s such a shame that she’s not really the main focus because she could have been a great character if Theo didn’t exist. Now if I think about it Theo existence completely hold this character back from being great as she kinda devolves as a character as the series goes along where she just wants to lick on Theo’s dick. Such a shame really because she could have been a great character.
The rest of the characters in Record of Garncrest War are just your generic fantasy characters that we all seen before and they are not even worth mentioning due to how one note all of them are including the villains.
Overall the characters in Record of Garncrest War were really bad and forgetful.
When it comes to the visuals of Record of Garncrest war I thought the visuals were pretty alright for the most part.
The characters designs are pretty decent overall especially for the females who have the best designs in the series.
The fan-service in this anime is pretty tolerable for the most, however, the anime at times can get carried away with the fan-service but least it not as bad as The Asterisk Wars and Eromanga Sensei.
The one thing that I didn’t like about the art is how inconstant it is from character going off model in various scenes in the show to awkwardly use of CGI in many scenes in the show. The animation is passable for the most part however it had its fair share of still frames in many areas as well as some awkward shots.
Overall the visuals of Record of the Garncrest war is decent for the most part.
Like with most A1 Productions the soundtrack is easily the best part about these shows and Record of the Garncrest war is no different.
Both opening and ending themes of the show were pretty good overall.
The voice acting is pretty good for the type of show that it is and I have no complaints whatsoever.
Record of the Grancrest War is one of the worst directed show I have ever seen from this genre.
It was very boring to watch and it made me wish I was watching other fantasy names. The story is shallow and poorly written. The directing and pacing was beyond trash, most of the characters were sucked and the animation was subpar. The only decent things about this show were the visuals and music.
Like with most A1 Productions it should be thrown in the dumpster where it should be destroyed. If you like Record of Grancrest War and any A1 production than good for you but don’t go out there and say that A1 is a great anime studio because you will only piss off more experienced anime fans such as myself. Don’t get me wrong I like a couple of A-1 shows like Black Butler Book of Circus/Murder, Woatkoi, Magi and Shinsekai Yori but for every A-1 show that I like these always a bunch of A1 shows that I hate like Eromanga Sensei, The Asterisk Wars, Fate Apocrypha, Sword Art Online etc.
I don’t recommend this show to anyone unless you want to see how incompetent A-1 Pictures is as a studio for the 20th time.
This may very well be my first ever review for any anime; made an account simply because of it.
There are several things that need be noted about Grancrest Senki, first of which is a personal one - I've never seen such level of butthurt from viewers as I did here, and I will explain at the end of my review.
-Story (8/10) - Very Good
The story is pretty solid, not something we haven't seen, but the unique twist that brings in politics and actual intrigue to the mix warms my heart. The way it is portrayed is not what you would regularly see in animes, in
fact - it was refreshing. Overall, the only downside was the pacing of the actual story, which had been going all over the place (But it is well within acceptable bounds, you can clearly understand what is going on, and that is what matters most).
-Art (10/10) - Outstanding
I don't need to put many words here, the style and the shading were superb and I do wish to see more shows like this. Overall, it fits well with the story theme and was very pleasant.
-Sound (9/10) - Great
I'm not an expert, but the sounds were Great! not something I will remember by the end of the next year, but they fit the setting pretty well in my opinion.
-Enjoyment (9/10) - Great
There was a certain scene that was controversial and caused a lot of spite in the anime community that took up the show, but for me, that certain scene gave all the more enjoyment to the story in general and opened many more questions for me. It is an emotional ride, and I do believe that a show SHOULD have that sort of impact on you, be it a sad moment or something you feel outraged at; Grancrest Senki definitively had its fair share of squeezing our hearts (for better or worse).
-Overall (9/10) - Personally anywhere between 8.7-9.2
Finally, to address the issue of butthurt viewers. Halfway through the show, there is a certain scene that defines true fans of anime from people that are simply ignorant. That scene will define if you have any respect towards the author and the anime studio that made the anime possible. If you give a bad review solely because of that one scene, then congratulations - you have no respect for someone's hard work and time.
Thank you very much for reading my review and I do hope it has touched some (or any) that come across it to pick up the show.
I'm giving 2/10 just for the sake of art and sound.
The Anime showed some potential on how characters and story can grow in the first couple of episodes. But then everything went down the hill in my opinion.
It was going too fast but I still had the feeling that can still turn into a masterpiece, believing the potential in it.
But After a couple of episodes, whatever the way characters or story turned out in this anime, (currently on 9th) diminished my will to continue watching it.
Basically : No Connection between actions,
Poorly expressed characters and their reasons.
I don't oppose some angel character turning into a total demon. But in this anime, there's just not enough factors and events to understand why things turned out like this. I don't care what will happen in the end.
Might be spoiler but I don't think that is since it's the very first episode of the anime : I managed to ignore first events such as when bride leaves the groom just because some third party jackass ruins it, even the wedding meant to benefit both sides and bring peace, but that was just all bull feces.
I'll be honest here. When I started watching this show, couple episodes in I just kinda dropped it off. The art was nice and all but the pacing was all over the place, and I initially thought this was just going to be another one of those ecchi, harem run off the mill senki animes.
I eventually found the time to give this series a chance and oh boy. As I kept watching the show just made me turn a complete 180 and now Grancrest Senki is one of the few shows that I look forward to with each passing week this season.
+Art is great.
and their development. Other characters get quite a lot of screen time.
+Music and sound.
+Animation - them battle scenes.
+Female MC is great. She's smart, determined, hardworking.
+Male MC was initially bland, but he's earned my respect. Yeah he's no wuss, he's a man.
+Gets darker as it progresses, but not in an edgy way. Think milder GoT in anime form. Honestly when [something] happened I was thinking to myself "Holy crap, wait, is it that kind of anime?" and yeah it was confirmed as I kept watching.
+Feels. Them feels man.
+More mature show than I thought it would be.
+Certain things aren't expanded upon (yet).
+Some awesome characters just come and go.
+Very rocky first few episodes.
+Marrine. I get her reasoning, but I don't agree with the way she's going on about it.
In conclusion, very enjoyable show. I'll update this review once the show finishes airing.
Having only watched 8 episodes of this I have to say that the show feels rushed. It's only 6 or 7 eps in that it finally has enough set up for it to really tell its story.
The male MC is a typical commoner-with-a-will. Past that and he is quite flat for some time, ep 5 is where he actually starts to make his own plays.
This show is not a battle show, the rushed first 4 epis are to get the MCs into a political location where they have enough there to have stakes in that arena. That being said, I am finding myself
having to pay extremely close attention to every single line of dialogue and every action much closer than I normally would.
Now that the show is into the political end of the spectrum it can drop a lot of the shorthand that it had been using to set everything up. Theo is effective in this in that he is as unaware of the politicalscape as the audience while actually being from the setting (avoiding isekai hell)
Our other MC is trained from a very young age to be politically savvy as well as having potent magical skill. Her own goals align with Theo's but go considerably farther than his did in the beginning, having her be fresh out of school and thus socially unaware of the world, gives us the audience a good glimpse into the society in the setting as a whole.
Now that we are past the ground block world building, we are looking at the political alliances that the MCs have found themselves entwined in. Where the focus has shifted off of our handy short-hand characters to much more rounded nobility who are rife with problems.
Knowing that this series has 24 epis really helps in gauging the final scope.
As this is a review, I will say that their execution of plot is adequate. You have to really look into what is going on to get it, but the plot is there. It's just not focused on the same thing as most anime are. Battles are not the climax of this plot. They are used to further it, as examples of what the war looks like, as ways to show how each of the Lords acts in combat to their own ideals, ethics, and codes of conduct.
Animation is adequate, not top tier, and not utter shit. I have no opinion on the soundrack or use of music, so it's doing its job.
I am finding myself enjoying this show quite a bit despite its flaws.
Warning: this series turns into something else entirely at episode 9. Prior to episode 9 I gave this series a solid 6. Nothing great but a fun story that was nice to kill a little time.
Even before episode 9 the anime really fit into one of those awkward spots where it's not bad... but everything is done just a little bit wrong.
For example the action is good... except since we rush through every battle it's hard to be invested into most of it so it's actually a bit boring except for the occasional badass moment but even that's a bit wasted by the pacing.
setting is good ... but a lot of it is just skimmed over and a lot of it isn't getting properly addressed. .
The characters are good ... but because of how the series chooses to divide it's focus they often do things for poorly explained or no reason. In order to avoid spoilers I'll just say the entire war has a feeling of pointlessness as the path to peace seems relatively easy but the characters able to do so choose not to because ... well the show needed a plot somehow.
A lot of issues with the series come from it's pacing but besides the pacing itself it's presentation and focus are lack luster as well.
But again even with all this considered it still had a fun tone that kept it a nice watch... then it suddenly turns insanely brutal episode 9 to the point the series isn't even recognizable. Don't mistake this as meaning the show improved either. The pace is still a mess and the presentation and focus are still poor. But while before it was midly forgivable as a light hearted adventure that didn't need a lot of depth now it's a full scale bloody war series that feels hollow.
The antagonists are entirely unlikeable as their actions are needlessly brutal and psychotic but seemingly presented in a way that feels like the show wants the audience to sympathize with them.
This leaves a rather bad taste as many likeable characters die for the sake of a war that didn't even need to happen based off of what the series itself has stated.
I really don't recommend this to anyone as if you like the first 8 episodes you'll start to hate the series 9 onwards and if you are the type that likes 9 onwards it's not worth forcing yourself through the first 8 to get to. There are other anime that do brutal wars better so there is no need to waste time on this.
I have watched almost 200 anime. There were better and worse ones. I have few that are my favourites but when I finished Grancrest Senki yesterday I was super happy that I had a chance to watch this one.
Overall I can say that it was amazing story, full of action, magic, battles, creatures and romance. For me MC and his mage were really nicely done (however Silica should have more screen time) along with a lot of other characters like Shadow, twin werewolves, valkyrie, vampire lord, black witch and few lords. Draw style was really nice, music was good but not superb.
What I also
liked about this anime was that there were no hentai/echhi elements and instead we had a lot of drama but not so much like in Akame ga kill. Characters are not overpowered (maybe in fight with the cyclop...), they are humans which can easily die. I was kinda worried about MC and Silica at the end (japanese creators love to kill some MC or make them disappear forever) because I like happy endings. However the ending was really nice (yet final fight with the Artist was kinda boring).
I can recommend this anime to everyone. For me - best anime I have ever watched - 10/10 :)
tbh. theres nothing special about this series.
-the settings is pretty much similar with the other typical Advanture-Fantasy series. bringing peace to the land or saving/changing the world from a certain condition, advanture party, magic-user,non-human being existance and some "trademark elements" in this series its the "Crest".
-the plot is proceeding toward the partial cases that will lead to a certain happy ending(theres nothing wrong with the happy ending, the audience/fans/readers etc deserve it).
-you probably could guessed out most of the plot since its not confusing at all instead its pretty much straight but just to alert yourself of some unexpected twist(since we dont know what
really will happen when blind watched some things) for example:episode 9(not twisted at all but quite fast)
i LIKED this series. cause for me Anime is an Entertainment something to entertain you. was it enjoyable for you or not. and i did enjoy it, it gives me the hype and fun even tho you know that you already watched/readed lots of series that have the similar settings like this while you cant help but NATURALLY feel that you actually enjoyed it. and it became one of my most anticipated weekly episodes in Spring 2018 because i cant wait to see the plot proceed further even tho i didnt read the LN and kind of imagined how it will ended it still give me the Thrills from the plot. you know this would happened you know that would happened and when it happened you didnt feel dissappointed at all instead you enjoyed the ride.
^THIS IS JUST MY OPINION. im a plot-lover i didnt love them just so that i can critics them, i love them for the Thrills on how they play with my heart. it brings me tears, it brings me joy, it sometimes make me feel sad, happy, angry, down, suspensed, frustrated, hyped anything you named it, its bring lots of emotions out of me. and i did enjoyed this series my heart did played along with it. in the end all that matters is for you to enjoy it.
-if you feel like you cannot enjoyed it you can dropped it.
-if you feel dissappointed in it you can dropped it.
-if you feel angry that its so pathethic you can dropped it.
its fine as long as you didnt enjoyed it. cause good or not if you enjoyed something you will watch it or follow it, you will stop if you stop enjoying it. cause that is the main purpose afterall, that is for us to enjoy the entertainments that were created for us.
Simple Summary:Arts-above average. Characters-typical and too much blondie(no offence), Siluca look really similar with Marrine. but some F.Characters have good appeal thank you for that. Animation-too normal and become weirder during action. Adaptation-badly adapted you could tell from the plot that they skipped so much things from the source. and theres no Siluca back story with Aishela.
ITS GOOD IF YOU LIKED IT, ITS ALSO FINE IF YOU DONT LIKED IT EVERYONE HAS THEIR OWN PREFERENCE. ANYWAYS THANK YOU MIZUNO RYO FOR THE GRANCREST SENKI SERIES. IT DID GOT PLACE IN MY LIFE, I ENJOYED IT THANK YOU.
Just another typical anime , add a pretty low score to that and you get grancrest senki But (and this is a big one) it kinda feels like something that is trying to be different yet does it succeed or not ?
First let me say that there are some controversial views on this show the reason being what happened halfway through but to be honest they should've added the gore genre to the list so that people knew what they were getting in to.
That's right it has some elements of the gore genre , to be precise some lots of it and if
you are not into that concept you shouldn't be watching it. The +17 sign should be considered as well since it really is kinda +17.
With those being said I'll move to the anime itself :
We have the story first probably the weakest part of the anime but not that bad to make the whole thing worthless , it would've actually been a good story if the pacing was controlled and some explanations were given along plots but with the current plot holes you shouldn't expect much of it. If you lower your expectatins it would be an enjoyable show to watch (binge watch).
Then we have the art , since A-1 is behind grancrest senki one would think of an average art at the very least and I must say they have done a pretty good job on the art. Its far from perfect but there are some scenes you want to pause and just look. The sound and background music go really well with the emotions and scenery depicted so that's a plus. The music and opening and ending themes are done really epic and go along really well with the anime.
Next up are the characters , being one of the things I enjoy in the anime there are many different characters and personalities in grancrest senki , yes there are some typical stuff but overall it is really enjoyable seeing this many characters with different feelings which are actually relatable to some extent and help you enjoy the show as it is.
The art is no doubt good backed by A-1 and nowadays making anime is a lot cheaper and easier than before. This show started off decent, but it was rough and seemed like it could take it somewhere. I read another review about the pacing being too fast or too slow at parts, that comment is totally true. The show starts up and the first 4 episodes go crazy fast. You think the directors and authors are pulling a Samurai Champaloo thing where the main characters are already op (maybe not the best comparison but thats all that came to mind), but it moves faster
then those crappy magic high school animes that are all the same with slight differences. I did not fully enjoy the show starting it, but it looked interesting and the characters could go somewhere. The romance is very forced and you are made to believe it,(another bad example coming up) its a failed attempt at introducing romance that is slightly believable. I haven't seend Clannand or what every but I have seen My High school Romantic comedy SNAFU (aka Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku) and that romance was as always childish as all slice of life romcoms are, but they got you to believe it. See if you want that love between Theo and Meletes to really show love and the power of love make it believable and develop it. Yes lie is in believe but doesn't mean its gotta be fake. And this is as someone who is not a weeb or otaku and somebody who hates this type of thing,
Okay here I want to take a breather and calm myself down before I go all out. This show has a nice main character Theo/Siluca I like Theo, he is not half bad. The show carried itself decently at the begin and it seemed like it was gonna be political, but delve into the characters more. Then the road block of bringing in politics is that you have to introduce all these characters and you want to make it make sense and make characters come off as cool and smart. They have focused alot more on everybody except the main characters, Theo and Siluca so far. The anime still has ability to make itself better and offer less empty space and change its paced to something better. Don't toss this anime right away as you have to understand some of the character creation is average and it seems as this show is being rushed from the studio. Its decent and if more time was put into the characters and the characters it could go from a 3 for characters to a 6 or 7. So if it hasn't scared you away stay tuned,because it almost had me scared.
SPOILER SPOILER GOING TO RUIN A SPOILED SHOW AND WANT YOU TO KILL THE AUTHORS
*Spoiler in 4 more stars
MARRINE AND MILZA WHY DOES THAT HAVE TO HAPPEN WHAT VALUE DOES IT GIVE. THE POWER STRUCTURES DON"T MAKE ANY SENSE HERE AND WHY DO WE HAVE TO DEGRADE WOMEN CHARACTERS LIKE THIS. IT DID NOT HAVE A DARK EFFECT THAT WAS WHAT WE WERE SUPPOSED TO FEEL IT SEEMED NO IT DID NOTHING BUT TURN ME OFF THE SHOW AND BEGAN TO BE ANNOYED AND THINK IT WAS AN ATTEMPT TO ATTRACT ATTENTION DROPPING THE SHOW
I didn't really enjoy this anime. It bored me out when I was half-way through the anime. The story was weak, the plots are cliche and weird. I just couldn't understand the story at all. The only thing that kept me to watch this series until the end is probably the relationship of the protagonist and the heroine. Although their development together doesn't really exceed my expectations. I guess(?) it's okay.
This anime was pretty disappointing in my opinion, there were so many cliches that left me unimpressed with the series up until I had to hold it and watch around 20 more anime before
coming back to watch this again. GEEZ. I'm not going to write this review any further. I just realized that I'm wasting my time.
(WARNING: a bit of spoilers up ahead)
So this is another generic, medieval-like fantasy show with the usual dense male protagonist and everything basically rigged with comedy and awkward RPG-like vibes, as well as the cliché transitions of the mc easily making companions throughout the journey. This is the kind of series that usually just starts okay, progresses badly, and ends awful, for the most part.
Well…for the first 6 or 9 episodes, it seemed that way, at least. However, for me at least, it actually turned out to be a lot more than what meets the eye. Granted, this series still had its flaws in terms
of the usual gigs with most fantasy / magic anime series. In short, this series is actually good, but it’s understandable why many people would either hate or ignore it, considering the amount of attention that other shows are getting during the seasons of Winter and Spring 2018 in anime.
STORY: Okay, this is the main bugaboo that this series has, above all other things: PACING. Even as a two-cour series, the pacing feels really off, and the important events in the shows are often rushed and skim on certain details, especially when many of the battles feel like they end too quickly and/or easily. In fairness, this was probably done on purpose due to the fact that this series might not get a second season in the near future, if at all, due to undisclosed reasons that only the directors would know.
There is the nice perk with this series, though. Instead of feeling like a very cliché and boring story where the typical dense protagonist goes through the story with not much significant adversity or hardship, this show took quite an interesting turn, for better or worse, depending on the subjectivity of the viewers. After what felt like an easy “walk in the park” for the main hero, the whole situation literally turned into a Game of Thrones, where all the kingdoms tried to assert dominance over the other, instead of focusing on the true villainous group pulling the strings. In many cases, the very good and the very bad were brought out in many of the characters involved in the conflicts….so much for smooth sailing for the mc. There were also painful sacrifices and exposures to reality that I really thought made the plot more compelling than other people may think. Another thing I like to point out is that the show doesn’t really have much comic relief, if at all; to me, this is actually a good thing because the comedy would feel very out of place considering the story’s progression.
Granted, the story still ran into issues during the second half, as it still felt too easily wrapped up, especially in how they switched up antagonists down the stretch. I cannot say for sure if the possibility of a second season may do the story enough justice, but personally, I do give credit that the series did have an actual conclusion instead of being open-ended. Needless to say, though, as aforementioned, the pacing of the story could’ve been handled a lot better.
ANIMATION: Love or hate A-1 Pictures all you like, but regardless, these guys really know how to put together some hella fine animation. While the animation is not quite so smooth in terms of movement, it is not entirely awkward and doesn’t try to do stuff like adding bad CGI scenes in. I do want to point out something that may or may not be offputting to some people. During some battle scenes, particularly the battle against the Cyclops, the animation may look very sloppy to many viewers. However, I personally think, though can’t confirm, that A-1 pictures is probably trying to animate those scenes in a somewhat similar style that studio Trigger would utilize. When scenes like that are animated in that fashion, they’re supposed to keep you glued to the action. Granted, A-1 Pictures may not produce the best thing in the world in terms of animation quality, but they sure are consistent despite any infamous reputation they may get.
SOUND: Honestly, the soundtracks for this series are really good; for me, the opening and ending themes (except for the first OP, which is still not bad) are amazing. Sure, the soundtracks in this show overall may not be the most grandiose of things, but they really fit whenever needed, especially during the emotional and/or tense scenes, like the battles and the glorified deaths of some of the characters. There’s not much else to say here, since taste in music really varies from person to person, in the end.
CHARACTERS: First things first….Theo Cornaro, the male protagonist, isn’t the generic kind of male character that you’d think he’d be. Forget about the typical protagonist who hesitates to even touch a woman, much less think about a romantic relationship…this guy not only reciprocates the main heroine’s feelings for him (he kisses her more than once without hesitation, even in open public…that’s alpha shit right there LOL), but he even thought about the future of the romantic relationship as well. While it may seem that the MC is too calm and collected, he is actually not just some overpowered dude…he really has had to rely on carefully planned-out strategies and tactics as well as the support from his companions/allies/friends. Yes, he does have some plot armor, but nowhere close to being the obnoxious kind that you’d see in other male protagonists like Kirito from SAO, Ichigo from Bleach, and Sasuke from Naruto. He is also a pacifist, which is personally my favorite kind of character, which means he wants to avoid killing whenever possible, and if not, reduce the amount of blood shed no matter what.
The female protagonist, Siluca, isn’t just some helpless damsel-in-distress or obnoxious, prideful tsundere bijin. While she is unfettered with her goals and can be arrogant at times, she is shown to be a kind, polite, and understanding person…she is also pretty smart as well, compared to most female heroines. I do also like she doesn’t let her romantic relationship with Theo cloud her judgment and/or interfere too much with military and political matters.
The main supporting cast have some very interesting qualities and personalities, even if they’re considered cliché by many people. A bunch of them actually do get a good amount of spotlight compared to support cast characters from other similar shows; at some points, the focus on some of those characters was so concentrated that I often briefly forget that Theo and Siluca are still the main characters in the show. A pet peeve I did have is that I wished that the sub-villain, Marrine, would be punished for her actions during the “Game of Thrones” conflict, but when I considered from every perspective as to why she wasn’t given brutal judgment, I can at least understand why she was spared. Honestly, if certain characters do really despicable things to really piss off the viewers on an emotional level, the show is doing shit right, imo, even if some viewers end up hating the show JUST because of that. Overall, the character department was well handled, though of course could’ve been better.
ENJOYMENT: I didn’t really enjoy the show much during the first 6 to 9 episodes, but once the “Game of Thrones” situation commenced, my interest perked up, cause I thought the journey was just gonna be the MC going to city after city in a simple one-way road and eventually bringing widespread peace after defeating the final boss…but uh-uh, it was a bit more complicated than that. A lot of personal enjoyment also came from watching Theo reciprocate Siluca’s feelings and even assert their relationship for everyone to see. I hate Milza and Marrine for what they did during the majority of the show, but I still think it counted as my enjoyment for the show, cause the buildup and payoff to see at least one of them meet their demise was quite satisfying. While I wasn’t totally agreeing with Marrine being spared, to this day, I commended Theo staying true to his ideals to the point where he’ll even spare his enemy. I also really enjoyed the battles, even as rushed as most of them were. Contrary to many people, I was quite okay with how the final confrontation wrapped up, even though I also knew it was hastened…maybe I was because I already accepted that it was inevitably going to be stricken by poor pacing, anyways, and that there’s no point in nitpicking about that.
OVERALL: I would honestly recommend this series to anyone who likes medieval-like fantasy shows, in general. Even with the bad pacing of the show, it’s still a solid series overall…several years ago, this show probably would’ve gotten higher regards, imo. I’ve seen plenty of other similar shows with higher ratings from 7.2 to 8.5 out of 10….that I thought really don’t deserve those kinds of grades at all, tbh. My piece of advice would be to binge watch it, though, due to how fast the story progresses. If you still don’t like it due to the obvious reasons, I can completely understand…maybe this isn’t the show for you…perhaps you would’ve liked fantasy shows with comedy and slice-of-life stuff, I guess. Even then, you’ll still enjoy it by criticizing what you think it did wrong…that still counts as enjoyment, right? In short, Grancrest Senki is a series with understandable flaws, especially as an LN adaptation, but not even halfway close to being a worst of the worst.
Grancrest Senki was a magnificent political drama that I enjoyed watching to the end. Both story and setting were excellently crafted and character development was very well done. This anime poses deep ethical questions on the morality of decisions made for other people instead of oneself. The ending is rather abrupt but it still provides a wonderful conclusion to the 24 episode series.
Story: 9 - Elaborate and Pragmatic
Grancrest follows the duo of Theo and Siluca on their quest to instigate rapid political change in the interest of the commonfolk. They find themselves with many allies and many enemies who (mostly) all will play a vital
role in the conclusion. Explaining more would spoil too many vital components of the plot for the viewer to truly enjoy the experience.
Art: 6 - Decent at Best
Being a political drama, there is quite a lot of action whether that be on the open field or inside of a stronghold. The action scenes were the least enjoyable parts of the show to me because of several reaons. The primary one being the awkward use of CGI to animate the masses of armies. The soldiers would often look quite slow and ugly compared to the fights of the characters that were not animated with CGI. Outside of action scenes, the animation meets the bar. This anime does not impress with high graphical fidelity.
Sound: 7 - Simply Good
There isn't that much to remark about in terms of sound quality or even the music used in the opening/ending. I leave my rating as "simply good" because I never felt impressed by it, nor do I recall any bad experiences with the sound. Concerning the voice acting, I only watched the dubbed version and can confidently say that the actors did an excellent job with conveying the attitude and emotion of the characters.
Character: 9 - Profound
The majority of characters in this show are portrayed to have strict moral guidelines that they will follow. And because it's quite difficult to change someone's firmly held beliefs, conflict arises. Each major character is given enough screentime for the viewer to understand the motivations and goals that they hope to achieve from the conflict. As the conflict grows and attracts more people, those already involved will be influenced by each other.
Enjoyment: 9 - Very satisfying
This anime captured my attention and never insulted my intelligence with arbitrary plot points (maybe at the end?). I can't really say too much about what I enjoyed about the anime without spoiling too much. I'll just leave this off by saying that the characters made decisions that made me feel all sorts of emotions watching it.
Overall: 8 - Quite Good
This is will definitely be one of the anime I will remember fondly and will cherish should I decide to rewatch it. It isn't outstanding in any way, but is nonetheless a great anime.
One word: Roller-coaster.
Two words: Bullshit.
Three words: Read the LN.
Anime does not follow the source content well. WARNING!
Where do I begin! The pacing of the anime is horrendous considering that this anime is projected to have 24 episodes. The story line moves so fast that you won't be able to remember what is going on.
Summary of Plot:
The story is alright. It revolves around a young knight, Theo who tries to retake his homeland with the aid of a mage.
Some of the worst and dumbest characters you will ever see. One does not have sex with other people they don't
like. One does not give up title in the name of love. One does not be brave and watch his girl suffer. One does not act like a wimp when he is king.
There are scenes of consensual rape. Girl falls in love with dude but has sex with another. Yeah, I didn't enjoy it after that. However, the MC is one of the smoothest MC you will ever see. His romance is pretty good in terms of anime.
The anime pacing leaves it hard for any watcher to steadily follow without having to hit playback. The artwork makes it easier to watch but often music covers the sound of the anime. Characters are soft or stupid and there is no perfect one except the MC. I suggest to do better use of your time but I can't make you so just be warned. I tried my best to like this anime but I can't.
Lastly just read the Manga or LN because it is far better.
So I've kept up with Gancrest Senki on a weekly basis as it's been released. And from what I've seen many of the reviews are of the first 2-5 episodes or so. And simply put, these reviews are not fair.
The story has a VERY odd start. Which seems to be the cause of many of the poor reviews. Yes the pacing is weird, and characters seem a little, everywhere... sometimes. But I've honestly been super interested in how the story has developed. There is a large cast so far and it has been an odd mix of supernatural (vampires, were-wolves and chaos demons), military, and
political. Some episodes are devoted almost entirely to the interactions of a few political leaders and the maneuvering, betrayals and diplomacy that occurs, while others are focused around the military conquest. And some pretty bad-ass fight scenes!
The MC should not truly be considered MC's at this point, as the plot is driven by the much larger political world that Gancrest Senki is set in, and I've personally been really drawn into seeing how this world develops!
Another thing that this show does which i'm personally really liking is it is quite creative. Characters really begin to find their pacing and once the backstory for them is set their actions begin to make a lot of sense, even if the overall 'plot' is still being discovered.
I really would hate to see this show suffocate and die before it can even begin. Sure it may absolutely flop, that's very much within the realms of possibility. BUT there is also a chance that this could be a really incredible show. Some of the BEST animes EVER MADE have really hard to watch starts that are confusing and slow. Think FMA, Steins Gate, hell even Gintama is hard for a lot of people to get into.
IF YOU'RE UNSURE ABOUT THIS ANIME, WAIT TILL ITS FULLY RELEASED AND THEN BINGE WATCH IT.