Record of Grancrest War

Alt title: Grancrest Senki

TV (24 eps)
3.715 out of 5 from 7,003 votes
Rank #2,955
Record of Grancrest War

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. Among these people are Siluca, a lone mage who despises the Lords, and Theo, a vagrant knight training to someday liberate his homeland. Enticed by Theo’s ideals, Siluca’s coercive tactics have the two forming a contract and together, reform a war-torn land.

Source: Crunchyroll

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You have no idea how hard I tried to make myself like Grancrest, mainly because the show turned out to be a 2 cour show, which means I'll be stuck with it for half a year, but also due to it having lots of intriguing ideas, a political war drama set in a proper high fantasy world setting instead of a fan-service oriented world filled with weeb stereotype (basically, no Isekai or game bullshit), and an interesting magic system. Not to mention the show started with bloodshed right away which builds up the tone for what comes after and the direction the show will take from here on out. Buuut, within a few minutes into the first episode, you'll come to realize that the show hits the nail on the head for all the common tropes but doesn't go any further as if it's a stock image of fantasy anime, and the way the story plays out is way too straightforward making it predictable. Rather than being utter garbage, it just hung around the inconsequential mediocre side even a water-flavored ice cream left a stronger impression. The show's pacing is horrendously fast, and it's the main problem with the show, a shit ton of events happens in a single episode which never get proper build-up and are concluded just as fast in an underwhelming manner, making the everything that happens feel insignificant, which given the scope of the conflicts they're not supposed to be. That is assuming you can even remember whatever happened in that episode by the time you finish it. if you're the kind who expects things to be happening every 2 minutes, then you'll lose your mind over this one, otherwise, you won't have any idea what's going on and will give up on keeping track with the show faster than you can memorize the protagonist's 4-letter name. Despite being almost completely plot-driven, Grancrest barely spends any time exploring its story, for the most part, you have no idea who's fighting who, why are they fighting, what are the sides of the conflicts, what are you supposed to have for dinner, when are you going to do the laundry, who's going to pick up the kids from school and so on until you figure out you're contemplating life while watching this show the same way you would while taking a shower or attending a middle school's social studies class. Especially more so considering that most what happens in the story happen due to lazy last moment conveniences, the only reasons the main character's side keep winning in battles is that they're the only side that has incredibly strong individuals that are capable of ravaging an entire army on their own, as well as they keep getting last moment reinforcements out of nowhere whenever they're a dire pinch. It's also worth mentioning that those battles make no sense since the enemy would be retreating for no good reason once they find the slightest disadvantage, or fall for the most obvious of traps and ambushes as if they're a bunch of AI-controlled enemies with a set of predictable actions in a real-time strategy game made in the early '00s. The action is one of the show's few saving graces, but even then it varies considerably, from so bland it makes technology destruction youtube channels after the 19th iPhone dropped in water seem interesting, to HOLY FUCKING SHIT THAT'S AWESOME DID YOU SEE HOW THAT VIKING DUDE CUT THE GUY IN HALF HOLY SHIT, but overall it isn't really that impressive since by the 15th time you see one those incredibly strong individuals just slaughtering armies of nameless cannon fodder you'll have tuned out. Like previously mentioned, the show is almost completely plot-driven, which for a show like this means that the characters suck. What I mean by that is that they're just way too one-note and are defined by a few quirks rather than a personality or a goal, including McBlandMC, his starting goal is supposed to be helping his village, yet even he seems to forget about that pretty quickly and starts waging random wars on every neighboring nation. Worth noting that Theo, the Bland MC, is the most annoying character of the season his show aired in, he's almost as bad as Shirou from F/S N, he's too idealistic, too good for his own shoes, unambitious, and is practically nothing but a pawn in the hand of the other characters who seem to be driving most of the story while he stands by like an idle gear, he never takes actions of his own, and is only reacting to whatever happens around him or just listens to whatever his mage is saying. And just like the MC, everyone else's entire character can be described with one line, assuming it takes more than a few words, with a few exceptions none of them are memorable past two episodes from when they make their appearance. Every attempt the show makes to touch on political drama is an insult to the intelligence, one time you'll have the losing side in a battle demanding the winning side's leader's head as conditions for accepting a cease-fire as if they're sore losers or having forgotten who had wiped the floor with them earlier. Other times you have a queen canceling a royal marriage with the man she loves, a wedding that will help benefit the nations and unite them ending decades of wars because there are a few individuals who are against their marriage despite knowing what they plotted. Oh, and at some point, the show decides to go full Game of Thrones, when said queen offers her body to a man in an attempt to get him on her side, it came out of nowhere, there was no justification for it. it served nothing but making the viewer feel uncomfortable. If it was meant to show how far she's willing to go to reach her goals there is no point in it since in the same episode she committed war crimes in order to win a battle so it didn't add anything to her character. The show is an embodiment of bad execution, it feels like a soulless adaption trying hard to cover as much as it can from the source material rather than telling a proper story, and even if you disregard that it's still badly written with a cast that consists mainly of talking wooden planks that are hard to cheer for. but, if you keep your expectations low you might manage to milk a few measly drops of entertainment from it. 


Sigh, here we go again once more unto the CHAOS. TL;DR No shame in skipping this one, if you have seen one LN anime with combat and magic/other and war, you have seen this. Grancrest opens not on war, but the two factions coming to terms through a marriage, naturally we first have to show the heroine running to barely make it to the ceremony and she hints that she is an elite by complaining why she has to make the peace speech, cut to her barely getting there and suddenly CHAOS which only she can sense and she tries to stop the couple walking doen the aisle through some very bad dialogue and then proceeds to dash towards the altar very slowly, but naturally she is stopped by a random dude who we of course believe to be responsible for the chaos or he thinks that heroine is trying to hurt the leaders, naturally the CHAOS turns into a demon (not the kind you are thinking about, and yes it's spoken in bad english) and the unsubtle music tells us that sh*ts about to go down and for some peculiar reason the demon only decapitates the leaders and leaves. This causes the heroine to monologue about the events caused by this, and thats a good thing for we don't get to see them, also when the male of the couple about to be married extends his hand towards the female, she is apparently so upset that she no longer has any feelings towards him and she leaves. Cut to untold time later and heroine is traveling with the random dude because she is to serve a lord as a magician and the dude feels responsible for the death of his lord at the wedding, which one was his lord isn't told for it matters not after all he is already dead :) Again she proves how elite she is by complaining about the slootines of her uniform (it's actually not slooty at all) and how her new lord only hires women and only based on their looks, but this more important than life conversation is interrupted by soldiers of the opposing faction, she gets out of the carriage and is about to throw down but PROTAG-sama comes riding to rescue (IS THAT A KNIGHT IN SHINIG ARMOR REFERENCE?!) and he spouts the usual spiel how his way is right and theirs is wrong and guess what? PROTAG-kun is different from others, dare I say special for he belongs to neither faction!!! bet you didn't see that one coming :) Some fighting happens, oh and don't worry it's bad, there is no choreography and when PROTAG-sensei gets slashed, the resulting cut might be the lamest I've ever seen, he barely takes down 2 soldiers and the rest run away and rest easy the leader knows his stuff by proberly remembering to say "REMEMBER THIS!" So even though he just sucked major kintama, he got that secret PROTAG-san juice so the heroine must have him, so she proceeds to talk with him and in 10 seconds he tells his past and objective in life and that he is also special because instead of getting his crest he made it himself, she decides to help him and thus summons the first of bound to be many ugly demons and here is where I could not take it anymore because it's explained that you can strenghten your seal by absorbing CHAOS and said stuff is what demons are made of so how is not every single person with a crest max rank/level if they can summon demons out of thin air and just absorb the chaos they drop? but PROTAG-senpai proceeds to get his teeth kicked in and also as a surprise to no one he wins by accident and accompanied by condescending clapping from the heroine he absorbs the CHAOS and his crest is upgraded to a knight and he can form a contract with one mage, I'll give you five guesses on who that's going to be and here we realize that skill and whatnot mean nothing, it's all bout dat power level BABYYY!!! Cut to the lord who ordered the attack and PROTAG-dono, heroine and the bloke who doesn't matter cause he isn't PROTAG-chan are demanding his crest and domain for breaking a treaty, also did you know heroine is a rainbow mage?! of course you did and what's this? a third combat scene? nope, villain strikes once and is defeated and PROTAG-tan takes his crest. PROTAG-kyun is heroines pawn, after meeting her he did literally nothing on his own, also do you remeber how he was special because he didn't belong to either faction? well heroine decided that now that he has claimed the domain he will join the alliance... Thoughts: Just don't, at best everything is average, at worst it's bland and bad.

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