Note: Review copy supplied by MVM Entertainment
Title: Record of Grancrest War Volume 2
Anime Studio: A-1 Pictures
Publisher: MVM Entertainment
Genre: Action / Fantasy
Released: December 9th 2019
Language: Japanese / English
Fearing disaster brought about by chaos, the people live protected by “Lords” with the power to suppress chaos. However, the Lords abandon their posts and fight against each other. Siluca, a lone mage who despises the Lords, and Theo, a vagrant knight make an oath as master and retainer, with hopes of bringing reform to Atlatan, the land ruled by chaos.
From the Record of War series written by Ryo Mizuno, author of the highly acclaimed Record of Lodoss War with over ten million copies in print, the Record of Grancrest War is brought to life in full animation. Lauded as the Game of Thrones of anime, the greatest Record of War fantasy unfolds!
After enjoying part one of this series, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of part two. Heading into it, my biggest worry was that the things I enjoyed most about the story would fall to the wayside or stagnate as it marched towards the inevitable big battle. Now that I’ve watched it, I am happy to report that this is not the case.
The second half of Record of Grancrest War continues along much the same lines as the first half. There is absolutely a focus on military battles, and these play out with the same mix of gory realism and fantastical elements as before. If anything, they feel bigger this time around, both in intensity and importance. With the different factions swallowing up other groups, it becomes clear very quickly that were heading towards something decisive.
Interestingly, the closing battle actually runs the risk of feeling anticlimactic. The stakes are high, and we have an actual villain to contend with, but compared to the other main battles, everything feels like it’s over in a flash. The series avoids this pitfall though, thanks entirely to the strength of its characters’ portrayal in combat. These aren’t just scenes designed to show bloodshed and add a mark to the advantage tally. Battles feel like they’re an intricate part of the story, and each gives us a new insight into the key players and their rivals. That ensures that the shorter fights still feel important.
Outside the action, everyone is as likable as before too, with characters such as Prince Alexis getting plenty of opportunities to advance their individual arcs. Meanwhile, the romantic elements play out at a natural pace, and nothing feels overdone in that regard. Once we finally learn the truth of the world and see how things end for the leads, you genuinely feel happy for the survivors too. The world they live in makes sense, and the conclusion is exactly what you’d want it to be.
Aesthetically, the show betters itself slightly too. The animation is as strong as it was, but the CGI mix moments aren’t as noticeable. The fan service too seems to have been reduced. Meanwhile, the voice cast and soundtrack continue to be phenomenal.
Overall, Record of Grancrest War Volume Two takes everything that was great about Volume One, adds some new layers, and downplays the negatives. This takes us to a satisfying conclusion, by way of some enthralling storytelling and a great cast of characters. An excellent release that gets the full 5 out of 5 from me.