Blu-ray Review: Record of Grancrest War – Part 1

Warfare comes to home video with MVM Entertainment’s Blu-Ray release of Record of Grancrest War – Part 1, the first half of a series which is also available to stream on Netflix UK. With this being said what does this home video release of the first half of the series have to offer? Let’s take a look and find out.

Synopsis:

“I, the Mage Siluca Meletes, hereby enter into a contract with Knight Theo’s Crest, and swear eternal loyalty to him.”

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 by A-1 Pictures, with the series composition also by the original author himself!

Lauded as the Game of Thrones of anime, the greatest Record of War fantasy unfolds with an English adaptation directed by Chris Cason!

Our View:

Based on the light novel and table-top board game by Ryo Mizuno comes this anime adaptation of Record of Grancrest helmed by A-1 Pictures and Aniplex. This first part, which consists of half of the season, introduces viewers to a world looking for salvation and peace through the tournament of war; and the one to find that peace will be a seemingly obscure nobleman named Theo Carnao and the young mage Siluca Meletes. This series is the story of their journey and how the war evolved and charged through the different leaderships of the nearby nations and it begins as explosive as it ends.

Record of Grancrest War – Part 1 follows the journey of Siluca Meletes, a seventeen year old mage who after witnessing an event that saw peace disrupted due to chaos, finds herself whisked away to be the mage of a lustful noble Villar Constance; or so the rumours would suggest at least. However during her travel to Villar Constance she finds herself attacked and then saved by Theo, a seemingly average noblemen who is on a journey to restore balance to the nation his resides within. Taking interest in Theo’s circumstances Siluca abandons her obligation to be with Villar and instead pursues a pact with Theo which causes some disruption amongst the land.

From here it’s a non-stop barrage of war politics and twisted agendas, with Siluca proving a worthy ally to Theo and sees them overcoming various heads of nations within the world they inhabit. As such the bigger rival factions soon start to take notice and begin to lead a charge on Theo, Siluca and has ever-growing followers. This spirals into seeing Theo revoking his ‘head of state’ position and return Siluca to her rightful owner, so to speak, but in turn Theo forms a partnership with Villar and acts as his subordinate and thus follows his orders to which an all-out-war ensues with the enemy.

Although Record of Grancrest War story mostly follows the events of Theo and Siluca, and the difficulties they must overcome to survive, the continuous theme of war and rivalry within each faction and nation also takes a promanant role within the series; especially when it involves Villar and Mirza. Villar acts as a figurehead and respectful lord that commands a strong army, but Mirza deems his dreams and ideals unworthy and as such acts in retaliation that helps turn the tides of the war. This brings the first half of Grancrest of War to its conclusion; a cliffhanager that leaves you wanting more; even if you have no real idea what is going on.

So what exactly is this series? Well nobles each have crests that grant them both power and stature; but when other nobles with crests are defeated the crests can be transferred to increase the stature of the receiver. Additionally Crests can be used to prove ones worth and in turn help unite the world. This desire to unite the crests, and in turn create the Grancrest, is what leads these key figures to war and in turn sacrifice everything in order to achieve their ideals. It’s not just humans that processes crests either as all sorts of creatures within the world have the capability to oversee their nation – something which Theo and Siluca discover in the most unusual way while serving their new lord.

In short Record of Grancest War – Part 1 introduces this concept, the world and key figures within the war; but when all is said and done it is one long-running fight for victory.

Extras:

As with most Animplex related releases, and similar to past MVM Entertainment distributed releases, the selection of bonus features is limited to the barebones content of Textless Songs, Next Episode Previews and Trailers for other anime releases.

It’s nothing special but it is better than nothing. Additionally as this Blu-Ray release has been authored by Madman Entertainment in Australia the trailers included are for a variety of Australian releases distributed by Madman. In this case fans will see trailers for Attack on Titan: Season 2, Ajin – Season 1, Occultic Nine – Part 1 and SCHOOL-LIVE!, all of which are available in the UK via different distributors.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50 x2
Region: B
Running Time: 2:22:17 (Disc 1), 2:22:15 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: LPCM 2.0 (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Record of Grancest War – Part 1 introduces viewers to this war torn world overthrown with chaos and nobles wishing to keep their nations, and their crests, for themselves; but the focal point is the journey of Theo and his newfound mage partner Siluca. It’ a chance encounter which leads to an adventure through tactical warfare whereby new friends, and allies, are found in unusual places as they each strive to each their goal. That being the salvation of the world and peace between nations.

For me the events of Record of Grancrest War – Part 1 provided nothing but one brutal battle after enough, and while depictions of wartime politics and tactics between nations were discussed and mentioned I, for the life of me, can’t remember them. That being said at the time the events proved throught provoking and entertaining, even if tactical warefare is not your thing. Binge-watching this series is not esstential but at times it does help progress the story along which, in simple terms at least, is a story of war and the repercussions it brings.

The strategic episode content, and names involved, may be forgetful but the episodes within Record of Grancrest War – Part 1 were entertaining from straight to finish; even if the sound effects and animation style are eerily familiar to that of Fate/apocrypha and other Aniplex related shows of this calibur. The same can also be said for the subtitle placement and presentation as just like past Aniplex titles it provides inconsistency with text being displayed at the bottom and top of the screen almost randomly. If this kind of subtitle presentation is not your thing then fortunately a strong English Dub is available and is presented to the same standards as other Aniplex related releases.

I wasn’t expecting much from Record of Grancrest War but it delivers an interesting story that focuses on Theo and Siluca as well as the war that ravages the land. If you’ve enjoyed Fate/Apocrypha, and other war-related-stories set during medieval styled periods, then Record of Grancrest War – Part 1 will offer something to you. It’s fast, furious and full of political nonsense that has some magic and swordplay.

Score: review-stars-4

Record of Grancrest War – Part 1 is now available on Blu-Ray in the UK via MVM Entertainment.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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