Grancrest Senki | Worth Watching?

Is it worth? Who knows! I’ll let you decide, but first, you’ll need to give it a watch 🙂

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.

All-in-all, not too sure if this one is worth watching, but if you wanna give it a try, then by all means go for it!