• Genre : Fantasy, Adventure, action, political
  • Studio: A-1 Pictures

 Alright people, time for some real talk. It’s 1h12 am on Saturday morning. I had a dinner date planned for last night (i.e. a few hours ago). There may have been some drinking involved. I may have convinced said date to watch this episode of Grancrest since I have to review it. It was so weird to hear the “who is that?” and “what just happened?” questions coming from outside my head for once. It’s been a tough week for the  Winter Games. I’m going to need to heavily rely on my notes for this one. Talk about an unreliable narrator!

Screen Shot 2018-03-16 at 9.42.46 PM
I’m just going to keep this going as long as I can

Remember when I dubbed Villar the great white hope of this show. I heaped the burden of my dwindling expectations squarely on his shoulders. Yeah…

First thing’s first though. We have a new OP…well maybe we do. I usually skip it so I’m not entirely sure when it changed but this is definitely not the one we started off with. It’s not bad. The images are pretty good in fact. It’s a bit of a salt in the wound reminder of the heaps of unrealized potential buried in this show.

My very first note is: Marrine has a sister now. It doesn’t really go beyond that. Apparently she does. Maybe this sister has a name. She’s not blonde in any case… Way to keep up that intricate character development Grancrest!

Screen Shot 2018-03-16 at 9.49.48 PM
they’re lie twins!

From the very first scene, the characters basically announced that this was Villar’s swan song. No getting out of it this time. As usual the practical details of exactly who what where how where completely glossed over. This week though, I have to admit to a certain compromised state so maybe it’s on me. But fact is, it doesn’t matter. The outcome has been choreographed for some time, I was just hoping that the plot’s usual disdain for logical sequitur would hold true and they would somehow forget to close Villar’s personal story line. They did not.

If you are a usual reader of this blog, it may surprise you a bit to learn that I am rather sensitive to suffering. I have a very hard time seeing characters in pain, even animated ones. I have no issue with gore or violence but drawn out grief is something I don’t particularly enjoy. I usually skip episodes when I feel it coming on. I would have skipped this one if I didn’t have to review it.

Screen Shot 2018-03-16 at 9.44.24 PM
romantic undertones, fantastic!

At this point my notes say: who was the naked woman… I realize you deserve better… I never quite figured out who that character was, an ally of Villar’s that much I know and NOT the vampire lady as I had speculated last episode but beyond that, I’ve nothing to offer. There was a kissing scene though and the animation of it was just awful. Form the Siluca and Theo scene a couple of episodes ago, we know they can animate a very pretty kissing scene if they wanted to. I assume they had a spiteful reason for subjecting us to what looked like plastic dolls getting smooshed together.

Screen Shot 2018-03-16 at 9.44.02 PM
no really, who are these people?

We also saw a glimpse of Alexis who continues to be unsustainable soft and ineffective. I realize with some shock that I like a weak leader. Not a badly written authority figure but a purposefully lacking leader. It offers some interesting narrative possibilities.

but these were just momentary distractions. The episode was really on long dirge for the one character I was actually interested in.I have little interest in one sided battles and I had already made up my mind that without Villar I had no reason to keep watching this show. I sat through the episode a little tipsy and completely resigned, knowing I would have to watch one more but I could then drop the show.

Screen Shot 2018-03-16 at 9.47.15 PM
almost done

I watched Villar and Margaret ready themselves to go down in a blaze of glory, quite literally and I was reminded how unfond I am of the Grand Last Stand. Just run. Be a coward…Live to fight another day man. War doesn’t determine who’s right, just who’s left… I don’t like my favorite characters dying.

And darnt it. That was a pretty death. um spoilers!?!

I have no way of defending this show at this point or this episode fir that matter. Objectively, it brought nothing to the table. Inf fact, it represented everything I was dreading the most, every event I was determine to drop the series altogether for a good 15 minutes of it, I was trying to figure out how I could get out of watching the next episode.

Screen Shot 2018-03-16 at 9.44.45 PM
water animation is still horrendous

As I watched Villar go down and bitterly admitted this was a nicely written demise, I was suddenly divided. I watched Villar’s loyal subjects take their own last stands or willfully carry on their duties and I was almost stirred. By the time I was watching MiLza sit on Villar’s throne is a deliciously aching scene I felt something I have never felt before while watching this show: Purpose. A sense of direction.

Charters now have a clear goal that I can empathize with, namely revenge. I am somewhat vested here. Let’s not go crazy. I don’t actually care yet. I cry at everything and despite having split a bottle a few hours ago, I’m still completely dry on this. But I understand the motivation to destroy Marrine going forward and I also think Marrine is a surprisingly good character and decent anti-villain. Maybe it’s the booze talking, but I want to see where this goes.

Screen Shot 2018-03-16 at 9.50.39 PM
I like a big bad that commits!

Moral of the story: Sake is really goo you guys… (leaving the typo in…I think it makes my point)

Predictions

I’m pretty sure next episode is a recap. It’s 11.5 and it’s called reminiscence….

Plot: Theo and Silluca will meet

Character: A whole lot of characters will be introduced in quick succession

Beyond ep 12:

Plot: Alxis will have to rally against Marrine

Character: Villar’s newly introduced brother will have to deal with his death

Depending on how drunk Astral, Leap and TPAB were when they watched the episode, their experiences may have varied. I,m pretty sure they never had the same affinity for Villar I did but this is still a major turning point and I can’t wait to read their take on it!

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pretty cap, right?

Here are more pics. I’m actually rather happy with a few of them. I wish I could have figured out how to use Theo in the post.

 

 

 

 

8 thoughts

  1. I also hate last stands and really Villar saw this coming and did nothing at all to prevent it or to flee. Plus, the mage using the mirror got cut down for no good reason other than psycho girl with axe. I really didn’t like this and it isn’t because I dislike violence. It is because nothing in this conflict feels like it has real weight because there does not actually seem like a reason to be fighting at this point.

    Like

      1. I know. And after watching so many bad anime (given I don’t tend to drop mid-season no matter how bad it gets) you would think I would have learned my lesson.
        Then again, I was still looking for a decent explanation in Hand Shakers right until the final episode despite all the evidence that there was not going to be one.

        Liked by 1 person

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