Title: Record of Grancrest War Vol. 6 Author: Ryo Mizuno (Story), Makoto Yotsuba (Story/Art), Miyuu (Character Art) Publisher: VIZ Media Language: English Format: Paperback Pages: 160 Genre: Fantasy, Battle Publication Date: March 10, 2020
Volume six of Record of Grancrest War picks up with the hunt for Elmer Zeals who has been coerced by a witch and has begun to kill werewolves with the intent to strengthen their crests. While it is stated that this is being done in order to throw Altirk into confusion, there is another, darker reason behind it and while I won’t spoil that reason, it serves as the grand finale for the series which is in the next volume!
The Queen of the Werewolves, Clara, is put into a position where she cannot ignore the situation anymore. They know that Elmer and the rogue knights are hiding in the Forest of Eternal Darkness under the protection of the Lord Dimitrie… a vampire. Clara ends up finding Elmer; however, a trap is laid and the volume closes with Clara being caught up in an explosion, her fate unknown.
While the story is rather enjoyable, you can tell that the end is near with the pacing picking up rather quickly. It almost feels rushed as they are moving from one plot point to the next without allowing anything to breathe much. While I wish the series was a bit longer, volume six was still an enjoyable read and it did take the time to give us a nice backstory on Siluca. The main conflict for the conclusion of the series was expected but not expected at the same time. It has been set up from the very beginning but it seems like there was hardly any build-up for it.
It really felt like the series said “Okay, war has been staved off… here’s some inkling of a political turmoil but then suddenly, FINAL BOSS REVEAL!” Hence why I felt like this was being rushed. Looks like we have eight chapters left which will fill the last volume. How they can make this wrap up and feel meaningful in just eight chapters is going to be a challenge but we will see how it pans out.
Clara and Siluca got the bulk of the development here as well as the introduction of Lord Dimitrie.
First off, Siluca’s backstory. I wanted to feel for Siluca… I really did but… this was probably the most generic backstory that I’ve seen over and over again. Girl grows up with a power that is feared… they get bullied and shunned for it… then they’re sent away in order to make those lives affected better while under the excuse of “you’ll be better off this way.” We saw it with Naruto and the kyuubi… we saw it in Black Clover with Asta not having magic power. Just some examples of a similar backstory and I was really disappointed that this was the way they went with Siluca. For someone reading this story and experiencing this kind of backstory for the first time… sure, it will be emotional and impactful but for me who has seen this time and time again, I’m just sitting here going “what? Again!?”
I can’t say it’s bad. I can’t say it’s a copout plot device because it all depends on the reader’s experience with manga. There will be different connections and while some may agree with my sentiment on it, others might feel it works. I’m just stating that I, for one, am sick of this kind of story. If that kind of story is your thing and allows you to connect with the character, then I’m not going to fault you for feeling that way. Enjoy what you enjoy.
Clara, on the other hand, was also not really convincing to me, either. Considering Siluca as family is a little steep for the amount of on-screen time we’ve seen with these two characters. It’s a nice, touching gesture for sure, but that seemed a little too out there. Perhaps if this series had 20+ volumes and we saw Clara and Siluca interact a LOT to build up their relationship, I could have bought that but no amount of text or explanation is going to change the fact that we’ve seen these two together for all of 1 ½ volumes and she considers Siluca family?
Lord Dimitrie was exactly as advertised. He was briefly built up to be someone you couldn’t trust and they wasted next to no time proving that correctly. No misdirection, no formalities, just straight into the heart of the matter. You meet him, you know immediately that the guy is bad news, and two pages later… “oh hai, I’m here to ruin everyone’s lives by doing THIS!”
Like I said… this is rushing to a conclusion with tremendous speed and the characters are truly suffering because of it. While I do enjoy the story, I really wish it were longer. It’s hard to enjoy something when it feels like it is being forced to come to an end. Then again, I know manga is a popularity contest and if it’s not selling, an editor will tell the mangaka to wrap it up. I have no idea if that was the case here or if the series was intended to be cut this short. Either way, I feel like this could have been an epic tale but it’s going to sputter out with a whimper. I really hate seeing a series with potential like this fall into that kind of situation.
Also, I have a bit of egg on my face as I was tracking my progress on MyAnimeList.net. I went to update my list and saw I was at 40/46 chapters but it said there were 10 volumes. I’m like “wait… is there 1 massive chapter for each volume? Are we really going to get that much in-depth content?” Then I realized that there is two Grancrest Senki manga and I’ve been tracking the wrong one the entire time!
Now it makes me wonder what the other is about and why this one has two more chapters? Is it a retelling? Is it an alternative perspective? I’ll have to look it up and check it out. Be that as it may, we’ve got THIS version of the manga’s conclusion next volume. Let’s see how this goes!