Record of Grandest War is a manga series based on a light novel by, Ryo Mizuno. The manga series is serialized in English by Viz Media, and it also has an anime adaptation by the same name. This is a currently running series with two volumes already available from VIZ and a third set to release on May 14th 2019., so keep that in mind when reading this review.
In the first volume we are given a setting for a fantasy world. As such you’ve got your standard knights, mages, horseback riding, amor, swords and all that other jazz. The atmosphere we’re initially presented with is dark, and ominous. It seemed so grim in fact that you wouldn’t be faulted for assuming it was a Death Note entry. This is a propped up by the mangaka‘s use of dark, very purposeful line-work and shadows. Thankfully the book eventually develops into something completely different from what it initially seems to be, so don’t let the first few pages scare you away.
The plot is as follows:
Main character Siluca Meletes dreams of a world without petty squabbles over territories, personal vendetta, and most of all a world free of Chaos. Chaos is a darkness that seeps into her world, disrupts the laws of nature, creates demons and ultimately spawns disaster throughout the world. This Chaos is also used by mages to perform their craft, and Siluca happens to be a mage herself. Mages usually get taken by a Lord when they graduate from the mage academy, however Siluca has no interest in serving any of the numerous petty lords.
When tragedy strikes during a wedding that would bring together the Fantasia Union and the Factory Alliance (two factions at war), Siluca finds herself with no choice but to forge a new future for the world. With the aid of Theo, a knight errant with great potential, she will go against the world’s order to achieve peace through magical power.
Theo makes a wonderful contrast to Siluca in that he’s a lot more honest and down to earth than the more Nobel-like mage. He may have power and the ability to rule over others, but he’s more simplistic and trusting than she is. He frequently disregards his status to help others, and its for that reason that Siluca joins him. The two recruit friends, and foes alike to their cause using their combination of power and wit. This all makes for good world building and should appeal to fans of most shonen manga.
Not What You Think, False Alarm
Now as noted before, the artwork is very detailed with heavy line work and shadowing, but instead of retaining a dark atmosphere throughout, it instead gradually lightens as the story progresses. Now to be precise, the art remains the same, but it’s subject matter, characters, and locations that change the overall feel of the book.
The art style should grow on you quickly, and by the beginning of the second chapter you should know if you’re invested or not. The character design is very nice, and though it may have explicit content written on the from cover, there wasn’t anything in the book that warranted the warning. That may change in future entries, but the first two volumes are quite tame. The most we get is some cleavage, and some minor suggestive moments between some characters. That’s it.
Record of Grancrest War will be nothing new for regular manga readers. It’s setting, character design, plot, and pacing is oh so familiar, because it’s been done before in many different ways. What this means for you as a potential reader will depend on how many similar stories to this you’ve read. Some may find it to be a bit too much same, while others may enjoy it for its characters and artwork. What it is, is good story with enough to keep readers engaged if they open to it.
The copy of Record of Grancrest War used for this review was provided to us by its publisher VIZ Media. The book details at an MSRP of $10 USD, $13 CAN, and £7 UK per volume.