Last month I was given the opportunity to review the first volume of Record of Grancrest War. Put off by the anime, I had initially been worried about how the manga would compare, but thankfully what I found was that the manga adaption was promising. This month, I return to check out Volume 2 and find out if the series is still doing well!
This volume of Record of Grancrest War sees Theo and Siluca about to engage in their first big battle. A nearby lord known as Lassic David is only interested in conquest and gaining more land, so Theo and Siluca set out to best him in battle and claim his land for their own. Up against such a powerful enemy, there is a lot at stake – not least our heroes’ lives! Can they prevail in an all-out battle?
Up until now we’ve had our fair share of fight scenes, but this is the first time we’ve seen Theo lead an (admittedly small) army. This second instalment of the series is action-packed and spends most of its time on the battle between Lassic and Theo. This works out well because it gives mangaka Makoto Yotsuba the opportunity to show off their ability to convey high-stake battles, something we haven’t previously seen and which is very important to the series.
The good news is that Yotsuba is more than capable of providing the art needed for these scenes and they’re difficult to look away from as a reader. Lavish in detail and dramatic, there is a lot to take in but they also flow well panel to panel. The only real criticism I have for these scenes is that I wish the mangaka made use of two page spreads occasionally, as there are a few sequences that would have benefited from it.
Artwork aside, this volume is important for the fact it introduces us to Lassic David. As mentioned above, he’s the ‘big bad’ for this book, but those of you who have watched the anime will be aware that he becomes a prominent member of the cast going forward. Alongside him is the mage Moreno who is as skilled in swordplay as he is in magic. Together with Lassic, the two have aimed to become leaders of the whole world and this volume does a good job at conveying the relationship Moreno and Lassic share. The two might be on the wrong side compared to Theo, but they’re likable characters and it’s difficult not to find yourself rooting for them in this battle just as much as our protagonist.
The only real issue I have with this entry of Record of Grancrest War is how short a book it is. Coming in at only 150 pages there isn’t much room for anything to happen beyond the battle between Theo and Lassic. While that’s not necessarily a huge problem, I do wish there was time left to explore the aftermath rather than waiting for the next instalment. I guess it’s a by-product of adapting from a light novel, which would have had the page count to spend on everything in equal measures. Nevertheless, it is a shame.
This volume once again comes to the West thanks to VIZ Media and has been translated by Satsuki Yamashita. This book is notably less dialogue-heavy than the first one, but the translation provided is still good and issue free.
Overall Record of Grancrest War continues to offer the compelling war story the first book promised. Although most of our time is spent on a single battle, the manga is well drawn and sets a high standard for future volumes to follow. Certainly not to be missed!