I wanted to wait a couple of days before posting this just to give everyone some time to catch up on the latest episode of Record of Grancrest War — “Outpost”. To grossly over simplify what happens, Queen Eudokia and her mage, Laura, basically start a nudist revolt.…Well, okay, maybe that is pretty much the sum of it.
Sure, Milza and Theo play a game of “cat and mouse” in the woods, but no really cares about that at this point. Oh, also we have magic wand phones.
As trivial a thing that may seem, it actually might explain why the various lords seem to know about everything that’s going on almost as soon as it happens.
The big news here, though, is that Eudokia’s group in Haman is now undoubtedly the best faction in all of Atlatan.
Allegiance preferences aside, there is some serious discussion raging online in the aftermath of Outpost—the most volatile of which is the debate over the sexualized roles that some of our female characters end up playing in pivotal plot points. This is a critique that started however many episodes ago when Marrine basically pimped herself out to Milza in exchange for his military support. It came to light again in this week’s episode after Laura convinces Eudokia that she can boost the morale of her troops if they both appear naked before them…all of them.
Laura’s logic is that they can strip themselves as an exemplification of how their entire country’s wealth has been stripped from them, and they have nothing left to give but themselves.
To the naked eye, this may seem like nothing more than a blatant excuse for fanservice. Some critics of the show’s handling of female characters claim this bit as another example of a female lead being helpless and having to use her body as a tool to recruit men to help her.
Yes, this is a blatant fanservice moment, BUT IT COULD ALSO ACTUALLY WORK.
At a glance, the idea of motivating your male lords and soldiers by showing off your hot bod seems rather primitive, but in the case of Eudokia, we need to consider the harem-centric nature of Haman.
From the moment we are first introduced to the queen, she’s already surrounded with half-naked men. She has multiple husbands, and takes what she wants when she wants it. She is idolized by her followers as a symbol of both sex and power, but many of her followers have only been able to admire from afar. Now, in this particular scene, their idol stands before them, not teasingly exposed like usual, but completely exposed. In the context of how Haman’s culture and Eudokia’s faction operate, it’s entirely possible that doing something like what she did would actually inspire her subjects.
The second critique pertaining to the Starck-Haman conflict is something along the lines of “It’s not practical to fight without armor. That plan doesn’t make any sense.”
It doesn’t really, but that hasn’t stopped certain societies from doing it in the past. Some of the Gallic/Celtic/British tribes did, in fact, fight naked, or very close to it. We know this because the ancient Romans documented some of their encounters with them on the battlefield.
Atlatan is a fictional continent, but it pretty obviously draws influence from feudalistic Europe. Ulrica and the Nords that rule Starck are clearly inspired by the various Nordic Viking clans that have existed throughout history; they attack mostly from the sea, and primarily sustain themselves through sacking other settlements. Regionally, they’re in “the north”, and close enough to be in conflict with Haman.
With this in mind, it’s not too much of a stretch to say that the writers could have ripped the naked fanaticism we see in Haman from some of the aforementioned societies that historically incorporated nude soldiers. And even if they didn’t (as Haman architecture and clothing would suggest), it wouldn’t make it any less true, necessarily.
So…yeah. Sometimes a scene can be both fanservicey AND plausible, y’know?
All images used in this post are screenshots taken from the VRV/Crunchyroll simulcast stream https://vrv.co/