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Shoukoku no Altair – 05 »« Shoukoku no Altair – 03

Shoukoku no Altair – 04

「犬鷲の共闘」 (Inu washi no Kyoutou)
“The Eagle’s Joint Struggle”

It seems fitting to me that I take over Altair’s coverage from Passerby this week just as the show starts switching gears. The chaos of stately relations and political machinations? Replaced (if only slightly) by the story of a boy and his quest for enlightenment. This episode is arguably where Altair finally found its feet, weaving the disparate collection of pieces quickly thrown at us in past weeks into a tale which, if currently lacking in depth, has plenty of room for growth.

Having moved beyond the politics of pashas for the moment, Altair’s emphasis is now on the learning of Mahmut as he comes to terms not only with his ignorance, but his naivety. For all that Mahmut’s quixotic personality grated on me before, I must admit the kid is remarkably—and pleasantly—quick on the uptake. He listens earnestly, identifies his own mistakes, and most importantly, seeks to immediately implement changes for the better. Temerariously rushing headfirst into the enemy? Quickly corrected when Mahmut both sees the results and is criticized by his fellow tribesman Suleyman. It may only be baby steps right now, but Mahmut’s eagerness to learn anything and everything and apply that learning will make him incredibly dangerous before too long. Knowledge, as Zaganos mentions, is the greatest weapon after all, but only if used correctly at the right time. By having Mahmut operate the cipher and meet his spies, Zaganos ensures the kid will absorb this lesson as he himself previously did.

Ironically though, the greatest education for Mahmut may come from the very realm he was banished from. Altair’s focus may have shifted to a trip through the boondocks, but the theme is still very much one of national struggle. Balt-Rhein’s assassins as Suleyman points out are not acting as individuals (as Mahmut is wont to do), but as pieces of a far greater game. This is where Mahmut will face his greatest challenge, for in order to realize his lofty objective, he must learn when to put aside idealism in favour of cold pragmatism. This lesson started for Mahmut last week, but it’s still a work in progress as evidenced by his continued selfishness in combat. In order to effectively lead and affect lasting change, Mahmut must learn he cannot handle everything alone (getting there) and that loss is always inevitable. Eventually our pasha-in-training will come across a situation where people will die no matter his choice, with all Mahmut having control over being the number and the outcome. The responsibility of such decisions and accepting the result, this is the essence of leadership and the most critical lesson of them all for Mahmut. Preventing war is certainly a laudable goal, but Mahmut hasn’t considered that such desires may require him sacrificing a few for the many as his adopted (grand)father once had to do. The boy has a long way to go yet.

Getting to the endpoint, however, is half the fun and next time looks set for a romp through potential pirate lands as Mahmut heads to Phoenicia. Well, a fictional one at least. You can bet on some more history lessons, Mahmut development, and more than a few Balt-Rhein machinations as we get down and dirty into the peregrinations of our pasha-in-training, even if we have a break before experiencing it all. Yes you heard right, Altair is on hiatus for two weeks. Strange time to take one, but it certainly gives time to savour what’s coming. After all, now we get to see just what our little falconer can do.

 

Preview

July 28, 2017 at 11:28 pm
33 comments »
  • July 29, 2017 at 1:04 amDonto

    A bit of correction, it’s zaganos not zaganas
    He’s based on this guy:
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zagan_Pasha

    • July 29, 2017 at 5:45 pmPancakes

      Woops thanks for catching, must have been typing on autopilot :P

  • July 29, 2017 at 5:17 amWorldwidedepp

    2 Weeks hiatus.. Even Bahamut has 2 weeks “recaps”.. is there something important in Nippon? Holidays or such?

    • July 29, 2017 at 12:12 pmsonicsenryaku

      well both these shows are mappa productions so it could be possible that mappa has burned themselves out; even kagekurui is having a break after this weeks ep; i dont think its just a coincidence although i could be wrong

      • July 29, 2017 at 12:28 pmWorldwidedepp

        Oh, that could be it, thanks

      • July 30, 2017 at 1:21 amdanes256

        No. It’s highly possible the animators burned themselves out. There are animator shortage these days in Japan because less people want to be one while the number of animes kept growing.

      • July 30, 2017 at 1:25 amWorldwidedepp

        and Gaijin’s Animators do not really adept into their Culture. If its on their own, or the Homelands do not really see him or her as one of them

        mm… the only solution are “Skype”/Office workers. But…. you know, you need trust in the first place

    • July 29, 2017 at 1:30 pmkay

      IAAF World Championships runs in the upcoming 2 weeks. All 3 MAPPA shows (Shingeki no Bahamut, Shoukoku no Altair, and Kakegurui) have their first weekly broadcasts on MBS or TBS. A lot of broadcasting networks including both MBS and TBS will be doing live broadcasts of the championships which then kicks out late night anime from its regular broadcast slots. Sports broadcasts getting higher priority over anime is a regular and unfortunate reality of Japanese TV broadcasting.

      Also, MAPPA does not have production problems with Shingeki no Bahamut. The staff mentioned months ago that footage for the full 24 episodes were complete before it started broadcast in the spring. They’ve mainly been doing music recordings and editing during the broadcast period. Don’t know too much about Kakegurui and Shoukoku productions so I can’t say much but I doubt MAPPA has production problems with those either. This is merely a delay due to broadcasting issues. Ballroom also has initial broadcast on MBS so it has a double broadcast today and will be delayed until the 19th.

      • July 29, 2017 at 1:46 pmhikari

        They didn’t have problem with Bahamut because it got good productions schedule and being prioritize by them compare to others, but if you watch Altair than you notice that the series already had problems since the 1st ep (QUALITY here and there+lower productions value all around). If Bahamut is A-tier productions, then both Altair and Kakegurui defenetely B/B-.

        Considering few seasons ago they had huge trouble with both YOI and Days productions when those two series airing at the same time, I think it’s fair to say that MAPPA is still a bit burned out, that’s why out of those 3 Bahamut is the most solid ones in terms of productions value, visual, etc.

      • July 29, 2017 at 2:06 pmkay

        >hikari
        Obviously Bahamut is on a tier completely above the other 2 shows in terms of production. However, I wanted to mention that the other 2 shows are not in production problems serious enough to warrant not being able to broadcast normally the way Tsuki ga Kirei and Kado had to stuff in a recap episode last season. The 2 week gap is merely because their broadcast channels reserved the regular broadcast slots for the championships live broadcast as I explained above, not because of production mishaps.

      • July 29, 2017 at 3:17 pmhikari

        True^….sorry forgot to put emphasis on the difference in productions quality of those shows that I was actually talking about, not on the 2 weeks break (I actually agree with you on that part, not to mentions I already knew about the broadcast delay cuz of those sport events).

      • July 29, 2017 at 5:46 pmPancakes

        Welp that explains it, I was confused after seeing the comments on the delay, seemed a weird spot for a two week hiatus. At least they’re making up for lost time with a back to back airing of episodes 6 and 7 though.

      • July 29, 2017 at 5:50 pmsonicsenryaku

        @Kay Sweet; thanks for the info. On another note, where’s your source that bahamut was finished by the spring semester; it’s highly unlikely that all 24 eps were completed by the time the series started airing. I remember hearing that they were ahead of schedule before the series began airing but things can change. There have been some outsourcing of episodes on bahamut such as last week’s ep and probably this weeks as well (as well as ep 7); not to mention some of the eps havent looked up to the standard of bahamut like this week’s ep for example. But yea, i highly doubt they finished all 24 eps by the time the show started airing or even during it’s first few eps

      • July 29, 2017 at 7:43 pmkay

        >sonicsenryaku
        I read the interview before or right around when Virgin Soul started its broadcast. The interview is online on a Japanese official manga/anime news site (I am fluent at native level in Japanese) though I can’t remember which site it was off the top of my head. If I find it again, I can post the link.

        The producer and character designer have also said in a number of other interviews that production for the Genesis series was absolute hell given the quality required which was equivalent to 4-5 times the work for a normal TV series and the tight schedule that was planned out. For Genesis, they were still drawing animation while broadcasting the series and barely made it through. They learned their lesson and decided that for Virgin Soul, they would set up production so the footage would all be done before broadcast (especially since it’s double the length that Genesis was). I remember the producer clearly declaring that they successfully finished all the footage in time.

        Also, another reason and indication that they were finished with all footage ahead of time is because the music/sound production process for both Genesis and Virgin Soul is different from a normal TV anime series. Regular TV series generally have a set soundtrack made ahead of time and then staff choose which songs to play at specific scenes. For both Genesis and Virgin Soul, the composer Ike Yoshihiro has mentioned that he first receives the full and finished footage of an episode and then composes and tailors music to each episode. If interested, you can check his and the director’s twitter where they sometimes post behind the scenes pics.

      • July 29, 2017 at 11:01 pmsonicsenryaku

        @Kay when you remember the website where you got the info from by all means post it. Im curious as to how they were able to accomplish getting all 24 eps completed before the spring season. Well that would explain some of the outsourced eps and why some eps dont look as good as others (its not a drastic decrease in quality; mind you functions pretty well but its still a noticeable decline). In the end, i guess more or less it doesnt really matter if they got the series done before the spring season, having difficulties getting the entire product done before the spring season is something that is entirely possible. Besides, I wouldnt say that just because a music composer creates the music after episode production means that all 24 eps had already been complete. It could just mean that episode production is so far ahead that the composer has the luxury of doing so. The one thing that sort of gives some credence to the claim that all 24 eps had been finished before the series started airing is that there was pv footage for virgin soul as early as winter of 2016. A lot of the footage was from ep 1. Regardless of that however, my skepticism creeps back in considering the fact that some animation production studios are guilty of making pre-animated pv’s rather than ripping footage from the actual product; but hey, if that’s not the case then the whole series being finished before airing sounds more plausible. It wouldnt be the first time that it’s happened. Shows like Re-life had all their eps finished by its airdate, although that was a 13 ep series (still an outlier of production scheduling when considering what’s the norm for the industry). Plus i think kyo ani has had moments when a series was finished before the airing (i could be wrong but i think that might have been the case with kyokai no kanata).

        Still, i definitely respect the effort that has gone into bahamut; the sheer quality it exudes from a technical standpoint is pretty high; not to mention it’s just a damn good series in general.

      • July 30, 2017 at 1:31 amWorldwidedepp

        Thanks you two for some insight, perhaps they have the Storyboard for 24 in raw ready. But as Shirobako told me, that this can be changed. So this plan ahead are not set in Stone, but you can work with it

      • August 5, 2017 at 8:14 pmsonicsenryaku

        @Kay yea it’s as i thought; virgin soul was not completed before it started airing. I figured there was no way that was possible given the circumstances of the studio:

        “As new update from Wanpack revealed, 19th episode of VIRGIN SOUL has been animated in June. Or more specifically the parts outsourced to Wanpack (29 cuts in total). So in no way was the series done with its animation production by the premiere. Still, as things stand the studio shouldn’t really have any major problems juggling the production to the end. And it seems that there might not even be a single wholly outsourced ep.”

        source from blog.sakugabooru.com

  • July 29, 2017 at 9:12 amVyseLegendaire

    It’s like the good version of Arslan.

    • July 29, 2017 at 5:54 pmPancakes

      I think we need to see more before making that call, but so far in a way it is. Probably stems from Mahmut lacking the strong allies Arslan started with, and the noticeable lack of magic in the show. Unlike Arslan, Mahmut isn’t really handed victories and is not destined (per say) to lead, he has more modest goals and means to realize them. Makes it easier to empathize with the kid and enjoy his growth as a character.

      • July 30, 2017 at 1:32 amWorldwidedepp

        Magic? With this Episode there are Magic enough for me, that i begin to see it not serious…

      • July 30, 2017 at 1:46 amDonto

        No worries, there won’t be any magic here. There will be land and naval battles, which i hope they will animate well.

      • August 4, 2017 at 2:32 amWarriorsHeart

        Also, unlike Arslan, Mahmut does not have the advantage of being accompanied by a strategist (Narsus) whose plans never fail. Whilst Arslan have great ideals and have shown some signs of genius, it was too much when characters kept singing his praises. On the other hand, I think it’s easier to appreciate Mahmut as someone of greatness because we can clearly see his growth as we have seen in this episode where he makes mistakes and learns from them. We haven’t seen the best of what he has to offer yet.

  • July 29, 2017 at 10:06 amRobert

    I like how the main character in this series is smart but still has a lot of room to grow. Way too often these child genius types run head first into problems and rarely encounter true challenges not related to numbers of logistics. Here Altair is a talented kid but also extremely green. His opponents aren’t fools and he pays for it. Frankly, I find this to be a breath of fresh air.

    • July 29, 2017 at 5:50 pmPancakes

      Agreed, Mahmut’s desire to learn and improve particularly impresses me in this scenario. I was seriously expecting some hamfisted excuses for his “power up” after the first three episodes, but seeing the show take the honest way forward via struggle and loss makes me very happy. Anything keeping the kid realistic gives me hope we haven’t seen the best Altair can offer just yet.

      • July 30, 2017 at 1:38 amWorldwidedepp

        But, Kids are breaking Mind Borders, and the Adults let him continue? You know, there are this “lose face”, “family honor”, “obey your elders” thing.. At i bet at their time they where even more strict

        So..no, i enjoy this Fantasy.. drawn with today’s thinking how the past would be… in other words Fantasy

        Also, this Anime come second, they must life with “being just an clone of Arslan”

      • August 4, 2017 at 2:17 amWarriorsHeart

        @Worldwidedepp

        I think it’s harsh to call this a ‘clone of Arslan’ when there is nothing identical about the two shows. Both are war fantasies, that’s about it. The cultures and politics shown are different. Whilst I like Arslan a lot, I think this show does better at world building.

    • July 30, 2017 at 1:55 amDonto

      The author of the manga has a history degree from tokyo university specializing in turkish history. Tell me, what’s your qualifications?

      • July 30, 2017 at 1:56 amDonto

        I’m replying to Worldwidedepp btw

      • July 30, 2017 at 2:01 amDonto

        Second to Aslan? Wow, where did you got that from? Did you go to a japanese forum and see all of them commenting like that? Did you check that altair’s manga came out before the arakawa version of aslan manga and anime? Did you check that altair manga won the kodansha manga award recently? Or is it just your narrow minded observation because you only watch very of little middle east influenced story?

      • July 30, 2017 at 2:44 amWorldwidedepp

        Nope, i was talking about the Anime. You ranting about the Manga. So, how was first to be animated?

  • July 29, 2017 at 4:49 pmGlutton

    The drawings are getting a lot better.

  • July 29, 2017 at 9:56 pmBlank

    Finally, this is the best episode out of 4 that has been released. I agree with the previous comments, it’s seems like MAPPA prioritizing Shingeki no Bahamut first, then Kakegurui and Altair. As a manga reader, I accept that the art wont be as detailed as the manga. But what bugs me is why they make some change that simplified the story?

    Spoiler for Tughril massacre
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Don’t worry, Mahmut won’t get insane power up. He already have skills and tactis, he just had to learn how to implement it better.

    • July 29, 2017 at 10:14 pmDonto

      Yeah, I’m not liking those changes either.You know, as much as I am starting to like the anime better, I really don’t know why the director love changing stuff from the manga. i respect the guy for his past works, but he’s not really doing a good job this time. I dislike how he changes the dialogue, the dialogue in the manga feels more natural. Here, it sounds really pretentious sometimes. Also, suleyman feels more jovial and easygoing in the manga. Somehow, i got the feeling the director is trying to make the tone of the series more “serious” , which IMO doesn’t really work most of the time

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