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Shoukoku no Altair – 14

OP Sequence

OP: 「赫色 -akairo-」 (Haka -akairo-) by CIVILIAN

「隊商の娘」 (Taishou no Musume)
“The Caravan Daughter”

A little delayed in returning to Altair this week (blame the glory that is Blade Runner 2049), but I firmly think the wait was worth it. With new OP, ED, and one little pasha now firmly in his rightful role (not to mention best idol squad), all that was missing for the show was a suitable situation for Mahmut to realize his potential. Lo and behold one finally appearing as Altair gives us the quick and dirty of economic warfare.

While Altair has never hesitated to show off its intellectual chops, it still never ceases to amaze me just how broad its knowledge is. Economic warfare is a topic few people ever consider (I mean, who even knows of international political economy?), let alone fictional stories, but as this episode highlights it is something often more important than the “fun” of conventional war. It is economics that fuels the lifeblood of all states, for governments need currency (whether actual money or tangible goods) to function, and currency can only be obtained from an active citizenry. Cripple an economy and you mortally wound your enemy, limiting their options and simplifying your own planning. It is this aspect that Mahmut deviously takes advantage of, cutting into Balt-Rhein’s lifeline and forcing them into the only response they know: aggression. Sure it’s debatable that the results are primarily due to the actions of zealous juniors (Admiral Lay had the right idea), but this only reinforces the point: Balt-Rhein got where it was by running over the competition through force of arms, and only after indulged in more “abstract” means of coercion to lighten the boredom. Louis and his ilk may have attempted their own economic subversion with Turkiye’s dependencies for example, but they came to it from a position of strength—it’s little more than a passing hobby to them. Mahmut on the other hand has no other option, unlike Balt-Rhein and the plentiful forces they can fall back upon he must make do with what little he has.

Where Mahmut’s strategy becomes especially important, however, is in the secondary responses it generates. Balt-Rhein is aggressive, but that aggression was always applied intelligently up until now. The attack on Venedik’s ships was impulsive and bad for their diplomacy, the sort of thing occurring when you have no plan—or are simply desperate for another one to work. Louis may be devious, but Mahmut actually outplayed him here, using his enemy’s tendencies to his advantage while smartly ignoring the superfluities. The previous Mahmut for example would have rejected this scheme outright because it takes advantage of the innocent and requires the ultimate sacrifice on the part of more. For a pacifist it’s unthinkable and shows just how far the little pasha has come since his idealistic beginnings. The only thing Mahmut has likely not considered is Balt-Rhein’s other option. He may have cut off a vital supply of grain to the empire’s armies, but there’s nothing stopping Balt-Rhein from simply speeding up their plans of invasion. Napoleon after all succeeded so well and so fast because he used the enemy’s own land and people as the source of his military’s supplies; there’s nothing stopping Balt-Rhein from doing the exact same thing.

With a new arc underway and Mahmut finally in his element, Altair seems ready and raring to set its world on fire. It’s not exactly clear what is heading our way, but you can bet war (and lots of it) is not that far away. It’s taken some time to get to this point, but Altair at last looks ready to start spreading its wings.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「Windy」 by CHEMISTRY

Preview

October 14, 2017 at 5:46 pm
8 comments »
  • October 14, 2017 at 7:49 pmzztop

    The Chinli feature as the villians of a spinoff manga set in the Far East of Altair’s universe, Toukoku no Subaru (Island Kingdom of the Pleiades).
    https://www.mangaupdates.com/series.html?id=129832

    Basically Kusanagi (not-Japan) is colonised by the Chinli and its royal family forcefully dissolved (similar to how Imperial Japan annexed Korea back in the 20th century). An ex-royal guard of Kusanagi plots to make his nation great again and drive out the occupiers by building up an opposition force, headed by the last surviving heir of Kusanagi royalty. Unfortunately the heir’s a princess, which means she has to pretend to be male due to succession laws.

  • October 15, 2017 at 2:18 amWorldwidedepp

    Also a way to use “Earth”
    http://randomc.net/image/Shoukoku%20no%20Altair/Shoukoku%20no%20Altair%20-%2014%20-%20Large%2019.jpg
    If i am not that false, this is Earth some Million Times in the past, while it was still wandering Continents..

    The South America “tongue” is visible and the “unlimited” islands around Asia…

  • October 17, 2017 at 4:51 pmZaiden

    Man, it’s so sad to see how underrated and underwatched this show is. We’re at the halfway point now, and Mahmut is slowly realising every bit of his potential. Such a joy to watch.

    However, I’d be surprised if the Doge was entirely unaware of Mahmut’s activities, given his extensive information networks. Even if Venedik ended up going to war with Balt-Rhein, I think he’d hardly be pleased with Mahmut’s economic interference. After all, a peculiar economic gain in the short term is certainly not worth the risk of provoking a war. I would be interested to see if the Doge wholly sides with Turkiye, or whether he will end up harbouring resentment.

    • October 18, 2017 at 1:39 amPancakes

      Not many appreciate good political dramas these days sadly, just a fact of life borne from a niche genre :P

      As for the Doge I don’t think he is aware about Mahmut. Certainly he likely knows about the economic movement, but considering how quickly this deal came about (and how the Chinli “ambassador” was the face of it), it’s likely Venedik only sees coincidence in this situation right now. It’s not easy to put two and two together when you have four new things to suddenly worry about, especially with no clear ties to any other power.

  • October 17, 2017 at 11:22 pmNaru-chan

    I was worried about an anime adaption of this, but I have been watching weekly and enjoy it. Beginning was slow, as was the manga I like the realistic politics going on in this show. But it is not moe or isekai so not super popular except for original manga fans I feel. Or EXILE, CHEMISTRY, E-GIRLS fans. Which was a smart production move to gain viewership. This episode felt rushed, but for the amount of information and story they covered what needed to be covered so I am fine with it. I am hopeful for this arc. I was disappointed that the Civil War Arc did not cover as much of the brothers relationship in the finals scene, but it still worked. Hopefully more emotion will be covered with this next Arc. Def MAPPA’s under appreciated show.

    • October 18, 2017 at 1:42 amPancakes

      Even in Japan this isn’t supposedly that popular, which is likely down to the focus on geopolitics in place of characters as with Arslan. It’s the sort of story I love personally, but I’m definitely in the minority in that regard lol.

      I imagine though we will start getting some more emotion, especially in regards to Mahmut. Whether he knows it or not, he’s now at a crossroads and all future decisions will impact his ultimate dream.

  • October 18, 2017 at 7:29 amKurik

    Been enjoying this as was surprised when a new episode arrived…Thought I had to wait and another season! Great start to the new arc as well and loving the economic war efforts. As some commenters said…its a shame not many ppl are watching this but and alot don’t have have the patience for this type of intrigue but I am happy to be apart of the niche…Loving it!

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