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Shoukoku no Altair – 23 »« Shoukoku no Altair – 21

Shoukoku no Altair – 22

「犬鷲の追撃」 (Inu washi no Tsuigeki)
“Golden Eagle Pursuit”

If there was one moment Altair has been building up to, this was it. After weeks of subtle development and crash courses in reality, Mahmut has finally received the opportunity to practice what he has learned, both beating Balt-Rhein at its own game and fully understanding why war and ruthlessness often go hand in hand. It was a perfect alignment of pieces made all the better by knowing we have only seen half of this battle.

The surprise this week of course was seeing just how mature Mahmut has become. Gone is the naïve idealism and heart on the sleeve espousing, replaced by one hell of a commanding face. It has been a change slowly coming on for a while now yes, but actually seeing our little pasha boldly march on the enemy with a few of their heads on spikes quickly reinforces just how far Mahmut has come. Defeat as general Pineau mentions is often the best motivator, but few are capable of the evolution Mahmut has experienced. Such change demands a fiercely introspective mindset, you must be open to both criticizing yourself and implementing the necessary changes. This is never easy given human pride mind you, but when mixed up with honour and responsibilities too it can often be an impossible task. Military men (much like scientists) are often wedded to their pet tactics and strategies, determined to see them succeed because they have poured countless years—if not their entire working lives—into them. Simply abandoning a losing gambit is anathema when you have known nothing else, which is in part why Pineau rejected Mahmut’s call for surrender. It may have been the sensible thing to do, but when you have your entire military’s image resting on your shoulders, such choices can often be mere illusions.

Considering Pineau will assuredly lose this final fight next week (I doubt he can break the second encirclement after botching the first), the issue for Balt-Rhein will be picking itself up from its decisive defeat. As Mahmut (and Turkiye) learned through struggle, so to must the empire come to grips with the fact they no longer hold monopoly over winning strategies. For Balt-Rhein this will likely come down to their arrogance, especially in regards to their enemies who they have not taken seriously up until this point. Pineau for example, rather than smartly trying to break the first encirclement and withdraw, chose to crush Turkiye, apparently not considering that such a move might wind up backfiring badly if his stalling troops similarly underestimated their opponents (which they did). Balt-Rhein has won too much too fast, never being seriously tested over the dominance they seek, and obeying the strategy of a man who has likely never known the taste of a real battlefield. It’s a perfect storm of naivety made worse by the fact Balt-Rhein is set to lose their top commander and possesses no clear protégé waiting in the wings. Whether the empire is willing to change its approach could very well be a moot point, by having now effectively declared war on the entire world they likely have no time to find someone capable of being their Mahmut.

Makes me kind of sad knowing we only have two more episodes left to find out.

 

Preview

December 8, 2017 at 11:39 pm
10 comments »
  • December 9, 2017 at 3:34 amTanz

    My favorite episode. Finally a well-executed fight. Mahmut’s decisiveness was definitely worth the wait.

    • December 10, 2017 at 10:51 pmPancakes

      It was wasn’t it? Some of the scenes of Balt-Rhein’s phalanxes moving reminded me a lot of Gladiator’s opening battle sequence, which definitely is the sort of reference you want when thinking of this :P

  • December 10, 2017 at 1:53 amExukvera

    Ending the series just when things were getting REALLY interesting. I demand a sequel.

    • December 10, 2017 at 10:52 pmPancakes

      Thankfully it’s Christmas time, guaranteed Santa can make it happen XD

  • December 10, 2017 at 3:12 amGlutton

    Love the night sceneries in this show. Really poetic.

    • December 10, 2017 at 10:54 pmPancakes

      It’s ironic as well because for this era of warfare night fighting was heavily frowned upon due to its chaotic nature. Like fog it made keeping track of troops difficult, and messengers/scouts could easily get lost or misread the terrain. It shows that for all Balt-Rhein’s supposed mastery, they are just as naive in certain matters as their enemies.

  • December 10, 2017 at 3:42 amSv

    Aww I hope the short hair lady general Cornelia does not die.

    • December 10, 2017 at 10:56 pmPancakes

      She may not, I don’t think the alliance will slaughter everyone, that’s a little too cruel for the foot soldiers largely following orders. I bet once Balt-Rhein’s infantry breaks Mahmut will accept their piecemeal surrenders.

  • December 10, 2017 at 7:27 amtheirs

    http://randomc.net/image/Shoukoku%20no%20Altair/Shoukoku%20no%20Altair%20-%2022%20-%2022.jpg
    I fear she’s in danger of being taken out by her own subordinates. Unlike General Pino, she hasn’t gotten their full respect yet. Probably contrasts nicely with this guy:
    http://randomc.net/image/Shoukoku%20no%20Altair/Shoukoku%20no%20Altair%20-%2022%20-%2013.jpg
    His own troops knows his worth and actually prevents him from going down in the battlefield.

    As for a replacement for General Pino, isn’t there that guy who is currently holding the siege on Chielo? He’s in the same position as Ms. Kokoschka in the opening if I’m not mistaken.

    • December 10, 2017 at 10:57 pmPancakes

      Oh yeah the one who warned Pineau of the trap in Chielo. Definitely could be, he has the mindset for it, but we have no information on his military prowess just yet.