「出撃前夜」 (Shutsugeki Zen’ya)
“The Night Before the Attack”
This was a buildup episode if I’ve ever seen one.
Silvermask Returns to Ecbatana
I enjoyed the interplay between Guiscard and his lackeys, if only to further emphasize that Guiscard isn’t as dumb as most of Narsus’ enemies. Everyone else Team Arslan has faced so far would have fallen for Narsus’ low-balling trick, but Guiscard sniffed it out and sent 100K troops to face their “60,000” (really more). Which made me all the more curious when Silvermask reappeared, and Guiscard loaned him 70K Lusitanian troops to crush Arslan.
I can’t decide whether Guiscard is smart to use Silvermask for this long, or unwise to leave such a potent enemy alive while he still has the chance to slip a blade between his ribs. Since this is Arslan Senki, the writing is on the wall on who’s going to ultimately win, and we pretty much know that Hermes is the final boss, but I could see Guiscard and Lusitania being a detail Arslan needs to clean up after Hermes bites it. Guiscard is one of the more interesting characters, because he’s enmeshed in a web of plots that haven’t been explored as thoroughly. For now I hesitate to say that this is a smart move, but if I were him I’d be looking to off Silvermask soon. That dude is dangerous.
Not gonna lie, I snorted out loud when Andragoras started talking about some prophecy. Any time the mystical intrudes into Arslan Senki, save for perhaps Farangis’ djinns (who, like all good spirits and gods, and better heard and not seen), I feel like it’s for ill, and a sudden prophecy seems so out of place here. That said, I liked the moment at the end, where Andragoras’ words came back to Hermes, and he scoffed. I feel like, as a strategy to get inside Hermes’ head, something like this prophecy works. I just wish I didn’t have to worry about it being revealed that Arslan was “destined” to win all along now.
Elam x Alfreed x Narsus 4ever!!1!
Excuse me for that section title. I’ll go sit in the corner and think about what I’ve done.
I loved the tsundere act between Alfreed and Elam. It was both funny and got them out of a pinch, which is appreciated. But when juxtaposed with Alfreed asking Farangis about Gieve later on, the eloping gag felt all the more … anime, if that makes sense? It’s like I said before, Farangis and Gieve have an adult relationship, whatever that entails. With Elam and Alfreed (and by extension, Narsus), it feels more like shipping characters. I’m used to that, and it’s plenty fun, so it’s okay. It’s just that Farangis and Gieve showed that we could have more in our romantic pairings.
Looking Ahead – The Battle Comes
This was a buildup episode, so there’s not a huge amount to talk about. It did it’s job, and though some events were wobbly—the prophecy, or Saam talking about kicking Lusitania out of Ecbatana when there were Lusitanian soldiers right behind him, for instance—it largely did it’s job. This isn’t the episode we remember. The next ones are. So let’s get to it.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – A buildup ep, where Silvermask is pissed, Guiscard is smart, Alfreed & Elam are tsundere, & there’s some prophecy. Next time: War #arslan 22
- “Even if he were killed, he is not the sort to die, now is he?” Thanks for that wisdom, Shir—Faragnis.
- Arslan’s visit to Japan? Pfft, please. It’s all about Farangis (dat dress), Daryun (dat suit), and Gieve (dat Gieve). I also enjoyed the angry, lurking Hermes, hah!
My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now available in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel short story. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: Rejection, the secret place, & fundamentals, What are your two skills?, Passing the Bechdel Test, and Absence (from work) makes the heart grow fonder.