「決戦」 (Kessen)
“The Decisive Battle”

A decisive victory is won, but perhaps not one Pars can feel entirely happy about.

We Ride At Dawn

I’m told that the Arakawa manga we got these character designs from isn’t adapted nearly this far, so we’ve been in novel territory for a while now. But this battle here, is mostly anime original. Given how wonky some of the previous episodes have been, and how underwhelming the Return to Pars campaign has been in general, I’m pleased with how damn good this episode was. Not only in budget and action, but in how the story is being told.

Take Étoile’s discovery that Arslan is … well, Arslan. Obviously the point of that scene was to prime her to go after him later in the episode, but it was also used to give the Parsian forces a way inside. And sure, a secret tunnel is perhaps a bit convenient, but these are things that some ancient castles actually had. Hell, the entire castle is convenient, from a storytelling perspective—an old abandoned Lusitanian castle in Pars territory that the Parsians never bothered to study properly? Doubtful … but certainly not impossible. (And the Lusitanians have occupied it for a few months now, at any rate.) What I like is that the puzzle pieces seem to fit together, in a way not unlike the original Fullmetal Alchemist anime. Sure, if they ever adapt the whole thing completely faithfully, we’ll see how everything slots together perfectly. But for now, it does work.

Also, you can’t say we didn’t tell you, Arslan. Dont approach the angry enemy soldier. Not wise. (Elam better survive, dammit!)

So That’s Where The Budget Went

The battle itself was awesome. The entire scene when the Parsian army was riding up, when Arslan gave his rousing speech (in his own way), and then shouted out “Yashasuiin!”? Chills, man. I got chills. I loved how Alfreed and the San Baka Commanders got juicy roles, Kubard got his big damn heroes moment (trope!), we were reminded just how dangerous Daryun and Kishward are, and there were just exciting happenings all over the battlefield. And yes, Farangis walking out into a hail of arrows made me do a double-take, but why is it that we balk at magic like that, but swallow teleportation whole? Because the latter is far beyond what we know to be real, whereas we know that walking out into arrows doesn’t work, just like we know blocking arrows with a sword doesn’t work either. It’s uncanny valley. Faith isn’t rewarded that way in our world, so we balk—but it seems like it’d be easier for a god to nudge arrows out of the way than it would be to do the flashy magic. I give it a pass for that, and because she looked so damn cool.

Then of course, there was the battle between Daryun and Hermes. I’m glad they saved some budget for that one! It was phenomenal. I could have filled up this page with screenshots of that fight alone. And, lo and behold, Hermes didn’t die. Which is good. It would have been too easy had he died there.

Oh, and as for Hermes leaving Daryun alive, when he had all those evil sorcerers at his beck and call? Remember the Terry Pratchett quote I invoked back in episode thirteen. That hasn’t gotten less true. “If a man has you entirely at his mercy, then hope like hell that man is an evil man…”

Problems of Faith

Pardon my ignorance of real world religions, but I do believe that suicide is frowned upon in Christianity. Which is good, because (1) suicide should be frowned upon, it’s a tragedy in nearly all cases (I invite you all to not get into that argument here, take it elsewhere), and (2) that means the faith of Yaldabaoth isn’t a carbon copy of Christianity. That means it’s free to be its own thing. (Here’s where someone mentions that, oh actually, there are plenty of examples of Christians killing themselves rather than be taken by heathens. Probably true. I just thought the faith itself frowned upon it, whereas the Yaldabaoth faith appears to be all for it. Though maybe that’s just a modern interpretation.)

It’s a bit of an understatement to say that it didn’t feel good to see those women jumping to their deaths. Arslan was channeling all of our feelings when he was freaking the fuck out. And Barcacion—you know, I contemplated for a few minutes that Arslan’s speech might actually turn Barcacion to Arslan’s side, at least long enough to slide a dagger through Hermes’ ribs. I’m not sure if I would have liked that turn of events, but Barcacion just seems so reasonable, up until he seemed so dead.

Obviously the point was to set Étoile upon Arslan with fury unmatched. Obviously. But it fit right into the setting for Barcacion to do what he did. He was trapped. The people living in ages such as this were, to a man, woman, and child, as zealous if not more so than the craziest religious nutjobs we ever see today. Their lives do not matter. What matters is their eternal souls, and there isn’t a barrier between church and state. Remember Kharlan, and how much people hated him? If Barcacion hadn’t killed himself, he would have been a thousand times worse off than Kharlan, especially if his people got a hold of him again. He was trapped by his belief. He had to do it. Which is what puts the cherry on top of the tragedy that is Barcacion and those falling women’s deaths.

Looking Ahead – One Last Time

There’s nothing like a resolution on the horizon. Hermes escaped, and is that him on the walls of Peshawar? Which is good. This story can’t have possibly hit a satisfying crescendo here, even though they were nice enough to tweak things and let it go out on an exciting note. One more episode, and Étoile is going to factor largely into it. It’ll be interesting to see where they leave us off.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – The decisive battle is a victory, but with Hermes’ escape and a mass Lusitanian suicide, it doesn’t feel good to be the (future) king #arslan 24

Random thoughts:

  • Another piece of the puzzle that fit together nicely: Arslan deciding to ride into battle himself. It seems like Étoile, whether the girl or the soldier, brings out a more assured Arslan.

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: My morning routine, True Ends, Rejection, the secret place, & fundamentals, and What are your two skills?



End Card


    1. I have to say, with the exception of the Daryun/Hermes fight I really did not enjoy this episode.

      So much just pissed me off. It was all too convenient and nearly every plot move was extolled as clever, but just came off as contrived…

      Most of my irritation came from the previous episode, the cliffhangers in which i was well into!

      1. Kishward. When the fuck did he get back to the main army, the last i saw he was in a dicy battle in the catacombs, outnumbered and outstategised. (Seriousy he should not have got away) – but no explanation he just turned up in time for the big battle.

      2. Etoille – ok i will concede that in tracking Elam back to Arslan, she might have had time and forsight to gather a small force.. but to get all the way in, then neither commit to killing or getting captured and somehow escaping, given how many troops were actually there. I mean she was just used as a plot device to reveal a secret way in…

      3. That came out right next to the fucking main gate. (And was unguarded/ungated – despite its hugely significant tactical value)… Plus ok, they stormed the walls, there was panic… but where were any nearby archers to take out the troops raising the gate…

      4. I’ll tell you where.. all fucking waiting in that giant unecessary hall to try and hold one (albeit incredibly skilled, but now apparently invisible to arrows) farangis.

      Sigh, it wasn’t awful, but i felt a little betrayed, I mean i get that they’re all awsome and heroic and shit, but these acts of machina just undermine the threads of real strategy that Narsus and others have supposedly been working at high level.

      I mean I’m going to keep watching it, (the art and the characters are so good) but I felt like they dropped the ball with the plot.

      1. I enjoyed but all your points are good. This is a anime original battle as the book author normally steals from history it does not get as stupid although reality can get unbelievable at times, example WWII a large German and American infantry unit go though each other in the middle of the night each side single file on other side of the same road hundreds of people no one thought to check or talk to other unit. Now with individual actions the author of the book can get wild but not this wild. As a former US Army Infantry Officer and amateur historian if I did not massively engage suspension of disbelief I could not enjoy any military anime with exception of Legends of Galactic Hero’s the master piece of Dr Yoshiki Tanaka author of this work as well. Anime production change errors get in that too but way less often.

        Any robot combat story with out energy shields or magic armor is stupid any modern infantry unit would chew em up with anti tank weapons, modern tanks are faster and more maneuverable their turrets turn very fast and artillery would chew them up worse. The recent robot anime Argevollen accidentally showed how good infantry and artillery are on robots in one episode. Modern tanks can drift turn watch the video, seeing how well they maneuver hard to find but watch the wonderful Girls and Panzer and take the crazy moves WWII tanks could do and imagine tanks two to three times as fast with very fast turrets with total stabilization so to the gunner they are not moving.

  1. Today’s endcard is by Ogiso Shingo, chief character designer for the Arslan anime (he adapts Arakawa’s designs for anime format). He’s also served as key animator on other works such as the Bleach movies and Terraformars.

  2. Stilts you can watch real people with swords knock arrows aside and even some people catching arrows on video. But this is with not particularly strong bows and person blocking or catching is doing nothing but that. The Japanese martial art for arrow blocking supposedly goes way back. But it is a Japanese art don’t recall seeing it anywhere else in real world mentions. I assume in reality it was only sometimes successful and probably not very effective on horse. And no way in almost dark like when it was done earlier in series.

    Now that I think on it almost any sword master could probably have a chance at arrow blocking as real sword fighting is to fast to see, thus slow mo camera work in fencing tournaments. So if a arrow coming in you would have a reflex chance of blocking just as if it was a sword thrust. Again probably not a sure thing though like in anime.

    Plenty examples of Christians killing themselves and children before the Mongels took a location. But I would highly advise doing that as the Mongels loved rape and torture.
    Yep sure can find many examples especially in the more fanatical Christian sects. But most Christians and even some of the most fanatical will surrender as suicide is wrong and being tortured to death to demonstrate ones faith is a blessing in Catholic ideas. Learned that from show on the Japanese saints that earned their sainthood Old School by being crucified February 5, 1597.

    1. Oh, I know that knocking an arrow aside with a sword is technically possible, under certain circumstances. I’ve seen some of those videos. It’s just like you said—in battle, it’s not the best idea. Usually it’s better to try to fuckin’ duck, lol

      Same thing with walking into the arrow storm and not getting hit. It’s totally possible! Just unlikely. And paradoxically, it’s too close to possible for us to readily accept, haha

      Good point on the being-tortured-and-dying-for-the-faith part. That sounds far more in line with old school Christian doctrine. Which means the faith of Yaldabaoth got one of the other worst attributes for a religion, since if they were full-on Christian expys, they would get taken capture … and then the Parsians, who inexplicably do not allow pillaging and whatnot (which is how soldiers got paid back in the day, raping and pillaging was part of the deal, but I know that was changed for the benefit of our modern sensibilities), would treat them well. So no drama. And where’s the fun in that?

      1. The no pillage was strange to me too as it was the exception not the rule. Although here it a enemy fortress not a civilian town you don’t want the troops pillaging your future supplies and you want to hand out captured weapons more systematically. Smart commanders did not pillage if they intended to permanently occupy as noted by Machiavelli but of course you had to come up with coin to pay the soldiers instead. Thus pillaging was the norm as most rulers rather did not have excess coin, foolishly cheap, or had no intention of occupying the enemy area taken. By Peter the Great’s time the rule was surrender when the siege trenches got to the wall and they would not pillage, no surrender Peter followed the rule an authorized pillaging. In this story the troops are not mercenaries so it is easier to get them not to pillage.

        Western warrior should be blocking arrow with shields but the smaller shields actually had to be put in the arrow’s path. When you got as small as a buckler you had to be good like the Spanish sword and buckler troops. Still a buckler was considered a poor option vs arrows.

      2. About the no pillaging, you have to remember that there’s a scene where Kishward is saying that the castle has been conquered and more killing and looting wouldn’t be allowed and would be punished.
        Of course, the nuns didn’t know it.

      3. I know it’s how soldiers do things usually but in this instance, not pillaging makes sense since they’re taking back their own capital. What’s the point of destroying your own cities?

      4. I am not sure why people said that they are conquering the capital.

        They are NOT conquering the capital. They are conquering a castle (Saint Mannuel) in the way to the capital.

        (Spoiler)I don’t think that everything is solved in the last episode. There’s at least other three books to finish the first part.

        It’s clear that they made a big battle from a small one (the conquest of the castle is really short in the OVAs), to have a satisfying ending of the anime (End Spoiler).

      5. Ok best way to describe the problem with arrow blocking is one this is not a Japanese (or Chinese see martial arts blocking and catching arrows) tale so arrow blocking is off the mythos so sort of takes you out of the tale. Second although there is indirect evidence it was used in real battles arrow blocking certainly was not that reliable and not a sure thing. The indirect evidence that arrow blocking was used in real battles is the martial art does come from the times of real battles. If you saw people trying and failing to block it would seam more real. But not more real in this tale where arrow blocking should not be a normal thing, in this tale maybe a whew I blocked it of one arrow ok but almost all the time it should be blocking with a shield, evading the fire and the armor stoping them. In this tale if no shield it’s dodging or in rare cases using a impromptu shield like a chair.

        And the characters in no armor in this battle other than the Divinely protected one made me wince. And before Farangls said she was protected her riding in along with Jaswant both not in armor made me wince. I’ve stated before that armor is not necessarily the best in combat out of formation and that a unarmored person can win from being lighter. But you need armor in formation when you can’t dodge incoming weapons and arrows because people are surrounding you. Alfread was ok she was in raid force and her lack of armor might have helped in the sneak attack on the secret entrance barrier.

      6. To be honest, rather than Christians, the vibe I got from the suicide scene was of Okinawa, and how the Japanese and the Okinawans committed suicide by the thousands either by ritual seppuku or jumping off cliffs, misguidedly believing the invading Americans to be savage barbarians due to the strength and propagation of their national propaganda.

    1. I think the tunnel was into the area with the camp. After all, Étoile was alone and on foot, and then she appeared in that rocky area with men and horses.

      Or maybe Narsus just got lucky with an incorrect assumption, and maybe that’s an incongruity in the storytelling that didn’t bother me ’cause everything afterwards was ballin’, lol

  3. Wish they had shown or at least mentioned securing the secret entrance door or gate as secret entrances always had a block able door.

    Well Farangis out fit should have given her a few moments while all the men gawked at the hot women in the skimpy outfit. Said before the skimpy outfit actually seams approbate to folklore on female priests of pagan female gods in part probably inspired by Minoan priestess who’s outfits showed off being topless. But yes a priestess in a tale with magic should have a holy spell or two. As we not seen this before assume it a ritual not to be performed frequently. She stated she put it on Arslan so maybe Étoile will get in a killing blow only to lose because the holy protection blocks the blow.

    The Parsians certainly studied the castle wrote a report with diagrams that got captured with the palace, or filed and forgotten somewhere.

    Oh the Parsians in the past have been slavers so that might have gone into the women’s thinking.

    1. I agree with RedRocket.
      In the past, after the siegue of a city or castle, it was very common that there was pillage and raping.
      So the nuns probably thought that their only options were: kill themselves or being raped and then killed or sold as slaves.

      That’s a point to keep in mind.

    2. Yes, the slavery part is important. Let’s remember how the Lusitanian prisoners fared in episode 1: they were too unruly, impossible to sell as slaves and were killed off. Had Étoile not escaped like she did, she would have died like the rest. Like cattle.

      Of course, we know that Arslan’s side is very nice and that he wouldn’t tolerate pillaging, raping and now he forbids slavery. But they don’t know, or even if they know, they may fear it’s just lies to make them “more docile”.

  4. The really freaky part about the suicides is that there’s a pretty decent chance that a few of the women didn’t die, especially the later ones as the bodies started piling up at the bottom of the tower. Horribly injured yes, but as of the end of episode there are probably a few women alive in that pile.

    Purple Bomber
    1. nah mere lvl 3 spell ‘protection from arrows”
      lvl 5 wizard can do that in D&D
      ez for Farangis who, by my reckoning would be with most of Arslans companions into low teen levels at least

  5. Another piece of the puzzle that fit together nicely: Arslan deciding to ride into battle himself. It seems like Étoile, whether the girl or the soldier, brings out a more assured Arslan.

    I think that Arslan decided to ride into battle, not because Étoile, but because Elan’s words and because Elan was wounded by his fault.

    By the way, can’t we edit our comments?? It’s a lil annoying.


    1. Sorry, that’s just how the comment section is set up. Only people with accounts can edit their comments, and the only people who have accounts are writers. That makes it quicker and easier for users to comment, but it does prevent things like editing. And no, I doubt that’ll change. It’s been like that for years.

  6. To me, this lazy magic stuff is automatically downgrading this show at least 2 whole grade levels or so of what it could’ve been; instead of an excellent one, what we’ve got is a show with deep flaws with some interesting moments, hardly a classic. Rather a forgettable average one.

    At first I wanted to blame Hiromu Arakawa for turning this into a run-of-the-mill shounen show w/ some gore – she is good at writing shounen shows, though, as shown from her other works -, but judging by the previous adaptation in early 1990s, the lazy magic was there as well, so it probably was in the original novels as well. So if anything, its the original author’s fault.

    To be clear, having magic/fantasy element itself is not the main problem. However almost every time you see magic (I wanted to write 100% times, but I didn’t watch every single episode), it’s just used to get around lazy writing and add nothing positive to the show. Even worse, they are completely random and often one is forced to ignore the distraction instead.

    And The saddest thing about having this element for this particular show is that its story is good enough that it didn’t need it. And having such half-assed plot device magic has only cheapens it.

    Take for example of this episode (but it can be applied to pretty much any episode that features magic);
    Farangis uses magic to protect her and the rest from hundreds of arrows directly being shot at them -> blatant use of moving plot forward due to lazy writing
    teleportation for enemy in defeat to fight another day -> how many times did this show used this cheap trick now?

    1. One of the OVAs main flaws is the overuse of the supernatural, like in the 2nd OVA when Narsus met Alfreed while she was fighting Hermes and a tornado defeated Hermes men, or the duel between Daryun and Gadevi’s warrior which Daryun won in the OVAs thanks to a lighting hitting in the right place in the right time.
      The second half of this series has been mediocre if you compare it to the novels or how Arakawa is presenting the manga. To be fair, Arakawa doesn’t have the time constraints the anime has and she takes time to develop the characters and foreshadow.

      The sorcerer and his disciples are very important to the plot, the anime has skipped most of their scenes and only used them as plot devices in their original scenes. In the novels they tried to attack Arslan more than once (Daryun took care of it), attempted to steal the letter Vahriz sent to Bahman and murdered an important Lusitanian figure without Hermes consent.
      If you read Arakawa’s manga you can notice thanks to the Hermes flashbacks she added how relevant they will become in the future.
      It is worth noting their magic is very limited, creating the mist for the battle of Atropatene was a complicated spell which took most of the leader’s power.

      To the episode, everything except the last 2 minutes were anime original. Other pals who have read the books admit it is painful to watch the episode because the anime makes a lot of facepalming moments like Elam getting wounded because no one does anything and Arslan stupidly is careless again, Farangis fighting out in the open because plot armor or the unnecessary meeting between Arslan and Hermes.

      Battle aside, they kept the most important part that was women and other non-military personnel choosing death after the battle is over while Arslan is helplessly watching. Barcacion killing himself in front of Arslan and Estelle and her blaming Arslan for it is from the novels too, albeit it wasn’t much of a misunderstanding as the anime has made it to be.

      ‘Road of Sweat and Blood’ is the title of the 4th novel and also the title of the 4th chapter of said novel. Going by the preview, they are going to be somewhat faithful because a lot of the chapter is about Estelle and Arslan. If they don’t deviate too much and have time to adapt the 5th (and last) chapter of the novel, it is going to have a very infuriating cliffhanger but a couple of good plot twists.

      Kubard joining Arslan now means there is no chance for him to meet the two-not-yet-introduced characters. Those 2 have a very brief scene in chapter 5, maybe they can appear next week to tease season 2

      1. Well, I have to say that, while I know that they changed quite a bit of stuff, I don’t mind so much what they didn’t do, when I consider what it is they DID do.

        The writers desired to make a epic battle that was worthy of a season finale. The original battle was much faster and actually quite boring except for the last part. They knew they needed a final confrontation for the season just to end it out, so they took Hermes and his men, who weren’t doing anything interesting anyway and stuck them in this battle. That way we could see a one-on-one between the best fighters in the show and we could have Arslan facing his cousin and telling him like it is.
        However, because of all the changes, they had to somehow pull things back on track with the main storyline again, and they used the sorcerers as plot devices to pull out key characters that will be needed later, and they played on Hermes’ single-minded obsession with Arslan to explain why he didn’t really bother to do any strategy in this battle and his hatred for Lusitanians explains why he barely lost any men since he sent all of the enemy to fight instead. I have to say they did a good job of veering off the original material and yet still being able to bring it back to the status quo when they were finished.

        Also, they did a good job trying to incorporate Arakawa’s original stuff, even though they no long have a stencil for that what with the manga being behind. Arakawa introduced Etoile way earlier than she was in the original story and because of that we’ve gotten used to her nature and what she would do in a certain situation. And of course we’ve already gotten to know Arslan’s nature. If you were to have them meet after all that history and knowing each character, then you would know exactly why each did as they did when the truth was revealed. Elam ends up being the one injured, but to me, that’s simply because in the coming story, he’s the most expendable. All the other characters of Arslan’s “entourage” are going to be needed in the future, and you didn’t want a nameless mook to do it, since it would lose impact for Arslan and the audience. So Arslan didn’t come armed towards Etoile? I honestly don’t think he would have the way his character was shown in this series. So when she did what you knew what she was going to do, feeling like she was tricked. Someone had to get hit, and it had to be someone of substance but not someone that would be needed immediately later. Elam fit the bill nicely. Also, it’s cool to see considering his character arc and how he’s changed towards Arslan since the two met.

        As for the magic, I have absolutely no problem with it. To me I’ve always held this genre as “sword and sorcery, so I really don’t care. In fact I find the sorcerers kind of cool. And at least this explains why Farangis wears practically nothing in battle but wears regular clothes everywhere else. It’s probably something regarding her order and it’s a display of their faith to wear as little as possible out in battle, as they have the protection of the goddess.

    2. @ Tim

      For the record, comments like, “The saddest thing about having this element … is that its story is good enough that it didn’t need it,” are something that often get under my skin. That’s the reader imposing their own desires of what the story SHOULD be on the writer.

      I’ve gotten this in my own work, where people told me that my book would have been good even without my characters cussing. (This, despite the fact that the body count my protagonists wrack up is not insubstantial, lol.) To which I reply: “I’m sorry, but I can’t help that! They are people who could cuss. Besides, it’s my story to write. Write your story without the curse words.”

      Now, with all that said, I agree with you on the magic here 😀 (We humans are nothing if not hypocritical.) Were I to write this story myself, I would take it all out, or integrate it muuuuuch more carefully. The magic here is often soft magic, which is harder to use to solve problems because it feels like an asspull each time it’s used. You have to explain the magic. That’s why Hermes teleporting away worked—we’ve seen his sorcerer friends do that before. Whereas Farangis’ Protection Against Arrows felt like an asspull, albeit one that seems more plausible upon examination.

      It’s a tricky thing, going to an author and saying “Your choices are wrong!” You’re trying to impose your ideal on their story. And yet some choices ARE wrong. In this case, I think our mutual qualm is a substantive one. I, at least, don’t dislike magic in stories (says the author who writes with MUCH GLEE about copious magickal explosions). It’s just that Arslan felt like a good Sword & Horses fantasy, as opposed to Sword & Sorcery, and you’re right, nearly every time magic enters into it, it feels … lessened.

      Either way, good comment. It sent me down an interesting tangent. Thanks 😀

      1. In reality people in military units and combat swear almost constantly. After all your in a dirty, smelly including dead bodies, very uncountable at times, dangerous business where your killing people. True of the old west, Deadwood was attacked for the almost constant swearing but that is how people on a frontier in a hell hole of a area talk.

        As a person who normally does not swear people would not believe how much I and others swear in the field.

  7. Yeah, it has badass solo battle, epic cavalary chargin’ and such, but to be honest I’m still really disappointed with this (half anime original) arc.

    1. The amount of Character Induced Stupidity has increased significantly, for example the whole Arslan x Etoile ting. Okay, probably Arslan is still a kid and he does not know that the enemy soldiers may actually kill him no matter how brave or how dignified he is when he approached his enemy like that. However, what is the entire other soldiers (and Narsus) doing there? No one tried to stop him or the enemy before Elam stepped in, which is (almost) already too late. After that? He charged into the main room of the enemy with only Daryun and few other soldiers. When Etoile rendezvous with him in there, he’s basically already alone.

    To be fair, it’s not really bad, but the director could change a lot of things to make a lot of situations more natural.

    2. The whole unguarded “secret tunnel” is stupid. So is the arrow barrier or ground magic thing, they are very unnecessary.

    3. I thought there should be 100k soldiers there. Where did all of them gone? I don’t think the failed cavalry charge into Arslan camp cost Lustianian that much of soldiers. Rather than 100k vs 60k, it’s more like equal at most.

    4. Isn’t Hermes supposed to be pretty good at tactics? Here he basically did nothing other than sitting and raging. He’s not even mad at the catastrophic mistake at the gate.

    1. About:

      1.-Well, there’s a lot of ways to see it. In Real Life, when soldiers tried to capture Napoleon after he escaped from Elba, Napoleon stepped forward asking who would be the one to pass to the history as the one that killed Napoleon. Same thing happens in the Legend of the Galactic Heroes with Reinhard Von Lohengram.
      On the other hand, Etoile was saying that Arslan was hiding and he was a coward. So, it is a way to say: I am not a coward, and I am not hiding. I’m Arslan.
      Stupid? Well, I think that stupidity and corage are the same thing, it only depends of the results.

      2.-The secret unguard tunnel is a lil stupid. Perhaps they have a small defence, but it wasn’t showed. About the arrow barrier, well, remember: She is a protagonist so the Imperial Stormtrooper Markmanship Academy Tvtrope is applied in this situation. And she is really a priestess.

      3.-I am not sure that Arslan’s army is only 60.000. Anyway, the own Arslan said that they are matched, and the Parsian’s cavalry is unmatched.

      4.-Because the one dying are Lusitanians. I think that he said in the episode something as: It doesn’t matter if Lusitanians are dying.

    2. In the book Hermes is not there and that makes the battle more believable in tactics.

      As far as number of troops go that was mentioned that the surprise attack though the gate had to work to demoralize the enemy or the enemies greater numbers would get involved. It was unclear the fort did not look large enough to hold the whole enemy force maybe another part of the force maybe Hermes troops were elsewhere.

      “Notice how the Lusitanians have no graven images of their god?” That was also a early Protestant thing in fighting the Catholics. Catholic churches and other buildings had all there statues and art work destroyed as early Protestants were on the same no Idol kick ISIS is on now. People are often don’t recall that Jews, Christians and Muslims have the same god and share a lot of the same religious ideas from the same sources. Jesus is the second most important figure in Islam. You can almost say the Muslim religion is a splinter off of Christianity. Women covering up is also found Christianity with a requirement to cover the head and body. Christians and Muslims tend towards the same stupidity in my eyes when they go fanatical. I am a liberal Christian. It is interesting that the women body covering is not a direct teaching or Jesus or Mohammad but are in the supplemental works of early followers. (parts of New Testament after Gospel)

      But yes the Lusitanians are not Crusaders but a mix of Catholic and Protestant extremist tendencies. The Forty Years war is considered by many including my self as the worst war fought (at least in Western Civilization) when the Catholics and Protestants went fundamental on each other. By percentage of population killed is is the worst war in Western History over 50% in Germany.

      Same with Farangis no women Zoroastrian priests and no djinn in that religion. But she does represent the hated by following religions pagan gods priestess of the past in the area. The djinn were a part of pre Muslim beliefs for arabs. How dare them women be priests, tell men what to do and wear little to nothing.

    3. 3. I thought there should be 100k soldiers there. Where did all of them gone? I don’t think the failed cavalry charge into Arslan camp cost Lustianian that much of soldiers. Rather than 100k vs 60k, it’s more like equal at most.
      4. Isn’t Hermes supposed to be pretty good at tactics? Here he basically did nothing other than sitting and raging. He’s not even mad at the catastrophic mistake at the gate.

      The answer to both of these is similar. Remember that 70,000 of those 100,000 soldiers were Lusitanians. Arslan had about 60,000. Hermes really kept back most of his own Parsian forces and let the Lusitanian forces go at it. That’s why they only really mentioned Pars soldiers in the scene underground. So the two forces really were rather equal since not much of Hermes forces fought.

      As to the second part, there was a reason for that too. Since it was mostly Lusitanians fighting, Hermes didn’t care if they got slaughtered. All the better for him. In fact, he didn’t even really try to defend the place. His main thought was simply to face Arslan, he doesn’t care if Arslan conquers some Lusitanian base he doesn’t care about. All he cares about is killing his cousin.

      This might seem a bit short sighted but the writers had to get themselves out of the corner they had gotten themselves in. They wanted to make this battle more epic than it originally was. And yet they also needed to get it back on track with the original novels.

      It’s not really a spoiler, but more of what the changes were:

      Show Spoiler ▼

      They diverged from the original material, but in the end they still had to get back on the path it had set. They tried to have their cake and eat it too, and didn’t do a half bad job either.

  8. And it started off as such a good day too…..

    Well, they won the battle, but everything went south all at the same time. There was a lot of original content to this battle (I’m guessing to make this battle more epic and exciting than it was originally), but the way they ended up , really kind of brings everything sort of back to the main status quo of the original novels again.

    I’m glad that now everything is out in the open for Etoile and Arslan, but there’s a bit of a rift there as of right now. I hope that they can get up there and stop those women. I am highly amazed and respectful of what martyrs went through for their faith, especially as a Christian myself, but this was unnecessary, especially for Barcacion who seemed to realize that maybe not everything they’d believed was the right way to go.
    If you truly believe in your god and faith, you should see it through to the end, not commit suicide to get away from your enemy. If you believe that it is your god-given mission to convert “heathens” then you should continue to show your example even if they have captured and conquered you. It just seems like killing yourself is the easy way out.

    On another issue, considering what’s going on and how all the enemies escaped and how I think this story will do, I can’t see any kind of closure in the next episode. So, I’m really hoping for a sequel.

    1. This Woman jump to Death, it happen in Israel in the Time of the Roman Empire, when they siege a Fortress similar where the Crazy Priest was inside. The Romans succeed into killing the Fortress defense Administrator (or such), and they where about to build Big Huge Ramp to reach the Fortress on this Hill… At the Day, when they could reach the Walls with this Ramp, the citizens of this Fortress, killed themselves into jumping a Big Fire. Yes, all. Woman, Children and Men that could not fight to avoid the Roman soldiers revenge and rapping. Only 1 Pregnant Female survived, hidden in the deep of the only Water well they have. So, it happen

      I saw this in some documentary long ago in TV

      1. or some sad WW2 Story:

        An Island got conquered of US troops, and they Citizens, jumped into their Death on a Cliff, too. To avoid being Captured and being “rapped” from these US Barbarians

        As you can see, this happen a lot in Earth History

      2. True enough. It appears so often in real life and fiction that there’s even a trope for that: Better To Die Than To Be Killed.

        Not every religion forbids suicide. And suicide as a way to escape further disgrace was commonplace is cultures such as the Romans and (probably more important) the Japanese.

  9. Yaldabaoth-ism seems to be a lot more Islamic than Christian. If anything the history seems really close to the Muslim conquest of Persia despite how Christian Lusitania looks. Hell, they even worship Mithra in Pars. Notice how the Lusitanians have no graven images of their god?

    But anyway, I can’t take this adaptation very seriously when it resorts to children’s cartoon-like antics such as Silver Mask going “Hahaha I have defeated you… but I won’t kill you just yet!” and then disappearing with his earth wizards who could have easily killed Arslan’s gang if they tried. You just can’t have that in one scene and then a MASS SUICIDE OF WOMEN in the very next one. It’s incredibly jarring.

    And once again Etoile misunderstands something else about Arslan! Jeez, is that all they can do with her character?

    1. It’s easier to depict a vaguely pagan Persia and Christianism without Christ than dealing with the real-life scenario of the Crusades. Pars instead of Persia to hide Egypt or Palestine, Lusitania instead of Portugal to hide France or Germany.

      As for Yaldabaothism not depicting images, that’s not even new in Christianity. The Iconoclasts in the Byzantine Empire sparked several civil wars. In fact, the Lusitanian symbol is suspiciously similar to the Orthodox Cross with three horizontal bars. So you could say Lusitania is a Byzantine Empire in which the Iconoclasts won… but that’s looking too much into it.

      1. Good Mistic. I could only recall the Protestants on icons fast. But I did recall that I had read about several anti idol Christian movements in the past but awhile ago. After all the anti icon is part of the old testament.
        As the books are by a historian I think your right with the time period it’s Byzantine at least that’s where the Lusitania’s are coming from and might be the Iconoclasts the author was pulling from, the rest is probably crusades. I know the Muslims that took the area later were more liberal than current extremists as they left icons for the extremists to destroy now. And most of the time the Muslim conquests let the locals continue to follow there faith tolerating other faiths is supposed to be part of the belief, thus the survival of many prior religions in the area to the current day. Preaching conversions and people wanting to move up in social status is the major cause for populations in Muslim held areas to convert over time.

      2. The thing is that in their attempt to dechristinize the obvious not-Crusaders they have made them almost into not-Muslims. Unless, you imagine some alternate history scenario into which the Protestants attempted the conquer Persia and never speak about the Son of God.

      3. @Archiepiscopus
        We don’t really know anything about Yaldabaothism to state such a thing. If the only clue to say they resemble Muslims is the lack of images, that’s nothing. As I said, the Iconoclasts in Byzantium would fit that rule.

        The only things that we know for certain about Yaldabaothism is that it claims all men are equal and that slavery is forbidden. The later is something that neither Christianity nor Islam said back in the day, and if we add that it doesn’t seem to stop people from killing themselves, then it’s pretty much its own religion.

      4. Well, not quite. In the Middle Ages the Catholic Church basically outlawed the slavery of Christians, which converted anyone who still wasn’t Catholic. The idea that no Christian should be enslaved by another Christian was like the first “international law” at the time.

        Then the Renaissance happened and something about that changed people’s minds, so suddenly slavery was fashionable again after the discovery of the New World.

      5. That law isn’t even new or from the Middle Ages. Zoroastrian Persia (what an irony) had the same: non-Zoroastrians couldn’t become slaves, and slaves who converted to Zoroastrianism had the right to become free if they paid their master.

        Religions protecting their own folk isn’t new in history and, sadly, not very important when wars and trade could provide a continuous supply of foreign slaves. Yaldabaothism is surprisingly strict in the regard that not even heathens can be taken as slaves.

      6. Yes, it is from the Middle Ages. See, for example, Saint Balthild of Ascania who outlawed slavery of Christians in the Meroviangian empire. And that was during the early Medieval period.

      7. Have to see if the Yaldabaothism has serfs. Actual you can buy and sell them as individuals slavery not a part of the Christian areas in the middle ages for the most part. Russian serf were actually slaves you could buy and sell em. But families bound to the land who could not leave called serfs were most of the population. Most places you could not sell a serf only the property they were bound too. Serfdom was not considered slavery then but Serfdom is considered a form of slavery now. And even then people would call themselves freemen if they were not bound serfs.

      8. @Archiepiscopus
        Sorry, I didn’t explain myself well. I’m not saying that the specific Christian law isn’t from the Middle Ages (it is), but that laws protecting correligionists are even older.

        Ah, yes, the serfs. How to use a technicality to call slavery with another name.

      9. For the record, you know that Arslan is based in an ancient (older than Christianity) Persian’s Legend, right?
        Quoting from LoGH: ‘Wars aren’t fight between Good and Evil. Usually they are fight between a hood and another good.’
        I think that the original author wanted to show that extremisms are bad, any extremism.

    2. I know Pars in this series is polytheistic at this time. They’ve mentioned at least two goddesses at this point. Mothra and Ashe. I know that Ashe seems to be the main one since she’s the one that’s being referred to in their warcry.
      But they do have multiple dieties.

      Lusitania is similar to many monotheistic religions, but it doesn’t quite match up to any of them. While many think it similar to Christianity, it’s actually quite off in many respects.

  10. So I post this in eps 23 section.

    Can anyone (in spoiler tag) tell me Etoile role the whole arslan senki light novel series (up until the novel that came out in 2014). Especially:
    1. Will her attitude toward Arslan and co. changes?
    2. Will there be romantic development between Etoile and Arslan (as many fan speculated)?
    3. Will her role throughout novel stays the same as “the character who always misunderstood the protagonist and protagonist team” up until the last novel?
    4. Will she die somewhere along the way? And by then did she die with different view toward arslan and co.? or brought the whole misunderstanding to death?

    I would very much appreciate if someone who already read the novel willing to share me this spoiler. And please don’t do somewhere along the line of “well u just have to wait for the anime to come out” or “go get the novel ur self”:
    1. Well I dunno when the next season of anime will come out (if any)
    2. Waiting for manga scanlation (2013 version) will take a while also assuming the scanlation group decided to keep continue doing the scanlation.
    3. I would gladly buy all the light novel and can do so but I have two issues:
    a. I can’t speak or read Japanese language though I love very much how the language sound to my ears (hence I prefer subbed anime over dubbed). During my school and college era I don’t have many opportunity to learn Japanese language. And now, I’m working and running a business have many hidden difficulties…LOL
    b. There’re issues with all shipping that entered my country (Indonesia):
    1) There’s a high chance that the item will not reach me
    2) Even if they can pass 1) …I may only partially receive them
    3) assuming 2) happen or even if I received everything in perfect state, there’s issue a.

    So, my apology for my rant. But I really hope someone can share me the above spoilers 😀

    Thank you very much.

    Zero Maverick
    1. I don’t know much, all I do know is that Etoile originally isn’t even introduced until this point in the story, and so in the original work has had no contact with Arslan until this battle.

      So, because of that, I’m going to guess that their relationship in this version is going to be a little different than it was originally simply because this story has taken the time to give them more of a history and emotional connection. So, who knows what else they may change between them?

  11. Man I hope things get cleared up between Etoile and Arslan. The women jumping off that tower was bad enough but the moment Baracion brought out the knife I was already dreading that Arslan was going to be set up for another misunderstanding. First Etoille says Arslan betrayed her, now she’ll think he’s a killer. The guy just can’t catch a break when he’s just trying to do the right thing. If the preview does indicate they’ll have a serious talk, I hope Arslan knocks some sense into her because right now I think the only thing running inside Etoile’s mind is Arslan killed Baracion.

    And Daryun vs Hermes…best fight ever!

  12. A couple of things:
    -Awesome fight between Daryun and Hermes, that’s money well spent.
    -Farangis made me facepalm when she walked into the hail of arrows and delivered a long monologue while the archers in the background were shooting arrows with their eyes closed or something, i was expecting she would get hit by an arrow any moment but they went along with her “magical blessing” stuff, that’s character armor at it’s worst really.
    -And i also didn’t like how the scene between Arslan, Baracion and Etoile played out, like they needd to complicate things between Arslan and Etoile anymore that it is already, i would have liked if she arrived a little earlier to witness Arslan trying to stop Baracion from killing himself, that would have softened things a bit between them (but still won’t magically make her ok with him).
    -Correct me if i’m wrong, but i think suicide in Shinto and Buddhism isn’t frowned upon like it is in Abarahimic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) at least in certain cases where the person is suffering, after all the Japanese have the known suicide technique known as seppuku, when someone is disgraced or brings shame to themselves or their family they commit suicide by slicing their stomach open from a sitting position, there is even a technique used by women called Jigai where the woman would slit her own throat with a single stroke from a knife while sitting down, usually used by samurai wives to kill themselves if their husbands commit seppuku or their home is about to fall into enemy hands after defeat in a battle (usually to die dignified and avoid being raped), i think this is the case here, i suppose the faith of Yaldabaoth mixes in a bit of the leniency that the Shinto and Buddhists have towards suicide.

    That said i think the reason for the women and even Baracion to commit suicide isn’t entirely religious (seppuku and jigai aren’t exactly part of a certain religion either, it’s more of a tradition) .. i suppose they couldn’t handle the shame that comes from defeat and of course fear of being raped and sold like slaves for the women (they probably heard many scary stories about the barbaric heathen people of Pars, so much that Brachion was surprised when Arslan showed decency and mercy), i didn’t see Etoile attempting to kill herself after the defeat despite how religious she is (and being a girl and all that), instead she was worried about Baracion and as we know very angry at Arslan.

  13. I heard this was also based on the narina story A Boy and his horse and the main character met a girl similar to etolie, married her, and had children together with her don’t know what that says for arslan x etolie shippers like me or anyone else.

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