OP Sequence

OP: 「翼」 (Tsubasa) by Eir Aoi

「トゥラーン軍侵攻」 (Touraan-gun Shinkou)
“The Tuuraanian Army Invades”

Arslan Senki is back, and this first episode is a mixture of solid reintroductions and intriguing new developments.

Reintroduction By Way of Battle

Over all, I liked how Fuujin Ranbu went about reintroducing all our old friends. This series has leaned on name tags and voice-over narration heavily before, and here it works nicely because they don’t have to awkwardly work in everyone’s names into dialogue when they’re reminding us who they are. As for the meat of the reintroductions, they mostly take place during an opening battle which, yeah, we didn’t need to see all those individual skirmishes, but it was fun, right? If they’re going to blatantly reintroduce people, I prefer a little action to go along with it, instead of boring dialogue.

Speaking of voice-overs, this episode was a good example of how to use them, and also how not to. Explaining why Arslan and co turned back to Peshawar after getting halfway to Ecbatana was decent enough after they jumped straight to the action in the opening scenes (which was the right decision, by the way)—yes, they could have waited until characters naturally revealed why they turned back, which they did, but I was so damn curious why they were there that giving it to us blatantly was appreciated. Narrating why Guiscard was going down to see Andragoras? Less good, especially since the characters revealed everything the voice-over narration did anyway. Still, over all the reintroductions and narration worked fine.

Gieve the Swashbuckling Thief

On to new events, we got a couple awesome ones. Three, really, but the battle against Tuuraan is still heating up, so that won’t get good until we start getting battles with Narsus strategies. One of the stars this episode was undoubtedly Gieve, our resident multi-classed bard/rogue, and scoundrel extraordinaire. Sending him to steal Rukhnabad, a classic right-to-rule sword (ala Excalibur) was a daring gambit, and Gieve going up against Silver Mask, AKA Hermes, and holding his own? Zam! This is a man who fought Daryun and Narsus at once, and who only Daryun really has a chance to defeat. Sure, Gieve wasn’t trying to defeat him. He was trying to get the sword. Which he did! At least for a minute. But managing to take those blows and not die is damn impressive. Go, Gieve!

As for the interference of Bodin and his Temple Knights, iiiiiinteresting. I kinda wanted Gieve to make off with it, but that would have been too easy. This way we got a partial Gieve win, Xandes was kind of useful after being an idiot again, and more interesting possibilities are opened up. Good, gooood.

Shoulda Killed Him When You Had the Chance

I’m sure this is somewhere on the Evil Overlord List, but the Lusitanians really should have killed Andragoras when they had the chance. Once again, I ain’t mad; it’s more interesting this way. Also, they’re far enough in the past to probably not have learned this lesson. But what was the point in keeping him alive? As a bargaining chip, maybe, or just because royals don’t usually like to kill royals, but still. Shoulda killed him long ago.

But Lusitania’s mistake is our game. Andragoras breaking his chains with sweat and soup and using them to capture Guiscard? That was awesome! Then we get to the whole thing with Tahamenay, who shows emotion for the first time in the series thus far. Color me hyper-interested. Her child? The immediate cut away to Arslan would seem to insinuate that Arslan is her child, but wasn’t he always there? Or was Andragoras somehow keeping him from her, even though he was physically present, by threat or because he was the prince? Or is there another reason? Like I said, I am interested. This first episode did a good job of getting me excited all over again.

Looking Ahead

I’m actually pretty excited about this new season of Arslan Senki, even if it is only eight episodes. This first episode was well put together and had multiple interesting new plot avenues. The production values were also better than many of last season’s episodes (though the screen still gets really damn dark on occasion), and with only eight episodes I can delude myself into think they might keep up this level of budget/effort. Sometimes, less really is more, and maybe eight really well done episodes will be much better than twelve less well done ones. Either way, I’m stoked.

Oh, and in case it isn’t clear, I’ma blog this show. I didn’t blog all those other episodes to stop now. Yashasuiin!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Arslan is back with two interesting new plot threads—Gieve stealing the mythical sword, & Andragoras loose in Ecbatana #arslan s2e1

Random thoughts:

  • Did Lucian call the Tuuraanians sharp-eyed bastards? Dats racist.
  • On the Tuuraanians, nomads from the plains to the northeast of the fertile crescent says Eurasian horse archers to me—peoples like the Scythians, Huns, Xiongnu, and of course the Mongols. The Tuuraanians were showing their mettle, but only a little of their fantastic horse archers, and none of their signature tactics. Which is a shame from a historical nerdery point of view, but Arslan Senki has never been the medieval war equivalent of what Girls Und Panzer is for tank otaku, so ah well. I can dream. (Plus the world is vast, and this is fiction, so it may very well be authentic for a people I don’t know.)
  • Did the OP really have to go that much up Farangis’ skirt? Down, pervy camera operator. She’s showing enough as is, you don’t need to make this weird.
  • “If you kill me, I will not be able to live on.” Good point there, Shirou.
  • Étoile is so tsundere for Arslan. She was actually nice as an on-the-ground PoV character for what has become of Ecbatana, though.
  • Hermes is paired with a woman in the ED? Iiiiinteresting again.

My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel novella. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: I love sales jobs, Good realism is character realism, Dying idols, and Frictionless routines.


ED Sequence

ED: 「blaze」 by Kalafina


End Card


  1. Given Arslan S2 is only 8 eps long, it’s likely the anime will cover events up to the 1st half of the source novels (which is up to Vol 8).
    Author Tanaka Yoshiki says the 16th volume of Arslan will be the last, which he’ll pen as soon as he finishes his latest novel he’s currently working on.


    Considering that last time there was a 7 year hiatus between vols 10 and 11, the finale may take some time to be written!

  2. You weren’t the only one Stilts who was amazed at how Gieve was able go head-to-head with Hermes and escape from it. It was a really long wait for Arslan Senki to go back on the air. So long that I forgot about what Rajendra did. The way they were talking about him reminded me instantly of his attempted double-cross. There was, however, still a sense of nostalgia after seeing Elam and Alfreed still arguing and Narsus’s “talent” in painting was mentioned again. That and it’s great seeing my favorite pairing of Arslan and Etoile. Etoile telling Arslan to come back alive makes me root for them more. Definitely looking forward to what comes next, after Andragoras’s surprise escape and Tehamenay’s sudden show of emotion. Also glad to see Bodin is back. Maybe now somebody will finally be able to take him out. Doesn’t matter if it’s Hilmes or Arslan’s side, so long as someone brings him down.

  3. So many interesting characters, so much plot, so little time. I wonder if the story will not get too rushed in the end. After all they only have seven episodes left.

    1. Eh, that doesn’t sound like a very exciting showdown to me. Andragoras is just being a sore loser now. Who in their right mind would follow him after everything they’ve been through and what they’ve seen Arslan accomplish? He feels more like a plot device to speed things along, more or less.

      Ryan Ashfyre
      1. just watch for what this 3 “kings” fight for now, at last Arslan is the moderate all of them, free the slaves and understanding and respecting other religions. His Dad is more the rule by force and terror type, and the Silver mask one?

        So, i can see that Arslans and his dad ones do not work together. Perhaps Arslan are forced to stop his Dad and his Generals, to free the land

  4. Let’s see, Pars went to the trouble of giving the battlements of Peshawar arrow slits yet the archers don’t use them for protection but rather expose themselves to enemy missiles by standing in the gaps between the crenels… And horse archers attacking walls and winning??! I’d say that though above the admittedly low average of anime and other media Arslan Senki has a fair bit to go before it even begins to approach Girls & Panzer levels of military history nerdery 🙂

    Otherwise a good start that got right into the action. I like that they keep the character development from last season even in the small things.

  5. ” Her child? The immediate cut away to Arslan would seem to insinuate that Arslan is her child, but wasn’t he always there? Or was Andragoras somehow keeping him from her, even though he was physically present, by threat or because he was the prince? Or is there another reason? Like I said, I am interested. This first episode did a good job of getting me excited all over again.”
    Wild guess, Alfreed is her child. I mean, someone did say Alfreed is a name for royalty.

    You know, looking back, most stereotypical evil villains (with Team Rocket’s Giovanni as an example) own a cat. Won’t be shock to see this guy to be a villain again later.

    This guy should have been in GATE thus the jsdf fought there, I would have like to see him get shot to death.

  6. So Andragoras is clever enough to rust away his chains with sweat and soup, but can’t be bothered to actually consider military tactics which is how he got himself into this mess in the first place? Oh well, I’ll respect Rule of Cool if nothing else.

    1. Hah, point. It didn’t feel off to me, though. Once he got loose it was all brute force and pride again. It’s not that he isn’t clever, it’s just that his other personality traits get in the way. Also, he’s not very subtle at the best of times.

    2. Keep in mind that he’s been locked in that jail for six months or so. That’s a lot of time where you can’t do much more than think so in lieu of being able to just rush at things head on like he normally does, our captive king has been in a place where he has to and did utilize something other than his admittedly hulking physique to overcome a problem. (On that note, boy howdy! If he’s still that tough after rotting in a cell for half a year, then we have all the proof we need as to why so many people feared him prior to his defeat on Atropatene.)

  7. This is probably my favorite first episode so far(with Shokugeki no Soma coming in second). The OP has made itself to the first on my list as well (though I also cringed when we went up-the-skirt…was that necessary?)

    My guess on Tahamenay’s child: Show Spoiler ▼

  8. Wait, wait, so in the 1st ep of this 2nd season, Andragoras takes back Eckbatana all by himself? Say what you will about him, but this guy’s a one man army. Things have taken an interesting turn from the get-go of this season. Curios to see what Arslan & crew have to say when they get there.

    Manly Tear
  9. Nice to see the most ridiculous main character is back. Never had a problem with slavery before his father was overthrown, all of sudden realises slaves don’t want to be slaves after someone tells him and all then everyone gets behind him because he is ‘clearly’ the best leader. Lol worthy

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