「虹の都」 (Niji no Miyako)
“The Rainbow City”

That’s as far as Shagad goes, as a human.

Bait & Pummel

I’m deeply relieved that the whole pirate treasure was a stupid ruse on Shagad’s part that Narsus saw through immediately. I’m not surprised, but still, I worry. Going on a treasure hunt should be reserved for One Piece. Such a silly cliché doesn’t belong in Arslan Senki, not when it’s used straight.

Fortunately, that’s not what we got, and the fact that this Narsus ploy was easy to anticipate actually makes me like it more. It doesn’t feel as unrealistic, like the plan is only working because Narsus has the power of plot—a not infrequent problem with him, though I don’t lay that criticism at his feet as readily as others. Add onto that how Narsus didn’t have the whole thing planned out as well—didn’t it seem like he should have had a plan to stop Shagad from escaping on the boats other than jump on after him?—made the whole thing feel more like an adventure, less like a predetermined rout. Which is a lot more fun!

Badass Arslan

Is it just me, or is Arslan getting a lot more badass this season? There was his heroic anger earlier in the season, and now he’s cracking out this confident stride while his bird of prey flies to him at dramatic times. It’s really starting to show his growth from a timid youth to someone who is more openly displaying the leadership potential that Daryun and others see in him. His compassion is his greatest strength, but he’s going to need that authority and assurance too. He’s growing up so fast *wipes away tear*


Before this season began, I opined that the shorter season might actually be a blessing in disguise. While I’d love to see the rest of the story—and still want to see it; don’t crap out on us now!—the original two cours were at their worst when the budget ran low and they were trying to stretch the material to uncomfortably fit the alloted episodes. With only eight episodes, this season is being plotted much more tightly, and they’ve got the budget to go full sakuga on occasion. Narsus’s fight with Shagad was genuinely thrilling in a way that only a few fights in the entire series have been. (Character fights, that is—large-scale battles are on another scale.) It’s just nice to see the animators flex their skills. The results are nice.

Arslan’s Mercy

I’m conflicted about Arslan giving Shagad over to a slaver. If he finds slavery to be so deplorable, why would he order it on an enemy? Though that’s probably my soft modern thinking, because the one-year term is fairly lenient, and it does have a karmic justice to it. What I know for sure is that Arslan praying for Shagad to become a compassionate man might have been the most stinging blow of them all. From the boy prince he dismissed, that’s gotta hurt. Good.

Please Help the [Enemy] King

Étoile asking for Arslan to send troops to save Innocentis is not what I expected, though I probably should have. She’s still loyal to her king, as a good knight should be, and stands against the usurper who is probably about to become her king. It’s definitely the kind of cliffhanger that makes me want to know what Arslan will do next week. The only problem: there’s only one more episode left! D’oh! C’mon, third season announcement. I don’t want it to end after only one more!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Shagad makes his play, & gets stomped by Narsus’s counterstroke. Plus badass Arslan, sakuga, Arslan’s mercy, & Étoile’s arrival #arslan s2e7

Random thoughts:

  • I feel like the pirates operated too cohesively during the battle for a bunch of lawless ruffians, and I definitely don’t think they should have stayed behind to die to Daryun so Shagad could get away. That’s not pirate behavior. On the other hand, the Zot calvary decimating the irate light infantry makes total sense. Calvary beats sword-wielding infantry with minimal armor every time.

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End Card


    1. At the beginning I wondered if, with the leader of the port-attacking pirates captured, this was more like a mercenary army with some pirates thrown into the mix hired by Shagad in a “if you want to get things done, you have to do them yourself” strategy.

      It would certainly explain why they worked so well.

    2. Yep smells a bit like hired mercenary troop, although hired mercenaries just as likely as Pirates to go save yourself if their a rout. Her thought the guys ordered to protect sure did seam iffy about it probably gave token resistance and surrendered.

      Old War-game, my second from 1976 on the major age of sail of ships with cannon, had a special moral status for pirates in add in from companies magazine. Crews had 5 moral types, poor, green, average, crack and elite. The Spanish were normally green (although not really new crews probably should have been poor but play balance left the poor moral out of published scenarios) The French, Russian, Swiss average. The British American Revolution and before crack, The Dutch crack and elite (only nation to fight the British on a equal basis they just could not equal British shipbuilding or army) Americans crack and our historical super frigates elite. To reflect pirates they gave most a average gun skill but a crack melee ability so a pirate crew could actually fight evenly with many British and American ships pirate crews could be fierce. (they did face death or enough time in the horror of prison in those days that would kill them) A Pirate army actually took Panama City (their leader Captain Morgan was semiofficially a privateer but his forces pirates) Pirates were not considered equal to most ground forces in formation but Pirates were great at ambushes, tricks and fancy flanking maneuvers, sort of did not like fair fights ;).

      So pirates being brave is true, quite that organized in formation not so much. Pirate’s tried to board in ship to ship combat, in part gunnery practice takes valuable ammunition that has to be paid for, navies have the tax dollars to waste, pirates are shooting their possible profits. But some pirates could match crack gunnery if captain could lead them to practice enough.

      1. @Kinai
        RedRocket seems to talk about a game, so I wouldn’t look too much into those rules. We know reality is far more complex. A lot is said about the Invincible Armada or Trafalgar. Less is said about the English Armada of 1589. Or the Islands Voyage. Or Cartagena de Indias 1741. Or Tenerife 1797. You know the drill.

      2. @Mistic.
        I know, that is the reason because I didn’t take offense of it. 😛

        For the record, the name wasn’t “Invincible Armada”. That’s the name that the english named it after defeating it.

      3. Sort of a error of description. The moral rating also covered gunnery ability and seamanship. Green in the game was basically bellow average which was the average performance of the Spanish compared to the French and English in the battles covered. They should have used bellow average as the title only fits a few battles that had actual green crews. I consider the title green a error of the game.
        Spanish were not limited to green they could be any moral the historical battle covered, I was describing the average not all battles. Game roughly only covered mid 1600’s to Napoleonic Wars with the world war during the American Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars covered in scenario in the base game. Spanish were mostly neglected, sounds like a Spanish focused scenario’s was missed that showed the fewer times relatively the Spanish did better. Spanish got better treatment than Ottomans who only had their final defeat in scenario’s (in magazine) that was Russian focused.

      4. @Mistic
        Well, I didn’t choose it. 😛

        Nah, we were taking a break from pwning everybody during the earlier two centuries. Napoleon? Come on, we were the first one to defeat that guy. And without an army. XD

        Ok, enough.

        I hope that they make a second cour, third season or whatever… Does anyone have any news about it? Or knows about the TV rates or DVDs sellings? I searched for it but, unfortunately, I don’t know japanese. ^^U

    3. Honestly, it’s just another example of how Arslan Senki has no pretensions to being the Girls und Panzer of ancient military strategy. There’s an old Greek saying that Phobos rules the battlefield, Phobos being the god of fear, because many ancient battles ended when one side panicked and/or ran away.

      Pirates are brave? Certainly, or at least hardened to the point that bravery is besides the point. They just don’t have the incentives to stick around for a losing battle and/or die their leader, unless they happen to be wise enough to know that most people die in the rout, not the battle—but even if some of them are wise enough to know that, I bet a few wouldn’t be. That’s always the worry. What if you stand and fight but others flee, leaving you screwed?

      tl;dr – I doubt the pirates would have stood and fight, and I REALLY doubt they would have delayed Daryun, unless they were more scared of Shagad than Daryun, which isn’t something that was demonstrated. But, eh, it’s the kind of “mistake” that I’ve come to expect. It’s baked into my expectations, so it didn’t much bother me.

      1. Honestly, it’s just another example of how Arslan Senki has no pretensions to being the Girls und Panzer of ancient military strategy.

        This isn’t the first time that you said that, but I don’t understand what you mean. Could you explain it? Do you mean that it is more or less serious?

      2. Honestly, while the pirate’s working like a unit did lift my eyebrows a bit, what struck out to me more was one of the escaping pirate groups deflecting arrows with their swords. While covering from them.

        Sure, that wasn’t the first time something similar happened in Arslan, but it never looked quite that ridiculous before (those guys were pretty much flailing around and suddenly arrow deflecting sound effect)… Besides, Daryun (who’s like Narsus of combat) doing it takes a lot less suspension of disbelief than a ragtag bunch of pirates doing it.
        At least they didn’t deflect all of them.

        @Kinai From what I remember, Girls und Panzer was praised for being very accurate with tank-related matters (mechanics, models, strategy, …). Arslan isn’t exactly as accurate with its historically inspired details.

      3. I think a lot of the errors might be adaptation problems the author of the original work is a well known historian but I have been hearing a fair bit been changed coming to this point. I did not have too much of a problem with the pirates told to stay back on rear guard they sure did not look happy about it, doubt they fought hard if at all just did not have the time to do the time to ignore this guy thinking yet. But I would not be surprised that in the original material it was a every man for himself running away. Pirates could fight very hard if cornered as they expected execution, they could fight really hard on offense if they thought their was lots of loot, Henry Avery’s crew was badly outnumbered by the soldiers on the treasure ship they took and the soldiers knew it not a good idea to surrender to pirates.

      4. @Kinai

        What Erimaki said. Garupan was slavish about its details, you actually end up learning how these tanks work. Arslan Senki ain’t like that with ancient warfare. It’s more about the legend, and the details aren’t considered as important (to the author/script writers, apparently).

    4. Yep on the rest Spain kicked ass for quite a bit. And I often used Spanish ships in the build your own fleet battles as the Spanish ships were good better than the British by far and depending on the size better than the French so by buying crack or elite crews for them they were great. It was funny during that period the Spanish and French ships were better they just could not get them crewed as well with good Admirals most of the time, there were exceptions.

  1. It’s funny how Narsus still isn’t used to being called Alfarid’s husband-to-be by the Zot Clan. And speaking of Narsus, I haven’t seen a pretty good duel like his with Shagad since Daryun vs. Silver Mask. The latter is still way more epic, but Shagad and Narsus’s fight was still great to watch. Great control by Narsus to knock Shagad out using the flat part of his sword. Going back to the Zot Clan, so does them having a banner mean they’re recognized as soldiers of Pars or something? Alfarid did mention that from then on, they would stop their bandit ways.

    On Arslan’s judgement of Shagad, this is just my guess but maybe Arslan arranged for Shagad to be enslaved in another country or some far away place, which is why he’s having Graze take care of it. Sure Arslan wants to abolish slavery, but that’s as far as where his territory is concerned. Other countries may still practice slavery. And I’m guessing Narsus is fine with it since it’s a fitting punishment for someone like Shagad.

    And I too am wondering how they’re gonna conclude this season with 1 episode left. Aside from the problem in Ecbatana, there’s the matter of Hilmes and Irina, the issue between Alfarid and her brother over succession of the Zot Clan, and that wretched Bodin and his fanatics still has that legendary sword. Not to mention Andragoras and Tehamenay.

    1. https://randomc.net/image/Arslan%20Senki/Arslan%20Senki%20Fuujin%20Ranbu%20-%2007%20-%20Large%2036.jpg
      Right now, since the season is concluding, we should be more concerned in how Arslan would handle his Waifu. To be perfectly frank, if I was Arslan then I wouldn’t send a SINGLE troop to help that incompetent fat king; I can’t understand why Étoile is so loyal to him since it wouldn’t be crazy to think that Innocentis later is misguided to believe that Étoile tried to stage that assassination attempt. That idiot fatty pretty much needs to be killed for not using his power properly. While Innocentis did saved Arslan’s mother, for his own selfish reasons, he failed to do a lot of other things.
      1. he did NOT reward the cooperative slaves that helped his army take over Ecbatana.
      2. Innocentis not stop that pyromaniac Bodin from burning so much of Pars’s precious culture/documents.
      3. He did not engage much in his kingdom’s affairs which is how he didn’t bother stopping those crazy zealots from pillaging and killing innocent people for religious reasons.

      The fact that Irina had tried to kill him, because he was king at the time when the Lusitania commit great atrocities to her country yet he was ignorant of the fact, makes me feel he deserves to die.

      1. Étoile is on arslan side by now, she sees her as the trustworthy man he is but his request for help can be read as choosing between two evil: the incompetent Innocentus or the bastard Guiscard that wants his own brother dead. This senseless war will end mor quickly with that fat fool in the throne than Guiscard that is hellbent on conquering Pars and yes, Innocentu deserves to die or worse but it would be far more useful to help him and have him end this war for good.

      2. As haseo0408 pointed out, there’s a pragmatic reason to help Innotentius: better a useless fool on the enemy throne than a clever and ambitious mastermind. Especially when that fool will owe his life and position to you.

        They tried to do the same with Rajendra, after all. And the Indian prince was far more clever.

        Etoile is loyal because that’s what a good knight is supposed to be. Let’s not forget that the whole fiasco in Pars started the moment Andragoras and his supporters decided that being loyal to the king wasn’t for them. By looking for solutions outisde the box, Etoile is trying to prevent a similar scenario.

      3. @Mistic
        True, if his life his saved then that fat fool would logically be grateful. The problem is if that idiot king is smart enough to comprehend that his life would be saved.

        Anyway, I am still against sending a rescue team. Someone, like Narsus, may say something like “if you are expecting to be saved then you should have been prepared to save others yourselves.” As I said before, that King didn’t and also doesn’t seem the type to save others; to be frank, he is more like the type that “always expects to be saved because he is the king.”

        Not to mention I somewhat dislike Étoile. We recall Episode 25 of the last season where she says “as long as you heathens continue to worship false gods, while refusing to worship our god, we will continue to wage war against you; we justify any slaughter against heathens” blah blah

        She initially refuses to believe what Arslan was saying, that her higher-ups are taking advantage of her country’s teachings for the sake of their own greed and ambitions by abusing the name of their god. Now she experienced such conspiracies first hand. And NOW she wants to ask help from a “heathen,” Arslan.

      4. @Loo2
        Etoile is in her own character development arc. She’s more or less in the same situation Arslan was at the beginning of the series, but regarding different issues.

        True, Arslan (and us) can effectively point out the troll logic her religious zealotry implies, even if she thinks she’s being fair to the “heathens”, because it rings close to our values. But it’s the same as Etoile (and us) being able to effectively point out the cruelty Parsian slavery supports, even if Arslan advised her to accept becoming a slave because “it wasn’t so bad”, because all people being equal is a moral we share.

        After meeting Narsus, Arslan was on his way to look beyond the values of his society. Now, it’s Etoile’s turn. The fact that she went straight to Arslan, a heathen, to ask for help is a big step.

      5. @Mistic
        Well, yes it is a big step, for Etoile and her character development. However it makes me sort of wish she had a better person to save. If that fat king stays in power, it’s easy for people to manipulate a rather stupid King.

    2. I wonder how Narsus is going wiggle out this one. Before this I was ok he just going to ignore her till she finds a new interest. But now he has to marry Alfred or it will insult the Zot clan and tarnish the image of Aslan. An now there is a pressure to do it sometime soon in the future (Japan censorship might make it 18 otherwise it probably be right now) I like it YMMV.

    3. The three battles I remember the best are this, Gieve’s versus Hermes a few episodes ago, and Daryun vs Hermes at the end of last season. Daryun & Narsus vs Silver Mask way back when was pretty cool too, if only because it showed how damn dangerous Silver Mask was.

      I think the Gieve vs Hermes one was my favorite, though. It was just damn fun seeing the trickster bard out maneuver that rage monster.

    4. It’s funny how Narsus still isn’t used to being called Alfarid’s husband-to-be by the Zot Clan.

      I don’t think that he isn’t used, more than he doesn’t like it. XD

    5. Yep “rescuing” the monarch has been a effective tactic at times in history. As Arslan does not want a empire trying to pick who rules next door is a good option. And at a minimum can eat at support for the other factions.

    1. Elam’s line took a more serious turn in the scene where he sees Alfarid getting cozy with Narsus. Unlike usual, he doesn’t say anything and leaves them alone. It might have been his silent way of admitting that it was Narsus’ relationship with Alfarid which saved the day this time.

      As the series drills, Narsus doesn’t make mistakes! Even when he thinks he’s making them, he’s not.

  2. I agree: having the ploy be easy to spot by the audience, the ruse easy to outmaneouver, the literal cavalry foreshadowed episodes before and the actual battle not so completely on Narsus terms (he could have died if not for the hawk) makes this stratagem of his far better than previous ass-pulls.

    On the other hand, during their fight, I thought that the Strawmn Shagad had a point (trope!). Narsus is indeed infuriating. He points out the faults in everyone’s plans yet no one is able to point out the faults in his (in-universe; out-universe he doesn’t have the benefit of narrative Mary Tzuness). And the freeing of slaves will certainly need more than just compassion and good sentiments.

  3. Daenerys would be not so lenient on Shagad… Sadly I dont think he will get any better. I expect him to get back with vengeance eventually and suffer for that.
    On another note it was obvious that the treasure was lure that could be only invented by someone utterly greedy and judging others by his own standard… Shagad might fancied himself master tactician but he was blinded by ego and greed.

  4. I misunderstood last episode did not realize the pirate gold rumor was put out by the pirates, I thought is a rumor that Narsus used to get the pirates to chase them to the island.

    Boy that was a sad ploy against Narsus, Shagad have remembered that Narsus was a scholar with you at school, guess Narsus was the only one into military history while you stuck to philosophy and other arts, or Narsus picked up a lot more when giving advice in the capital. Anyone who has studied pirates at all knows they don’t hide treasure after all they are pirates can’t trust em, but as hidden treasure stories go way way back I could see someone trying to trick someone out of the field with them.

    Been enjoying this adventure arc.

  5. Pretty sure the point of punishing Shagad with slavery is an attempt by Arslan to change his mind on the matter (in addition to punishing him) unfortunately idt the year in slavery will change his mindset and he’s gonna try going after Arslan once he’s free but at least he’ll start with zero resources (no status, no money and no friends in high places considering he’ll likely have to be sent to a foreign party to do his punishment.

    1. I don’t know, I wouldn’t be surprised if Shagad doesn’t reappear. It doesn’t feel like the story is treating Arslan as incautious to not be killing his enemy. He might be rewarded for this leniency, or at least not be punished for it.

      1. Oh I didn’t mean to imply that I think he’ll actually ever comeback just idt Aslan’s punishment will be effective in this case cuz Shagad seems totally set in his ways, he seems more likely to come out bitter and wanting revenge vs a changed man which I assume Arslan hopes for

    1. I agree. Arslan should have allowed Daryun to impale Shagad with that huge spear and leave his corpse to rot as the likewise fate of anyone who dares doing something that harms Pars in these troubled times.

      1. That would have been nice but would have put Arslan at the same level of Andragoras and that´s reputation he must avoid at all cost. Besides, the Crown Prince is many thing but ruthles is not one of them, he does not pretend to be merciful because he truly is that at his core and that´s something very special you don´t see often in a ruler.

    2. Sadly, they cut the line where Daryun threatened to cut out his tongue and feed it to dogs for speaking that way to Arslan.

      Also, a big deal was made in the novels that this was the first time Daryun had ever gotten upset enough to hurt a helpless, bound person. I felt like the scene in the anime missed that aspect…

  6. If Arslan banned slavery in Pars, where is Shagad going to be enslaved, and how? Somewhere outside of Pars, and if then, how will Arslan necessarily ensure he gets Shagad freed after a year? Lol.

  7. Even if Arslan does agree to help Etoile, he would never stand a chance to save Innocentus in time. Because as far as I can see there are 2 ways for it, and they’re both bound to fail miserably:

    1. Arslan asks his father for help in this endeavor, but only after he gathers the 50000 soldiers, which itself will take time. Andragoras already exiled Arslan under the guise of sending him away to gather the troops, so it pretty much goes without saying that he won’t lend him a hand in anything whatsoever, least of all helping the king of the kingdom that invaded his land (even if Arslan and his party manage to keep Andragoras oblivious of how he was requested to do this from a soldier of that very same enemy kingdom).

    2. Arslan uses Gilan to gather the necessary forces to help Innocentus without resorting to his father. A lot of factors make this the worst possible solution, worst of all Arslan rebelling against his father, which won’t do his chances of becoming the future king any good.

    The one and only solution I can think of that would make Arslan and Etoile meet halfway is a sneaking mission. With the rule of Ecbatana completely under Guiscard, Innocentus is basically a prisoner. Etoile simply wants him to be saved, so a prisoner extraction should be within the alley of Arslan’s party, specifically Elam, Alfreed, Gieve and Farangies. Narsus would coordinate in secret, and Daryun would provide a massive distraction. I doubt Guiscard has the adequate intellect of a strategist, so this should go fine. The reason why they’d meet halfway with this is because while Innocentus would be saved, he would no longer be in a position of power (not that he was in the first place), which would surely displease Etoile somewhat. On the other hand, Arslan would be technically harboring an enemy king, and knowing him, he’d never make him a prisoner, so that would definitely be an instant where his kindness would work against him, although maybe he’d use him as a bargaining chip.

    Only one more episode left and just like last season, another season is only a must at this point.

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