Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu – 07

This season is almost over and all we got was this lousy seaport?

Arslan Senki 2 - 07 -1I certainly don’t know quite what’s happening with Arslan Senki, but one thing is clear.  If next week is indeed to be the swan song of this series in anime form, the Gilan arc seems a very odd way to end things.  It may very well not be the end of course, but absent any hard evidence to the contrary I think we have to acknowledge that this could very possibly be it.  I’m not sure just what I was expecting, but one episode doesn’t seem like a lot of time to conjure it up from the ether.

Arslan Senki 2 - 07 -2It’s not so much that the Gilan storyline has been bad or anything – it hasn’t.  But if I would slap an adjective on it I think it would be “routine”.  Events have been very by the books here, right up to the way things were resolved.  Narsus was once again the smartest guy in the room, and used a trap to lure his enemies out into the open and take them out. Arslan was once again the nicest guy in the room, and exercised mercy when almost anyone else in his position would have been ruthless (and I’m not entirely sure unwisely).  And the opponent was altogether an easy mark, with a populace only too ready to throw the bums out.

Arslan Senki 2 - 07 -3If anything, I was kind of struck by Narsus’ selfishness in taking on Shagard one-on-one at the end, when it was clear Shagard’s men had been routed.  Given his obvious importance to Arslan’s cause, was it really worth risking himself in single combat against a man who was apparently his equal?  Indeed, Narsus didn’t win that duel with Shagard (for which is seemed LIDENFILMS saved up some budget) – it wasn’t until Azrael intervened on his behalf that he was able to get the upper hand.

Arslan Senki 2 - 07 -4What of Arslan’s decision to sell Shagard off for a year of slavery rather than have him executed?  Well, that’s a pretty classic Arslan move.  Especially in the sense that it can be debated whether he was too kind for his own good, since in spite of Daryun’s chest-thumping there’s always a chance Shagard will return to be a thorn in Arslan’s side down the road.  I suppose Arslan would argue that the way to defeat slavery would be one convert at a time, and one as connected and clever (within reason) as Shagard could be a potentially valuable ally.

Arslan Senki 2 - 07 -5What gives me some hope for the finale is that we seem, at least, to have left this plot behind and are free to close with some potentially more interesting twists.  Etoile has arrived in Gilan, and her request to Arslan – “Please save King Innocentius” – is surely one that will be serious food for thought.  There’s been a sense for a long time that the alliances in Arslan Senki were going to end up looking a whole lot different than they did when this story started, but just exactly how they’ll eventually shake out is still in flux.

 

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13 comments

  1. I dont disagrre with you the season is coming to an end and maybe without resolve but I Kiinda enjoyed Gilan episodes if anything Arslan needed new alliances since the King returned ! I think they are out of material .

    But this Ep was packed from start to finish. Normally I dont think Natsus would battle this hard bt it was very personal ! The same can be said of Arslan’s troupe.Isn’t Daryun important .

  2. K

    Yeah. I don’t think that season was bad. It followed almost exactly the original source and there wasn’t any big change, as the battle in the last episodes of season 1.
    Perhaps it isn’t top level politics or strategy, but this season has showed a lot of things:
    – Not all Pars is controlled by Lusitania.
    – Narsus isn’t a strange mix between Mr. Spock’s logic and Sherlock Holmes “elemental, dear Arslan”. I loved how, in this episode, Narsus’ plan didn’t look so tidy and that he can be very emotional when it’s personal.
    – While Arslan himself isn’t doing a lot of things lately, that episodes have showed us Arslan as politic and ruler.

    Only one episode left. :'(

  3. That’s all well and good. But the issue here is that these events are not the events of a story one episode away from ending. If these were episode 5-7 of a two-cour season I wouldn’t have any issues with it (apart from the repetitive nature of Narsus pwning everyone else strategically and never being tripped up).

  4. K

    You have a point here. But I suppose that Narsus pwning everyone else, is one of his character’s traits. The same way that you know that Goku or Naruto is going to win at the end.
    And the problem about it being one episode away from the ending, is something that we can’t do anything about it. Had you prefered that they would have jumped forward and Arslan had appeared with a new army?
    Yes, I hope that they continued the serie. At least, now we have seen more than with the old OVAs (They finished when Arslan was “sent to recruit other army”.

  5. There’s no good answer as to what’s the best thing to do when adaptations of long stories end in the middle. It’s when bad things happen to good source material. Either way, you lose.

  6. S

    Give me a break Kinai. Being flawless isn’t a character trait, it’s bad writing. Maybe Naruto or any MC of almost any good story is going to win in the end, but that premise doesn’t defeat the suspense the way Arslan does it.

  7. K

    Sorry, MC?

  8. Main character

  9. To me the most interesting things in this season of Arslan Senki have occurred away from the main party; the humanisation of Hilmes and introduction of Andragoras have breathed some new life into the story.

  10. No disagreement there – the side stories have definitely held more intrigue than the main plot.

  11. K

    Arslan started out as one of my most looked forward to series but now its just ok….MOB rules for now. Nevertheless, i will miss the world after the last ep and will end up waiting for the manga as before…..

  12. They should have had eight episodes of Arslan and Etoile stranded on a desert island.

  13. G

    Honestly Arslan Senki has become a bit of a bore and I won’t be sad to see it go. It started as one of my most anticipated shows for the season but with the last couple episodes I was barely able to sit through the 20odd minutes of rushed low-budget 3DCG animation. It could have been the source I was using but the graphics reminded me a lot of Kingdom season 1, especially the scenes with the pirates attacking the town.
    Having Etoile ask Arslan to save Innocentis is an interesting proposition. Innocentis isn’t a “bad guy” per se but he’s still the king of the enemy army that invaded and conquered Pars. Arslan will probably want to “save” him as Guiscard has been quite unjust in how he’s treated his older brother, but I’m hoping. not at all expecting, Arslan will harden his heart and act like a leader capable of waging a war instead of being a pawn to showcase Narsus’ repetitive victory strategies.

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