Arslan Senki – 22

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What? People don’t die when they are killed?! Heresy!

spring15-irenesFarangis’ ideas in regards to Gieve’s “immortality” aside, this episode was pretty much completely build up where all of our main characters have gathered as we move towards the finale battle. Arslan moves forward with his troops towards Ecbatana to take the capital back from the invaders.  His forces are numerous and they are determined to win the day, but there are many obstacles that he will have to work through.

Honestly, because it was all build up, not much happens this episode. We do find out that Guiscard is no slouch in the strategy department, and even Narsus complimented him on his maneuvers. To get a commendation from strategist extraordinaire Narsus?! You must be good.

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There IS an intelligent royal in Lusitania.

I’ll look forward to these two squaring off against one another and seeing if Guiscard is indeed that challenge that Narsus has been needing.

But before we can even get there, we have to see what the current status quo is with all of our parties at this point. In Ecbatana, Guiscard isn’t going to leave anything to chance, so even though Arslan’s force only supposedly has 30-40 thousand men by last report, he’s going to send an army of 100 thousand in order to make sure the job gets done and gets done right. His plans are going well until General Silvermask decides to drop in after his takeover of Bodin’s domain.

When criticized by the Lusitanians for letting Bodin get away, the masked man rightly looks down on them and informs them that without his soldiers, Bodin is nothing and that he let him go to slink away in dishonor like the slimy snake he is. I wish I could believe that one-dimensional mustache-twirling villain was gone for good, but let’s face it, he’s going to pop up again when it’s convenient for the plot. He’s going to try to kill Guiscard, or Innocentis, or even Tahamenay, or something of that nature, it’s only a matter of time.

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A dangerous game.

Anyway, Silvermask volunteers his own army of 30 thousand and asks for an only 70 thousand of Lusitania’s troops to go and take down Arslan and his men. At this point you can see that Guiscard has become pretty suspicious of his guest general, however, it’s not a opportunity that he can refuse. He’d rather risk Parsian lives than send more of his own troops out there than are necessary, so he allows it. But he makes sure that the masked man knows that this is a loan not a gift, and if something goes wrong he will have to pay back those lost lives with his own.

Once he’s out of the door, the image of the stalwart servant drops and Prince Hermes reveals his furious anger. He’s at his absolute limit with these Lusitanian invaders and I have a feeling that there is a reason that he asked for more Lusitanian soldiers. He knows he needs more men to take down Arslan, especially since he knows that his cousin has Narsus on his side. He might as well use up the men of his enemies to fight him.

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I think Hermes’ patience is reaching it’s end. I’m just guessing here though…

Hermes decides to gloat about his future battle to his captured uncle, but becomes visibly frustrated that the man is still unshaken. Unfortunately, at this point, Hermes is actually the one who is most in the dark at this moment. He still is operating under the assumption that Arslan is Andragoras’ real son, so doesn’t understand why his threats against Arslan don’t shake the man. Also, the king plays a different card and decides to give Hermes a hint of what’s really going on here by revealing a prophecy in regards to the royal family of Pars.

Now this prophecy has been mentioned before back in episode 19, but no more is uncovered about it here than was said before. Andragoras is being very vague here, only mentioning that it regards the bloody history of the royalty of Pars. Hermes pretends to ignore the information, but you can tell that he’s unsettled by it. I’m interested in what the prophecy says too, and why the heck we’re just hearing about this in the last act of the show! What is this prophecy? Who are Arslan’s parents? They had better answer all these questions they keep raising. If not, I had better get a second season announcement at the end of this, you just can’t leave me hanging like this!

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A prophecy of fire and blood lies over the cursed house of Pars…

And no, I’m not going to learn Japanese just to be able to read the novels, and the manga has yet to even catch up to this point. Yes, if you did want to read the manga, which has come over to the West, it has not caught up to recent events. In fact, everything post-Alfreed’s intro is actually coming from the original novels rather than Arakawa’s manga adaptation, though with her input.

Anywho, we see Elam and Alfreed doing some espionage in the capital to find out what they can in terms of the opposition. The two have a hilarious (and perhaps foretelling?) scene as they try to escape enemy notice by pretending to be eloping lovers, and it’s a great piece of comic relief that fills in the absence of Gieve. Both the characters and the audience can feel his absence, but since they continue to mention him, we can only hope that he will return before the end of the show in three episodes.

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How many want to bet that Narsus is setting this up too?

Alfreed and Elam are the ones who inform Narsus of Lusitania’s plans, and so the master strategist takes up the challenge and promises his liege that he will not fail and will concoct his best plan yet. I’ll be looking forward to seeing what he’s got in store, especially since he’ll have to take on Hermes and Sam this go around.

But Narsus isn’t the only one working hard as Arslan works to improve his swordsmanship. It is acknowledged in a kind of roundabout way that he will never have the fighting skills of a great warrior, but that that’s not all that’s important in a king. However, Arslan just wants to become better in order to be a king that his people can be proud of.

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When he said that, I was so immensely proud of him. This is what makes him different from Andragoras, Hermes, or Rajendra. For him, everything is about his people, not the power and fame, not his family line, nor his honor, not even his own life. It’s all about how can he become better for his people, it’s about what can he do for the betterment of his country. It’s thoughts like this that show that he’s on the right path to becoming a great leader.

His war leaders on the other hand? I’m going to have to question them a bit. Why exactly did it take the prince to decide to train the new recruits? Isn’t that kind of Army 101? If you have a bunch of untrained foot soldiers and send them off into battle, you’re just asking to lose. I don’t care if their ex-slaves or the Prince of Wales, you need to have competent soldiers in your ranks, which means that those with more experience should have taught them the basics before they even left the Peshawar. It wasn’t like Lusitania was making any kind of aggressive moves against the fortress…like at all.

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“I’m the prince! I shouldn’t have to oversee combat training too!”

However, at least their incompetence gives way for a nice heart-to-heart chat between Arslan and Narsus. Arslan has had his talks with Daryun, but it’s been awhile since he’s had a real talk alone with the blond strategist. Unlike his best friend, Narsus challenges Arslan at the same time as he encourages him. While the boy prince has completely won his loyalty, he always seems to be watching Arslan to make sure he’s still on the right path. It makes sense considering his nature as a person who is constantly studying every situation, but it also shows that Narsus is in this for a slightly different reason than Daryun. Daryun just wants to serve Arslan to the best of his ability, but Narsus on the other hand, is trying to accomplish his own goals by using Arslan as his tool to do so. He’s even blunt enough to tell Arslan so to his face.

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I did like that they kept with Narsus’ background in showing that even among all this fighting and preparation, his passion for art is still alive and well. It’s rather hilarious that even when the man is just painting a still-life of some fruit, it’s enough to make Arslan fall to the ground in shock. Forget swords and arrows, they should just use Narsus’ paintings to disgust the enemy to death!

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It takes talent to even make a painting of fruit look horrible.

Arslan’s target for the first part of his campaign, is the Keep of St. Emmanuel, which is where Hermes has also gone with his troops to make a stand against the Parsian forces.  It is also there that we meet, for an unprecedented three appearances in a row, the young Étoile. Our young commander came off a little more racist than usual this episode, demanding to know why they had to fight alongside “heathens” and allow them into the keep. But the lord of the keep and her guardian Barcacion tells her to keep quiet and to think of this as a “test”.

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I find it interesting that none of the other Lusitanian commanders have the same unmovable beliefs that Étoile does, and are instead more flexible. Her guardian even seems to act like he’s placating an angry child who doesn’t understand anything, more so than actually believing this is a test from their god. The higher ups of the Lusitanians that aren’t Bodin and his forces,  might hate the Parsians and think of them as heathens, but they have no problem using them when it suits their needs.

The only thing I can think of is that Étoile is still immature and naive in this area and that both experience and time will eventually temper her. Maybe she needs to spend some time as a POW in Pars and see what the people are really like for a longer period of time? I don’t know, I thought her time with Arslan had loosened her up a bit, but maybe not. A war is brewing and she doesn’t realize that a familiar face is coming her way. Will she finally find out who Arslan really is? What will Arslan do when he meets her in battle? What will she do? Well, I guess we’ll have to wait till next time to find out.

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One day more…


Again, a good build up episode, the calm before the storm so to speak. All of our players are in place and the setting is set. The final battle is about to begin. But really it’s the unanswered questions that have been raised during the series that I’m the most interested about. I’m hoping we get some answers or at least some more clues as the series continues.

Oh, and just a note to the fact that I’ve decided to officially acknowledge Étoile as a female. I didn’t realize until recently that we’re really going mostly off of the original novels rather than the manga adaptation at this point, and since in the original version Étoile is a girl, I’m going to make the assumption that she is one here as well. So, now knowing that, I am firmly in the ArslanxÉtoile ship and I’m hoping that our girl soldier can find some way of getting over her deep-rooted prejudice to give our prince the time of day!


A Chicagoan biochemist, teacher, and an aspiring virologist, with a love for science only rivaled by my love for movies, animation, and anime. Both a lover of action/adventure and romance, I'm a girl who walks the entire spectrum. Mecha, Sci-Fi, Psychological Thriller, Romantic Period Piece, if it's has a good story, I'm there.
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14 Responses to “Arslan Senki – 22”

  1. Di Gi Kazune says:

    People die when they are killed. Definately. According to a Hero for Justice.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    Well, it’s how any show is done. You can’t have a pay-off without a build-up beforehand. The strong point is providing information before everything hits the fan and we see what comes out of it.

    Agreed. If even Narsus acknowledges Guiscard, then he’s definitely a force to reckoned with. Easy to see why he’d send a force of 100 thousand soldiers: It’s an insurance policy in case the spread rumor was true or false. Something I understand easily as it’s hazardous to leave uncertain dangers laying around.

    I think Hermes’ patience is reaching it’s end. I’m just guessing here though…

    The sound of Yuuki Kaji’s seething made that scene all the more intense. If the guess is in the right, the same can be said of Guiscard since he’s astute enough to be cautious that Hermes might try anything at any time.

    Andragoras is being quite the scamp. First he teased us in front of Sam and now Hermes. I really want to know what this prophecy is that surrounds the royal Pars family. Apparently, he’s not pleased to be part of it and whether he wants to admit it or not, Hermes is becoming unnerved by it.

    A shame we couldn’t see what became of Bodin. For professing to be a righteous man in spite of everything’s done after Pars’ occupation, it would have been fitting if he had an end similar to this:

    • IreneSharda says:

      Oh no, to do a death like Frollo’s for Bodin would be too good for him. Frollo was like 10 times the villain that Bodin is. Also, Bodin is the only person that Narsus has sworn to kill himself, so I think that maybe the guy is being saved for him to take out.(maybe he’ll torture him with his artwork for hours? 😛 ) However, I think Bodin might kill off some characters for us, before that happens.

      They had better tell us what that prophecy is. In fact, I wouldn’t mind having a flashback episode to explain what happened with Andragoras’ brother, Hermes, and where Arslan came from, that had the prophecy told then. Take two birds out with one stone so to speak.

  3. BlackBriar says:

    Side note: Oh, if you’re unaware, chapters 35-37 for the Seraph of the End manga are available. You should check them out. While I’m saying that, here’s some recent information: Seraph of the End Season 2’s Song Artists, Debut Date, Visual Unveiled

    • BlackBriar says:

      The second anime season’s title just got an update. Now it’s called Owari no Seraph: Nagoya Kessen-hen or in English, Seraph of the End: Battle in Nagoya

      • IreneSharda says:

        I think that the first season had a subtitle too, it was called Seraph at the End: Vampire Reign or something like that.

        • BlackBriar says:

          That’s the full title for the manga. Funimation used the title for advertisement but for some reason it wasn’t in the series itself. It was simply called “Seraph of the End”.

          I don’t know why such naming is done with certain series. Some shows you feel is a two cour even if they split it but some, for the second half, get a subtitle added on. Like Jormungand. The first half gets that title but the second that carries episodes 13-24 gets called “Jormungand: Perfect Order”

  4. BlackBriar says:

    What? People don’t die when they are killed?! Heresy!

    Nope, that’s Fate territory. 😛 *watches out for hardcore Type-Moon fans* Who gave them permission to go there?

    Here’s a line from one of the characters in Strike the Blood:

    Moegi Akatsuki: You know that guy won’t die even if you killed him.

  5. BlackBriar says:

    While we’re at it, just what do these glorified “paintings” that Narsus makes look like? Only Arslan has been able to sneak a peek and his reactions indicate they’re questionable. Last time, he asked “This is art?” If they’re as bad as Daryun made them out to be in the early episodes, then we’ll have to start weeping for the future of Pars’ art culture because it will be impacted.

    • HannoX says:

      Maybe Pars can turn Narsus’s paintings to their advantage. When ambassadors arrive and see his horrible art on display in the court they’re liable to think, “Ye gods, if these people can stomach looking at these, they must be really tough! We don’t want to go to war with them!”

    • skylion says:

      I’m sure he steals from Margaret Keane…

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