Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu – 02


No good deed goes unpunished, indeed…

spring15-irenesJust like the premiere, Arslan continues to deliver.  I’m honestly amazed at how much material they are able to get through in such a short amount of time and still be able to pace everything pretty well. Whereas Episode 1 sort of reintroduced you to all the players as well as what the situation is at present, with even a few twists that will affect the course of the storyline, Episode 2 takes all that and goes back to basics in what we have grown to love and become used to for this series.


Arslan has grown quite a bit in the year or so since the series began. And a majority of that maturity and knowledge has come through experience as he has approached several challenges with being the young leader of a country that’s fallen to invasion. Battles with enemies on every side, cutthroat politics, family squabbles, and gaining alliances have all sharpened and molded our young prince to become a ruler that everyone can be proud of. And yet his greatest challenge thus far, is ahead. The country of Turan wants to strike while the iron is hot and take a piece of Pars while it’s preoccupied with its fight with the Lusitanians.  Last episode, Arslan and his merry band led their forces from their campaign on Ecbatana to take care of the threat, and of course did so with victorious gusto.

And yet the fight was not over.


I enjoyed watching Arslan and his group do what they do best. This episode the fight with the Turans was basically par for the course if you’ve been with this series since the beginning. We have The enemy doing something barbaric, and I love that at this point, Arslan is able to face his enemies, no longer looking like an angry yet scared little rabbit, but more like an indignant fledgling hawk. He tired of invaders coming into his land and terrorizing his people, and he’s not about to take it anymore!


Our feisty little fledgling

The battle against Turan goes about how you would expect. Narsus uses his phenomenal OP brain powers to once again plan 15 steps ahead of the enemy before they’re even planned one. Daryun, Jaswant, Elam, Alfreed, Farangis and all of Arslan’s men charge out into the battlefield and clean house. Interestingly the Arslan has enjoyed taking the lead in the charge and actually went to take on the Turan king on his own. This was a valiant effort, our young price hasn’t grown that much. He’s still much to inexperienced with the sword to take on an experienced warrior that’s out for his blood, and on top of that, he’s been fueled by his emotions, which can lead to making major mistakes in battle. Thank goodness for Jaswant and the return of Gieve, or else our story might just have ended right here.


Honestly, “keikaku doori” should just be his middle name.

I kind of blame Narsus a little bit. Again, just as we’ve seen before, he’s using this battle as a chance to test Arslan and to teach him some harsh lessons about the world that he’s about to inherit. Narsus is quite ruthless in this and while he does say that he didn’t tell Arslan the entire breadth of the plan so that the prince would have the appropriate reaction to the Turan’s killing of the peasants, I also think that he didn’t tell him just so that he could see if he would have the appropriate reaction. He was testing Arslan’s growth level, and I think that he saw like we did, that the prince is still pure of heart, but now he has the courage and strength to be resolute in his decisions and in his ideals. However, at the same time, he’s still an impulsive teenager who folds quickly to his emotions, and goes out into the battlefield without completely thinking things through.


I love how Gieve returned, and how they were able to subtly work in  his saving of the prince as allowance enough for Arslan to “forgive” him and rescind his “banishment” from before. The reasons for Gieve having to set an example and leave the group are gone what with the prince having solidified the loyalty of his more higher-breed warriors, so him returning is honestly treated rather matter-of-factly.


The expression of a woman observing her man returning from the battlefield.

But let’s be honest, all of this is all window dressing for the real conflict that comes in this episode, or should I say, arrives with all the subtlety of a typhoon!

Yes, the Turan conflict is nothing but background in comparison to the entrance of Andragoras, which bookends the episode. That man shows that nothing has been exaggerated when it comes to his skill and brute strength. Seeing him take out Lusitanian soldiers single-handed all the while driving a horse and wagon holding not only Tahamenay and her ladies in waiting, but also the captured Guiscard, you almost want to forgive his many, many faults and admire his ability, but then he has to go and reinforce your hatred with what he does to his heir in the last final moments.


The king has returned.

It’s amazing what a shave, haircut, shower, and some new clothes will do for a man, it’s almost like the king had never been imprisoned. And that seems to be the impression he is trying to make as he basically acts as if not a thing has changed since before the Battle of Atropatene.

You want to gag as he literally accuses Arslan of treason and trying to usurp his position as king. You want to yell and punch his stone-faced visage and ask the same obvious questions that Daryun does. What was Arslan supposed to do exactly? Let the entire country fall to invaders on every side with your people in chaos? It’s basically a catch 22 for the prince. If he had done nothing, his father would have accused him of cowardice and inadequate. So honestly, it didn’t matter what he did, Andragoras would have found some way to place blame on his son.


I’m actually happy that while hurt by the king’s accusation, and reasonably so after all that he has accomplished, he didn’t seem to be crushed by Andragoras’ words as he was back in episode 1 and 2. I guess with his knowledge now that he isn’t really the king’s son does have his advantages. He also shows his growth when he reproaches Daryun, acting much like his old swordmaster did back in the beginning, and possibly saves his knight from a meaningless death simply for not keeping a cap on is overflowing loyalty.


So in the end, Andragoras effectively exiles his son, basically stealing all of Arslan’s hard work out from under him. He tells him to gather over 50,000 more troops before showing his face again…on his own. Basically an impossible feat, and everyone knows it. It’s highly likely that the prince will be killed mid-journey by his enemies or even by bandits before even being able to recruit one person, much less the 50K his dad requires I’m beginning to wonder if the king is doing this because he is actually threatened by his son’s popularity and growth as leader and wants to head of any conflict among his subjects at the pass. Or…might it have something to do with Queen Tahamenay’s outburst last episode? So far, Arslan hasn’t been able to see his mother, and he is being chased away before he will have a chance to. And it was at the mention of the queen that Andragoras began to dress down the prince.

Could Andragoras be trying to keep mother and son as far away from each other as possible? It’s been shown that the man is incredible possessive of his wife, even having killed his brother over her (and the throne). Could he be jealous of the love that Tahamenay has for her son and thus has used that to strongarm her and castigate the boy? Might this be punishment more for Tahamenay’s outburst then for Arslan himself?


What a twist!


I know this is coming pretty late and I’ll try to do better, but I really wanted to get to this episode. We get so many goodies with both political and family backstabbing as well as traditional battle and warfare. We know that Turan isn’t done, and with the “change in leadership”, they’ll be coming back. However, this time they won’t have Arslan facing them, or I’m pretty sure, Daryun and Narsus. I don’t think any of us are going to be surprised to see  Arslan’s entourage go with him, even if they all have to “turn traitor” and disobey direct orders to do so. In fact most of Arslan’s men don’t have anything to lose anyway. Narsus had already been exiled, Gieve is a leaf in the wind, Alfreed is a criminal, Elam a former slave, Farangis is loyal to the word of her goddess only (who told her to stay with Arslan), and Jaswant isn’t even from Pars at all. That really only leaves Daryun, but that man would sacrifice anything for his prince, so…yeah.

I have no doubt that Arslan will succeed even in this impossible mission, but I’m interested in seeing how this new curveball thrown at him will ultimately affect him, especially after all he’s worked for getting pulled out from under him. On the technical front, there was quite a bit of animation and even audio gaffs this episode and I really hope the staff isn’t getting lazy. With only 8 episodes I would hope they could effectively know how to break up the budget to the best effect rather than have saving up more for the epic episodes to the detriment of others. Do better next time Lindenfilms, I know you can. I’ve seen you do it.


Why can’t I catch a break, huh?!


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.
Blinklist BlogMarks Delicious Digg Diigo FaceBook Google MySpace Netvibes Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter

5 Responses to “Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu – 02”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    Twist after twist. I really can’t tell what will happen next. That’s a good thing.

    It’s been frequently shown but should outright stated that employing Narsus’ aid is akin to using cheat codes in a game. Well, better to have him as a friend than an enemy. The consequences of the latter have been made apparent many times on a devastating level.

    I wonder if the Turan king always had it in his mind that if you live by the sword, you die by it. Though a twist said sword is from one of his own. Even if this usurper has taken power by force, I don’t expect such means to instill loyalty but instead resentment and conspiracy. Like the king for ordering the deaths of bystanders, you reap what you sow. So only a matter of time before the backstabber gets his own due.

    Truly, that was a bastard move Andragoras pulled on Arslan, after all the hard work he’s done. If it’s to personally keep his throne, it won’t do much good. He’s not getting any younger. At least this development explains the OP’s naval visuals and looking at ED, I wonder if Etoile will somehow run into Arslan out there.

    • ProtoSovereign says:

      Yeah XD, having Narsus on your team is like having a smurf on your team (gaming term for a player who gets a new account to fight against players that a below his skill lvl, something like that). Arslan does seem to have grown a bit since the beginning of the series but he still kinda looks girly sometimes :P.

      • BlackBriar says:

        I see…. Well, to me, Arslan looks like a blue-eyed, silver-haired version of Fullmetal Alchemist’s Edward Elric. The amusing fact is his English voice actor, Aaron Dismuke, is the former voice of Alphonse Elric. Another amusing fact is Silver Mask’s English voice actor is Vic Mignogna, the voice of Edward Elric.

  2. zztop says:

    Andragoras effectively exiles his son, basically stealing all of Arslan’s hard work out from under him.

    I’m not surprised, given he seems more like the type of authoritarian character who’d prefer to rule until his death day, with everyone directly under his thumb.

    He likely knows popular support’s with Arslan to become king because of his efforts, and losing power in his lifetime is something he CANNOT accept.

  3. zztop says:

    A few things that were changed or ommitted from the novels:
    Show ▼

    An even bigger spoiler:
    Show ▼

Leave a Reply