Arslan Senki Ep. 8: Long live the king

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When we last left off, Arslan intends to confront Kharlan. Meanwhile, a priestess is looking for our prince, but she seems to have found an annoying pest instead.

— I suppose all men have their weakness, and it is all too often a beautiful woman. Gieve is a bit cringey here with his attempts to deter Farangis from her mission. He’s hardly had a conversation with her, and yet he thinks he can convince the priestess to run off with him. Maybe it’s just clumsy and/or rushed characterization, or maybe he really does get this clueless around someone he considers beautiful. Who knows?

— Farangis says something about being able to listen to the wind. Hopefully, the show keeps the supernatural stuff to a minimum. I’m not particularly interested in silly magic.

— An unfortunate porter finds his way into Kharlan’s camp and feeds the traitor some very bad information. I say unfortunate because he ends up losing his life just so that Narsus could lure Kharlan into a trap. Sure, the porter may have tried to steal from Arslan, but I highly doubt that calls for death. And for someone who is supposedly as smart as Narsus, he must have predicted what Kharlan would have done with the porter once he got the information he needed.

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— Plus, isn’t this all just a little convenient? A porter just turns out to be a bad guy and tries to steal from Arslan… so they can beat him up and send him to Kharlan in an attempt to trick the enemy. What if the porter had been a good guy? What would Narsus had done instead?

— In any case, Kharlan tries to guess Arslan’s movements and just ends up outwitting himself… or maybe not. I mean, if you’re chasing after someone, wouldn’t you at least send out scouts out ahead just to be safe? This seems especially true if you’re going to go through the mountains, an area where your cavalry is least effective. Not only that, they don’t know how many people there are in Arslan’s group. Four or perhaps hundreds… you don’t know for sure. The intel is iffy. I sure as fuck wouldn’t chase blindly after an opponent in the dead of night. Shrug.

— Anyway, Narsus has his opponent right where he wants them. It’s hard to tell if he’s clever or his enemies are just dumb.

— Farangis suddenly appears from the shadows to strike at Narsus, but when the latter reveals that he works for Arslan, all is fine! Except Farangis’s outfit, that is. Sex appeal is one thing, but c’mon, you can’t be a warrior dressed like that. You don’t see the guys on this show wearing nothing but banana hammocks, do you?

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— Gieve is along for the ride even though this puts him in danger. He has no real beef with anyone… he’s just doing this for a pretty face. You’d expect someone somewhat roguish like him to be a little more… opportunistic? Han Solo didn’t run off to save the princess until Luke suggested that he would be handsomely rewarded. Gieve, on the other hand, is literally tagging along just because he wants to bang a priestess. Yeah…

— Anyway, the same ol’ 4 vs hundreds battle scene begins to unfold before our eyes. Sure, guerrilla tactics have obviously proven to work throughout history. They’re just a little boring to watch over and over in these war-related anime series. I don’t get pumped up to see idiots try and run up rough mountainous incline as their opponent rains arrows down on them from an incredibly advantageous position. It all just seems kind of expected and perfunctory at this point.

— More importantly, I just don’t want to waste too much time and energy on anything that doesn’t add much to the plot or its characters.

— What I’m really watching this episode for is to hear Kharlan’s side of the story. Needless to say, he ends up in a duel with Daryun. Unfortunately, after just a bit of fighting, the guy ends up accidentally impaling himself:

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Welp. So all our heroes manage to dig out of him is that Andragoras is still alive (boo), and that it’s supposedly better for Arslan if he never finds out the truth? Uh…

— In the aftermath, Arslan happily accepts Farangis and Gieve into his group, but before they depart, the kind-hearted prince asks that the priestess sing an elegy for the dead. For that, Gieve calls him naive. Maybe something has been in lost in translation, but I don’t see what’s naive about it. They’re dead, so you’re just making sure that their souls can at least find some peace in the afterlife. Would I have done the same in Arslan’s position? Nah, fuck the traitors. But I wouldn’t consider myself somehow wiser to the ways of the world just because I have no compassion for the dead.

— After the credits, the masked man visits Andragoras, who has been thrown in a cell. The former then reveals that he is the son of the previous king, i.e. the true heir to the throne. Well, that’s nice…


3 Replies to “Arslan Senki Ep. 8: Long live the king”

  1. Narsus said that it’s easiest to trick someone who’s not too dumb and not too smart like Kharlan.

    The smart part of Kharlan is, he’s pretty sure that Arslan party really consists of only four people. While the porter’s information might be false regarding where Arslan is heading, he has no reason to lie about the size of the party. And Kharlan’s correct. And he gave chase without hesitation.

    The dumb part of him is, as you said, he rallied his cavalry through narrow mountain pass, in the darkness. It’s risky, even though your troops totally outnumber your opponent.

  2. I suspect that Narsus is a cruel and ruthless man. After all, he’s the man who tricked three army into fighting each other. He is the one controlling and testing Arslan now, looking perfectly calm when talking about all the murders and fight. About finding a bad guy to use as a sacrifice, I think it’s not that hard, considering the chaotic stage the country is in.

    Gieve is probably a “thief with heart of gold” character type. He did help releasing that Marzban from his suffering without reward.

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