My thoughts on the seventh episode of Arslan Senki.
It feels like we are starting to get back in the flow of things now that the siege of Ecbatana is over. This episode introduced new characters such as Innocentius and Guiscard while also reintroducing characters like Etoile and with Kharlan now on the warpath it looks like the individual events within the story will be picking up again.
As I only ever have so few qualms about this show I want to take note of one from this episode that hearkens back to my thoughts on the previous episodes. Concerning the method by which Kharlan intends to draw out Arslan from hiding – Narsus himself states that there are many ways in which this could be done however when he brings up the likely possibility that Kharlan will raze a village and its people, Arslan seems to deem it an absolute. This is the same problem I had with the slaves revolt from the previous episodes that he ‘knew’ would happen. The show sports great logic within the dialogue of Narsus and Arslan and explores many possibilities however for some reason Arslan continuously commits to one idea above the others discussed – usually the worst situation. I’m a little wary of calling this a character flaw (which would be amazingly intricate writing) because Narsus is guilty of the same thing in prior episodes. I just wonder why we wouldn’t have Arslan follow Kharlan’s company with the intention of seeing what they will do rather than following them with the specific intention of stopping the razing of a village. Both results are the same however one operates on more principled logic which the show and the characters otherwise seem to support.
I thought it was odd that Kharlan was continuing to walk around in his Parsian attire (especially given his open ridecule at the hands of the Lusitanian commanders) however the episode quickly puts this concern to rest. It would seem he and his men wore their garb not only to create a scene within the capital as they left but also to extinguish any doubt that anyone but Kharlan and the Parsian soldiers were the ones who attacked the town. While all of this is perfectly pertinent and answers the question perfectly, I can’t help but think there is something else going on with Kharlan. He seemed incredibly pensive this episode and in no way was he required to continue wearing his original garb within the palace before he set to work. I don’t know whether it is pride he feels in his previous occupation or something else however it would seem he has his own set of motivations and works more closely with Silvermask than any leader of Lusitania. I think we will hear the rest of his story come next episode.
On the topic of Silvermask, I want to quickly speculate based on what I would think is insinuated during this episode. He is a man with a grudge of 16 years and we hear this episode rumors that Andragoras may have murdered the previous ruler and his brother Osroes. It would stand to reason then that Silvermask could perhaps be Osroes’ son come to take revenge for his father. There are other possibilities but this one seems the most ‘classic’ and the most straightforward given the context that we have so far. Additionally, this episode made me want to know more about Tahamenay (as if I already didn’t) and I’m glad she’s sticking around for now as a character.