My thoughts on the thirteenth episode of Arslan Senki.
The animation at the beginning of the episode was horrendous. While the permanently identical CG Lusitanian horseman are at this point quite grating, the action animation of the soldiers and most impressively of Kishward and his horse was terrible and so the episode did not start off on a strong point. The character designs followed suit throughout the episode and there were more than a few scenes where the art and key frames were executed lazily. While it does not level out the negative artistic aspects of the episode, the scenery surrounding Peshawar was stunning and the episode took the time to continuously remind us of that.
The big reveal of the episode was the identity of Silvermask however at this point in the show it was so openly obvious to the viewers that I feel we could have easily admitted to this fact at an earlier time and then this scene could have served as a reveal specifically to Arslan and his company. Because of the way it was done, I feel that it was still in some way directed at the viewers and so I felt the delivery was perhaps a little hamfisted however it was an important scene none the less and how Arslan manages this new information will at least be interesting.
While the next episode, I believe, is supposed to be a recap and we won’t receive any immediate progression in this event – the end of the episode established the Sindhuran force heading towards Peshawar which adds a new element to the story thus far. My hopeful thinking is that, with the relief in scheduling in airing a recap episode, perhaps the return to the story in episodes 15 and 16 and so on have at least slightly better animation however we’ll just have to wait and see what happens in this regard.