My thoughts on the fourteenth episode of Arslan Senki.
While there are a variety of important factors concerning the budget of the show and it’s animation, I think it was fair to expect that because of the seasonal shift and the previous recap episode (which utilized no new content and was a direct retelling) that this episode would at least rise above the more recent few in terms of animation, key frames, and art in general and I think it lived up to that expectation though not in any great excess.
The art was entirely tolerable and the only real shortcoming in this area was perhaps the rampant use of CG in the middle however it’s implementation was not nearly as bad as some instances from earlier on and I would even say that the camera movement between the CG troops as they clashed was quite refreshing regardless of artistic execution. It was a good change of pace from the more vanilla overhead shots we’ve been dealing with lately however I am a little doubtful that this kind of camera work will appear very frequently (and frankly it shouldn’t in order to keep things fresh) if only because I feel that the show will unfortunately return to it’s lackluster art within a few episodes.
There were a few scenes this episode that I thought worthy of talking about – the first being Hermes’ departure back to Ecbatana after watching Arslan’s troops file out of Peshawar. I have no issue with this action in and of itself however because of it’s existence I wonder at it’s implications. It would make enough sense to me for Hermes to depart and leave a defenseless Arslan alone because of Bahman’s demise or some such thing however at the same time I feel like this sentiment is offset by his initial fervor he exhibited when sneaking into Peshawar in order to kill Arslan. If he was willing to single-handedly infiltrate the fortress and dispatch his foe despite the many obstacles in his way I feel that his change in attitude is harder to reconcile as leaving Arslan alone while he lacks defenders is as good as walking away with his sword at his throat. Hopefully there is some more overt reasoning given to this decision however I don’t think it ultimately matters all that much and the scene itself was a footnote within the plot of the episode.
The battle between Narsus and the Sindhuran troops was interesting enough and I liked the framework of the three tactical tenets that Narsus exploited. The only qualm I have with this section was that I felt having Elam and Alfreed infiltrate the army in order to spread misinformation was a bit unrealistic and only really served to give the characters something to do and keep them relevant within the story (something that has been happening to Elam quite frequently for a while). It is a neat idea in and of itself however in a logical sense, I have a hard time believing in the effectiveness of 2 infiltrators within an army of 50,000 – It just felt implausible and that the falsified troops and the volley of the “1st prince” were probably more effective than either Elam or Alfreed.
Here’s to hoping that the quality keeps up for a good while as we move into the latter half of the show however I won’t be getting my hopes up. it would seem that Jaswant, the spy of the first prince, will be an important character in the coming episodes as he seemed far more characterized given his design than the first prince himself which felt a bit odd.