My thoughts on the sixteenth episode of Arslan Senki.
Not too much to say in regards to this episode as it was mostly action-centric and pushed the conflict towards a trial by combat resolution in the next episode. One of the few things I will say concerns Prince Gadevi whom, while being somewhat more characterized by this point, still seems pretty simple and straightforward as an antagonist. His purpose within the story seems to be simply to draw hatred as he is thoroughly despicable without any complications and because of this somewhat bores me with his simplicity.
I would say the one good thing to come out of him as a character is the obvious juxtaposition of his relationship with his subjects and with Jaswant against the more caring behavior of Arslan. While this trait may be what wins Jaswant over to Arslan’s side in the future it also serves as reinforcement for Arslan’s more merciful and gentle methods despite their shortcomings. In the same way that Arslan learned the full scope and daunting implications of his desire to free the slaves a few episodes back, Gadevi represents an alternative approach to leadership and we will likely see Gadevi’s comeuppance take form in this vein.
To speak briefly about the battle in this episode, I was actually surprised how good it looked given the past uses of CG animation and poor art in this area however the CG, while present, was not horrendous and while there were only handful of closeup shots of the armies clashing, they did their job well enough and the scenes played out fairly well. My only real gripe with the entire battle sequence was at the end when Jaswant leaped on top of Prince Gadevi’s elephant while mounted on his horse as the very idea of it seemed preposterous and was practically comical in execution.
In short, the episode did a better job delivering it’s content then I would have expected of it at this point in the show however it also had a few odd key-frames and some unrealistic situations. Hopefully we will see a slight bump in animation quality come next episode as the one-on-one fights generally have had more attention paid to them than the all out brawls of this episode.