My thoughts on the twenty-first episode of Arslan Senki.
Despite the show coming down to its last 4 episodes I feel that the show has been lacking further insight into Ecbatana. It was well enough that this episode focused to resolve some of the internal strife depicted in the last few episodes and there was a short scene detailing Guiscard’s schemes concerning Hermes however we haven’t had anywhere near the level of involvement that I would think necessary at this point since Hermes’ dispatch of Bodin’s men. The developing dynamic between Hermes and Sam as well as the elaboration of Hermes as a character were important things in respect to creating a more fulfilling finale however the show seems to have backed away from these things for the time being to focus once again on Arslan.
It’s somewhat disheartening to see Gieve go as I would far sooner see someone like Alfreed or Elam depart as Gieve at least brought some personality to the group though his role as scapegoat was an interesting one. I somewhat question the pacing of the episode as his reappearance towards the end before once again traveling away felt far too soon and somewhat compromised the ‘heroic’ feeling evoked by his sudden aid. I’m sure in an ideal world his departure and subsequent return would have been spread out over a handful of episodes however like a good many things from the show recently it seems that a good many things are rushed in order to arrive at some sort of conclusion at the end of the show which may turn out to be too daunting a task without damaging the end of the story significantly.
I can’t say I care much for some of Arslan’s new commanders as they were made out to be so obviously hateable to begin with by means of their interactions with eachother and with Jaswant and their relief and gratitude upon being rescued this episode didn’t quite convince me of any kind of real character arc. I would think that their realization of their own foolhardiness and misplaced want for glory will have brought the internal strife of Arslan’s troops to a close and we will be able to focus elsewhere on the progression of the main battle and perhaps on what is transpiring in Ecbatana as Arslan grows closer to the final conflict.