My thoughts on the twenty-fourth episode of Arslan Senki.
Given the events of this episode, I am beginning to wonder whether or not we will reach any kind of real conclusion this season and whether or not the show will purposefully end on a positive note for Arslan and his company but with a good many unresolved things such as the ultimate fate of Hermes. With the length of the source material being as long as it is and with only a single episode remaining this season I can only imagine that the final episode will either set up for a second season directly or end on a high note while leaving the show open to a future installment.
The beginning of the episode I think speaks pretty directly to a juxtaposition between Arslan’s virgin battle at the beginning of the series and the battle to take back Ecbatana – they bookend the show with these battles to explicitly show the character growth of Arslan and while its necessary it was also a bit predictable in its execution. I had a similar problem with the way the battle itself progressed as it was highly stereotypical in relation to Arslan and his allies. Each member of the main company was left behind at different points in order to provide crucial support to Arslan in some way and in doing so allow him to continue forward to Hermes while exhibiting their utility as allies. It was an unoriginal means of progression but at the same time it was one of the most direct ways to highlight the Arslan’s strength being founded in his ability to call good people to his cause as well as the manner in which he interacts with them. Also as a minor side note – I have no idea where Kishward came from this episode. Last I remember he was getting surrounded after failing to defeat Sam and at the beginning of this episode he has returned to Arslan with no real attention given to his previous predicament.
The animation this episode faltered in places more than it had in the previous few which surprised me a bit but it ended up a bit like the episode where Narsus, Daryun, and Hermes first cross swords because the art and animation were sub par up until the climactic fight which was gorgeous by any standards and excessively so by comparison. It was curious that the character design quality was as low as it was for Daryun and Hermes before leaving the building and fighting in the garden however its hard to be nit-picky in this area given the resulting fight. With only one episode left it feels a bit odd to have both Elam and Daryun in critical condition going into the finale however I can’t really imagine either of them dying despite the obvious literary bonuses of Daryun dying and the rather over-the-top death flag he utters before engaging Hermes. Overall it was a decent episode and featured one of the better scenes from the show yet with so much more content left to cover and several loose ends yet to be tied up I’m uncertain of the tone and direction of the final episode.