Episode Director: Nagahama Norihiko [ TRIGUN episode director for 23 / Blood+ episode director on 34 / storyboards on a ton of hentai/ecchi series]
Storyboards: Kenji Setou [ Log Horizon ending director / Gakusen Toshi Asterisk director]
Script: Aoi Shushiro [ Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace script writer on episodes 3, 4, 5 and 9]
The original novels are wonderfully written. It’s a shame they’ve never been released in English. Only the first two volumes have been unofficially translated.
Ah yes! Just as we’re getting to know Lord Narsus this episode throws a curve ball– the introduction of Gieve. While Shapur’s death shows off Arslan Senki‘s lack of sympathy for each side waging war whom he’s killed by is the most interesting segment of this episode. It adds mystery to this war tale.
A deceptive and womanizing young man that at first in order to win the heart of a lady-in-waiting acts as Prince. When the Queen wants to meet the person that killed Shapur, Gieve turns out to be someone else entirely– an oud musician with average skills with a bow. Whether that is the truth or not barely touches the surface of his character. Daryun swears loyalty to Arslan but Gieve is vastly different in that he’s only loyal to himself.
Initially I was a worried about Narsus predicting everything but he is a tactician and his background serves him well in being a suitable strategist for Arslan. Given that he’s been able to predict the invading army’s strategy of bringing down Ectabana from within. It’s clear as day that the city is rotten at its core, the zealots attacking them is proof enough that neither side is viewed as favorable. Arslan wants to find his own path and these actions plays with the idea that he’s searching for an answer that is definitely far removed from the the current battle between the two armies.
Speaking of the armies, the Lusianian priest, Bodin, that captures Shapur reminds me a lot of those theatrical stage mimes. He’s got energy when he speaks and is very expressive with his movements. Too bad Sanzigen couldn’t animate this better, there were quite a few scenes that had some terribly animated facial expressions. Bodin is the stereotypical moustache villain that’s firmly fixated on his own teachings being the teaches of their God, Yaldabaoth. This goes back to to the whole perspective of Arslan Senki‘s portrayal of its kingdoms being inherently bad. Not one side is purely good, their actions might be viewed in their own kingdoms as righteous but outsiders may think otherwise. It’s what we’ve got from that entire sequence between Bodin and Shapur. Very intense.
I’d like to point out how amazing Gieve’s seiyu is. KENN delivers an endearing, passionate and comical performance. He’s gone from gruff nonchalant voice-work to extremely dramatic between his portrayals of Hibito Nanba from Uchuu Kyoudai to Kiseijuu‘s Mitsuo. This is one of the best characters we’ve seen so far in Arslan Senki!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 8/10