Episode Director: Koji Aritomi [Assistant Director on Princess Mononoke / Episode Director for Kill la Kill’s episode 8 / Assistant Animation Director on Patlabor WXIII]
Storyboards: Ken’ichirō Murakawa [storyboard writer for Steins;Gate episodes 6, 16 and 21 / storyboard writer for Sword Art Online II episode 20 / storyboard writer for Jormungand episode 6]
Script: Aoi Shushiro [ Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace script writer on episodes 3, 4, 5 and 9]
Even up to this point of the story we’re just touching the surface of volume 1 of the novels. This has been all exposition and prologue for a larger story about Arslan and his quest in finding people that will support him in reclaiming his kingdom.
I’m very glad that I’m re-watching this series. It’s extremely patient and does away with the notion that this will be a fast-paced series. A lot of anime, both series and film, suffer from this style of storytelling. This episode for the most part completely removes Arslan and company out of the picture as they’re waiting out Kharlan’s troops in hopes that he ends their search for them. The big part of this is when the inevitable happens, Ectabana falls. This is a great time for the story to move back towards the city and how the people of Lusitania will improve the broken city. Like I’ve said before there isn’t a good kingdom, as the viewer we get a good look on even the harshest of times within each country. We haven’t had the scenery of Lusitania that we’ve had on Pars in the first few episodes but the characters and their devotion to their God gives a solid perspective of their kingdom. An extreme harsh reality for both sides.
This episode focuses on people imprisoned by the Pars kingdom as slaves and how Lusitanian soldiers take that situation and spin it to their own advantages. The only two people upholding the Pars King’s ambitious are the sensible Commander Saam and the brutal, un-compassionate Garshasph. Two soldiers on the same side with very opposing viewpoints. The Queen is unsettled by the situation at hand and is more worried about her own wellbeing than that of her husband or son. Pointing to the possibility that they aren’t his real parents. At least that’s the feeling I got when Saam tries to convince her to reward the slaves before anything worse happens and the only response is that she will think about it.
My favorite part of this is where Silver Mask infiltrates the very same aqueducts Gieve was sent through to escort the body double of the Queen. The encounter with Silver Mask and the fight that ensues between them explores the idea that Gieve doesn’t hold any altruistic values. This does pose an interesting question, how would he feel if the Pars kingdom were under Arslan’s rule? A young prince owning up to responsibilities, pulling the same weight as the slaves. It might not have been said yet but I feel that how he’s accepted Narsus as court painter and Daryun to protect him it’s not a huge surprise that he’ll probably be leaning on the work of slaves too! Slaves that had always been the heart of Pars’ power and the fortified walls that keep their kingdom safe.
CG at the end was very strange. Most of the soldiers weren’t even animated and just thrown in with CG and had the same faces. Come on Sanzigen! Quit being lazy!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 7/10