Episode Director: Kazuo Nogami [Episode Director for Dennou Coil episodes 7, 9, 11, 18 and 20 / key animator for Arslan Senki episode 8 / Episode director for BLEACH episodes 284, 293, 300, 311, 320, 326, 333 and 340 / storyboard writer for Btooom! episode 6]
Storyboards: Michio Fukuda [storyboard writer for Kekkai Sensen episode 9 / storyboard writer for STAR DRIVER episodes 5, 9, 14, 17, 20 and 24 / Key Animator on Summer Wars and Redline]
Script: Makoto Uezu [D-Frag! script writer for episodes 1, 3, 4, 8 and 12 / Akame ga Kill!script writer for episodes 1-8, 14, 18, 19, 22, 23 and 24]
Prince Arslan isn’t your typical hero character nor is he shown as a fortuitous lead in an action series. His strength lies in his curiosity of the world, which up until now, has been briefly illustrated through his naive attempts in understanding people. Accepting Lusitanian soldiers like Etoile so easily and the slaves held captive by his own kingdom represents his youth as well as his passion to become a strong leader. The first episode introduced death to him giving off an aura of authenticity to his character. I really like how he’s growing in mind, spirit and fighting abilities. He’s good for his age (especially with all the training with Vahriz) yet this episode doesn’t let go of the fact that he’s always been raised inside the capital walls. At first, Elam, was very unfriendly towards Arslan and his status of nobility.
This episode shifts the dynamic to the point where Elam bows before Arslan in loyalty! Daryun is a Pars warrior retaining the honor of his deceased uncle and keeping up with his promise to protect Arslan. Narsus trusts Daryun and is welcomed with open arms by Arslan. Out of respect for the young prince he accompanies him on his journey in order to test him whether it’s been shown on screen or not. He wants Arslan to give thought to any action that he gives to his commanding officers. Elam is simple in that he’s doing it out of modesty and sincerity. Arslan greatly rounds these supporting characters out a lot and it’s nice to see this series takes it time with that! As for Gieve and Falangies provides the silent backbone (and humor) this show needs. Falangies wants to be useful to Arslan given that she is told through the Mithra God. As for Gieve he’s for appearances sake, is loyal only to himself and offers his bodyguard services to Arslan in order to get closer with Falangies.
The battle that unfolds with Kharlan is a true testament to the five staking their lives on the line for the prince. In one of the neatest tightly animated fight sequences we get an up close and personal perspective of Narsus’ tactics and the aftermath that follows illustrates what Arslan will have to gain and even lose in order to become the King of Pars.
The soundtrack is probably the best collection of music Taro Iwashiro has ever made. One of the most compelling scores he did was for the live-action 2003 film Memories of Murder but Arslan Senki (even in this episode) ended up being absolutely superb! Grandiose and gradually engaging with a build-up in the strings department!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 9/10