Episode Director: Hideki Kadota [ Episode Directorial debut for Arslan Senki episode 9]
- Shin Nakashima[ key animator on Abarenbo Rikishi!! Matsutaro episode 1 / Key Animator on Arslan Senki episode 9]
- Satoshi Kimura [ Character Designer for Terra Formars and Key Animator for Terra Formars‘ opening sequence / Action Animation supervisor and key animator on Arslan Senki‘s Opening 1 and 2 sequences /
Script: Touko Machida [Samurai Champloo script writer for episode 10 / Hamatora main series script writer / Hitsugi no Chaika series script writer]
Silver Mask bears his dark appearance simply because of burns from the past. This makes sense and considering all the imagery we’ve had of Ectabana burning up in flames to Arslan’s Maiden Battle back in episode 2 in comes to no surprise. Nice foreshadow.
There’s been a lot of talk from fans about the gripe people have with this series’ villains being too stereotypical. Silver Mask is on a raged-filled vendetta. A lot of anime fall into this category regarding it’s antagonists and anti-heros. Lelouch of Code Geass wanted revenge against the family that took him in then there’s Light Yagami of Death Note, Gankutsuo: The Count of Monte Cristo and even Heat Guy J. These series tackle this issue pretty well but it is, nonetheless, an overused trope. Arslan Senki‘s Silver Mask emphasizes this during his highly-detailed animated fight against Daryun. We’ve also got a bit of crazy in the mix as well. The priest Bodin smacks his soldiers around and burns books and other historic artifacts left behind by the Pars Kingdom. To today’s standards it’s very true Heck his designs are quite of the top especially with his eyes and quick-tempered mannerisms. Loved that scene where he’s laughing around the fire and where he threatens Lusitanian King Innocentius’ life out in the open.
These two characters may be over-the-top but it works in that we’ve got a complex set of good-natured characters trotting behind Arslan. Not to mention the mystery surround the relationship between Queen Tahamenay and King Andragoras III should give some interesting sub-plots to a collection of motifs this series has been dangling in front of us this whole time– civilization and what separates one society from another. The second theme that’s pointed out is cultural prejudice. The former is represented by how brutal the Lusitanians can be towards mankind that aren’t religiously accepting of their God. We see that especially with Bodin’s actions to burn just about every cultural treasure Pars has valued. The ladder is shown through the Lusitania’s rather despicable actions against people and the perspective that Pars is truly a slave kingdom.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 10/10