Episode Director: Nishikata Yasuto [2nd key animator on BLEACH: Memories of Nobody / Episode director on Yu-sibu episode 7 / Episode director and key animator on Nanatsu no Taizai episode 22]
Storyboards: Nishikata Yasuto [Episode Director and storyboards for BLEACH episodes 132, 134, 136, 140, 164, 366 among other episodes / episode director for Gin no Saji episode 6)
Script: Machida Touko [Script writer for Samurai Champloo episode 10 / Series Composition writer on Hamatora / Script writer for Galilei Donna episodes 5, 9 and 10]
I still don’t like the opening sequence for this show. Even after watching this series for a second time. It’s too Japanese for a story that’s supposed to be about Persia. The ending has striking visuals that counterbalance Kalafina’s song nicely. The soundtrack, however, is absolutely spectacular. Iwashiro Taro churns out one emotional piece one after another especially in this episode! Dog of Flanders and Fullmetal Alchemist: Sacred Star of Milos had fantastic scores too! I’m eager to see more of his work in the future!
I mentioned a few episodes ago about why I believe Narsus is aiding Arslan. Out of a respect for Daryun and the political curious side of him. He wants to see how Arslan will handle being King. This episode clears out this facet of the story with Lord Hodir’s introduction. His men save Arslan and his companions after a Lusitanian calvary tries to pursue them. Wonderful use of the soundtrack during that chase sequence! I really like Hodir because he’s a prime example of Parsian authority even down to its core. He lives in luxury with tons of servants, rather slaves and remember back when the slaves took back the Pars Kingdom upon hearing the words of Lusitanian soldiers? This part of the story comes rearing its head back and in a huge way! Arslan is separated at night from Narsus and Daryun not to mention his other trusted companions– Elam, Gieve and Falangies. He wants to press upon his influence towards the young Arslan that he should marry his daughter. This is where Narsus’ clever tactician charm comes into play! The freedom of slaves is by and large frowned upon many that serve within the Pars kingdom–its policies have been around for years and Arslan desiring to change that widely affects Hodir’s status.
I like how this piece of the story reveals the true form of Hodir’s ambitions. He wants control of the kingdom! The battle that shows up at the end of this episode depicts the strength of Arslan’s ideals by visually illustrating the strength Falangies, Gieve and most especially Daryun have attained in order to protect the future king of Pars. What makes this ending powerful is the slaves Arslan tries to free and they are the ones that wind up attacking him. He’s still learning about the world both good and bad–Narsus teaches him that only through experience can someone build character and become worthy of ruling an entire kingdom!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 9/10