The Heroic Legend of Arslan Episode #05 Anime Review

The Heroic Legend of Arslan Episode #05 Anime Review Treating a large group of people as less than human doesn’t help the chances of them choosing your side when the big conflicts start.

What They Say:
Now that Narsus has agreed to join Prince Arslan, they must figure out a way to get to Ecbatana without getting caught by Kharlan. And in the meantime, the Lusitanian army closes in on the Royal Capital.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Narsus is officially a member of the party, and from the beginning that means showing off his analytical, strategizing prowess as he looks at the current landscape of the situation and what must be going on. Throughout the episode we return to Narsus as his analysis proves true again and again, often building up the reveal of whichever given plot point is about to be revealed. Arslan needs to return to Ecbatana, but the surprise betrayal and seemingly elaborate machinations keep Kharlan a dangerous, unpredictable foe. Furthermore, the Royal Capital is on the verge of facing its match, with Lusitania using the turmoil to its advantage and setting the stage for Arslan to not have much of a home as he’s always known. This period of growing up is being far more rushed than it should be, but Arslan actually seems decently equipped mentally.

On the Arslan side, Narsus is joined by Elam, the former slave who he freed in his trend of doing so. In repayment for this act of honorable selflessness, Elam has decided to follow Narsus and help him out whenever possible. That means they work as two characters for the price of one in most cases thus far, and with Elam being both a drastically different character and one with enough determination to sway opinions in his favor if he truly believes in something, an early part of this episode being one of the best examples. If they get Narsus, they get Elam as well, and with the plot of slavery always a major theme, especially in the dialogues touched upon later on, that kind of first-hand perspective will lend a lot more weight to the discussions between sides. Speaking of likable characters, Shapur is one of the finest examples, but mostly because he exists primarily to be tortured and killed, and being eloquent and loyal in his final moments guarantees that he come across as a near-fearless model solider. The only man to be able to end his misery is Gieve, a character we’ve seen enough in openings, endings, and promotional material to know to expect big things from. For now he’s quite impressive at most everything, and has the charisma to string it all together into a convincing performance in any context. Arslan and company will surely need someone like him, especially as the Lusitanians stoke the fire a bit and do their best to draw the unhappy to their side.

Gieve has only gotten a fraction the attention that Narsus got in the previous episode, so a good deal more time should be spent on that aspect, but there’s plenty of time to do so once everyone is probably acquainted. That might have to wait a few episodes, though, because this kingdom is in the middle of suffering its greatest loss in memory, and for the most part perhaps rightfully so. Against these odds Arslan will definitely need a top-tier party, and he’s off to a good start with how helpful Narsus can be. Arslan himself doesn’t cease his growth, and is clearly heading down the path of strong leadership in a very different way from his father, an important note.

In Summary:
Arslan’s party is shown to be rather impressive. Narsus is a genius on an unimaginable level, Elam eternally desires to assist him and those he works with, and if Gieve is to join, he will be a boon in many ways. That’s good, because things are getting hectic, and also very exciting.

Grade: B-

Streamed By: FUNimation

Review Equipment:
Custom-Built PC, 27” 1080p HDTV.