What They Say:
Evading pursuit and seeking more allies, Arslan finds shelter at Kashan Fortress, but its scheming lord wants a lot for his cooperation.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Team Arslan has had some pretty big events lately, defeating Kharlan and clashing with Silver Mask. This next chapter in their journey is less impactful to their overall quest, but ultimately has an important effect on one of Arslan’s leading philosophy.
The next stop is Kashan Fortress, which initially appears a promising chance for shelter after the major events of recent events, but just like the similarly-designed Father Cornello in Fullmetal Alchemist, its lord Hodir soon proves to be eerily agreeable for the sake of pushing ulterior motives and hoping to manipulate Arslan. The crown prince still has a largely naïve perspective on such matters but still finds himself slightly uncomfortable, and most of his allies immediately realize what Hodir is up to, although Gieve seems to enjoy the idea of Arslan finding himself a wife. As the guests move to their quarters for the night, Hodir continues to further his plan, but it’s an embarrassingly rudimentary one in the face of the master strategist Narsus, who has planning the perfect counters to each inevitable move all the while. Daryun is amusingly a bit less perceptive, doing his best to stay at Arslan’s side like a watchdog but unaware of why they were actually being separated until Narsus tells him. Hodir is so bent on pushing his agendas on Arslan that he takes no care to mask his intentions, and even with relatively limited experience in such dealings Arslan knows everything he’s actually after without any assistance from his supporters, and takes the initiative to sneak out and start planning their escape together.
Hodir gets very ambitious and can’t wait any longer to dispose of his group, apparently thinking that Arslan would approve of it despite not actually giving any indication that it would make sense to do so. Even if Arslan hadn’t picked up on what was going on and spoken with the rest, he certainly wouldn’t have stood for any of this, and since each member of the party did work to strike back at a moment’s notice, the massive numbers of forces Hodir springs upon them don’t stand a chance. After having bested Kharlan’s troops with minimal effort, this is less surprising and hardly even seems like it required the preparation they put forward, but battling an enemy in their own fortress does provide new challenges, and it’s always interesting to see how different traps are laid by our heroes and how the ones laid by the enemies are avoided. In the end just about everything goes as one might expect, but the more important piece comes from Arslan’s good deed at the end.
This show has always spoken at length about the horrors of slavery, and I would be put off if anyone fundamentally disagreed with those notions. However, it now presents a concept that it may be harder to accept: people who have been slaves all their lives don’t necessarily know how to simply adjust to being free, and if their life as slaves was relatively peaceful, there’s no real reason to in their minds. In this case the execution could’ve used a bit more tact, as the slaves instead rise up as mindless opponents in the name of their great master, but it’s not an idea without merit, as Narsus also acknowledges upon recalling his own dealings in such matters.
Although a less eventful and more formulaic episode overall, this one does offer something a little new to its line of slavery commentary. It’s true that slaves don’t always transition to being free people at a moment’s notice, although it couldn’t been executed better.
Streamed By: FUNimation
HP Envy 14.