The latest episode of Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu is quite calm and less-action packed compared to the first two episodes, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t great! Previously in the first episode, we saw Hilmes go off on a search for Rukhnabad, the legendary sword of the Hero King, only for it to be taken by the Temple Knights of Lusitania. And then in the second episode, King Andragoras surprised everyone by ordering Arslan to go and get fifty thousand men, which is just a cover up for actual exile! What happens now?
This episode can be divided into two halves. The first half finally lets us know the story of Hilmes’ past! This flashback is triggered because, on his way to search for Archpriest Bodin to take back the legendary sword, he and his men come upon a carriage being attacked by bandits. They were only watching from afar at first, until Hilmes sees the person inside the carriage, a beautiful lady. He immediately comes to their rescue, which is very surprising because you wouldn’t think he’d be interested in a girl, let alone save anyone in need (or maybe that’s just me being judgmental).
It turns out that the lady, Princess Irina, is actually someone he knows in the past. She keeps her eyes closed and immediately recognizes Hilmes just from his voice, so we’re given the impression that she could be blind. Hilmes outright denies knowing her though, but still tells them to seek safety at Zabul fortress. So, what is up with these two?
We get the answer from the really sad flashback! We already know that Prince Hilmes was presumed to be dead after Andragoras usurps the throne, but, he’s actually saved by the mysterious magic man we keep seeing near him in the present. Hilmes’ imminent revenge to take back of Pars would bring about lots of chaos, and that’s what he would like so he saved him and will support him. Of course someone really sketchy would like something as typical as chaos and destruction.
Afterwards he’s taken in by the Kingdom of Maryam. There he meets Princess Irina, who really is blind! Since they’re both treated as nuisances in the kingdom – Hilmes for secretly taking refuge there, and Irina’s blindness being taken as a bad omen, they hit off their really sweet friendship. Seeing him being quite kind and having a warm smile is very surprising, because we finally get to see a different side to him. Irina’s friendship and care seems like a breath of fresh air to him who has experienced many hardships, so it’s no wonder that he’d care for her as well, and even end up falling in love with her. Apparently she also feels the same way, as they seemed to have shared a kiss. I think they really look good together, as they can both support each other!
But of course happy times gotta end at some point right? Mysterious sorcerer dude appears in Hilmes’ room one night (which is really creepy let’s be honest) to tell him that Andragoras named his son, Arslan, as crown prince, so it’s time to start the chaos! And so it did, because the man who seems to be in charge apparently sold out his country, Hilmes and Irina included, to the invading Lusitanians. What a jerk. So he gets what he deserves; the prince kills him, along with the enemy soldiers. He also saves Irina from harm, but it signals a goodbye as well, saying that he’ll start moving to take back his kingdom.
The second half is back to the present, in Peshawar Fortress, where Andragoras gave his order to “exile” Arslan. The really frustrating catch is that no one is allowed to accompany him on his journey, especially Daryun and Narsus! It’s totally heartless! It’s definitely something only a tyrant would do to his own son! Though, this just actually confirms the suspicions that Arslan really isn’t his son. Our young hero, though, accepts this properly, even saying that he’ll think of it as being given his freedom, just so he won’t hate his father! He even said this though the suspicions of his lineage is in his mind! He definitely is a really sweet and kind-hearted child, and I can’t help but scream in dismay for his situation! You may be alone, but we, the fans, are always here for you dear!
Good thing that the ever clever Narsus already has a plan so that the main team can escape their apparent house arrest and follow their lord. The stables and watchtowers were set on fire, a very flashy tactic, and successfully managed to get out of the fortress. I also guessed that Kishward, who said he was loyal only to the king, really just pretended to try and stop Daryun and the others, but was really secretly hoping they’d catch up to Arslan. Thank you Kishward!
Our episode ends with a really heartwarming reunion! The sadness I felt seeing the young prince alone on that dark field, and then seeing the look of relief and gladness on his face as he saw his devoted team accompanied by the sunrise gave me so many feels! It was truly a great moment! No words can ever properly express the love I have for this team! Arslan is indeed very blessed to have them!
Like I mentioned earlier, the third episode isn’t action-packed, but is still definitely a wonderful episode! You gotta admit we need a break from action once in a while, especially if it’s to propel the story forward. I think it’s also worth mentioning that the two halves featuring the two princes is kind of giving us an insight into their differences. They were both antagonized by Andragoras, but they responded in different ways: Hilmes in anger, Arslan in patience. We could also see that, no matter how on top of the world you are, you’ll really need people to stand beside you and give you strength. Hilmes’ motivation was Irina, while Arslan’s strength is his people.
The animation is, thankfully, still intact and consistent as far as I noticed! The characters were drawn beautifully, and the backgrounds were totally pretty, especially during the flashbacks! It really gives me hope that it’ll be like this until the last episode.
I think that…
The next chapter will be quite interesting! Arslan and company will finally be heading to Gilan, the port to the south, and start fulfilling his mission. We’ll also finally be introduced to Shagad, the character that appears in the opening song, and is apparently connected to Narsus. Do they get along, or is there a tension between them?
Let’s find out next week in Chapter 4: “A City of Land and a City of Water!”