We got another intriguing episode of Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu this week! At the end of the last episode, Crown Prince Arslan was sent away by his father, King Andragoras, to put together an army of fifty thousand men! He was supposed to go at it alone without the help of his trusted companions, but Daryun and the gang escaped Peshawar Fortress to accompany him!
So everyone’s headed to Gilan, the port city of the south! It seemed to be a tiring and long journey, and they even got stopped by bandits on the way. When I saw the red tattoos on the bandits’ faces, I immediately thought that they’re Alfarid’s clan members, and apparently they are! It then ended up that the bandits that were supposed to rob them, escorted them on the way to Gilan, and it couldn’t have been a funnier twist.
You gotta admit though that the funniest part was after that: when Narsus got called “Boss” by the Zot clan members because of Alfarid’s shameless fawning over him. She is the clan chief’s daughter, so someone she likes could technically become their chief’s future son-in-law, and their future leader. Our tactician doesn’t seem too pleased to hear about this though, because he has never mentioned returning Alfarid’s feelings, nor if he even plans to.
Afterwards, they finally see the sea, which means, the port city! I actually forgot that Arslan spent his whole life cooped up in the palace until the war, so this forced exile seems to have its advantages for him, as he will get to expand his horizons even more. Plus, when they finally got into Gilan, everybody seemed to enjoy the place. They have been fighting all this time, so the change in scenery, the amazing variety of merchandise, and the different kinds of people to meet is certainly a good thing for them! As also mentioned, the city’s liveliness means it’s prosperous, meaning it will be a great ally for them.
Sadly, they’re not here to enjoy a vacation, so the team gets back on track, starting off by visiting Narsus’ old friend from his days at the Royal Academy. It turns out that it’s Shagad, the character we get a glimpse of in the opening song! I thought they were rivals of some sort, but they actually seem to get along really well, which is quite refreshing to see since our crafty tactician often acts aloof, and is disliked by many people.
As expected of someone living in a trading city, Shagad is a merchant, and from the looks of his home, is quite a wealthy one. He also seems to have connections to well-known people. He gladly accepts the favor of helping Arslan on his mission by negotiating with some merchants. It’ll be quite difficult though, because the prince expressed his intention to abolish slavery, and Gilan’s merchants need the slaves for labor. What about Shagad though? Narsus said that they both dreamed of this when they were still students, so of course Shagad is on board with the proposal.
But when he and Narsus were finally alone chatting and got to this topic, things became tense between them, because Shagad actually doesn’t think slavery isn’t a bad thing anymore. Ever since he became a merchant, he realized that this helps him and his business a lot. I guess the real world really does change a person’s dreams and views on life, because this is what happened to him. I feel like these two friends’ relationship will become rocky from now on. Difference in opinion do that to even the best of friends sometimes.
The next day, they finally meet the viceroy of Gilan, Pelagius, who is an even wealthier merchant by the looks of his gaudy house. He’s also a politician to the core because he knows the right things to say. Unfortunately for him, his words are so flowery that it already seems super fake. He mentions that despite their city’s prosperity, they weren’t able to send help for the war because they have their own problems to deal with, one of them is pirates preying on the merchant goods. While everybody has problems with outlaws stealing from others, these pirates seem to know when and where the patrols will come. Sounds fishy doesn’t it? Do they have backers that tip them about this?
Just as they were talking about this, a merchant ship was being attacked by pirates. The captain, Grāze, seems to be another character playing a major role this season as we’ve also seen him in the opening song, plus he’s the only competent fighter in his crew, let’s be honest. Nobody in Gilan looks to be sending help for them as well. Because of this, everything seems to be going downhill, as the pirates start invading their ship.
But, of course, our heroes come in to help them out! Daryun, Gieve, Farangis, and Jaswant all kick the pirates’ butts and eventually scare them away once they figure out they’re fighting. That’ll teach them who’s boss!
The episode then ends with a narration that a new fight was awaiting Arslan and his team in Gilan, but he doesn’t know this yet. What could it be?
Like last week, this episode didn’t have much action, but still laid out things that set the gears of this season’s plot in motion. Everything that happened made the next 4 episodes even more intriguing, in my opinion.
Meanwhile, I clearly noticed that the quality of the drawings went down a bit. This was especially obvious in the zoomed out scenes with many characters, as well as the fight scenes with the pirates. Hopefully this is only a hiccup, and the quality will go up again in the next episode.
I do have to commend the background music, especially during the scenes where Gilan was getting introduced to us. It really made me feel like I was there!
I think that…
Things are going to get even more interesting from now on, especially since the preview for the next episode looks to be the start of a conflict. Here’s to hoping that the storytelling will be just right and not too fast-paced, since we’re already at the half of this season! I wonder what else Arslan Senki will have for us!
Till next week on Episode 5, “Parting of Ways!”