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Spectacularly amazing!! These are the words I’d use to describe the fifth episode of Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu! It was action-packed with fight scenes between brawns and wits. I couldn’t be any happier with it!
In the previous episode, Arslan’s camp arrived at Gilan. There we were introduced to three new characters: Shagad, Pelagius and Grāze. Let’s see what parts these characters play!
The episode continues from where it left off last time: Grāze’s ship was saved from pirates by Daryun and the others. Afterwards, he gets to meet Arslan. The merchant captain thanks the gang for saving their goods and their lives. To express his gratitude, he agrees to be the official sponsor of Arslan’s cause! Providing for fifty thousand men is too much, but even still he was incredibly willing. He’ll even talk to the other merchants to join them as well. That’s one part of the mission fulfilled! Grāze is a fine example of a person not consumed by greed; anyone who has experienced having lots of money can be prone to money-hoarding, but he’s only interested in exploring the world.
Just look at Pelagius. As a viceroy of Gilan, his mission is to serve the people. But because of Narsus’s crafty plan, our heroes managed to reveal that Pelagius has been embezzling people’s taxes! It was truly an amazing strategy: Farangis and Jaswant disguised as entertainers who Grāze brought from Serica. Under that disguise, they got the viceroy to tell them a lot of things. Pelagius even insulted the royal family and expressed his discontent that he was being asked to help out in a war that was not his fault! I was actually impressed that Farangis agreed to the plan to seduce and toy with Pelagius. The same goes for Jaswant: I didn’t think he’d be up for such a thing, although he looked like a lost dog not knowing what to do and just followed Farangis’s lead. Meanwhile, Gieve, using his stealth skills and his flirty techniques, managed to steal solid evidence about Pelagius’s corruption. Arslan’s loyal team is amazing! Because of this, the viceroy become the ex-viceroy; Arslan removed him from his position.
Since there’s no one yet to be the next leader of Gilan, the crown prince can be the temporary ruler. It’s very convenient because they can move around more freely. They also used this chance to help out the poorer citizens and to win them over by giving back some of their taxes, showing them Arslan’s kindhearted attitude! Shagad didn’t agree with this, however. He thinks that it’s the merchants that make Gilan prosperous. Having the aid of the poor people won’t make much of a difference. But in Narsus’ eyes, inequality can’t last forever. It seems like the differences in opinion between them are coming to light. Before, it was Shagad who was the optimistic idealist and Narsus who was the pessimist. Now it seems that time and experience have changed them both for the better, and for the worst. You can now clearly see the rift in their friendship. Nothing is sadder than a quarrel between two good friends.
There’s also something incredibly odd with Shagad. It seems like fate itself sent the pirates towards Gilan in search of revenge for their previous defeat. The situation looks terrifying because there’re a lot of ships filled with angry pirates! But of course, our protagonists handle it in a super cool and amazing way! Great tacticians need to make use of not only their men, but also the terrain. Narsus considered this and used it effectively, manipulating the current using the waterways and sending barrels full of gunpowder to set the pirates’ ships ablaze. Of course, they couldn’t just let the enemy escape, but they also couldn’t just leave them to burn like chickens in the sea! Daryun and Grāze charged towards them in a boat and managed to capture all the pirates! Hooray!
Who is the traitor, the enemy of Gilan? Surprise surprise, it’s Shagad! No wonder he was acting weird earlier. How could he do this, especially to Narsus?
After the ending song, we’re shown that Etoille, Arslan’s friend from Lusitania posing as a male soldier, is captured by Prince Guiscard. She is being accused of murdering the king. It wasn’t directly stated, but could it be the King of Lusitania, Guiscard’s brother? To make things worse, Hilmes’s childhood sweetheart, Princess Irina, is also captured. She is shown tied to a stake and about to be set on fire like a witch!
What is going on?
The gears of the story are moving forward! Everything that happened in this episode got me more invested in the plot, especially the end scenes! I feel like the more we get to the end of the season, the more we’ll be on the edge of our seats. This is how you run a show!
The art and animation seem better than last week. We’ve seen better quality, though I guess this is because we’re already past the half of the season. Let’s see how they fare in the next episodes.
We’re gonna be in for a shock next week! They left us hanging at the end, without even a preview of the next episode. I’m super excited to learn what happened to Etoille and Irina, the two ladies of our two princes. Will someone help them out, or are we in for a mess?