The latest episode of Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu got me feeling multiple emotions all over. The focus moves from Arslan, so that we can check out what’s happening behind the scenes. The previous episode’s after-credits left us hanging, and I was super excited to find out what in the world happened.
Why was Étoile being accused of murdering the King of Lusitania? And why was Irina about to get burned at a stake, and what was she doing in Ecbatana? We finally got the answers today!
The title ‘Calamity of Kings’ fits this episode so well because it was indeed a calamity for the characters involved, but most of all, for Guiscard. Last time we saw the Prince of Lusitania he was gracefully thrown off a carriage by Andragoras as the King was making his escape. We then find out that, afterwards, he made use of the commotion to overthrow his own brother, King Innocentis VII. Since he was ruling in name only and Guiscard was doing most of the work, I guess it was not that bad. But since a person’s actions tell us of his character, we can tell that the Prince really wants the power all to himself. Leadership is not an easy task though because, due to previous events, problems arise one after another. Low water supply, fanatics murdering their hostages – it’s definitely hard to be king.
If Guiscard is having a hard time ruling, our girl-disguising-as-a-boy, Étoile, is also having problems of her own. I like how we get to see her care for the survivors at the Battle at the Keep of Saint Emmanuel; she didn’t really have to go out of her way to help them out. But here she was working hard to solicit aid from other people, but no one cared to help. I guess they’re not as kind-hearted.
Then she saw the imprisoned King Innocentis in the tower, and he asked Étoile for help. He thought that his younger brother’s men acted on their own to keep him imprisoned, so he told her to go to Guiscard and let him know about his plight. I know it’s lovely that he trusts his brother so much, but I guess he’s really just THAT naïve and clueless to whatever’s going on. Not a good trait for a monarch if you ask me. This was just a catastrophe waiting to happen.
As Étoile figured out a way to help both the King and the people, she remembered how Arslan was before they parted ways. Turns out that the young prince had already helped her, as he had hid a bag of gold coins inside the wheel of the carriage. Good thing it didn’t fall out, right? In any case, a heathen showed more compassion than the ones who believe in a god. It’s amazing how the creators put in a topic related to our own society subtly but clearly.
Meanwhile, Guiscard was thinking of killing the King, but since they’re still brothers, he’s hesitating. He has to figure out a way to get rid of any hindrances without dirtying his hands. I guess fate had its own plans, because one by one, things fell into place. First, Irina, the princess of Maryam, was captured outside Ecbatana along with her maid and bodyguards, so they kept her in a tower and her entourage in a prison. Apparently, she’s very angry at King Innocentis, but that’s not weird; the Lusitanians were the main cause of her miserable life as they killed her family and conquered her kingdom. The second thing that fell into place was Étoile sneaking inside the castle so she can inform Guiscard about the King’s situation. She successfully managed to do so, but she also successfully let him think of a plan to get rid of his brother, the princess of Maryam ,and Étoile (who knows too much) in one fell swoop.
They told the young squire to take the King to the top of the tower where Irina is held because Guiscard wanted to meet him there. Of course that was a lie, because the only thing waiting for him there was Irina’s anger. Everything went downhill from there: someone knocked out Étoile and Irina stabbed Innocentis with her knife. Like I said, it was a catastrophe waiting to happen.
Étoile was charged with treason, Irina for murder and they both got sentenced to death. Everything fell neatly into place for Guiscard, for a while. Thanks to his tremendous belly, Innocentis survived the attempted murder and didn’t end up dead like his brother wanted. Just as the two ladies were about to be killed, Hilmes arrived! He quickly saved Irina and carried her off on his horse, just like a knight in shining armor! As a fangirl, I wanting them together and this brought me great joy. Not only that, but Hilmes has now officially broken ties with Lusitania!
Meanwhile, Irina’s entourage managed to break out of prison earlier, so one of the bodyguards saved Étoile during the chaos. It turns out that he’s Alfarid’s brother, Merlane. Once the two of them figure out that they know someone in common, they decide to team up.
Then the focus shifts to the Prince and his team. Seems like they’re going to go treasure hunting at Safdie Island!
It was really fun but frustrating to see everything that happened in this episode. There was never a dull moment, and it seems like we’re brought closer to the climax! I loved how the two ladies, Étoile and Irina, were highlighted, but I also liked the spotlight on Guiscard. Hilmes also came back, even if just for a while! You can truly see that, even if Arslan is the title character, what makes a story truly interesting is the rest of the characters that surround him, even if indirectly.
To comment on the art-quality once again, I’m quite pleased that most scenes looked a-okay! The only part that looked obviously off was at the end where Hilmes and Irina were riding with his company. Some in-between drawings were off model as well, but they weren’t that noticeable.
I think that…
We’re near the climax, especially since we have only two episodes left. It makes me wonder how this season will end though. I feel like many more things need to happen, that we’re only still at the middle. I guess we’ll just have to sit back and wait.