Episode 24 brings our team to Ecbatana and the awaited confrontation between Hermes and Arslan. Who will win the throne and claim Pars’ kingdom for his own? More importantly can HLoA pull this story together at all in its last two episodes?
Here we have it ladies and gentleman. Wake up, put back on your socks/shoes, and be sure you have your belongings because this is the last stop before the final destination.
Etoile reaches Arslan’s secret camp and for the very first time realizes his true identity. The young boy that he’s been running into this entire time is none other than the ultimate enemy seeking to take back the throne of Pars. It is in this moment that we understand just how weak Arslan’s writing was and how flimsy its character development has been.
The confrontation between Etoile and Arslan should have been a linchpin of the series. In reality these two are two sides of the same coin. They are both good people trying to do right for their respective sides. This should have been a meeting of tragedy as two people who could be united under any other circumstances are forced to fight one another (potentially to death). Unfortunately, While watching this scene all we get is a time-waster (and an Arslan bacon-saver). Etoile freaks out and stabs Elam as he defends Arslan and then runs off due to being outnumbered.
If you read Dan’s review of Episode 23 you’ll remember that he felt Etoile’s appearance at Arslan’s secret camp was fairly ridiculous. Well, you ain’t seen nothing yet people! Alfreed is tasked with following Etoile and discovers that there’s a secret cave from the area leading to….Pars! This sets the Parsian defense sequence into motion as the walls are seized by Alfreed’s team and Lusitania’s forces start to crumble. The one saving grace here is that Arslan actually takes up arms and joins the troops in battle. It’s about time kiddo.
The problems for this episode begin here and if we had better understanding of the characters I would have had an easier time swallowing the events that follow. Nonsensical things begin to happen because the writers wanted to show off Arslan’s forces. In one scene Arslan and Daryun are nearly to Hermes, when they get caught in a room full of archers raining arrows from up above. Farangis straight up walks into the room and starts wrecking guys with her superior archery. She then turns to Arslan and states that she cannot be hit by the arrows of these heathens. She has “divine protection”. I almost threw my laptop in frustration.
Prior to this, things looked dire but Kubard shows up at the last minute to lend his aid. Did he run out of booze to drink and women to bed? He made a whole speech about how he wants to be his own man and not get tied down by a master. Has he just been following Arslan’s exploits and got tipped off that it’s the penultimate episode?! In a display of fourth wall breaking glory, it’d be just like Kubard to hear that there’s an episode entitled “A Decisive Battle” and say “Oh hell yes…I am making my return right here!”
All of this just makes the episode silly and frustrating to watch. There’s no real tension, no suspense, no…feeling…to this episode. It’s just sequences of action.
To make up for the hideous battle last week we get an amazing battle with Daryun and Hermes. It’s a shame this much effort wasn’t put into other fight scenes in the show. It’s also a shame it all ends in Hermes being rescued by cheater sorcery. All we needed was Gieve to show up right beside Daryun and help him off to the side. Gieve is notably absent from the episode which is a shame because by this point I was excited to see what kind of crazy, timeline-be-damned method the show was going to use to throw him in.
This episode has a bizarre shift in tone towards the end of it. I’ll admit that a lot of people die in Arslan and yes, we’ve seen blood, but most of the show has been off-screen deaths and tame violence (CG battles anyone?). Women throwing themselves off of a high tower to commit suicide?! We were given those small moments of morally gray glimpses into both sides (Pars and Lusitania) so we could make up our own minds about who is “evil” and what it means to be “good”. Yaldaboath faith dictates that men and women should commit suicide rather than listen to another set of views. Oh…well that certainly throws out all the interesting notions I had about these two sides. Sorry HLoA…I didn’t mean to give you so much credit.
The episode ends with a misunderstanding where Etoile walks in just in time to see what looks like Colonel Barcacione being stabbed by Arslan. It is here that Arslan learns the secret the audience learned in episode 20. We are now primed for the final battle.
Arslan actually took to the stage and fought in this episode and I was extremely impressed with some of the battles. I appreciated that the last stop before the end was action packed from beginning to end. Unfortunately the nonsensical character sequences, the culmination of poor character development, and the unnecessarily dark tone shift at the end made this episode mediocre.
Streaming on Hulu
Links: Wikipedia, My Anime List
So what would seem be the problem with the Divine Protection Farangis possesses?Have we so easily forgotten the superhuman capabilities in the many Black Lagoon characters?Don’t tell us,there are double standards ..?
Alrighty, so let’s start with Black Lagoon. Black Lagoon is a show that really sells itself as being over the top and wild. Right from Episode 1 understood what it was trying to be so the superhuman abilities of a lot of the characters just felt an extension of the show’s desire to be crazy as heck action (#Roberta4Life).
Arslan on the other hand felt like it was a somewhat realistic military fantasy. Nobody won or lost battles using magic or something otherwordly (I guess that sorcerer guy showed up in an episode or two at the end but that was just…odd and didn’t really have much bearing on the plot). We learn almost zilch about Farangis throughout the whole show and then suddenly…here in the penultimate episode she magically has the ability to walk into a room full of arrow shooting soldiers and just…not get hit. Can she do this all the time? Does it work on swords or spears such that she can just be impossible to hit when she wants? Why is this power only coming out now?! It didn’t make any sense and it got used as a plot device. That was my major issue with it. Does that help you understanding of why I didn’t like it? Let me know!
Thanks for reading and commenting.
Actually these anime(manga too)have something in common:They have a military element,and characters so deep,rife with capabilities close to superhuman.Plus in Arslan it’s being over the top for this young man to be tasked with such Great National Duties.Will he and his friends really make it?
Plus:What if by a strange twist Arslan and his team would be teleported in Roanapur?How would these Iranians feel and interact in Roanapur?And their cultural shock about seeing,for their first time,motorcade,electricity and guns…?
A skirmish between Daryun and villains.?
Hmmm…it looks like we’re just gonna have to agree to disagree then. I don’t agree with you that Arslan having to deal with Great National Duties is over the top. I just think of that as “Grand Scale” type of scenario. I am referring to over the top in like a…Gurren Lagann sort of way; so out of whack that you have to take it in and just be okay with it. I still stand by my comment that Farangis gets no setup for the Divine Protection of Mithra event, and that I felt like it was nonsensical. If you didn’t feel this way, I totally respect that.
I’m not sure what you are asking for regarding the “Plus” section of your comment.
Well then it is a “Grand Scale”.About the “Plus” it’s a fanfiction:How would be like if through a time portal these guys enter in Roanapur?How would they feel in the 20th century there and interact with the people there?
A fanfiction huh?
Well okay let’s see….
I think Narsus would somehow be just fine and get straight on learning everything he could get his hands on regarding the technology, culture, religion, etc that exists today. He’s a worldly fellow.
Farangis would still shoot arrows…and then she’d teach herself to shoot guns because she’s a championship markswoman. I think she’s also explore religion of our time because that seems to be very important to her person.
Alfreed would buy a motorcycle. Don’t ask me why…I just…see her riding one. Elam would be yelling at her to wear a helmet while he sat around studying medical textbooks from our time. I see him as the studious type.
Daryun would eventually adjust to learn more martial arts and use his crazy ass spear skills to fight for justice.
Arslan would sit around confused…until everyone learned a lot and started explaining it to him. I don’t feel like he’d adjust well cause he takes a long time to do things. The world today moves very fast.
What do you think? As you can tell I am quite bad at fanfiction, haha!
See my point now?Thanks.And to make exciting too let’s bring them in a fight to the one other gang.And soon they return to their era and place.
That sounds like you are off to a great start. I’m glad my random ideas helped, haha.
Well I feel Arslan would adjust very easily and quickly to all these marvels surrounding them in the 20th century there,in Roanapur.Thanks fella,be seeing you.
Well cool beans then ^__^. Please come back anytime and read our other reviews!!
Hmm,The Gargoyles,the mid’ 90’s animated series is a Good one.Here’s a Fanfic
Let’s imagine the Gargoyles,they secretly enter in Roanapur .
Shortly after “El Baile De La Muerte” Rock is depressed,in agony and question about who he really is.At the same time Xanatos is there,he’s up to obtain an ancient grimoire:The Necronomicon(H.P.Lovecraft is here!)to augment the Strength of his Steel Clan.The Gargoyles learned of this planand came on his trail,utilizing the spells they were taught by Tom the Guardian they made their quick,safe entry there in Thailand,Roanapur.And began some glights over Roanapur to learn what kind of place this is.It might have stayed all of this way from any curious eyes and ears -but Goliath to defend a lonely old woman takes on Colombian thugs(they were about to torture her grand son ,just to get fees).
One of them get’s way,he’s scared to death,he’s screaming about a Monster!.”SAVE ME FROM THE MONSTER !! ” “Was it Roberta?”.”No Abrego,it wasn’t Roberta! It was a POWERFUL MONSTER.Three meters tall,with dragonlike wings on its shoulders,and it’s eyes were full of Fire!!”.But no one believes him.
Yet the rumors(about a Superhuman Monster prowling at night)are going Strong,throughout Roanapur.Every cartel boss hears about this,they’re unbelieving,”so who cares about a stupid rumor?!..There’s no such Monster in this world,in Our city.And even if it were we would kill it off”.
But soon,in the city gunmen attack in Rowan’s Show, the muscle guy Sam Park took four girls as his hostages.So the mercenaries felt real confident they would make it….suddenly an Immence,wild roar is heard.Goliath,Hudson and Brooklyn entered and bested the scared thugs,thus saving the girls .Particularly Goliath knocked down easily Sam Park.The Gargoyles swiftly fled way,and then the police men came.
“Yes chief Watsap.The Gargoyles deald with the terrorists, especially their Leader defeated the muscle heads and saved all of us”Joanna testiefied to the Police Chief.
The news spread on Roanapur,soon Mr Chang ,the local leader of the Triad heard og this.Plus:Amateur artists made drawings of the Gargoyles,many saw them ,the lagoon company,Eda too.
And then came the escalation.Because the Gods had noticed the moves and intentions of Xanatos,so Zeus,and Athena came in a meeting with their counterparts,Hastur,Fokalor and Yog Sothoth.
“The Fierce Knowledge in Necronomicon is about the construction of the Weapons we used during the Clash of the Titans,and now an entire network of plunderers comes to usurp of it…not reckoning with what kind of Fire are about to play with”!So Zeus said.
“We agree”,Hastur,Fokalor and Yog Sothoth told . “And how we’ll stop them?”
Hastur,you’ve said,hat you’d deploy a human for such cases”, Zeus told him.
“Certainly!It just needs my old ones on His good side,they would not re appear on the surface for petty reasons”.
“Very well,Menes will awake,with all the Acolytes,soldiers about a such Venture”,Zeus and Athena concluded.
“Thanks for your generous offer”,Hastur remarked.So he turned and said:”Fokalor,go to Earth and notify your protégées,the Gargoyles and the Ghouls about our wills.You Yog Sothoth,find Menes and wake up his genuine memories so he will march for the Cause.He’s been Dormant,now he is to awake and ”. Then swiftly Fokalor journeyed,to Earth and talked to his protégées.
Sekhmet talked to her protégées too:The Liondsweh!Namely the Lion men ,hidden for many millennia now in caverns-way from the human perceptions. Now it was their time to resurface and join the Risk.
And we hear:Y’AI’NG’NG AH YOG-SOTHOTH H’EE-L’GEB F’AI THRODOG UAAAH
Yog Sothoth found “Rock” Rokuro Okajima and dispersed his fake memories,and wakened his True ones:That actually he’s the Sumerian magical Fighter Menes,and kin of the hero Gilgamesh !He had been born in prehistoric Iraq ,in 3099 b.C.,the priesthood of Ur saved from certain Assassination ,thanks to the Time portal he traveled in the future. Once he arrived he was disguised as a “ordinary Japanese” young man in the mid 90’s Japan, even with a forged past so no one would ever question who he really was.