What They Say:
Arslan and his party head for the port city of Gilan to the south and get a lay of the land as they begin their attempt to assemble an army of 50 thousand men as King Andragoras ordered.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Andragoras may have attempted to banish Arslan with an impossible task and forbid everyone from helping him, but Arslan has proven that ruling with compassion inspires a great deal more respect than intimidation, and as such, all of the main party members from the first season rejoin Arslan in his newly mandated quest, whether they had sworn loyalty to Andragoras or not. This provides a fresh start that that fits with the beginning of the second season (although by the end of this episode, that season is already halfway over), paring down the party to the essentials in preparation for an army far bigger than what they had amassed throughout the first season. Is this can ever happen, it certainly won’t be in this season, but even if the team does genuinely want to fulfill this request at the moment, the winds of change can blow in at any moment and change their course of action dramatically. They’re at least starting by giving it the old college try, though, and there’s no better way to do that than to call upon an old college buddy. The reactions of nearly everyone but Narsus to the idea of him having a legitimate friend is quite entertaining, although considering two of the few people who pledged their undying loyalty to Arslan did so purely due to their allegiance to Narsus, it’s not terribly surprising that he could have a real friend.
Speaking of which, before they can come across that friend, they run into the classic enemies along a road: bandits! If their face makeup looks familiar, it’s no coincidence; these are Alfarid’s people, and her claim of marriage truly comes in handy for the first time, adding a new group to those who serve Narsus and by extension Arslan, such a convenient turn of events that Narsus can’t even deny this falsehood for the sake of their cause. In fact, he doesn’t even manage to successfully deny it when they do meet up with his friend Shagad, who Alfarid makes the same claim to when Narsus is absent, their conversation instead turning to more serious matters. Shagad is every bit the great friend to Narsus that everyone was hoping for, but his principles no longer line up with those that Arslan and crew have been pushing in their work up to now. He enjoys great wealth as a merchant in Gilan, but does so at the expense of countless slaves who are no freer following Arslan’s decree. The viceroy of Gilan is far worse than Shagad, though, a shameless, slimy man who will do anything to acquire more wealth and stay within all good graces that would benefit him. The city of Gilan is clearly a problematic place just on the land.
But on the water, the stakes are kicked up a notch. How do you follow up bandits? Pirates work. Upon hearing of these pirate attacks and quickly experiencing them, the team proceeds to take them down just as easily as any unremarkable aggressors, much of the work done by Gieve simply informing them of Daryun’s identity. This is particularly amusing as Gieve is never one to compliment a man but is shrewd enough to know that a few simple words can send their enemies running away with great ease. This leaves an intrigued sea merchant marveling at their work, perhaps proving to be a more agreeable and forthright ally than the others from Gilan have been.
Arslan and crew are back together without a massive army, instead tasked to assemble a much more massive one. How long their earnest attempt to do so will last is uncertain, but the first steps in that process introduce a number of interesting characters of some moral ambiguity.
Streamed By: FUNimation
Roku 3, Sceptre X425BV-FHD 42″ Class LCD HDTV.