Project #260: Arslan Senki Part 2

Hello and welcome to Project Nitsuj. Welcome to a very special Project Nitsuj where we take a look at the second part of Arslan Senki. Last time, we saw our young prince lose his kingdom to his enemies, gather a bunch of unique followers, and are now retreating back to a stronghold to rally the forces and prepare a counterattack. Can our prince unite his broken kingdom and reclaim what belongs to his people? Let’s find out.

Opening and Ending

The opening for the second half is “Uzu to Uzu” by NICO Touches The Wall. Holy crap is this opening awesome. It’s catchy, the lyrics are great and inspiring, the instrumental is a lot of fun the listen to, and the opening animation matches up perfectly with the song. Between this song and the first one it’s hard to say which one is better. But if I had to choose I think Uzu to Uzu is the better of the two. I love UVERworld but it took me an episode or two before I fully came to like their opening. This one, I liked it the moment I heard it.

The second ending is “One Light” by Kalafina. Unlike the first ending which was peaceful this one excites you and would honestly work out well as an opening as well. While the melody is a little slower than the openings this ending still has an air of excitement and a never give up attitude that gets you pumped. Personally, I liked the first ending more but still enjoy this ending. In the end, this anime had great openings and endings.

Episodes 13-16

In episode 13 Arslan and his gang make it to Peshawar the last stronghold of Pars run by Kishward and Bahman a friend of Daryun’s uncle. Narsus is also there waiting for them where Alfreed wastes no time establishing herself as Narsus’s official wife (she better earn her keep around here otherwise we’re gonna have to let her go). Everyone is shocked by this information but none more shocked than Elam who tells Alfreed to stay away from Narsus (those two are gonna get together by the end of this series aren’t they?). So once inside Peshawar, Arslan tells Kishward that he plans on retaking the capital and also freeing the slaves (his response is a lot better than the last person Arslan told). After that not much happens. Bahman tells them that at the time they can’t amass an army to retake the capital and won’t be ready to do so until the end of the year (no screw that we need to be raiding the capital and taking names right now damn it). Daryun and Narsus provoke him for answers but he wisely gets up and leaves the meeting to avoid answering questions (well-played old man). We find out later that Bahman received a letter from Daryun’s uncle telling him the true story about the kingdom (it ain’t pretty). Now that Bahman knows the truth about the kingdom he’s unsure of what to do. Should he protect Arslan or serve the true heir to the throne (my advice to you, go with the winning side. Which is Arslan’s side). Later on, as Arslan is alone taking in the scenery (which is quite beautiful) and gathering his thoughts on the situation at hand he gets approached by Hermes who has snuck into the fortress to kill Arslan and in a sadistic moment he talks about how he’s going to kill Arslan by chopping off one of his body parts one by one before he finally decides to deliver the finishing blow to Arslan (dude, that’s a little messed up). Arslan and Hermes fight each other where even though Arslan is scared and outmatched he still fights against him and loses (well give him credit he at least had the guts to stand tall and fight instead of run away like some other MCs). Just when Hermes is about to take Arslan’s hand, Arslan grabs a nearby torch which actually scares Hermes (hey we found his kryptonite. Good work Arslan) giving the others enough time to come in and fight Hermes where he reveals who he truly is. As everyone is shocked to hear this he uses this opportunity to get pass everyone and make his way to Arslan where he’s about to stab him but Bahman protects Arslan forcing Hermes to retreat for the time being. Bahman soon dies from the sword wound and they receive news that Shindra a neighboring country is breaching their border (and so the third army appears).

In episode 14 we find out that the Shindra army numbers 50,000 men and they decide to make a stand at the citadel. The Shindra army is being led by Rajendra the second prince of Shindra who is quite arrogant when it comes to military tactics. Much like how Pars is in a state a disarray so too is Shindra as the king is stricken with illness and slowly dying. Now, both Rajendra and his older brother are fighting for the throne. Daryun and Narsus take an army of 10,000 men (alright, everyone just needs to kill 5 people and we’ll win) out to fight Shinhra’s army where they use the three principles of war to their advantage. First off “Heaven’s time”, it’s the middle of December, the Shindra army grew up in the south where it’s summer all year around (you know that phase summer never ends? Well this place takes it literally). Thus, they’re not used to the cold weather and have come underprepared (and I also doubt they know how to fight in cold weather). Second “terrain’s advantage”, the troops of Pars know the battlefield like the back of their hands so they have the advantage. Finally, “people’s harmony”, because Rajendra and his brother are fighting each other there’s a good chance his brother’s army could attack from behind. Narsus takes advantage by putting up fake soldiers and flags to fool Rajendra into thinking his brother is attacking him thus putting his army and disarray. The troops of Pars than direct the Shindra army onto a frozen lake where they get stranded and Alfreed captures Rajendra (wow, already three episodes and she’s earning her keep). They take him back to Arslan where he unties him and they have dinner (wow, if this is how Arslan treats his prisoners sign me up) where Farangis drinks Rajendra and Gieve under the table (damn woman. Putting guys to shame). Arslan tells Rajendra he wants to enter an alliance with him where he’ll help Rajendra ascend the throne and in return Rajendra will help Arslan reclaim his kingdom (sounds fair. Besides, he doesn’t have a choice in the matter. He can either join Arslan or we can hand him over to his brother). Rajendra agrees to the alliance and the next day they set out for Shindra.

In episode 15 Arslan and the army of Pars enter Shindra to defeat Rajendra’s brother Gadevi and ring in the new year (Arslan’s resolve: Become king and reclaim his land). Rajendra wants to split the troops up and take different routes but Arslan and his gang believe he’s planning to use them as a decoy (well duh, I barely have a reason to care and even I know he’s setting you up as decoys). They decide to play along with Rajendra’s plan and he sends Jaswant voiced by Wataru Hatano (Gajeel from Fairy Tail) to be their guide but in truth he’s actually working for Gadevi (wow he’s crossing everyone today). They reach a fortress being ruled by a neutral general and Gieve and Jaswant go in to see if they can pass through however Jaswant sells them out and tells the general that Pars plan to sneak past them at night (so everybody is just gonna lie to each other? Okay). Jaswant tells them to attack their provision envoy at night as they pass through where he’ll set off a flare gun alerting the general’s army but before he can set it off Gieve is there to stop him. The general’s forces no longer able to wait attack the envoy only to discover that it’s a trap (surprise, chicken!) and he gets killed along with a good chunk of his men and Gieve captures Jaswant. Jaswant says his loyalty only lies to Mahendra grand vizier of Shindra who is like a father to him (a father who uses you to betray and kill other people who get in your way). They take control of the fortress and rather than kill Jaswant, Arslan lets him go (that was a pretty ballsy move there Arslan; I hope it doesn’t come back to haunt him). While in the fortress we find out that Arslan might not really be his dad’s son (oh thank God. Those two are like the complete opposite of each other) meaning he might not be of the royal bloodline. This actually has Arslan confused on who he really is but Daryun is there like a big brother to tell Arslan it doesn’t matter who he is in the end he’s the man that Daryun choose to serve.

In episode 16 Gadevi has launched his army and is right in between Arslan and Rajendra’s army. Normally Arslan’s side would have the advantage but Gadevi has an army of 150,000 troops while Arslan’s army totals 60,000 and Gadevi’s army has war elephants (I’ve seen better odds). Gadevi splits his army in two, one side going to pin down Arslan’s army of 10 thousand while the rest of the army goes to take Rajendra’s army of 50 thousand (and if Rajendra is as weak as I think he is this fight won’t last long). We also see that Jaswant went back to Gadevi who begrudgingly spares his life despite his failure. The battle begins where Gadevi calls in the war elephants to crush Rajendra’s army and he has no answer for them and is about to lose until Arslan and the army of Pars comes to their rescue (did somebody order the deus ex Pars army?). Arslan and his army escaped out the back way before Gadevi’s army showed up and put up dummies to stall them while they escaped (Narsus you clever bastard you). With Arslan’s army the battle turns in favor of Rajendra. They defeat the war elephants by luring them into a trap where they use their spear cannons to shoot them with poisonous spears that kill the elephants (man that’s a little cruel even for me. Get ready, you guys are gonna be hearing from PETA soon). With the war elephants defeated the rest of the army becomes easy pickings and Daryun closes in to kill Gadevi. Just when Daryun has Gadevi, Jaswant comes in to save him by jumping on top of an elephant while riding a horse (let that sink in for moment. Yes, the anime had a jumping the shark moment). Jaswant saves Gadevi and retreats back to the capital where the king has finally awoken from his illness (ah yes, the “I’m here as the plot device” flu. A common illness in anime). Gadevi tries to trick him into giving him the throne but the king sees through his tricks and decides that this sibling rivalry will be settled in front of the gods in a one on one duel where the winner becomes king and the loser becomes a part of the landscape. Rajendra tells them that they’re allowed proxies in their duel and he asks Daryun to take his spot (good choice).

Episodes 17-21

In episode 17 Arslan allows Daryun to be Rajendra’s proxy and once Gadevi hears about this he gets pissed and decides if Rajendra is gonna send a monster to fight his battles he’ll send his own monster as well. He chooses Bahadur to be his proxy a giant of a man said to have the strength and body of a monster, a sadistic mind, and a man who apparently feels no pain (he may not feel pain but the body does and that’s where his weakness comes in). The match begins between the two where Arslan is rightfully worried for Daryun’s safety and even gets angry at Rajendra saying that if anything happens to Daryun he’ll have his head as well as Bahadur’s head (woah easy there little man. Still though it is nice to see Arslan get angry over Daryun’s safety. This scene just shows how much Daryun means to Arslan. To him, Daryun isn’t just a loyal soldier he’s a good friend and comrade who Arslan would go as far as calling him his brother). The fight is mostly Daryun dodging the attacks of Bahadur until he finally catches him off guard and shoves a shortsword into his neck. With this Daryun is declared the winner and Rajendra is named the new king of Shindra. Gadevi refusing to accept the results of the match (sore loser) has his men attack Rajendra and his father (well our business here is done, let’s go Arslan). Sure enough, Arslan and the others try to escape but they get caught up in the fighting and Arslan gets saved by Jaswant (hey he came to save him. Good call keeping him alive Arslan). The fighting finally stops when Mahendra gets struck down by Gadevi in a fit of rage (seriously, everybody just stops fighting. It was like the death heard around the world). Soon everybody sides with Rajendra and Gadevi is arrested for his crimes as Jaswant mourns for the death of the man he called father.

At the start of episode 18 Rajendra’s dad finally passes away and the whole kingdom mourns his death. Before dying Rajendra’s dad begs Rajendra to forgive his brother and let him live (yeah, that’s not gonna happen). Jaswant gets released from prison (why he was imprisoned in the first place is beyond me) and is placed under the care of Arslan who wants him to join his cause. That night, Rajendra hosts a banquet in honor of Gadevi (huh, maybe he will keep his brother alive) who is nervous as hell. He finally snaps when he sees Arslan who he blames for all his bad luck (Gadevi: I was defeated by a fucking trap~) and tries to kill him but gets stopped by Arslan’s eagle (oh man even the eagle can defeat him. Congratulations Gadevi you are the weakest character in this anime). He gets executed and his head is placed on display for everyone to see. As Arslan is about to leave Rajendra gives Arslan 3,000 cavalrymen for his army as a sign of their friendship but in truth Rajendra plans to double cross him and take Arslan prisoner (wow you’re an asshole). When Arslan and his troops setup camp at night Rajendra attacks them but his plan gets foiled thanks to Narsus who easily saw through his plan (yeah it was pretty obvious he was up to something) and Jaswant who tipped them off. They capture Rajendra and force him to sign a nonaggression treaty where he won’t attack Pars for 3 years. It’s either that or Arslan takes him prisoner for two years and they tell his enemies of his absence from his kingdom. Rajendra takes his leave humiliated once again (haven’t you learned man you don’t mess with Arslan) and Jaswant officially joins the group

In episode 19 we cut away from Arslan’s group and return to the kingdom of Pars (still under Lusitanian rule) which is having problems of its own. After hearing about how Innocentis has fallen for the queen, Bodwin the crazy head priest calls blasphemy on this (a pox on you king). He orders him to stop this but Innocentis and Guiscard refuse so he leaves with his army of 30,000 holy knights and takes up refuge in a castle on top of a hill which has cut the Lusitanian forces from their homeland. Bodwin says he’ll let them through if they kill the king and queen of Pars (you can kill the king but the queen stays alive) and never go against his word ever again (why don’t you just say it. You want to be king). Since they have troops to spare they ask Hermes to take care of this problem. At first he’s hesitant but after consulting with Sām another general of Pars who is unsure who to serve at the moment so he decides to serves Hermes (it’s either that or get thrown in prison) he decides to take on the mission as long as he’s allowed to use soldiers of Pars. He amasses an army of 30,000 men and sets out to face Bodwin. After easily provoking him he sends his troops out to fight the army of Pars where 2,000 of his men die and take up refuge in the castle for the time being to rethink their strategy. Back with Arslan he and his troops have returned to the citadel where he has signed and passed two decrees. One, asking all remaining troops to gather at the citadel to retake their home and two, abolishing slavery once he has ascended the throne (he’s got my vote).

Episode 20 opens up at the citadel where soldiers and lords from all over the land have heard Arslan’s message and have gathered to support him and his cause (and they say he’s not fit to be a king). As everyone is preparing for war Narsus and Daryun are worried about Arslan and his resolve to take the throne (you throw too much at the boy. He’s only 14). They’re afraid that Arslan in an act of self-righteousness will hand the throne to Hermes as a way to make up for the acts of the past (knowing Arslan he probably would do that). Speaking of Hermes we see that he and his troops have managed to break into Bodwin’s castle and retake it however Bodwin abandoned the castle some time ago leaving his men to defend for themselves (coward). The Lusitanian army hears about the gathering at the citadel and send scouts to spy on it. One of the scouts is Etolie (hey long time no see, https://youtu.be/EtJcfGJbf3o) who we find out is actually a woman (https://youtu.be/sdzf0QvEDDs). She infiltrates the citadel as a handmaid pouring drinks for soldiers as they party and get drunk (haven’t done anything and already they’re getting drunk). One of the soldiers tries to get close to her so she judo flips him and Arslan sees the whole thing (and so the traps finally meet). Arslan doesn’t recognize Etolie (can’t blame him seeing as how the last time they met her hair and face were covered) and just thinks she’s a regular girl. He covers for her and flees the scene with her where they chat and through their talk Arslan finds his resolve to take the throne and not hand it over to Hermes (future wife). The next day Arslan enters the room with confidence and tells Narsus and Daryun that he will take the throne. Even though he may not be of the royal bloodline he has the best interest for this kingdom (besides, bloodlines are overrated).

In episode 21 it’s the day before they depart the citadel and a few of the lords are unhappy with their positions in the war and don’t like Arslan’s company (particularly Gieve and Jaswant). In order to settle this Narsus stages a fight to break out between Gieve and one of the lords where Daryun gets involved and speaks about his distrust to Gieve forcing Arslan to banish him from the army. The plan works (as does all of Narsus’s plans) and Gieve leaves on a secret mission from Narsus to secure Arslan’s seat on the throne. The next day the massive army moves out where a few of the lords wanting to prove themselves to Arslan (guys you showed up to fight. That’s more than enough. Between you and me he’s easy to impress) venture off on their own in the mountain valley to take out some troops from Lusitania. They fall into a trap and get cut off from the main force but lucky for them Gieve was watching and using his guitar (I don’t know what his instrument is called so I’m just gonna call it what it looks like) to guide Arslan’s army to them and they arrive in time to save them from the Lusitanian troops (our first victory in the war).

Episodes 22-25

Episode 22 to the end is the start of our decisive battle. We see that the Lusitanian army will meet Arslan’s troops at a fort close to the kingdom. The Lusitanian troops are being led by Hermes and his second in command Sām who has sided with Hermes in the war for the throne to make it fair (war is never fair). Etoile is also taking part in the battle and the next day the battle begins as both sides fight each other. Arslan stays behind in the camp with the others while Daryun leads the charge in the first battle where he fights against (big surprise here) Xandes who survived the fall in his last battle with Daryun and has come to get his revenge (man you are a persistent bastard aren’t you?). The two fight once again and this time Daryun kills him once and for all (burn the body with fire just to make sure). Elsewhere on the battlefield Etoile gets a small force and finds her way in Arslan’s campsite where she’s shocked to find out that the boy she’s been meeting and talking to all this time was Arslan (and you had so many chances to kill him too. This whole battle could have been avoided if you had took the initiative and killed him all so long ago). Etolie tries to kill him but Elam takes a hit for him injuring him badly. When more troops show up she’s forced to retreat but gets followed secretly by Alfreed and discovers their secret passage way in the mountains. The next day comes and Alfreed takes an attack force into the secret passage and invades the Lusitanian fortress to open the gates and allow the men of Pars being led by Arslan to invade the fortress (this is pretty exciting I’m not gonna lie). Narsus takes on Sām and Farangeis takes on a room filled with the worst archers of all time as none of them can hit her or anybody else for that matter (wow, didn’t think I would see anything worse than the Stormtrooper syndrome. I shall dub this the Lusitanian syndrome). Finally, Arslan and Daryun make it to Hermes who bitches about all the humiliation he had to endure in the past (oh shut up). Daryun and Hermes fight in a pretty epic battle where they both stab each other but neither one dies (scene here: https://youtu.be/UoXIjE6EfI0). Hermes escapes thanks to some shadowing creatures that appear out of nowhere (God, you were doing so great, why did you bring in the magic element!?) and teleport him away. Sām also manages to escape and the castle soon falls to Pars. The count of the castle recognizing Arslan as a kind man accepts him and sees that his forces are decimated accepts defeat however thanks to the customs of his religion he must kill himself. Arslan tries to stop him saying there’s no need for that but the count goes through with it and as the count kills himself Etoile comes in and believes that Arslan killed him in cold blood (*chuckles* now I know what this looks like Etoile but there’s a funny story behind this). Filled with rage she attacks Arslan and knocks her helmet off revealing herself to be a girl. Farangis and a few other guards come in and take her down but they don’t kill her and instead take her as a prisoner along with many of the soldiers who surrendered and followers of the faith in the castle. With the castle now under Pars control everything settles down. Daryun gets his wounds tended, Narsus checks out the food supply where he finds Alfreed, and we get a few cute moments between Arslan and Etoile (everyone’s favorite couple). The next day they offer up a prayer to the dead soldiers and continue on their way where they burn the castle down and take the prisoners of Lusitanian with them on their journey. Back in the capital of Pars, Hermes has returned where he reaches a deal with Guiscard who wants to be the king of his nation (don’t blame him, he be a much better king than Jabba’s clone). After a few more peaceful moments the season ends with Arslan and his army continuing to the capital.

And that doesn’t for the first season of Arslan Senki but tune in Wednesday when we take a look at the second season of Arslan Senki. Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas to everyone out there.

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