The Heroic Legend of Arslan #5 – After an episode of respite, it’s back to the nasty business of old-school warfare. The Lusitanians park themselves at the gates of Ecbatana for a rousing speech about how all men are equal, but it’s delivered by a religious nutball who goes on to describe how they are about to hack one of the Parsian generals to bits while he’s still alive. Alas, his fun is cut short when a mysterious figure kills the prisoner (and any chance this show will ever make it to broadcast TV outside Japan) with an arrow through the skull.
But all this is a sideshow, as the people of Ecbatana have sown the seeds of their own destruction with that thing the show keeps harping on. I’m dubious of the practicality of getting massed soldiers to shout long sentences precisely enough to be understood; having a few agents placed among the slaves to spread the word ahead of time would be much more plausible. But the main point stands. Having slaves means the potential of a revolt if they ever believe they have a decent chance of winning.
While the city starts to fall, we have a chance to meet Gieve, travelling entertainer, suspiciously good bowman, and someone destined to survive the coming catastrophe and wind up with Arslan if the opening and closing credit sequences are to be believed. I’m guessing that when all appears to be lost, he’s going to be sent on a mission to get word to the king or the prince. He’s established his credentials as a cad, but one who can be counted on to do the good and necessary thing when the situation gets rough.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders #41 – After all that time spent on self-actualization in the last episode, Kakyōin falls victim to a last-minute burst of rules-lawyering and winds up with his soul trapped in a doll after all. Now it’s Jōtarō’s turn to step up to the plate… literally.
I’m sorry, there’s just no way to get edge-of-the-seat, heart-pounding suspense out of a baseball game. Even one where one side doesn’t even know the rules and is just fumbling along. Jōtarō seems to be using the same strategy he defeated the elder D’Arby with– forget about figuring out the rules of the game, just win the mental side of it with sheer attitude.
The key to how this will all be resolved is, what exactly does Atum do? It’s not messing with the game directly. (Speaking of mysterious powers, when did Hermit Purple switch from spirit photography to some kind of generalized psychic scan?) It might be something to do with D’Arby’s habit of asking his opponents to guess what he’s going to do. Is it checking out microscopic reactions to his guesses? Maybe some kind of limited precognition?
Mikagura School Suite #5 – It feels like the show is killing time this week with a very meandering episode. Still, there are a few points worth noting. Eruna has gotten a chance to work her charm on the sole member of the Flower Arranging Club, and the head of the Art Club has been lined up to get the treatment next.
Meanwhile, she’s also having a noticeable effect on Seisa, who is enjoying herself and smiling for the first time in who knows how long. But it seems to be coming along with increased flashes of whatever it was that drove Seisa into isolation.
Eruna is also probably on her way to meet Azumi Sagara, the first truly unpleasant person to be properly introduced. Sagara is what gamers call a griefer– someone who doesn’t enjoy winning unless someone else loses and suffers in the bargain. As such, she’s a direct opposite to Eruna’s philosophy that everyone should be having fun, and going to provide a battle that truly means something. Hopefully that’s coming up next week, because it feels like this show is losing its way.