Well… This is not a final episode. There is absolutely no way. Not only is there not a conclusion, but it’s a beginning to an even more tense situation! There has to be a third season, finalizing film, or a short OVA series even to wrap up the series in a possible non-canon way, since the manga’s continuing.
This episode was both good and bad. It was a good second-last episode, but not a good finale episode. It is not wrapped up at all, in fact it introduced more characters and mysteries. It poses moral and ethical issues in the future, and it is leading up to the epic battle!
The ending is so hype. Its upbeat with battle music, everyone’s ready to go, they’re going to march to Ecbatana, without completing the goal of 50,000 men. Now I never even considered they would march without the required men, but who would have think Andragoras would march without them ether? Well he is!
The new characters are the Temple Knights, and a letter left behind from Lord Bahaman. From season one. Tahamine seems to know exactly when the letter is found, before the finder, Kishward- gets to read it. The King promptly destroys the letter, along with some speech about how the royal family is just fancily dressed people, capable of bloodshed.
The temple knights are also staying in Maryam, and have the sword from episode 1. They are now using it as a symbol that their God has spited the Parsians, in giving them their special sword. Hilmes promptly shows up and retrieved the sword. Where’s Princess Irina? No idea.
Also on the Hilmes front, there is a rivalry between the Zot siblings and Hilmes now, despite Merlain saving him, because Hilmes is the one who killed their father back in the first season. Also Alfareed was the new chief as decided by her father. She ran away, not Merlain.
We are also shown that a number of generals and Marz Bhan are not happy with the treatment shown to Arslan. This is also probably why he was sent away. A lot of the higher ranked soldiers are fans of Arslans, and are more likely to follow him into battle because they trust him. Andragoras is kind of in a no-win situation in this, because he either is unfavored because he sent Arslan away, or he unfavorable because people like Arslan more.
Farangis is starting to annoy me a bit as well. Lately she’s been a lot more preachy. Granted she hasn’t had much of a role, aside from the character with boobs, but the whole Djinn are restless stuff is annoying. Definitely less annoying than the Temple Knights, but it just seems too.. Convenient. Throughout the series she hasn’t really been of much use. Sure, she’s a great archer, but Gieve is also. She is really only in the forefront when she is pretending to be a prostitute for 5 minutes to get information. I think as a character she doesn’t hold an important position.
Narsus throughout these 8 episodes has been getting a bit dull. Sure he figured out Shagad was the inside man but a good episode after we did, based off of the conversations between Shagad and Narsus. And then the Graze situation, and finally, in this episode he is surprised by Arslans choice, he didn’t anticipate or think of something similar. He’s losing his touch.
The rivalry between Alfareed and Elam also ramped up. While Narsus dropped the ‘anti-marriage’ anger after the Zot were useful to him, Elam picked it right back up. Conflict between the two of them was often like siblings, but Elam was just savage this season.. Im surprised he isn’t pushing Alfareed out of the door with her brother telling her to go back to where she belongs.
Daryun is Daryun, he’s the same. He didn’t have a huge role these 8 episodes, and frankly no one felt like they had a huge role. It felt so rushed, it was just cycling through characters one after another to speed up the timeline, despite the timeline being at a snails pace.
The king of Lusitania, and Etoiles request, Arslan is going to fulfill her request. But not because he wants to help the king. It’s a bit complicated. First, Etoile tries to promise to have Lusitania leave Pars, which she has absolutely no control over. Narsus, in a moment of clarity, points this out, that she has no power. This doesn’t stop her from asking. And Guiscard is so angry as the Parsians, that the only way to get him out would be to kill him.
Arslan is marching to Ecbatana because he doesn’t see the need to kill everyone. He knows Andragoras will want to specifically kill everyone, but that is not necessary, and he intends to hopefully stop all kinds of damage from happening. He apologizes to Daryun for getting him involved, especially if there is a direct conflict with King Andragoras.
So the overall season, there was too much CGI. Like WAY too much CGI. It started off okay, with large scale battles being CGI, but when Azrael, boats, individual soldiers, and windows- yes, CGI windows- then it seems a bit excessive.
The storyline, after entering the port city, became very Yona of the Dawn-like, and less Arslan-like. That whole arc was happening when your counting down the episodes, waiting for the fight! After the 3rd episode.. It doesn’t really feel like it’s the same show, or that its so far off track that its not worth watching. No questions we have have been answered, and some of the new information hasn’t even been answered. Such as, Jimsa from the first episode? Why would there be so much focus on him as a possible enemy if he was literally never going to be brought up again, the entire Turanian army was never brought up again even after the king was murdered 5 minutes after retreating.
The only way I can see this series being resolved, seeing as the Manga is still ongoing, is to do an OVA series conclusion. It most likely wont be a satisfying ending, because the manga’s not done so either not everything lines up, or to hide the conclusion we are given a false ending, Like in FMA. Brotherhoods ending was miles upon miles better than FMAs. It just wasn’t satisfying. Even if we got a half ending, like from season 1, it wouldn’t have been that disappointing. At least they achieved a goal. They reached Peshawar. Now they’re setting out? And its not even a cliffhanger, its just… not an ending. Its not a finale. Nothing has happened. Nothing has happened for 5 episodes now.
So as a series, its sub par. As a setup for a final few episodes to finish the series, it does a great job of setting the bar low. At this point I just want to know Arslans birth story and figure out who is going to be on the throne. If Andragoras is the king again after this, im gunna flip a table. Just pleeeeease! Give us a conclusion of SOMETHING before you call it a finale.
Episode Rating: B-
Overall Rating: C