I’m not the only one getting a real Fellowship of the Ring vibe from these episodes, right? Arslan is Frodo, Daryun is Strider, Narsus is Arwen obviously. Narsus’ little friend is another hobbit. Yeah it totally works. The only issue is the other hobbit isn’t nearly homosexual enough with Arslan to be representative of Sam and Frodo but I’m sure we’ll get there eventually. Arslan is already showing signs of wanting to cook together.
One of the issues I’m having with the show right now is, like many grand fantasy stories, I’m finding it a little tough to get emotionally invested in the characters. I like Arslan himself quite a bit, especially in the first two episodes, because he felt like he had serious weaknesses. He felt human with flaws and everything. The more the story focuses on people like Narsus and Daryun, the more it suffers. Those people just don’t seem to have any character flaws (not sure if painting badly is a character flaw). It’s hard to care about amazing people when they seem near infalliable.
At least that’s a problem I personally often have with fantasy. It’s part of the reason why I found it impossible to really get into Moribito. Balsa was just too perfect and unflappable that I couldn’t really bring myself to care. It’s very much a taste thing since I know many people hate weak characters and want awesome people being awesome. I’ve had it described to me as competency porn, where you get pleasure watch people being really good at everything. I like my characters flawed though. Which to be fair I can see this show eventually doing, considering it comes from the same author who wrote Legend of the Galactic Heroes. There was a story that managed to make incredible people like Yang Wenli and Reinhard still come off as flawed and human. So I’m sure as Arslan builds up his fellowship of the ring, we will see more human characters come through.
When I saw this dude shoot the arrow into Shapur’s head (RIP Shapur, you never had time to get a nickname, probably because you had no distinguishing traits), I could have sworn it was a woman. I even said to myself “oh of course the female character to join Arslan’s fellowship is the archer”. The only time women aren’t the archers is if magic exists and they can be the healer or sexy dark witch. But no instead it was just a very effeminate man, which in the world of anime always means they are sexy womanisers.
I rather like him already but I feel they ruined his little musical performance by randomly putting in a flute player too. Let his instrument do the talking. We’re supposed to be wowed by his playing. When you stick in a second instrument that’s not even being played in the scene, and not only that but an instrument that plays the primary melody in the song, then you’ve severely diminished the purpose of the scene. Not terribly impressive directing. Indeed I haven’t been impressed with the directing in Arslan in general. It gets by almost entirely on the strength of its writing and source material.