Shoukoku no Altair Episode 3: [The Council of Generals]
This week’s episode picks up exactly where we left last week: Mahmut is being threatened by big blond eye-patched bad guy. The Araba tribesmen are realizing the empire lied to them and Ibrahim is thinking he has no choice but to fight with the empire against Turkiye’s troops. Soon after, some eagles, probably summoned by Mahmut magical powers, take off the tent where the hostages where kept, so the bad guys can’t put it on fire anymore, thus allowing the hostages to escape and Ibrahim to open the city gates to let Zaganos’ troops in.
After summoning the eagles, Mahmut gets on his feet and straight off strangles the bad eye patched guy. As he proceeds to kill the bad guy, Mahmut has an internal monologue. He thinks Ibrahim was right to prioritize his people over stopping the uprising. Furthermore, he adds that he would want to have someone like Ibrahim as a Vali. So this is where I’m pretty upset because this passage is different from the manga.
In the manga Mahmut pretty much says: “I’m not helping you [Ibrahim] because I agree with your methods. Even if you have caused this political disaster, even if you are the worst governor in the country, you are my friend”. So in the manga version, Mahmut appears as a character who understands the stakes of a Vali’s duty and acknowledges his friend did a poor job in the current situation. Mahmut is also a guy who puts friendship first and is pretty much making the same mistake as Ibrahim because, going to Hisar to help his friend against the Divan’s instructions, is not acting like a Pasha at all. BUT, the anime Mahmut does not even realize this fact and seems even more unfit to be a pasha. By claiming he wants a Vali like Ibrahim, Mahmut clearly shows he has not learn anything from the past two episodes and still does not comprehend the importance of not mixing personal feelings and political duties. So, I personally prefer the manga’s lucid Mahmut over anime’s idealistic Mahmut.
Then, Mahmut makes the decision to release Araba people and has to face, along with Zaganos and Ibrahim, Turkiye’s Divan. The latter decides to take no action against Zaganos, neither against Ibrahim even though his actions were crimes against Trukiye’s nation. Mahmut however is retrograded to the rank of Binbashi. Halil pasha explains him what should have been clear from the beginning: going to rescue a friend is a noble act but not a pasha’s duty. And if Halil’s benevolent scolding was not enough, Zaganos also tells him he is currently not fit to be a pasha. However, he gives him the means to contact the spies he left all across the continent. Finally, Mahmut realizes all of his mistakes and decides to leave to contact Zaganos’ spy network thinking this journey will help him to become worth of the pasha’s title.
To me this episode was satisfactory. Mahmut understood his mistakes and realized what being a Pasha really means. This marks the end of “Mahmut is an irresponsible and reckless brat” arc. Those first free episodes served as a prologue to Mahmut’s realization of his flaws and beginning of his journey to become a more suitable pasha. I believe Mahmut is a great character, he has a noble sense of justice and is pretty badass too. I mean, first you could think he is the type of character that does not know how to do anything but see how he coldly killed the bad guy? man, that was something.Also, I can assure you the kid is not going to stop there. The change in Mahmut lines when he kills the bad guy surprised me but after all, this changement will only make the shift in Mahmut’s character bigger. The lower you start, the greater the improvement might be right?