Shoukoku no Altair Episode 4: [The Eagle’s Joint Struggle]
On Zehir’s orders Mahmut goes to contact his spy network. He thus returns to his village where his mom and all his friends and relatives died. There, he meets with one of the spies, Suleyman, who is a Kulak, a liaison agent. Let’s be honest, the guy is pretty cool. He is also an eagle handler and has blond hair and blue eyes just like Mahmut. You have guessed it, he belongs to the same tribe as our young hero, the Tughril tribe.
He starts to tell his past to Mahmut. How he was in Florence when the tribe was destroyed, as a necessary sacrifice to win a war. He too, never really got over his loss until he met with Zehir Zaganos who was only 14 years old at the time. This is a crucial piece of information to me since I now know that Zehir was probably born bad-ass. And he’s even more cool when he comes back at the age of 18, already being a pasha to ask Suleyman to become the leader of his spy network.
However, some servants of Minister Louis called Rod Orms assassins arrive and start doing some shit all around. The blond assassin woman who does not have a name is here too. Actually, I don’t really know if she has a name or not, I’ve never bothered to try to remember it. Mahmut, Suleyman and the other guy who seemed like an old guy but who is still pretty energetic, are ready to kick some asses. Sadly Mahmut makes two consecutive mistakes and they are forced to retrieve from combat. Unlike Mahmut, that blonde girl learned from her previous mistakes and if Mahmut was alone against her I don’t know if he would have survived the fight. So the bad guys put fire to the village. Suleyman and Mahmut fight alongside once again and manage to over power the three lame assassins.
So this episode is the episode where Mahmut meets with his past thanks to Suleyman who is a fellow tribesman. It’s also the continuation of his initiation journey where he learns the hard way that nothing is as easy as he thought. Being an eagle handler means you need to think first and observe your enemy before rushing into battle like he did earlier.
I liked the introductory sequence, in which Mahmut has a nightmare. I believe it sums up the situation pretty as well as reinforcing the feeling that Mahmut has a lot on his mind and is still pretty affected by his familly’s loss. Furthermore, it highlights Mahmut is fully aware of his own powerlessness now that he is not a pasha anymore.
In terms of animation there were less awkward faces and some nicely drawn still images although I’m still not a fan of how Mahmut is drawn but heh… I guess I’ll just have to move on right?
Overall this episode was less engaging than the previous one that’s why I don’t have much things to say about it. Let’s hope next episode will be more impacting with Mahmut arriving to Phoenicia.