so is he smuggling another person inside that turban or what

Our hero Mahmut is the youngest ever person to achieve the role of Pasha in the council of his beloved homeland Turkiye. He has sworn to protect the country, especially due to a terrible war with the Balt-Rhein Empire twelve years ago, that he wants to prevent ever happening again.

However, a Balt-Rhein official is found murdered with arrows from Turkiye, who demand someone be sent to see them and ‘explain’ – with the condition that should nobody arrive, Balt-Rhein would take it as a declaration of war. Another Pasha particularly close to Mahmut, Halil, decides to be the one to go to them, but Mahmut for some reason regards the whole thing as his responsibility despite the fact that he isn’t the only Pasha and also wasn’t the only one affected by the war 12 years ago. As it turns out, the assassination was an inside job and there were plans to prevent Mahmut and Halil reaching Balt-Rhein in order to start another war.

While Mahmut and his radical pet falcon (eagle?) Iskander manage to save the day and prevent this, it’s apparently only the beginning of greater and more serious things.

literally the only non-white person in the episode

This is the second time now I’ve seen an anime set in a region that is not exactly full of white people that features a cast of characters who are about 99% light-skinned. Seriously, there was one guy in the opening, and the dancer girl in the episode itself. While it’s not as bizarrely lazy and ridiculous as in Magi, I still don’t get this. I mean, the artists and writers have very, very clearly done their research on dress, architecture and names, but they couldn’t give the characters a little more olive complexion?

Anyway, this is MAPPA’s show this season, and like a lot of shows from MAPPA it looks decent enough. It does a much better job at the middle-eastern aesthetic than Magi did, and it creates an interesting backdrop for the show itself. The problem is that while it seems to promise the viewers that the story is going to be very very big – literally encompassing a massive war that will soon take place – it’s clearly going to take a while to set all that up. That’s probably a good thing, because there’s so much exposition in this episode alone that half of it is done via voiceover and text on screen (which is never much fun). It’s a little overwhelming.

This is apparently based on a manga and I’m guessing that that’s a far better medium for this story, as reading paragraphs of backstory and history is somewhat easier to digest that way. If you’re into political intrigue and military series you might be interested in this – especially one ones with more unique settings – but it does kind of feel like an overstuffed burger at this point. Furthermore, it’s simply way too early to tell if it’s going to be any good. This small taste from the first episode is honestly kind of average to me, and even with all the information it has, feels more like half an episode than a full one.

I think a show like this could succeed by the strength of its characters but I gotta be honest, Mahmut is freaking annoying. At first I thought he was kind of cute in how childish he acted but then I realized he’s supposed to be 17. I thought he was twelve. There is a ridiculous scene where the dancer (who I hope ends up doing more) asks him to dance with her and he’s all EW NO I DON’T WANT TO DANCE WITH A GIRLThen later she appears in his bed for some reason so he…goes and sleeps on the roof, blankets and all, while yelling that she isn’t allowed to follow him. Instead of just…asking her to leave, because cooties can also be contracted verbally I assume. His bird-friend Iskander is pretty cool (the fact that he’s called Iskander is also cool), but in between his childish personality and the fact that he does not remotely act like someone who is apparently a prodigy made Pasha at such a young age, I honestly have a hard time rooting for him.

I’m not going to rule this one out completely just yet – it’s definitely a show that looks like it’ll take a lot of commitment to get to the meat of it (if there is any), so I guess I’ll just be waiting until it ends and seeing if literally anyone is still talking about it.

Some of the imagery is really dang cool though.

Out of 5,

1/2

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