Shoukoku no Altair-What is the Cost of Peace?

Sensei here, Tanteikid and I think this show is a very underrated show in Mappa’s catalog. Long-time followers of my blog will know that we are big fans of The Heroic Legends of Arslan and Kingdom(The Three Kingdom-inspired anime and manga not the Korean historical zombie thing). We obviously would review this show. We love Tugril’s struggles to protect his country and to prevent wars. Unfortunately, Tugril always leaves a huge number of bodies in his path. I will let Tanteikid continue the review.

My knowledge of the Ottoman Empire is extremely limited, I only know that Count Dracula prevented them from invading Wallachia and Transylvania by putting the bodies of their soldiers on stakes. I think the Ottoman were usually the invading force, this anime is unique in its framing of the Ottoman as the main characters.  This one also spins a sprawling tale, with a huge cast of characters (I am hopeless at remembering characters so please check the wiki). The story has a few tidbits of real history, and the players of this 4D chess game are actual nations and groups existing around the “Centro Sea” (The Mediterranean). There are anachronisms in the series because some of these groups did not exist in the same time period.

Shoukoku no Altair takes a different approach to the historical battle/war anime formula because its Main character Tugril is an advocate for peace, so he takes measures to avoid battle. And then battles are only fought when and after preparations and different strategies are considered and completed. The fact that Tugril was appointed Pasha at such a young age shows his skills and intelligence (I think he is on the same level as Sora, NGNL; Light, Death Note; Lelouch, Code Geass and Shiro, Log Horizon). His enemies: Louis Virgilio, Al-Kaplan Balaban, and Lelederik of Ellvaldez are no slouches either. All are excellent military generals and/or politicians. Each character takes his/her to evaluate the gains, merits, profits and interests that each participating side will gain from the war.  I would call this show The Game Theory of wars because economics plays a big part in the success or failure of campaigns.

 The clash of ideas, ambitions and wits together with their innovative and creative strategies made this show unique and enjoyable. The series also does a great job at exploring the developments of Mahmut’s character as he finds himself caught up in the war. He is a skilled fighter and tactician, but he hates wars and battles. Yet, in his travels to gain allies, he leaves a huge number of bodies in his wake when he leads soldiers into battles. Most of the time, this is not Turgil’s fault because when ideals and beliefs clash wars will be the outcome. This leads to a gradual change in how he plans out his negotiations and strategies with potential allies and foes alike. In the end, Turgil comes to the conclusion that the costs of peace are war, blood and death; Turgil accepts that he must carry the ghosts of all those who die in his wars on his shoulders.

The series does have an open ending as the battle between Turkiye and Balt-Rhein is still ongoing by the end of the series, which is sadly due to its manga source material still ongoing at the point I wrote this review.

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