Shoukoku no Altair First Impressions (1): Birds are stronger than I expected

Ahh I just giving myself another opportunity to show off my complete lack of historical knowledge? I don't know how accurate this series is, but Turkey seems like a new and interesting place to use as a setting. The political setup in this first episode was pretty interesting to watch. The series introduces us to a tension between two nations and shows us potential enemies on both sides. I wasn't expecting the conflict in this first episode to resolve itself, but I guess the series needed to show off Mahmut's skills a bit.

I thought this scene was funnier than it probably should have been. Mahmut's reaction to seeing a dancer in his bed is to hide on the roof. But more to the point, this part of the episode marked a pretty sudden tone change. Before this point, the episode seemed like a lighthearted introduction for Mahmut, but then it immediately jumps into a fight between Mahmut and a random thief the next day. After that scene ends, we're suddenly in war talks.

The biggest nagging point for me in this episode, though, has to be Mahmut's investigation into the assassination. I had a lot of trouble believing that the arrow Mahmut needed to examine was just sitting around for him to find. It's also possible that the arrow in the church was a normal arrow that made Mahmut realize the discrepancy, but then you'd have to explain how Mahmut saw the arrow used to kill Franz.

I also thought that the way that Halil explained the Empire's position in the carriage with Mahmut was a nice touch. It served to introduce the Empire as the major political force in the area, and Halil was able to draw an interesting conclusion from the subterfuge used to provoke a war. It also explained the confusing council meeting near the beginning of the episode. If the Empire has the superior political position, it makes more sense for Turkiye to cater to its demands.

In all, this episode had its issues, but it still looked promising. I think I'm interested enough to keep watching more.

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