By Shanel Kamara
I was ecstatic to discover that Shoukoku no Altair (English title: Altair: A Record of Battles) – a unique manga series, notable for its setting and beautiful illustrations, which I began reading almost a decade ago - would receive an anime series. It’s ironic (or maybe not) how much I love Shoukoku no Altair considering the fact that it’s historical; history was my weakest subject at school, but that fact alone has done nothing to deter me from cherishing this manga and now anime. Honestly, I can’t identify one particular reason for my fondness for this work. I don’t know whether it’s the characters, setting, plot or all these aspects combined that fascinates me but what I do know is that regarding my top ten manga and anime series, Shoukoku no Altair is definitely way up there on my list.
Shoukoku no Altair follows Mahmut Tuğrul – a young Pasha in the Türkiye stratocracy who seeks long lasting peace for his nation after the death of his mother in the war with the Balt-Rhein Empire. However, at his first ever Diwan meeting, he is met by opposition in the form of Zehir Zaganos Pasha of the war faction who dismisses his view. The topic of discussion is regarding whether to go to war or to send the culprit behind the assassination of Minister Franz of the Baltein Empire after somebody discovers the minister’s body with an arrow with the crest of the Türkiye stratocracy on it. However, after a much-needed pep talk from Serhir Khalil, an older Pasha who took Mahmut under his wing, Mahmut decides to investigate the matter further thus presenting a third option. His investigation proves successful, and he manages to stave off a potential war. Subsequently, he sets off on a journey to learn more and discover the best way he can protect his homeland.
I was overall very impressed with how faithful episode 1 remained to chapter 1 of the manga series, but I would have liked to have seen the animation style more similar to that of Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash. Other than that, I have no qualms about this episode or this anime. Shoukoku no Altair is definitely one to watch if you’re looking for something with a bit of culture, style, and panache.
Altair: A Record of Battles E.01