Giant Beasts of Ars
by Grant Jones,
How would you rate episode 5 of
Giant Beasts of Ars ?
Community score: 3.6
Now that the entire team is together and the adventure is afoot, this week's episode gives us a glimpse of what Giant Beasts of Ars is shaping up to be: a pretty standard fantasy story, but with enough interesting bits at the edges to make things enjoyable.
The setup is pretty run-of-the-mill high-fantasy adventuring. The party has to go through a particular area, and so they must pass through a Mountaineer village. They stop in the village for the night, learn a bit about themselves and each other, have a few fights, then move on. It's a familiar framework.
What makes it interesting is the minor details. We get more than a few hints at Jiro's past and his traveling experiences, given that he's acquainted with the wandering old man and the leader of the Mountaineer village (which prompts a genuinely great comedy beat at the gate when the letter reveals Jiro's name). Other small bits – like the banter between Jiro and the leader of the village, or the rise of one of the villagers from pebble to boulder – make for fun throughlines in the episode.
But perhaps most interesting are the details we learn about the Mountaineer society. They certainly encompass a wide range of topics, from the Mountaineers' general feelings on grudges (why bother) to the physiological attributes of their people (men tend to be larger, and women tend to be so petite as to be mistaken for children by Jiro). Some of these are a lot to unpack, but I can't fault the distinct flavor they give the location, and in general I like the meritocratic leanings of their society, where strength is valued but so is growth/improvement.
There's also a scattershot of other ideas thrown in. The fights are nothing to write home about – I think the monster designs remain one of the weak parts of the show, and this week's monster is the most generic bug in the history of insects. Additionally, we get brief glimpses of all these other ominous events and encounters happening all over that certainly are dramatic, but feel a touch too distant at the moment. Hopefully some of these start getting threaded in sooner rather than later.
Grant is the cohost on the Blade Licking Thieves podcast and Super Senpai Podcast.
Giant Beasts of Ars is currently streaming on HIDIVE.
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