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Arslan Senki TV
Heroic Legend of Arslan is a fantasy-adventure anime focused on the efforts of young prince of Pars, Arslan, and several of his supporters trying to reclaim their kingdom after it is taken over by the strongly religious neighboring nation of Lusitania. While gathering allies to help support his cause, Arslan and his allies come to learn more of the prince's origins and that someone among Lusitania's ranks is seeking to claim rights over the throne to Pars.|
While Arslan proclaims itself to be a fantasy-adventure title, there are actually little elements of fantasy to be found within the series beyond a few minor enemy threats. Instead, the series is mostly focused on exploring the hostilities between Pars and Lusitania with the repercussions of slavery, religious fanaticism and ruling under an absolute monarchy being explored throughout the series as Arslan tries making sense of the problems occurring within both kingdoms while traveling with his allies. These repercussions are what drive the conflict of the series as Pars' absolute rule and enslavement of those they conquered later lead to Lusitania usurping their rule, while turning out no differently from the corruption brought about through Pars' rule thanks to their religious fanaticism and those in power exploiting it for their personal gain. These elements are nicely explored as they help to shape Arslan's beliefs on how he would like to change things with the hostilities between Pars and Lusitania, and create genuine conflict out of Arslan and his allies trying to reclaim rule over Pars.
In regards to the developments of Arslan and his comrades, our titular hero gets prominent focus and development for the majority of the series as he becomes exposed to the hardships and corruption found with influential political and military leaders he encounters throughout his quest, as these experiences help to shape his beliefs on what sort of rule he would want to enforce while under the guidance of his allies. A few of the major enemy threats in the series also get fleshed out in regards to their background and motives, like the mysterious Silver Mask, the Lusitanian soldier Etoile and members of the Shindra kingdom encountered later in the series. However character development is mostly nonexistent with the members of Arslan's group as they only get enough fleshing out to provide basic details on their backgrounds and the personality types they will regularly exhibit throughout the series, existing solely as advisers or protectors to Arslan without having any defined characteristics that make them stick out as characters.
The lack of characterization with Arslan's allies were not the only issue I took up with this series. The middle of its run does drag a bit during the episodes where Arslan and his group are within Shindra where they face resistance from Pars or Shindra forces, with the group able to conveniently overcome each threat. The way in which the conflicts get overcome at this point reek of laziness as it seemed like the show's writers were trying to pass off each conflict as something that the group's tactician, Narsus, anticipated and planned out yet many instances of this are not explored or hinted to throughout the middle of Arslan's run. In addition, the series lacks a proper conclusion as Silver Mask and those among Lusitania's ranks are still at large to oppose Arslan and his allies at a later time beyond the TV anime's run.
Overall, I suppose my thoughts of Arslan are a bit mixed. While I did enjoy seeing the gradual developments of Arslan's character and the exploration of hostilities between Pars and Lusitania, the lack of fleshing out on Arslan's allies, the dragged out middle part of the show and the lack of a proper finale do hurt the show's quality to a good degree. Still, it is a decent fantasy-adventure title that you don't find much of out of anime nowadays and is still worth a look if you crave titles of the genre.
Last updated Sunday, September 27 2015. Created Sunday, September 27 2015.
Arslan Senki TV
(Three episodes watched):|
Could have been better, could have been worse--that was my impression of episode one of Legend of Arslan. Heroic legends are so commonplace nowadays that, even if they are a remake of a classic series, they need to be really good to stand out from the crowd. Royal heirs getting deposed and fighting their way back to power doesn't happen everyday in the real world, and I want the story to be fairly plausible--that is, something which really could happen, not another far-fetched fantasy. Episode one mainly introduced us to the principal characters; the Prince is a kind of wimpy guy, which is sort of unusual and might be a sign of some interesting storytelling to come. He meets a fiery Lusitanian boy who is a prisoner but escapes--no doubt we'll hear more about him later. King Androgoras III is a feared warrior but seems to be having marriage problems. So, the characters each have something novel about them which might be put to good use later on. Or might not; the characters are okay but as of yet don't thrill me. The story didn't get very far in episode one and it was too soon to say how skillful the storytelling will be. But it was good enough that I decided to watch episode two and see what would happen next.
In episode two King Andragoras and the Pars army suffer a humiliating defeat, but it's unclear just how serious the situation is. 100% bad guys who have undertaken acts of betrayal and 100% good guys who are nothing but honest, fearless and highly skilled warriors are kind of stereotypical. The basic problem for Prince Arslan is still not clear and so far doesn't intrigue me. The trick the bad guys used of starting a rumor within the Parsian army worked too well to be true, and that annoyed me. I also doubt if the other tricks they used to win the battle would really be practical (like where did they get all that flammable oil in the middle of nowhere?). So, I felt that this show wasn't trying hard enough to be realistic.
I still wondered what would become of Prince Arslan, and wouldn't have minded watching some more episodes. But in the end, for some reason fansubs of Arslan episodes were more difficult to download and convert and burn to DVDs, which is my preferred method of watching anime. For some reason I don't like watching my anime at the computer itself, so a show has got to be really good for me to do that, and this one clearly wasn't. I didn't feel that it was good enough to be worth going to extra trouble, so I gave up on it. The fact that I later learned that it was around 24 episodes long makes me glad that I did that, since I doubt if it would have held my interest for that long. It's always possible that I am wrong, and I had heard of the famous original version of this story and was curious about it for that reason, but as of yet I don't regret leaving Heroic Legend of Arslan.
Last updated Tuesday, September 29 2015. Created Saturday, April 25 2015.
|Official Japanese Series Web Site||http://www.arslan.jp/|