A remake from the 1991 classic of the same name, Arslan Senki also known as “The Heroic Legend of Arslan”, is a fantasy anime which follows the young Prince Arslan of the kingdom of Pars as he struggles with proving himself capable of being a future warrior ruler to thep people and his father, King Andragoras III. Timid and lacking in the many qualities considered necessary for an iron fist ruler of the great kingdom, Arslan’s potency instead lies in his kindness and humility. In a world of brutal warfare and profound treachery, the young Prince must rise to the challenge and overcome his weaknesses by utilizing his strengths to the utmost. With a handful of loyal followers, he finds himself with the seemingly unattainable task of delivering the Kingdom of Pars from the greatest turmoil it has ever faced. “And thus, the boy would become King”
The first thing that came to mind when I saw the promo art from this anime was how obviously similar it looked to Full Metal Alchemist. The main character, Arslan almost looks like an exact copy of Edward Elric. The reason…same artist! So knowing that the creators that brought you the very legendary Full Metal Alchemist are the same team behind Arslan Senki, I’m sure that’s motivation enough to start watching this show right away if you haven’t.
Let’s get rolling with what really rocks about this show. The setting takes place in the fictional medieval Kingdom of Pars and the story revolves around their conflict with the Lusitanias, a radical religious army hell-bent on converting all to their faith and destroying those who refuse. The inspiration from this is without a doubt drawn from real life historic accounts from the battles of the Crusades that took place in the middle ages/12th Century. The ideological conflict is intriguing and how each side clings to their beliefs so faithfully is brilliant and a great recipe for an absorbing watch.
The characters in the show are awesome! Here we have this kid Arslan who as a prince you’d expect him to be an arrogant little prick, but is instead kind, humble, curious and unafraid to say what’s on his mind. A King is required to be a warrior and fight along side his men in battle as King Andragoras does. A mean, strong, no nonsense King who really only expects to win. Unfortunately Arslan isn’t that great a fighter, so his father looks down on him. As for the other characters; there’s Daryun, A knight with amazing battle skills, loyal and overprotective bodyguard of the Prince. Narsus; A brilliant military tactician with strategies the enemies never see coming. Gieve; A trickster and wandering musician with the ability to hold his own in a fight. Farangis; a mysterious priestess sent to aid the Prince in his time of need and a marksman archer. Elam; Young, almost the same age as Arslan, an expert in infiltration…And don’t get me started on the villains. This show has absolutely colorful characters with each having a great amount to contribute to the plot.
I could go on and on how great the music in this show is. The battle tracks give you that epic fantasy feel and are really very much reminiscent of Lord of The Rings or Game of Thrones. I know how I said earlier the characters resemble Full Metal Alchemist characters, but I found that a bit distracting. Sure the art is stellar and the environments are beautiful, but the similarities to FMA should have been toned down a bit because many times I’d spot a character and then find myself trying to remember who he/she looks like from FMA. Another thing that I didn’t like that much was that despite the dialogue in general being fantastic, at some points it would absolutely be an overdose of information and I’d find myself spacing out and losing concentration to the plot a bit.
Otherwise I have already established how great the story is, but what about the action? It’s an epic fantasy, so sure there’s going to be a lot of swords clashing and wars. The anime does not disappoint here. The action is solid, the visuals are brutal and bloody and the motions when in battle are dynamic in an above average way.
I like this show, and I expect a-heck-lot from it! The story is interesting enough to keep you on your toes as you wait to see what unfolds. I especially love how it doesn’t lose its plot even in a full scale war scene, with tacticians using strategies that you see unfold before your eyes. Almost every aspect of this show is well executed especially with the character development. Arslan Senki is definitely one of Spring 2015’s best in the line-up