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ARSLAN SENKI | Review “Yashasuiin!!!”

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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.

My Decree:

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

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ANIME

ANIME CAFE | Hosted by Tsunami Studio

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If you’re an ardent Anime Fan, where were you when  The Tsunami Studio hosted the first ever Anime Cafe on 20th June?

Anime Cafe - Banner

As stated by their Social Media Advisor Paul Mkanyo Bonyo, “The Goal of Anime Cafe was to celebrate the anime culture in Kenya. We aim to bring avid anime fans in Kenya together in a social setting, and introduce those who aspire to be. We are big fans of the genre, it is what inspired us to become The Tsunami Studio, so why not spread the love.”

The venue was at Soul Food Cafe, located right next to The Tsunami Studio, in Liason House on State House Avenue.  If all goes well, you are looking at a monthly meet up of local anime lovers, how about that?! 🙂

For more on The Tsunami Studio, click HERE.

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ANIME

ANIME | Seraph of the End

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[My Anime Reviews assess the anime alone and I make no comparisons to the manga whatsoever due to often dissimilar factors between the two in their execution. Same goes for manga reviews]

A deadly and mysterious virus wipes out most of humanity in mere moments, not affecting children (under age 13) as most adults suddenly fall and die. From the midst of the chaos, Vampires emerge to claim what remains of the world. The vampires round up the surviving children and lead them beneath the surface of the city where they allege it’s safe. While living their lives underground for the years to follow, the children are being harvested for blood. Yuichiro Hyakuya and his close friend Mikaela are among a group of children who were orphans before the end of humanity and lived together in an orphanage. Being led by Yuichiro and Mikaela, the children plot to escape the vampire’s captivity and return to the surface world, where the Japanese Imperial Demon Army wages war against the vampires.

Every now and then, a vampire themed thing comes out, be it a book, movie, video game…possibly all forms of entertainment have among them a vampire premise, and that doesn’t exclude anime, not by a long shot. If anything there’s one vampire anime or more released every year! So naturally it’s far from a unique concept…and I grew tired of them years ago. On that note, I had such a hard time trying to start Seraph of the End, it being yet another Vampire thing. But I did anyway because the plot summery got me curious. With these vampire anime, it’s either you impress me by the end of episode 1, or I drop you…A couple of episodes down the line, it’s safe to say that I’ll be following this show very closely. Heads up to Attack on Titan fans, this show has some sort of Shingeki no kyojin vibe to it in the early episodes, not as dark though.

Now, I like watching anime loud, this time though, BIG MISTAKE! Within the first 10 seconds of the show as humanity is crumbling, you watch it all unfold in a town as people are collapsing, cars crashing, planes falling out of the sky, total carnage in spectacular fashion! Talk about an explosive first impression, this show nailed it! From here, my first reactions are largely positive. The mood is then set to a tone of hopelessness in society and I felt that as I watched. The whole Post-apocalyptic theme in this anime really pulls you in to the emotion of the characters. The art is so freaking awesome with great attention to detail, especially in the urban setting. A scene comes to mind that showed Yuichiro walking through an abandoned town and the art was just beautiful as it showed the sudden halt and imminent decay of a dead world. Despite very limited information at the beginning, the pacing was ok for the most part. The incorporation of flashbacks in the series felt natural and not in your face all the time, but just at the right moments. The fight scenes I have seen so far have been fantastic! The action is definitely great fun and very dynamic!

Cool weapons, nice designs, great color and effects, the action in Seraph of the End is a true-true freaking treat! Music always plays a large role in setting the mood to what’s happening on screen. I do feel that the music could have been better but was decent. Not anything much to complain about in the music all in all. As most anime, despite having a dark atmosphere and a serious situation, Comedy finds its way in there most times as is the case in Seraph of the End. Well the comedy ain’t bad, not bad at all, infact I had a good number of laughs.

 My Decree:

I’m not gonna call this show a triumph and it’s not a masterpiece, but it sure as hell will have a cult following, and I’m one of them already. It definitely doesn’t fall in the ‘just another anime’ category, Seraph of the End will leave a lasting impression on you. With that being said, this is an ongoing series, but up to this point, it has been very satisfying and enjoyable. I just hope it holds up its Awesome Factor to the very end of the season. Again, this isn’t the greatest anime of the year and all that usual hype, but I recommend this show, so trust me and go watch Seraph of the End. The character’s want for revenge is very real and you sympathize with that, so let’s see if he gets it!

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