Time to get back to work and finish coverage of the anime that has finished airing! First off, we’ve got the 25-episode series of The Heroic Legend of Arslan!
The Heroic Legend of Arslan comes from a Japanese light novel published in 1986 that was based on the Persian epic titled, Amir Arsalan. There are 14 novels, a serialized manga from 1991 to 1996. It also has two animated movie adaptions and an incomplete novel. And then in 2013, Fullmetal Alchemist‘s Hiromu Arakawa brings the story back to pages for her adaption. And then last year an anime is made from her vision.
The story is a re-telling of the crusades at its core, but with magical elements with lots of themes of slavery, monarchy and religion.
Arslan is a young prince who goes to war alongside his father, who is then betrayed by his most trusted followers and the kingdom is overtaken by the neighboring country, his father taken into custody and Arslan barely escaping with his attendant, Daryun. Together they form companionships with those that have been outcast from their own land and form alliances with other kingdoms to form treaties and build an army to take back Arslan’s kingdom and rescue his father from his captors.
It’s an epic tale with a great cast and characters. Beautiful scenery and music. Drama, budding romances, mystery, The Hero’s Journey, and action. Unfortunately, the character designs are frequently off model and the animation is static which is disappointing as it adapts Awarkawa’s style to a noticeable degree. However, the action scenes are the bits that shine. I’m very curious how this series holds up to the 90s films.
With Funimation’s Broadcast dubs, we’ve been able to re-watch the series in English and catch things I didn’t and be able to pay attention better. Mostly cause when it’s blah-blah-blah-blah Politics, I tend to tune out. The English dubcast is great, and I’ve loved seeing Aaron Dismuke step up and be a main character like this. While watching it subbed, there were many names that were hard to pronounce and just looked like jumbled letters, Zach and I fondly called characters or kingdoms “KEYBOARD SMASH” because of this.
In summary: Arslan is a good series if you’re a fan of series that explore war and politics, or a fan of the middle-ages and its fictional forms. Or maybe you just like seeing how versatile Hiromu Arakawa is. It suffers from poor production at times, as well as being an incomplete manga, thus the anime being left open-ended, but a season two is on the way!