12 CommentsFirst Impressions, Heroic Legend of Arslan / By Scamp /

The Heroic Legend of Arslan episode 1 – Pretty prince boy

_HorribleSubs__Arslan_Senki_-_01__480p_.mkv_snapshot_13.24_[2015.04.06_10.41.42]This was almost as gay as the opening episode of No.6. Not quite as gay, and I sure hope it doesn’t devolve into magical bee queens like that show did. But then again both stories started with pampered rich kid from well off society meeting and being taken semi-hostage by kid from different culture until they start to develop possible ~feelings~ for each other and oh god this isn’t going to be another No.6 now, is it? Because this first episode was really quite good and I would hate to see it collapse.

Arslan Senki - 01 -23[2]I liked quite a number of things about this episode, although since it was a near identical retread of the manga’s opening chapter there wasn’t too much surprising here. Set in a middle ages Arabian city we have our pampered yet good natured prince try to expand his horizons by meeting with some slaves captured in his buff manly dad’s recent battle, only to get himself captured by one around his own age as they learn things from each other. I usually have a bit of a dislike of stories where they make out as though the pampered kid has it tough because his parents lead an unloving sexless marriage. Oh woe is me, however can you handle living in unrivaled luxury with all the food, clothes, education and personal servants on hand to wash, dress and train you at all times if your parents aren’t very nice?

But it’s not quite that. Our kid Arslan going out to see the slaves revealed to him how narrow his viewpoint is. Thinking his country is one where you will never be unhappy but failing to see the slaves as desiring something other than being beaten for their lives. Another issue the story sidesteps is with slavery stories they usually don’t seem to be able to move beyond “slavery is bad guys” like we hadn’t realised that yet. But this is more complex than that. The scene at the end of the dead slaves being packed onto a wagon and Arslan not understanding why they wouldn’t allow themselves to be slaves and live rather than fight meaninglessly and die is interesting in understanding the importance of freedom and equality, to the point that people would die for it. Would you prioritise surviving of fight to seemingly pointless death for your ideals?

Arslan Senki - 01 -3I have a few niggles. I do wish the animation was better. It’s not awful and I understand why they use CG for big battle scenes because they would be near impossible to do otherwise. Plus the CG isn’t as irritating as it was in, say, the Berserk CG movies. There it bugged me because it gave this clean look to a story so intrinsically dirty. Meanwhile Arslan is much more grand high fantasy, and the CG has a grimier look anyway so it fits. It still doesn’t look very good though, and neither does the regular animation for everything else. I wish a story this grand got the polish I feel it deserves. Also this is by the author of Legend of the Galactic Heroes and unfortunately he decided to bring along his awful narrator from one novel to the other so we get a nice final scene punctuated by the narrator going “AND THEN EVERYTHING CHANGED WITH THIS GIANT SPOILER I’M JUST GOING TO SAY BECAUSE FUCK YOU”.

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12 Comments

  1. Posted April 6, 2015 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    On April 6th, Space Century 799, Imperial Century 490…

    …Scamp, on his blog of foppery and whim, complained about a narrator over-explaining everything…

    …and referring to the characters as homosexual…

    …only to become angry when the show ends on an unresolved cliffhanger.

    Another page of the galactic history turns.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 6, 2015 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      Oh no you spoiled me for when this anime ends in an unsatisfactory fashion because the novels still haven’t finished like 30 years after they originally started!

      • Shadow
        Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:49 am | Permalink

        yeah definitely. Arslan Senki is looking to become the next Guin Saga. Definitely not a bad series, but never ending and even the author will die before reaching a conclusion.

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:04 am | Permalink

        At least unlike Guin Saga, FUNi licensing the show saves us from having a dub like this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=EmEESOXQJso

      • Hanasra
        Posted April 7, 2015 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        It’s strange isn’t it? I mean, all 10 volume of LoGH novels finished just in 10 years or less. But it seems Yoshiki Tanaka incapable of finishing Arslan after 30 years.

  2. fifteenth
    Posted April 6, 2015 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    I don’t know what’s with me and my tolerance with CG because I wasn’t bothered by it at all, but the 2D is pretty worrying, some scenes looks wonky and it’s only first episode. I expected higher quality for this kind of anime with many big names involved.

    BTW, do you know that the FAL first week result is out, wow, I wonder who’s at the top, better check it out, huh.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 6, 2015 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      I see someone is pleased with themselves hmmmmm

    • Hogart
      Posted April 6, 2015 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      Some wonky visuals? In an ANIME? Well I never!

      I guess I’m the weirdo for preferring basic storytelling competence over something shallow which looks pretty, but will look dated in a couple years.

  3. kittyraider
    Posted April 6, 2015 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    …Starring Edward Elric as ARSLAN

    and Solf J. Kimblee as DARYOON…

    Amestris-Central Studios presents:

    THE HEROIC LEGEND OF ARSLAN

    An Epic Tale based on a true Xerxesian Saga

    …well seriously, as someone that haven’t read or watch the old novel, OVA, nor the new manga; I honestly have no real problem with Arakawa designs so far, unlike the old timer purists…

  4. Mormegil
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Hahaha! Fuck that spoiling narrator. I hate that guy. Thank you, Scamp.

  5. Hanasra
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    The spoiler narrator is back? Holy damn, I made huge mistake by not watching this immediately.

  6. Varyn
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    I swear I have a distinctive gurgling sound reserved solely for when I have to watch awful 3D character models shuffle through a 2D setting.

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