As Arslan gathers forces to fight for his cause, his progress is suddenly halted by the warring Princes of the neighboring country, Sindhura. Both brothers believe they have equal claim to the throne, but only one can succeed their father. Sensing the opportunity to form a powerful alliance, Arslan's trusted advisor, Narsus forms a plan to end the feud once and for all. But their detour in Sindhura gives Lord Silver Mask and his followers time to strengthen their own influence back in Pars. The mystery surrounding Arslan's true parentage has loyal Parsians questioning his right to rule. Shocked by the revelation that he may be fighting for a throne that isn't his, Arslan has to wonder: Is blood truly what makes a king Or is the love he has for Pars and its people enough to see him through?
This story reminds me of the OAV which the creator of Legend of Galactic Heroes did, but then couldn't finish. It was also about a land called Pars and a Prince that lost his inheritance. Graphically and aesthetically, it's been changed significantly from the bishounen view of the previous unfinished version. The ouji or Prince is softer looking, more effiminate or young than like the unreal otherwordly artwork of the previous version. But let's continue on to the meat of this series. Setting wise, this is alternative history, set in Persia in a time when they were fighting religious fanatics. If people know their history, they can kind of guess what time period that would be, since Persia was only conquered and destroyed by one religion in the world's past, and it wasn't Christianity. Even though in this series, you'll see a lot of crosses. Things have been modified a little bit, but this is definitely the Persia before it was conquered by Islam. Even the noble titles like Marzopan is similar to a Count or Baron. Plot wise, you'll mostly see small unit tactics in warfare, some imperial or royal politics and intrigue, plus some action scenes from the Prince's warrior vassals. The atmosphere is more of a commanding officer, a king, where most of your economic or military prowess is in your vassals, your followers. This is different from shounen genres where most of your power rests in the MC, the main character. Overall, I think I enjoyed Kingdom, set in Warring State era China, as well as the older Heroic Legend of Arslan and Legend of the Galactic Heroes more. The application of the themes felt better. So those would be my recommendations for people to watch, if they want to see more things similar to Arslan Senki, to get a sample base up. If you have ever played Crusader Kings II, this anime series will feel very familiar to you.
A very pleasant surprize. With the best anime, you usually have a story that is somewhat unique. This implies some amount of supernatural. Arslan Senki doesnt have a special story in this way. Its pretty simple. Anime like this usually fade into boredom or go apeshit mad and ruin everything like Berserk. What is Arslan Senki? Well, to get the full picture, imagine FMA, Game of Thrones, Avatar: The last airbender and Berserk(not the last episodes, instead the good part) put together. How can you go wrong?! Story: the basic plot is simple. A kingdom is conquered, the prince flees and gathers an army to reclaim his country. We get a lot of twists and turns worthy of Game of Thrones. The way the battles are choreographed is also very good. We dont just get mindless broodshed, we get genuine tactics, may that be fake camps or mannequines to fool their opponents. The story is not as strong and unforgettable as FMA, but out of the source material its probably the best anyone could manage. 8/10 Animation: Exquisite. The backgrounds are THE BEST(you want to find good anime wallpapers, take a random screenshot of Arslan Senki) I have seen up to date. The character animation is also top notch. The only downside is that when you have to animate hundreds of people at once, you have 2 choices. CGI or draw till your hands bleed. They chose CGI, it was not a good idea. Most of the animation is very good, but in fight scenes the lower quality of the CGI shows, so animation gets 8 instead of 10 because of this. 8/10 Music: not epic, but memorable and good. 8/10 Characters: Some people(the ones who think being a "critic" means you have to hate everything thats nice) will say their weak, stereotypical and idyllic. I wont. The characetrs are very good, they all have their place in the anime. As for Arslan. He is the archetype for the perfect prince. Hes a whimp sometimes, but really comes forward when needed. Also, he can hold his own in a fight even against more skilled opponents. Some characters are not the most original(we kept referring to Hermes as Prince Zuco with my girlfriend for a reason - i know the Arslan manga is older than Avatar - one stole from the other, for sure). 8.5/10 Overall: All the aspects of this anime are very solid and they create a more than satisfying overall picture. Arslan Senki will be one of my all time favorites and I eagerly wait a second season. 8.5/10 I can strongly suggest it to fans of FMA or FMAB: you wont find anything more similar, but Arslan has better backgrounds. Also fans of Magi, Avatar should like it a lot and if you liked the episodes of Berserk in which crazy demons didnt rape women, you will also like this. One of the best animes this year, if not the best(I havent started watching Gangsta yet). I find the 4.12 rating very low compared to usual anime-planet tendencies. Have fun!
If you like anything medieval, you will most definitely love this. The fights are great, the characters are great, and the music fits every scene perfectly. You get to watch as the the protagonist grows stronger and you get to really understand his personality and the personalities of his companions. I'm really looking forward to season two and I will most definitely read the manga.
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