Based on the manga/novel by the same name, The Heroic Legend of Arslan (or Arslan Senki as it’s also known) follows Arslan, the crown prince of Pars, who one day needs to flee his kingdom when a neighbor manages to seize the capital. With the help of his bodyguard Daryun, Arslan meets more allies along the way in his quest to get his country back and save his mother and father.
This anime is something that has been on my radar for quite some time due to Hiromu Arakawa, who is the mangaka of the manga adaptation for a novel series written by Yoshiki Tanaka. If the name Hiromu Arakawa is familiar to you, she is the mangaka behind the popular and award-winning manga Fullmetal Alchemist. So when I finally had some time over and found the first season on Netflix, I decided to scratch it off my bucket list of anime I want to watch, and I’m glad that I did.
While this adventure-filled series is far from perfect, Arslan Senki (or this season at least) is something I can without a shadow of a doubt put on my list of favorite animes. Maybe not top five, but certainly top ten.
In a lot of ways, it’s very reminiscent of Game of Thrones, but far more family friendly (although it certainly doesn’t shy away from violence and the actions that happen during the war). If any reader is has played Fire Emblem, more importantly, Shadow Dragon or Sacred Stones, the story will be very similar to you in the structure and the archetype of the characters. The characters are all well written while also working perfectly with each other. I watched both the Japanese sub and the English dub and they were both great with my personal favorite being the English dub.
What about the negatives? While it mostly lies on the often clunky animation during the war scenes, it sometimes feels like the story goes at a break-neck speed in some episodes, or that they are repeating stuff that is already said. Luckily, the negatives are few and far between.
If you have an urge for a fantasy epic, then The Heroic Legend of Arslan is certainly something you should watch. The first season is currently available on Netflix with a length of 25 episodes.
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