The Heroic Legend of Arslan is a fantasy series centered around Arslan, the crown prince of a kingdom called Pars. One day when he is 12 he is held hostage by a Lusitanian prisoner of war as he makes his escape. When he is 14 he heads out into his maiden battle with his father the king and the Parsian army as they fight against the invading Lusitanian army. During this battle Arslan learns two things. First is that the battle field is a scary place. Second that there are some aspects of his world that are fundamentally messed up that he wishes to change, mainly that the Parsian army charging into battle with no strategy is a very bad idea.
I thoroughly enjoyed these two seasons of the show. The story arcs are all consistent while also providing the show with the variety it needs to remain interesting. The overarching story arc is intriguing and there are still questions from the first few episodes that still need to be answered. The writers haven’t given anything away through obvious foreshadowing. Not only this but Arslan’s party grows over time. He doesn’t just have the same few companions throughout, instead new characters are added every once in a while who are very different from the others.
In terms of Arslan’s party, everyone plays a role no matter how small. Narsus is a genius as a strategist. Daryun is highly skilled with the sword. Arslan is the leader of the group. Also characters have common skills that cross over with other characters such as the use to use a bow with great accuracy or to sword fight. This means that during a battle scene everyone is able to be a part of the battle and the scene doesn’t last too long due to the writers having to go over what everyone is doing during the battle. There are many battle shots that show multiple characters doing the same thing in the same shot. And there are also points in the story in which each of the characters are greatly challenged.
As for the complaints I have against the show there aren’t that many. There aren’t very many strong female characters. In fact there are only really three (4?) women in the entire series. This may simply be because the world itself is loosely based off of the Middle East and Southern Europe during the crusade and that this is a war story to a degree. The camera during battles weaves through all the fighting soldiers multiple times throughout The Heroic Legend of Arslan which can get annoying due to the frequency of this camera movement in all the battle of the series. The horse physics can be strange. There is even a scene where a man on a horse uses the horse to jump up on an elephant and the horse manages to stay balanced on a moving elephant.
There is magic but it isn’t used that often. There is so little magic within these first two seasons that it appears shoehorned in just for the sake of having magic in a fantasy show. This isn’t a bad thing
Though this show has the same flaws as any other war anime it is a great series. I will recommend The Heroic Legend of Arslan to anyone who enjoys a good fantasy series and to anyone who likes war anime. I can’t wait until season three whenever that happens. It doesn’t look like the type of anime that would be canceled before its completed. Until then here is my final rating for the first two seasons of the show.
Final Rating – 46/50