Episode Director: Yoshitaka Makino [Chihayafuru episode director 2 & 9 / Terraformars OAV episode director 2]
Storyboards: Yoshitaka Makino
Script: Machida Touko [Akame ga Kill! writer on episodes 5 & 6 / Hitsugi no Chaika series writer / Samurai Champloo writer on episode 10 / Wolf’s Rain screenplay writer on episode 22]
In the early 90’s Tatsunoko Productions with the assistant of Production I.G., MADHOUSE and a few lesser known studios of today adapted the story of Arslan in six Original Video Animations [OVA]. I saw that version years ago, Arakawa’s design in this anime is a nice treat. It still retains a lot of the hearty story the original had but with a ton more emotion. What’s interesting is that the first two episodes of the 90’s OVA tackles a lot more than even this episode lays out for us. These first four adapt the first chapter at a relatively smooth pace. I’m glad to see they’re taking their time with Arslan Senki.
Arslan Senki is a huge story and this point in the anime is still far from reaching the first volume’s largest reveals. This episode points a question to the audience–who exactly is Arslan? On the outside he’s a noble, having grown up around money and power but his birth is the big mystery. Whose is his father and does he have the right to claim the throne? The first episode (which interestingly enough was anime original) gave us a slight glimpse of a 19th century world from the eyes of a boy and the people he would meet on his journey.
Cue the violence and betrayal for the next few episodes and we’ve arrived to a section of the story that asks if Arslan is capable of achieving his goals, what sort of man will he grow up to be and how will the people in this episode–Daryun, Elam and Narsus aid him in his quest? The highlight, however, is that this focuses a lot more on Narsus than it does Arslan and how he came to be the great strategist under King Andragoras.
I really like the comedy between Daryun and Narsus. They have been longtime friends and you can clearly see that with Daryun’s humorous comments about Narsus’ skills in painting. Great to see how even Arslan chimes in by appointing him as Court Painter! Great writing!
OP: “Boku no Kotoba de wa Nai Kore wa Boku-tachi no Kotoba” (僕の言葉ではない これは僕達の言葉) by UVERworld
Directed by: Noriyuki Abe
Storyboards: Noriyuki Abe
I’m not too fond of this song. Poor choice for the content of this series. Generic and sounds like it would be a better fit for a shonen series. This is going to be a long running series since a season two has been announced and I feel like there should have a cultural ring to it. UVERworld’s song here sounds very pop-sounding with a mix of hard rock. Would be better suited for a kid’s action series. Usually, I like UVERworld’s work on anime but this was bad. Setting that aside, the animation was better than the actual show!
ED: “Lapis Lazuli” (ラピスラズリ) by Eir Aoi
Directed by: Naomi Nakayama
Storyboards: Naomi Nakayama
This was fantastic! Eir Aoi’s dramatic note changes left quite the impact on the stunning visuals. There wasn’t much movement rather it utilizes a collection of zooming in & out transitions between the main cast and its villains. Really good!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 8/10