Tag Archives: Fantasy

Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru no Darō ka? Episode 3

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Episode Director: Yoshiki Yamakawa [Animation Supervisor alongside Kanta Kamei and Masaki Yamada on Samurai Champloo episode 15 / Storyboards on Mushishi episodes 5 and 15 / Key Animator on Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin]

Storyboards: Katsushi Sakurabi [Director on Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru no Daro ka? opening sequence / Episode Director and Key Animator on Selector Infected Wixoss episodes 4, 8 and 12 / Animation Layout Supervisor on Prison School episodes 6, 7, 8, 10 and Episode Director and Key Animator on Episode 11]

Script: Hideki Shirane [Series Composition on Yumekui Merry / Script Writer on Cross Game episode 3 / Series Composition on Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari OVA / Screenplay Writer for Phantom: ~Requiem for the Phantom~ episode 5]


This series has a ton of promise.  A story about a novice adventurer wanting to become stronger in order to impress Aiz Wallenstein.  The show uses true elements of RPGs–magically leveling up after defeating enemies, sometimes there are health bars and the weapons play a large factor in winning or losing.  Hestia plays the role in supporting Bell–he cheers him on and this episode she gives him a ridiculously powerful and according to other fighters a questionable weapon.  This is perhaps the coolest episode of this series in that it really shows how courageous Bell can be. The visuals were fantastic especially in the fight with the gorilla monster!  This episode was all about Bell finding the strength to protect the people he cares about–the entire fight is inside a village that isn’t supposed to have battles in!  Plus, he believe in his Goddess and at that moment receives a weapon that helps him become far stronger than he was even towards the beginning of this episode.

What detracts away from this show from being a full on adventure series is the harem genre that shows up.  Bell manages to impress not just Hestia and Aiz but Eina Tulle and bar hostess Syr Flova after defeating the giant monster.  Hestia threw her own power into the knife’s power it seems, considering how she falls unconscious after the battle.  Somehow I can’t help but keep thinking of Sword Art Online and even Accel World after watching this.  The ending part with the supporter in the cave is probably going to be another harem girl.  Considering the main focus of this series is Bell picking up girls in a dungeon I would like [at least once] to see a fantasy game anime series be more mature focused instead of moe.  I guess that’s what we get for a light novel adaptation.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 7/10

Arslan Senki Episode 12

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Episode Director: Hiromichi Hatano [Episode Director on Baby Steps episodes 9 and 16 / Episode Director on Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu episodes 5, 11, 17 and 23 / Storyboards and Episode Director on Osomatsu-san episode 6]

Storyboards: Hiroshi Hamasaki [Episode Director, storyboards and key animator on Space Dandy episode 3 / Storyboards and Key Animator on Terrar Formars opening sequence / Key Animator on Redline film / Key animator on Casshern SINS episode 24 / Key Animator on Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin episode 6]

Script: Aoi Shushiro [Script writer for Samurai Champloo episode 10 / Series Composition writer on Hamatora / Script writer for Galilei Donna episodes 5, 9 and 10]


This episode’s animation quality was much better than last time.  Introducing yet another character in Arslan’s company, Alfreed.  The situation that arises from this is executed nicely.  Lusitanian Soldiers led by Hermes [Silver Mask] slaughter the Zot tribe–a band of pirates.  This sequence is a testament to Narsus’ motives–is he a genuine person saving 16-year old Alfreed because she’s a damsel in distress? Or is it that he’s wanting to challenge Hermes  to a fight again simply out of understanding his motives?  With Alfreed’s family now killed and without a place to return home to this sets the stage for Alfreed to be indebted to Narsus–accompanying him on his journey with Arslan.  She’s not feeling any sort of motivation to stay put–she wants to run away and this builds up on the eventually budding comedy between Elam and her vying for Narsus’ attention/affection.

I figured we would see more of the brother of Innocentius VII, Guiscard.  He seems to be the real ruler of Lusitania, he’s more level-headed than his brother and this episode points out how he doesn’t trust very many people including Hermes and Bodin.  This reminds me how glad I am that Bodin isn’t the main villain.  An arch-priest  abusing power through the church in order to carve his own ideals as Lusitanian principles.  This episode hints at the possiblity that Guisard might join Arslan because he doesn’t support the teachings of Yaldabaoth, he’s now turned the crooked priest and his followers into, as he calls them “common soldiers”.  Even removing the religious symbol from the King’s palace.

Now this is a series that gets characterization!  I’m glad that the creators chose this episode to depict Narsus (separated from the group) and his actions without Arslan’s safety in mind.  The first half of this episode is more slow-paced and for good reasons–it’s strategic.  The second portion focuses on Daryun fending off Xandes’ attacks.  For the first time, Daryun finally gets the reason why Kharlan betrayed the kingdom and he hears it from the son no less.

The big surprise is the use of magic.  It’s been foreshadowed before with mist and the Djinn and this episode uses it out in the open with the mysterious masked man transporting through the ground.  The battle is over-the-top and makes use of the fact that Daryun is very uninterested in politics or any kind of strategy.  Arslan returning to the fight in order to save his life changes his perspective on this quite a bit.  Falangies mentions that he might not be the true ruler of Pars by birthright but that is irrelevant.  It’s about merit (something that Daryun knows all too well about), the nature of his ideals and actions that make him most suited as King.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 8/10

Arslan Senki Episode 11

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Episode Director: Mamoru Enomoto [ Episode director and key animator for Fairy Tail episode 44 / Episode Director for Ao No Exorcist episodes 7, 13 and 23 / Episode Director for Gatchaman CROWDS episodes 4 and 8]

Storyboards: Naomi Nakayama[ Director and storyboarded for Casshern SINS 2nd ending sequence / Director and Storyboarded First and Second endings for Arslan Senki]

Script: Aoi Shushiro [ Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace script writer on episodes 3, 4, 5 and 9]


This episode was extremely well-executed!  The music transitions during Silver Mask’s past and his burned face and the maid’s look on her face at him, even down to Kharlan’s son Xandes offering loyalty were just a nice touch to how powerful and slow-paced this anime is.  Silver Mask is generic in how he’s hell-bent on revenge against Andragoras’ family yet he’s got this ferocious intensity that makes him favorable especially in the eyes of his supporters.  This episode points out that Arslan still has a lot of work to do in order to prove how different he is from his father, King Andragoras.

The reveal this time around is that Silver Mask is the son Hermes of the previous king of Pars.  This episode is all about vendetta–Xandes wants to kill Daryun the very man that killed his father and supports Silver Mask’s ideals to claim what’s rightfully his.  I like how we are getting two perspectives of people that want to rule a kingdom.  Arslan proves his individuality out of the fact that he was raised for most of his childhood in a small village with, attending school and being cared for by a nurse maid.  Silver Mask from what’s been seen spent most of his time inside the castle receiving his father’s approval daily.  Arslan, not so much, simply because of how accepting he’s been of others.  Kindness and challenging Pars policies is what separates these two men.  This speaks a lot about his actions especially where he’s risking his life for Elam whom was thrown off his horse from Lusitanian pursuers.

A prince putting his own life before the life of a peasant whereas a few episodes ago Hermes referred to the Lusitanian soldiers as “savages”.  Narsus is training Arslan to have a strong mind, Daryun trains him in strength and it will be his experience through this journey to become King that will ultimately test his spirit.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 10/10

Arslan Senki Episode 10

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Episode Director: Nishikata Yasuto [2nd key animator on BLEACH: Memories of Nobody / Episode director on Yu-sibu episode 7 / Episode director and key animator on Nanatsu no Taizai episode 22]

Storyboards: Nishikata Yasuto [Episode Director and storyboards for BLEACH episodes 132, 134, 136, 140, 164, 366 among other episodes / episode director for Gin no Saji episode 6)

Script: Machida Touko [Script writer for Samurai Champloo episode 10 / Series Composition writer on Hamatora / Script writer for Galilei Donna episodes 5, 9 and 10]


I still don’t like the opening sequence for this show.  Even after watching this series for a second time.  It’s too Japanese for a story that’s supposed to be about Persia.  The ending has striking visuals that counterbalance Kalafina’s song nicely.  The soundtrack, however, is absolutely spectacular.  Iwashiro Taro churns out one emotional piece one after another especially in this episode!  Dog of Flanders and Fullmetal Alchemist: Sacred Star of Milos had fantastic scores too!  I’m eager to see more of his work in the future!

I mentioned a few episodes ago about why I believe Narsus is aiding Arslan.  Out of a respect for Daryun and the political curious side of him.  He wants to see how Arslan will handle being King.  This episode clears out this facet of the story with Lord Hodir’s introduction.  His men save Arslan and his companions after a Lusitanian calvary tries to pursue them.  Wonderful use of the soundtrack during that chase sequence!  I really like Hodir because he’s a prime example of Parsian authority even down to its core.  He lives in luxury with tons of servants, rather slaves and remember back when the slaves took back the Pars Kingdom upon hearing the words of Lusitanian soldiers?  This part of the story comes rearing its head back and in a huge way!  Arslan is separated at night from Narsus and Daryun not to mention his other trusted companions–  Elam, Gieve and Falangies.  He wants to press upon his influence towards the young Arslan that he should marry his daughter.  This is where Narsus’ clever tactician charm comes into play!  The freedom of slaves is by and large frowned upon many that serve within the Pars kingdom–its policies have been around for years and Arslan desiring to change that widely affects Hodir’s status.

I like how this piece of the story reveals the true form of Hodir’s ambitions.  He wants control of the kingdom!  The battle that shows up at the end of this episode depicts the strength of Arslan’s ideals by visually illustrating the strength Falangies, Gieve and most especially Daryun have attained in order to protect the future king of Pars.  What makes this ending powerful is the slaves Arslan tries to free and they are the ones that wind up attacking him.  He’s still learning about the world both good and bad–Narsus teaches him that only through experience can someone build character and become worthy of ruling an entire kingdom!

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 9/10

 

Arslan Senki Episode 9

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Episode Director: Hideki Kadota [ Episode Directorial debut for Arslan Senki episode 9]

Storyboards: 

  • Shin Nakashima[ key animator on Abarenbo Rikishi!! Matsutaro episode 1 / Key Animator on Arslan Senki episode 9]
  • Satoshi Kimura [ Character Designer for Terra Formars and Key Animator for Terra Formars‘ opening sequence / Action Animation supervisor and key animator on Arslan Senki‘s Opening 1 and 2 sequences /

Script: Touko Machida [Samurai Champloo script writer for episode 10 / Hamatora main series script writer / Hitsugi no Chaika series script writer]


Silver Mask bears his dark appearance simply because of burns from the past.  This makes sense and considering all the imagery we’ve had of Ectabana burning up in flames to Arslan’s Maiden Battle back in episode 2 in comes to no surprise.  Nice foreshadow.

There’s been a lot of talk from fans about the gripe people have with this series’ villains being too stereotypical.  Silver Mask is on a raged-filled vendetta.  A lot of anime fall into this category regarding it’s antagonists and anti-heros.  Lelouch of Code Geass wanted revenge against the family that took him in then there’s Light Yagami of Death NoteGankutsuo: The Count of Monte Cristo and even Heat Guy J. These series tackle this issue pretty well but it is, nonetheless, an overused trope.  Arslan Senki‘s Silver Mask emphasizes this during his highly-detailed animated fight against Daryun.  We’ve also got a bit of crazy in the mix as well.  The priest Bodin smacks his soldiers around and burns books and other historic artifacts left behind by the Pars Kingdom.  To today’s standards it’s very true   Heck his designs are quite of the top especially with his eyes and quick-tempered mannerisms.  Loved that scene where he’s laughing around the fire and where he threatens Lusitanian King Innocentius’ life out in the open.

These two characters may be over-the-top but it works in that we’ve got a complex set of good-natured characters trotting behind Arslan.  Not to mention the mystery surround the relationship between Queen Tahamenay and King Andragoras III should give some interesting sub-plots to a collection of motifs this series has been dangling in front of us this whole time–  civilization and what separates one society from another.  The second theme that’s pointed out is cultural prejudice.  The former is represented by how brutal the Lusitanians can be towards mankind that aren’t religiously accepting of their God.  We see that especially with Bodin’s actions to burn just about every cultural treasure Pars has valued.  The ladder is shown through the Lusitania’s rather despicable actions against people and the perspective that Pars is truly a slave kingdom.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 10/10

 

Arslan Senki Episode 8

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Episode Director: Kazuo Nogami [Episode Director for Dennou Coil episodes 7, 9, 11, 18 and 20 / key animator for Arslan Senki episode 8 / Episode director for BLEACH episodes 284, 293, 300, 311, 320, 326, 333 and 340 / storyboard writer for Btooom! episode 6]

Storyboards: Michio Fukuda [storyboard writer for Kekkai Sensen episode 9 / storyboard writer for STAR DRIVER episodes 5, 9, 14, 17, 20 and 24 / Key Animator on Summer Wars and Redline]

Script: Makoto Uezu [D-Frag! script writer for episodes 1, 3, 4, 8 and 12 / Akame ga Kill!script writer for episodes 1-8, 14, 18, 19, 22, 23 and 24]


Prince Arslan isn’t your typical hero character nor is he shown as a fortuitous lead in an action series.  His strength lies in his curiosity of the world, which up until now, has been briefly illustrated through his naive attempts in understanding people.  Accepting Lusitanian soldiers like Etoile so easily and the slaves held captive by his own kingdom represents his youth as well as his passion to become a strong leader.  The first episode introduced death to him giving off an aura of authenticity to his character.  I really like how he’s growing in mind, spirit and fighting abilities.  He’s good for his age (especially with all the training with Vahriz) yet this episode doesn’t let go of the fact that he’s always been raised inside the capital walls.  At first, Elam, was very unfriendly towards Arslan and his status of nobility.

This episode shifts the dynamic to the point where Elam bows before Arslan in loyalty!  Daryun is a Pars warrior retaining the honor of his deceased uncle and keeping up with his promise to protect Arslan.  Narsus trusts Daryun and is welcomed with open arms by Arslan.  Out of respect for the young prince he accompanies him on his journey in order to test him whether it’s been shown on screen or not.  He wants Arslan to give thought to any action that he gives to his commanding officers.  Elam is simple in that he’s doing it out of modesty and sincerity.  Arslan greatly rounds these supporting characters out a lot and it’s nice to see this series takes it time with that! As for Gieve and Falangies provides the silent backbone (and humor) this show needs.  Falangies wants to be useful to Arslan given that she is told through the Mithra God.  As for Gieve he’s for appearances sake, is loyal only to himself and offers his bodyguard services to Arslan in order to get closer with Falangies.

The battle that unfolds with Kharlan is a true testament to the five staking their lives on the line for the prince.  In one of the neatest tightly animated fight sequences we get an up close and personal perspective of Narsus’ tactics and the aftermath that follows illustrates what Arslan will have to gain and even lose in order to become the King of Pars.

The soundtrack is probably the best collection of music Taro Iwashiro has ever made.  One of the most compelling scores he did was for the live-action 2003 film Memories of Murder but Arslan Senki (even in this episode) ended up being absolutely superb!  Grandiose and gradually engaging with a build-up in the strings department!

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 9/10

Arslan Senki Episode 7

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Episode Director: Guan Dai [Episode Director for Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei‘s episode 23 / Episode director for Overlord episode 7]

Storyboards: Takashi Yamazaki [storyboard writer for Shokugeki no Soma‘s episode 6 / key animator for Yu Yu Hakusho‘s episode 79]

Script: Makoto Uezu [D-Frag! script writer for episodes 1, 3, 4, 8 and 12 / Akame ga Kill! script writer for episodes 1-8, 14, 18, 19, 22, 23 and 24]


Something that Arslan Senki gets right is how the story leans the characters into action rather than the characters pushing the story along.  We get to see introductions on a few pivotal key characters–  King of Lusitania Innocentius VII and younger brother Giskari.  Innocentius illustrates the stupidity of people in this show wonderfully and how his brother Giskari is trying at great lengths to keep him from ruining his King’s reputation.  Their introduction is slightly sidelined by the Queen Tahamenay seductive influence. 

King Innocentius takes great notice immediately enamored by her beauty.  Clearly, this stakes out that she’s probably done this to countless men in the past and could have resulted in King Andragoras’ actions in the past.  It’s a nice side-story to play against with Silver Mask’s vendetta and Arslan’s claim to the throne.

As for Silver Mask he mentions in this episode how Lusitanian soldiers are savages and this points out the fact he’s merely using them for his own gain.  This is obviously aimed at Grand Inquisitor and Priest Bodin–given how horribly he tortured Andragoras’ retainer Shapur in front of the entire kingdom.  To keep control in Silver Mask’s own hand he must sacrifice a lot of people.  Personally, I think there’s a lot of similarity between Silver Mask and Queen Tahamenay.  What’s noticeable is how Silver Mask isn’t even of Lusitanian blood and yet Kharlan puts a ton of faith in him.  So the invasion was started by a traitor of the Pars empire and a mysterious mercenary.

Narsus sends Elam to Ectabana disguised as woman in order to access the situation within the kingdom.  Things are finally circling back to the beginning right when Elam meets Lusitanian soldier Etoile, the blonde haired boy that young Arslan met in the premiere. I believe it’s intentional this entire sequence plays out like it does because it foreshadows the possibility that Etoile is a lot less boyish than he was when we first saw him.  And the fact he’s voiced by Yumi Uchiyama [Usagi Drop‘s Kazumi Kawachi] is further evidence Etoile is a girl.

The highlight in this episode, for me, is the introduction of Falangies.  With the help of Gieve they are able to take out a patrol of Lusitanian soldiers where it’s revealed that she’s an archer and emissary for the Temple of Mithra. Both of them are very intelligent and the wit that comes across ends up being a strong side-piece of comedy in this action, drama war series.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 9/10

Arslan Senki Episode 6

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Episode Director: Koji Aritomi [Assistant Director on Princess Mononoke / Episode Director for Kill la Kill’s episode 8 / Assistant Animation Director on Patlabor WXIII]

Storyboards: Ken’ichirō Murakawa [storyboard writer for Steins;Gate episodes 6, 16 and 21 / storyboard writer for Sword Art Online II episode 20 / storyboard writer for Jormungand episode 6]

Script: Aoi Shushiro [ Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace script writer on episodes 3, 4, 5 and 9]


Even up to this point of the story we’re just touching the surface of volume 1 of the novels.  This has been all exposition and prologue for a larger story about Arslan and his quest in finding people that will support him in reclaiming his kingdom.

I’m very glad that I’m re-watching this series.  It’s extremely patient and does away with the notion that this will be a fast-paced series.  A lot of anime, both series and film, suffer from this style of storytelling.  This episode for the most part completely removes Arslan and company out of the picture as they’re waiting out Kharlan’s troops in hopes that he ends their search for them. The big part of this is when the inevitable happens, Ectabana falls.  This is a great time for the story to move back towards the city and how the people of Lusitania will improve the broken city.  Like I’ve said before there isn’t a good kingdom, as the viewer we get a good look on even the harshest of times within each country.  We haven’t had the scenery of Lusitania that we’ve had on Pars in the first few episodes but the characters and their devotion to their God gives a solid perspective of their kingdom.  An extreme harsh reality for both sides.

This episode focuses on people imprisoned by the Pars kingdom as slaves and how Lusitanian soldiers  take that situation and spin it to their own advantages.  The only two people upholding the Pars King’s ambitious are the sensible Commander Saam and the brutal, un-compassionate Garshasph.  Two soldiers on the same side with very opposing viewpoints.  The Queen is unsettled by the situation at hand and is more worried about her own wellbeing than that of her husband or son.  Pointing to the possibility that they aren’t his real parents.  At least that’s the feeling I got when Saam tries to convince her to reward the slaves before anything worse happens and the only response is that she will think about it.

My favorite part of this is where Silver Mask infiltrates the very same aqueducts Gieve was sent through to escort the body double of the Queen.  The encounter with Silver Mask and the fight that ensues between them explores the idea that Gieve doesn’t hold any altruistic values.  This does pose an interesting question, how would he feel if the Pars kingdom were under Arslan’s rule?  A young prince owning up to responsibilities, pulling the same weight as the slaves.  It might not have been said yet but I feel that how he’s accepted Narsus as court painter and Daryun to protect him it’s not a huge surprise that he’ll probably be leaning on the work of slaves too!  Slaves that had always been the heart of Pars’ power and the fortified walls that keep their kingdom safe.

CG at the end was very strange.  Most of the soldiers weren’t even animated and just thrown in with CG and had the same faces. Come on Sanzigen! Quit being lazy!

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 7/10

 

Arslan Senki Episode 5

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Episode Director: Nagahama Norihiko [ TRIGUN episode director for 23 / Blood+ episode director on 34 / storyboards on a ton of hentai/ecchi series]

Storyboards: Kenji Setou [ Log Horizon ending director / Gakusen Toshi Asterisk director]

Script: Aoi Shushiro [ Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace script writer on episodes 3, 4, 5 and 9]



The original novels are wonderfully written. It’s a shame they’ve never been released in English.  Only the first two volumes have been unofficially translated.

Ah yes!  Just as we’re getting to know Lord Narsus this episode throws a curve ball–  the introduction of Gieve.  While Shapur’s death shows off Arslan Senki‘s lack of sympathy for each side waging war whom he’s killed by is the most interesting segment of this episode.  It adds mystery to this war tale.

A deceptive and womanizing young man that at first in order to win the heart of a lady-in-waiting acts as Prince.  When the Queen wants to meet the person that killed Shapur, Gieve turns out to be someone else entirely– an oud musician with average skills with a bow.  Whether that is the truth or not barely touches the surface of his character.  Daryun swears loyalty to Arslan but Gieve is vastly different in that he’s only loyal to himself.

Initially I was a worried about Narsus predicting everything but he is a tactician and his background serves him well in being a suitable strategist for Arslan.  Given that he’s been able to predict the invading army’s strategy of bringing down Ectabana from within.  It’s clear as day that the city is rotten at its core, the zealots attacking them is proof enough that neither side is viewed as favorable.  Arslan wants to find his own path and these actions plays with the idea that he’s searching for an answer that is definitely far removed from the the current battle between the two armies.

Speaking of the armies, the Lusianian priest, Bodin, that captures Shapur reminds me a lot of those theatrical stage mimes.  He’s got energy when he speaks and is very expressive with his movements.  Too bad Sanzigen couldn’t animate this better, there were quite a few scenes that had some terribly animated facial expressions.  Bodin is the stereotypical moustache villain that’s firmly fixated on his own teachings being the teaches of their God, Yaldabaoth.  This goes back to to the whole perspective of Arslan Senki‘s portrayal of its kingdoms being inherently bad.  Not one side is purely good, their actions might be viewed in their own kingdoms as righteous but outsiders may think otherwise.  It’s what we’ve got from that entire sequence between Bodin and Shapur.  Very intense.

I’d like to point out how amazing Gieve’s seiyu is.  KENN delivers an endearing, passionate and comical performance.  He’s gone from gruff nonchalant voice-work to extremely dramatic between his portrayals of Hibito Nanba from Uchuu Kyoudai to Kiseijuu‘s Mitsuo.  This is one of the best characters we’ve seen so far in Arslan Senki!

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 8/10

 

Arslan Senki Episode 4

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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

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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

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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