on March 1, 2017 by Mitch Jay
The Heroic Legend of Arslan: Part One was an anime that clearly had rich lore and depth which was never quite brought to light but with the second part of season one, Arslan really comes into its own in a thrilling, tense adventure that had me on the edge of my seat at times.
Much of the second half is focused on the troubles of the Kingdom of Sindhura where two brothers, Rajendra and Gadevi, are fighting for the throne as their father has fallen ill. Arslan’s army form an alliance with Rajendra and go to battle with Gadevi, culminating in a fantastic fight which enraptured me and a good few twists and turns. It’s all part of a consistent, engaging arc with colourful new characters and events which have higher stakes, and it kept me guessing with each episode. There’s another arc afterwards which really push Arslan and his army to their limits, and whilst I won’t talk too much about it now, there are plenty of battles that have been brewing from the first half that take place here — sadly, it does end before one of my most anticipated battles really gets underway. It’s a far stronger half with greater character development and it made a bigger Arslan fan out of me, and I’d be interested in going back and watching it all over now I know how it all pans out.
SANZIGEN and LIDENFILMS have had a lot of work to do when it comes to visuals and they don’t disappoint. The grand battles are impactful and have a nice blend of traditional 2D art and CGI, and its character design, lighting and shadowing are truly mesmerising. Whilst the entire series looks lovely, the second half has a whole lot more going on which means more to feast your eyes on. Things get brutal in later battles with more than a bit of bloodshed and brutal acts but this is war and, as we all know, war isn’t nice, and Arslan doesn’t care to make it seem anything less than horrible — Arslan himself strives for a world without conflict.
Once again, Arslan boasts a terrific English dub bursting with lively performances and emotion, and it’s nothing short of delightful to listen to. I certainly wouldn’t have guessed that Vic Mignogna was Silver Mask, and he’s joined by a large amount of other talent including Aaron Dismuke, Ricco Fajardo, Ian Sinclair, Rachel Robinson and Ryan Reynolds — no, not that Ryan Reynolds! I missed the ending theme from the first half of the season but again, I have no complaints regarding the soundtrack — It’s fitting for the series’ setting.
The Heroic Legend of Arslan: Part Two is a gripping journey that really lets the series grow into its own, and it has me excited for more. I know there’s another season out there that hopefully features some of the battles that were boiling over throughout this season, and I look forward to seeing how the characters and plot develops. Is Arslan something that’s worth watching? Yes, it is, but be aware that it does take some time to really get going! Universal’s release of it is fantastic with a thick book complete with artwork and interviews, a poster, character cards and thick art cards featuring unique art from each episode and they’re usually drawn by guest artists. It’s a brilliant release for a show I became quite fond of, and you should definitely give it a go.