In the medieval kingdom of Pars, young Prince Arslan confronts the hostility of his father and the disinterest of his mother, and yearns to learn more about the world. Despite being surrounded by poverty and slavery, Arslan persists in seeing the possibility of a nobler world. Everything changes when the neighboring nation of Lusitania invades Pars, and Arslan is forced to grow up in an instant.
Arslan Senki follows Prince Arslan to war, where he struggles to save his nation and family with the help of a small but devoted circle of advisers. Along the way the young prince finds secrets around every corner and faces enemies who hate him because of what he is, but also finds friends where he least expects them. The story of nations at war, Arslan Senki is also the story of one boy's quest to stay himself in the most trying of circumstances.
This anime is one of the very first I've seen back in the days, and to this day is probably what got me into the genre.
Great story if your into fantasy and some sword play, I only wished the series was a little longer and more fleshed out but I loved in none the less.
The originial english voice actors at the beginning are quite good, no idea why they changed the VA's towards the end... I think it was a long time between releases.. but still, watch it in japanese and you should be fine if you hate inconsistencies there.
Shame for them to
do that otherwise i'd give it a perfect score.
Definately reccomended to the old skool anime-goers.
For me this anime’s strongest points were its artistic sense, story, and likeable main characters. The drawbacks were a few inconsistencies (because the episodes were made so far apart), the plot could have been tighter, and the animation wasn’t all that pretty sometimes. However, in my opinion the imagination, captivating story, and unique style far outweighed the negative aspects.
IN SHORT: If you like a nice old fashioned adventure- epic, with fantasy, a mystical art style, and a mostly character centered plot, then you will probably enjoy Arslan Senki. The designs and art are unique, and the story is interesting and captivating.Give this one a
shot! It won’t take you long, it’s only a six episode OVA.
Positive: The animation is not that great, and animation and budget are limited, but the art direction is brilliant! There were many beautiful shots and artistic sceneries. One of the little touches that stood out to me was the way in which fire was animated throughout the ova. The fire is off the chain in this one!
Negative (small): Sometimes the action didn’t make much sense, and a few fights seemed unrealistic (within the context of Arslan Senki’s universe).
Positive: I loved the story! The scope was broad and the sense it gives off is that of an epic journey. You see the main character grow into a more mature man and capable ruler. It’s all about the underdog and how his quest to gain power and regain his position. Yes, the show is about war and politics, but it spends most of its time on Arslan’s development and telling the stories of its characters.
Okay: I liked the variety of characters who were all interesting in their own way. Excluding Arslan and a few others the characters weren’t the most nuanced or multi-dimensional characters ever, but they were still a step above flat, one dimensional, archetypal characters. So all in all, they were pretty good, not the best, but still good.
Negative: The start was a bit boring, but the story continuously becomes more engrossing as it progresses. I would say this is something you need to sit down, relax, and give yourself plenty of time to watch. As someone who gets bored of shows very quickly (look at my “dropped” list), I’d say the slow start isn’t unbearable and still has enough interesting moments on its own. Overall, the story and the plot have a more laid back feel to them. (Which isn’t necessarily a problem, it’s just the OVA’s style)
SUMMARY: If you like a nice old fashioned adventure- epic, with fantasy, a mystical art style, and a mostly character centered plot, then you will probably enjoy Arslan Senki. The designs and art are unique, and the story is interesting and captivating. Give this one a shot! It won’t take you long, it’s only a six episode OVA.
The unbeaten army of Pars finds itself lured into a trap during a battle. The troops get slaughtered, the king captured and their capitol is taken later on. The crown prince, Arslan, escapes with his loyal fighter, Darün/Daryoon (I watched G_P's release "Darün", but here he is listed as "Daryoon").
From there Arslan allies a handful loyal companions around him and marches to castle Peshawar at the border to plan his strike on the capitol to retake and free his parents, the King and Queen. With a few side-stories going on, this anime never got me bored and always got me hooked for one more episode,
although I was running late for work.
The art and sound sure are not near up-to-date, but to be honest, I don't care. In the end you have to judge something by the standards of that time. Otherwise you could claim to be better than Galileo Galilei, because now we know more than he did.
The story, characters and the overall enjoyment were outstanding. This isn't just a companion-rallying medieval fight-anime with some magic to it. No, it has deep political (how he got that elephant-riding troop to join him and other very clever moves), deep moral (his childhood and therefore his hatred for slavery and some other things, but don't want to spoil), funny (Gieve/Guibu always making me smirk with his highly intelligent and eloquent verbal punches towards anyone), and of course captivating, because this story is well-written.
I would have liked to see more than 6 episodes, but I think leaving the rest to the imagination of the watcher isn't half-bad either. I liked how Gieve/Guibu started picking on the people in the castle and left the party after that, because as a ministrel/bard he is just too much of a free spirit to be "caged" inside a castle for too long. I am sure in other anime, they would have made him stay or even not pick up fights, but this anime is very authentic and that is one of few factors, which made me give this anime 10/10 and boost it on the top of my list.
Like many, my interest in this version of Arslan Senki was spurred by the Arakawa anime adaptation, which is 14 episodes in at the time of this writing. Unfortunately, I did not have the pleasure of viewing this version earlier, whether in my childhood or otherwise.
The five main characters, Arslan, Daryun, Narsus, Gieve, and Farangies, are written well enough in this OVA and have presence. However, the secondary members of Arslan’s band, especially Alfreed and Etoile, are not; Their time on screen proves to be dull and pointless. Silvermask is a pleasant surprise, starting as a fairly generic villain shaking his fist of vengeance at
the protagonist. In time, he grows to be genuinely engaging, and his character and story are actually the most interesting. Shuuichi Ikeda was just the right amount of over-the-top in this performance and it is perfection. Unfortunately, Silvermask’s story has no resolution, and that is genuinely disappointing.
The plot and writing are sloppy, and Silvermask’s story is not the only plot thread to be unresolved. In fact, most of the plot threads that the OVA works so hard to weave together are ultimately abandoned. Regardless of the shortage of source material, these points as well as the anticlimactic ending should be taken into account when writing critically about the anime.
Artwise, the style is distinctive and pleasing, sporting a bit of greek flair. The character designs are harmonious and cool to say the least, many being infinitely better than the Arakawa version. Farangies, Arslan, and Daryun’s 1991 designs deserve a special mention. The cultural aesthetic of Arslan Senki is fairly strong, though a lot of the kingdoms shown did not look different enough from each other; In a story about warring countries, this can make for confusion.
Though the style is nice, the animation itself mixed bag. It is oftentimes incredibly impressive, though it can be inconsistent and generally lacking. There are times when the low framerate is painfully apparent, and many classic budget cutting tricks are used. Examples include: no backgrounds/white glow, reuse of shots, unnecessary silhouetting, and restriction of color (for instance, coloring night scenes in monochrome gray).
Regarding sound, only one or two pieces of music in the soundtrack are remarkable. It has a pronounced late eighties/early nineties sound to it, which not a bad thing by any means but it is worth noting and does date the OVA. The voice acting is decent: not anything ground-breaking, but it gets the job done.
Overall, this incarnation of Arslan Senki is inferior to its more cohesive remake, but it is still extremely enjoyable. Though flawed, I am quite fond of it and it is undoubtedly worth a watch.
It's time to get medieval in this article! If you're a fan of European style medieval anime then this is a must read. Anyone who loves knights, nobility, peasantry, and grand battles should watch these shows.