RogerBW's Blog

Arslan Senki (2015) season 2 01 April 2017

2016 pseudo-historical fantasy, novel series adaptation in 8 episodes: AniDB, vtt "Arslan Senki Fuujin Ranbu" and "Heroic Legend of Arslan: Dust Storm Dance".

The first season of this new version of Arslan Senki was a fairly standard 25 episodes, taking up two of the quarterly slots in which anime is normally broadcast in Japan. For no obvious reason, this season was a mere eight, and the amount of story that happens is correspondingly small: Arslan is sent to a coastal city that's suffering from piracy, and deals with it. This definitely isn't the place to start this story.

Of course there's more complication. Arslan's father, the deposed king of Pars, has escaped from his dungeon, and requires Arslan to raise 50,000 troops and not return until he has done so; in effect, Arslan is sent into exile. Guiscard, the Lusitanian invaders' commanding general, is sufficiently frustrated by his idiot king that he takes matters into his own hands. Bodin, the Lusitanian Grand Inquisitor, has taken his fanatics off to set up his own petty kingdom. And Silver Mask, the general who had been helping the invaders, has his own plans.

Nothing is going the way people expected it to, and as usual when they have to think in a hurry they start to panic, decide poorly, and make things worse. It's increasingly clear that the important divide is not Parsian versus Lusitanian, but bloody-handed killers versus people who are trying to build a place worth living in. People continue to be stunned when Arslan, given someone who's been explicitly rebelling against his father's rule, doesn't kill him but instead gives him a chance to redeem himself. Eventually some of these may come back to bite him… or to prove that he was right.

This season seems to have been made with the same team and animation technology as season 1, and I continue to be impressed by the depiction of battles with thousands of individually-animated warriors. The limited stock of incidental music starts to show, with a particular "Arslan is doing something impressive" cue coming up rather too often.

There's absolutely no conclusion here, and no third series has been announced so far. (The older OVA series is still incomplete, and it's been over twenty years since the latest episode of that…)

See also:
Arslan Senki (2015) season 1

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