The Heroic Legend of Arslan: Season 1, Part 1 (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)
September 28, 2016 by Dennis Amith
“The Heroic Legend of Arslan” is a series that will entertain those who enjoy adventure-driven anime series, with political intrigue, warring countries and many characters. I enjoyed it more than the oldschool OVA’s and felt the storyline had a good balance of humor but also plots focused on character development. So far, I am enjoying this series a lot and I can’t wait for volume 2! “The Heroic Legend of Arslan” is recommended!
Image courtesy of © Kodansha, Arslan Project Committee MBS. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: The Heroic Legend of Arslan: Season 1, Part 1
ANIME SERIES AIR DATE: 2015
DURATION: (Episodes 1-13) 325 Minutes
BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (16:9), English and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English Subtitles
Release Date: August 23, 2016
Originally created by Hiromu Arakawa, Yoshiki Tanaka
Directed by Noriyuki Abe
Series Composition by Makoto Uezu
Music by Taro Iwashiro
Character Design by Kazuo Watanabe, Ushio Tazawa
Art Director: Tadashi Kudo
Chief Animation Director: Kazuo Watanabe, shingo Ogiso, Ushio Tazawa
Anime Production: Liden Films, Sanzigen Animation Studio
Featuring the following voice talent:
Daisuke Namikawa/Christopher Bevins as Narsus
Kenn/Jerry Jewell as Gieve
Maaya Sakamoto/Rachel Robinson as Falangies
Natsuki Hanae/Justin Briner as Elam
Yoshimasa Hosoya/Rico Fajardo as Daryun
Yūsuke Kobayashi/Aaron Dismuke as Arslan
Yuuki Kaji/Vic Mignona as Silvermask
Atsuko Tanaka as Tahamine
Hiroki Yasumoto/Jarrod Greene as Kishuard
Hiroshi Yanaka as Sām
Katsuyuki Konishi/Josh Grelle as Shapur
Kenta Miyake/Chris Ryan as Kubad
Kousuke Toriumi/Ian Sinclair as Rajendra
Manami Numakura/Jad Saxton as Alfreed
Masakazu Morita/Clifford Chapin as Xandes
Shiro Saito/Mark Stoddard as Bodan
Takayuki Sugo/Christopher R. Sabat as Andragoras III
Takehito Koyasu/Eric Vale as Giskarl
Toru Ohkawa/Kent Williams as Kharlan
Toshiharu Sakurai/Jeremy Inman as Innocentius VII
Wataru Hatano/Marcus D. Stimac as Jaswant
Yumi Uchiyama/Ryan Reynolds as Etoile
An incomparable anime epic from the original creator of Fullmetal Alchemist, Hiromu Arakawa, The Heroic Legend of Arslan brings political intrigue, thrilling action, and a colorful cast of characters together for a grand adventure filled with treachery and triumph.
Pars Era, the year 320—war is on the horizon. As the soldiers of Pars prepare for battle, a traitor within their ranks turns the tides in favor of the enemy kingdom, Lusitania. Arslan, the young Prince of Pars, survives the massacre to discover that his father has gone missing and his life is in grave danger. Unsure who to trust, Arslan escapes the battlefield, evading capture until he’s found by his loyal friend Daryun, the formidable Black Knight of Pars. With nothing but Arslan’s title and Daryun’s skill, the pair set off on a journey to return the Prince to his rightful place on the throne of Pars.
Back in 1986, author Yoshiki Tanaka would create a fantasy novel series titled “Arslan Senki” (a.k.a. “The Heroic Legend of Arslan”).
With a total of 15 novels having been published, the series would then receive a four-part OVA adaptation in the 1990’s, followed by a manga series adaptation (1991-1996), two animated film adaptations and a new manga adaptation in 2013 featuring illustrations by Hiromu Arakawa for “Bessatsu Shonen Magazine”.
In 2015, a TV series anime adaptation based on this 2013 manga aired on television and while a second season began airing in Japan, in the United States, the anime series with an English dub will be released on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Funimation.
The series is directed by Noriyuki Abe (“Bleach”, “Black Butler” series, “GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka”), series composition by Makoto Uezu (“Akame ga KILL!”, “Assassination Classroom”, “Yumeria”), music by Taro Iwashiro (who composed the music for the live action versions of “Azumi”, “Prince of Tennis”, “Rurouni Kenshin”), character designs by Kazuo Watanabe (“Kamen no Maid Guy”, “Oku-sama wa Joshi Kosei”, “Kamen no Maid Guy”) and Ushio Tazawa (“Senyu”) and art direction by Tadashi Kudo (“Gestalt”, “Katanagatari”, “Dokkoida?”).
The series revolves around the kind-hearted Arslan. The Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Pars, who was not originally raised in royalty and has always cared for people. And as he starts to see the world in a bad state, he wants to make a difference.
So, he takes part in the first battle against Lusitania but when King Adragoras III, Arslan’s father is killed by one of his own generals, his loyal servant Daryun rescues him from trouble and they retreat along with the Parsian army.
Wanting to make a different, Arslan and Daryun try to recruit well-known soldiers such as the retired tactician Narsus, his page Elam, the priestess Farangis, the womanizer Gieve and others to their cause.
Meanwhile a mysterious man wearing a silver mask wants nothing more but to see Arslan and his people destroyed.
“The Heroic Legend of Arslan” is presented in 1080p High Definition (16:9). There is a lot of detail featured in the art backgrounds, a lot of characters featured and these characters have great detail and shadowing. Very good animation during the more action intense sequences.
The anime series is colorful but features a slight softness, but that is expected with anime TV series. But overall, wonderful animation especially during the action sequences by Sanzigen Animation Studios and Liden Films.
I found no compression artifacts or any problematic issues with this Blu-ray release.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“The Heroic Legend of Arslan” is presented in English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0. The series for the most part features crystal clear dialogue and music and there is good use of the surround channels during sequences with a lot of people, army battles and for action sequences.
Subtitles are in English.
“The Heroic Legend of Arslan: Season 1, Part 1 features the following special features:
- Chapter II Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by ADR Director Christopher Bevins (voice of Narsus), Jeremy Inman (Assistant Director), Rico Fajardo (voice of Daryun) and Aaron Dismuke (voice of Arslan).
- Chapter XIII Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by ADR Director Christopher Bevins (voice of Narsus) and voice talents Rachel Robinson (voice of Farangis), Jerry Jewell (voice of Gieve), Aaron Dismuke (voice of Prince Arslan).
- Promotional Video – (1:31) Japanese PV for “Arslan Senki”
- Commercial Collection #1 and #2
- Textless Opening and Closing Song
- U.S. Trailer – Funimation trailer for “The Heroic Legend of Arslan”
“The Heroic Legend of Arslan” comes with a Blu-ray and DVD version of the series plus a slipcover.
For those who enjoy adventure-driven anime series that deals with warring countries in political stryfe will find “The Heroic Legend of Arslan” to be a series worth their time.
My first brush with “The Heroic Legend of Arslan” were the old Central Park Media OVA releases back in the ’90s and to be truthful, because the English dubs were inconsistent and releases took way too long.
So, I found “The Heroic Legend of Arslan” animated TV series to be more entertaining because there is a lot of focus on character development, a lot of emphasis in the growth of the character of Arslan, not just as a fighter but also his vision of the world.
Also, another major plus is the character development on the people that surround Arslan and watching their adventures, as they are able to recruit allies and some who don’t hesitate in stabbing them in the back. But also showing us the various antagonists throughout the series and how the situations from episode to episode become more complex but also entertaining.
It has a feel of an epic series and while I only have watched the first 13 episodes, from what I have watched thus far, I’m really enjoying this series!
Are there any caveats? I think for those who don’t like series with too many characters or series that are quite long, may find “The Heroic Legend of Arlsan”. These episodes are continuing and there are two seasons but not as long as series such as “One Piece”, “Naruto” or “Dragon Ball”.
As for the Blu-ray, picture quality is good. The series is colorful and I really didn’t see any issues with artifacts or banding. As for the lossless soundtrack, the English dub is very well-acted and the Japanese soundtrack as well. But the English dub gets a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD treatment, while the Japanese soundtrack only gets 2.0 (which is typical of anime TV series). And as for special features, you get two audio commentaries and more.
Overall, “The Heroic Legend of Arslan” is a series that will entertain those who enjoy adventure-driven anime series, with political intrigue, warring countries and many characters. I enjoyed it more than the oldschool OVA’s and felt the storyline had a good balance of humor but also plots focused on character development. So far, I am enjoying this series a lot and I can’t wait for volume 2!
“The Heroic Legend of Arslan” is recommended!
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