Note: Review copy supplied by MVM Entertainment
Title: Heroic Legend Of Arslan: Dust Storm Dance
Anime Studio: Liden Films
Publisher: MVM Entertainment
Genre: Adventure / Fantasy
Released: March 25th 2019
Language: Japanese / English
Extras: Episode commentary, Corporate Warrior Arslan chibi shorts, clean OP and ED, Trailers
From the creator of Fullmetal Alchemist comes the conclusion of an epic adventure. The Lusitania forces continue to hold rule over the Kingdom of Pars despite Arslan’s fierce battle against Lord Silver Mask. Arslan continues to fight for his rightful throne, but there are still many conflicts left to resolve. But the biggest mystery – who are his parents? And is that an answer he’s prepared to face?
The Heroic Legend Of Arslan is a strange series for me. To give you some history, the original version of the story was a fantasy novel series that ran from 1986 to 2017, encompassing sixteen novels in total. It was adapted into a manga back in 1991, was adapted into two anime movies and a four-part OVA. In 2013, Hiromu Arakawa started the story’s second manga adaption and this was then turned into the current anime series. Now, producing the manga turned out to be slower than the anime production, so it actually overtook the manga and started adapting the novels, but using Arakawa’s character designs.
This second season picks up the fifth and sixth novels. It also only runs to eight episodes, so it’s a quick watch compared to most. Honestly, it has a lot going for it. The animation feels a little tidier than it did in the first season, which makes the already decent action scenes even smoother to watch. The series also does a great job with background work; sure it’s not quite on par with some of the more picturesque series of recent years, but there’s no denying that the production team has gone to great lengths to make everything fit.
The story is pretty decent, and really, it’s a great example of how to present an epic fantasy story with a political edge. For some reason though, it’s never quite grabbed me the way I wanted it to. It’s strange because there’s nothing there that I can pinpoint as being an issue. It just didn’t click for me. I think that part of it may be that, while Hiromu Arakawa’s designs are good, I can’t help but see Ed Elric when I see Prince Arslan. Where that becomes an issue is that Fullmetal Alchemist is a series that I hold in such high regard that I automatically expect to be sucked in in the same way when another series reminds me of it.
So, how do I rate this? Well, that’s difficult because this feels like an improvement over the first season, but it still isn’t getting me excited. From a personal standpoint, I’d say that this sits at a 3.25 for me. If you really enjoyed season one though, you’re going to be looking at an easy 4 out of 5.