Our main character of this story is a young boy named Arslan, who is the crown prince of a powerful kingdom called Pars. Arslan often finds himself lacking the qualities to be a good king, as his father is strong and brave yet he himself is rather timid.
After a successful battle against the Lusitanians, his father brings home the troops and numerous Lusitanian slaves; one of which is a young boy Arslan’s age. Arslan, wanting to know more about the world, decides to talk to these Lusitanians. Unfortunately, Arslan gets taken hostage by the Lusitanian boy, who had escaped thanks to three rowdy boys from Arslan’s kingdom. Arslan and the Lusitanian boy spend the day running around the entire kingdom, as the Lusitanian boy attempts to find a means of escape. In the small instances of downtime, Arslan and the boy converse a bit about each other’s own culture.
Eventually, the boy manages to escape, though not without nearly killing Arslan in the process. But Arslan doesn’t take it personally as he is still alive. After this fiasco, Arslan returns to his palace, although with his eyes slightly opened to the world beyond his kingdom. As the episode ends, we are shown a glimpse of the future three years later, when Arslan embarks on his first maiden battle.
Apparently this isn’t the first time that this series has been animated. Originally just a series of novels (that are still on-going), it was eventually adapted into a manga (which finished) and a series of OVAs. This anime series is going to be based on the manga.
So far the story is interesting enough. Arslan is actually my favorite sort of character. He is a prince, but he is also extremely compassionate and kind. He is also implied in this episode to have an amazing affinity with animals. Because of his upbringing as a royal, he’s rather sheltered to the darker aspects of the outside world. Heck, he thinks that slavery isn’t a bad thing, because at least the people are “well fed.” After conversing with the Lusitanian boy, however; it seems that Arslan is quickly learning the awful truth about his reality.
There’s not really too much I can say about this episode, because it’s obviously meant to be some sort of prologue. The real story starts with Arslan’s maiden battle. I do have to wonder about Arslan’s family life, though. Both his mother and his father seem very distant towards Arslan. There is also some implied animosity between the two of them towards each other. Not much has been revealed about the kingdom of Lusitania either. While the boy Arslan met claimed that they worship a god that treats all people as equal, there are hints that that sort of fanaticism isn’t so great either. So basically, both the kingdom of Pars AND Lusitania seem like shitty places to live in. I’m guessing that Arslan will be the one who eventually changes all of that.
Overall, a fairly good start to a potentially interesting anime. Arslan makes for a great main character, and the animation so far isn’t too shabby. The only criticism I have is that there are far too many characters introduced all at once, but I’m sure they’ll all get more screentime later. Sadly, I’m not too interested in blogging a series like this, but I’m sure anyone who loves a good mythical legend would love this series.
Out of five: