The Heroic Legend of Arslan – Season 1 Episodes 14 – 25 Review

Heroic Legend of Arslan P2

The second half of The Heroic Legend of Arslan’s first season starts off with a long side-story about the Kingdom of Shidhura and a civil war brewing between the two children of its ruler. Arslan and his group of survivors end up taking one side in the war in exchange for their help with taking back their homeland, so it does make sense. It ends with a large-scale battle between Pars and Lusitania anyway, so you still a sense of pay-off for the finale. Let’s take a deeper look!

Synopsis:

Taking advantage of the crisis in Pars, Prince Rajendra, from the Kingdom of Sindhura,commands an army to invade the country from the east, only to be defeated and captured by Arslan’s subjects. Knowing that Rajendra is contending for the throne of his own country with his older brother Gadevi, Arslan convinces him to form an alliance…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

Cast of Characters:

Heroic Legend of Arslan P2 1

Jaswant joins the cast, at the cost of pretty much all the other characters, comparing this to the Cast picture from Part 1…

Arslan (Yusuke Kobayashi / Aaron Dismuke) – Arslan is worried about his place as true successor to the throne after his showdown with Hilmes, but he has no time to dwell on these things, as soon a foreign army is at his door…

Daryun (Yoshimasa Hosoya / Ricco Fajardo) – Daryun is worried about Hilmes, otherwise known as Silvermask. Not only does he have a legitimate claim to the throne, but he’s a talented fighter, perhaps more so than even himself…

Narsus (Daisuke Namikawa / Christopher Bevins) – Narsus is a master strategist, so much so that when Rajendra and his soldiers approach his camp, he sees it as a potential opportunity, rather than a threat.

Farangis (Maaya Sakamoto / Rachel Robinson) – Loyal to Arslan for reasons more than just her temple’s orders, Farangis truly believes in her Prince’s cause.

Gieve (KENN / Jerry Jewell) – Gieve spent his life as a grifter and a conman, as well as a musician, but now he finds himself enthralled by the potential of Prince Arslan, alongside the beauty of Farangis…

Elam (Natsuki Nanae / Justin Briner) – Elam is a freed slave who used to serve Narsus’ house, but now willingly follows him around and helps him out. He is weary of Narsus’ new “wife” Alfreed, mind you…

Alfreed (Manami Numakura / Jad Saxton) – Alfreed’s family and tribe were wiped out by Silvermask, and now she happily follows her “husband” Narsus and his quest to see Arslan crowned King.

Jaswant (Wataru Hatano / Marcus D. Stimac) – Jaswant is loyal to his father figure, Grand Vizier Mahendra, and so willingly accepts his orders to spy on Rajendra’s army on behalf of Prince Gadevi…

Silvermask / Hilmes (Yuki Kanji / Vic Mignogna) – The son of the monarch Arslan’s father deposed, Hilmes is the true heir of the Pars throne and is willing to go to extreme lengths to prove it…

Etoile (Yumi Uchiyama / Ryan Reynolds) – Etoile is a knight of Lusitania, and a devout follower of their God. Currently stationed at the Keep of Saint Emmanuel, though willingly accepts any mission that will take him out of the confined walls of the Keep and into the thick of the action.

Rajendra (Kousuke Toriumi / Ian Sinclair) – Rajendra is a cunning and sneaky member of the Sindhuran royal family. He wishes to rule in place of his father and has no issues with any way to accomplish this, save for harming his father…

Gadevi (Susumu Chiba / J. Michael Tatum) – Gadevi, much like Rajendra, is willing to do whatever it takes to take the throne he feels is owed to him as the oldest sibling. Unlike Rajendra, who has some love for his people and soldiers, Gadevi is cold-hearted and merely sees them as pawns he has to use to get what’s his…

Plus more!

The Good:

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The truth revealed!

While in places it felt like a detour for the sake of a detour, I did enjoy the story arc involving the country of Sindhura. An internal strife between Princes, but neither are good people. In fact it annoyed me that after an introduction that was full of snide remarks and betrayal Prince Rajendra became nice and coexisted with Arslan and his army, but after the whole affair was done he tried to betray him again and revealed his “true colours” … that we already knew about. It was good, because otherwise it was looking like a stupid character turn around.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Prince Gadevi was worse, he was cruel and devoid of any kind of love for his own people, so it makes sense that Arslan continued to help Rajendra, and that he was the better choice of the two. After a large battle between the two forces and a one on one duel featuring Daryun facing a literal giant, Gadevi went nuts and ended up killing the Grand Vizier Mahendra, leading to his execution by his own brother (despite the fact that Rajendra promised his dying father that he would spare his brother’s life…)

Amongst all this chaos is the introduction of a new member of Arslan’s inner circle: Jaswant. He was fiercely loyal to his adoptive father, the afroementioned Grand Vizier Mahendra, and willingly went undercover for his father’s master Gadevi. When he was found out, Arslan spared him, something he never saw coming. After his father’s death he swore his loyalty not to Rajendra, but to Arslan, making sure to point out that he wasn’t swearing loyalty to Pars, just Arslan. He’s the quiet and stoic type, so he doesn’t add much character-wise, but he does add a bit of cultural diversity, if nothing else…

The last five episodes sees Arslan and his now large army of followers march out to take the building that’s the first step back into Parsian soil: The Keep of Saint Emmanuel, now being defended by Prince Hilmes and a large garrison of Lusitanian soldiers. It has everything you want from a show like this, large-scale army-on-army battles, military tactics leading to shifts in momentum, and then the bigger, named soldiers having one-on-one battles with each other amid the chaos. The main highlight being Daryun facing off with Hilmes, where they both end up delivering a near-fatal wound to each other, but the former Silvermask spares his foes life, instead wanting to take everything away from him before he kills him (that old chestnut!)

This is also where Etoile finally finds out that the grey-haired aristocrat he’s been talking too is Prince Arslan himself… and also when we find out that he is actually a she. Etoile is actually Ester and she pretends to be a boy so she can become a knight, only (literally) taking her hair down to enter the enemy camp and spy on them as a regular maid (one such occasion she ended up inspiring Prince Arslan to forget about his possible lack of rightful heir-ness, much to her later distress). Etoile manages to push past her surprise and try to attack the Prince, but is beaten back, and then later tries to kill him again when he looks like Arslan had killed her commander and friend (though he had actually committed suicide). The two end up having a heart-to-heart while she’s in prison, at least until Arslan bashes her faith. It’s a good, complex relationship, and nice pay-off to the events of Episode 1.

So this half of the series is full of action and the politics and tactics of warfare. It’s pretty damn good!

The Bad:

Heroic Legend of Arslan P2 2

“Hey, I may have betrayed and tried to kill you a few times, but you can trust me, right?”

Not much. At one point, in order to quell the racism and general distrust amongst his men, Arslan publically exiles Gieve, but in actuality he was sent on a secret mission by Narsus. It was… awkward, I think mostly because the way it was handled was so obvious as to what was going on I can’t believe anyone fell for it.

I still find Alfreed and Elam annoying a lot of the time, though both did at least get a non-annoying moment to shine during the big climactic battle, so… that’s an improvement.

Oh and a trio of generals being stupid enough to break away from the main army in order to chase glory only to nearly die… Yet they were welcomed back in with no punishment. Arslan is a soft ruler, alright!

Overall Thoughts:

Heroic Legend of Arslan P2 4

Hilmes knows how to make an overly evil exit!

The Heroic Legend of Arslan Season 1’s second half is full of the kind of sword-fighting and grand battle tactics that you want from this kind of fantasy series. After spending the first half establishing the cast and setting, the show was allowed to tell two distinct storylines that were full of believable characters and great action. Highly recommended, a good pay-off to a decent beginning.

5 Star Watch

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