Christian artist and gamer. Crazy about ducks and the color purple.
Hey there everyone! This is Asie, reviewing Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu for Manga Tokyo! It’s the second season of the series. Fuujin Ranbu means Dust Storm Dance for those who don’t know!
The first season aired in April of 2015, just last year, so with more than a year of waiting, fans are certainly hyped (including myself) with its return! Unfortunately, this second season only has 8 episodes compared with the first one’s 25 episodes, but here’s to hoping they give us a wonderful story once again!
Our first episode starts off with Hilmes talking with a hooded man (most likely the mysterious disappearing guy he often talks to before) about the legendary sword of the Hero King Kaykhusraw, Rukhnabad. Apparently, it can only be wielded by those who have the right to rule the Kingdom of Pars, so it definitely caught Hilmes’ attention now. From this, we can guess that this sword is our key item this season. It’s quite commonplace in stories to have a legendary heirloom to prove your legitimacy, though it’s quite odd that something that important is still only a legend. You’d think that someone should’ve searched for it by now and passed it onto the next kings of Pars.
The next scene is a siege on Peshawar Fortress by an army of the Kingdom of Tūrān from the north. With most of their soldiers away with Arslan to retrieve the Holy Capital of Ecbatana at the end of the first season, Peshawar is very much outnumbered. Certain shots will tell you just how bad their situation is. Rows and rows of soldiers marching towards the fortress, Pars soldiers on the top of the walls are dying left and right from the enemy arrows and soldiers that managed to climb up the walls. Even the main door to the supposedly impenetrable fort is getting broken down by a huge log, and no one inside is trying to do anything about it. Everyone is doomed.
Suddenly though, Arslan and his army appears and flanks the Tūrān forces. The anime takes this time to introduce to us once again our main, overpowered team, showing them defeating enemies in their wake. Arslan too is shown, dignified and brave, and you couldn’t be anymore prouder! From the wimpy, innocent child experiencing his maiden battle in the first episode of last season, he’s surely come a long way! The Tūrān forces realizes that the tide has changed against them, so they’re forced to retreat.
Afterwards, we learn that King Rajendra, the new monarch of Sindhura, sent word to Arslan of the incoming attack on Peshawar. This forced them to halt their assault on Ecbatana and go back. Rajendra was supposed to send reinforcements for them, but, being a crafty man, he likely only made use of this chance to make Pars and Tūrān kill each other, saving himself the trouble from two enemy kingdoms.
Meanwhile, Gieve, the travelling musician who separated from our main group in the first season (and is much missed), is camping out in Mount Demavant under Arslan’s orders. He then sees Hilmes with a few men climbing the mountain in search for the tomb of the Hero King. The legend proves true as they find the tomb and the sword Rukhnabad (seriously though why didn’t anyone take time to find something that important?).
Hilmes was about to leave with it when Gieve appeared. An epic fight ensued, Gieve matching up with Hilmes and his men (see what I meant with our main team being overpowered people?). Thanks to Gieve’s quick wit and nimbleness though, he managed to get the sword and run off with it. But, as Hilmes’ team stopped him outside the tomb, the sword fell off a cliff and was taken by a group of Lusitanian Temple Knights apparently sent by Bodin (who I thought was dead but apparently not). I thought Hilmes and Gieve were going to work together to get the sword back, but guess not?
Back in Ecbatana, Guiscard, the younger brother of the emperor of Lusitania pays Arslan’s father Andragoras a visit in jail to hear about Hilmes and his motives. Surprise surprise as Andragoras suddenly and epicly breaks his chains off the wall and kills the two guards accompanying Guiscard, and holds the younger prince hostage. I thought he could’ve actually gotten out of there all this time, but looks like 6 months’ worth of sweat and soup makes iron rust and easily broken. The security could’ve been stricter and checked this often, so this is what they get.
Outside the capital, Etoille, the female Lusitanian soldier Arslan finally befriended, is escorting refugees and survivors from the Battle for the Keep of Saint-Emmanuel. She remembers parting with him after the battle, and telling him to not die because heathens go to hell when they die (a tsundere remark if you ask me). When they get inside the capital, she and the others are surprised to see Ecbatana deserted and in ruins. The scene switches to the throne room, with guards dead on the floor and Andragoras sitting on the throne. His queen, Tahamine, enters and meets with him, and their talk turns into the queen desperately telling Andragoras to give her son back to her. Guess she does love Arslan after all! Or it could it be a different son?
The anime is off to a good start! The animation was lovely so far, but to be honest, let’s hope the quality doesn’t drop in the next episodes like with the first season. As for the story, they laid out the key elements and characters involved for this season, some obviously and some subtly, which makes it very exciting and easy to get hooked on! Those who’ve been fans since the first season will be anticipating new episodes every week, and those who stumbled upon this gem will definitely want to go back and watch the previous season to know what’s going on. It actually makes me quite sad that we’re only getting 8 episodes, so let’s see how it goes! Maybe they’ll hint at a new season at the end?
And with that, let’s keep it up Arslan Senki! Till next week’s second episode, “The Monarch versus The Conqueror” which seems really exciting!