First Impression – Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu


Having Game of Thrones withdrawal? I think I have the perfect answer for you.

spring15-irenesSure GoT has more sex, blood, and gore (things I could go without anyway), but I think we do have enough political intrigue and royal drama to tide you over. Yes, the Heroic Legend of Arslan has returned!




We weren’t sure if we were going to get a sequel at first, but thankfully Studio Lidenfilms decided to finish out Arslan’s tale, or at least however much they can squeeze into the measly 8 episodes they’ve decided to give this story. But that just means that there is no time to lose, as there are no formal introductions or refreshers in this premiere episode, we’re just dumped unceremoniously back into the action once again.

Because of this, I do have to place a caveat on this series and state that if you have not seen or finished the first season of Arslan Senki, then I don’t think this series is for you. I’m pretty sure you’d be lost. Do yourself a favor and binge watch the 25 episodes of season 1 and then continue right into Fuujin Ranbu aka Dust Storm Dance. You won’t even skip a beat.


It’s been a year since we last were in the land of Pars, and a refresher might have been nice, but I was able to catch on pretty fast. Actually it’s kind of surprising that all of main and supporting characters are seem at least once in this first episode. We are reintroduced to Arslan once again, and all of his entourage. Daryun, Narsus, Farangis, Gieve, Elam, Alfreed, and Jaswant are all here. All the side characters on both side are also here, from Hermes (now being annoyingly renamed Hilmes in the subs) and his men, Guiscard, and his Lusitanian guard, even the idiot warriors three and Rajendra make an appearance. We quickly are reminded in a wonderful show-don’t-tell way what has happened since we last checked in and what each character is up to.


Last we left Arslan, he and his armies were marching towards the capital in order to finally take it back from Lusitanian rule. Gieve had been “thrown out” by Arslan in order to go on his own secret mission to Mt. Doom Demavant (which I think they meant to spell “Damavand”, but you know how spellings go) , one in which he ends up meeting up with Prince Hermes who after healing from his wounds from the battle of St. Emmanuel, is after the sword of his ancestors in order to prove that he is the true heir to the throne. It’s here that we get a bit of background on the history of this world, the kingdom of Pars, and on the royal lineage. We hear a small blurb about Pars’ Hero King Kaykhusraw who was basically their equivalent of King Arthur or King David. Basically, he was the greatest king that their nation ever knew, and to wield his sword, Rukhnabad, is basically to have his complete blessing as the rightful ruler of his people. Both Hermes and Arslan are on shaky ground when it comes to their claim to the Pars throne, and the sword would be a huge boon to help their cause.


I’m glad to see the action hasn’t slacked in the least, from the battle in the beginning where Arslan and his army unfortunately had to turn around from his campaign against the capital to deal with another invading country, to Gieve and his more close range skirmishes with Hermes and his men. Rukhnabad ends up in neither of their hands, but in that of the Bodin’s men. Yeah, remember that zealous nutjob? I think I fear for the sword to be in his hands even moreso than Arslan’s cousin. This is the same guy that burned up all of the texts in the library, simply because they were written by “heathens”. What do you think he’s going to do with the heirloom of Pars’ most legendary king, which may or may not hold magical powers? Even Hermes wouldn’t dare preform sacrilege on the ancient tomb and treasures of his ancestors. And how in the heck did he even know to go there in the first place?! So many questions to ask, not enough answers yet…


I smiled reminiscently to see the characters interacting again in that old familiar way. Arslan and Elam having their young friends talk, Elam and Alfreed engaging in their romantic tension banter, Arslan and Etoile having some sweet semi-romantic moments of their own, and Narsus and Daryun having their bromance late night chats. It’s the latter that shows Narsus’ mental skills once again, which we haven’t seen for awhile. He questions why the Lusitanians in the capital didn’t react to the fact that their army had to turn around, and he’s right to be concerned. There ARE in fact some strange goings on in Ecbatana. Or should I simply say, unexpected turns of events….


With all this fighting over the throne of Pars, everyone seems to be forgetting that in fact, there IS still an actual king in that spot. Andragoras is still the king of Pars, even if he has been held prisoner for months in the dungeons of his own palace. And he is still alive…and despite having been kept in chains all this time, he is also quite well.

I must say I wasn’t surprised that Andragoras was able to free himself from his prison, and in such a spectacular way too. I mean, he didn’t destroy, betray and murder his way to the throne and not be able to maintain it. He was always known to be a warrior king. And every warrior knows how to wait for the best opportunity to take down your opponents is. There is a reason why the iron age died out, iron while strong, undergoes rapid oxidation, and in a dank prison full of moisture from the air, sweat and acidity of piss, it didn’t take long for those chains to falter.


I also really can’t blame Guiscard for being duped, for while Lusitania is a fighting nation, Pars has always been on a different level in terms of warfare. In fact the only reason they even lost the first time was because they had Parsians helping them!  Also, like his brother, Guiscard doesn’t really go into battle. He’s used to more mental warfare than physical.

In less time than it took for them to the Lusitanians to take the capital, King Andragoras steals it right back, and while there are still Lusitanians present, somehow the entire city now looks deserted? I’m not sure what the king is doing yet, but I’m sure we’ll get more on that later. However, this has got to spell out some problems for Arslan. He’s been growing and working to become his own man and to become a king that his people can be proud of. However, many of his own desires and principles travel a different path than what his “father”’s directives. However, Andragoras is still king, and even if Arslan disagrees with him, he will still have to do what he says even though it might potentially undo all the progress he’s made.

Hermes is also in trouble, as while he was able to beat his uncle the first time, that was when the man didn’t know he was coming. This time, the man knows everything and is expecting him. This can only spell danger.


And we even have a twist in the very first episode, with our Lady Queen Tahamenay, who hasn’t actually said anything at all for some time. Yet she breaks her silence now that her husband his broken out and taken back his throne. But the really surprising thing is that she actually shows true emotion for I believe, only the second time in the entire series! It turns out that her husband had to coerce her cooperation in marrying him, and he has held this secret over her head all this time. However, this time, she’s at the end of her patience, and she breaks down and demands that Andragoras return her child to her.


It’s perfectly understandable that a mother wants her child returned to her, but exactly what is this child that she speaks of? The scene immediately cuts to Arslan at this point, and since we can still assume that his IS her son, we can reasonably think that she’s referring to him. But then what does she mean in insinuating that Andragoras has been keeping him from her? If she cared so much for him, why did she act so distant from him all the time? Or…could some agreement she had with her husband be WHY she was so emotionally cold with her son? I might even consider there is another child she is talking about, but come on! Another hidden royal? I just think there’s not enough time to introduce a sibling, that is unless it happens to be somebody we already met. That’s possible, but they had better get into all the backstory of what happened. We’ve waited too long to get some answers!




This was an excellent premiere episode to the new season and I’m excited to what we will be seeing next. My own knowledge of the series will end soon as they are closing in on the extent of the material shown in the OVAs. I don’t know how much they will be able to cover in only 8 episodes, but I will be there each step of the way. You’ll notice that I still call Silvermask, Hermes, despite the new spelling of his name. This is really just  because of both preference and consistency with the rest of my coverage of the series. I don’t want readers to go through 25 reviews with “Hermes” and then suddenly for them to ask who “Hilmes” is? And the dub still has it pronounced the same way we say “Hermes”, so I’m going to leave it at that. You guys know who I’m talking about! 😉  I have watched it thus far and I’m going to finish gosh darn it! It was great seeing all the characters again and getting back to Arslan Senki’s fascinating plot. I can’t wait to see what this series will bring next time.  



A Chicagoan biochemist, teacher, and an aspiring virologist, with a love for science only rivaled by my love for movies, animation, and anime. Both a lover of action/adventure and romance, I'm a girl who walks the entire spectrum. Mecha, Sci-Fi, Psychological Thriller, Romantic Period Piece, if it's has a good story, I'm there.
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10 Responses to “First Impression – Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu”

  1. skylion says:

    And we even have a twist in the very first episode, with our Lady Queen Tahamenay, who hasn’t actually said anything at all for some time. Yet she breaks her silence now that her husband his broken out and taken back his throne

    They need to do more with her. That taciturn nature either means they don’t know how to write for her character or she’s sitting on a mountain of secrets; and I don’t think the former is even an option.

    • IreneSharda says:

      Well, Tahamenay is more side character than supporting, she’s there because Arslan has to have a mother and they didn’t want to give her the “Disney Ax”. And in a way, the fact that she really hasn’t been in the series all that much actual makes her more interesting, simply from the fact that we don’t see her a lot, so we can’t get access to all the secrets she keeps as Arslan’s mother and as queen.

      In terms of plot, she also again didn’t really have much to do since she was basically a POW with an idiot slobbering all over her. So, yeah, I would go with the latter option. She holds the key to a lot of secrets.

      • skylion says:

        It’s a frequent character trope I see. That if people lived in actual anime land, at least if we take “real world, contemporary” drama at the main line, then having kids is hazardous to your health. I mean, I’m no actuarial, but you ever notice that so MANY characters either have just the one parent or both are dead? If you find yourself in anime land, and you want to live, don’t have kids. The stats are rigged against you!

        • IreneSharda says:

          Well, to be sure, childbirth was quite hazardous to your health, especially in this time period. I mean, it still is, really. We just have a lot more health advancements in place to minimize the dangers.

          But it is hilarious how much they do use it as an “excusable” character trope in order to get the parent or parents out of the way.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    Would anyone believe it’s been 15 months since the first season began? Oh, how time flies. Disappointing this season will be short lived but the likelihood of it ending on a cliffhanger is strong so the most that can be done is enjoying what’s allowed.

    The story has certainly taken an interesting turn. Remembering how the events left off, I expected a full-on campaign against Lustania to reclaim the homeland. Andragoras’ sudden intervention as a main player after getting sidelined for so long throws everything in the air.

    There’s a matter I find bothersome. If Andragoras had the monstrous strength he used against Giscard this entire time, how did he fall to Hermes so easily? His right hand man Vahriz died protecting him. So now it feels like he died in vain.

    Based on the PVs and OP visuals showing the characters in what appears to be attire to cope with the blazing heat, most of the run will be at sea. As a result, begs to question as to what is to be accomplished.

    • IreneSharda says:

      It has been a while hasn’t it? I’m hoping they’ll at least finish on a solid note, but if they do have to use a cliffhanger, to have part 3 soon.

      In terms of Andragoras, he’s always been known as very strong and a very brave warrior, even before he became king. However you have to remember that with Hermes, that was after a battle, and for the first time he had to retreat, which hits hard in his pride. Also, Vahriz would have protected him anyway, that’s his job. The protection of the king is paramount, no matter how strong that king may be. You could have Schwarzenegger as president, and the secret service would still do their jobs the same way.

      But as to why didn’t Andragoras beat Hermes, well, Hermes is a much better strategist then his uncle, and he’s obviously better at swordplay. He took his uncle and his forces by surprise, and all it takes is one blow to knock someone unconscious and take them prisoner. In that cell, Andragoras has probably been planning and bidding his time for a while, testing the strength of the chains etc. So, when Guiscard came, he was ready.

  3. ProtoSovereign says:

    Arslan Senki is the only new series I’m currently following and I’m sure glad its back. I’m going to catch up on some stuff before starting any other new series but there are some I’m very much looking forward to.

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