Arslan Senki – OVA 1

I’m hopelessly backed up on OVAs and movies, but since we’re in the middle of the second season of Arslan Senki (almost literally in the middle, as it’s only eight episodes) it seemed like a good idea to finally queue this one up.  It’s the first of a two-episode original OVA, with the second due in December of this year and it’s set about midway through the first season of the TV series.

Arslan Senki takes an approach we’ve seen quite a lot of over the years with OVAs, which is to provide a much more comedic take on the story.  And it does so pretty effectively – there are several very funny passages in this episode, even if a couple (like the post-credits scene with Innocentius and Hilmes) do miss the mark.

The central premise here is that Gieve takes Arslan aside to try and convince him that it’s time for him to partake of the sins of the flesh (which would certainly have been standard practice for a young noble in this time period).  What I’m not quite sure of is whether or not this was staged by Arslan’s entire retinue – there seemed to be a conspicuous effort to get Gieve alone with Arslan, but on the other hand there was also considerable surprise when the rest of the party returned.  In the interim Gieve proceeds to tell Arslan a series of fictions about Narsus, Daryun and Elam being honed to greatness by the pursuit of love, which gives Kenn the chance for some very amusing line deliveries as the heroines of his stories.  Of course, by the time he’s gotten to Elam’s tale he’s so weary of playing heroines that most of the story consists of stick figures and “yada, yada”.

All in all this was pretty funny stuff.  I liked the bit with Daryun casually impaling a passel of snakes and scorpions on his sword before leaving Arslan to go out on patrol, and Guiscard writing a manga about his brother’s pursuit of Tahamine (and his own success with women).  Innocentius could definitely exercise some better judgment on who he asks for advice, though – two guys who shun women altogether and one who wants to see him die childless and alone (and soon).  In the end there is no trip to town for Arslan and Gieve, so that aspect of Arslan’s personal development will have to wait for another day (maybe he and Elam can go together and provide each other moral support).

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1 comment

  1. I adored this OVA. The parallel drawn between romantic love and the love a king has for his people was an interesting one (if unintended on Gieve’s part, as his agenda was more carnal and less noble in nature). While Farangis breaks the enchantment with a piercing arrow, Aslan’s sweet “seductions” with each of his companions shows a startling tender side to his role as he temporarily leaves the lofty pedestal that everyone places him on and sincerely shows his gratitude for their care and loyalty to him. Machiavelli might have believed that it is better for a prince to be feared than loved, but love, when passionate and set loose, can be equally if not more potent.

    One thing for sure. Arslan should save that smile when he’s in real dire straits. The smile’s a deadly weapon, reducing agile, powerful fighters to lovestruck idiots. 🙂

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