This show sucks, Beavis.
Well, I think that my praise for Ranpo Kitan‘s mystery was a bit too early and lo and behold, I was wrong about the mystery. In this episode, it just kind of… fizzled out without much in the way of a satisfactory conclusion to it. But at the same time, it was… certainly something special. I don’t know if the “good” special like GARO: The Animation or the “bad” kind of special. At least it wasn’t boring.
First, let me praise this Kobayashi dude for reigniting my hype for this show, because his entire character design hinted me very strongly as to what are the contents of this show. But then, I stayed with this show for reasons others than the contents hinted at by Kobayashi’s appearance. Or, to be more straight-forward, I came for the yaoi, and stayed for the mystery.
If there’s one change I’m aware of in Arakawa’s version of The Heroic Legend of Arslan is the addition of her sense of humor. I’m also aware that it’s also a point of contention in the old-time Arslan community (read: 8 smelly old men who are probably literature professors in Tokyo University) because they find it to be a bit jarring considering the rather serious and epic tone of the overarching plot.
In my opinion? The humour is fucking excellent. Especially since episode 4 of Arslan is a goldmine of hilarious exploitable screengrabs like the one above.
As I said in my previous post about this series, the animation in Arslan sucks fat wet asses. However, like those cheap mints they give out in lobbies worldwide that taste like damp armpits, it does have a certain charm to it. Like in the above picture, where it’s animated much fluider than regular, yet it still somehow manages to simultaneously fail and succeeed at being a fight scene.
The choreography is seriously lacking, with Old Mentor Dude repeatedly failing to actually connect but somehow being able to slash his opponents. It’s more remiscient of a bunch of gradeschoolers playing pretend at the schoolyard rather than epic high fantasy combat. But that’s what made this scene so much fun to to watch, and I wouldn’t have it otherwise unless they got the GARO fight choreographer on board. That’d be swell.
But enough about the animation.
Arslan Senki is a series with a lot of story. It’s a series of novels, proper real novels not of the light variety, that started in 1986, thus making it older than me by eight years. Releases of recent novels, however, have been more and more scarce, thus making Dr. Yoshiki Tanaka the George R. R. Martin of Japan, minus all the blood and tits. Possibly.
It a multitude of adaptations, most notably a 90s manga, a 90s OVA which had beautiful animation until J.C.Staff took over. And now, the author of Fullmetal Alchemist, Hiromu Arakawa is now doing an adaptation. And it is glorious.