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[ café reviews ]



Arislan Senki
Part 2

[ production info ]

Copyright: © 1992 Tanaka Yoshiki/Kadokawa-Shoten/MOVIC/Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc., © 1993 Central Park Media Corp. (North America)
Length: 60 minutes
Rating: NR, parental guidance suggested
Format: Dubbed, Subtitled (VHS/LD)

Based on the manga series by: Tanaka Yoshiki Character Design: Kamimura Sachiko Director: Hamatsu Mamoru Screenplay: Sugihara Megumi Producers: Hida Mitsuhisa, Yamazaki Keishi English Version Executive Producer: John O’Donnell Translation by: Pamela Ferdi, William Flanagan

[ plot summary ]

vhs jacket

Hounded by the Lusitanian forces, Prince Arislan and his band of loyal followers reach Peshawal, a friendly border fortress commanded by long-time allies Lord Quishward and General Bachmann. Bachmann is haunted a terrible secret: the mysterious Silvermask is none other than Prince Hermes, a potential heir to the throne of Palse -- an heir who may have more claim to the throne than Andragoras himself...

Meanwhile, the kingdom of Palse has caught the interest of the neighbouring lands of Shindra, which is also in the midst of a civil war between Prince Lajendra and Prince Gardeep. In an effort to protect the interests of Palse, Arislan decides to align his forces with Lajendra. But young Arislan's treaty unwittingly forces Daryoon to become the champion representing Prince Lajendra, in a fight to the death against a 12 foot tall beast -- a fight for control of Shindra itself!

[ capsule review ]

The design of the buildings in this episode are commendable -- the interior of Peshawal castle is impressive. Background artists have included the tile and mosaic often seen in Middle Eastern temples and palaces. The interiors of the large buildings show elaborate painted decoration and onion shaped domes give a strangely beautiful image of the ancient cultres in Asia Minor thousands of years ago. The palace of the Shindran king looks very much like the Taj Mahal in symmetry and landscaping, while the arena in which Daryoon duels with the twelve foot beast is similar to those used in earlier civilizations for spectator sports.

The story of Arislan, or Arslan, is actually based on a Persian legend. Arislan’s capital of Ekubatana, correctly spelled "Ecbatana", was a city of Ancient Media around the 6th Century BC. Now called "Hamadan," it is located in northwestern Iran. Costuming and character design give an impression of a culture and civilization that existed long ago. The Shindrans have the markings and turbans that are characteristic of the Indian culture. For the Palsians, capes, cloaks, sashes, leggings, tunics, earrings, boots and body armor seem to be a part of everyone’s attire.

Tsuru Norihiro creates yet another beautiful soundtrack for this chapter of the story. Using drums, a solo violin, keyboards, and a small orchestra ensemble, he gives a Middle Eastern flavor to his music. The composer himself plays the violin and keyboards in most of the pieces. Each of the seventeen tunes is heard only once in Part II, and are completely different from those heard in Part I.

The youthful voice of Yamaguchi Kappei does very well to depict Arislan’s character. There are distinct moments in this episode when we hear authority, grief, uncertainty, and innocence in his voice that depicts Prince Arislan as a boy on the verge of becoming a man. Part II brings up new characters like Arfurido, Zante, Prince Gardeep, Prince Lajendra, Azrael, Lord Quishward, Lord Bachman, Bal Hador and Jaswont. Each of the main characters’ personalities are better developed. Pharangese is depicted as a stern and beautiful warrior/priestess of Misra, Gieve as a conniving, womanizing minstrel/thief, Daryoon as a loyal champion of Arislan, and Narsus as the ever calm, collected, and self-assured strategist for the prince. Certainly, the story has the essence of a mythical legend complete with kingdoms, princes, betrayal, blood, battles, magic and gods. The story can be confusing due to the strange names of the people and places. But, the continuing mystery of Silvermask, the multiple adversaries and predicaments that Arislan must face keep the story’s momentum going.

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: N/R 4 stars N/A
Direction: N/R 4 stars N/A
Acting: N/R 4 stars N/A
Animation: N/R 4 stars N/A
Music: N/R 4 stars N/A
Translation: N/A 5 stars N/A
Overall Rating: N/R 4 stars N/A

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