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The Heroic Legend of Arslan

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The Heroic Legend of Arslan
Original Kadokawa Bunko edition of the first novel
(Arusurān Senki)
Novel series
Written byYoshiki Tanaka
Illustrated by
Published by
Original runAugust 1986December 14, 2017
Anime film series
Directed byMamoru Hamatsu
Produced by
  • Yasuhisa Kazama (1)
  • Nagateru Kato (1)
  • Keishi Yamazaki (2)
  • Mitsuhisa Hida (2)
Written by
  • Tomoya Miyashita (1)
  • Kaori Takada (1)
  • Megumi Sugihara (2)
Music byNorihiro Tsuru
StudioAnimate Film
Licensed by
Released August 17, 1991 (1991-08-17) July 18, 1992 (1992-07-18)
Runtime60 minutes
Original video animation
Directed by
Produced by
  • Noriaki Ikeda
  • Akira Maruta
  • Kazuhiko Ikeguchi (1)
  • Nagateru Kato (2–4)
  • Mitsuhisa Hida (3–4)
Written byMegumi Sugihara
Music byNorihiro Tsuru
StudioAnimate Film
Licensed by
  • NA: Central Park Media
Released October 21, 1993 September 21, 1995
Runtime35 minutes
Written byYoshiki Tanaka
Illustrated byChisato Nakamura
Published byKadokawa Shoten
MagazineAsuka Fantasy DX
Original runNovember 1991September 1996
icon Anime and manga portal

The Heroic Legend of Arslan (Japanese: アルスラーン戦記, Hepburn: Arusurān Senki, lit.'Arslan War Records') is a Japanese fantasy novel series written by Yoshiki Tanaka. It was published from 1986 to 2017, with sixteen novels and one side-story in the official guidebook Arslan Senki Dokuhon. The story and setting is inspired by the history and mythology of ancient Persia.

It was adapted into a film duology and a four-episode original video animation released from 1991 to 1995. It was also adapted into a manga series by Chisato Nakamura, which ran in Kadokawa Shoten's Monthly Asuka Fantasy DX from November 1991 to September 1996. In 2013, a second manga adaptation illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa began in Kodansha's Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine, which was later adapted into an anime television series.



The story is set in a legendary vision of an indistinct amalgam of over a thousand years of ancient Persia and other nearby countries. While the world in which it takes place is one where magic obviously exists, said magic is of an extremely limited nature. Until the middle of the series, the only magical happenings involve a few spells and a giant, humanoid monster. There are many evil monsters such as ghouls and winged monkeys, which appear in the second half of the novel series. Especially the first half of the series is, at the core, a war story taking place between human nations. In addition, there are underlying themes exploring the repercussions of slavery on a society, having an absolute monarch who treats the poor as cattle, and religious obsession.


The story follows the exploits of Arslan, the crown prince of the kingdom of Pars ("پارس" or "فارس" is equivalent word to Persia and what the land of Persians "پارسیان" was called), and it is divided into two parts. In the first part, Pars is taken over by the neighboring nation of Lusitania after Arslan's father, King Andragoras III, falls victim to a treacherous plot led by some of his most trusted retainers. After barely escaping with his life, Arslan rejoins his loyal servant, Daryun. Backed up by only a few more companions, including the philosopher and tactician Narsus and his young servant Elam, also Farangis, an aloof, cold priestess, and Gieve, a travelling musician and con-man, Arslan stands against overwhelming odds to assemble an army strong enough to liberate his nation from the Lusitanian army which is led by the elusive warrior known as "Silvermask", who is later revealed to be another contender to Pars' throne. In the second part, Arslan, now king of Pars, divides himself between defending his country against several external threats, including Silvermask, who is still at large, seeking to claim the throne for himself, and addressing the needs and hopes of his subjects.



The original novel, Arslan Senki, was written by Yoshiki Tanaka. There are sixteen novels in the Arslan Senki storyline, with Part One comprising the first seven novels, and Part Two comprising the latter nine novels. The Kadokawa edition (which includes the first ten novels only) is illustrated by manga artist and character designer Yoshitaka Amano, while the Kobunsha edition is illustrated by Shinobu Tanno.

Books on tape[edit]

From November 1988 to January 1994, the first nine volumes were released on cassette tapes by Kadokawa, with the first seven republished as a CD collection in May 1993.


The novels were adapted into a manga illustrated by Chisato Nakamura. The manga was published by Kadokawa Shoten in the Asuka Fantasy DX shōjo magazine from 1991 to 1996 and compiled into thirteen volumes, adapting the first seven novels.

A second manga adaptation of Arslan Senki started serialization in Kodansha's Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine in July 2013, illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa. This adaptation is simul-published by Crunchyroll,[4] while Kodansha Comics is publishing the manga in North America since 2014.[5][6]

Films and OVA series[edit]

The popularity of the novels led to the creation of two films and a series of OVAs with character designs adapted by Sachiko Kamimura. The films were released from 1991 to 1992 and were produced by Kadokawa Shoten and Sony Music Entertainment Japan. An OVA series of four episodes that followed up and continues the numbering of the films was released in 1993–1995. Together, they adapt the first five novels.

Both the films and OVA series were licensed by Central Park Media and were released on DVD and VHS.[7] The English dub for Part 1 was produced by Manga UK (who had also licensed the anime in the same region), while Part 2 was dubbed by Central Park Media themselves.[8]


An anime television series adaptation, based on Arakawa's manga adaptation, was produced by Liden Films and Sanzigen. The anime consists of two seasons. The first 25-episode season was broadcast from April 5 to September 27, 2015.[9] The second eight-episode season, Dust Storm Dance, was broadcast from July 3 to August 21, 2016.[10] Together, they adapt the first six novels.

Video games[edit]

The first video game based on The Heroic Legend of Arslan was released in 1993 for Sega Mega-CD. A strategy RPG in the vein of similar titles of the era such as the Fire Emblem series, it serves as a companion to the OVA series.[11]

Arslan: The Warriors of Legend, a hack and slash video game developed by Omega Force and published by Koei Tecmo in 2015, serves as a companion to the anime TV series.

The Heroic Legend of Arslan: Warrior's Qualification is a game for smartphones distributed by Sakura Soft. The game was launched on April 27, 2017, and terminated on August 16, 2018. It was based on the manga adaptation by Hiromu Arakawa.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Toole, Mike (October 7, 2013). "Heroic Legend of Arslan: Age of Heroes". Anime Jump. Archived from the original on November 7, 2007. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  2. ^ Ross, Carlos. "Heroic Legend of Arslan (1991)". THEM Anime Reviews. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  3. ^ Legulalp, Serdar (May 28, 2014). "Sword & Sorcery Fantasy Anime (Top Best List)". About.com. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  4. ^ "Crunchyroll Releases Aijin, Koe no Katachi, Arslan Manga". Anime News Network. March 14, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  5. ^ Loveridge, Lynzee (March 22, 2014). "Kodansha USA Announces Heroic Legend of Arslan Manga Release". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
  6. ^ "Kodansha USA to Publish Arslan Manga by Fullmetal Alchemist's Arakawa". Anime News Network. February 26, 2014. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  7. ^ "Multiple Announcements From CPM, Animeigo, Pioneer". Anime News Network. December 1, 1998. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  8. ^ Justin Sevakis (December 13, 2007). "Buried Treasure – Heroic Legend of Arslan Part 1". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  9. ^ アルスラーン 戦記 THE HEROIC LEGEND OF ARSLAN. Media Arts Database (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Archived from the original on January 21, 2021. Retrieved June 10, 2023.
  10. ^ アルスラーン戦記 THE HEROIC LEGEND OF ARSLAN - 風塵乱舞 -. Media Arts Database (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Archived from the original on January 21, 2021. Retrieved June 10, 2023.
  11. ^ "The Heroic Legend of Arslan/Arslan Senki". Hardcore Gaming 101. Archived from the original on November 13, 2016. Retrieved February 20, 2016.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]