The young prince continues his journey to reclaim his lost kingdom from the knights of Lusitania. Arslan Senki season 2 a.k.a Arslan Senki: Dust Storm Dance is a direct continuation to the first season and picks off right where the previous ended.
The first season introduced the viewers with a world filled with diverse cultures, traditions, and people taking inspiration from bygone empires of Persia, India, Rome, and much more, which was handled quite well. This season too does not fall short on this part and continues to excite viewers by presenting even more elements to the table, which in no way inhibits the show’s ability to present the story. For a relative newcomer to anime and the like, Arslan Senki was written by Tanaka Yoshiki, who is also the creator of the 1980’s masterpiece “Legend of the Galactic Heroes.”
The story continues with Arslan and his loyalists marching towards Ecbatana ( the capital of Pars) with hopes of reclaiming it. Meanwhile, Arslan receives news of one of his allies being invaded by the Kingdom of Turan. So, to prevent the loss of another of his already meager number of his supporters, Arslan has no other choice than to repel the invaders. During this time, Prince Helmes starts searching for the legendary artifact Rukhnabad, which was the sword of Pars’s hero, king Kaykhusraw. Even wielding the sword would make one worthy of ruling Pars. He ruthlessly pursues his goal of taking back what was rightfully his: The throne of Pars.
The war aspect in this show is also a significant plus point. The battles start in vast terrains with both fights using multiple tactics, elements, and the battlefield to shift the fights to their favor. The next, lieutenants start their face-off while eliminating the infantry and cavalry with sheer strength. The animation in these wars is relatively better when compared to other anime in the same genre. The fodder soldiers, even with CGI, at least look bearable and will not force anyone to bleach their eyes out (cough cough Overlord Season 3). Honestly, some of the warfare stratagems used were unpredictable, to say the least, and will fascinate the viewer. The second season also features naval battles with pirates and stuff, so that’s a new one.
The central part where the show shines is its colorful cast of characters. The show has a wide variety of characters. The minor arcs involving these characters are enough to overshadow the main story. From Daryun’s skills and valor in combat to Narsus’s quick wit, both are amazing in their own right. The second season introduces Narsus’s old friend Shaghad in the merchant city of Gilan. Both of them seem happy in their first meeting, but, after seeing Shaghad’s practices, their relationship starts souring. The point to focus on here is Narsus’s unwillingness to change his ideologies, and how that affects Shaghad, I’m not going to spoil that.
We even get a glimpse into Prince Helmes’s past, which tells us a different story on how he was before his betrayal. Overall, the series also poses a significant dilemma to the viewers in terms of its characters of whether it is Arslan or Helmes, who is fit to rule Pars. It is not exactly black and white as Arslan is the protagonist, so he’s the one who should rule Pars. Both sides have valid points in their defense, which is exciting!
Animation and sound:-
The animation is decent enough ( not ufotable level, though). You might see a bit of weird things in battles, but it mostly works out. The art style does not deviate from the first season and remains loyal to it. The soundtrack if pleasant to the ears. Take, for instance, the calm music you hear while the cast goes about in their forts, camps, etc. Then, you move towards the chest-thumping drums of war. The opening and ending were right, I guess. While I like the first season’s opportunities and ending more than this one but that’s just my opinion.
But, the part where the show suffers is that the second season only has eight episodes. The first season had 24, which gave them plenty of time to pan out the story and character arcs, the second has barely enough time to complete anything. It certainly accomplishes finishing the two arcs, but that will feel rushed when compared to the first season. The final episode will feel out of place as the season ends without any conclusion.
All in all, Arslan Senki Season 2 is a good show which will give you enjoyment but will make you want for a third season.