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'''The Heroic Legend of Arslan''' (aka ''The Heroic Legend of Arislan'' aka ''Arslan Senki'') is a series of fantasy novels written by author Yoshiki Tanaka with illustration by Yoshitaka Amano (Kadokawa) and Shinobu Tanno (Kobunsha) and published by Kadokawa Shoten then later Kobunsha. The series is currently on hiatus at 13 volumes; the first having been published in 1986 and the series not yet complete, although volume 7 marks a sort of halfway conclusion.

A {{Manga}} adaptation of the novels was crafted by Chisato Nakamura and published by Kadokawa Shoten in the magazine Asuka Fantasy DX. Originally running between November 1991 and September 1996 the Manga also stands at 13 volumes.

An {{Anime}} {{OVA}} adaptation was also created, animated by studios Movic and JCStaff[[note]]With cooperation from ProductionIG, {{Madhouse}}, Creator/StudioTakuranke and Creator/StudioMark[[/note]] under the direction of Mamoru Hamatsu (episodes: I & II and V & VI) Tetsurō Amino (episodes: III & IV). Released August 17th 1991 to 1996 the Anime OVA consists of six episodes and is notable for its beautiful animation for its age (at least the in first two episodes), its music, its voice acting talent, and for being unfinished due to funding issues.

There's also an AudioAdaptation series (10 volumes plus a special one) that roughly covers the first 10 volumes of the novel and shares the anime voice cast (mostly), and a StrategyRPG for the SegaCD produced by Creator/{{Sega}} at the same time as the anime.

A new {{Manga}} adaptation of the novels was created by Yoshiki Tanaka and drawn by Creator/HiromuArakawa of ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' fame in 2013.

The story of all incarnations is ''very loosely'' based on the Persian epic ''Amir Arsalan''. It takes place in a fantasy setting reminiscent of ancient Middle East and feature the warring states of Pars and Lusitania (Pars is roughly the same as Persia/modern Iran). The king of Pars, Andragoras demotes one of his most loyal generals, Darun, on the word of a man who proves to be a traitor. During a battle between the Lusitanians and Parsians the Lusitanians achieve victory and Darun escapes with the crown prince of Pars, Arislan. The story details the ventures of Darun and Arislan as they attempt to reclaim Pars and gain revenge against the Lusitanians while facing innumerable obstacles between them and their goals.
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Tropes associated with ''The Heroic Legend of Arislan'':

* ActionGirl: Ester, sometimes Arfrid.
* ArrowsOnFire: Used to lit an entire plain covered in oil.
* TheBeastmaster: Jaswant, apparently. He travels around on a tiger.
* BeastOfBattle: Shindrans use elephants in battle.
* BetterToDieThanBeKilled: Kahran.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Arslan is normally gentle, soft-spoken, patient and doesn't like violence. However, when Rajendra cynically puts Darun's life in danger, he snaps, draws his sword and tells Rajendra that if Darun doesn't survive the fight, he, Arslan, will personally have Rajendra's head. This comes as a surprise not only to Rajendra but also to Arslan's own followers.
** In the novel he says "I swear by the gods of Pars that if that monster kills Daryun its head will decorate the city gate - along with yours!" The novel also informs us that this was the first time Arslan ever threatened anyone.
* {{Bishounen}}: Every single male under 30, especially Arslan.
** LongHairedPrettyBoy: Narsus, Gieve
** TallDarkAndHandsome: Darun
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Narsus is a formidable strategist and statesman (think [[LegendOfGalacticHeroes Oberstein]]) who nevertheless regards himself an artist first and foremost. In the second part of the story he says he's a "Royal Court Artist who happens to be First Minister as well." Darun's utter and vocal distaste for Narsus's artwork is a running gag throughout the story, but while the anime would have the viewers believe that Darun is too boneheaded to appreciate true art, the novel series implies that Narsus's art does actually suck.
* CainAndAbel: Gadevi and Rajendra, the two Shindran princes. Also Hirmes and Arslan, although they're cousins. [[spoiler:As it turns out, not even that.]]
* TheChampion: Darun to Arslan. At one point he makes it clear that he doesn't care whether or not Arslan is the rightful heir or even of royal blood, he's loyal to him as a person.
* CombatPragmatist: Darun
* ComingOfAgeStory: For Arslan, at any rate.
* CoolMask: Hirmes/Silvermask's mask has large bull horns (one wonders how strong his neck must be).
** The mask is toned down in Arakawa's adaptation.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Arakawa's version compared to the previous anime and manga adaptations (not the novel, though).
* DarkIsNotEvil: Darun dresses in all black, and in the novel he's known in-universe as the Black Knight.
* DecoyGetaway: How Queen Tahmine tried to escape from Ecbatana. (It didn't work.)
* TheDrifter: Gieve. A WanderingMinstrel with a GrayAndGreyMorality who hates nobility and initially only joins Arslan's group because of Farangis and his own hatred against Lusitanians.
* DualWielding: Kishwad uses two swords.
* EekAMouse: Played straight with Rajendra's [[BeastOfBattle battle elephants]].
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: Pars is Persia, Lusitania is a mix of Macedonia and the Kingdom of Jerusalem, Maryam is the Byzantine Empire, and Shindra is India.
** As for religion, Pars and Shindra are polytheist while Lusitania and Maryam worship one god, Yaldabord. Lusitania is a lot more militant about it: they torture "heathens" and destroy art and scriptures that depict and mention other gods. To drive the point home, the current king of Lusitania is called Innocentius VII, [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything an obvious reference to Pope Innocent III.]]
* FieryRedhead: Arfrid
* FiveManBand: Prince Arslan's little group.
** TheHero: Arslan
** TheLancer: Darun
** TheSmartGuy: the role is divided between Narsus, TheStrategist and Gieve the WanderingMinstrel.
** TheBigGuy: early in the story it's Darun, due to him being the tallest and strongest. Later Qubat joins the team and takes up this role.
** TheChick: Farangis, mostly by default since she's a LadyOfWar.
** TagalongKid: Elam and Arfrid. The latter is a more straight example as she actually decides to tag along, but she goes back and forth between this trope and TheChick.
* TheFundamentalist: Jon Bodan, High Priest of Lusitania.
* GoodScarsEvilScars: Hirmes's mask hides a rather nasty burn scar.
* HeroicBastard: Arslan. Only alluded to in the anime, expanded upon in the novels and the manga. [[spoiler:In fact, he's not even of royal blood, he's the son of a cavalry soldier and a serving girl, whom he thought to be his nanny.]] He quickly proves that he is charismatic, kind, and intelligent enough to deserve his followers' loyalty and grow up into a great ruler regardless.
* HitchhikerHeroes: Arslan and his supporters who wander around Pars looking for supporters and allies. It starts out with only Darun, then gains Narsus (and Elam), Farangis and Gieve who make up the core of Arslan's growing group of allies. Originally none of them were very enthusiastic about it and supported Arslan only because they opposed the Lusitanian invasion, but eventually Arslan's personality won them over.
** At first Darun was only following his uncle's orders, Narsus joined because he found Arslan interesting, Farangis because she hated Lustianian religious fanaticism and Gieve because Farangis joined, and because he hated oppression of all kind.
* HopelessSuitor: Gieve to Farangis, Arfrid to Narsus. Subverted a little in that both Farangis and Narsus are very much aware of their respective suitors' feelings, and they find the situation annoying.
* KingBobTheNth: Innocentius VII
* LadyOfWar: Farangis is this trope personified. Incidentally, she's very much aware of her own skills and beauty. She can also drink her HopelessSuitor Gieve under the table without losing her poise and dignity.
* LadykillerInLove: Gieve, the smooth talker, falls head over heels for Farangis the moment he meets her.
* NiceHat: Arslan's helmet has large bull horns.
* PetTheDog: Hirmes's romance with Princess Irina.
* RescueRomance: Subverted. Gieve, finding Farangis surrounded by assailants, ''intends'' to sweep in, rescue her, and bask in her gratitude... but by the time he reaches her, she's handled the situation herself, leaving ''him'' stunned with admiration.
** Played more straight in Arfrid's introduction scene, though also with a twist. She's trying to avenge his father on Hirmes but he easily disarms her. When Narsus shows up, she demands he give her his sword so she can continue fighting. Narsus rescues her instead, and eventually she decides she's in love with him.
* TheQueensLatin: The first four episodes of the OVA were dubbed by Manga Entertainment's UK branch. The voice actors didn't fake American accents like in other Manga UK dubs.
* ShirtlessScene: Gieve in episode 2, though technically he's full naked (as he's swimming in a pool).
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: And ''how''. To start with, originally the names of characters and places either came from Persian legends (Arslan, Farangis, Giv, etc.) or are native to various languages like Farsi, Hindi, Urdu (Daryun, Elam, Etwar, etc. Many places mentioned in the story, such as Ecbatana or Atropatene, actually exist or existed in real life). The person who translated the anime to English treated the names as if they were random fantasy names, hence Arislan, Pharangese, Daryoon, Gieve and so on. The most jarring decision was turning Etwar/Ester into Etoile/Estelle, despite the very obvious ancient Middle-Eastern type setting. And ''then'' for the last two episodes of the OVA ExecutiveMeddling happened on the Japanese side, and the spelling and pronunciation of the names were changed for all major characters, turning Arislan, Daryoon, Narsus, Pharangese, and Gieve into Arslan, Darun, Narcasse, Farangis, and Guibu.
* TheStrategist: Narsus.
* TimeSkip: After Arslan's coronation the novel jumps four years ahead.
* SurroundedByIdiots: Guiscar of Lusitania, who actually runs the kingdom in place of his utterly incompetent brother.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Darun and Narsus, especially when it comes to Narsus's artwork.
-->'''Darun:''' (to a prisoner) "Start talking or I'll have [Narsus] paint your portrait. And nobody wants that."
* WanderingMinstrel: Gieve, though he's more of a wandering warrior and thief who also happens to be a bard.
* WholesomeCrossdresser: Ester dresses as a boy and goes by a male name so she can fight with the other knights. Elam also crossdresses once.
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: Hirmes is deathly afraid of fire, as a result of having survived [[spoiler:Andragoras']] attempt to burn him alive.
* Creator/YoshitakaAmano: Illustrated the original novels and the AudioAdaptation cassettes.
* YouKilledMyFather: Subverted in that it's the ''villains'' who tend to do this. Hirmes when he reveals himself to [[spoiler:Andragoras]], while Zande, Kahran's son does the whole MyNameIsInigoMontoya YouKilledMyFather PrepareToDie routine with Darun. Arfrid, however, also has a moment of this with Hirmes after the latter kills her father.
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