“Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations.” – Proverbs 27: 23-24
Different anime series has its own leaders. Regardless of the genre, there is that one character who serves as the lead, the master, the head, or the chairman. Sometimes, we get all of them at once.
But leaders, like anyone else, are not created equal. They have their own principles, priorities, and interests they wish to preserve.
Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu’s 8 episodes perfectly summarized few of the most dominant types of leadership we see across various hierarchies.
Here’s the short list.
King Andragoras III – Rule of Tyranny
(I am the king. Kneel before me or die.)
King Andragoras rules with power. Literally. He’s not your typical king who grew up pampered with comfort. Wealth and attention, yes.
But he’s more like your front-line fighter type of king who wields a sword and rides a horse in battle as skilled as his generals. He is confident as he is fierce, and he gains respect primarily out of his fighting prowess and natural ability to command fear.
- Maintaining stability in his kingdom
- Keeping the crown and the royal family secure
- Owning more land by conquering other kingdoms
Shagard- Rule of Money
(Politics is business. The more wealth I acquire, the better.)
Shagard is a smart merchant. As someone who spent years in trading, he’s got a full grasp on how the buy and sell process works and what money can buy.
For him, money means power, and he’s willing to use it to make sure he keeps his rule over his subjects, slaves, and territory.
- Establishing better ties with other merchants (even pirates)
- Growing his wealth
- Warding off potential threats and competitors by all means necessary
Archpriest Bodin – Rule of Religion
(The church and nothing but the church. It’s god’s will.)
Religion is powerful. And Bodin makes it all too obvious in his upfront display of influence around the Kingdom of Lusitania.
He uses religion to gain political power and encourages the people to support his cause even if it means going against the king. Familiar? I dare say he’s a corrupt leader hiding behind the cloak of religion and, to be honest, I find his leadership the worst on this list.
- Gaining personal power
- Making a name for himself and becoming a respected figure in the kingdom’s political hierarchy
- Destroying anyone who goes against his will
Silver Mask Hermes – Rule of Hierarchy
(It runs in the blood.)
Blood is thicker than water, they say. And for a royal family (both in ancient and modern reference), it’s a prerequisite to acquiring power, properties, servants and more.
Hermes is revealed to be the rightful heir to the throne, something which Andragoras III fiercely stole from Hermes’ father. Now, Hermes is back to get what he deserves, and perhaps put to justice the people who ought to pay for the suffering and deaths they’ve caused to their sacred bloodline.
- Proving his identity as the real crown prince and grabbing the crown and throne
- Stopping Arslan and anyone else whom he deemed as a threat to his plans
- Building his own political support and manpower to wield war anytime necessary
Emperor Innocentis VII – Rule of Vanity
(I’m a symbol. My people can deal with the rest.)
He’s that leader who knows nothing about leading but is put in the highest position to serve as the puppet leader of the real masterminds.
Locked in the comforts of his castle, Emperor Innocentis VII knows nothing about his kingdom’s societal issues and the power struggles brewing withing his constituents. He accepted the title to live in comfort and get what he wants.
- Enjoying maximum comfort and safety inside his palace
- Staying on the good side of his more politically-inclined younger brother
- Staying alive
Arslan – Rule of People
(I serve the people of my kingdom.)
How can you expect a pampered prince to go out and fight with his people when he’s got no first-hand experience in battle and literally zero skills in politics?
Arslan seemed like a naive, idealistic prince whose knowledge in society primarily involved things he read in books and those his teachers taught him in the castle.
But if there’s one thing that sets him apart from the rest of the ‘prospect leaders,’ it’s his genuine concern and sympathy for the people of his kingdom. He knew he wasn’t fit to assume power in the absence of his father, King Andragoras, but instead of cowering in fear and denial, he took few brave steps to gather people who have the skills and whom he can trust to serve as his aide.
He’s the king in the making, and despite the plot twist involving his real identity, Arslan’s resolve to make things better for his people only intensified.
- To learn as much as he can about his kingdom by traveling
- To gather the best men whom he can bring back to the capital in service of his father (yes, because King Andragoras III is back….unfortunately)
- To become a better king fit for the trust given to him by Daryun, Narsus and his closest aides.
It’s amazing how the eight episodes managed to keep the momentum up and make the story even more interesting. To those who’ve finished watching the 1st season, be sure not to miss this short sequel. It’s worth it.
This series is not for everyone, but I’m recommending it, anyway. You may also take a quick detour on the Art of War by Narsus: Arslan Senki Edition I wrote for the first season!
So, does any of those leaders we’ve mentioned above sound familiar? (I’m not naming anyone, but I am curious.)