AP 7

Japan’s spring TV season is just about to start, and that means a new crop of anime with their premiers just days away. One of the most hotly anticipated titles is The Heroic Legend of Arslan. Based on a the series of novels from celebrated author Yoshiki Tanaka, with a continuing serialized manga adaptation by Fullmetal Alchemist and Silver Spoon creator Hiromu Arakawa, the new Arslan TV series serves as a reboot to the saga’s original, and sadly aborted, anime adaptation, which ran out of steam in the mid-‘90s.

Given the talent and history involved, both new and veteran anime fans are looking forward to the first episode of Arslan. There’s one more group that’s cheering for the series, too: the cast of Attack on Titan, who’re cleverly hiding in this awesome Arslan crossover ad.

As we’ve mentioned before, Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station is gigantic. The busiest rail hub in Japan, dozens of walkways snake through the complex, and with so many long corridors and ample wall space, the station has become a popular spot for advertisers to show off creative ads with a large canvas for a huge potential audience.

An anime adaptation always helps to promote the manga it’s based on, so Kodansha, the publisher of the Arslan comic, decided to celebrate the start of its animated TV series with a special, triple-wide poster in Shinjuku Station’s central passage. It’s an ambitious and impressive scene, showing the preparation before a cavalry charge between protagonist Prince Arslan’s army of Pars and the invading military of Lusitania.

AP 1

As you can see from the full and zoomed-in photos above, the illustration does an excellent job of conveying the scale of the battle, in keeping with the anime’s stated count of over 250,000 combatants. But a closer inspection reveals that some of the soldiers hail not from Pars or Lusitania, but from a different manga entirely.

AP 2

AP 3

Looks like there’re a couple of irregulars mixed in with the Pars fighters, including Attack on Titan’s main character Eren. See, not only does Kodansha publish both the Heroic Legend of Arslan and Attack on Titan manga, the two series are even serialized in the same anthology, the monthly Bessatsu Shonen Magazine.

Further inspection reveals that childhood friend Armin has also thrown his lot in with Pars. The presence of these two heroes, who presumably brought their dual blades, 3-D maneuver gear, and other goodies from their more technologically advanced source manga with them, would ordinarily be a major advantage for Prince Arslan. But unfortunately for the male guest stars, over on the other side of the battle lines we spy fellow Attack on Titan character Mikasa, who’s proven time and again to be far better in a fight than Eren or Armin, mixed in with the Lusitanian forces.

AP 4

Of course, there’s still the wild card of which side the Colossal Titan, seen towering over the hills in the background, is fighting for.

▼ Then again, it’s entirely possible he’s just here to eat everybody.

AP 5

The Heroic Legend of Arslan premiers Sunday, April 5 at 5 p.m. on MBS/TBS in the Tokyo area. And while Eren and his pals are unlikely to make an appearance in the anime, the trailer looks like it’ll still be worth tuning in for even without pantless giants.

Sources: Jin, Comic Natalie
Top image: Twitter (edited by RocketNews24)
Insert images: Comic Natalie, Twitter (1, 2) (edited by RocketNews24)