The Heroic Legend of Arslan’s Pharangese before and after the publishers change (from Kadokawa Shoten to Koubunsha) back in 2003.
Pharangese’s anime and manga version has appeared before in BABD with a comparison between the two versions available, so I thought that it was worthy to make a similar case with the novels… More so because it seems to be one of the reasons for the abysmal differences between them.
This fantasy saga is one of the most beloved in Japan. Back in 1988, it had some wonderful warrior women’s despictions (cover of the left), but the dream met its end tragically when Arslan Senki changed publishers and a new artist was hired to create the covers.
From then onwards, the lady that once was an example to follow became just one more in the long list of warrior women with outfits that are everything less practical or protective. Hell, I don’t know how does she even move without a boob popping out!
And I can’t help to wonder… why was this necessary? They were already big sellers and even if an artwork update could be in order, I can’t see any need to put the fanservice. More so, it gives one the wrong idea. Upon seeing this cover, I would imagine a generic fantasy story and not a tale about the power struggle between different countries and men for one throne.
Finally, and for what it’s worth, Koubunsha is also reediting the saga at the moment with yet another new artist who is giving Pharangese a much better outfit. It’s not perfect or even half as good as the original, but it’s a very much appreciated improvement. At least it’s an outfit I could see someone using without problems! It at least fits the priestess’ background of the character, even if it’s hardly appropriate for battle.
Almost all this information was found in Japanese, so I would like to give some sources for it. For reference, Kadokawa Shoten is written 角川書店 and Koubunsha, 光文社:
Thank you for this really in depth submission!
It continues to astound me that there are people out there who think that the dramatic hero depiction and the sensuous sex object depiction are somehow interchangeable without harming the image of the character.