01 April 2006

Record of Lodoss War

I just had to watch it, because I've heard a lot about it. Record of Lodoss War has two different series, a 2-disc 13 episode series which is the one I watched, and a 4-disc series called Chronicles of the Heroic Knight. The Lodoss War OAV, also called Lodoss to senki was made in 1990 by Akio Sakai and taken from the novel by Ryo Mizuno.

3000 years ago, Lodoss was torn away from mainland during an epic battle between Falis, god of Light and Falaris, god of darkness. It became known as "Lodoss, The Cursed Island". 500 years ago, the homeland of Karla, a powerful sorceress, was destroyed by the complete takeover of the land by one military power. Because such a complete conquering destroyed her homeland, she vows this shall not happen to Lodoss. She lives on after death in a golden circlet, possessing the wearer to be able to keep Lodoss ununified at at odds with itself. This means she supports and spurs constant war and turmoil, and believes it to be the best for her beloved Lodoss.

My first thoughts at watching this series was that it reminds me of D&D, old style RPG,LOTR, or maybe a bit like the NES game Wizardry. There's a human knight (Parn), elven mage (Deedlit), cleric (Etoh), wizard (Slayn), dwarven fighter (Ghim), and a thief (Woodchuck..yes.). The story revolves around the main character Parn's struggle to become a hero, basically, and Lodoss' battle against self-destruction.

The Anime Critic claims that the "the story line certainly isn't skimped on in the slightest, the series strongly focuses on developing its characters as well." I couldn't disagree more. I liked the overall storyline, but it felt choppy, halting, and more than a little confusing. They could have explained the storyline a lot more. I usually don't ask this of animes, but when I get lost and cannot enjoy the series, there is something wrong. There is certainly little to no character development in anyone except Deedlit, Ghim, and Ashram. What really bothered me the most was the complete lack of development of the main character, Parn. He definitely was my least favorite character, and I found myself asking several times why he was the main character

They also tried to play up a romance between Parn and Deedlit, but it was gimpy and never really got off the ground. I think the romance was supposed to come across as subtle, but if that's true, why were the beginning and ending credits romantic and girly?

I expected too much out of this series. Oh, and the English dubs were absolutely dreadful. Not really a series I would recommend unless you just want to sit around and make fun of it with some friends. Record of Lodoss War could have been so much more.

Plotline: Good
Characters: Fair
Music: Good
Animation: Fair

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