This week, I’ve got a review of the classic, but unfortunately out-of-print, heroic fantasy anime “Record of Lodoss War.”

Cast, Crew, and Other Info


Takeshi Kusao as Parn
Yumi Touma as Deedlit
Hideyuki Tanaka
as Slayn
Kappei Yamaguchi as Etoh
Norio Wakamoto as
Woodchuck
Yoshiko Sakakibara as Karla
Yoshisada Sakaguchi as
Ghim
Akira Kamiya as Ashram


Chief Director: Akinori Nagaoka
Screenplay: Kenichi Kanemaki,
Mami Watanbe
Story: Ryo Mizuno


Premise


Parn, the son of a disgraced Holy Knight, and his childfriend
friend (now a Cleric) Etoh, gets caught up in the war between the
islands of Marmo and Lodoss, which threatens to destroy both islands.


High Point


I’m split between the second fight against Karla and the fight
against the Dragon in the first episode. Our Party doesn’t get to
team up against enemies very often, but when they do, the fights are
very well done.


Low Point


Pirotess gets much less time here than in the TV series, and so
the parallels between her relationship with Ashram and Deedlit’s
relationship with Parn aren’t as clear as they are in the later TV
series, which is very unfortunate, as it would really help boost the
emotional response for the final confrontation between the 2.


Nudity and Violence


There is a moderate amount of blood, and very brief nudity. I’d
compare this to Lord of the Rings level violence, which fits.


The Scores


Originality: It’s based off some novels that Ryo Mizuno
wrote based off his Dungeons & Dragons campaign (not AD&D,
classic Dungeons & Dragons). 5 out
of 6


Animation: For the time, and for an 13-episode show, it’s
pretty good. 4 out of 6


Story: On the forums of RPG site I’m on (RPG.net), a joke
someone made, which is funny because it’s true, you aim for Record of
Lodoss War, and hope you ultimately get The Slayers. I can say,
reasonably, that most people hope their D&D campaigns turn out
this good. The novels themselves haven’t been translated, but I’d put
this on par with Dragonlance in it’s worst moments, and Fafhrd &
The Grey Mouser at its best, in terms of quality of story.
5 out of 6


Voice Acting: The voice acting for the Japanese dub is
pretty good. Yumi Touma in particular does a good job of juggling
Deedlit in her childlike energetic moments and her more mature
moments, without having them seem too out-of-place.
4 out of 6


Emotional Response: The
problem when talking about emotional response when you’re watching
something you’ve re-watched over and over again, is you know all the
beats. That said, it says something for the emotional response the
characters draw that I’m willing to watch the show over and over
again. 4 out of 6


Production: The show has some problems that most fantasy
anime has, particularly with anime with a pseudo-European setting –
sword hilts rattle when they shouldn’t (sword hilts on katana’s
rattle, which may be what the Foley people were using). The music is
very good though, if not using a full orchestra, then large chunks of
one (though a fair number of themes are re-used).
4 out of 6


Overall: This is one of the best anime series of all time.
Period. Anyone who wants to get into
anime needs to see this. Honestly, everyone should probably see this
at least once. They don’t have to like it, they just need to see it..
6 out of 6


In total, Record of Lodoss War
receives a 32 out of 42.

Note: As I mentioned in the article preview, this show is out of print in the US. The show was licensed by Central Park Media/US Manga Corps, who have licensed some of the other shows I’ve reviewed (or have written reviews for and are in my queue), including the Patlabor TV series and OVAs, the Project A-Ko series, Harlock Saga, Queen Emeraldas, Maetel Legend, the Lodoss TV series as well as all the manga, and Grave of the Fireflies. The DVD releases of all of those are out of print. Yes, including Grave of the Fireflies – I checked. I have contacted US Manga Corps about the licenses for Lodoss, and will check on Grave of the Fireflies as well, as well as the possibility of sub-licensing those licenses to people who can get them back into print (much as Geneon USA did with some of their titles). When I get a response, I’ll post an article about it.