We now come to the conclusion of the Record of Lodoss War prequel manga. Do things get wrapped up properly, setting things up for the core series, or is the conclusion unsatisfying?
Title: Record of Lodoss War – Lady of Pharis Vol. 2
Writers: Ryo Mizuno
Illustrators: Akihiro Yamada
Original Publication Date: 10/30/2001
Cover Price: $15.95 (Currently OOP)
Buy From: Amazon.com
The band of heroes – Beld the mercenary, Fahn the holy knight, Wort the sorcerer, and Flaus the warrior-priest have retrieved the holy sword of the kingdom of Valis, and have learned their enemy has taken over the underground kingdom of the Dwarves, and is attacking the elven kingdoms as well. Joined by a mysterious dark sorceress, the priestess – Neese, an elven maiden – Endinka, and the former king of the dwarf kingdom – Flaibe.
The art of the comic itself is still very good, and still feels like something out of Conan, or Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser, or from Heavy Metal magazine which really helps visually distinguish the setting to a certain extent from your standard Tolkein-esque setting.
While Flaus finally gets some extended character development, we still don’t get much time between Beld and Fahn to build chemistry between them and set up their relationship and underline their confrontation with the core series.
Originality – It’s both a sequel and a prequel, but one that helps expand on the setting. 4 out of 6.
Artwork – The artwork is still very good as fantasy art, but I’m still not sold on it as art for a graphic novel – I wonder, if Yamada was an artist in the US comic industry, if he would have caught on as a cover artist rather than an interior artist? 4 out of 6.
Story – The story ends too abruptly, but the action is okay though, and there are some decent tragic moments. The characterization is rather poor though. 3 out of 6.
Characterization – We get a lot of character development for Flaus and Beld, but not for Fahn. There’s little chemistry between Fahn and Beld and no development whatsoever for Neese, Endinka, and Flaibe. Further, Flaus’ big decision at the end of the manga feels a bit out of the blue, especially considering what happens shortly after it. 3 out of 6
Emotional Response – The tragedy of Flaus has some impact, but I really didn’t come to like those characters as much as I liked the protagonists of the main series. 3 out of 6.
Flow – The comic flows significantly better then the first half. 4 out of 6.
Overall – Overall, it’s a decent fantasy comic, though I’ve read better. 4 out of 6.
In total, Record of Lodoss War – Lady of Pharis Vol. 2 gets 25 out of 42.