English: Record of Lodoss War
Synonyms: Record of Lodoss War OVA
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jun 30, 1990 to Nov 23, 1991
25 min. per episode
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.621 (scored by 8541 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
action adventure fantasy
SynopsisCreated from the aftermath of the last great battle of the gods, Lodoss and its kingdoms have been plagued by war for thousands of years. As a quiet peace and unity finally become foreseeable over the land, an unknown evil begins to stir. An ancient witch has awakened, bent on preserving the island of Lodoss by creating political unbalance throughout the many kingdoms and keeping any one from maintaining central control. Only a mixed-race party of six young champions, led by the young warrior Parn, stand between this new threat and Lodoss' descent back into the darkness of war and destruction.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Lodoss-tou Senki: Haiiro no Majo
Alternative version: Lodoss-tou Senki: Eiyuu Kishi Den
Character: Hajimari no Boukenshatachi: Legend of Crystania, Legend of Crystania OVA
Characters & Voice Actors
Of all the Anime series that I have viewed, Record of Lodoss War holds a special place in my heart. If you happen to be fond of fantasy adventure videogames as I am (or great literature such as J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings), then this 13-episode video series is a very clever hybrid of these two great works of art. It's got everything fans could ask for--dragons, elves, dark gods, unlikely yet compelling heroes, villains you'll either hate (or love, depending on who you side with), action, suspense, romance, a small dose of humor, and an engaging feel to keep on watching by the time each episode ends.
This is a direct-to-video animation series produced back in 1990, which unfolds over thirteen half-hour episodes. Adapted from the fantasy novels of the same name by Japanese author Ryo Mizuno, Lodoss is a classic good-vs-evil story, exploring the chronicles of six adventurers: these include Parn, a young, inexperienced warrior eager to (literally) jump at any chance to clear his father's tarnished name; Deedlit, a spunky, mystical high elf who tries (with varying degrees of success) to prove her love to Parn; Etoh, a loyal, good-natured cleric; Slayn, a gentle wise mage; Ghim, a gruff and tough dwarf; and Woodchuck, a wanted criminal who nonetheless provides loyalty (and occasional chagrin) to his pals.
The story is hardly original, and the plot tends to "jumps around" from one event to the next (for instance, the first episode starts off in the "middle" of the heroes' quest; chronologically, it'd be best to see eps 2-5, 1, and then 6-13)--yet the overall show is so engrossing that this fault (in addition to a few others I'll come to in a moment) becomes irrelevant.
It's the characters which make Record Of Lodoss War so much fun, and much of the best scenes belong to Parn and Deedlit; especially in a royal banquet episode where she forces Parn to dance with her (one of my favorite sequences from the show). As is typical of a elf-dwarf rivalry, Ghim and Deed bicker about each other's differences yet maintain a somewhat begrudging level of self-respect. It's Parn, however, whose plight stays with you long after the show approaches its climax. Eager to discover whether his father died in disgrace or not, he finds a father figure in Kashue. (This gets on Deedlit's nerves; she continually competes with the king for Parn's attention--a running gag that plays out unfortunately for only a couple of episodes.) In the latter episodes, we meet two new characters who don't get much screen time but are no less fully realized. Shiris, the hotheaded young mercenary who vies with Deedlit for Parn's affections is strongly depicted, as is her partner (and secret love), Orson, the moody Berserker, who becomes an angry, uncontrollable monster at the sight of Shiris in trouble.
Even the bad guys are richly developed. Ashram, as mentioned, isn't driven so much by malice as he is by what he believes is right; in fact, he becomes the most three-dimensional of the villains for that reason alone. For support, he has a Dark Elf accomplice named Pirotess (the opposite of Deedlit) who'll do anything to prove her loyalty to him... including sacrificing herself. Karla, incidentally, is no ordinary villainess. Her primary goal is to bring to Lodoss the balance she feels has been so greatly disturbed... yet her psychologically unbalanced persona leads her to cause far worse chaos with deadly consequences. She is shifty, cunning, manipulative -- an almost deadly combination. Wagnard, on the other hand, is just plain evil -- every bit the equivalent of Kefka from Final Fantasy III who cackles fiendishly as he puts his dark plans into action. When we first meet him, he appears to be a nondescript character, but when he becomes possessed by Kardis, he becomes frighteningly villainous. (Every scene he's in sends shivers down my spines.)
Its the strength of the characters and their chemistry as well as the compelling (if jumpy) plot that make Lodoss as a whole that one can overlook its occasional shortcomings, notably the animation, which, although gorgeously drawn, uses a low cel count resulting with some stiff movements. Taking into account that this is an older show, however, this doesn't really detract all that much (although there are some later episodes where some of the same footage is reused, for cost cutting purposes).
No fantasy adventure would be complete without a stirring soundtrack, and Record of Lodoss War delivers this in style. The musical score by Mitsuo Hagita is mostly symphonic, although it is (obviously) generated by electronics. Yet the compositions were so rich and lovely that they eventually grew on me over the course of the show. Equally lovely are the opening and ending theme songs, "Adesso e Fortuna -Now & Fortune-" and "Fantasia of the Wind", both of which are excellently sung in Japanese by Sherry. As a nice bonus, these songs were even translated for the English version; the woman who sings the dubbed songs, Lisa DeSimone, sings with an equally splendid voice.
One aspect of Lodoss often criticized is the English dub, produced by New York-based Central Park Media in 1996, a time when most dubs had a low reputation. I've read all kinds of mixed opinions about this English track; some say its fake and/or mediocre while other claims its unbearable, but here's a better review from one of its several (albeit outspoken on the net at least) enthusiastic fans (that's me). No, it's not perfect, and some lines do come off as a bit awkward, but a lot of the voice-overs are really good. In particular, Billy Regan (Parn), Lisa Ortiz (Deedlit), Al Muscari (Slayn), Jacques Le Can (Woodchuck), Simone Grant (Karla & Leylia), John Knox (Ashram), Jayce Reeves (Wagnard), and Alexander J. Rose (Wort and the Narrator), are among my favorites. Plus, the dialog is close to the subtitled script and packed with some memorable one-liners (Parn: "Quick, Deed, what's this dragon's weak spot?" Deedlit: "I'm not a dragon expert! How should I know?!") and great chemistry between the actors. I especially loved the interactions between Parn and Deedlit, the banter between Ghim and Deed, and a lot of other things. Which is why it saddens me that some would find all of this "inferior" to the Japanese language track. I listened to parts of the Japanese language track, too, and while I did find it to be of top-quality, I find that the dub still holds its own position decently. Of course, it may be in danger of being overshadowed by some of the better dub productions of today, but for a dub made in 1996, its a rather decent, if unspectacular listen. I'm still fond of it, as a matter of fact, even after hearing some better ones.
Record of Lodoss War has received its share of detractors over recent years, probably due to its cheap production values and/or inconsistent plotting. However, it is important to remember that these "shortcomings" is mainly because it's an older Anime series. While Lodoss may show its age in places, its infectious appeal and complexity rings true even after other shows of its ilk, and like most classics, it can stand against the test of time. read more
Overall though this was a good OVA. However, the Story is very scattered and doesn't have proper closure. The completest in me tells me I have to at least see the TV series that follows. I haven't had any luck finding it, however. This anime has a special place in my heart due to the nostalgia factor. I only hope that the TV series that follows this up somehow gives better closure. And one minor gripe, I think all of us understood the backstory of Lodoss by the 3rd episode so it really wasn't nessesary to retell it prior to every episode.
It's very good looking for an older piece, however it's not so old as to forgive some of the shortcuts and mistakes that are noticable.
I love good sound. This doesn't really diliver however. IMHO there's no excuse for 2.0 now that dvd has been on the market so long. other wise it's got repetative music that you'll never forget. But that doens't make it good. Sigh...
All of the characters have some sort of charisma to them. Parn and Deedlit are still one of the most recognized anime couples of all time. I just wish there was more down to earth characters like Woodchuck.
I really do like this anime alot. It's more nostalgia than anything but I do like it. I recommend this Anime to fans of Lord of the Rings and Dungeons and Dragons or other swords and sorcery stories.
Fanboy opinions and nostalgia aside you should...
See reviews and more at my site BRANS!: http://bumrapanimeneverseen.blogspot.com/
Opening Theme"Adesso e Fortuna" by Sherry
Ending Theme"Kaze no Fantasia" by Sherry
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