© 1990 Group SNE / Kodokawa Shoten Publishing / Marubeni Corporation / Tokyo Broadcasting System
Record of Lodoss War
Of all the genres, medieval fantasy has always been my favorite. I own dozens of fantasy novels, and have always lamented the lack of good fantasy in other media. Fortunately, with anime like Record of Lodoss War, I needn't lament much longer.
Over 3000 years ago, a massive battle between the gods ensued on the continent of Lodoss. Lodoss was split from the rest of the world and became known as "Lodoss: The Cursed Island". In present time, a powerful Emporer is assembling forces with plans to conquer the Lodoss. An unlikely group of six heroes must band together to prevent him from conquering their world.
Only one word is needed to summarize this series: epic. Actually, calling it epic is almost an understatement. Between the massive armies, extensive story line, and sheer scope, Lodoss War is a monumental anime.
When you do start watching, you may feel a little bit lost. The first episode actually takes place somewhere in the middle of the story. This allows for a quick introduction to all the characters, with lots of action to perk your interest early. I thought it was a nice touch.
While the story line certainly isn't skimped on in the slightest, the series strongly focuses on developing its characters as well. There are six heroes which make up the main group of characters. Parn is the central character; a young, aspiring knight, even if a bit on the clumsy side. There's also the mysterious elf, Deedlit, and the stern dwarf, Ghim, who's differing races provide a lot of tension. My personal favorite was the sly thief, Woodchuck. Etoh the cleric and Slayn the sorcerer round out the main cast. Everyone will probably their own favorite or two. The villains are also excellent. Karla and Ashram are simply two of the most devious and menacing (not to mention best dressed) villains I've seen. They just cast this aura of evil everywhere they go, which made me both hate and love them at the same time. Everyone is very fleshed out, and they all have their own agendas, some of which don't get revealed until the very end. This allows for various twists and turns in the plot, which keeps things very intriguing.
The English voice acting was decent, but some of the characters sounded a little strange. I didn't really care for the way Parn and Deedlit sounded, even though their voice actors were competent. They just didn't _feel_ right. A lot of the minor characters could've used better actors, as well. The music, however, was quite good, even though it did get a little repetitive after awhile. But I guess hearing the excellent battle theme over and over wasn't really a bad thing.
If there is a downside (and there is one, or I would've given this series five stars), it lies in the presentation. The artwork is quite detailed and pleasing to look at, but the animation quality isn't so great. As the series progresses, it seems to get worse and worse. Battles tended to feature lots of still shots and reused animation. The worst offenders were those massive dragons. Outside of the dragon in the first episode, the rest were barely animated at all! Instead, a handful of still-shots were used, which gave them a cardboard cut-out feel. Had the animation been better, certain scenes would've had more of an impact.
If you like fantasy, even in the slightest, then go out and rent or buy this series. For epic fantasy, Record of Lodoss War is one of the best.
The Verdict: * * * * (good)
|last modified: 05-26-03||The Anime Critic and associated content © 1999-2003 Pete Harcoff. All rights reserved.|