Synopsis: Long ago, Marfa (goddess of creation) and Kardis (goddess of destruction) fought a great war that split the continent and formed a new land. This land came to be known as Lodoss - The Accursed Land. Centuries have passed since then, and now various forces fight once more for control over Lodoss. Five years have passed after the Great War, Lodoss' delicate balance is once again being stirred by the ambitions of its inhabitants. The time has come once more for heroes to band together and save the land. Among them are Parn, the legendary free knight; Deedlit, the mystical high elf who travels by his side; Slayn, a sage and a sorcerer; Shiris, the passionate warrior... these and other heroes hold the future of Lodoss in their hands.
Review: I was thoroughly impressed when I saw the Record of Lodoss War OAV series. It was like being in a totally fantastic RPG. I've just watched all 27 episodes of the Lodoss TV series, and all I can say is... wow. I've always considered the Lodoss OAV series as ultimate anime RPG, but I think it's just been outdone by this marvelous TV version. I couldn't stop watching once I started.
Lodoss TV begins five years after Ghim's death. Parn is no longer the struggling knight wannabe that he was. Lo and behold, he is now the legendary free knight -- and almost everyone on the land knows him. Parn's always on the road to adventure with Deedlit, but since there is a need for heroes again, they band together with the rest of the Lodoss gang (Slayn, Leylia, Shiris, Orson, etc...). If you've watched the OAV series, you'll probably get confused with the chronology of the events. Shiris and Orson are re-introduced as new characters. Ashram is alive and kicking, and is once again going after the scepter of domination. According to the booklet that came with my DVD set, Lodoss TV is a re-telling of the whole saga. Lodoss OAV was so short that a lot of the events were condensed to fit a 13-episode series. Let's just say that this is the expanded version. Still, you'll make the most of this series if you've watched the OAV because they do make references to certain OAV events (i.e. Leylia's possession, Ghim's death, etc.). It's not really a pre-requisite though because the references are briefly explained, so there aren't any loopholes.
There are two main plots. The first half of the series features our old faves (Parn, Deed, Slayn. etc.) and some new additions. They have to stop the dark forces from acquiring the scepter of domination. The second half takes place ten years after the first half, giving way to a new generation of heroes. A younger set of enthusiastic characters is introduced. There's Spark, a knight-in-training who has always idolized Parn; Neese -- Slayn and Leylia's daughter; Leaf, a mischievious half-elf... etc. They have to stop the dark wizard Wagnard from resurrecting the goddess of destruction Kardis. Of course, Parn and the gang are still there for support.
At the end of each adventure-filled episode is a brief segment called "Welcome to Lodoss Island". This part features super-deformed versions of all the characters re-enacting certain events in a wacky manner. They also tell jokes, sing, dance... it's all very cute and provide a refreshing change of pace from all the heart-stopping excitement.
The art and animation are superb. The characters still resemble their OAV selves but their looks generally improve by leaps and bounds. The magic effects, battle sequences, and various encounters are also more intense and detailed. Everything is more colorful and vibrant. I love watching the magic-users cast their spells... I look forward to every skirmish, I tell you. The songs and music complement the whole series perfectly (dang, now I have to buy the soundtrack!). I especially love the ending theme, "Barefoot in the Light". The English dubbing is tolerable at best. Some of the dub voices don't really fit the characters, while some are just downright irritating. If you're an RPG fan like I am, this anime will definitely make your day... or your week for that matter.
Miscellanies: Parn's looking good in his thirties! The DVD set is loaded with extras like image galleries, scripts, manga stills, a colored info booklet, etc.
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Record of Lodoss War (TV)
Chronicles of the Heroic Knight, Lodoss-tou Senki: Eiyuu Kishi Den