Saturday, September 27, 2008

Record of Lodoss War

Record of Lodoss War is an older fantasy series that was released straight-to-video. Like most OVA's, the animation is better than a normal TV series but not as good as the standard theatrical film. As far as things made in the early 90's go, it's a pretty good looking show, with some well done fight scenes and only a few noticeable errors. It's fairly bloody, although relatively tame otherwise besides a single unnecessary nipple near the end. It borrows from some Western ideas but still has a visual style of its own.

Adapted from a series of novels, Lodoss War tells a story that sometimes feels like a retelling of someone's Dungeons and Dragons campaign, but is usually pretty interesting. After a first episode that jumps into the middle to show a fairly impressive part of the journey, it goes back to the beginning to show how the hero Parn meets his allies and begins his quest. There's a solid cast of characters, some die, and some get together. It all feels a bit compressed and sparse sometimes, but there's a nice, epic sort of plot that unfolds at a pretty good pace. Sometimes I got lost when the narrator kept talking about the different gods and kingdoms whose names I couldn't keep straight, but for the most part I enjoyed it. Some threads are left dangling, but the main things are taken care of. The relationship between Parn and Deed was handled about as well as I've seen an anime do something like that, and I'm interested in checking out the newer series, which is apparently a more accurate adaptation of the source.

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