Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight
It's five years after the death of Ghim and the end of the War of Heroes. Once again, Parn, now a Free Knight of Lodoss, and his companions are called upon to defend their land against the forces of evil. (Wow, original ain't it. ^_^;;;)
A few months back I downloaded an AVI of the intro to this series and I have been awaiting it anxiously ever since. Now that it's here, well, let's just say I'm a bit underwhelmed.
My first niggle was the altered character designs. While still completely recognizable, some of them (notably Shiris) have been "cutiefied" with the extra-large eyes and rounded facial features seen in more contemporary anime in recent years, while others (notably Deedlit) have been made less "cute", an effect which is somewhat disturbing considering what a lively character Deedlit was before. Now she seems ... well ... grouchy.
The second thing that irked me is that none of the original voice actors (that I can recognize anyway) reprise their original roles. All of the voices are different, and a couple (Deedlit and Ashram) are just plain irritating.
Next, the animation quality has gone down from the OAV, which isn't to say that it's bad, just that it's not as good. This isn't unusual for a transition from OAV / movie to a TV series, but considering the exceptional quality of the intro animation, it was a bit of a letdown.
And finally, the storyline continuity has been altered. This is really what bothers me more than anything else. Orson and Shiris, two of my favorite bit characters from the OAV, are reintroduced with major roles (rejoice!), but as total and complete strangers. (Huh? Didn't Orson almost kill Parn once in the OAV and attempt to menace a dragon? I'm confused now. *frumple*).
Also, the final battle with Shooting Star for the Scepter of Domination is glossed over or omitted in parts entirely, though this seems to be a major plot line in THIS series as well. (Eh? Nani? *scritch scritch*). And Bramd, the very cool looking ice dragon that the High Priestess Neese is seen with for about 20 frames in the OAV makes an appearance ... as a silhouette that is shortly thereafter cut into dragon chow by Ashram (Booo! Hiss!!!). Very disappointing.
That said, there is still some good things about this series that make it worth watching. First, the music is just as good as the original, with all the dramatic flair and orchestral compositions that made the CDs of the OAV soundtrack worth buying. (The opening song is my personal favorite.) Second, the series delves deeper into the backgrounds of some of the secondary characters from the OAV that we always wished we knew more about. Ever wonder how Orson became a berserker? Or how he met Shiris? How about Deedlit's actual age? What ever happened to Slayn and his newfound love Leylia? It's all there. Third, new characters abound, and so far the ones I have seen are interesting. Slayn's apprentice is especially amusing. And finally, each episode ends with an "omake" short animation done entirely in the SD style (SD Parn and Deedlit! Kawaii!! ^o^). I was laughing so hard after the first one I nearly fell out of my chair!
All together, the TV series continuation of the Lodoss saga falls far short of its forebear, but still has plenty to offer to those who love the original series or fantasy adventures in general. Definitely worth a rental at the very least.
It could have been better, though. — Jason Bustard
Recommended Audience: Nothing too objectionable, though it does have some violence, mostly with swordplay and magic. Best for teens and above, though younger children might enjoy this series. Parental discretion advised.
Version(s) Viewed: VHS, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (27/27)
Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight © 1998 Mizuno Ryo / Group SNE / Natsumoto Masato / Hyakuyashiki Rei
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