Sunday, December 16, 2001

Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight

Genre: Fantasy
Parental Guidance Recommended
1998. Ryu Mizuno. (creator).
Screenshots courtesy of Kashue's Kingdom.

Record of Lodoss War DVDs
Record of Lodoss War Books
Record of Lodoss War Music
Record of Lodoss War Video Games
Record of Lodoss War Apparel
Everything Record of Lodoss War

Cover Description:
Five years past, a band of six adventurers defeated the conquering armies of Marmo, the dark island, and saved the accused island, LODOSS. Since that day, the survivors have been honored as heroes, and their deeds have become legends. But the darkness never perished... Now, a mad wizard threatens to raise an ancient evil - the goddess of destruction. Old heroes must heed the call to defend their homeland and new heroes are forged as the battle for LODOSS begins anew.

Bonus features include: Character Sketches, Comics, Information Booklet, Cast Page, Sneak Peeks, Interactive Menus, and Chapter Stops.

(27 episodes)

Does not live up to the legend that is the Lodoss OAV. >>> by firesenshi

Great character design and good character development, unexpected plot twists, good environment and setting, enchanting elements of magic and fantasy -- all these elements that make a good fantasy RPG and if you're looking for all of them, you'd best watch the Record of Lodoss War OAV. And I think it best you heed my warning now because you won't hear me say a lot of good things in the Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight TV Series except....

...Disappointment. First off, a little backgrounder: notes on the TV series say that the Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight TV series was created to closely match the manga. Some parts were rewritten in that fans of the Lodoss OAV would find it strange to see Shiris and her traveling companion, Olson, were reintroduced into the series as though Parn and his party never met them in the OAV. The story is divided into two arcs wherein the first 6 episodes happened 5 years after the events in the OAV. The second arc happened 10 years after that and introduces two new central characters, Spark and Neese. For the next 21 episodes, you will be seeing Spark and 5 other characters in his party embark on a journey that started first as a small assignment by King Kasshu which "unexpectedly" led to a much bigger scope than the OAV could have imagined. Here, the world is in danger because a new villain is trying to resurrect Kardis, the goddess of destruction.

As to characterization, too bad. There are too many characters in the TV series, you wonder why Parn and the rest had to be here just for the nostalgic trip. And someone actually complained that the characters in the Escaflowne movie had 5 minutes of exposure? Ha ha!

If you want to see your characters in the OAV back here, you will be disappointed. Somebody tell Deedlit she has a rapier, which she used with much skill in the OAV and that she was even better than Parn in the earlier parts. Now, she's a simple sidekick. Albeit a big magic user who can summon spirit kings, but behind Parn nonetheless. And don't get me started on Pirotess! The new characters introduced with Spark and his party were nothing impactful. The meeting was too convenient in that they all were 'assigned' to meet and went on their way as compared to a 'meeting of fate' of the charcters in the OAV. The thief Laina is so sultry and her introduction was the only one different. She was a character with a lot of potential but alas... so many characters, so little time. None of the new ones, even the supposedly mysterious and you-thought-she-was-small-and-silent-but-she's-really-powerful Neese was not as impactful. Not as impactful as the dwarf Ghim, whose main presence was enough to steal the camera from the beautiful Deedlit. Nor was the crybaby wizard with Spark ever as endearing and smart as Slayn. The characters in the OAV at least were given a short background of their past. This one didn't.

With a big cast of characters and 4 dragons appearing, the setting, character design and story tried to be extravagant. In fact, you'll probably be amazed at all the new things Deedlit tried to conjure. Eye candy? Sure. The battle scenes though were not even detailed as the camera only showed the characters' profile until the waist! Every good battle scene has to show a lot of angles and battle stances at least! The story was also extravagant in introducing a romantic angle for Spark. Frankly, the romantic angle (if I told you, it'd be a spoiler) made me think the girl was only a child! The sweet pledges of "I will protect you" hurt my ears so much that I felt the dialogues in this Lodoss TV were given fan service to those who felt shortchanged in the Parn-Deedlit angle in the Lodoss OAV. Ha! As if Spark and the other character had a bit of chemistry!

All in all: It's obvious, ne? No to the TV series except the first 6 episodes which had very very lovely scenes of Shiris and Olson. By the way, the TV series has a second part which is a 5 minute spoof of the Lodoss TV series called "Welcome to Lodoss Island." That watch is worthwhile and was a bit funny to see your favorite characters in chibi mode.

Music Notes: The opening and ending themes made me happy! The melody and style was as familiar as the Escaflowne and Turn A Gundam tracks that is Yoko Kanno! Yay! Yoko Kanno composes and arranges Kiseki no Umi sung by Maaya Sakamoto while the ending theme was sung by Akino Arai.

Dub Notes: This one does not have any Japanese nuances or cultural stuff here such that a dub won't suffer much in translation. However, after seeing the subs and watching the dubs, I saw the voice acting by US Manga Corps was so bad! Spare yourself and get the subs.

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 9; Story 6; Characters 5; Sounds 9

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