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Anime on DVD: Record of Lodoss War
The Age of Gods was closing. Eternity had come to an end. The heavens shookas the armies of Falis, God of Light clashed with those of Falaris, God ofDarkness. In the unceasing battle which followed, the earth wept... The seasboiled...At last, only two survivors remained of both sides - Marfa, Goddess ofCreation, and Kardis, Goddess of Destruction, who met in a clash which echoed tothe ends of the earth. At the end of their fierce battle a new land was born,split off from the continent as the life fires of the goddesses of Light andDark flickered and died away.
Thousands ofyears have since passed. And now, the land to the south of the continent ofAlecrast has become known as "Lodoss - The Accursed Island."Record of Lodoss War is a unique and important title in the Anime on DVDworld. It's the first Region 1 DVD Anime box set, and Central Park Media'sstrong message that they were ready to compete in the DVD world. The series wasoriginally released as a 13 episode OVA set, and has since spawned a TV seriesand the spin off series Legend of Crystania. Here, however, we're focusing onthe original OVA.
Record ofLodoss War has become rather well known among people outside the anime crowdbecause of how close it seems to come to a D&D campaign. It's rumored thatthe original idea for the series actually came from a few D&D source books.Evidence for that theory is everywhere in this series. The way the story comestogether, the sterotypical characters and how they act, and the type of worldthat Lodoss represents.In the end though, it's the characters and plot that make this series sogreat. For fantasy anime/novel/role-playing fans, all the genres of charactersthey loved are here. The story begins with 6 seemingly unrelated people andbackgrounds coming together. There's Parn the aspiring knight, Deedlit the HighElf, Ghim the burly dwarf, Slayn the sorcerer, Etoh the priest/healer, andWoodchuck the thief. Their quest leads them to meet many other friends andvillains, all of which quickly became favorites in the anime community. All themajor characters are written in well, and their backgrounds, motivations, andway of thinking are all made very clear. You'll find yourself loving thevillains as much as the heroes.
Thestory itself is a true anime epic. It is told through 13 OVA episodes, and canbe divided into two major story arcs. People who seem insignificant charactersduring the first half suddenly become important right under your nose. WhileParn and company travel across Lodoss, new villians continue to come into thespotlight and try to challenge the forces of good for possession of Lodoss.Throughout this quest, all the fantasy favorites are thrown in. Dragons, darkgods, magic, mystical items, all factor heavily in the plot. These requiredfantasy elements are used well throughout the story, but not to the point wherethey are more prominent than the characters or overall plot.The discs themselves are nothing that will stand out in your mind fortechnical excellence. On the other hand, the video is at a level that you can bewatched without complaint. The audio is also at the same type of level. It'snothing outstanding, but does well enough to leave you satisfied in the end. Ifthe discs have any real technical downfalls, it's the way the openings andendings are handled, and it is easily forgivable.Record of Lodoss War is a set that no anime fan should be without. CentralPark Media has taken a great anime series and made an affordable, well designedbox set. If you haven't picked it up and enshrined it in your own collection,it's highly recommended that you do it, and soon.-Sean Broestl