Record of the Lodoss War : Chronicles of the Heroic Knight
Partly downgraded on the basis of being an inferior descendant of a classic OAV series. This TV series inherits the characters and world from the much loved earlier title and starts to tell a story of its own. It seems that Ashram, the evil would-be emperor of Beld has gathered together a powerful group to hunt for an ancient relic. If he succeeds then he would have the power to crush the whole of Lodoss under his dominion. For some inexplicable reason he gives his plans away, alerting the hero's of old to his evil plan. And they, along with some new faces, will stop at nothing to thwart his ambitions. Of course there is also the problem that the relic is in the possession of one of the ancient dragons of Lodoss, but then there is nothing heros like better than a bit of dragon hunting.
In other words it is the old standby of `hunt the relic' which will no doubt drag the two groups all over the world of lodoss. The show is also interesting in that is partly a sequel, since it is assumed you know the main characters. It also isn't in that some characters are `re-started'. Thus Orson and Shiris are re-introduced, while Parn and Deedlit are assumed to be known. Likewise the relic itself, and the dragon, were involved in the original OAV but seem to have been re-set for this story. In addition some characters have been redesigned, possibly to meet the possibilities of TV animation, which will come as an immense blow to fans of Deedlit (or Pirotess for that matter as she is absent). The biggest problem though is that the story isn't anywhere near as engaging or epic as the first. Likewise the characters actions seem less logical, as seen in their amazing over-confidence when going dragon slaying. This combines with the flat dialogue and poorer sense of character to provide a much reduced experience. It could be seen as fairly reasonable sword and sorcery stuff...but it is crippled beneath the weight of the characters and heritage it inherits from the earlier OAV.
Certainly being a TV version of an OAV series isn't easy. But having squandered its ability to do character development (we know who these people are), character interaction (observe Deedlits total lack of character) and epic story (the main advantage of having the longer TV series) it is desperately in need of support. Sadly it won't get it from this animation. While it has a more modern sense of style, albeit best seen in the opening, it really doesn't have much of a budget. Character motion and action is stilted, magic is amazingly ordinary and attempts to animate mass scenes (such as battles or ball room dances) are no better than the original. Likewise attempts to animate the dragons are even less effective than the `sliding drawings' of the OAV. The voices are okay, but not well used by the dialogue. The Omake (extras) at the end are mildly amusing, but clash badly with the serious tone and could even be seen as emphasising its lack of character. This is an average fantasy anime, with production quality at the lesser end of the spectrum. It will probably be enjoyed most by those who have never seen the original OAV. Of course those people should probably simply watch the orignal OAV instead and leave this one on the shelf.
I feel much more comfortable with THEM to support my feelings, as they found it very disappointing too, especially with the redesigns, average animation and weird continuity. Although they liked the extras. The review is interesting and rings true, and also supplies the fact that none of the original voice actors are in this version.