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Record of Lodoss War OVA Review

by: sothis
August 6, 2005

story 7.5/10

Record of Lodoss War OVA screenshot Record of Lodoss War is basically the ultimate fantasy story. You like Lord of the Rings? The Shannara series of novels? This series would be right up your alley. All the traditional characters and monsters are to be found: dragons, kobolds, elves, dwarves, you name it. Magic abounds, the power of good and evil is key, and the power of comradery is the strongest of all. The story itself is an epic tale of all of these things, and more. Unfortunately, it does come off as being somewhat generic, because it is essentially a fantasy staple. If you are looking for something unusual besides the usual features of straight fantasy, you might be a bit disappointed. In addition, I felt that the story was fairly hard to follow for the first amount of the series. Instead of having any sort of introductions, you are thrown into the action, being forced to try to understand who all these strange people and names are. Even after watching the entire series, I still am unclear on who some people are, or what was always going on. Although seemingly generic, the story itself is still entertaining and executed well (besides being confusing sometimes). If you like fantasy at all, you should appreciate the story in some context or another.

animation 8/10

The animation for Lodoss War is definitely good for its time. Characters are shaded in a very simple way, with lots of little lines drawn on for details (especially hair, and furrowing facial features). You'll recognize the older style of character designs as well: the elf with huge pointed ears, the medium sized rounded eyes, the thick lines usually accompanying the face, etc. Backgrounds had much more attention to detail, especially textured walls and scenery. Monsters also were more detailed than their human counterparts. Lodoss War had its violent parts, and there is a decent amount of blood and gore. Well presented, though. There were, however, some things that made the animation a bit dodgy. For example, literally every dragon until the end of the series appeared to be animatronic. Each time a dragon appeared on the screen, it basically showed the one shot of the dragon's head, moving across the screen. No movement of the mouth, eyes, anything. There also tended to be some squiggles across the front of the dragon to indicate movement. Other than that, literally, the dragons were always still and just moved around on the screen. For something as majestic and (in this case) frightening as the dragons, you'd think they could have put a bit more into their animation. Special effects were also a bit cheesy sometimes, but the dragon part is what stuck out the most.

sound 8/10

The music is definitely a high point of Lodoss War. Pretty much the best case scenario for a fantasy series such as this. Think of a nice, dark orchestral soundtrack. Quite a few nice sound effects were used, though I swear I had heard one of them in a Star Trek movie before. ;) The music definitely lended itself well to the different types of scenes.

characters 6.5/10

Although others might disagree with me, this is where I felt the OVA truly failed. We are given no introduction about the characters in the beginning. And although over the course of the series, things are briefly explained about each character and their past (in some cases), there isn't really any depth to any of them. Relationships are unveiled, but have no background or basis as far as we are concerned, so they seem shallow and empty. Just keeping track of who everyone is is confusing enough, but the fact that they mostly seem 2-dimensional doesn't help with a sense of empathy. Even by the end, I was mostly enjoying it for the strong fantasy element, not the characters and definitely not the character development (as there wasn't much). Voice actors were chosen well, can't say I have any complaints there.

overall 7.5/10

Lodoss War is a success because it is a timeless fantasy story, period. Having been spoiled by many unusual fantasies in my anime watching history, it might be normal that I'd finally watch the staple of the genre, and be a tad disappointed in the generic feeling. But this, I assure you, does not make the series a failure in any way. Had it been executed slightly better (not confusion right away), it might have made more of an impact. But in general, a very epic and action-filled plot that will entertain ALL fantasy fans, new or old. Great animation and fantastic music fill out the reasons you should see this, besides the fact that it's a relatively quick watch. For new anime fans (or ones like me who just hadn't seen it), make sure you add this to your list of things to watch in the near future. I personally don't think I'd rewatch this, because the story isn't unusual enough to warrant another viewing. However, I can see that this might be appealing to hardcore fans of fantasy.

Anime Info

In an ancient time of swords and sorcery,the struggle to rule the cursed land of Lodoss rages on, spilling the blood of monsters and men. With the threat of dragons and dark powers hellbent on destroying it, the only hope for Lodoss is a young swordsman named Parn and his comrades. Armed with determinination and sheer strength, the band of friends must join the forces of kings and elves to overcome the dark sorcerer Ashram and his mistress Pirotess, as the ultimate battle of good versus evil begins!

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About the Author

sothis's avatar


My fav genres include sci fi and horror, but you'll find a lot of obscure reviews from me too, given I watch a ton to add to the database. My new reviews are written a lot better than my old ones, so when in doubt, sort by date! ^_^ Enjoy, and I welcome any and all feedback.

More Reviews


AnimalSoldier avatar AnimalSoldier
Dec 7, 2010

This review is accurate. I watched the anime because of this this review,and you got it right. Characters werent all that great,and some were annoying. But the Kings were epic imo. When they faced each other,was the best part in the anime. Oh,and your dragon line is spot on...I laughed so many times when I saw the dragons. Well,as an RPG fan,I loved the setting and stuff. Good anime,good review.

halfdan avatar halfdan
Apr 3, 2010

Very nice review!

This was one of the very first anime I ever saw, and I think very highly of it. You're pretty much on point about it being on the generic side, the story and characters are pretty formulaic. I have a special spot for the series in my heart, but you gave it a good ebjective review.

Wolf570 avatar Wolf570
Jan 25, 2010

"Record of Lodoss War is basically the ultimate fantasy story."

Damn right.

Itochan60 avatar Itochan60
Dec 6, 2009

Pretty nice review!  The Lodoss War OVA is essentailly my favorite anime of all time, but I tend to agree with a lot of what you have said in the review.  I would have put animation up to a 8.5/9 because I find some of the animation to be just brilliant and I would have upped the characters a bit more, but in all honesty I think my view is a little scewed from watching and reading all the other lodoss stuff XD  Overall enjoyed the review though!

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