Anime DVD Review: Record of Lodoss War The Complete Series

Record of Lodoss War The Complete Series is a two-disc set that contains all 13 episodes from the Record of Lodoss War OVA series. The first disc contains the first seven episodes, while the second disc includes six episodes and a bonus feature.

Record of Lodoss War The Complete Series
English Publisher: Image Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: December 22, 1998

Record of Lodoss War is a fantasy anime based on the serialization of role-playing game sessions. Parn is the hero of the story, a young man who has donned his father’s armor and sword to become a warrior. His romantic interest is a high elf named Deedlit, and they are both part of a party that has come together to try to save Lodoss from destruction brought about by events put into motion by Karla the Grey Witch.

They are joined in their quest by several other people, who include: Parn’s best friend, Etoh, a priest of Falis; Slayn, a wise and powerful magician; Ghim, the Dwarven warrior; and Woodchuck the thief. As the story progresses through these 13 OVA episodes, many twists and turns are brought into play as the party tries to save the world from destruction.

I watched this DVD box set with my husband, who has played Dungeons & Dragons in the past, and is also a fan of fantasy stories. As we watched, he would point out the fantasy tropes that he recognized, such as random events and upgrading armor class. As he was able to quickly point out, the series has a number of these fantasy tropes, due in large part to how the story originated from RPGs. However, he and I both agreed that while the series relies on these tropes, there’s still an interesting story being told. I believe that fans of fantasy stories would probably be able to appreciate and enjoy the Record of Lodoss War OVA series.

This DVD set was released in 1998, during the early years of the DVD format. There were decisions made on how to author the discs that really wouldn’t make sense to viewers more accustomed to modern DVDs. Some of the ideas used in the authoring have been used on more recent DVDs, but have been greatly improved upon in the intervening years.

When you put one of the discs in this set into your DVD or Blu-ray player, it automatically goes into the first episode of the disc instead of taking you to a menu. My husband found that he could access the main menu by pressing the “Pop Up Menu” button on our Blu-ray player’s remote control.

When you watch the disc from beginning to end, there’s a kind of “marathon feature” that was improved upon when FUNimation Entertainment released the orange bricks for Dragon Ball Z. Unfortunately, there really was no consistency in what was included or left out for this “marathon feature.” Most of the time, the next episode preview was removed; however, there were at least two that were left in. This was also true for the ending credits. And for whatever reason, the prologue was left on every episode, but was put on the end of the chapter mark for the previous episode instead of being at the beginning of the chapter mark for the next episode. I wish that this prologue wasn’t included with every episode when watching a disc straight through.

If you are a fan of the Record of Lodoss War OVA, this DVD release is the only way to own these episodes legally. However, the set is now out of print. Even with some of the puzzling DVD authoring choices that were made during the early years of the DVD format being used on this release, it’s still worth owning to have the OVA. Since it is an out of print item, be sure to shop around in order to find the best price you can for a used copy.

Additional post about Record of Lodoss War:

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