Record of Lodoss War is an anime based on a franchise of fantasy novels by Ryo Mizuno. The franchise is based on work Mizuno originally did for a world called Forcelia, which was part of a role-playing game. The Record of Lodoss War game was created in 1986 by Group SNE as a Dungeons & Dragons “replay,” and the transcripts of the RPG sessions were serialized. These transcripts became so popular, they were adapted into the light novel series that became the basis of the anime.
The Record of Lodoss War anime started out as a 13-episode OVA released between June 30, 1990 and November 20, 1991 by Madhouse Studios. A television anime, Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight, ran for 27 episodes. It was produced by AIC and was directed by Koichi Chigira. It aired on Japanese television from April 1-September 30, 1998. As of this writing, FUNimation Entertainment holds the North American license for both the OVA series and the television anime series.
There are also two other anime related to Record of Lodoss War: the film Legend of Crystania and the TV series Rune Soldier.
The hero of Record of Lodoss War is a warrior named Parn. He starts out as a simple youth, but through some extraordinary circumstances, he comes to don his father’s armor and sword. Parn’s specialty is the use of a bastard sword. His romantic interest is a high elf shaman named Deedlit. Deedlit comes from the Forest of No Return, and she is the last high elf born within the last 1,000 years. She is considered the last hope for the high elven people to be able to prosper once more.
Etoh is Parn’s best friend, as well as a priest of Falis (the Supreme God in the series). Slayn, a wise and powerful magician, sometimes serves as Parn’s advisor. Ghim, a Dwarven warrior, serves as a mentor for Parn; Ghim teaches him how to fight. Woodchuck the thief is the last member to join the party.
King Fahn is the king of Valis and is a former member of one of the Six Heroes; he also served as a Holy Knight of Valis. The main adversary in Record of Lodoss War is Karla the Grey Witch. She is the sole survivor of the ancient kingdom of Kastuul, who maintains a secret influence over the major events of Lodoss. At one point, she was one of the Six Heroes alongside King Fahn.
Record of Lodoss War utilizes a lot of fantasy tropes, such as random events like upgrading armor class. However, this is understandable due to the story of this anime originating from a role-playing game. Even though the series relies on these tropes, there’s still an interesting story being told.
Record of Lodoss War is an anime that can be appreciated by fans of fantasy stories, as well as by fans of role-playing games. I thought it was an enjoyable enough OVA series, and I thought it was just the right length for the story being told.