Anime Spotlight: Rune Soldier

Rune Soldier is based on a novel series by Ryo Mizuno. It is a “sibling series” to Record of Lodoss War, and takes place on Alecrast, a continent north of Lodoss Island. The series was produced by J.C. Staff, and was directed by Yoshitaka Koyama. The series aired on Japanese television from April 3-September 18, 2001.

As of this writing, ADV Films holds the North American rights for Rune Soldier.

Rune Soldier features three female adventurers, and the male magician that joins their party. Louie is a member of the Magician’s Guild in Ohfun. He’s muscular and a little on the dumb side, and is also the adopted son of the head of the Magician’s Guild. Louie tends to get drunk in bars, chases after girls, and likes to brawl instead of studying magic. He possesses a strong sense of justice, and is loyal to those he considers friends. At first, he makes a very bad impression on the band of female adventurers. However, after he joins them, he treats them as equals, and they start to gain some respect for him.

Melissa is an adventurer and a priestess to Mylee, the god of war. She is naïve and idealistic, and her dream is to serve the hero that Mylee tells her to serve. Melissa becomes very upset when Mylee reveals that her champion is Louie.

Genie is an adventurer and a former soldier of Ohfun. She usually has a cool demeanor, but Louie’s behavior can push her toward violence. Genie is a very skilled warrior, and her favorite weapon is a broadsword that’s about as big as she is.

Merrill is an adventurer, a thief, and has quite an obsession with money. When Merrill isn’t out on an adventure, she is working part time jobs, raising the funds needed for the next adventure, or looking at any scheme to get rich quick. Like Genie, she is also driven crazy by Louie’s behavior.

Ila is a member of the Magician’s Guild, and a friend of Louie’s. She is interested in Louie, and tries to drop hints to him about it; however, their relationship remains platonic. Ila is also highly knowledgeable in magic theory and magical item lore.

The episodes of the series are either a stand-alone adventure, or a story arc consisting of multiple episodes. The stories tend to focus on the party looking for, finding and participating in an adventure.

While Rune Soldier is a fantasy series, there’s also quite a bit of humor as well. There’s also some sexual comedy as well, although no actual nudity is shown on screen. Personally, I enjoyed much of the humor that appeared in the series. I enjoy both serious fantasy and comedic fantasy, so Rune Soldier ended up having an appeal to me.

Overall, I found Rune Soldier to be enjoyable, although there are some flaws with the series.

If you enjoy fantasy anime and don’t mind having humor be a strong aspect, then you’ll probably enjoy Rune Soldier. Also, if you’re familiar with Record of Lodoss War, then Rune Soldier might be worth checking out to see other characters and stories set in the same world.

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