Legend of Crystania
This is a title which is supposedly set in the aftermath of Lodoss Wars. Now with that said, I might add that this has absolutely nothing to do with Lodoss Wars, save two characters (who actually died in Record of Lodoss War) are in this anime. The story begins somewhere in the sea, where a fleet of ships has met a gigantic wall. The fleet is led by Ashrum who I guess decided to revive himself and sail away since Record of Lodoss Wars had ended. Ashrum is then possessed by an evil god named Barbus. Hundreds of years later in a land which is in the midst of revolution, the kings son manages to escape the uprising. He swears to avenge his father and mothers death. The kingdom is on the border of the God's Wall (same wall that Ashrum was at earlier). The wall opens for him, and with a few companions he embarks into a foreign land. Fate meets the boy up with Piroteuse who is trying to free Ashrum from his possession.
While I think Record of Lodoss War is one of the best anime of all time, this anime falls on the opposite end of the spectrum. The plot had a few novelties, but the story simply can't drive the concept enough to make it really interesting. How would I describe this anime? One word: Disney. Imagine that Disney suddenly got loose morals, and made a violent fantasy film based off of Record of Lodoss War. Other than the ending credits being in Japanese, there is no distinctive features telling that this is anime. At times the animation almost attempted some interesting sequences, but never quite made it. And as an end to the torture of watching this, during the final sequence when the aftermath of the battle is looked upon, and when the characters are to reflect on what has happened, some electric guitar kicks in. WTF?! I strongly recommend not watching this.
Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight
So for quite a while there was nothing going on in the Lodoss scene. Then information started to trickle down about a new Lodoss TV series. The REAL Lodoss, not the hoser Crystania stuff. And after waiting for a time, I finally got to see it... I really can't believe how far down the toilet this series went. The animation is very... "non spectacular" to put it in a nice way. The plot overall sort of sucked. There is never really any sort of building to a climax. The original Lodoss built to a terrific climax, this series however sort of climbed a very small hill, and that's it. If the story wasn't bad enough, then the corney sort of dialog that went with it was about enough to do it in (I'm talking about the subtitled version here, and I can understand quite a bit of the Japanese). Probably the worst turn of events actually came down to the characters themselves.
I might point out first of all, that I didn't like Deedlit's new voice (still talking about the Japanese Voice actress here). Deedlit in the OAV seemed very girlish, but with a sort of edge to it, much the way you would expect an elf girl such as herself to be. Deedlit's voice in the OAV had a much deeper tone to it, and was rather disappointed to hear how she had lost her girlish voice (although her new sexier voice isn't that bad either). Perhaps she had started out with the second voice I wouldn't have cared.
Then it comes down to the rather confusing story. Some of the TV series follows the OAV if you cut out all of the stuff after the defeat of Karla (as Leilia). But then there was the entire re-doing of the "War of Heros"... which didn't even involve King Fahn at all. Aside from the total confusion around the old story verses the new, and the slight variation of characters, the TV series decides to include a lot more characters to throw a monkey wrench in the entire thing. But wait, the worst is yet to come. Oh, lookey here! Ashrum is back again! Well forget that he died in the OAV, and forget that he resurrected himself and sailed off to Crystania (and died again), three's a charm! And what do they do to Ashrum? Overall, nothing bad, but then they give him such a pathetic death that I actually had to stop the VCR because I was so upset. The OAV set up such a perfectly tragic ending for him, that it is probably one of most memorable things in anime. No.. forget all that, we'll just toss him in a lava pit. And poor Orison. Not only did they kill him, but they turned him into a WIMP before they killed him. Shiris by the way, still has the sexy outfit, but unfortunately is so immensely annoying that it boggles the mind. The "oh well, Orison's dead, but I'm happy now because he'd want me to be" thing didn't blow over well with me. And the super deformed sequences... heh, don't get me started on those.
While the Lodoss TV series (of which I haven't seen the entire thing yet) wasn't all that bad for your run of the mill anime, it's nothing when compared to the glory of it's predecessor in OAV format. Overall I found the series to be an immense disappointment. I guess if I were to recommend anything, it would be that you watch the OAV series, and NOT the TV series. If you've seen some of the TV series, well then just watch the rest and forget about it, because I don't think the confusion of the TV series could be overcome to enjoy the OAV. It's a rather sorry fate that has befallen the Lodoss series. Hopefully they'll leave the series alone before doing any further damage.
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