Record of Lodoss War - OVA
Many years have passed since the gods of light and darkness fought an epic war. The great magicians of old are also just faded memories. But elves, dwarfs, and humans still squabble amongst themselves for land, power, and fame. Even so, the island of Lodoss has known relative peace for many years now. But all around strange things are starting to stir and it looks like a war may be imminent. A young man named Parn set out to become a knight and help combat this great evil. Parn soon found himself allied with many companions. But as Parn's journey continues, he finds that his fight against evil isn't so simple. Especially when you begin to understand that most everything is in shades of gray.
Record of Lodoss War is a strait out fantasy title with elves and orcs more in the traditional vein of a Tolkien story. More interestingly it's based off a RPG game with characters that are cut and dried RPG classes, but develops them in interesting ways. I had really low expectations after realizing the RPG roots of Lodoss Wars, but by the third episode I felt the anime was destined for better things than a typical RPG rehash. By the middle, the expectations of good and evil is turned on its ear. Things appear very black and white in the beginning, but it becomes clear neither side is particularly good or evil. The characters are true to their respective classes, but also develop in ways that good characters are supposed to. Even Parn who is annoying at first, turns out to be pretty cool by the end. Even if his skill in swordsmanship seems like a miracle that came from nowhere considering he'd never even held a sword until the beginning of the show.
Also in the line of characters, Pirotess is the hottest elf chick ever. And I can say that even having seen the Lord of the Rings movies which had Liv Taylor as an elf. Yeah and actually as far as that goes I'd totally take Deedlit too. Even better if I could get Pirotess and Deedlit at the same time. I heard this old legend once, that if you date two elf girls at the same time, you get an automatic +5 dexterity bonus in all RPGs...
Last but not least I should mention the soundtrack. Most soundtracks that are cited as exceptional, are collections of good songs. Few really drive the feel of the story beyond the animation like done here. The Vampire Princess Miyu - OVA and the Record of Lodoss War OVA I've always thought of as special in this way. For a series which embodies a fantasy story and setting, the classical inspired music of RLW is a perfect fit. Even if it's inserted a little haphazardly at times. This continues to be one of my all time favorite soundtracks after many years.
Okay I'm going to stop with the gushing over my beloved Record of Lodoss Wars. It is probably one of my favorite titles of all time, and much deserving of it too. I suppose the one thing that might stop you would be the fantasy genre. Unless you have a deep hatred of strait fantasy, I highly recommend this one.
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