Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight – episodes 1 to 5

July 27, 2004 on 6:50 pm | In Record of Lodoss War | Comments Off on Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight – episodes 1 to 5

Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight is the 1997 sequel TV series to the popular 1990 OVA. It continues the story from the most interesting part of that original series and overwrites the rest. It works because it allows room for exposition without overcrowding or boring.

Five years after the freeing of Leylia, the original party of the Great War has separated. However, upon discovering that Ashram of the Marmo is out to gain the Sceptre of Domination, those of the party who did not die or become King in that time set out to claim it first.

The first step that shows this is a different take on Lodoss War is the reintroduction of Orson and Shiris. In the OVA, they were one note characters who appeared very briefly and didn’t get to say much. Here they take on a more important role, and Orson is very interesting for an emotionless character. Orson’s berserker curse is now manifested physically
At this point, the series belongs very much to Shiris and Orson, the mercenary siblings/potential lovers.
In fact, everything is much more interesting here because it doesn’t feel cluttered. There are so far only three simultaneous storylines that are all tied together. Suddenly, King Kashue feels like a deep, almost profound character. A mercenary king is no longer lost behind walls of leaden storytelling; It’s nice to see his philosophy that a king should not be expected to share the burdens of his countrymen, just that he should ease them.
The other interesting plot point is that Ashram has enlisted a priest for his party. It shows that he has some sense of balance. His quest is not so much evil as it is contrary to the wishes of the other major characters.

The highlight is Lodoss‘ second face: Welcome to Lodoss Island! Each episode ends with a two minute segment of super-deformed animation and puns which translate well enough into the subtitles. The changes of Slayn and Kashue made for this are completely hilarious. Slayn’s “Pupupu!” laugh is worth it alone, and King Kashue is loud and dresses in drag to provoke reaction from Orson in a competition to get him to laugh. Parn and Deedlit promote it as the “part that you’ve been waiting for”, and they’re not far wrong. Getting two programs in one, and such opposites, is some good value.

People generally complain about the animation of this TV series, but it’s fine by my non-exacting standards. It’s nowhere near as pretty as Yuuki Nobuteru’s OVA work, and Deedlit looks slightly too willowy sometimes, but in action there are few problems. In the first two episodes there is bizarre overuse of multiple angles at once, but the directors appear to have overcome that hurdle. The character’s noses in round table scenes, however, are occasionally too angular. It would be impossible to complain about Welcome to Lodoss Island! without seeming petty.
The OP and ED were composed by Kanno Yoko, and one of them was performed by the inestimable Sakamoto Maaya. The combination of music and vocals gives a really medieval feel to proceedings. Hayami Sho makes his character exchange seamlessly (going from Orson to Ashram between the TV and OVA), and Asakawa Yu gives one of her better performances as Shiris. There are some other good names coming up in the cast, but on the whole so far they’re unremarkable.

Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight takes a relaxed pace and allows its characters and situations to make sense. The fact that you’re essentially getting two worthwhile programs give it that little extra glow.

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