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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2005
Format: DVD
Parn is a young warrior living in a small village whose father was a holy knight, who was eventually forced to leave in disgrace. Parn is determined to salvage his family's name. Then one day Parn saves a young woman who is attacked by a gang of goblins in the woods. That goblins should be out in broad daylight is very strange, since they normally only come out at night. Later the other villagers berate him for killing a goblin, since they're certain more will come and retaliate by attacking the village. This does happen, and it's up to Parn and his old friend Etoh, a cleric, (a priest who specializes in healing spells,) as well as two other warriors, Ghim, a dwarf warrior who has embarked on a quest to find and bring back home Karla, a young priestess, and his sorceror friend Slayn, to defend the village. After the battle with the goblins is over, the mayor sends Parn and Etoh out to find out the cause of the goblins strange behavior, like going out in daylight. Ghim and Slayn go with them. Soon the four are joined by Deedlit, a high elf maiden. It isn't long before they are captured by guards of the kingdom of Mice (yes, that's what it's called,) who suspect them of being enemy spies, and taken prisoner. While in prison they meet Woodchuck, a thief. They learn of the evil kingdom of Marmo, which is going out on a journey of conquest. Soon the captain of the guards meets them and realizes what a mistake has been made, and he orders the five released. Parn wants to join the guard ranks, but then Marmo attacks. The heros are unable to stop the oncoming army, and barely make it out with Woodchuck in tow. Now they must embark on a quest to save Loduss from evil.

Just about everything is great about this show, including the voice acting in both lanuges, but there's one serious problem in the continueity that might have some people confused. Episode 1 actually takes place AFTER episodes 2-5. Why they did this, I have no idea. Anyway, if you want the watch the episodes in their proper order, watch them like this:

#2:Blazing Departure
#3:The Black Knight
#4:The Grey Witch
#5:The Desert King
#1:Prologue To The Legend

After this, go to episode 6,"The Sword Of The Dark Emperor:, and watch the rest of the series in order.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2001
Format: DVD
Alrighty, what can I say that hasn't really been said? I disagree with some of the reviews. I've seen both sets, and this one by far is better. I don't understand where one reviewer got the "Grainy" viewing on DVD, mine doesn't have that. Yes, the English dubs aren't as good as the origional voices, but that's a given in almost any anime.
The first episode is a catcher episode, but takes place later in the plot. Aside from that, I found nothing confusing about it, even when the people split up and it skipped back and forth. The only annoying thing about it is the little commercial break thingy in the middle of the episode. If you sit down and watch all 13 in a row, you'll know what I mean.
I enjoyed this anime more than the others of it's type because it has character. You see progress with each character, as they become more proficient in their abilities. Another plus is that even though Good triumphs over evil, good isn't the unstoppable force that only takes a few scratches. Some major setbacks occur, and I almost had to watch a couple scenes twice to make sure that really happened, my mind woulnd't believe it. The storyline also includes several plot twists, that will make you actually reconsider who is good and who is bad.
The full VHS cost me almost twice the DVD cost. When I saw it for DVD for only 50 bucks, I ran out and bought it. This is most definately worth every penny I've spent, and I've seen the entire series 3 times and am still not tired of it. I highly recommend this not just for any anime fan, but for any fantasy fan as well.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 1999
Format: DVD
Lodoss War is D&D brought to the screen, even more so than the old Dungeons and Dragons cartoon. You find nearly all the old classes; fighter, thief, magic-user, cleric, elf, and dwarf. With interesting characters, a well thought out plot, and a villain worth cheering for, this is the fantasy genre at it's best.
As specific to the DVD, this version continues the ongoing, and very annoying, tradition of placing the episodes not in chronological order, but rather in production order. The result is that the first episode of the series actually takes place three or four episodes into the story. This has been a long time pet peave of mine with the various video releases of the series, and I wish someone would watch this before they released it and realize how stupid it is to start in the middle of the story (very briefly) jump to the beginning of the story, and then skip that piece in the middle without explaination.
This episode was produced first, to sell the show to producers because it was exciting and action packed. It was never intended to be aired in that order.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2002
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I bought this DVD for my little brother and without a doubt it's paid for itself 10 times over with the amount of fun we've had with it.
Record of Lodoss War is my favorite Anime series to date. The animation is top-notch, colorful and intense, the story is complicated enough to keep you guessing, the characters are wonderful and lively, and the musical score is out of this world!! If you enjoy losing yourself in a fantastic world of heroes and heroines, wizards and dragons, castles and enchanted woods, raging battles and medieval festivals, and everything else you'd hope to find in a quality epic fantasy adventure, Lodoss War is for you!
Whether you're a hardcore Anime fan or just starting out, Lodoss War is not to be missed.
P.S. I've heard from a few people that they dislike Lodoss War because it's "too mainstream" and because "everyone thinks it's good". Don't listen to people who say this!--just because something is popular doesn't mean it is unoriginal or clichéd. Lodoss War is so popular because it sets a standard of quality in animated storytelling that commands broad and diverse respect.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
I don't know why all of the other reviewers say the plot is unoriginal, maybe they just don't understand it. First, the idea of a sorceress controlling peoples' lives in order to create a war that will 'save Lodoss' is very original in my opinion. The story is wonderful and complex and I think it is a joy to watch again and again. The characters are well thought out and you even begin to sympathize with them. I'll admit that a lot of the character and plot ideas originate from Dungeons and Dragons, but it is played out in an original way.

(You can read many other reviews for all the plot and events)

Basically the with Karla decides that the balance of power must be restored in Lodoss so that the world is not destroyed. In order to accomplish this, the witch instigates the war that is already beginning to develop. Beld and Fahn, the two opposing Kings engage each other with Parn and his companions caught up in the struggle.

On the second disc, events do get bogged down after Karla is defeated and moves on to her new body. Finally things pick up when Ashram and Parn engage each other in Demon Dragon Mountain. Both the Japanese and the English Dub are wonderful. I prefer most anime in Japanese, but this is one that I prefer in English (along with IRIA Zeiram).

I would say that for fans of any RPGs or Lord of the Rings this is a great boxed set to pick up. You may be able to find it to rent (usually you can rent both discs in one box, sometimes you have to rent them separately).

Just remember that this is an anime developed in the EIGHTIES and drawn right around 1990. The animation is great for being almost 15 years old.

I encourage everyone to just watch it and decide for themselves. Everyone has their own opinion.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 1999
Format: DVD
OK. I'll get down to the point. I'm not a big anime fan. Akira and Ghost in the Shell, but that's it. Then I came across this DVD collection, and thought I'd give it a shot. After all, I was saving myself 50% of what VHS buyers were paying for. Let me tell you, I became engrossed. A fantasy tale told in thirteen chapters, all in two DVDs! The art is excellent, the story is great, and even the voice acting is decent. The chapter search is a great benefit, which allows you to go to your favorite scenes again. And did I mention the price? The only minus I can think of is that it does appear to be just a transfer from VHS, so if you own the original set, don't bother with the DVD. Also, I never liked the ending. It was good, but for five hours I wanted something a little more. In the end, this has become my favorite anime, period.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Like Bubblegum Crisis for cyberpunk, and Vampire Hunter D for horror, and Ghost in the Shell for sci-fi, Record of Lodoss War, the original OVA, was and is the best in its genre. It's created the formula all fantasy series have used over the years, and duplications of Lodoss War are, not surprisingly, successful (Berserk is one example).

As the title suggests, this OVA is a series of stories following the same characters as they battle in a war to save the cursed islands of Lodoss from many evil forces, including wizards, witches, a dark elf, monsters, and dragons. Though small in size, the group of companions are large in compassion and confidence, and they battle these forces to the best of their powers, even if it means death. Though the story is cliche in today's world, so is Lord of the Rings. I'd go as far as to say that Lodoss War did for anime was LotR did for literature. The heroes are stereotypical (a fighter, a mysterious elf, a thief, a dwarf, a wizard, and a priest) and the enemies rehashed (goblins and dragons) yet it just works here because Lodoss was the first to truly attempt something the big. Without this anime, many later anime would never have been created.

Though the story bounces around some, it mostly follows the young fighter Parn as he meets those who he comes to not only trust, but love as well. And all along the way, he slowly learns the skills needed to become a legend among heroes. During his journey, he battles many powerful enemies, including a huge dragon, and always seems to come out ahead. He becomes the purest picture of altruism and is willing to sacrifice himself for those around him.

And history tells us that many believe this a good series, what with numerous spin-off series and movies, and many almost direct copies. If you are a fan of anime and want to see one of the important anime, then pick this up.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2003
Format: DVD
Okay, I'm gonna start off with a personal note: RECORD OF LODOSS WAR is probably one of my all-time favorite series ever. At the time that I was just getting warmed up to Anime (thanks to witnessing Miyazaki's wonderful artistry), I happened upon this title in my local videostore. Instantly, I fell in love with this thirteen-part direct-to-video series -- being a fan of the SNES game FINAL FANTASY III and J.R.R. Tolkien in general, watching RECORD OF LODOSS WAR was like a dream come true. It's a hybrid of these two great works filled with just about everything any fan could ask for -- dragons, elves, dark gods, a band of unlikely yet loyal heroes, villains you'll love to hate, action, suspense, romance, a small touch of humor, and engaging from start to finish.
The story is hardly original, but it's done very well for this kind of show. In fact, the one minor flaw of this series is the way the plot "jumps around" from one event to the next. However, it's the characters which make RECORD OF LODOSS WAR so much fun, and much of the best scenes belong to Parn and Deedlit; especially the dance sequence. Ghim and Deed also get to bicker about each other's differences while Parn, on a quest to clear his disgraced father's name, finds a father figure in Kashue. Ashram has a Dark Elf named Pirotess (the opposite of Deedlit) who'll do anything to prove her loyalty to him... including sacrificing herself, Karla is shifty and cunning, while Wagnard is just plain evil -- an over-the-top, maniacal monster equivalent of Kefka from FF III who cackles fiendishly as he puts his dark plans into action. The chemistry between this cast of characters is so well done and the show is so engrossing that it's easy to forgive its occasional shortcomings, notably the jumpy plotting and the animation, which, although gorgeously drawn, uses a low cel count which results with some stiff movements. It may take a while for one to warm up to the music, but by the end, it really grows on you. For fantasy buffs, RECORD OF LODOSS WAR is simply great fun.
Central Park Media made a DVD release of this title a few years ago, but have since rereleased it in a more beefed up package, with some new bonus features to speak of, including the behind-the-scenes featurette we saw on the VHS tapes as well as a Promotional video (dubbed in English), which sounds, I'm sad to say, awful. There's even some DVD-ROM features (identical to those on the CHRONICLES set), including the dub script and credits for both casts. As far as I'm concerned, the visual transfer is very well done, but then I've never seen the old release so I can't compare it with that. (I was told, though, that CPM used a new Digital Video Remastering process to clean up the visuals for this release.)
For purists, the Japanese language track is on here with clear, easy to read subtitles, and an optional English dub. Considering that it was recorded at a time when dubs had a very bad reputation, this English production is surprisingly good. It got somewhat mixed reviews; some say it's fake and/or mediocre while others find it annoying, but here's a better review from one of its many enthusiastic fans (that's me!). No, it's not perfect, and some lines do come off as a bit awkward, but a lot of the voiceovers are really good. In particular, Billy Regan (Parn), Lisa Ortiz (Deedlit), Al Muscari (Slayn), Jacques Le Can (Woodchuck), Simone Grant (Karla & Leylia), John Knox (Ashram), Jayce Reeves (deliciously malevolent as Wagnard), and Alexander J. Rose (Wort and the Narrator), are among my favorites. Plus, the dialogue is close to the subtitled script and packed with some memorable one-liners (Parn: "Quick, Deed, what's [the dragon]'s weak spot?" Deedlit: "I'm not a dragon expert! How should I know?!") and great chemistry between the actors. I especially loved the interactions between Parn and Deedlit, the banter between Ghim and Deed, and a lot of other things. Which is why it saddens me that some would find all of this "inferior" to the Japanese language track. I listened to parts of the Japanese language track, too, and while I did find it to be of top-quality, I find that the dub still holds its own position decently. Of course, it may be in danger of being overshadowed by some of the better dub productions of today, but for a dub made in 1996, its a rather decent, if unspectacular listen. I'm still fond of it, as a matter of fact, even after hearing some better ones.
Whatever language you choose to watch it in, you'll still be experiencing one of the greatest fantasy series of all time. Highly recommended.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 6, 2000
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Lodoss War is a 13 episode fantasy adventure story, set in a fairly generic Dungeons & Dragons type fantasy world with all the ordinary complement of races such as elves and dwarves. While a comfortable setting in that, if you like fantasy, you already know the basics, it is not terribly imaginative. The story begins as a good vs. evil matchup, but some of the evil characters are far more complex than they appear, and the particulars of the alliances and animosities shift over time. It's reasonably well-executed and enjoyable, just not fresh or innovative. The soundtrack is nice, as well--I picked up 3 CDs to get it. The English dub cast takes some getting used to, as well--some of the voices are a little annoying at first, but I tend to think now that this was intentional.
There are some concerns. First, the story is not chronologcal at first. It starts after the adventure has begun, then jumps back to start from the beginning; it can be hard to follow. Second, there are some real quality control problems on this disc. The second through fourth episodes are grainy and look pretty bad--not unwatchable, but disappointing for DVD. The audio sometimes goes up then down, which is distracting, but not fatal to enjoyment. If you like fantasy, this is a good, but not great, show at a reasonable price for 13 episodes; just be aware that the DVD is not technically perfect.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2002
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
If you are a fan of Anime (manga), comics, or RPG video games this is a must watch in some form. I always watched Anime movies sporadically but when I borrowed this series from a friend years ago it sparked me to hit the hobby big time. This mini-series was so well done I could not believe the quality of a cartoon. I am big into RPG video games like Final Fantasy and played quite a bit of AD&D as a kid so these films were a perfect fit into my interests. The animation is great although many have claimed it could be better. I see that point but the series is pretty old and for a project that large they did a great job. The characters really develope well throughout the story and the US voice overs are great. parn is the only real annoying voice over but he is supposed to be in many ways. Every other charater was superbly cast. The story is great and expands on the original Manga comics greatly. I have watched the entire series probably 2 dozen times since I first got them and the DVD set is a nice upgrade with some cool added features. it may be a bit long for some people but like I said it is a true RPG fans heaven and even watching it in installments is great. Pick this one up. It is probably one of the best quality (and clean) Anime series's on the market.
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