Good Old Anime Reviews
Record of Lodoss War - Dungeons and Dragons, The Anime

H.D. Russell | 13 Feb 2016 12:00
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At the beginning of the show, Parn and Deedlit meet and, although in agreement to travel together, often bicker amongst each other, typical behavior for potential love interests in anime. As the series progresses, the pair eventually do fall in love, but it happens over the course of the show slowly and subtly through rare scenes when the action dies down. These scenes are never obtrusive and are frankly refreshing, as they don't feel as contrived as most anime love scenes. By the end of the series, having Parn and Deedlit become lovers makes sense within their trajectory of character development and also never becomes the central focus of the plot. Despite an attempt to develop a few characters, such as the King, Emperor Beld (AKA GANONDORF), and the Lord Ashram, a powerful dark warrior, the relationship between Parn and Deedlit is really the only fleshed out subplot. Overall, the story tries nothing new and has little character development among its cast, but is fun based on its simplicity alone.

Speaking of simplicity, Record's animation is quite basic. Often, I could count the number of frames I was looking at because there is not a lot of movement ever on screen. This makes the show appear a lot older than it actually is. While watching, I could not help but think of Thundercats, which ended the year before Record aired, but this doesn't mean the show was awful to look at. Even though the animation suffers from a lot of cut corners, the art of the series is highly detailed and distinct. When watching an anime, I always like to perform a test to see if I can visualize other people or creatures in the art style of the show, if I can, then I consider the shows art direction strong enough to warrant a highly detailed world. Record excels in this area, as each character design, although different, seemed to fit in with the others in the show.

The environments, however, are severely lacking. While the characters, castles, and weapons are heavily detailed, the background environments suffer. Maybe I am spoiled, but when watching something in the Fantasy genre, I expect imaginative backgrounds to match the characters and objects inhabiting the story. Instead, Record opts to have low detail backgrounds, and when scenes are zoomed out, there is usually no animation to fill that void. While this may seem to be a minimal problem, the lack of background detail and poor animation paired with the impressive art style of the characters and items just doesn't feel right and the show takes a hit for it.

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