Good Old Anime ReviewsRecord of Lodoss War - Dungeons and Dragons, The AnimeGood Old Anime Reviews - RSS 2.0
The voice acting is also a feature that suffers throughout the production. No single performance stands out and although the voices "match" their character, there is nothing compelling about their performance. Although I am used to bad voice acting because of shows like He-Man, it still stings when you enjoy the plot of a show, but are forced to listen to subpar voice acting for the better part of six and a half hours. While it may just be a product of its age, Record of Lodoss War's voice acting is certainly nothing to write home about.
On the other hand, the music is fun and catchy. The soundtrack is not very long, nor diverse, and you will begin to predict when certain pieces of music will be used, but frankly, it grows on you. The music is strong enough to establish itself at the beginning and maintain a consistent tone throughout the show, despite the poor voice acting and animation. This is one of the highlights of the entire series, as music can often make or break an anime for me. In this case, each mood or tone the show attempts to establish is supported by the score. The opening and closing themes are also iconic, most notably the opening credits. Upon my first viewing I was so excited to experience the Island of Lodoss because of the imaginative spectacle of the opening song, despite all of its 90s campiness. I mean, just look at that dragon:
There is no doubt that this show is beginning to show its age, as its poor animation and voice acting are a testament to, but despite all of that, Record of Lodoss War redeems itself through a commitment to the fantasy tradition and the flame of nostalgia it conjures. Often people complain that older fantasy doesn't test the waters enough to be as interesting as what is out today, but we often forget that without these archetypal forms of fantasy, we wouldn't have tropes to defy in the first place. There is a reason that Record of Lodoss War is still around today through tabletop media and video games, and that's because it tells a simple, classic story of good vs. evil in a fun and stylish fantasy world. It wasn't trying to create anything new or challenging, and sometimes, in the case of fantasy, that's a-okay. The world, further built by the multitude of Lodoss media, is a comfortable fantasy world that deep, deep down we can't help but love.
If you liked The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, or are simply a fan of fantasy, Record of Lodoss War is perfect. For anime fans, the show may seem a little rough around the edges, but has enough charm to really become its own, even if it doesn't challenge any of our preconceptions about the genre. Even though the cheese is pretty thick, Record of Lodoss War is a fun nostalgia trip and an even more exciting fantasy world that I would recommend everyone try out at least once. Plus, if you look forward to the fantasy anime of today, such as The Seven Deadly Sins, or Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, you can definitely feel the legacy Record establish. While it might not be everyone's cup of tea, Record of Lodoss War is a great foundation for fans of fantasy anime, and should be essential viewing for anyone that enjoys elves, orcs, and dragons.