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REVIEW: Record of Lodoss War OVA + Chronicles Of The Heroic Knight TV


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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Posts: 3835
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:06 am Reply with quote
This definitely warrants a rewatch. The OVA was one of the best anime of the early 90s. I don't think I saw the TV series though.
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Kicksville



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 318
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:48 am Reply with quote
The first episode of the Lodoss War OVA is an absolute must watch. It's basically a super gorgeous rendition of a D&D scenario, and it's fun even if it does plop you into the middle of things.

After that...ehh. The animation takes an outright nosedive immediately, and although it does improve afterwards, it's never that good again. The story just isn't that interesting and neither are the characters (as well designed as many of them are for their type), so there's not much else to buoy things. But, even in saying that, it's still worth checking out for that opener alone.

spoiler[legend of crystania is better]
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Ouran High School Dropout



Joined: 28 Jun 2015
Posts: 160
Location: Somewhere in MA
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:23 pm Reply with quote
Lodoss is one of my fondest memories of my early days of fandom. Back in the day, just having the entire OVA on VHS was a proud achievement! Cool

Rewatching the series really brought home the point how much--IMHO!--today's anime could use a solid dose of "meta-proofing" in its storytelling and dialogue. As much as I've truly enjoyed certain recent fantasy titles (Overlord and Is It Wrong...? especially!), I can't help but yearn for a show that's serious about eradicating references to game mechanics and just letting the story, background, and "rules of the universe" explain themselves. For example, I really loved the casual, low-key expository style of Noragami, and would be very happy to have it applied to a fantasy setting.

Having said this, I invite you all out there to shout out with any existing titles that you feel fit my bill. Very Happy (Disclosure: I'm a collector, not a streamer, so there's a LOT I miss...)

The reviewer is spot on about both series' video quality--a MAJOR improvement over all previous issues, especially the OVA on Blu. Very Happy And for an ancient tabletop gamer (like me), Lodoss is still the king of Western fantasy in anime.
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Codeanime93



Joined: 28 Jul 2017
Posts: 354
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:57 pm Reply with quote
Of course to get it you must swallow the price tag of about 60 something dollars. That's what I see a lot of people charging for this set.
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Stampeed Valkyrie



Joined: 10 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:27 pm Reply with quote
I still have the original OVA from Media Blasters. The TV series never interested me so I never picked it up.

My copy is also signed by Lisa Ortiz.. because at 1 point in the early 2000s she was at every con I attended.. lol
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prime_pm



Joined: 06 Feb 2004
Posts: 1943
Location: Under Your Bed
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:54 pm Reply with quote
Codeanime93 wrote:
Of course to get it you must swallow the price tag of about 60 something dollars. That's what I see a lot of people charging for this set.


Dude, you're getting two whole series, 40-ish episodes in all. Compared to other releases *cough*Aniplex*cough*NoGameNoLife*cough*ThatOtherOneIDon'tFeelLikeLookingUp, this one's a fair steal.
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Codeanime93



Joined: 28 Jul 2017
Posts: 354
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:59 pm Reply with quote
prime_pm wrote:
Codeanime93 wrote:
Of course to get it you must swallow the price tag of about 60 something dollars. That's what I see a lot of people charging for this set.


Dude, you're getting two whole series, 40-ish episodes in all. Compared to other releases *cough*Aniplex*cough*NoGameNoLife*cough*ThatOtherOneIDon'tFeelLikeLookingUp, this one's a fair steal.

I'm sorry I'd think 40 something would be a better steal. But anyway, I do realize that the Blu-Ray included jacks the price up a little.
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russ869



Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 237
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:41 pm Reply with quote
Kicksville wrote:
spoiler[legend of crystania is better]

Movie or OVA?
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GeorgeC



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 378
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:44 pm Reply with quote
This is actually a fair review -- except for at the end I think Theron meant to say "both series" have an unimpressive dub.
I agree with him -- it does NOT have one of the better dubs, then or now.

You like the characters and the music of this series. It's not celebrated for fantastic animation. Even at the time it was originally released, you could see it was not a well-funded series. You kept watching because you loved the characters and scenarios.

I HATED Crystania at the time and still don't regret trading in that ADV DVD for online store credit when you COULD get paid for used DVDs. The character designs and characters in that spin-off were never as appealing to me.

As far as the Lodoss TV series goes, I never liked it beyond the first half with Parn and Deedlit. I just could not get into the newer characters with their ridiculous-sounding names and derivative nature. They were blander copies of the "classic cast." The TV series has an excellent theme song and introductory animation sequence but the rest of the artwork is inferior to the original OVA.

I DO wish you could buy the original Lodoss OVA separate from the TV series but it may be that Funimation was forced into a corner and had to sell the TV show bundled with the OVAs like it or not... $60 is STILL fair for the TV series + OVA bundle, though. Sorry, but anime fans have to get around this tendency towards being cheapskates and complaining about the prices online ALL the time. Collecting anime has never been a cheap hobby.
I'm still tempted to upgrade and buy Lodoss on Blu ray this time... I still have the second CPM release of the original OVA series on DVD but as I've seen more than once, the old DVDs (of any movie or TV series) don't upscale well at least half the time and they do seem to be a bit on the "bright side" as far as the video quality goes. Lodoss never looked great on the last two DVD releases and hearing and SEEING that the series was restored digitally for Blu ray is great news.
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Seif



Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Posts: 306
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:39 pm Reply with quote
Real Talk: That TV OP is legit.
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TurnerJ



Joined: 05 Nov 2004
Posts: 413
Location: Highland Park, NJ
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:35 pm Reply with quote
Aside from the Miyazaki movies, LODOSS was my gateway drug into becoming an Anime fan. I was very drawn to the story and the characters from the moment I started watching the first volume way back when I first rented it. It remains one of my favorites... the OVA, that is. I'm not so fond of the TV series, although it does have merit.

As far as the dub goes, the OVA dub is a favorite of mine. It's not perfect; there is the occasional stiff moment and the lipsync is uneven, but otherwise I found it to be a fairly good dub for something done in 1996. I wouldn't call it great by today's standards, but it holds up fairly well to my ears. Lisa is the best thing about it; her Deedlit charmed me from the get go.

The TV series dub, on the other hand, is very, very... off. I applaud the cast for reprising their parts, but the delivery feels like a step down from the OVA dub. But what really bothered me were the occasional and sudden vocal drop-outs. Some characters change voices in select episodes then go back to their original counterparts, while others get permanent revoicing. I later learned that it was Headline's first dub, and so they weren't experienced at the time. The OVA dub was handled better and more consistently by the National Sound Studios; it had its flaws, too, but the TV dub felt very rocky and inconsistent. Ashram's minions in particular sounded quite bad, and I was dissappointed that Wagnard's voice actor was replaced. Bruce Winant's turn as this megalomanaical sorcerer was another one of my favorite performances in the dub (his scenery chewing at the end of episode 13 is pricelessly scary, as is his laughing), and it was unfortunate that he could only reprise his role for one episode. I did like Crispin Freeman and Angora Deb as Spark and Leaf, though, and as I said, I appreciated the return of whoever could come back to revoice their characters. (Even so I like Parn's VA better in the OVA; I understand where Bill was coming from, but I just like him better in the OVA -- he's more energetic and passionate as opposed to his TV counterpart.)

All in all, I prefer the OVA, both as a series and a dub. Warts and all, I've always considered it a classic dub. It's odd that the TV series dub was done three years after and yet the OVA dub remains the better of the two. Considering that there were many other horrid dubs around the time LODOSS OVA was dubbed (GARZEY'S WING, MANGA UK's output, FIST OF THE NORTH STAR: THE MOVIE), I consider the ROLW OVA to be one of the better ones for its period, if not all time. Had the TV dub been more consistent and less rocky, it could've been decent, but as it is, it's a mixed bag.
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reanimator



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 1139
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:49 pm Reply with quote
Lodoss War OVA is the anime that made me fell love with animator/character designer Nobuteru Yuuki's works.

I still regret not buying gorgeous Japanese Blu ray box set at Mandarake Nakano when I was in Tokyo 5 months ago.

TV show has great OP (thank you, Kazuto Nakazawa and Yoko Kanno), but the whole animation is not that great.
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Key
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:44 pm Reply with quote
TurnerJ wrote:
The TV series dub, on the other hand, is very, very... off. I applaud the cast for reprising their parts, but the delivery feels like a step down from the OVA dub. But what really bothered me were the occasional and sudden vocal drop-outs. Some characters change voices in select episodes then go back to their original counterparts, while others get permanent revoicing.

Although I don't think I've ever details on why it happened, several roles were either temporarily or permanently recast in the middle of the TV series, especially around episode 20. IIRC Crispin Freeman is voicing at least three significant characters at one point because of fill-ins.
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TurnerJ



Joined: 05 Nov 2004
Posts: 413
Location: Highland Park, NJ
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:56 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:
TurnerJ wrote:
The TV series dub, on the other hand, is very, very... off. I applaud the cast for reprising their parts, but the delivery feels like a step down from the OVA dub. But what really bothered me were the occasional and sudden vocal drop-outs. Some characters change voices in select episodes then go back to their original counterparts, while others get permanent revoicing.

Although I don't think I've ever details on why it happened, several roles were either temporarily or permanently recast in the middle of the TV series, especially around episode 20. IIRC Crispin Freeman is voicing at least three significant characters at one point because of fill-ins.


I actually talked with Joe Digiorgi about that at an Anime con I went to, and he told me that there were problem after problem with recording the TV dub, one of which was "scheduling conflicts." That and he was very new at dubbing Anime; it was the first time he ever did it. He was apologetic to me about the inconsistent results. I didn't hold it against him, though, because as I said, I love LODOSS WAR, and even though I think the OVA is the better dub overall (Digiorgi didn't work on that one; National Sound, the folks who did IRIA did; they had more experience at the time), the TV dub does have its share of redeeming performances. Freeman's turn as Spark was one of them. It's too bad that a lot of the minor characters sounded very 11th hour. Even the weakest performances in the OVA dub (mostly the minor characters) were nowhere nearly as gratingly bad as on the TV dub.

I also learned why Ortiz dropped out for Deedlit for episode 20-21; she was sick and out of state. And they were rushing the TV dub. Big time. Hence why she was replaced. That was really disappointing, because she was THE reason I loved the OVA dub so much. (Well, one of the many reasons -- Winant, Timoney, John Knox, SImone Grant, Chris Yates, Greg Wolfe, and even Ted Lewis also turned in fine work IMO, although Lewis DID struggle for the first three episodes or so, he improved by the end of the OVA and sounded especially good in the TV series.)
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Errinundra
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:19 pm Reply with quote
People forget that the TV OP was written by Yoko Kanno. Maaya Sakamoto has a notable voice but lacks power and range. Kanno does a classic wall of sound production to cover her shortcomings. So, yeah, it's one of the great OPs.
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