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7 Traditional Fantasy Parties

by Lynzee Loveridge,

Earlier this week was the 30th anniversary of the Toei Animation and Marvel Productions' Dungeons & Dragons animated television show. The show itself is based on one of, if not the best, well-known tabletop role-playing games. In the cartoon, a group of kids find themselves magicked into a fantasy world and adopting the classic party group: a ranger, a paladin (then cavalier), an acrobat, a magician, a thief, a barbarian, and lastly a Unico knockoff unicorn. If you asked me, I couldn't tell you which birthed the classic fantasy party, Dungeons & Dragons or fantasy novels but needless to say, the classic party is here to stay and anime is no exception.

7. Van & Company (Vision of Escaflowne) Escaflowne adds mecha to the fantasy mix when two knights, a fortune teller, a healer-princess, and a sneaky cat-girl try to save a fantasy world from...Isaac Newton. There's no genuine mage in Van's party, but there are alchemists which are a cousin on the magical profession family tree.

6. Hamel's Troupe (Violinist of Hamelin) After all of the wandering troupe's members are assembled, the party consists of Hamel the bard, Flute the white mage-princess, Raiel the necromancer, Trombone the paladin, and Sizer a secondary bard-fighter. The extra-gloomy group travel together to defeat the demons infiltrating their home and discover the truth about Hamel's past.

5. Team Natsu (Fairy Tail) Everyone is technically a mage on Team Natsu. Each magical ability is different so even though Erza Scarlet uses "re-equip" magic, she's more like the fighter/paladin with magical weapons. Natsu serves at the series' offensive "traditional" magic user with Lucy serving more as a summoner. Other members come and go, including a priestess named Wendy. Together, Team Natsu completes various quests from collecting magical artifacts to seeking out diet-enhancing foods.

4. Makoto's Group (El-Hazard: The Wanderers) After his science experiment is tampered with, Makoto, his history teacher, a rival student named Jinnai, and Jinnai's sister end up in an alternate world. Once there, the human cast gains special abilities. Makoto can use ancient technology, his teacher gains superhuman warrior strength, Jinnai can talk to bug people, and Nanami can "dispell" illusions. Jinnai breaks off, hellbent on domination, so Makoto teams up with the magic world's priestesses to undermine Jinnai's machinations.

3. Glace Brothers & Misu Sisters (Sorcerer Hunters) Sorcerer Hunters follows Carrot Glace, an inept swordsman and shapeshifter, his mage brother Marron, martial artist Gateau, Tira who can use healing magic, and her sister Chocolate. You can't really talk about the series without mentioning its sexual overtones. Both sisters are in dominatrix gear for most of the show and Carrot is trying to get into bed with any woman who will let him. The series has a lot of weird points, including the group's boss, a weird goddess of sorts named Big Mama.

2. Lina Inverse and Company. (Slayers) The fantasy franchise Slayers takes all the roles you know from tabletop RPGs: mages, a warrior, a priestess, a shaman, and a ranger of sorts. The original light novel series were immensely popular and ran for over 30 volumes, including various spinoffs. Led by fiesty redhead sorcerer Lina Inverse, the group pursues the Lord of Nightmares and the mysterious Claire Bible which hints at his plans to regain power.

1. Parn's Party (Record of Lodoss War) Is it expected that a series penned by a Japanese tabletop RPG writer would place at number one? Ryo Mizuno wrote the Record of Lodoss War novels based on a setting he created for the tabletop role-playing game Sword World. The story follows the warrior Parn, the Shaman elf Deedlit, a thief, a priest, a mage, and a fighter. Together, the group takes on an evil emperor and his knight, a witch, and still have time to slay dragons.

The new poll: It's time for the next season! Which fall anime series are you most looking forward to?

The old poll: The last poll asked which of Hayao Miyazaki's films is your favorite. The winner is the Academy Award winner, Spirited Away! Here's the full results (note: titles not listed received 0 votes):

  1. Spirited Away 24.9%
  2. Princess Mononoke 21.0%
  3. Howl's Moving Castle 15.9%
  4. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind 8.3%
  5. Kiki's Delivery Service 7.6%
  6. My Neighbor Totoro 6.7%
  7. Castle in the Sky 6.1%
  8. Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro 4.3%
  9. Porco Rosso 3.6%
  10. Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea 0.9%
  11. Conan, the Boy in Future: Tokubetsuhen Kyodaiki Giganto no Fukkatsu 0.3%
  12. The Wind Rises 0.1%
  13. House Hunting 0.1%

When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as Associate Editor for Anime News Network, blogs about women and LBGT topics in anime and manga on her blog Engendered Dilemma, and posts pictures of her son on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.

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