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Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Stories of the Top 80 Anime: Record of Lodoss War OAV

25. Record of Lodoss War OAV is the only successful high fantasy anime ever made. Everything else felt it necessary to include super technology or some other modern reference, like visitors from modern Japan, to make their stories relevant. The strength of Record of Lodoss War is its purity and integrity. Like Toradora and Working, Lodoss War belongs in the top 20's because it is the best anime in its entire genre.

Lodoss War is about swords, knights, elves, magicians, priests, dragons, and gods. It's fantasy. It is fantasy in its highest form. The world the characters they live in is deadly serious, not some laughing matter like Zero no Louise or Harry Potter. Lodoss War's closest equivalent is Lord of the Rings, but it's different from that too. This is because Lord of the Rings has no Deedlit -- no high elf with sylph, undine, and other spirits at her beck and call, a playful personality, inhuman grace, and unearthly beauty. Like the space elf Lafiel, Deedle is one of the most beautiful women in anime, an artistic tour de force. An entire ending theme is dedicated to just showing her in various poses. The ending theme is one of the best ever.

When you combine the wonderful plot of stopping the resurrection of a dark god by defeating a black knight wielding the sword of darkness -- ((How more classic can you get?)), the wonderful art style that really feels like an ancient world and sets off Deedle perfectly, and the awe inspiring soundtrack which breathes life into this practically unanimated series, you get Record of Lodoss War OAV. All the other Record of Lodoss War spinoffs are terrible. Worse than nothing. But the OAV, relying on the strength of its art style and music, is amazing. Perhaps it doesn't deserve to be #25. But then again, perhaps it does. The music really is that good. It's the best anime soundtrack ever made.

The story is only 13 episodes long, but it doesn't need any more episodes to tell its short, simple tale. It's precisely the length it should be, so I have no complaints there. My only real complaint is that the OAV was tainted by its association with all the other, horrible Record of Lodoss War series, and that no blu-ray release of the original series has ever been provided. Hopefully, someday, this issue will be addressed, and we'll have a top-notch video quality version of the true Record of Lodoss War, to pass on to future generations.

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