Record of Lodoss War Anime Series
Record of Lodoss War is best known as an anime series, specifically the OAV (original animated video). Three series were produced, first the OAV which was a thirteen episode series released directly to video; second was the Chronicles of the Heroic Knight series released to television in Japan; and finally, a three part "chibi" parody movie, "Welcome to Lodoss Island!" which was released in theaters in Japan.
Record of Lodoss War began as roleplaying sessions between Ryo Mizuno and his friends, who created Group SNE. Originally, the game was based on Dungeons & Dragons, but they later created their own system; Sword World. Mizuno took their campaigns and wrote them as novels, which would later be made into the manga and anime series that we know and love. Mizuno's novels have never been officially translated into English.
Record of Lodoss War (OAV) / ロードス島戦記 / Lodoss Tō Senki
"Created from the aftermath of the last great battle of the gods, Lodoss and its kingdoms have been plagued by war for thousands of years. As a quiet peace and unity finally become foreseeable over the land, an unknown evil begins to stir. An ancient witch has awakened, bent on preserving the island of Lodoss by creating political unbalance throughout the many kingdoms and keeping any one from maintaining central control. Only a mixed-race party of six young champions, led by the young warrior Parn, stand between this new threat and Lodoss' decent back into the darkness of war and destruction."
Released in 1990 by Kadokawa Shoten, Lodoss to Senki was a popular fantasy series in the early 1990s. It was subsequently released in the US as "Record of Lodoss War". For more release information on the series, see the Record of Lodoss War (OAV) page @ Anime News Network.
The OAV is 13 episodes long, but not entirely continuous to the original storyline laid out in the novels and manga. For the true continuity of Lodoss, consider episodes 1-8 (omitting the meeting of Shiris and Orson). They wanted to cover fifteen years worth of history in one 13 episode series, but to do this, they had to compress events and streamline it into the Grey Witch plot.
Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight (TV) / ロードス島戦記-英雄騎士伝 / Lodoss Tō Senki: Eiyuu Kishi Den
Five years after the death of the Emperor of Marmo in the War of Heroes, Parn is now the Free Knight of Lodoss, he and his old allies now famous through the land. However, the Emperor's right-hand-man, Ashram, seeks the scepter of domination to re-unify Lodoss under his former leader's banner. Meanwhile, beyond his attempts at conquest lies a more sinister force beginning to set the stage for the resurrection of the goddess of death and destruction...
Chronicles of the Heroic Knight/Eiyuu Kishi Den was aired in Japan in 1998, and later released on VHS and DVD. For more release information on the series, see the Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight page @ Anime News Network.
CotHK is 27 episodes long and picks up five years after the War of Heroes. It does not follow the continuity of the OAV, and instead follows closer to the proper sequence of events from the novels, though not perfectly. This series follows two different storylines; first, Ashram's search for the Scepter of Domination, and then it jumps forward ten years to follow Spark's company in their quest to stop the resurrection of Kardis.
Welcome to Lodoss Island! (Movie) / よこそロードス島ヘ / Yōkoso Lodoss Tō e!
Welcome to Lodoss Island! is a "chibi" or "super-deformed" parody version of Record of Lodoss War, based on the OAV. This was released in theaters, but not directly to VHS/DVD, though there are some DVDs out there. This movie is very obscure and hard to find!
Legend of CrystaniaLegend of Crystania - The Motion Picture (はじまりの冒険者たち レジェンド・オブ・クリスタニア / Hajimaru no Bokentachi Crystania no Densetsu)
Legend of Crystania: The Chaos Ring (OAV)
Ashram, desperate to find a home for his people, is tricked into selling his soul. 300 years later, Pirotesse's devotion to her king remains unshaken. In the sacred world of Crystania, amidst a civil war waged by shape-changing warriors, she searches for her beloved Ashram. She meets Redon, a young prince obsessed with avenging his murdered parents. Together, they confront Ashram's captorthe bloodthirsty Barbas, who aspires to rule Crystania as "The God's King".
Dreams begin to haunt Lady Sherudreams of her past life as Pirotesse. Her love, Ashram, is being tormented at the hands of the soul of Barbas posing as their former king, Beld of Marmo. Interpreting this as a plea for help, Sheru searches for a way to save him by entering the chaos realm using the Chaos Ring. Meanwhile, Redon and his friends are called to arms again as ancient creatures begin to appear after being sealed away for centuries. Both their paths will cross once again, and on their shoulders will the fate of Crystania lie.
Set three hundred years in the future, after Ashram finds a new land for the people of Marmo. However, to enter this new land, Ashram sacrifices himself to Barbas, allowing the God of Death to possess his body. Three hundred years later, Pirotess (who has renamed herself Cheru) is attempting to free him, while a band of adventurers from Djana En are helping Crystanians combat the evil legions of Barbas.
The motion picture was originally released in 1995, and the three episode OAV series was released in 1996. For more release information on the series, see the Legend of Crystania - The Motion Picture and Legend of Crystania OAV pages @ Anime News Network.
Rune Soldier / 魔法戦士リウイ / Mahou Senshi Louie
Fans of Record of Lodoss War should check out Rune Soldier! This anime and manga series is written by Ryo Mizuno and set in Alecrast, though it is completely independent of Lodoss storylines. Unlike Lodoss, Rune Soldier is more of a fantasy comedy than an adventure epic.