Record of Lodoss War

(Welcome to Ani-time Ani-where, a regular column dedicated to helping the uninitiated understand and appreciate the world of anime.)

We don’t see nearly enough fantasy in anime. Sure, there are countless isekai shows where someone gets reincarnated in a fantasy JRPG, but there’s not a lot in terms of pure high-fantasy epics like Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings. Except, there already was a definitive high-fantasy epic a decade before Peter Jackson debuted his seminal trilogy — Record of Lodoss War.

A ’90s OVA (Original Video Animation) that began as transcripts of a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, Record of Lodoss War chronicles the story of a band of six heroes, including Parn the fighter, Deedlit the elf, Ghim the dwarf, Slayn the wizard, Etoh the cleric, and Woodchuck the thief, as they get swept into a war for the island continent of Lodoss. What begins as a simple adventure quickly evolves into a bigger conflict that includes vast nations, dragons, and even a god or two, all part of a conflict threatening to destroy the world.

Whether you’re waiting for the next Game of Thrones spin-off to get announced, need a break from rewatching the Lord of the Rings trilogy, or want some inspiration for your next D&D campaign, this is a show worth watching. Grab your dice, and have your most loyal friends pledge their sword, bow, and axe to you, because we’re going on an adventure. Huzzah!

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