Friday, November 7, 2008

Coming soon!

Coming up this weekend is my Review of Robotech: Shadow Chronicles

Friday, October 31, 2008

Record of Lodoss War Part II

If you haven't read the first review, do it now. Unless you could care less.


We are now introduced to Orson and Shiris while Parn and his party are heading to Karla's castle. This quick fight shows that somehow Parn's fighting skill has improved dramatically. I guess King Kashue taught him a few things since the battle of the two kingdoms. However, he is quickly bested by Orson when it's revealed that Orson's a chaotic good... or Berserker. Shiris tells Parn to drop his sword or Orson will kill him. It seems that Shiris is the only one able to calm him down. The gang use this opportunity to escape and continue their quest.

They gang stop to rest but Slayn and Ghim discuss strategy while the other rest. Ghim showing his true arrogance decides to go it alone and that he will turn Laylia back to good by showing her a comb he made for her. Thankfully the party show up to help before Ghim is killed. Karla still has her fun with him however. Karla once again preaches about chaos being the only way for Lodoss to survive. She then attempts to beat some sense into Parn, of course it doesn't work. Sigh... Karla then tells Parn why she must cause chaos to save Lodoss. Apparently her old homeland became corrupt after it was ruled by one kingdom and so Lodoss must be kept from the same fate. Karla is angered that Parn and the others decide not to side with her so she attempts to kill them all. However, Slayn protects the party except that Ghim has decided to leave the protective barrier to confront Karla/Laylia head on with the comb. This distracts her for a bit and the gang take the opportunity to attack her from all sides at once. She quickly disposes of the attempts of all but Ghim, who by some means manages to knock the evil tiara off her head without slicing her head off or open. I don't know how, but he does. Laylia is saved, however the evil tiara aka Karla finds a new host body, Woodchuck. Thus eliminating the only member of the party that I had any interest in.

Meanwhile at the hall of injustice(Marmo's castle). Ashram fights off spirits with his new sword "Soul Crusher" the demon Sword that, like an evil excalibur, is a sign of the man who rules Marmo. This info comes from the evil sorceror Wagnard as well as the next plot device, the Scepter of Domination, which apparently grants control of all Lodoss to the wielder. The scepter is protected by the red dragon Shooting Star in the fire dragon mountain. This dragon along with 4 other ancient dragons were awoke by Karla to continue to rain chaos on Lodoss. Shooting star is currently terrorizing the King Kashue's kingdom of Flaim. And so Kashue is headed back to his kingdom to defeat Shooting Star. Parn wants to follow him but Kashue seems to believe Parn's not capable of helping.

A confrontation between Wagnard and Karla reveals that Wagnard is possessed by the Evil God Kardis and he plans to ressurect Kardis with the scepter of Domination. Pirotess and Ashram have a scene together where we see that Pirotess cuts herself claiming that she'd be by Ashrams side again before her wound heals. She is going to capture Deedlit while Ashram seeks out the Scepter of Domination. Pirotess fails thanks to the return of Orson. Now that him and Shiris join the party it's got someone interesting in it again. Orson is to this OVA as Boba Fett is to Star Wars. He barely plays a role in this but his sword must give him charisma +8 cause I like this guy.

In case you haven't caught on, there's a lot of Dungeons and Dragons influence in this anime. Hence all the D&D references.

Anyway, Parn and the gang show up in Flaim and fend off Shooting Star, sending it back to Fire dragon mountain and thus making things a whole lot more difficult in the future for our heroes. They discuss how to defeat the Dragon and obtain the scepter before Marmo forces, consisting of three pikes blessed by high priests. Parn begs Kashue to allow him to come along and is quickly dominated by Kashue as he tells him "no reckless hero business" in not so many words. This sounds like Kashue's asking for the impossible and the inevitable failure to comply.

So the gang proceeds with the 2nd dungeon crawl in Fire Dragon mountain. Parn and the other confront Ashram and his group in the mountain but the battle is interrupted with the arrival of Shooting Star. During this time the Scepter is stolen by a dark elf of Wagnard's, angering Shooting Star. The three pike men then attack the dragon and defeat it. However, it counter attacks with it's flame breath aimed at Ashram. Pirotess guards him with her own body, sacrificing her life for his. However the mountain begins to collapse and it seems that he's going to be crushed to death anyway.

Parn FINALLY makes a move twards Deedlits affections. and a love triangle emerges suddenly. Parn likes Deedlit, Deedlit likes Parn, Shiris Likes Parn, Orson likes Shiris. Is it just me or did this take to long to happen? And then when it does happen it's a fucking love triangle? C'mon! Sigh.

So, yeah. Surprise! Ashram's not dead. Karla saved him so that he would help defeat Wagnard. Also, Deedlit seems to know that she's targeting so that Wagnard can sacrifice her to resurect Kardis. Suddenly, Wagnard appears and attacks Parn and Deedlt. Then he captures Deedlit with relative ease. Parn showcases his lack of tact again by attacking wildly until he's disarmed. Then he hurls himself at the barrier containing Deedlit. At this point I'm not sure if we were supposed to believe Parn would know better or that we should have seen this comming? So Parn is knocked out and eventually rescued by his friends. The battle had destroyed Parn's(father's) sword and Parn feels powerless and beats himself up over the loss of the battle. "Well maybe next time he won't be so brash and stupid.", right? Not likely. Cause he decides to attempt to stop Wagnard himself. But of course, he can always rely on his friends. Princess Fianna gives her father's magic sword to Parn.

Almost done...

We are taken to the alter in Marmo where Wagnard starts the ritual of resurrection. Apparently this requires them taking a long, slow descent to a cavern deep below the castle where the soul of Kardis sleeps. While this happens King Kashue and his Naval forces make their way to Marmo but are intercepted by the Ancient Aquatic Dragon. Parn and Ashram simultaneously kill the beasts keeping them from entering the castle. Suddenly the land around the castle splits and the Dark Dragon Narse and the Golden Dragon Mycen emerge.

Now we see the final elements of the Ceremony of Resurrection. Consisting of the sacrifice of all the Dark Priest of Marmo, one by one of course. Parn and Crew have entered the castle and they meed their first of many boss battles, a giant acid worm. Slayn and laylia fend off the enemy as Parn and Etoh escape further into the castle. Meanwhile the Gold and Dark Dragons begin to battle, while Wort and Karla discuss the future of Lodoss. Back at the ceremony, Ashram appears and kills one of the priests in an attempt to buy some time while Parn and Etoh battle a ghostly demon in the caverns. Once again Parn is allowed to escape thanks to Etoh.

In the final episode Ashram has his ass handed to him by the now super powerful Wagnard while Parn see's this above. Meanwhile the Dark Dragon attacks the Golden dragon causing the Golden dragon to draw power from the Ice Dragon Bramd which causes the Dark Dragon to retaliate by drawing power from the Water Dragon from before. This battle seems somewhat pointless and really just comes of as the writer/director to show off some cool dragon fights. But we soon return back to the magic rape that Ashram is receiving. Just as Wagnard tries to deliver a final blow to Ashram he is intercepted by Parn. During this distraction Ashram lands a sweet looking sword chop to the skull of Wagnard from behind. Wagnard then collapses into the vacant "death pillar" left exposed causeing the final step of the resurrection to begin. However as Parn goes to rescue Deedlit he's confronted by Ashram who wants a final knock down drag out brawl. Which he inevitable loses, but this is only due to the as not dead yet Wagnard coming out of his pit and attacking him. However it's a pretty cool scene when Wagnard takes the sword into his chest and reaches up and chokes Ashram. Ashram thinks he won once Wagnard collapses but he realized he's been mortally wounded and collapses as well. We see that Wagnard isn't completely dead yet, somehow, as he reaches up and "force chokes" the scepter of Domination, destroying it. After this he claims that nothing can stop/control Kardis now causing Parn to take both magical swords in hand and, not surprisingly, brashly attacks the field around Deedlit. The swords dispel the seal and Parn saves Deedlt.

The kingdoms of Flaim and Fallis celebrate and Parn and Deedlit Ride off to find more adventure.

That's the end, basically. Now for the Review...


Overall though this was a good OVA. However, the Story is very scattered and doesn't have proper closure. The completest in me tells me I have to at least see the TV series that follows. I haven't had any luck finding it, however. This anime has a special place in my heart due to the nostalgia factor. I only hope that the TV series that follows this up somehow gives better closure. And one minor gripe, I think all of us understood the backstory of Lodoss by the 3rd episode so it really wasn't nessesary to retell it prior to every episode.


It's very good looking for an older piece, however it's not so old as to forgive some of the shortcuts and mistakes that are noticable.


I love good sound. This doesn't really diliver however. IMHO there's no excuse for 2.0 now that dvd has been on the market so long. other wise it's got repetative music that you'll never forget. But that doens't make it good. Sigh...


All of the characters have some sort of charisma to them. Parn and Deedlit are still one of the most recognized anime couples of all time. I just wish there was more down to earth characters like Woodchuck.


I really do like this anime alot. It's more nostalgia than anything but I do like it. I recommend this Anime to fans of Lord of the Rings and Dungeons and Dragons or other swords and sorcery stories.


I only hope that the TV series that follows this up somehow gives better closure.

Overall though this was a good OVA. However, the Story is very scattered and doesn't have proper closure. The completest in me tells me I have to at least see the TV series that follows. I haven't had any luck finding it, however. This anime doesn't have a special place in my heart due to the nostalgia factor.

I recommend this Anime to fans of Lord of the Rings and Dungeons and Dragons or other swords and sorcery stories. However, fanboy opinion and nostalgia aside you should...

Borrow it!

Record of Lodoss War Part I

Record of Lodoss War:

That's what we're talking about tonight ladies and gents(like anyone's reading this). This is the first unheard of/unwatched anime that I ever saw.

The intro to this story tells us about the gods fighting over control of all the land and in the end they kill eachother and split the land. The new land created as a result of this is known as Lodoss (the acursed island). You will hear this again, and again, and again. Sometimes you'll even hear about it in the episodes. It's pretty redundant for something that really is just detailing the setting of the story.

The story is REALLY about Parn, a farm boy and son of a knight with little to know idea of how to fight. However he's got lots of spunk for a farm boy. I don't know what's to like about his character except that he's the first male Bisexual(allegedly) hero in Anime. He has a distain for the dark night Ashram is what drives him, however the company of his fellow travelers is what keeps him going. He starts his adventure being banished from his town(cliche?) and forced out on his own since he lured goblins into the town. During this struggle in town he meets the other principle good guys in the story. Etoh, the whitemage... er... priest. Slayn the blackmage... sorry... Sorcerer. Ghim(ly) the dwarf(that's a clever name!). After Parn's banishment is sentenced the others mentioned join him and Ghim showcases his skills and Parns lack-there-of. Parn, though naive, is determined to overcome this by, hacking a tree? This upsets Deedlit the H
igh Elf Sorceress. However, she thinks Parn is cute so she forgives him after some hippy talk. This leaves just one more member of the party.

After running into more creatures in the woods they are arrested by Myce soldiers. In their cell they meet the rouge... er... theif "Woodchuck". This guy's probably the most interesting character of the group. So there you have it, the party is now complete. Sadly all the characters fall into their archetypes too well. However, it doesn't change the fact that each character has at least 1 scene that really sheds light on them and their purpose. Well, we'll touch on that later. For now lets get back to the story.

Etoh puts the fear of God into the Capt. of the knights(unintentionally). This sets them free from their capture and Parn has his first man-crush with him. Once again, Parns lack of skill is displayed this time in a spar with the Captain. After this, Fortress Myce is attacked by Ashram and his gang of monsters. They slay everyone but the heroes of our tale(convienent) and this is the first sign of the rivalry between Parn and Ashram.

On the way to see King Fahn They run into an evil forest that exposes all the important characters motivations. Ghim is out to find Laylia a woman he loves and he is tormented that she's dissapeared so suddenly. Also they run into the Princesses Fianna of Falis(wait... the kingdom of DICK? oh wait it's pronounced FALLis). She's underattack by the witch Karla that seems to be the lost Laylia with an evil tiara(could it be controlling her?). She displays her badass powers and proves, once again, that Parn has no skill. If you haven't caught on to this Parn's strategy is to swing wildly with all the force he can muster until whatever it is has been annihilated.

After Karla lets the Princess go(that was pointless) they gang are commended by King Fahn. The gang attend a party where they first see King Cashew... ahem... Kashue. Parn has another man-crush instantly. This time Parn falls hard for his new crush(speculation) to the point he ignores Deedlit, who clearly has a crush on him, while she shows of her new dress. This pisses her off. During the following dance Karla lets loose a giant psycho killer to kill King Kashue. Sigh, once again Parn patheticly attempts to subdue the giant, miserably. However, this time he provides a good service... Distraction. Kashue defeats the giant with ninja style, instantly making him the best character. What's not to like about a Ninja King with a kickass Goatee?

King Kashue takes Parn under his wing as an apprentice. Karla shows up and reveals that she's a chaotic neutral. She will do anything for the sake of Lodoss. King Jester shows up and reveals that Emperor Beld of Marmo has set his evil gaze on Valis and all of lodoss as well. We then see that Beld has an evil black sword that has magic purple stuff comming off of it, likewise King Fahn has a Holy sword that also has cool magic stuff comming off of it. Both Swords glow(like sting from LotR) when near each other.

At this point they jump story back to after the Prologue ended in the beginning. In that scene the gang seeks out Wart, a wizard that should know more about Karla and how to defeat her. A brief scene at a base camp with Ashram and Beld discussing their next move also is seen here. At this time we are introduced to the Dark Elves and more specifically Pirotess the female dark elf that has Tig ol Bitties and shows lots of side-cleavage. She is extremely loyal and devoted to Ashram and theres a hint of a relationship between them. After returning to Valis, Pahn is commended by being offered a role as a Holy knight of Valis.

Ghim decides he's going to find Karla/Laylia and save her. However Slayn puts him to sleep with some magic so that they can fight the giant battle first and join Ghim on his quest later. Alot of story delay happens here with discussions of what parn will do. Finally Kashue and his men confront the beasts on the front line and thus the battle begins. The battle consists of alot of sword slashes/spear stabbings/arrow piercings taking place on a black screen followed by reused footage of ppl being killed again and again. Parn meets up with Ashram and they face off, sort of. Ashram exposes the Parn as a weak swordsman but Parn lands an lucky/opportunistic shot on Ashram thanks to the distraction by Deedlit and Pirotess's fight. This makes Ashram pull out his pimp hand as he puts Pirotess in her place. The Two Rival Kings now fight with their magic swords. When Belg gets in a good blow Parn tries to get involved but he's interupted by Wort. He informs Parn that this battle is meaningless cause of Karla and that she's the real enemy and he must defeat her. Beld Lands a killing blow on Fahn, but before he can claim victory Karla spears him and thus restoring Chaos to the land. Ashram claims the Evil magic sword and is now the new ruler of Marmo. Parn is disturbed by the massacre of the battle and FINALLY decides that Karla is the real enemy.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Who are you, and where are the reviews?

Well here's my intro. I'm from Pittsburgh, PA. I'm in the NAVY. I enlisted in 2004 at the age of 20 and recently re-enlisted till 2011.

I started watching Anime with Robotech in the late 80's I wasn't even in grade school yet so I didn't know it was Anime. I started watching Saturday Anime on the Sci-fi channel in 1995 with exposure to Record of Lodoss War(ep. 1-3) and that's where I first heard the term "Anime".

Since then I was hooked. I was doing a lot of tape trading in the 6th and 7th grade. I was more of a supplier cause I made sure to tape every Saturday Anime and Exchange them with friends for ECW tapes. lol. Like most Anime fans at the time I struggled for more exposure to it, leading me to watch programs like Sailor Moon. However with the birth of Toonami and it's broadcast of Robotech, I was re-united with my long lost love. And with the release of Gundam Wing later I finally found my niche in Otaku culture.

I am a Real-Robot Mecha anime fan. I've watched other anime and enjoyed them including the Super-Robot shows. But nothing steals my heart the way Macross, Gundam, and other similar series do.

I want to take this moment to thank a few people that got me here. MPIII, Matt Duncil, Matt Marshall, Dan Marshall, Daniel Schmiedel, Dan Devine, and Greg Bogaki(wherever you are) Kozak, and Kaz.

OK, Next on the agenda, reviews.
As a military member I have to stand (fairly) pointless watches where my duty for 8-12 hours is to answer a phone. Tonight is one of those nights and thus plenty of time to squeeze out my first review. I have these watches about twice a month so look forward to at least a semi-weekly/bi-monthly review.

Welcome all...

This is my attempt at a review blog. I'm gonna be upfront and honest, This is kind of a beta blog. If it works, that's awesome. If not, back to the drawing board.

To Be Reviewed:

Excel Saga
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
Green Legend Ran
Macross II: Lovers again
Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket
Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ
Pilot Candidate(candidate for goddess)
Puni Puni Poemi
Zone of the Enders