Tag Archives: 1990

Record of Lodoss War

Type: Parn!

Synopsis: Parn! Are you there!! Parn!!! Paaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrnnnnnn!!!!!

Pros: Record of Lodoss War is a good ol’ fashion sword and sorcery anime based on DnD and Sword World RPG rules. Now, I don’t know anything about anything, but from what I can gather, this series is based on Japanese “replays.” These “replays” are transcripts of table-top RPG sessions. These transcripts eventually evolved into the Lodoss franchise. Which explains why so many of the characters in this anime seem straight out of a fantasy RPG. You got your hot-blooded knight, beautiful high-elf, prickly dwarf, sleezy thief, pious priest, and calm magic caster. I particularly liked Parn and Deedlit’s relationship, as well as Ghim’s backstory. They gave these characters a much needed extra dimension. I should also give a shout out to the Grey Witch, who I wish had stuck around for the entire story. The franchise’s origins helps give the series a very high fantasy feel. Since a lot of today’s anime fantasy stories are so intrinsically linked with Isekai stories, this series was a nice change of pace. I also have to admit a certain level of bias regarding older anime animation (I just think it looks more distinct). All in all, the series was a nice trip back in time when fantasy was about knights fighting evil kings and giant dragons.

Cons: Your enjoyment of this story can be measured by your tolerance for fantasy about knights fighting evil kings and giant dragons. Sometimes, another word for classic is generic. And this story is very generic. The story is about Parn, the son of disgraced knight looking to restored his family’s honor and make a name for himself. He’s brave but reckless. In fact, Parn might be the MOST generic protagonist I’ve ever encountered. Maybe even moreso than black-haired, average nice guy harem protagonist. At least they have comedic foils to play off. But Parn? He’s as exciting as avocado on white bread.  You also have the elf, dwarf, priest, thief, and caster who are so archetypal that I forget their actual names. One of the reasons these characters are so forgettable is because the series has to get the entire Lodoss saga completed in 13 episodes. So the pacing is very rushed. For example,  halfway through the anime the story transitions from the Valis-Marmo war to the War of Heroes. Which sucks because the Grey Witch and Emperor Beld made for much more interesting villains. Far better than some generic dragon and wizard. Yet the directors still found time to give Deedlit her ultra-detailed minute long close ups. Things move so fast that a lot of characters don’t get proper character development. The only characters you spend a lot of time with are Parn and Deelit, who are sadly have very static development. Aside from Ghim, all the other side characters are just that, side characters that don’t really change all the much. You know who actually changes the most in this story? The antagonists. The Grey Witch,  Ashram, Pirotess’s , and Wagnar each end the story is a very different position than where they started. You can’t really say that for any of the protagonists, as even Parn’s ascension into Knighthood is more superficial than anything. Finally, being an old anime, be prepared for a lot of still images and light-based special effects. Back in the day you either got detailed character design or fluid animation, but you ain’t getting both!

Watch it?: For fans of elf and wizards not contracted to a 7 person harem (3/5)

MVP: Karla, the Grey Witch

The more I think about her, the more I like her.

Best Episode: Ep. 05 “The Desert King” (Look Parn, we all have a Daddy fetish, but don’t string along a poor elf-girl when she dressed up special for your date, OK?)

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Dragon Ball Z: Bardock- The Father of Goku [DBZ Movie Month]

Type: Prequel

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Synopsis: The Last Days of Krypton

Pros: O.k, so this is technically a “Special,” not a movie, but whatever. Bardock-The Father of Goku, coupled with The History of Trunks, are probably the two best Dragon Ball Z stories ever produced. This one tells that tale of Bardock, Goku’s Father (duh) right before the destruction of the Saiyan race. Bardock is just an army grunt who is given vision of the Saiyan Genocide, as well as his son’s future. He tries to make sense of these visions before decided to rebel against Frieza, his lord and executioner. Bardock is who carries this film, as the plot largely revolves around his exploits. He’s a typical Saiyan: violent, arrogant, aggressive, but not to the supervillainess extent that future Saiyan’s are depicted as. We know he can’t change his fate, but we’re fascinated to see his response.

Cons: Umm, huh. Ah….oh! At the start there’s this female Saiyan named Fushia who people theorized was Goku’s mom for years. I guess that’s something.

Top 10 DBZ Movies?: Yes.

Hero: Bardock

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Went out like a Boss

Best Moment: Bardock taking on Frieza and his army all by himself. (and dying, of course)

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Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might [DBZ Movie Month]

Type: Bambi, but with Lasers

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Synopsis: vs. Earth 3 Goku

Pros: By this point, the DBZ movies have solidly become Dragon Ball Z stories. The premise would remain consistent for the next few movies: The gang are chillin’, they suddenly sense an evil presence, the Earth gets destroyed, Goku’s friends lose hard, Goku overcomes the odds, and everyone laughs at the end. The odd’s Goku has to overcome in this one is Turles, a space pirate that looks exactly like Goku, despite having no acknowledged familial connection. In an interesting change of pace, Goku doesn’t really beat Turles in a fight, he barely squecks by. I forgot that Goku doesn’t really become unbeatable until the Cell Saga.

Cons: The start of the movie is very sugar coated. It deals with Gohan and Krilling making a wish to save their animal friends. This is also the movie where Gohan gets his pet dragon Icarus (which I believe only shows up in the movies). A lot of the plot has to do with Gohan having to secretly take care of Icarus because Chi-Chi won’t let him keep it. It’s also interesting to note that at this point, all of Goku’s friends become useless in a fight, even Piccolo. They all get easily beaten by Trules henchmen, while Goku beats them in one hit.

In the Top 10 DBZ Films?: No

Villain: Trules

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He just needed a Goatee

Best Moment: Yamcha’s car getting destroyed (Yamcha, you suck!)

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Dragon Ball Z: The World’s Strongest [DBZ Movie Month]

Type: The first one I ever saw

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Synopsis: vs. Brain in a Jar

Pros: The second DBZ movie sees our heroes fighting against an evil scientist’s brain. It’s fairly similar to the first movie in that it has the bad guy making a wish to the Dragon Balls, Piccolo getting owned, three henchmen, and Gohan playing some key role. We do get a pretty sweet fight scene with Master Roshi though. I actually liked this bit. You see, the villain of the movie was frozen 50 years ago, so he kidnaps the world’s strongest fighter, which from his perspective, is Master Roshi. The film also has one of the rare instances of a successful Spirit Bomb. And to think, this all started over a Pig’s wish for panties.

Cons: The movie is kinda slow. Basically, Master Roshi and Bulma are kidnapped by discount Saibamen, Goku and friends go save them, Krillin shows up and contributes nothing (classic Krillin), and the day is saved. Dr. Wheelo is our antagonist this time around, but he’s not really memorable. He’s just a brain in a jar, then a robot. There’s a lot of exposition in this one, as Bulma has to explain what the backstory is for both Dr. Wheelo and his henchmen. Except for the fact that this is a very early instance of fighting Androids, this is kinda forgettable.

In the Top 10 DBZ Movies?: No

Villain: Dr. Wheelo

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Kinda sounds like the bad guy from Inspector Gadget

Best Moment: When Goku and Chi-Chi discuss raising Gohan (maybe I’m just older, but I really wonder what the Domestic situation is like in the Son Household.).

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Nadia- The Secret of the Blue Water

Type: Space Atlantis

Synopsis: This little four eyes named Jean decides to swing way out of his league by hitting on this circus chick named Nadia. She won’t give him the time of day, causing him to stalk follow her halfway around the world. They’re chased by jewel thieves, forced to serve on a submarine, stranded on an island, and launched into space. All because the guy couldn’t take a simple No.

Pros: The show does a really good job making you hate the bad guys. Because these guys, the Neo-Atlanteans, they were evil. They killed entire villages, women and children. It does’t help that they all wear masks and dress like a certain American racist group. It definitely prevents you from emphasizing with any of them. I also liked the very end where you get to see how all the characters ended up. I wish more anime did that.

Cons: I’m not ganna lie, I’m not the biggest fan of old school anime. To me it all seems too slow and too cliche (though logically, most troupes were less cliche in the past). So most of my criticisms come from that. I found it too cartoony, too slow, too by the book. It had more in common with western cartoons like G.I. Joe or Thundercats than with modern anime. I also didn’t empathize with any of the characters. Jean was annoying. Nadia was crabby. The Jewel Thieves were unbalance. Captain Nemo was a tool. etc.

Watch it?: If your a fan of old adventure cartoons, then this one is for you (2/5)

MVP: Grandis Granva

The only character to actually Mature

Best Episode: The Island Arc (Its pretty good)

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