Sunday, May 28, 2017

My Life in Fandom: Record of Lodoss War

It may not be the best fantasy anime out of Japan, but it is one of the most recognizable in the West: Record of Lodoss War. Back in the early 1990s, when the first anime adaptation came out in OVA format, this opening hit the anime fandom good and hard due to a significant gamer overlap. It was Dungeons & Dragons brought to life, and it didn't suck.

Record Of Lodoss War Ova - Opening by Saeba56

The Western reception to this series was huge, and soon thereafter we got commercial releases of everything Central Park Media could afford to license. The only thing missing was the light novels. We got the OVA, the TV series, the spin-off film (Legend of Crystania), the comics that adapted everything up to OVA!Woodchuck's departure from the series, and even the prequel featuring the former sextet of heroes.

Then, WHAM! Collapse, and with it the property began to fade into obscurity. Quite frankly, better stuff came along and the former king of Western fantasy anime fandom got dethroned. But to this day, there's nothing quite so earnest in what Japan has to offer in terms of Western-style fantasy as Lodoss War. As the linked Infogalactic article shows, the franchise is not dead in Japan; a MMO, a series, and more have come out in recent years or are in development now. They just aren't coming to the West since the collapse of anime licensing in the West, and that's a shame.

Lodoss War possesses the same qualities that the Pulp Revolution champions, and it is friendly to the values that the Superversive Movement champions, and its continued presence in fandom at home and abroad shows that there is a lasting market for exactly this sort of thing in all entertainment media. We in the West would do well to learn from the successes and failures found herein, and going forward remember to apply what we learn as our own failures lead to our future successes- lest we repeat mistakes needlessly.

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