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Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch
by AstroNerdBoy on January 18th, 2006, 4:44pm

Rating - 8 / 10.0

User rating of this review - N/A out of 5
Story/Plot - 4 out of 5
Characters - 4 out of 5
Drawing Style - 4 out of 5
Enjoyment - 4 out of 5
Overall - 4 out of 5

Click here for series information

Plot/Story

Parn, a young trained soldier who wishes to be a knight, comes upon a group of goblins about to attack a villiage. He along with childhood friend turned priest (cleric) Etoh engage the goblins. They do well against superior numbers, but they are not enough. They are saved by the dwarf Ghim, who joins with them. He leads them to the mage Slayn, who hearing Parn's request to join his party as he does his knight errantry thing. In the capital city of Allan, Parn happens upon a young lady in a fight with a ruffian. Coming to her aide (though she didn't need it), Parn puts down the ruffian and discovers that the young lady is none other than a High Elf named Deedlit. She takes a liking to Parn and joins his party. Eventually they are also joined by the thief Woodchuck, who's aim is to do what he can to recover 20-years of his life spent in prison for a petty crime.

As Beld, ruler of the dark island nation of Marmo and one of six former heros who defeated evil many years ago, invades Lodoss, war sweeps across the land. Apparrently aided by the powerful and mysterious scorceress Karla, it seems that Beld will rule all of Lodoss. But Karla has her own agenda, and it is one that Parn and company cannot allow to succeed. Can the last nations on Lodoss prevent Beld from conquering them? Can Parn and his party defeat Karla?

Characters

  • Parn -- A trained, gifted soldier who wishes to be a knight like his father was. While there are rumors that his father was disgraced, Parn doesn't let this stop him. He knows his weaknesses and thus his formation of a party to help him in his goals. He is the main party fighter.
  • Deedlit -- A High Elf who leaves her land after witnesses the last great war in Lodoss. This time, she wants to play a role. When Parn comes to her aid, she takes a liking to him and as time grows, she finds she cannot part with him. She is the party's figher-mage character.
  • Ghim -- Every party needs a dwarf fighter and Ghim fits that role. Like the other characters, he has his own reasons for joining Parn's party -- the desire to find the daughter of Neece, Leylia. Neece was one of the original six heroes that defeated evil long ago.
  • Etoh -- He's the party's cleric and a childhood friend of Parn. His reasons for joining Parn's party is to aid his life-long friend.
  • Slayn -- As the party's mage, his reasons for joining Parn are cemented when he sees what was done to a large school by the forces of Marmo and a mage who supposedly had been cursed so that he couldn't use magic.
  • Woodchuck -- As the party's thief, Woodchuck doesn't have a great role to play, but his reasons for joining with Parn center on his attempts to make up for 20-years lost in prison for a petty crime.


Drawing Style

The drawing style is OK. At times it looks better than others, but to be honest, it is difficult to be completely accurate in judging the drawing style. I'd like to see the original Japanese manga before saying more.

Enjoyment

Interestingly in many ways I enjoyed this more than the anime. The relationship between Parn and Deedlit is much more believable in the manga. Parn as a trained soldier is a much better character than he was shown to be in the anime.

One thing against my enjoyment was CPM's decision to remove chapter-breaks in the manga. So reading the manga at times became a confusing "HUH?" Chapter breaks allow the reader to assume certain things. For example, on one page, Parn's party are on a combination of horseback and wagon as they begin a journey. On the very next page, they are suddenly without horse or wagon and are on the march. Had the chapter-break been inserted, the reader would understand that there'd been a passage of time and thus an acceptance that for some reason, the party no longer had their transportation. As it is, the smashing of chapters together make it clear that CPM has no business being in the manga-publishing business!

Overall

For the manga itself, it is pretty good. In places it is better than the anime and in places, it is weaker than the anime. If you liked the OAV series, I would recommend reading the manga just to get another take on things.

HOWEVER, I would like to say again that CPM is a horrible company and should be removed from publishing manga or producing R1 versions of anime titles. Considering the liberties they take in translations of their anime, it automatically makes their manga translations suspect. And then there's the issue I mentioned above of their removing chapter breaks.

The icing on the cake is the fact that in 2006, CPM is still publishing manga in the western style, meaning we have flipped artwork! Even Darkhorse and Viz have been getting with the program and re-publishing their manga in the Japanese style. This is completely unacceptable in this day and age! It is clear that the American public can handle unflipped, Japanese-style manga printing as well as undomesticated translations and chapter-breaks in the manga volumes.
 
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