I first saw Record of Lodoss War nearly 20 years ago. Add to that the fact that this series of posts is attempting to resemble critical analysis and I've suddenly been noticing the gender roles.
First up is Deedlit who, despite being presented as considerably better trained and effective, spends a chunk of the first episode hiding behind the at-best marginally competent Parn. And in the final story arc, spends a considerable amount of time as the damsel in distress (complete with the apparently obligatory skimpy dress for elven sacrifices to dark gods).
Then there's Liara in the second episode whose sole relevance to the ongoing story is to be a cutie with a crush on Parn. As a result of which her father, the Mayor, contrived an excuse to send Parn away in not-quite disgrace instead of complete disgrace. Parn promptly forgets her.
Although she hasn't made an appearance yet, Pirotess the dark elf also has her moments of existing only in reference to Ashram the Black Knight. And that's without mentioning her "Hello Boys! Are we having a good time yet?"
outfit (bottom left in the linked image). Record of Lodoss War very own Ms Fanservice
. At least Pirotess has a sword and isn't afraid to use it on unwanted suitors.
Don't get me started on the Princess.
Some of the other female characters may fare better (it's been a while since I watched it) but I'm not really expecting much. If an individual episode manages to pass the Bechdel test I'll mention it when I discuss that episode.
Don't get me wrong, Lodoss War is still an enjoyable high fantasy romp and I'm enjoying the slow rewatch as I write these posts.
But I've come to expect better handling of gender in anime because I've seen so much that IS better.
For that matter Slayers
handles gender roles better, even when you include Naga
Day 1 - Prologue to the Legend
Day 2 - Blazing Departure
Day 3 - The Gender of Lodoss War
Day 4 - The Black Knight
Day 5 - The Grey Witch
Day 6 -
Day 7 - The Desert King
Day 8 - The Sword of the Dark Emperor
Day 9 -
Day 10 - The War of Heroes
Day 11 - Requiem for Warriors
Day 12 -
Day 13 - The Scepter of Domination
Day 14 - The Demon Dragon of Fire Dragon Mountain
Day 15 -
Day 16 - The Wizard's Ambition
Day 17 - Final Battle! Marmo, the Dark Island
Day 18 -
Day 19 - Lodoss, The Burning Continent
Day 20 -