Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch 03 (“Back to the Vaults” #Manga Review)

Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch 03 (Manga Review)

Time for the last volume of the Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch manga adaptation.

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The Story, in Brief

Record of Lodoss War-The Grey Witch 03Parn’s party gets Princess Fianna safely to her father, King Fahn. King Fahn, his advisors, and ally King Kashue debrief Parn and his party. They come to believe that the Grey Witch Karla is actually a sorceress from an ancient, fallen kingdom. It is decided to consult the sorcerer sage, Wort, who’d been one of the Six Heroes to defeat the demon lord, along with Fahn. Parn volunteers to go, and his offer is accepted. Deedlit and the others readily agree to accompany him.

Meanwhile, Karla visits Wort, who uses a crystal ball to observe Parn’s party. Karla surprises Wort with her desire to have Parn’s party join her. Eventually, Parn and company reach Wort’s tower, where they find Wort and Karla awaiting them. Parn’s party learns that Karla was one of the unnamed Six Heroes. Karla explains that her goal is to maintain balance between dark and light on Lodoss to prevent what happened to her kingdom.

Parn rejects Karla’s ideals, so she teleports away as their enemy. The party returns to King Fahn with what they’ve learned. Parn is made an official Knight of Valis. His party then return to Wort, where Ghim gets confirmation that Six Hero member Neese’s priestess daughter Leylia, is currently possessed by Karla. Later, Parn’s party joins the battle between Valis and Marmo. King Fahn and Emperor Beld are both slain in the battle.

Parn’s party find and confront Karla. Karla kills Ghim, causing Leylia to overwhelm the Karla personality long enough to allow Woodchuck to remove the circlet off Leylia’s head, freeing her. However, Woodchuck kept the circlet and thus was possessed by Karla. After Karla-Woodchuck leaves, Deedlit vows to stay with Parn on his adventures.

Rapid End

At some point, I need to read the source novel for Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch. That way, I can see if my issue with pacing in Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch 03 matches. That aside, things just happen rapidly in this volume of the manga. And there are no chapter breaks (not sure if they were in the Japanese manga or not), so in a weird sort of way, that also kinda harms the manga. (This is an issue for all three volumes.)

Regardless, because of the rapid pacing, nothing has any weight. And without the normal chapter breaks you’d see in a regular manga, there’s no place to stop and catch your breath (if that makes any sense). Even in the novel, there are chapter breaks. I think having them would have helped just a tad to provide pause points.

That aside, the reason nothing has any weight is because the reader is whipped from one moment to the next. I mean, there’s a major battle in this volume, yet it had no impact on me. That wasn’t because I already know the story. It was because things just don’t flow properly. And as I said, there are no pauses, so there’s no time to properly set up things to come.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

As is the norm, I’m I’m massively behind, so let me wrap up my review of this manga adaptation with some final thoughts.

  • I really wish more work had been done for Parn and Deedlit’s relationship. I’ve often thought that if I made a live-action adaptation of this story, I’d put more effort into that aspect.
  • The story of Parn’s father is one I’ll never understand. Even the king is all apologetic that they had to take a dump on Parn’s father even though what he did was so honorable. None of that ever made any sense to me.
  • If the story had better writing, Ghim’s death would have had some impact on me. As it was, it came off more as a plot convenience so they could defeat the over-powered Karla.
  • Speaking of Karla, she is an interesting villain. But here too, were things written better, she could have been more interesting. Ditto Woodchuck, who ends up becoming possessed by Karla due to his stupidity.

In the end, Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch 03 is the worst of the three volumes in terms of pacing. I now remember why I had this manga packed away for so many years. Its just not a title that is fun to reread, even though the story and characters clearly have the potential to be so much more. And that’s probably why this manga would never get license-rescued.

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