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Record of Lodoss War border really strongly on being classified as High Fantasy rather than heroic fantasy, but is really does tell one of the most engaging fantasy stories of all anime. The story is about a young hero embarking on a quest to restore his family honor and sounds like something right out of a D&D game. This is not by chance since it was based on a game that strongly resembled D&D. Although the older animation might put some off, it is the pinnacle of the fantasy genre in terms of story.
I debated putting this series on here. The first part of it is a good old swords and sorcery story about an amnesiac mercenary that is taken in by a village. He then uses the combat skills he had in the past to defend said village from attack. Unfortunately, later in the series it takes an inexplicable turn to the sci-fi simply to explain all the things that have happened. Yet, by the time you get there, usually you are already too invested in the story to stop.
Though well-aged now, Slayer is iconic in the fantasy genre. Although it is a comedy, it follows mage Lina Inverse and her group that travels around the country in constant search for gold. While there are many different incarnations of Slayers, they all follow the aforementioned basic plot. While Slayers has a big emphasis on lowbrow comedy, that can be refreshing from the other serious fantasy stories. Of course, it dares to foray into more serious plots from time to time as well.
This series has one of those titles that is just begging to be overlooked, but for those that do, they are missing out on a fantastic story. This story follows Pacifica, the so-called scrapped princess. At birth it was prophesized that she will be a poison that destroys the world. However, it is later that she realizes she might not be a poison, but its sole salvation. So thus she sets off with her adoptive brother and sister, one skilled in magic while the other is a master of the sword, to unravel the mystery. While all that sounds like the recipe for something disappointing, it was created by the same production team as Cowboy Bebop and thus supports some surprisingly dark themes to it and pretty good animation for its age. Of course, it also does get a little sci-fi by the end, but never forgoes the fantasy roots of the story completely.
Do you have any more anime recommendations for sword and sorcery anime? Let us know in the comments section below.