Record of Lodoss War
Record of Lodoss War was originally (1986) a series of transcripts (or "replays") of a D&D campaign rewritten as serialized fiction in a magazine. Apparently, Japs aren't willing to play D&D as much as they're willing to read about other people playing D&D. You can tell it's Japanese because the word "The" isn't in the Engrish dictionary. "The Record of the Lodoss War," for fuck's sake. The serialized stories were eventually rewritten into three fantasy novels called "RPG Replay Record of Lodoss War" 1, 2 and 3. They tried to sell the campaign setting to TSR, but TSR was all "Pearl Harbour, bitches!" and refused to come to the bargaining table. After the trilogy, and probably after getting the finger from TSR, the company that was writing & publishing the transcripts decided to write their own RPG rules, which became Sword World RPG.
The main characters are each an example of the classes from the 1974 edition original D&D:
- Parn, fighter, sorta the main character
- Deedlit, elf, main love-interest chick
- (who was Hiroshi Yamamoto's character, who is a GUY behind that sexy elf chick you nerds have in your spank-banks)
- Ghim, dwarf,
- (main character for Hitoshi Yasuda, who quit playing early because he had better things to do)
- Woodchuck, thief
- Etoh, cleric
- Slayn, magic-user
- ... and there wasn't a halfling. Maybe because it reminds them of Ainu, and Japs hate Ainu.
For what it's worth, the DM for the first campaign was Ryo Mizuno.
Yes, there was also an animu about it, and some comic-book mangoes, but if someone turns this article all weeaboo and shit, we will find you and beat you. So, while the anime OAV series has stiff moments or designs that may irritate the veteran neckbeard, it's still the best animated example of D&D. Which, given that the other was about a bunch of preteens produced in the Dark Age of Animation, doesn't say much, but one should be able to deduce that the 13 episode OAV is at least decent, and well written/roleplayed.