The Best Anime Elf
Recently, fantasy anime has experienced a well-deserved resurgence in popularity. Just look at Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End. The manga is a huge success, and the anime has become a fan favorite. Frieren’s popularity has only continued to grow, especially as we entered the winter 2024 season. Additionally, this season introduced another contender in the fantasy genre: Delicious in Dungeon, which quickly gained popularity after its premiere. One obvious similarity between the two anime is that both feature an elf as one of their main characters.
Elves are a classic race often included in fantasy stories. Whether you love playing DnD or remember iconic characters like Legolas and Galadriel from LOTR, it's hard to overlook them. Interestingly, elves, such as Frieren and Marcille, have gained a new-found popularity in anime in recent times. We're also seeing unconventional representations of elves, like Elda from Otaku Elf, and there's the upcoming series Plus-size Elf. Elves seem to be everywhere!
Across various media, most elves share common traits. They are typically depicted as mystical beings closely associated with either magic or archery and, of course, they are known for their distinctive pointy ears. These characteristics hold true for anime elves as well. If someone were to ask you, 'Who is your elf waifu?' before you answer, treat yourself and watch Record of Lodoss War, where you can meet Deedlit.
Who Is Deedlit?
Who is this elf anyway? Well, fellow anime fans, Deedlit is a high elf in Record of Lodoss War. Alongside Parn, the knight, and the rest of their party, she embarks on a quest to defeat Karla the witch, and bring peace to the accursed land of Lodoss. Deedlit comes from the mystical realm known as the Forest of No Return. She is a character defined by her straightforward elvish traits and origin.
Funnily enough, she also exhibits a slight 'up on her high horse' attitude, particularly towards dwarves. The bickering between elves and dwarves is a comically common trope in fiction, reminiscent of LOTR. In the anime, Deedlit relies on swordsmanship and her affinity for spirits as her primary combat techniques. She tends to be the more cautious fighter of the group, frequently warning them of unforeseen dangers.
Most of what she does is reminiscent of the general idea of an elf. She comes from a mystical forest, possesses a knack for magic and the spiritual world, and exudes a rather snobbish demeanor. So, what makes her so special? After all, she serves as the designated cover girl for the entire Record of Lodoss War franchise.
Deedlit In The Record Of Lodoss War: A Strong But Balanced Character
Interestingly, Deedlit is not the main character of the story. Instead, we follow the narrative from the perspective of the main protagonist, Parn. Deedlit serves as Parn's romantic interest in the story. Some might guess, “Ah, so she will end up kidnapped and calling Parn as her savior.” Well, yes and no.
In fact, she doesn’t fall into the typical damsel-in-distress trope for most of the story. In the 1990 OVA, Deedlit’s introduction pretty much implies that she’s way more experienced, proficient, and composed compared to Parn. Her knowledge of spirits and magic allows her to spend most of the story looking after the others, especially the rowdy and reckless protagonist.
Writing a strong character is no easy task. On one hand, we aim for them to exude strength, allowing the audience to recognize them as a powerhouse. On the other hand, this immense power can be off-putting, especially when it surpasses reasonable limits without any explanation.
In the anime, we can see that Deedlit isn’t all-powerful. (Spoiler Alert) In the final episodes, Deedlit’s high elf origin becomes relevant to the main villain’s goal, and she is about to be sacrificed to resurrect the Goddess of Destruction. So, it ends up with Parn saving her in a classic 'the knight rescues the princess' style. She’s strong and a competent fighter, yet she’s not overpowered like many Mary Sues. Deedlit is an example of a well-written character. Additionally, her personality is far from bland, which leads us to the next point.
Deedlit Is A Delight Behind All Her Mysticism
Although Deedlit is supposed to be a high elf, a race that’s surrounded by fairytale-like mysticism, she’s not devoid of emotions. Oftentimes, whenever there is a character who originates from such worlds, they appear as sacred, with untouchable, ethereal beauty. It’s not the case with Deedlit. While she’s depicted as a beautiful elf, she’s far from alienating.
Although Deedlit is meant to embody the essence of a high elf, a race steeped in fairytale-like mysticism, she is not devoid of emotions. Often, characters originating from such worlds are depicted as sacred, possessing untouchable, ethereal beauty. However, this is not the case with Deedlit. While she is depicted as a beautiful elf, she remains far from alienating.
Deedlit can be hilarious and cute at times; she's known to be a bit snarky towards Ghim, the dwarf. Her excitement over lovely things can be downright giddy, and her desire for Parn's attention at dance parties is simply adorable. Deedlit embodies every trait that one would expect from 'an anime's best girl'.
Putting her cuteness aside, when Parn asks her to stand back from a fight, she chooses to fight alongside him. She refuses to embody the typical princess archetype, passively waiting for the hero to return. Deedlit demonstrates her determination and camaraderie with her fellow adventurers, all while enchanting those around her. With her unique perspective and independence of thought, she proves to be a remarkable elf waifu.
All in all, it’s no surprise that some people consider her their first waifu. The younger generation of anime fans might never have heard of Record of Lodoss, considering it's an old anime. However, despite airing back in 1990, it still exudes incredible charm, especially for those who appreciate hand-drawn 90s anime aesthetics, fantasy, and Dungeons and Dragons. So, if you’ve been enjoying the current era of elves in anime, why not go retro for a change and watch Record of Lodoss War.
Aside from being an anime fan, Seinenrider is also a blogger. He loves writing about tropes, reviews, and other fun stuff in anime.
Fun Fact: He prays for the revival of the racing genre in anime every night.