The Slayers Franchise (Introduction) | Anime Nonsense

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No, not Slayer the band; but “The Slayers,” with an “s.“

The Slayers is a rather popular anime/manga/book magic & fantasy franchise that has been around since the early 1990s. It stars the likable but highly volatile and hot-headed young sorceress, Lina Inverse; other-wise known as “Humanity’s greatest plague” (there are many animes revolving around characters that nearly destroy everything everywhere they go); as she roams the land seeking fame, fortune, and lots of food. She is often accompanied by either her faithful body-guard, Gourry Gabriev; or her partner-in-crime/rival, Naga The White Serpent: a buxom, air-headed woman with a pension for getting distracted by gold and constantly annoying the hell out of Lina.

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The stories that are told throughout the Slayers franchise range from the typical to the weird to the ridiculous and unorthodox: from seeking out lost ancient scriptures and writings, to finding the philosopher’s stone (which can be seen in dozens of other anime as well); from chasing demonic creatures across time and space; to attempting to help a young boy become a master swordsman while at the same time avoiding the wrath of his mother, who periodically appears holding a giant hammer and beats Lina and Naga over the head with it if they so much as say the kid’s uniform looks a little wrinkled.

This franchise does not take itself very seriously, so be warned my friends before venturing onward.

The World of Slayers

The world of Slayers is nestled in a place and time that’s rather hard to distinguish. It’s a world rooted in the Middle-ages and even the High Middle-ages, never moving past feudal times; and yet involving many of our modern conveniences, modern culture, and modern technology. Laboratories have cryostasis chambers. Town markets sell stuffed-animals and collectibles. Giant walking stone Golems can be moved by remote control. Many people wear glasses. There are theme and water-parks.

Even Lina and her friend Amelia have to sing into microphones while wearing Music-Idol-like attire, in order to make a certain treasure appear, inside a secret room, inside a dungeon, at the very bottom of a cave system. So the franchise likes to live in its own little universe that could almost be a bit like Nausicaa or those fan-theories about the Flintstones and Aladdin: where the world they live in could be post-apocalyptic, and elements of former times have trickled down into their ancient-like societies.

But then again, due to the intricate and complicated deity system and all of the gods and demons that inhabit the universe of Slayers, and the fact that they constantly poke their nose into things: it’s more likely that this really is the Middle-Ages, but spirits and creatures from the ethereal plane have been able to bring all of this modern knowledge back in time. That’s just another theory, though.

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The magic that is used in this world is extremely powerful and comes in your two typical forms: white magic and black magic. White magic is drawn from nature itself and many of the smaller deities that are associated with nature, while Black magic is drawn from the Mazoku: a group of high-ranking monsters that live in the astral plane, and have existed for thousands upon thousands of years. Alchemy and other forms of science are also often partnered with magical teachings in this world; allowing sorcerers to craft highly intricate magical objects, weapons, clothing, and chimeras (creatures that are a fusion of two or more animal species).

The Characters of Slayers

To lay some ground work for the many reviews ahead, I’d like to give a brief description of each of the major characters that you’ll meet in this franchise.

○ First there’s Lina Inverse, but I’ve already summed her up. However, there are a few other details. For one, she is meant to be only 16 years old at the start of the Slayers anime series; and it has been said that she is supposed to be younger during the events of the Slayers films and the OVAs, where she travels around with Naga the Serpent. You may find this a hard fact to swallow, as do I; so I tend to leave that fact at the door when I watch any part of this series.

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Also something that I previously mentioned that you will see come up quite often is the fact that Lina LOVES to eat. Not only that, but she eats plate after plate after plate, until she has stacks of dozens of meals; all without gaining any weight. How can this be? Well I don’t think it’s ever established during the series, because it definitely isn’t mentioned in the films. But I gather it’s very much like what I video I saw said about the logic of Sonic the Hedgehog: that if Sonic were to actually be able to run as fast as he does in the games, he would have to eat mountains of food in order to produce enough stored energy to not lose what body mass he has when he runs at super-sonic speed. Movement always needs energy, energy needs fuel, and fuel for our bodies is food. Now Lina Inverse is an extremely powerful sorceress. Her signature spell, if it isn’t the always popular “Fire-Ball,” is the devastating “Dragon-Slave:” which can decimate an entire city leaving an enormous crater in its wake. In order for Lina to call upon that energy, not only does she have to chant an incantation, but she has to supply this spell with a lot of her own physical energy. Therefore she eats pounds and pounds of food every chance she gets. Same thing with her traveling partner Naga, or her body-guard Gourry from the series.

○ Now onto Gourry Gabriev. Gourry is a good-natured, strong-willed, and kind-hearted blond beef-cake that found Lina walking all alone in the woods one day, and assumed that she was a lost little girl wondering how to get home. But after traveling with her for only a few days, he soon came to realize how powerful and capable she really was. But even so, from that first day onward he dedicated himself to be her loyal body-guard, no matter what. And even though he can be a complete moron sometimes (often lacking anything above a 3rd grade education), Gourry I think knows full well how much Lina really loves him, and that he loves her back.

○ Zelgadis Graywords is our third main character. Zel is the embittered apprentice of Rezo, the Red Priest; who was cursed by Rezo to live as a chimera (crossed between a goblin and a golem) after Zel wished to become invincible. Now Zelgadis travels the world seeking a way to restore his former body, and eventually comes into the company of Lina and Gourry, who are themselves seeking out the Red Priest. Eventually Zelgadis joins the team as yet another powerful sorcerer and historian on magic.

Amelia Wil Tesla Seyruun is our fourth character, who enters the show during the second half of the first Slayers series. She is the daughter of the Crown Prince Philionel El Di Seyruun, and only heir to the throne. While still a royal in training, she decides to go out into the world on her own in order to be a champion to the downtrodden and the less fortunate: essentially becoming her own version of Batman; but more showy, like a power-ranger. She strikes poses, stands atop large objects like a highly compensating Soap-box, she gives long elaborate and poetic speeches about “Great Justice!,” and then falls flat on her ass. Only after humiliating herself does she actually manage to slightly harm the evil-doers she managed to come across that particular day. Her moral compass is very firm, but she is capable of betraying even her best friends if she knows they’ve done absolute wrong. And you can be sure that Lina does a lot of morally questionable things throughout the franchise. So one of the dynamics of this show is watching to see when and how Amelia will bounce back and forth between trusting Lina Inverse and disapproving of her actions.

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Xellos Metallium, also known as The Mysterious Priest or the Trickster Priest; is the most mysterious character in the franchise. He is a high-ranking Mazoku, an entity created by the demon lord, Ruby Eyed Shabrinigdo. Xellos is more or less a monster-like creature that lives in the “astral plane” and serves Lord Gaav as his general in command. Creatures on the “astral plane” cannot exist in the human world unless they inhabit the body of a human or the form of an object like armor. But some of the highest ranking Mazoku, like Xellos, can materialize their own bodies from scratch; effectively having two original bodies linked between worlds. The Xellos that we see is his second form which can exist in the human world. In this form, he is unaffected by most magic spells, and can disappear and reappear at will anywhere he chooses because he is still “projecting” himself into this world. He also has put his hand into many a difficult situation whenever he feels he can and should lend a hand to Lina and her friends. Sometimes he helps them, sometimes he helps their enemies: it all seems to have no rhyme or reason; because as he is sure to tell you, “it… is… a secret.”

Naga the White Serpent is our final character worth mentioning here. She is a character who only appears in the films and OVAs, and for the most part, only appears during Lina’s life before meeting Gourry and the rest of the group from the TV show. Naga the Serpent, as stated before, is a buxom babe with large boobs and a self-centered nature; who lives to flaunt her stuff and present her skills, her smarts, and good looks upon the masses. She is extremely self-confident, always giving a loud hooting laugh whenever she finds something humorous to her. And as if to add insult to injury as far as Lina Inverse is concerned, Naga chooses to wear an extremely skimpy leather outfit that perfectly accentuates her feminine gifts as well as making a statement that she is indeed a dark sorceress. When she introduces herself to Lina for the first time, she announces that she is “Lina’s closest and most fearless rival,” bent on proving once and for all who is the one true overlord of magic.

But even so, Naga chooses to travel along with Lina on her journeys as her on-again/off-again traveling companion and partner-in-crime. Naga is also clumsy, inept, careless, clueless, and just about as much of a bone-head as Gourry; but ultimately has some hidden talent and actually useful knowledge up her (rather nonexistent) sleeves.

Things to Enjoy

There are many great things to love about this series. Of course the first one is that it is never grounded in reality. The circumstances are always so outlandish and yet the characters always take everything so completely seriously. I especially like it whenever Lina Inverse has to go up against mad scientists, corrupt politicians, and other obvious villains; and she ends up having a conversation with them about their evil plans (like Batman or Sherlock Holmes), which builds up their egos; only to then dispose of them in the simplest and yet most perfect ways possible. The fourth-wall is also broken at least once every movie.

This then leads to the great humor of the series; a lot of which revolves around what I previously mentioned: there’s a lot of clichés and over-used traits being turned on their heads, and Lina becoming gradually annoyed at the ineptitude of a lot of the people she meets (good or bad). Lina and Naga also often go into magical duels against each other because of their constant insult contests and Lina getting pissed off about Naga’s large boobs and her insecurities about her small boobs. The franchise doesn’t have too much sexual humor in it, but Lina’s issues with her breast size are one of the main reoccurring jokes.

Something I will mention more during my individual reviews of the Slayers films is the rather beautiful cinematography. The attention to light and shadow contrast, slightly subtle colors, exposure settings and light reflections, as well as cinema-scope-like shot design makes the Slayers films (mostly The Motion Picture and Return) a feast for the eyes; especially for those filmmakers out there. It’s a distinctly realistic approach to environment and color space that up until I saw the Slayers films and Miyazaki’s movies, I had not seen in an animated feature before. Most Disney movies don’t try to be realistic with their worlds and environments in quite this same manner.

And finally, what is perhaps the coolest thing about this franchise is its music; and I’m not talking about the score (although that can be awesome as well). Rather I’m referring to the amazing list of tracks written and recorded by singer/voice-actor Megumi Hayashibara: who not only provides the Japanese voice for Lina Inverse, but also created every single theme song and ending credit theme song to every show and movie in the Slayers Franchise (except for maybe 2 songs). Some of my top favorites include “Get Along,” the theme to the original series; “Just Be Conscious,” the ending credits theme to Slayers Return; “Reflection,” the theme to Slayers Great; and “Kagirinai Yokubou no Naka Ni” (which can be roughly translated as “Within Unlimited Desires”), the ending theme to the Slayers: Book of Spells OVA.

Theses songs, and many others, have been an inspiration and form of meditation for me for nearly 10 years now. Many of these tracks have this style that sits firmly between the 1980s and 1990s, with both saxophone solos and metal guitar riffs, and some beautiful reverb mastering on the part of Megumi’s vocals. I also consider Megumi’s backup singers to be a pivotal part of why these songs are amazing. And these aren’t your typical pop or rock songs neither. You won’t find anything even close to these in American music. There’s much more unique style, much more atmosphere, and much more of an action/adventure approach that I’ve never heard of before in music. It’s like these songs have a mystical energy and give off an essence of scale and grandeur.

The world of Slayers, in my mind, is greatly defined and redefined by these theme songs, where as in the case of most fantasy animes that I’ve seen, the opening theme is nothing more than a quirky song that may comment on some amount of tone, or may lyrically give some insight on characters and story depending on what the Japanese lyrics say. But other than that, most themes don’t tend to marry with their show and their show’s universe as perfectly as Slayers and Megumi’s music do. Her songs are often very energized, pounding, loud and exciting, and spacious in their scope. They express the enormity of the show’s scale, stakes, and deeply rooted mystery, as well as the depth and heart of the show’s characters.

I’m not entirely sure if what all I’ve said has conveyed my full feelings, because it’s honestly very hard to put into words just how I feel and react to these songs, and this music. But hopefully if you give some of them a listen for yourself, you’ll start to understand. I’ve included three of my favorites below.

Speaking strictly of the series for a moment: the original seasons of The Slayers anime, specifically Slayers and Slayers Next, are really strong in how they draw you in with the intricately designed universe. Most of the information you learn about the world is given to you by Lina during long exposition dumps; but it is nonetheless deeply fascinating, and helps to establish a history and cosmology for the world that the rest of the series and films build off of. And because of all this rich history, ancient spells, long dead sorcerers and their stores of magical knowledge, and the many evil creatures and monsters our heroes have to confront: it allows for some of the biggest stakes I’ve ever seen in an anime.

By far the strongest of the Slayers TV series is Slayers Next, which presents possibly the most challenging obstacles the cast ever face. One could argue that the implications of the conflict in Slayers Try makes it more serious; but the emotional struggles that the characters go through is far less in that season relatively speaking.

Notable Facts on Voices

Something I feel is important to mention here in this introduction is that while watching the entirety of the Slayers franchise, you will eventually come to realize the inconsistencies in voice actors. Zelgadis for example, started out in the first season being played by actor Daniel Cronan. But because the character disappeared and then reappeared about 8-10 episodes later, Daniel was either unable to return for more recordings, or the dub team felt it would be best to recast the role for someone who had a better sound that could last two more full seasons. They then found up-and-coming Anime Dub legend, Crispin Freeman; who got to play Zelgadis as his first voice-over role.

The character of Xellos has been played by at least three actors: David Moo created the signature English voice in Slayers Next and Slayers Try; Kurt Stoll played him once in the disappointing Slayers Premium; and Michael Sinterniklaas performed the role in Slayers Revolution and Evolution-R.

Naga the Serpent was performed by Kelly Manison (a staple actress of many early anime dubs) who played her in the films and OVAs, and refined Naga’s signature hooting laugh that she soon came to master. Naga also makes a reappearance in Slayers Evolution-R (in some small way) cursed as a spirit now living inside a suit of armor; having completely forgotten who she is. The only thing that remains is part of her self-confident personality, part of her signature laugh, and the fact that she thinks her name is Nama. Neither the show, nor Lina ever outright attest to the fact that Nama is Naga; but it’s obvious from the flash-back sequence and the performance of replacement voice actress Eva Kaminsky, that she is definitely still Naga the Serpent.

But perhaps the most notable difference in voice actors is Lina Inverse herself.

Originally, Central Park Media produced the initial dub for all three original seasons of the Slayers TV series back in the late 90s, and released them on VHS and DVD up until FUNimation picked up the license about 5 years ago. But around the year 2000, ADV decided to pick up the licenses for all four existing Slayers movies (which were relatively new at the time), and had plans to contact Lina’s English voice actor, Lisa Ortiz, to reprise her role. Fortunately or Unfortunately (you’ll see why in a moment), due to scheduling conflicts and unavailability, Lisa was unable to record for ADV; and so ADV set out to recast Lina’s character for their English dub of the films and OVAs.

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Now while Lisa Ortiz’s performance and version of Lina is perfectly suited for Lina’s character in the TV series, it is most certainly not suited (in this reviewer’s opinion) to Lina’s personality in the films. As I explained earlier, Lina in the series is actually only 16 years old. But during the events of the films (which were adapted from stories in the novels taking place before the events of the series), Lina is actually even younger: only about 13 or 14 years old. And you can tell that while she is always a hot-head prone to irrational bouts of destruction and mayhem; she is far more restrained and far more kind, compassionate, and understanding in the series. She actually valiantly helps people out and pretty much saves the world from destruction twice if not three times. And she is extremely loyal to her friends.

In the films, however, Lina Inverse is a brat. She is a very stubborn and greedy person, she will scream much more often than she ever does in the series; and due to her unfortunate company while traveling the world, she is much more easily irritated. So I always felt it was a fortunate circumstance that Lisa Ortiz could not come back and instead ADV was able to land the very funny and quirky Cynthia Martinez; who adds a unique, raspy, childish, and slightly Latin flavor to our red-headed sorceress.

I will of course leave it up to you guys which version of Lina’s voice you prefer, but each is really their own individual character because the films and series are two separate interpretations of one character from a series of novels. So it makes sense that the voice actors would be different as well. This isn’t true of the Japanese, as Lina has always been played by Megumi Hayashibara. But in her case, she plays either version beautifully.

My Final Personal Thoughts (Pre-reviews)

The Slayers franchise was the first anime I ever fell in love with, back when I started watching anime in 2006. The moment I saw the first scene from the Motion Picture and Slayers Return, I knew that this world and these characters would become key players in defining my sense of creativity, my sense of humor, and my imagination as a whole. This franchise is extremely rich and diverse with so many easter eggs and things to look for. The series alone has dozens upon dozens of interesting villains and allies; and the films are filled with some of the wackiest and most bizarre scene-chewing antagonists you will see in any anime. If you want a cornucopia of 90s traditional anime fantasy awesomeness; then you can’t really do much better than this. Because this is by far one of the best animes I have ever seen, and I can only hope you will come to enjoy it in the same way.

There are still many other things to touch on with regards to this franchise; but if you’d like to learn more about it all, and hopefully garner and interest in the franchise yourself, I encourage you to check out my individual reviews that I will link to below. I’ve given each entry below, a brief synopsis on this Reference page as well as a trailer or theme-song; and then you can click on each title that is highlighted to go to my review for that title.

At the writing of this introduction, I have yet to write any of these reviews. So please check back to see when these reviews have been added.

Enjoy, everyone!

The following list of titles and their descriptions have been laid out in chronological order rather than by section. I have no plans as of yet to fully review the TV series of Slayers, but I will be reviewing all five Slayers films and both 3-part OVAs.

The Slayers (Novel series)

The original Slayers stories were written by Hajime Kanzaka, and serialized in Dragon Magazine in 1989. They were soon bound together into the first volumes of The Slayers novels, which consisted of 15 volumes in total that were published from 1990 to 2000. These original novels are what eventually were turned into the first anime series, also called The Slayers, with only some minor story changes from what I could tell. There was also a spin-off series of 30 more novels known as the Slayers Special series, written from 1991 to 2008. And yet another spin-off of that series called Slayers Smash, which consisted of five issues written from 2008 to 2011.

There are quite a few Slayers manga series out there in Japan; some only one-shots and some lasting for a few volumes. But the main one available here in the States was and is the Slayers Specials: consisting of four volumes illustrated by Tommy Ohtsuka from 2000-2001, which were adapted from stories from the Slayers Special novels.

The Slayers (anime) (1995)

More of a grouping of smaller continuous stories than one single story: The Slayers begins with Lina Inverse as she meets Gourry and Zelgadis for the first time. Zelgadis explains to Lina that the legendary Red Priest, Rezo, wishes to resurrect the dark lord Shabrinigdo in order that he may grant Rezo his eye-sight back. Lina knows this is an extremely bad idea, and Zelgadis is hell-bent on taking revenge against Rezo for cursing him to be a chimera.

It is eventually revealed that after being torn into several pieces during a great ancient battle, a piece of Shabrinigdo’s being had been sealed away in the yet unborn eyes of Rezo. And as Rezo grew older, he worked hard to learn magic and spells, not only to help those less fortunate than himself, but to find a way to cure his eyesight. And therefore, upon releasing the dark lord Shabrinigdo, it is revealed that Rezo’s blindness was the one thing keeping the dark lord contained. Of course Shabrinigdo has no interest in helping Rezo any further, and takes control of his body.

Lina Inverse is then put to the test; because interestingly enough, all dark magic in this world is drawn from Mazoku and other monster beings from the “astral plane;” most especially… lord Shabrinigdo. Meaning that Lina cannot draw upon Shabrinigdo’s power to kill Shabrinigdo. So the only choice she has is to call upon a higher-power, and a much more Earth-shattering spell.

After defeating Shabrinigdo and putting Rezo’s spirit to rest; Lina, Gourry, and Zelgadis go their separate ways; only to discover later on that Rezo isn’t actually dead yet. No. In fact, he had prepared for his eventual demise and had created himself a clone: one that still harbored his darker nature, despite the absence of the dark lord clouding his vision. So now, after having met Princess Amelia and another young white-mage named Sylfiel, and after having rejoined with Zelgadis; the five allies must now figure out how to take out this second form of Rezo before he attempts to resurrect yet another long dead god of the ancient world.

 

Slayers the Motion Picture (aka Slayers Perfect) (1995)

Lina Inverse, a young sorceress making her way in the world, reluctantly reunites with an old friend of hers named Naga the Serpent. The two soon board  a boat to the legendary tourist location known as Mepross Island: which is a place that is only accessible from the outside world once a year, due to heavy fog cover and high seas. This island was once home to a civilization of elves, which since have all died out and are rumored to still inhabit the island in the form of spirit fairies.

Once Lina and Naga reach the island they are immediately confronted by each of the strongest individuals in the city, each stronger than the last; and they quickly dispose of the 8th, 7th, 6th, 5th, 4th, and 3rd strongest. But once they come upon the strongest individual, it turns out it’s a demon by the name of Joyrock, who can traverse both space and time through dimensional portals that he can conjure at will.

This Joyrock character is actually the one responsible for traveling back in time and wiping out the elf population of the island prematurely. And so an old hermit by the name of Rowdy Gabriev (a relative of Gourry’s) tasks Lina Inverse above all else with stopping Joyrock and restoring the timeline before it’s too late.

 

Slayers Next (anime) (1996)

Once again, the Slayers series proves to be a grouping of related stories rather than one continuous narrative from beginning to middle to end.

Slayers Next follows the continuing adventures of Lina, Gourry, Zelgadis, and Amelia; as they find new food to eat, new treasure to keep, and new people to piss off. Because if I didn’t mention it before, they tend to piss a lot of people off. At the beginning of Next, Lina actually does just that, by destroying the castle of the Kingdom of Xona; whose Princess, named Martina, vows to destroy Lina and/or make her life a living hell by any means necessary. So as this season progresses, Martina comes up with new and more interesting ways to exact revenge against Lina for ruining her life.

We also meet the crafty monster General–known as Xellos–for the first time; who nearly makes Lina blush with his mysterious charms. He is both a help and a hindrance in equal parts during the course of this season. It is also here that we meet one of Xellos’ peers, a certain Hellmaster Phibrizzo: who is very interested to see Lina use the spell that she used to destroy Shabrinigdo.

This spell, known as the Giga Slave, is a spell so powerful that not only does it draw its strength from the most powerful being in the universe, the Lord of Nightmares, but if the incantation for it is spoken wrong, it could shatter the fabric of reality. Lina managed to use it once without incident, but she has no intention of ever using it again due to the sheer risk factor. But Hellmaster Phibrizzo is very intent on seeing her wield the Giga Slave once again. And he is prepared to do anything in order to make Lina cast it.

 

Slayers Return (Movie 2) (1996)

A new adventure with the quirky odd couple of Lina and Naga begins when a young woman from a faraway village risks life and limb to seek out the help of some accomplished sorcerers. This young woman, named Saleena, finds Lina and Naga after Lina had overkilled it on a “Fire-ball” spell and blew up a tavern she had been eating at. After the introductions are made, Saleena explains to Lina that a group of people calling themselves the Zein Organization have taken control of her village, known as Biaz; and that they are searching for some sort of lost treasure there.

Due to Lina’s extensive historical knowledge, she speculates that the Zein are looking for an ancient, ultimate weapon that had been built by the elves of the mountains, and was then entrusted to the village head-master. This weapon was, in reality, a weapon designed to fight off the invading demonic forces during the War of Demonic Invasion, almost 1000 years before the events in this film, and was considered indestructable. But the weapon itself was not actually entrusted to the village, but rather a bracelet that acts as a homing device, or perhaps even a target for the weapon to follow after.

Once again, it is now left up to Lina Inverse and Naga the Serpent to dispatch with this monstrous and indestructible weapon once and for all; and to tear down the forces of the proud Zein Organization that hoped to control it.

 

Slayers Book of Spells (aka Slayers Special) (1996) (OVA, 3 episodes)

Released as the first of 2 OVAs consisting of three short story adaptations from the Slayers Special novels: Slayers – Book of Spells follows Lina and Naga as they…

1. Prevent a mad entrepreneurial scientist from turning Lina Inverse into a devastating chimera of a lion, a dragon, and her head.

2. Teach a young swordsman how to fight and be a hero at the request of his own mother, without incurring her wrath and furious anger by making fun of the boy.

3. Discover the secret of Woogandi’s Mirror: an lost legendary invention by the great sorcerer, Woogandi; that was rumored to have been designed to ward off any enemy force just by showing their own reflection to them.

Slayers Try (anime) (1997)

Perhaps the largest event in the history of the Slayer’s universe: a self-proclaimed “Savior of the World,” named Valgaav, is intent on releasing Dark Star: a powerful being nearly at the same level as the Lord of Nightmares, but who lives in an entirely different plane of existence than the regular gods, dragons, or monsters. Valgaav wishes to bring Dark Star to this universe, in order that Dark Star may rip apart the fabric of time, and restore the world to an earlier point, before the Golden Dragons massacred the other Dragon clans, and before the the great Demonic Invasion of Earth occurred.

To do this, Valgaav must bring together the Five Legendary Weapons of Light; one of which is the Sword of Light, which has been an heirloom and trusted companion in Gourry’s family for generations. And Gourry had been in possession of this Sword since the beginning of series one.

In other news, an ancient prophesy, told to Lina Inverse by the Dragon Priest, Filia, states that the gods, the monsters, and the dragons must come together with the aid of Lina Inverse to track down these Weapons of Light before Valgaav can, in the hopes of pushing back Dark Star and restoring the seals that bar him from entering this universe.

This season may have perhaps the grandest story in terms of scope. But in terms of emotion and immediacy, the plot tends to drag quite a bit. And this season has the largest amount of filler episodes, due to the fact that while The Slayers and Slayers Next were based directly on the stories from the original novels; Slayers Try was completely original. So to fill 26 full episodes, they had to write quite a few random stories that resulted in a lot of unnecessary down time. I leave it up to you as to whether or not this ruins your experience with this final “original” season.

 

Slayers Great (Movie 3) (1997)

Lina and Naga travel to the city of Stona, a city dedicated to Golem crafting and Golem contests, in order to take in some of the local Golem-crazy culture. It is by mere coincidence that Lina and Naga save the life of the daughter of the legendary Golem craftsman, Galia Einberg, who apparently is still alive and lives in town. Lina then becomes determined to get Galia’s daughter Laia to convince her father to make her a custom Golem, in order that she can sell it for a ton of cash on the market (or at least that’s what’s implied).

Upon arriving at the Einberg home, Galia tells Lina that he hasn’t built a single Golem in years because he had lost his inspiration. But then, upon meeting Lina, he suddenly gets his mojo back and decides to make a deal with Lina that she will be his model.

But then, it is revealed that a plot is afoot; and that the two Regents of Stona: Lord Haizen and Lord Granion, are in a close tactical battle with each other over who should rightfully rule the city of Stona. So the two come up with a plan independently that they should fight in a public Golem contest to see who will win in a fair fight. So Lord Haizen contacts Galia Einberg personally to recruit his help in building a Golem. But then Galia’s estranged son, Huey Einberg, is recruited by Lord Granion to build his Golem.

As you may have guessed, Huey builds his Golem to look like Naga; with large bouncy boobs and all. And Galia builds his Golem to look like Lina, but not nearly as flattering as Lina would have hoped. And the rest of the film follows the battle to see who’s Golem will win the day.

Spoiler Alert: Nobody wins.

 

Slayers Gorgeous (Movie 4) (1998)

Okay, this is probably the most absurd plot yet.

Lina Inverse and Naga find themselves in a middle of a family squabble between the High King Lord Calvert, and his ornery daughter, Marlena. But this isn’t just a regular ol’ parent/child dispute over allowance; this is a parent/child dispute over allowance while riding Dragons and using Sorceresses-for-hire to fight in your honor. Thankfully the conflict doesn’t all revolve around a domestic problem; as there happens to be another person in the shadows who has some ulterior motives, and may in fact not be what he seems.

It’s perhaps the dumbest and yet most interesting film of them all. You decide.

 

Slayers Excellent (OVA, 3 episodes) (1998)

Released as the 2nd of the 2 OVAs consisting of three short stories, we have Slayers: Excellent, with begins with

1. An origin story of how Lina first met Naga.

2. A story of how Lina met another air-headed bimbo who loves to laugh and make fun of Lina; and then eventually becomes an apprentice of Naga’s in order to learn how to the best and most self-confident person in the world. This of course shocks and terrifies Lina to her very core: to think that someone as annoying as Naga is spreading her so-called “wisdom” and fashion-sense to others.

3. And finally a story about how Naga spread her “wisdom” and fashion-sense to a group of fashion-designers who are all about the latest and greatest trends; while at the same time Lina gets recruited by the conservative and traditional fashion-designers to take down the other group. (not the greatest plot by any means)

 

Slayers Premium (half hour OVA Movie) (2001)

Most definitely the weakest link in the franchise, except for maybe Revolution and Evolution-R for one reason or another; Slayers: Premium is the result of a paper-thin plot, a sort of reoccurring motif from the Motion Picture, really unfunny gags, a lousy excuse for a cameo (unless you consider nearly everyone here a cameo), and a ridiculously short running time of only 30 minutes as opposed to the Hour and 5 we normally get.

It’s a crap story of how a fishing village is slowly contracting a disease spread from octopi, that causes one to speak incoherently in their own language: phrases and words could sound like one thing, and mean something completely different; or entire sentences could sound like random arrangements of verbs and nouns and adjectives. There’s no rhyme or reason.

Lina and Gourry and the team from the series all meet up once again and decide to venture into the briny deep to confront these octopus fiends, who apparently have been planning to call upon a great sea monster which they worship. And so it is up to Lina and the gang to stop these octopi bastards, or at least destroy the sea monster before it destroys the village.

Again, really weak, really lame; so let’s move on.

 

Slayers Revolution (anime) (2008)

Slayers Evolution-R (anime) (2009)

 

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