Slayers The Motion Picture

UK Distributor:  ADV Films (VHS Only)

BBFC Certificate:  PG

Suggested Retail Price (SRP):  £12.99

Running Time:  66 mins (approx.)

Audio Options:  English Stereo

Subtitles:  None

Reviewer:  Rich (Webmaster)


There are several Slayers films in Japan and it is surprising, considering the popularity of the series, that at the time of writing only this one has made it to these shores.

The story, as usual, revolves around Lina Inverse and is set seemingly before the first series with Lina teaming up with the decidedly well endowed and under dressed sorceress Naga the Serpent.  After a brief comedy introduction the pair embark on a journey to the mysterious island of Mipross, a land renowned for its hot springs and ghostly flashbacks to the time of the elves.  But things are not well on Mipross, a mysterious overlord named Joyrock is holding the residents of the land in thrall and things soon get difficult for our heroines – especially Lina, whose dreams are haunted by visions from the past and by a mysterious hermit called Rowdy.

Slayers the Movie is pretty good.  It manages to retain the humour of the series (with some particularly outstanding examples) and the animation and art is of a similar quality.  It is a shame that the more interesting characters from the series, such as chimera Zelgadis, swordsman Gourry and sorceress Amelia are omitted, but the central pairing of Lina and Naga works well.  The Japanese dub in Slayers is very good, with the excellent Megumi Hayashibara as Lina, but Naga has the most annoying laugh in the known universe (anyone who has seen Kodachi in Ranma ½ will know exactly how annoying as the same voice actress does both parts).  However, the VHS version available here is English-only, and unlike many modern anime series the English dub is quite weak.  Normally I wouldn't point something like this out, as most anime dubs are pretty good, but in this case it does get on your nerves after a while and drags your attention away from what is going on.

The weird thing about Slayers the Movie is that for the most part it keeps up the feel of the series, with great humour and some massively impressive spells, until they first encounter Joyrock.  The film then takes a very serious and pretty horrific turn, with the humour taking a definite back-seat to the drama. Although this works surprisingly well it is still a bit of a shock, and some of the events are pretty disturbing.

To be honest though this is a great introduction to the Slayers world, in places it is extremely funny (Naga’s Stone Ghost spell and Lina's hypnotically induced flashback for example), it has a good (if slightly predictable) story and the characters are likeable and interesting.  You may find the horror element or the poor English dub off-putting, and if you have seen the utterly crap trailer may not be interested at all, but I would recommend buying this.  It is enjoyable and entertaining, and well worth picking up – especially on DVD.

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