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Title:
  The Slayers DVD Collection

UK Distributor:  N/A (US release reviewed)

BBFC Certificate:  N/A

Suggested Retail Price (SRP):  $129.99 (around 90)

Episodes:  1-26 (of 26 - Season 1 of 3)

Audio Options:  English 2.0, Japanese 2.0

Subtitles:  English

Reviewer:  Rich (Webmaster)

 

Sword and sorcery comedy featuring a 15/16 year old sorceress who robs from thieves and gives to herself.  Doesn't sound too promising.  However, Slayers is brilliant.

As I have already said the story revolves around the relatively aimless journey of Lina Inverse, an extremely powerful teenage sorceress fighting the forces of evil for treasure and big dinners.  On her travels she comes across the highly skilled but thick as two short planks swordsman Gourry Gabriev, who shares her love of food and gold and they begin to travel together.

That's the basic bones of the story.  Across the course of the series they fight evil gods, attempt to clear their name after a bounty is put on them and try to save the world.  Although that doesn't really sound like a comedy, rest assured that it is.  And a good one at that.

Lina and Gourry make great leading characters, being likeable and powerful but also not too serious.  But the comedy really steps up to the next level with the introduction of Prince Philionel and Princess Amelia of Seyruun.  Both are great characters, the Prince looks like a hulking brute but is actually a pacifist, whereas his daughter Amelia is an overly enthusiastic sorceress who has a hero fixation.  This manifests itself in the series by her need to appear on top of trees and deliver speeches about justice before leaping into fray! There are plenty of other great characters: Zelgadis, a 'chimera' who is half human and half golem; Zangulus, a persistent bounty hunter; Sylphiel, an innocent and inexperienced cleric, and the list goes on.  One of the best things about Slayers is the characterisation, all of the principal characters are interesting and their personalities are clearly defined.

The comedy isn't all the series has got though.  There are a couple of quite heavy storylines involving the resurrection of evil gods and an immensely powerful sorcerer who goes bad, there is also some good intrigue and the action and fight sequences are brilliant.  The spells deserve a special mention too - with even simple spells like fireballs able to level buildings, the bigger ones, like Lina's Dragon Slave, can flatten mountains!

There are bad points (aren't there always?), principally the English dub which is again absolutely awful.  Another problem is that during some of the heavier plotlines the comedy takes a bit of a back seat and as a consequence the usual pace is lost causing some episodes to drag.  However, in the final few episodes a couple of great and unexpected comedy moments are inserted to avert this, which is a relief as it gets pretty dark and you almost forget it is a comedy.

The stories are well constructed and some of the lighter episodes (especially the one where Amelia wants Lina to teach her the Dragon Slave spell) are absolutely hilarious, featuring camp dragons, the KFC colonel (i'm not kidding), cross dressing, an insane play and much bandit beating.  It is well worth a look and has plenty of replay value, however, it is probably better to get the considerably cheaper Slayers The Motion Picture as a taster of the series and situations before shelling out on the series.  That being said I can't imagine many being disappointed by this great mix of swords, sorcery, humour and action and as such I highly recommend it.

Extras:

A couple of galleries and some trailers on the first disc, plus a slipcase box to hold the four DVD volumes.  Nothing to write home about.

Ratings

Feature:   Extras:
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