In my heyday of purchasing anime, I had a very scientific process for how I went about my selections; I bought whatever had a cool cover. On the cover of a Slayers DVD was a woman that seemed like she was made entirely out of breasts. I ignored it, assuming it was drivel. A friend suggested I pick it up anyways, hearing it was good. It was not. A little more research showed what I had purchased (The Book of Spells) was an OVA (original video animation), not the series proper. I dropped $120 on the first season (it was a different time back then) and dove in.
Slayers stars Lina Inverse, a powerful sorceress who travels around getting into different adventures. In the first episode, she’s joined by Gourry Gabriev, a capable but dimwitted swordsman (reminiscent of Patrick Star). The two have various exploits before being joined by two more magicians, Zelgadis Greywords and Amelia Wil Tesla Seyruun. Zelgadis is enigmatic while Amelia is young and energetic. Each character has a signature move or attack that is used about as often as a Kamehameha. Lina has her Dragon Slave spell, Gourry his light sword, etc. Thankfully they don’t become overly dependent on these as the serious progresses.
Originally, Slayers was comprised of 3, 26 episode seasons; Slayers, Slayers NEXT, and Slayers TRY. I never understood the naming convention. While the first two were based on the manga, TRY was an invention of the animation studio a la Dragon Ball GT. Unlike GT, TRY wasn’t garbage, though it felt somewhat weaker than what preceded it. These original 3 series aired in Japan from ’95 – ’97 before making their way stateside in the early 2000’s. I refer to these as original because over a decade later the series was revisited with two more seasons, REVOLUTION and EVOLUTION-R, both containing 13 episodes.
I loved the original three series, marathoning each as soon as they were purchased. I’ve purchased the newest two seasons, and they’ve been sitting on my self since then. It’s been over 10 years since I’ve watched the show, and I’d like to rewatch the first 3 seasons before diving into the new ones, but 104 episode commitment will take some time. As I make my way through the season again, I’ll be sure to write more.
Aside from the series, there were a few OVA’s and movie. Slayers: The Motion Picture, Return, Great, and Gorgeous. All are trash, especially when compared to the main series. Other than setting and Lina, these have little in common the series. Amelia, Zel, and even constant companion Gourry are never present. Instead we’re new creation Naga the Serpent is forced on us. Lina was a refreshing character because she’s not scantily clad nor has breasts the size of my head. Sure, they occasion make jokes about her small breast size, but I enjoyed that a female anime character wasn’t a sex object for once. Naga completely undermines that conceit while being simultaneously annoying. If you see her on the cover, avoid.
Other than OVAs, Slayers is a great series that I highly recommend out of the minefield the anime landscape has become. While I can’t speak to the new season, the first three are incredibly fun.
Suncoast gave me TRY for free.