Title: Slayers The Motion Picture
ADV Films (VHS Only)
BBFC Certificate: PG
Suggested Retail Price (SRP): £12.99
Running Time: 66 mins (approx.)
Audio Options: English Stereo
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.