Slayers has returned with its next film! The prequel series has certainly had its ups and downs in the past so I was hoping that this one would be able to survive with the classic Slayers atmosphere. It’s a fun adventure that manages to avoid most of the pitfalls that you may have been worried about. It’s a fun adventure that may be a little light on action, but ends up being a nice addition to the franchise.
Lina and Naga are walking through town as usual when a rampaging Golem nearly trampels over a young lady. They help her so that they can possibly win a free meal, but they don’t realize that they will now be involved in an even deeper threat than they could have realized! Two Kings are fighting for control of the land. Well…I guess, they’re more like dukes as the actual king is the one who tells them how to settle this like gentlemen. They must have a golem fight and the winner claims the land. The father of the girl that Lina saved asks her to help with his golem and Naga gets an offer from the man’s son who works for the other king. It looks like money has broken the bonds of friendship between Lina and Naga. Things get personal once Lina and Naga go inside golems shaped in their forms. Everything rides on this duel!
The film is certainly very short as it barely reaches an hour. That’s not a whole lot of time so the film has to try and keep the pace up. It does help to limit the amount of screen time for some of the filler characters as they could have certainly been a little dull. I highly doubt that you will find any of them likable by the end. The main heroine is constantly complaining about how her life sucks. If you think about it seriously, her current situation is pretty sad, but she doesn’t need to keep on reminding herself of that. Her brother is very self centered and he doesn’t play fair, which makes sure that he isn’t likable. Finally, the Dad can be a little inconsiderate and over confident at times. Considering that he’s supposed to be the greatest Golem maker in the city…he doesn’t really live up to the title.
Luckily, you don’t need filler characters to be likable when you have a good main character right? Lina is as good as always. She still does the right things for the wrong reasons so that she can end up being rich and famous. These things never work out for her in the end, but at least Lina gives it a fair try. She’s also very competitive in nature so once the Golem match starts, she gets ready to win it! She is still one of the best sorceresses out there. From all of the humans in the Slayers verse she’s the most powerful hands down. The film tries to show that Naga is almost as powerful as Lina (Not equal as Lina was winning the battle when we disregard the comedy shenanigans) but I don’t buy that for a second. Lina is more experienced and tactically sound.
Naga’s attacks are good as well, but she just strikes me as a little inexperienced. Her attire of choice still leaves much to be desired, but at least the film has the decency to not focus on it all that much. The golem actually gets more fanservice than her, which is good since rock can never actually be convincing fanservice. That certainly kept the film at a higher level than it would have been otherwise. Naga’s laugh is still iconic at this point and I’m unlikely to forget it anytime soon.
The fight scene between the two Golems was done very well. It’s not taken seriously as it is a comedy battle, but it is a well written comedy battle. It goes on for a long time, but it never actually drags on. You feel bad for the Lina statue because it looks much better than Naga’s, but it’s also a lot weaker. Lina’s statue is short and chibi because that’s how the builder wanted to make it, but it means that Lina has a hard time dealing any damage. Ignoring plot hax, Naga’s statue had the clear advantage. It ultimately bites off more than it can chew when Lina goes outside to tip the scales, but since that was basically against the rules, we can essentially say that Naga actually won this battle.
Lina and Naga had a short fight in their human forms before that. The actual animation was really good for the battle, but I didn’t like how it played out. I never like it when an anime has two characters use two versions of the same attack, which results in such a stalemate. Seriously, it’s like saying that they were simply not enthusiastic enough to think of a real battle. So, the battle wasn’t handled very well, but at least Lina was shown to be the big victor there so I suppose that I can be satisfied with that.
The animation is very good here. The movie certainly has a theatrical feel to it. It feels very similar to the Pokemon movies in that respect. The soundtracks are almost identical at some points and likewise with the animation. It’s just like the first Pokemon film and you can even contrast certain scenes in the Mewtwo vs Mew fight to the Lina vs Naga battle. That’s pretty neat and Pokemon has experience being in the theater so Slayers is taking a good approach. It’s still hard to describe what the “theatrical” effect is, but the colors are simply deeper, the energy attacks darker, and the music more operatic or grand. Beyond that, it’s really in the eye of the beholder. It’s like how Battle of Gods felt anything but theatrical while the Broly film embodied everything that I could have wanted in that style. It’s all in how you handle it I suppose.
Naturally, the only mild negative is that the film still loves to use chest insults. Naga is constantly insulting Lina’s and it can certainly get old. It’s much preferable to actual fanservice, but it’s still not the greatest running gag. The fanservice is almost entirely gone here. There is a statue that’s meant as fanservice, but it’s a statue so I don’t really count it all that much. Naga’s attire certainly counts, but as I mentioned before, there is no real attention drawn to it, which helps to mitigate almost all of the damage.
That probably helps to keep it from a 7. It’s certainly a fun film, but I feel like a 6 is more deserving in this case. It’s a fun experience, but at the same time, it’s simply lacking something. A little more action would probably have been all that it would have needed to reach the next level. Maybe even some kind of epic tune although we certainly did have some good ones. I always like the end themes on these prequels as the song is quite catchy and the finishing montage does give the appearance that you just finished watching some kind of really grand adventure.
Overall, SLayers Great is fun. It may not literally be great, but it’s a good experience that brings us some classic Slayers charm. I dare say that the humor is the most well done that I’ve seen since Slayers Next and it can be good to see the old cast as a change of pace. I still think that Lina’s accent is quite brilliant and it helps you to contrast the old Lina from the current one. If you’re a Slayers fan then it goes without saying that you should watch this one. If you’re looking for a fun fantasy film to watch, then this is a good bet for you as well. You don’t need any prior knowledge of the Slayers universe to enjoy this film so just hop on and get ready for some fun.