Battles, Lina Inverse Battles, Magik Battles

Lina Inverse vs Magik

Suggested by iKnowledge Lina Inverse has a lot of raw magical power at her disposal. If Magik tries to fight her head on then she’ll lose, but Magik has the massive advantage in her array of spells as well as agility. Magik can use teleportation rings to zip in and out of Lina’s range. Her Soulsword will also be able to deal a fatal blow as soon as Magik connects. The deck is simply stacked too far against Lina and I don’t see her making a comeback here. Magik wins.

Battles, Lina Inverse Battles, Orphen Battles

Orphen vs Lina Inverse

Now that I have finished the Orphen series, it is time for the main character to show up. Lina Inverse is also a skilled sorceress from Slayers and in terms of raw magic ability I’d say that she is a clear level ahead of Orphen. Her destructive capabilities are simply on a different level. However, Orphen has her beat physically with his very impressive speed showings. I don’t believe that Lina would be able to tag him with a hit very easily and as her durability is not all that great, Orphen just needs a few direct hits to take the win. The speed difference is critical here and it’s not as if Orphen’s a slouch in the power department either. He starts off his blog career on a high note! Orphen wins.

7 Star TV Shows, Reviews, TV Show Reviews, TV Shows

Slayers Evolution R Review

It’s been a little while, but it’s time to review the final season of Slayers! I actually saw this one some time ago, but it ended up getting buried in the backlog of reviews. I’m trying to set everything free from that backlog so at last, Slayers is here! I’d say that the franchise ended on a high note. Evolution R was more fun than Revolution although I’d probably still say that Next is still the best season. The short episode count does this season no favors as well.

Lina and her friends are still seeking the Hellmaster’s jar to free the people of Pokota’s kingdom. It’s a tough journey though and the heroes don’t even know where to look. Luckily, they run across a lady named Nama who believes that she knows where it is. The heroes find out the hard way that the journey won’t be so easy. Zuuma is still on the loose and wishes to destroy Lina, but even worse is the fact that the heroes will need to revive Rezo in order to save Pokota’s people. Is this a good tradeoff as Rezo was a fairly intimidating villain?

Considering that the season is only 13 episodes, the show definitely felt no pressure to speed things up. The first 4 episodes are basically stand alone fillers as the heroes experience a lot of tough situations with Nama. A fish claims that Gourry is her husband and there’s an episode where Nama and Amelia get to bond as they fight dragons. Luckily, these stand alones were actually pretty good for the most part and I would say that they were a significant improvement over the fillers in Revolution. Of course, Slayers is one of those series that always get to its height when the plot starts and this season was no exception.

The three episodes that followed wrapped up the Zuuma arc. He ordered the heroes to protect Radock as he would come for the guy and destroy the heroes on the way. They comply, which leads to an ultimate confrontation with him as well as two monsters who randomly jumped in. Honestly, that was easily the most random part of the whole arc. I suppose that Zuuma has connections, which is how he was able to summon them.

Those three episodes were a lot of fun. I actually enjoyed the Radock plot as his son gave the heroes a hard time and Radock was always very stern and strict. There is a twist about him that I can’t say I was too pleased with, but in theory it’s a good twist. One thing that I liked about this mini arc was that Zelgadis and Amelia actually got to fight for the first time in a long while since the monsters targeted them. They were lucky that Lina was around the first time and lucky that Xellos showed up the second time. The fights just showed everyone how Zel and Amelia are completely outmatched by the modern villains. They got some good hits in and are still good fighters, but the problem is that monsters are typically better than humans. Add in the fact that these monsters were pretty tough and that’s the game for the heroes.

Still, even though they lost, they did put up a good fight and I can’t put enough emphasis on how glad I was that they got to fight. I feel like the side characters should at least fight once in a while to remind us of why they’re even here. With the Zuuma plot out of the way, the heroes could finally focus on bringing back Rezo, that is…if they want to bring him back! With 5 episodes to go, that’s a decent amount of time.

We get some happy episodes for a little while and then the heroes finally revive Rezo, who had pretended to lose his mind. It was interesting as it feels like he was pretending, but maybe he was actually in an artificial “drunk” state due to being in the jar for so long. That’s one way of looking at it anyway. Zelgadis also almost betrayed the group as he tried to destroy the jar, but couldn’t bring himself to do it and Pokota tried the opposite thing. Once the heroes settled down and thought about this, they still brought Rezo back.
Well, he kept his end of the bargain at least. The parties started up and I wondered if the second last episode would actually end on such a mild note, but then the twist ending occurred as Lina appeared and confronted Rezo on the roof. The reason why he had been making some odd decisions was that he was still merged with Shabranigdo. This has given him a significant boost to his power. Xellos arrives to stop this as that level of power could even threaten the monsters, but he is completely and utterly crushed. Rezo then admits that he can’t handle the power and tells the heroes to deal with him before blowing up. The big battle is here, can Lina handle Shabranigdo once more?

The cool part about the final battle is that the show pulled out all of the stops. Sylphiel returned for a quick cameo as she made a barrier to stop one of Shabranigdo’s hits. Like always, she started out strong, but ended weak as she started overreacting and basically being a non factor. Even the famous Inspector appeared to talk tough for a little while. Shabranigdo looked supremely impressive and I’m always reminded of why he’s such a great character. He talks about dreams a lot here as he stomps those of the heroes. There are really no bosses who can stand up to him as he makes strong fighters like Xellos and Lina look like children. Seriously, Xellos can’t deal any damage to the guy and Lina’s attack only works if he gives her about 10 minutes of time to charge up. In a one on one fight, that’s not happening.

All of Lina’s allies joined up in the attack for one of the most brutal moments of the series. They’re all taken down and one of the heroes had her fist literally crushed by Shabranigdo’s immense power. You always feel bad for Lina’s allies as they get beaten up pretty badly in every climax. This one was no different and it’s how the show tells you that the stakes just got real. Typically, it’s all fun and games even while in the middle of an intense fight scene, but the comedy angle is always dropped for the big battle.

As for the characters, there’s not much more to say about them than what has been said for previous seasons. Lina is still a good lead and easily one of the best female anime leads of all time. At this point, I’m going to say that she is the best lead and none even come close, at least I can’t think of any at the moment. It was great to see her finally use the Giga Slave once more as that attack is really great. She even gets a new design out of it although it doesn’t act as a power up in this case. (Which is surprising)

Gourry’s still a good sidekick even if he can be a little naive. Actually believing that he was the father of a fish was a little dramatic for him, but I am glad that Gourry gave the task his all. If you’re going to do something…do it right! It’s unfortunate that he didn’t have the Sword of Light for most of the series though since it meant that he couldn’t really participate in most of the action scenes. I suppose that he will get another chance in the future, but at least he did get to fight in the final battle and he was also around for Zuuma.

Amelia was a solid character as always. Her role was fairly minimal, but she keeps the group chipper with her optimism. I also do think that she’s still a little stronger than Zelgadis although it’s probably close. Zel continues to be used mainly for comic relief in the series. He finally cracks in this one and tells Rezo to make him human again, but the guy gives him the classic….”I can’t!” Since Zelgadis seems to believe him, that may have finally ended that plot. The fact that Zelgadis still thinks of Rezo as his teacher is a bit annoying though and I’m seriously not a Zelgadis fan.

Pokota is still a pretty bad character and I’d go as far as to say that he’s a terrible one. The show would be better if he was simply not here at all. As it stands, he’ll disappear for a while at times and his lack of lines in other episodes will make you forget about him. He just wasn’t needed in this season and I wish that the show could have made him more likable. At least the Inspector briefly appeared to help us forget about Pokota.

Nama was a fun new supporting character. The show makes it obvious what her secret identity it, but it was still a fun injoke for the fans. We finally got a crossover between the show and the movies. There’s even a battle between Lina and Nama to parody the films and it’s a great homage. Nama always was a fun character to have around and I wonder how her dynamic with the other members would have been had she not lost her memory. It’s something that the series should explore as it would be quite enjoyable to see. Nama didn’t get to help too much before she was taken away, but her abilities are still on par with Lina’s from the olden days so she could have been a very valuable asset to the team.
Zuuma is still a cool villain although he went a little lower in the ranks for me after the twist. I don’t think Zuuma even needed a twist, but he’s still a cool assasin. He was doing quite well against the heroes, but then Xellos appeared and that was basically game over for him. As good as Zuuma is, he doesn’t have nearly enough firepower or speed to deal with a monster on that calibur. Xellos also has high speed regeneration in case he ever was hit in that battle. Zuuma will likely never appear again, but he definitely had a good run.

As for Xellos, he was good in this season. It’s still a little iffy how the heroes get along with him, since Xellos is constantly betraying them, but that’s their choice I suppose. I was glad to see Xellos get some action scenes here since that meant he wouldn’t be all hype and no action. His fight against Zuuma was short, but showed how powerful he was and I liked his battle against Rezo. We rarely see fights between beings on their level of power in Slayers so it’s always a treat. I feel like Xellos is awkwardly in the middle of the power levels. Either he completely wrecks his opponent like with Zuuma and Lina or he gets completely destroyed like with Gaav or Shabranigdo. There is never a middle ground with him although the closest would be Valgaav. It’s always fun to see him lose, but he was actually a good character in this season so that’s good.

As for Rezo, this show should definitely prove without a shadow of a doubt that he is still evil. He did some good works along the way, but we find out how he experimented on people and basically did not care about their lives. He was doing it all just to get his sight back. He sacrificed a whole lot of people just so that he could gain his eyesight back for a minute or two before deciding to die once again as Shabranigdo awakened. All of that…just for a few minutes of eyesight. He certainly only cares about himself, but Rezo certainly makes for a powerful villain. I don’t care for him as a character, but he’ll always have that nostalgia feel to him. I already talked about how awesome Shabranigdo is so I don’t really need to go into that again.

Evolution R was really just one big nostalgia trip. We got to see old faces like Sylphiel, Rezo, and Shabranigdo again. That was really neat and it makes you want to watch the first season again to relive the good ole days. Even having the Giga Slave back was a nice homage to the good ole days. If this is how the animated Slayers franchise ends for now, I’d say that ending with nostalgia is always a good way to go about things.

As always, one of the reasons why Slayers is so fun is its balance between action and comedy. There can be a lot of serious moments and then a lot of light ones. Sometimes the show will do both at the same time. It keeps the show from taking things too seriously while still treating us to a lot of good fights and interesting plots. This formula is what has really made Slayers what it is. Luckily, the chest jokes were also pretty minimal here and the show was extremely light on fanservice if there was any at all. I can’t remember a single hot springs moment, although I suppose there may have been one in there somewhere. Either way, it was very light overall like I said.

As expected, the animation is really good for this season. The energy effects are spectacular and that really helps for the fight scenes. After seeing this, the older Slayers seasons will probably seem extremely dated by comparison, but I like that 90’s style so it’ll still be cool. That being said, the modern style is so sleek and streamlined that it is very nice to look at and makes all of the characters look even more impressive since their attacks have basically leveled up.

The soundtrack is also good. At this point, I’m very used to the themes and feel that they work well. I liked the ominous track for the rooftop confrontation and the battle themes work well too. It’s not exactly a 5 star soundtrack, but I’d probably give it a 7. It’s good and sometimes, that’s good enough when all of the other areas of the show are on point.
Overall, Slayers Evolution R was a success and it was quite an enjoyable show. In some ways, it may have even been better than Next. It was shorter, but I can’t say that it really had any miss episodes. Pretty much all of them were great, or at least good. The filler could get to you sometimes when it was too many of them in a row, but once the action started up, the show never really looked back. If a good climax can save a movie, the solid second half for Slayers is what always tips the scales. I definitely recommend this if you’re looking for a good fantasy anime and even if you haven’t seen the older seasons before, the nostalgia factor should help you get into this show. I’m going to miss Slayers. Hopefully it gets a new film or show someday!

Overall 7/10

7 Star TV Shows, Reviews, TV Show Reviews, TV Shows

Slayers Revolution Review

I’m closing in on the end of the Slayers franchise. It’s been a fun ride and this is certainly one of the definitive fantasy franchises out there. Revolution is certainly a lot newer than the other TV shows and you can tell as the animation is much brighter and more colorful compared to the old ones. Gone is the classic 90’s style and you can say hello to the 2000’s. The budget is consistently good for the animation and it is a lot of fun to see the classic cast return.

Slayers Revolution is only 13 episodes so that means that the plot can move at a much quicker pace than it usually would. A mysterious rabbit with hands for ears appears one day and starts destroying magical tanks. The cops believe that Lina Inverse is behind this so they hire special investigator Wizer Frayon so arrest her. To prove her innocence and get vengeance on the rabbit Lina and friends decide to find him. That being said, forces beyond what they may comprehend are also at play in the shadows. A kingdom which fell to a plague is involved and an evil kingdom is seeking the use the Zanaffar armor to make themselves a legitimate threat to the rest of the world. Finally, what does Zellos have to do with all of this?

While the series is only 13 episodes, it still makes time for some filler episodes. One of them involved a boulder contest as the heroes had to make the best golem possible to defeat the others and roll a ball up a legendary mountain. Pokota (The rabbit) decided to get involved as well for a fairly enjoyable one shot episode. Slayers has always been a series that had a lot of filler around to keep things from getting too serious with the main storyline. As far as the fillers go, they weren’t bad here and I at least did enjoy that one. The series is at its best when the show gets back to the plot though.

The beginning of the show is a little slow, but it starts to get more exciting as it shows up. Especially once the assassin, Zuuma, shows up. He’s fairly powerful for an opponent and then the heroes set sail for the evil kingdom to settle things once and for all. The final 5-6 episodes are essentially one long climax that takes a few pauses before continuing each time. The climax can certainly hold its own against any of the older titles. (It can’t win though, but it can hold its own) You’ll want to be ready for the giant monster at the end!

The series does a good job of mixing comedy with action as per usual. I’d say that Slayers has been modernized in a good way in that it is still similar to how it used to be in a nostalgic way. You could even make the case that Revolution feels more like a Shonen than the previous titles at times since the action was really nonstop for almost half of the series at the end. While Next still had some of the best fight scenes in the franchise, the sheer power of the animation keeps it close here.

As I mentioned earlier, the animation never lets up and it’s worlds beyond what we saw in the previous shows. One look at the theme song will show you that this series means business and that’s especially good news for all of the energy attacks, which have never looked so vibrant. As this is J.C. Staff, I’m not surprised since they are certainly one of the best animation companies on the block. I look forward to seeing how great the next show looks.

As for the humor, Slayers is typically funny and this series does a good job with that for the most part. The only downer in that area is the fact that the chest jokes are still present and more prevalent than ever as the villains always use this to taunt Lina before she blows them up. Still, while it is annoying, it’s probably the tamest form of fanservice that you can even have in a show and isn’t really enough to hurt the score. It also vanishes once we are around halfway through the series, which was certainly nice to see.

As always, Lina Inverse makes for a pretty great main character. She’s easily the strongest member from the main heroes and her Lord of Nightmare’s techniques really make her a threat for any opponent. She never uses the Giga Slave as the risks are probably too great, but she has many other spells at her disposal to tip the scales. While I would have liked for her to have beaten up Zellos to show how skilled she is, Lina always has a plan up her sleeve. It’s hard to find a more likable main character than Lina and I’m confident that she will always be a likable protagonist at this point. When I think of epic anime heroines, Lina is certainly near the top.

Gourry is true to form as you would expect. He’s still a fun character to root for and you’ll feel bad for him since he no longer has the Sword of Light. For most of the series, that does prevent him from being useful and he tends to be in the way during a fight scene. He tries hard, but it’s tough to manage when you have a sword that breaks over and over again. He gets a great fight scene at the end of the show to make up for this tough and he certainly outranks most of the supporting cast members.

Zelgadis used to be the intense rival character of the show, but he’s typically played for laughs in the current seasons. He has a lot of serious moments as well, but he’s so weak that you really can’t take him seriously. While teaming up with Amelia, he was barely able to beat a puppet. His skills have definitely stopped improving and they may have regressed over the years. At this point, he’s easily the weakest member of the main group, but I suppose that he means well.
Amelia is certainly a more likable character than Zelgadis and her search for peace and justice is one of the reasons why the character is so endearing. It’s also good to see a fighter using magic as a close combat type of attack instead of just shooting energy blasts all the time. She’s still not quite as strong as Lina, which we saw in the filler episode where the two fought, but Amelia has become a dependable fighter in her own right. Unlike Lina and her other pals, Amelia never allows herself to be corrupted and tries to help everyone that she can.

Zellos makes an appearance in this season and his role was actually a little larger than I would have guessed. He mostly sticks to the shadows, but actually gets to fight at one point when he challenges Lina and her friends. That was great since we haven’t seen him fight in a very long time. He easily overpowered them and showed why the main characters would always be outranked. Even if their spells can destroy him, they can never hit because of the large gap in speed. Zellos was a fun villain to have in this series and he’s certainly gone up since Next. The new voice an intriguing switch and I’ll have to get used to just about all of the new voices, but it’s not like I’ll have to get used to them for very long at this rate. I expect to see him in the next season as well.

Sylphiel appears briefly for the final fight, which will be cool for long time fans. As in the first show, she starts off with a very impressive scene as she blocks a blast from the legendary Zanaffar. After that, she quickly forgets how to be a fighter though and goes back to fainting and being in distress. It’s odd as the exact same thing happened in the first season. Maybe that’s just her gimmick. She obviously has a lot of combat potential, but it’ll likely never be explored. She’s a good character, but a longer action scene would have helped a lot.

Pokota is one of the new main characters for this season and it’s safe to say that he’s not holding back in terms of personality. It doesn’t really work for me even though the show was trying to go for the tough guy routine. I can’t take him seriously in his present form and his quest to destroy the magic tanks felt pretty futile since they can be manufactured so easily. He has a tragic past and a few twists as well, but he didn’t really add anything to the show. He’s great at running and somehow knows how to use the Dragon Slave, but he was never very helpful when actual villains arrived. It’s a classic example of a character who’s great against heroes, but bad against villains. Sort of like the police in your average super hero film. They can sometimes have the edge against Batman, but fail to stop random muggers. Pokota certainly didn’t do wonders for the cast, but he should be a little better in the next season since he’ll have mellowed out a little.

Duclis is one of the big villains and his plot ties into Pokota’s. Duclis wants to make the world pay for abandoning his people in their time of need and gets a giant monster ready to destroy everyone. Towards the end, he loses confidence in his goal and basically just decides to leave everything up to fate. He had a solid design and his light saber was cool, but he’s certainly not one of the more interesting villains around. I also wouldn’t say that he was a great threat power wise although he was a decent fighter. The show hyped up a fight between him and Lina, but it got interrupted before it could start, which was regrettable.

Gioconda was probably the worst villain here though as she was fairly generic. She just wanted to become richer and richer with every passing year. A noble goal, but when you’re already a multi billionaire…what use is more money? She already had her own kingdom, army, and castles. I just wonder why she would need more money or power, but goals don’t always have to make sense I suppose. She’s a decent fighter when she has a weapon, but I’m confident that Gourry would have had the edge if he had the Sword of Light. As it stands, he was holding back anyway. Gioconda’s android was much more memorable and she also seemed to be a better fighter as she could heal.

Zuuma is an assassin who really wants to destroy Lina Inverse. He is a human who knows quite a few good spells and his shadow magic can nullify all other spells. That’s definitely a very handy technique to have against someone like Lina since he would have the edge over her in a sword fight. He did a good job of handling the whole team and I have a feeling that he’s going to do quite well in the next season as well. He was certainly the best villain here and a great addition to the overall cast.

Zanaffar is the big monster who appears at the end of the show and works quite well as the final boss. He can actually talk, which was certainly a good thing and his abilities were impressive. He is impervious to most spells and he has a giant laser blast which can deal massive amounts of damage. I don’t think that he could be Shabranigdo, but he could give the other giant monsters a decent fight. His lack of speed is probably the main thing that holds him back, but that’s where his immunity to magic comes in. He’s a solid all around boss when you really think about it.

As I mentioned earlier, the best part of the series is the last 5-6 episodes, but the best episode of the batch would probably be the 3 on 3 fight in the Gladiator Ring. That was a lot of fun and we got to see how some of the fighters handle themselves individually. Because Lina is always surrounded by her friends, we rarely get to see her fight on her own. It’s why I was sad that she didn’t end up fighting Duclis. If that’s one thing that Slayers Revolution needed more of, it was one on one fights. Next actually had several of them and I suppose that it is one of the perks of being about double the size of this show. The pros easily outweigh the cons for long running series and I’d gladly take another 10 fillers if it meant that we would get 3 more episodes with some great fight scenes. A longer Gourry vs Zuuma fight would have been great as well since you could tell that it would be a really fun rivalry.

As for the soundtrack, Slayers Revolution certainly doesn’t disappoint there. The theme song is easily the best one in the franchise and the theme is quite catchy. It plays during the climax of the arc and certainly fits in quite well. The ending theme is also solid and the music that appears during the show is good as well. While not amazing, there were two themes during the episodes that I certainly liked. One was the danger approaching theme (Not the title, but that’s the best way to describe it) which occurred whenever things were looking bad for the heroes and the normal battle theme was also decently good. The theme song is what really helps the series as the soundtrack can be a little bland otherwise, but certainly still good and it fits for the series. It fits so well that a lot of the tunes have been present for the whole franchise.

Slayers also ends this season with a lot of cliffhangers to ideally be wrapped up in the next installment. The Android who helped Lina and friends seems to be part of a bigger scheme and the Rezo jars are still around the world. If they are all destroyed, Rezo will die as well. We also can’t forget the fact that the heroes need to find Rezo and fast if they are to awaken Pokota’s people. These plots and more, you can bet that the next show is going to have a lot of action and even Zuuma shall return if you saw the after credits scene. He has the jar and he has the power. The heroes barely stopped him last time and unless Gourry is able to keep on using the Sword of Light, the heroes could be outclassed.
Overall, Slayers Revolution was quite good and the 13 episode set up worked well for the series. One thing that hurt Slayers Try a little was the large amounts of filler that the series had, which kept you from getting too invested in the story. Part of the appeal of Slayers is the random adventures that they have, but I prefer to have all of the filler before the main plot or after it so that it isn’t interrupted too much. That rarely happens though and it still works out all right, but the short length of the series forced it to go at a rapid pace. Whether you have seen the other Slayer titles or not, this is a fun fantasy/action anime to check out. I would highly recommend still watching the other Slayers shows if you liked this one though as you will see their origin stories and learn a lot more about the universe as a whole. There are a lot of wink-wink moments to season 1 for the fans and it’s always fun to know the references. I’ll be checking out the next show soon and we’ll see if it can manage to top this one.

Overall 7/10

Battles, Lina Inverse Battles, Sailor Jupiter Battles, Tribute Battles

Sailor Jupiter vs Lina Inverse

This is a tribute to Slayers Gorgeous. While the Sailor Scouts are probably still more popular than Lina Inverse, I’d agrue that the sorceress is the stronger fighter. Lina has a variety of spells at her disposal and she’s faced many beings of immense power. Jupiter can fire some good thunder blasts, but she’s not fast enough to compete with Lina in the long run. The ability to heal herself is also a nice advantage for Lina. Jupiter may have lost, but she gave it her all. Lina Inverse wins.

Battles, Carl Denham Battles, Lina Inverse Battles, Tribute Battles

Carl Denham vs Lina Inverse

This is a tribute to Slayers Premium! Lina has always been an exceptional fighter and that doesn’t change in this film. Carl may have a gun, but there’s no way that he could keep up with Lina’s speed or power. Her spells would take him down for the count with a single shot. Carl shall return, but he has been given his first loss in this match. Lina Inverse wins.

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Slayers Premium Review

I have gone through most of the Slayers franchise and have finally arrived at the last movie. The movies have typically been one of the best parts about the Slayers franchise as we clearly saw in the last installment. Unfortunately, this one is not able to keep up. For some reason, it’s only about 30-35 minutes in length so there’s not a lot of time for anything to happen. It simply feels like an episode. A decent episode, but not one that will rock your world. All right, let’s check out the Premium film!

Lina and Gourry are enjoying a nice Octopus dinner when Gourry starts to talk in gibberish. Apparently, the Octopus have all gone bad and anyone who eats them will talk in the creature’s native language. The effects start to spread and simply living puts you at risk of getting this illness. Lina must find the big boss behind this and put the creature to justice, but how can she win when she can’t even understand her friends? A wise mage may know a spell to stop this, but he is already infected with the curse. Luckily, Amelia and Zelgadis show up to help, but will their combined strength be enough to win?

As I mentioned, this movie is only half an hour so it really goes by in a flash. It’s a fun ride as always since Slayers typically does a good job of mixing humor and action. I’d say that it succeeded here as we still got a decent fight without the comedy going over the top and the atmosphere felt right. It’s similar to the Son Goku and Friends Return OVA while having a little more substance. The cast from the TV show is in this movie, which is a big change from the others, but the voices couldn’t come along with them. While Xellos may have an improved voice, I’m too used to the TV show versions to care for the others. Lina is the exception of course as I am already fairly used to her movie accent. She’s really toned down the Southern aspect of it though and I kinda miss that part. Ah well, she still takes charge and defends the world fairly well. Gourry is now more defensive of his meals, but Lina still manages to get the last laugh. As always, Lina never disappoints as the leader of the gang.

Gourry is back to being rather under average and it’s barely his fault this time. Speaking in Octopus distorts a person’s words, but they don’t hear the result. So, Gourry will hear himself say, “I’m awesome!” but to everyone else it may sound like “Larry!” As a result, Gourry says a lot of provacative things even though he means to say something else. So, technically, he is a good character here, but the gag ends up turning him into an unlikable one. At least he helps out against the villains.

None of the other heroes are able to do that. Xellos is around, but since when does he help the heroes? He mostly observes and has a good laugh at the heroes’ expense. Amelia may have been a fighter back in the day, but she is completely ineffective against the Octopus. She was really looking forward to eating them for dinner, but maybe that’s the problem. They certainly weren’t going to show her any mercy after they heard that! Amelia was a good character here. She may have been a little more strong willed than usual, but she almost felt like she could have been the main character if this was another show.

As for good ole Zelgadis, he also looks very bad against the Octopus minions. You would think that this could have been his big moment, but Lina had to save him like she did with everyone else. Gone are the days when he was known as a tough guy and he is really just a punching bag at this point. I can’t say that I’m a fan, but he didn’t look bad here. Just really weak. There was also a filler character who told Lina and the others about the plight, but as the movie was so short, her role was minimal. She technically plays a crucial role with her spells, but she’s just your average filler character.

The villains are all rather inconsequential as well. The main Octopus has a nifty hair style, but that’s about it for him. He wants revenge on the humans, but is doomed. The final boss is a giant Dragon/Sea Lord who hungers. Its energy blasts are able to destroy a tree, but it takes a few shots. He was your average giant monster. Cool design, but he ultimately went down very quickly when matched up with the boundless power of the Dragon Slave!

The ending is fairly tragic for the Octopus. They are reminded that the town’s economy really depends on eating them so the new agreement is that the Octopus will still be eaten, but only their tendrils since they can grow back. This way, there’s an endless supply of them to eat and the Octopus can keep their lives. It doesn’t sound like a very fair bet if you ask me. Meanwhile, Naga gets a very small cameo here. I guess we will probably never get to see her interact with the TV show cast. That would have certainly been interesting so that’s too bad, but in this case, it could be for the best that she didn’t get a real role. Sometimes, it simply isn’t worth the risk with her character.

Unfortunately, this movie dipped back into some of the negatives, which hurt the OVAs. We get the chest comments once again and that gag got old the first time that it ever showed up in the franchise. Seriously, at this point, it should just stay down. Also, Amelia of all characters is actually used for mild fanservice. It’s rather mild at least and it’s not as in your face as some of the other Slayer products, but it’s a little sad that Amelia is the victim here. She’s still just a kid so the whole situation doesn’t make sense. This keeps it from getting a solid seven like some of the other Slayer movies, but it’s not bad enough to cripple the score either.

With this movie, the animation is finally starting to look more modern. This is easily the best animation that we’ve seen from the franchise. Everything is really bright and vibrant. The character designs are all updated and the Dragon Slave really looks good. While the other Slayers products looked like the good ole 90’s style, this one is clearly from the 2000’s era. It just goes to show what a difference a few years can make.

As for the soundtrack, it’s a little on the uninspired side. The final theme for the credits isn’t that good and the animation in the background didn’t have much of a budget. Most of the other songs are also old or simply not memorable. Slayers is a franchise that really isn’t known for its music. Perhaps the staff in charge of the music will read this review and quickly decide to make a new movie just so they can show off some new tunes. That would certainly be epic.

Overall, Slayers Premium is a decent Slayers movie. It’s so short that you may as well just call it your average episode or an OVA. The animation is at its best and it is fun to see the TV show cast appear once again. The only design that is a little worse than the show’s would be Gourry’s sword of light. It looks way too thin if you ask me and comes off as a generic beam sword. The Sword of Light used to be a little more unique. While the film was not strong enough to match up to the other films, it was still a fairly fun ride. I recommend this to Slayer fans, but otherwise I recommend watching the Slayers film before this one if you want to see the franchise at its best. It’s been a long time since this film came out so I guess we really may not get another Slayers movie for quite some time. Once the fans are ready for some nostalgia in a few years, then I guess it’ll be time for a new one. I’ll certainly be ready for it and I still say that Lina Inverse is a better heroine for a series than Sailor Moon. Lina could be the very best female led protagonist in anime, but that’s a much trickier question to answer since there are quite a few. Off the top of my head she would certainly take the lead.

Overall 6/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Slayers Gorgeous Review

Looks like it is time to check out the next Slayers movie! We are nearing the end of the franchise so let’s see if this film could hold its own. After the last OVA, I was ready for something to get the Slayers formula right this time. Luckily, I was not disappointed as this film is the best Slayers one yet and besides the shows, it is the best Slayers product. This is how you get the blend between comedy and action right. I hope that the writers are taking notes.

Lina and Naga head over to a peaceful looking town to have their next meal. The tacos/wraps in this place are really good and it seems like the heroes will finally have a peaceful time. This does not last for long though as the inhabitants of the town go indoors. There is a civil war going on in the city between the King and The Princess over a matter so serious and deadly that the heroes have no real response to the issue. Lina decides to help the King out, but her mission proves to be much more difficult than expected when Naga joins the Princess’ side! Why is Naga doing this? Can Lina still win!? That’s the basic premise of the film.

This may sound like the average Slayers plot so what makes this one so much better than the others? (Keep in mind that I did like the first film as well, but this film is simply the best one) For starters, the film wisely decided to let go of the fanservice problems that have plagued the two OVAs. Naga’s outfit is still fairly revealing, but the animators don’t pay special attention to it. It’s essentially reduced to a non factor. We have no random hot spring scenes to get us either so the film effectively solved the problem. There is no real fanservice here and that’s already a big advantage over the OVA.

Next up, the animation is much better than the OVA and it could be the best animation that we have seen in Slayers aside from Next and even that is debatable. Next had better animation for the overall character models, but this one gives it a run for its money when it comes to energy blasts. You could tell that the animators gave the battle between the princess and Lina their all as the animation was much better than the other scenes in the film. It really worked out well for the action scenes. The rest of the film looks good as well, but its the fights that take it out of the good range and into the greats!

The final big reason for why this film was an improvement ties into the animation somewhat. As I’ve mentioned before, the balance between comedy and action is a tricky one and Slayers does mess it up quite often. The important thing is that Slayers has been able to get it right and this is an example of just that. There’s a good amount of comedy here like why the Princess is in a war with her father, and numerous other scenes that I could mention throughout the film. Naga’s actions are almost all for crazy reasons that could be called comedy. This is the bets way to use comedy, crazy reasons and illogical motivations to do things may be the best way to use humor.

Then, still play their actions off seriously even if their reasons or not. That is what the film does and we do get more than one serious fight. This film had the best Lina vs Naga fight that we have seen and the battle with the princess was also really good. That’s 2 really good fights in one movie and 2 more than we saw in either OVA. Slayers typically doesn’t have any real fights for the spinoffs as Lina quickly dominates or comedy steals the fight. Not this time! That was great since watching a movie level fight is a good incentive for any film.

Slayers still uses a lot of retro tunes, but there are some remixes, which are present. That livens things up as I have been saying that Slayers needs a new soundtrack. Remixes aren’t completely new, but they are the next best thing so I suppose that they will do. The songs still sound good and my favorite one is easily the end song that plays during the end of all the movies. The final scene with the coin is always slightly altered, which is fun. The most satisfying ending was probably the second time as Lina got away with the coin. In this one, a bird jumps in to save the day. Good for the bird if you ask me!

As always, Lina is a very good main character. While not always heroic, she still does whatever’s necessary to earn her gold. It is sad for her since she never manages to get her gold coins in the end thanks to various circumstances. She may have been able to have gotten her reward money if she had stuck around during the ending, but chasing off The Princess was evidently more fun for her. Lina’s reputation continues to grow larger and larger. Whole armies of dragons back off at the sound of her name now, which is pretty neat. Her spells ensure that Lina is still the strongest fighter among the humans and she proves this on more than one occasion. While Sailor Moon may be the most popular main heroine for anime, I dare say that Lina could be the best one.

Naga is back to being a traitor, but she is an amusing one and doesn’t make a single bad joke this time. That means that her portrayal in this film was actually really good and she makes for a fun rival. Her laugh is certainly iconic and potentially one of the best ones of all time. Joining the enemies on a whim or just to help them laugh more effectively is pretty ingenious. You certainly can’t say that she is not an original character. While Naga will never be as powerful as Lina, her abilities still aren’t bad and she can land a decent amount of damage. If Naga could always look like this, I’d certainly be a fan of hers. Unfortunately, her portrayal is rarely this good. I don’t think that she’s ever looked this good to be honest.

The final Dragon Boss is very intense and fans should definitely like him. He’s very huge and his abilities are so great that he is able to block a Dragon Slave blast at point blank range. There is a big twist about him, which could affect how fans see him, but he still looked so good before the twist that I think we can excuse him a little. Learning about the twist should actually give you more respect for the character depending on how you look at it. The final boss really talks tough and isn’t someone that you will want to mess with.

As for the two main filler characters, they weren’t bad. The King was more reasonable than most of the others and an actual character. I could agree with his thought processes and the demands of the Princess were certainly a bit much. The King is fairly courageous and a good person deep down. The Princess is rather unreasonable with her demands and did attempt to destroy some people so I’d say that she was a loose cannon. That being said, she could actually fight, which was impressive. Of course, there is a plot twist, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that she is able to fight in close quarters and doesn’t back down after hearing Lina’s name. She gives us a proper fight and that’s a good thing.

Overall, Slayers Gorgeous finally presents us with the Slayers film that we’ve needed. This is exactly how a film should be handled and every part of it was satisfying. The fights were excellent and really got to show off some solid animation. The writing was at its best and all of the characters were fairly good. The humor was finally back on track as well. This film eliminated all of the negatives that I had for the franchise and that resulted in a film that had no negatives. Everything about it was good. That doesn’t mean that I am about to throw out a 10 or a 9 as other films still outrank it and thiss title was very short, but it is still much better than the average title. I highly recommend this if you are a Slayers fan and it is also a great way to get started with the franchise. You certainly don’t need to watch much else to get what is happening since Slayers doesn’t bother much with exposition in the films beyond what you need to know. The next film is going to have a very tough time keeping up with this one!

Overall 8/10

4 Star TV Shows, Reviews, TV Show Reviews, TV Shows

Slayers Excellent Review

Slayers has had some ups and downs as a franchise. Due to its unique mix of comedy and action in the main shows, it can be hit or miss. The shows are able to utilize this quite well and the movies have had success as well. For some reason, the OVAs are the ones that have a lot of problems. Just like the first OVA, this one was not very good. It focused way too much on the fanservice and comedy angle while neglecting the action that brought this series a lot of fame and fortune.

There are three episodes in this OVA. The first one involves the initial encounter between Naga and Lina, which is how their adventures ultimately began. Naga will stop at nothing to defeat Lina, which proves to be a thorn in the side of the main character. Naga may be decently powerful, but she’s also reckless and leaves a lot of damage and devastation in her wake. She claims to be Lina’s rival, but she’s really more of a tag along at this point.

It’s intriguing to see how these two met, but I can’t say that a whole lot came out of it. After the first few minutes, we are essentially back to the status quo except for the fact that Naga is trying really hard to surpass Lina when in the current days, she is already accepted as a rival. The episode had potential, but then the OVA decided to play up the fanservice angle. I’ll mostly talk about that towards the end of the review. Needless to say, of the three episodes, this was likely fell in the middle. I’m glad that Lina essentially proved that these two fighters aren’t even close, but more of a serious fight would have been nice.

The second episode involves a rich girl who has hired Lina to be her bodyguard. Lina accepts because of the huge sum of money that will be given to her as a reward, but this appears to be a rather large error in judgment. Lina has to pay for travel expenses and for the food so she quickly spends her reward. To teach the rich person a lesson, Lina arranges for some bandits to kidnap her, but this may backfire when real ones show up to take her!

The rich person seemed to be par for the course as far as these individuals tend to be in anime. Her laugh was very similar to Naga’s, which was eerie for Lina the whole time. Still, it wasn’t a bad segment at first, but the ending quickly drove it down to last place from the 3 episodes. It was simply terrible and an example of why mixing comedy with action is rarely done. Typically, the result is that both areas will fail and that’s what happens here. It’s one of those stories that was simply better off not happening.

Finally, we go to a village where two fashion designers argue about whether clothing should be classic or modern and risky. Lina and Naga naturally choose two different sides so then they argue about which one is better as they burn down each other’s bases. By the end, they start to learn the values of friendship, but I can’t say that it was a very entertaining episode. It’s actually tough to decide if this one actually beats the first episode or not, but I believe that I gave it a slight lead. At least Lina hesitates a little when asked to blow up the opponent’s base. Something that Naga certainly didn’t do!

All right, let’s look at the main reason why Slayers Excellent was doomed from the start. It all goes back to the fanservice angle. There isn’t a ton of it visually, but when you consider the chest insults directed at Lina, it gets to be a bit much. There was also a random hot springs scene thrown around and a lot of attention is given to Naga’s outfit. It’s seriously sad and I haven’t seen this much fanservice associated with Slayers since the first outfit. There’s nothing over the top, but it still happens enough to make me give it a thumbs down right away. This really just exposes the fact that the writers were not confident with their story so they felt like they had to add something to throw the viewers in at the expense of a few stars. A good Slayers story should always be a 7-8, but this one was not good.

At least the animation is decently good as can be expected. It’s rather old so J.C. Staff doesn’t look quite as good as they do nowadays. Right now, they are one of the best animation companies of all time. I would need to compare Slayers to other shows of this era to properly rank it, but it looks good enough. There aren’t many energy blasts after all so it’s a little harder to gauge. It has that 90’s feel, which is always a good nostalgia boost to any series. I consider DBZ to look great even though I have seen many say that it wasn’t very good even for its time.

Excellent’s soundtrack is decent although very generic at this point. The series needs to try and add in some new tunes at this point. Relying on the same classics is all well and good, but more variety is always a good thing. The new tunes may not be instant classics, but you’ll never know how good they can be if you didn’t give them a chance. These tunes are decent, but they certainly aren’t very thrilling or memorable at this point.

Lina is a good character as always. She may not be a hero, but you can still root for her as she typically only beats up opponents who get in her way. Getting rich is a noble goal and she typically doesn’t take any short cuts. Unfortunate things just tend to happen to her so that she never ends up with any money in the long run. She seriously has no luck when it comes to anything financial so it is a good thing that Lina is one of the strongest sorceresses on the planet.

Naga is really the only other recurring character and she still isn’t a good supporting character. She has some good traits like being overconfident and constantly trying to one up Lina, but that’s just not good enough to overshadow her negative qualities like the fanservice and chest comments. She also gets the duo into a lot of trouble by not thinking things through and just being very reckless. I like when characters are reckless, but when it is intentional, not accidental.

Overall, Slayers Excellent is a trilogy that you should just skip. It doesn’t add anything worthwhile to the Slayers mythos and you can essentially say that it is just poorly written filler. The actual filler in the series is better than these episodes, which really says something. The animation and soundtrack are decent, but that’s not enough to save this one. I’d advise you to skip this and just watch Slayers Next if you’re looking for a nice fantasy adventure. Slayers has a lot of different shows and movies so you just want to memorize the full titles. Next>>Try>>Gorgeous>>Whatever else the others were>>>Excellent. I do like the fact that all of the movie/OVA titles are basically synonyms. It’s a fun trend, even if the OVAs can’t live up to their titles.

Overall 4/10

6 Star TV Shows, Reviews, TV Show Reviews, TV Shows

Slayers Try Review

It has been a while, but I am finally back with a review for the third Slayers series! I enjoyed the first series and then the second upped the ante in just about every way. Slayers Next will likely be remembered as the pinnacle of the Slayers franchise, but there is still more to come. Slayers Try…tries a little too hard to be a mix of Slayers and Slayers Next by adding some powerful threats, but also trying to go back to the days of random adventures like in the first series. It is a mix that backfires quite a bit like GT, but still ends up being a good show.

Lina Inverse and her gang of heroic crooks are fairly happy about how their latest victory went. They decided to split up for a while and maybe they would bump into each other at some point in the future. Well, this happens sooner than they may have expected! Aside from Sylphiel, the gang meets up with Zelgadis who is still trying to learn the secret of how to transform himself. He’ll never accomplish this goal, but at least he is still trying. Zelgadis decides to stay with Lina and pals after they meet a mysterious figure who goes by the name, Filia.

Filia tells the heroes that they are destined to save the world! Lina refuses, but Filia explains that the heroes are her last hope as all of the best heroes don’t want to do this task. Lina and the gang are forced into accepting the quest under threat of imminent destruction (Lina’s sister is too powerful for them) and they must now….stop this threat. The problem is that they have no idea how to stop the danger that is approaching since the heroes don’t even know what kind of trouble to expect. They only have Filia’s guesses and intuition to guide them! I may as well say that the threat is caused by Overworlder’s (gods) who seek to change the status quo and unleash ultimate darkness across the world!

Typically, it only takes me one paragraph to describe the plot, but a lot has happened so two was necessary here. The lack of plot can be a little eerie, but it works into Try’s gameplan. It want to be episodic like the first series, but with serious stakes like the second one. This is still a dicey mix to achieve and I should explain why it doesn’t work out. The classic way to handle this would be to have the episodic parts for the first half and then to throw in a plot. This has worked in many shows like Trigun, Cardfight Vanguard, Digimon Savers, etc. The problem is that Try threw in the plot as early in as episode 1 and then ditches it towards the middle of the show. We get 6-15 filler episodes in the show.

All right, let’s not guess here. A quick Wikipedia search tells me that we have 7 “filler” episodes. The quotations are necessary as they technically have canon elements. We have a 2 part episode involving a holy grail weapon, which shows us that dark magic can be destroyed for the first time in the series. It is what inspires Lina’s final attack on the monster in the final episodes. 2-3 of the other filler episodes involve finding the characters after they failed in the fake climax, but I would still count them. That’s also not counting the episodes that were 15-18 minutes of filler with a plot heavy beginning/ending.
So, this really disrupted the pacing. The episodes where the heroes were on the boat were easily the worst ones. Slayers has always been a roller coaster series of ups and downs, but it has typically been more steady than this one. Try’s best episodes rank up there with the best of Next while the worst ones are some of the worst in the franchise. Not really because of anything relating to content, but they simply felt boring and unnecessary. Case in point, the two part episode about getting 2 Kingdoms to make peace with each other. I feel like we’ve seen this plot so many times already and I really didn’t understand what the point of it all was. It destroys whatever tension you had thanks to the villains showing up.

Luckily, that’s where the good episodes come into play. For just about the whole series, I was positive that this show was going to get a 6. Then we got the good climax, which made this more of a real battle. The fights in this series could take up a whole episode at times, which was great. The final batch of episodes is really one big fight that keeps on restarting and it is good to see the feats from both the heroes and the villains. There is no shortage of action and excitement in the climax of the series and we also got a nice batch of fights during the middle of the series as well. During these two high points, you would never be able to tell that this was the same series that we had started with.

Lina Inverse is the main character and she is once again leading the charges against those who would stand in her way. As a human, Lina is essentially the enemy of all other races so she needs to have a strong personality to combat these threats. Lina has also grown more powerful over the course of these adventures. While she used to not be able to deal any real damage to the big threats, now she has two aces up her sleeve. The Ragna Blade and the Giga Slave. These two attacks have been shown to work on almost any opponent with virtually no exceptions. It likely couldn’t completely KO a Dark Lord (The Blade anyway) but these attacks have allowed Lina to stay on the offensive. Her speed is not increased and I’ll mention that a little more towards the end of the review, but this is still a great improvement. Now, she can back up her tough talk!

Lina’s endearing personality is what makes her a great lead. She certainly won’t take any insults from someone without a fight. Whether it is an ally or an enemy, she will quickly unleash her full power. Lina is still not your average hero as she will occasionally blow up villages and mountains by mistake, but she does end up saving the world so hopefully it all balances out. Slayers wouldn’t be nearly as interesting without her in the lead.

Gourry is Lina’s partner and he’s always been a very interesting character to watch even if he is very unlikable. It is a bit of a tricky puzzle eh? The first episodes of this show continue to prove why he will never be likable, but at least he does provide the show with a lot of its humor. He never understands the gravity of a situation, but that doesn’t stop him from trying his best. Gourry always has his game face on and with his Sword of Light, he can deal some heavy damage to just about anyone. He did go up against Valgaav after all! He’s about the same from the past two series, which is good. If they made him likable, then that would be even better.

Amelia’s role here is certainly smaller than in the first two series. She is still a member of royalty, but she doesn’t get her own adventures this time. She’s simply tagging along for the ride like Zelgadis. She’s still a nice character and she gets her hits in at times. It’s hard to say who the weak link of the team is at this point as it is between her and Zelgadis. It is very close, but she tries her best and fills the team with optimism. They certainly need at least one hero on the team right?

Zelgadis continues to lose more and more of his dignity. I’d bet dollars to donuts that the writers for Try did not like him as a character. He is literally used as bait, an anchor, and simply tossed around when it is time for jokes. He may have been a decent character in the original series and almost decent in Next, but now he’s just a really bad character. I find it almost impossible to like him. It is too bad since he gets a lot of scenes that are supposed to make you say “Snap, this guy’s cool!” That is not my reaction to the scenes and I can’t think of a single moment where Zelgadis actually did a critical thing here. Not a single scene……his fans will not be pleased.
Filia is the new addition to the group and she ends up replacing Sylphiel. She is a gold dragon and her powers are impressive during her first appearance. As a gold dragon, her speed was so great that none of the main characters could land a hit on her. (An accurate depiction of speed…impossible!) Unfortunately, that’s where the buck stops as she is not really useful against any other opponents for the rest of the series. She evidently has some useful abilities like super strength and her spells, but the enemies are always one step ahead of her. It’s too bad as the exact same thing happened to Sylphiel.

As far as personality goes, she has a little Amelia in her. Filia thinks of herself as a bit of a hero so she is always dismayed when the heroes engage in criminal activities. She also does a lot of soul searching as the series goes on because of what her fellow golden dragons did. Perhaps she takes this a little too personally as she had nothing to do with most of their evil deeds. It is regrettable, but she doesn’t need to lose all hope over it. She nearly jeopardizes the final battle as she proved to be indecisive. Her rivalry with Xellos is fun though and while she is no match for him in a fight, perhaps she can defeat him in the battle of burns. (Burns=Insulting an opponent so well that you metaphysically burned them) As far as the main cast goes, it is: Lina>>Amelia>>Filia>>Sylphiel>>Zelgadis>>Gourry>>>>>>>Xellos. So, Filia’s rank isn’t all that bad. She could certainly better, but her personality fits in well with the team and doesn’t get old quite as quickly as Zelgadis’ gimmick. It’s also good to have a little more muscle power on the team.

Ah…now it’s time to talk about Xellos. A seriously disliked him from his very first appearance. While he will likely never look quite as bad as in Next, he’s still not my kind of character. For starters, he is constantly betraying the heroes to advance on his own goals. He is a monster through and through so he does remind the heroes that they should never trust him. Just because he makes that clear from the start, doesn’t make it any less sad when he betrays them again. Xellos has physically attacked the team during their scuffles and while he typically holds back so they aren’t very injured, he has come close to destroying the world. The heroes really need to treat him like a total enemy and stop pulling their punches. The sad thing is that Xellos could easily destroy the heroes in an instant if he so desires. He is really just toying with them and that can’t help the egos of the heroes all that much. As a villain, it can be fun to see Xellos act so smug and insult all of the other villains, but I wish that the show would totally keep him on the villain side. It would make him much more bearable. Still, it we’re just talking about this series, he is not that bad. I’ll never consider him as a villain though. How would the rankings change if we just counted this series? I suppose that he would jump over Gourry and Zelgadis. It’s possible that he could also pass Sylphiel, but it would be close.

All right, it is time to talk about the best villain in the show. He is also potentially the best character in the series as well. I’m talking about Valgaav! Valgaav is a mix of monster and dragon so his abilities are quite formidable. He is one of the only opponents to be on the winning side against Xellos and he takes on a good portion of the cast at once. That is before the final power up that he gets, which made him virtually unstoppable. He is a villain who had a tragic past and he loves jumping into peril. He’s simply my kind of villain and he acts like other all stars. (Grimmjow comes to mind) All of his fights are interesting and I’m glad that he didn’t decide to listen to Almayce like the average pawn. If Valgaav wanted to do something, then he would just go and do it! He had a nice blend of emotional moments as well as intense ones. Really, when it all boils down to it, Valgaav is probably the best character in the franchise. I thought about it for a bit and there is really no better character. It is a shame since he will likely never appear again, but at least he got a grand role in this series. Thanks to his final power up, you can definitely make the claim that he is the strongest character in the series. The Lord of Nightmares may contest that though. Valgaav got to prove that he was stronger than the other three villains, which is a good enough start for me! Maybe we’ll get a spinoff/prequel about him someday..maybe. (His origin isn’t exactly something that I’m very interested in though so I’d want it to take place right before Try) Valgaav also gave us the very first, big fight of Try so his debut was a very memorable one.

Almayce is the big villain for most of the series, but it is safe to say that he overestimated his power. He’s actually weaker than the other three big villains of the series although it seems like he could potentially still defeat Xellos. So, maybe he also outranks two of the other opponents, but it is hard to say. His design is great and he looked like a very menacing villain for a while. The problem is that he doesn’t know where he stands. On one hand, he is certainly a villain as he is constantly hurting people and endangering lives. On the other hand, he is trying to save the planet while getting rid of Dark Star…..I’ll just count him as a villain.

Because he is constantly switching sides, Almayce loses sight of what is happening and that’s when the villains make their move. Almayce went down rather easily even though he should have been expecting someone to destroy him. He was causing trouble for both the heroes and the other villains. It would have been cool to have seen him fight more, but he still made for a fun boss to oppose the heroes.
Erulogs joins the fray towards the end of the series along with Sirius. It was odd to see him join in as the series was already heading to a close, but the more villains the better right? I liked him more than Sirius, less than Valgaav, and slightly more than Almayce. His abilities were very impressive as the heroes could not hold a candle to his power. He felt like the average DBZ villain and that is always a good thing. It is too bad that he didn’t get more of a role.

It was still bigger than the role of Sirius though. Sirius is the more rational of the two villains and he wants to learn as much as he can. He also doesn’t mind sparing the Earth as long as it won’t hurt his chances of survival. He is a villain that the heroes can work with and his abilities are still impressive. He doesn’t seem to be as tough as Erulogs, but he is still tough enough to keep the heroes back. While his design was not too good, his personality made him a decent villain.

It is worth mentioning the Dragon King Elder because he is so terrible that it becomes laughable towards the end. Not literally as this guy did single handily bring two different species of dragons to their extinction. (Filia may be the only dragon in existence anymore. Certainly the only Gold one left and the ancient ones are gone as well) The Elder wants the gold dragons to rule over all, but his life comes first and foremost. He is defiant to the end as he dies while explaining that he regrets nothing and he would do it all over again. He betrays his heroes to the villains and doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of common sense. It is regrettable that he became the leader of the Golden Dragons since he definitely did not have their best interests at heart.

Dark Star is the big villain for this series and he lives up to the hype. It is always fun to meet another Dark Lord from the tree of power. Shabranigdo is still the most impressive beast, but Dark Star is no slouch in the power department. Simply by flapping his wings, he can bring the heroes to the verge of death and he can shoot a variety of energy blasts. Dark Star’s flight speed is incredible and he’s a known planet destroyer. Everything about this villain is cool and hie design is actually like the symbiote from Marvel. At least the face resembles Venom. Dark Star is virtually unstoppable and his only weakness are the legendary weapons of light. Without them, you can essentially confirm the destruction of your planet. Spells don’t hurt him because Dark Star’s soul is in another plane of existence so physical attacks are the only way to challenge him. Dark Star made for a great end boss to the series and he’s probably the second best monster villain behind Shabranigdo.

Aside from the serious villains, we also got some low ranking ones to mention. Jillas was mostly played for laughs, but he actually got a serious subplot towards and the end and it hit you right in the feels. (Feels=Emotions. So, if something hits you in the feels, it’s like metaphysically hitting your sad or happy emotion and triggering that feeling inside of you. That’s how I’ve always thought of it anyway.) He has to leave his family at the end to help defend the planet and he also decides to finally move away from his thoughts of revenge. While most of the characters in the series have magical abilities, Jillas is stuck with his sheer intelligence. He is good at making bombs, but that certainly won’t carry him very far against the kinds of villains that are present here. He was fairly likable though at times and he was much better than his partner.

Gravos is an ogre type of demon and he never becomes likable. The writers don’t even try to make him sympathetic aside from an incredibly brief origin story. He means well I suppose as he is just following orders, but he isn’t nearly as interesting as Jillas. At least Jillas has his motivations and desires to keep him going, but Gravos is more of a two dimensional villain. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it doesn’t exactly help me like his character either.

While the series is typically very light toned, there are a few moments of violence that clash with the rest of the series. The battle between Xellos and Valgaav was pretty brutal and likewise for the origin stories of Jillas and Gravos. This happened in the previous two Slayers series as well as everything would be very chipper until a sudden violent scene makes you take a double look. It’s nothing over the top though and it is typically quick so you don’t need to dwell on it, but the violence is certainly around. The dragons get extinct…twice, and they certainly don’t go down without a fight. Xellos vs Valgaav is still the one that will stick out the most simply because the show still plays Xellos off as a hero of sorts and this is certainly not heroic behavior. He is a monster and he is technically a villain, but the heroes barely treat him as such.

It is also about time for me to quickly address the plot hax that is present here. Now, this is a problem is virtually all forms of media and in almost all titles. Still, the plot hax is especially prevalent here as Lina and her friends are a group of humans who are trying to stop extremely powerful forces. No matter how many great spells they get like the Ragna Blade, there is no way that Lina and friends should last a minute against such powerful foes. Almost all of the high level monsters and gods are shown to move at hyper speeds. Lina is still a human and can’t run much faster than a normal one. At most, she is Captain America level in speed and power. She should still get speedblitzed at the beginning of every match.

The Slayers verse seems to place a lot of emphasis on physical power and none on speed, which is a little misguided. Raw power does not matter if you cannot hit the opponent and that’s my main problem with the title. Lina should be way too slow for any of her attacks to be useful here and she still manages to get in some good hits at times. It’s just a little odd and certainly unbelievable, but it is simply the route that the show has gone. Perhaps the writers feel that Lina and her pals would be less relatable if they had special powers aside from their spells. It’s their choice I suppose.

The animation is a step down from Next, but it still looks good. I’m assuming that the budget was likely reduced, but the series still has enough juice in it for some epic action scenes. The rest of the series is just a little more pale and dated than the vibrantly colorful Next. The fights are the important part though and the long action scenes are as good as you could have hoped for here. The heroes give it their all now that they can finally fight a little more: Gourry with his improved Sword of Light mastery, Lina with her Ragna Blade, Zelgadis with his sword, etc.

There’s not much to say about the soundtrack since it is the same as in the previous two shows. As for the theme song, it is all right, but it could be better. It is just not as exciting and moving as it could have been, but it is not a bad theme song either. Perhaps the end themes of the Slayers movies have simply spoiled me as they would certainly work better as a theme song than what we got here. The theme song is also a little misleading. As the overall soundtrack has not changed, Slayers Try sounds just as good as the first two installments.
Overall, Slayers Try is a good series. I was hesitant to give it the full 7 as it did have its share of issues with the pacing and just not being quite as fun as the first two series, but it comes very close to reaching that mark. The soundtrack has not changed and the animation has only dipped a little. The main team of Lina and Gourry is still one of the driving forces of the show. The ending certainly feels like it could have been the end of the franchise, but it still would have been a sad one as I disagreed with Gourry’s decision. We got to meet some more powerful beasts from the Slayers verse and I look forward to eventually seeing an ultimate confrontation between the humans, dragons, monsters, and gods. My money is certainly on the monsters, but it would be a good fight. The balance between humor and action can be awkward, especially when mixed. Xellos being defeated by a song towards the end was a little random, but I’ll assume that he is just trolling as per usual. Jumping from serious moments to comedy ones is a delicate art that is hard to master. Slayers Next probably did the best job, but Slayers Try gave it a fair effort. I recommend checking this series out if you want a good fantasy title and while you don’t need to watch the first two series first, I would still recommend doing so. At least, Slayers Next, since one of the main villains wants to destroy the heroes because of what happened there.

Overall 6/10