These four discs constitute the first broadcast season of the well-liked Dungeons and Dragons-style farce The Slayers. Red-haired Lina Inverse has a typical anime heroine's hot temper and insatiable appetite for food but a... more »lso a rare talent for swordplay and casting powerful spells. As she roams from town to town, she acquires a cadre of able but quarrelsome companions: Gourry, a big, blond, dumb knight; Zelgadis, a once-human chimera who practices shamanic magic; sorceress-in-training Amelia, who makes Gourry look bright and Lina appear graceful; and the shrine maiden Sylphiel. Together they make short work of the hordes of bandits, golems, werewolves, trolls, mercenaries, and evil spirits their enemies send after them. They also have to face some more formidable foes, including the wizard Vrumugun, ace swordsman Zangulus, and archsorceress Eris. But the greatest threats come from the exceedingly powerful Rezo the Red Priest and the Dark Lord, Shabranigdo. All Lina's adventures involve a lot of slapstick humor, but these episodes have a more carefree tone than the later feature and the OAVs that paired her with the overendowed Naga. The convoluted plot lurches and stumbles along, much the way Lina fumbles around after getting clobbered. Although the fate of the world is supposed to hang on the outcome of these adventures, the broad comedy prevents the various episode directors from creating much suspense or a sense of menace. The Slayers is featherweight entertainment, but one that has won many fans in both Japan and the United States. Some viewers may object to the jokes about a mincing gay dragon, Lina losing her power at "that time of the month," and the many wisecracks about her being flat-chested. Japanese filmmakers and audiences clearly have different standards of what qualifies as PC humor. "Suggested 13 Up" for violence, profanity, brief nudity, and sexual humor. --Charles Solomon« less
"A defect in the Japanese language track has resulted in phase-inverted audio. On pro-logic and 5.1 systems this will result in a spacey sound with extremely low volumes making it nearly impossible to hear what is being said.Central Park Media in their official press release has decided to leave this defect in place making no effort to correct this obvious flaw in their product.Consider this before you spend the $100 on this set."
Excellent show, but with a massive audio bug
J. Niehof | 09/20/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Slayers is a lot of fun if you like crazy, over-the-top comedy in a fantasy setting.Some people complain that it's stupid, which is certainly true, but it gets a lot of humour from its slapstick stupidity. Think of Slayers as something along the lines of the Three Stooges meet Lord of the Rings.However, CPM messed up massively on the Japanese audio. One track is phase-inverted. On a mono setup, you get basically no audio. Stereo systems sound "funny," lacking highs and lows and pretty much any sense of direction (in addition to being very quiet). ProLogic receivers will throw everything to the back speakers. This is the same set of problems that showed up with Rurouni Kenshin disc 1, except that, unlike Media Blasters, CPM is calling this a "non-issue" and not offering any fixes."
Vaudeville Meets Dungeons and Dragons
Marc Ruby? | Warren, MI USA | 01/07/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not sure if The Slayers was the first anime effort at building a series on an RPG game framework, but it is certainly the success that defined the genre. It stars Lina Inverse, a teen-aged war wizard with the appetite of an army and a temper to match. She quickly pairs up with Gourry, a golden guy with the sword of light. Gradually, over these episodes and entire team of adventurers come together.A large part of the episodes are basic treasure hunting and demon slaying fare, but the driving story arc is about the Red Priest Rezo who has sold his soul to the demon Shabranigdo so that he might see again (*and rule the world while he is at it). Lina crosses paths with Rezo and his minions repeatedly until a final showdown ends the series.The story is loud, brash, slightly off-color, and funny in a slapstick sort of fashion. It's actually hard to pinpoint what it is that actually makes the series the success it is. But the writing is well done and there is a host of dizzy characters waiting to pick up the pace on a moments notice. Perhaps it is the interaction between these characters which makes the series work so well.The Slayers has a strong influence on both adventuring and magical girl genre, the latest of which is Rune Soldier. The latter, like The Slayers, places as much emphasis on character development and interaction as does The Slayers, but with a bit more sophistication. After all, The Slayer's audience is now eight years older.Central Park's decision to package all 26 episodes on four DVDs makes this a cost effective purchase, but it also means that there is little in the way of extras. In fact, other than some short bios on the first CD, there aren't any. Indeed, don't expect any fanciness at all as part of the package. But do expect a lot of entertainment for your dollar."
It's good, but not the best of Slayers
Argy | Moscow, Idaho, USA | 08/19/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Slayers is my absolute favorite anime, but that doesn't mean I'm going to blindly rant on about how perfect it is, because that would be far from the truth. When watching Slayers for the first time, assuming you're starting from the beginning, you might find the first several episodes to be rather, dare I say, boring. You might end up thinking, "If THIS is what everyone's recommending, I'm not getting it."But, keep watching, because slowly the show will grow on you. Once it gets to the middle of the series with the "filler episodes," you'll find yourself wanting more. The few non-plot episodes in the middle are a great break from the slightly heavier material that came before it. And then as soon as you start to wonder what happened to the main plot, it comes back. And it's great. Even though it's a tad cliche, part of this is because Slayers is a series that makes fun of the fantasy genre while seemingly ridiculing itself.If you've watched the whole (first) series and STILL think you're missing something, you are. The second season, "Slayers Next" is, in my opinion, the best of Slayers and one of the best storylines in all of anime. But this review isn't about Next.Now for the DVDs...Even though the box states "remastered audio," Software Sculptors made a few mistakes correcting the problems. On some episodes on discs B and C, the Japanese audio track is inverted. This can cause varied effects depending on your audio setup. I've played them on two different TVs- on one of them the dialouge sounds perfectly normal, with the exception of sometimes the theme songs sound a bit muffled. On the other TV, the audio sounds like it's coming from behind instead of from in front. It's not really that big of an issue, to me at least. All the dialouge is still understandable and I can even go as far to say that it sounds a lot clearer than when it's in the proper format. However, you might not get the same results with your setup, so it's best to, when and if you buy the set, make sure that there is a sticker on the bottom of your box that says "REMASTERED AUDIO" with a picture of Lina on it. Or, like me, you can take your chances. If it sounds horrible, you can always exchange them through The Right Stuf. People I've heard from say that they received their replacements very soon after sending in their defective discs. If you have any questions about the program, I suggest e-mailing The Right Stuf, because when I talked to them, they were very prompt in replying to me, and they provided helpful information.By the way, on my audio setup(s), I noticed that the English track was significantly quieter than the Japanese track, although this wasn't an issue or a glitch.The video transfer was of very nice quality, much nicer than the Next DVDs and an improvement on the original set, I'm sure.The extras really do nothing to enhance the series, so if you already own the series on VHS and are considering buying the DVDs because of these, don't. The interviews are with the main four voice actors (Lisa Ortiz, Eric Stuart, Crispin Freeman, Veronica Taylor) and they're only a couple of questions about them and their jobs. If you already own the Next DVDs (like I do), you might be disappointed to find out the interviews are not done by video like on that set.The art gallery is basically screenshots and official art that you should have no trouble finding on any website with a fairly large image gallery.The graphic novel pages are only a couple of pages from the book "Medival Mayhem," and the pages aren't big enough to read the wording, much less know what's going on. You're much better off just buying the book if you're that interested.The only thing I really enjoyed in the extras was the sketch gallery. It was a lot larger than the one on the Next DVDs, and my only problem was that I couldn't print them onto paper so I could use them when drawing fanart!I don't have a DVD-ROM, so I can't vouch for the quality of those extras. I wouldn't expect much, though.So, overall, this is a very nice DVD set, if you ignore the slightly annoying audio glitch. The show itself is very solid entertainment and a classic favorite with anime fans. If you buy this set, I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I have."
The adventure begins...
Dave | Indianapolis, Indiana United States | 06/28/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The main character of this crazy series is Lina Inverse, a petite yet very powerful 15-year-old sorceress with red hair and a temper even shorter than her height. Though she fights against the forces of evil, she is more of an anti-heroine as she is very violent and keeps the dirty wealth of bandits for herself after killing them.The entire "Slayers" anime consists of 78 TV series episodes divided up into three 26-episode seasons, five movies, and six OVA episodes. This DVD set contains the entire first season of the TV series where Lina first meets her three tag-along partners. First there's Gourry, a blonde swordsman whose great with a sword but low on brains. Zelgadis is a cursed part-demon, part-golem, part-human who plays the role of the serious loner of the group that's featured in just about every anime. Finally there's Amelia, a clumsy princess who specializes in white magic...and she's also a major justice freak. Together, these four characters make up the main cast of the TV series, though there are several other characters who temporarily join the group throughout. "Slayers" is basically a comedy/fantasy-adventure anime. The action consists mostly of the characters throwing DBZ-like magical blasts and other interesting spells at each other with some occassional swordplay added in the mix. It's a fairly light-hearted story loaded with humor, but each of the three seasons tend to get pretty dark, bloody, and serious towards the final episodes. My only gripes are that by the second season the relentless slapstick comedy gets stale, as do the plots which always involve Lina and the gang searching for some ancient, lost magical item in order to defeat yet another, more powerful ancient monster bent on destroying the world. The basic plot of this season is as follows: After Lina attacks a group of bandits and steals their possessions, she meets up with Gourry. Lina soon discovers that one of the items she took from the bandits is actually the key to unleashing Shabrinigdo, a very powerful creature of evil that was sealed away long ago. After surviving several attacks by thugs wanting the key, she and Gourry encounter Rezo the Red Priest, who was born blind. He appears to be an ally at first until his true objective is later revealed, which involves freeing Shabrinigdo.This is the best season of the TV series, IMO. First of all, because it's the first, the plot is totally fresh, unlike the second two seasons. The pacing is great too as it practically hooks you right after the second episode. It does slow down a bit in the middle with a few comedic "filler episodes" (as do the other two seasons), but the plot picks up again in the last few episodes. Overall, it's pretty good and I especially recommend it if you're into fantasy RPG games. Lastly, I'd like to point out that though this is the first season of the TV series, it actually isn't the "true" beginning of the story. The six OVA episodes and all the movies except for "Slayers Premium" are actually prequels to the TV series. Lina is a bit younger and is teamed up with her original ally/rival, Naga the Serpent, a goofy, tall, scantily clad sorceress with an annoying high-pitched laugh and breasts the size of soccer balls, who just happens to be my favorite Slayer! Though regarded as inferior by most fans, I personally prefer those movies and OAVs over the TV series because Lina and Naga are just hilarious together and the plots are always fresh and fun. You can see Lina and Naga's first meeting in "Slayers Excellent". I recommend at least checking out "Slayers Return" or "Slayers: the Motion Picture"--they're the best IMO."