It looks like Slayers is starting to lose a bit of its steam for me as I found both the comedy and plotting for it to be weaker than what I got out of the first three seasons. Much like Slayers Try, I found the show's humor to be hit or miss. While the humor for this season isn't as cartoon-ish as Try, I am finding that the show's humor is starting to get a bit stale for me as the same scenarios from the previous three seasons are playing out here: new sidekick being a pest to Lina, bizarre filler episodes, Lina's lack of regard for whatever collateral damage she causes with her spells when she gets angered, random fish-person appearance, Gourry being dense as ever, Amelia's justice speeches and so forth. There were some laughs I got from this series at points (Xellos' toying with Wizer in a later episode was a hoot), but I otherwise didn't get such laughs consistently.
I also found the plotting to be a bit of a mixed bag at points as well. While not really too grand or in-depth, the first three seasons of Slayers did keep my interest as Lina and her companions were caught up in the affairs of sorcerers, mazoku and shinzoku. I had even found Slayers: Try to have the best plotting of the franchise thanks to the multiple factions involved which made up for the season's subpar humor. This season started off a bit more mundane with its main plot focused around Lina's encounter with Pokota and becoming involved in a kingdom's plot of an arms race. It started off smoothly enough as more is learned about Pokota's origins and why he is dealing with the magical tanks in the show's first half. However by the second half, the plotting becomes somewhat of a mess. Information brought up regarding certain plot elements to the first season of Slayers were contradicted with the return of a foe that Lina's team vanquished from the first season (which for whatever reason, Lina's team did not seem to remember) and information regarding Rezo. In addition, this season is intentionally left open-ended as foreshadowing regarding certain new characters from Revolution appear to be around for Slayers EVOLUTION-R.
With a new season since the airing of Try from nine years earlier, the visuals to Slayers were updated as character designs and scenery sport cleaner details and brighter coloring. While the animation isn't as shaky as it was from the previous seasons, it is still not that impressive as it lacks any sense of fluidity coming from the characters during battle scenes.
I can definitely pick off Slayers Revolution as being the weakest season of the franchise I've seen thus far. The plotting got too shaky towards the second half of the series and I was finding the humor to be hit-or-miss and losing its luster for me. This has me on edge for whether or not I should commit to Slayers: Evolution-R anytime soon.
Last updated Sunday, February 27 2011. Created Sunday, February 27 2011.
(Four episodes watched):
The first thing to strike me about Slayers Revolution was how uncannily similar it was to the previous three series of a decade ago. It's as if not just Megumi Hayashibara but the entire staff was reassembled for this sequel series. That's not entirely a good thing, since Slayers isn't one of my top ten favorite sub-genres, but the second half of episode four cracked me up. Despite my early doubts, I must definitely watch this.
Last updated Saturday, August 02 2008. Created Saturday, August 02 2008.
Lina is BACK!!
Having watched three episodes, I am reminded why I was originally so charmed by anime: extreme characters, absurdist comedy, exaggerated violence – all mixed together with a fun story.
I am amazed to remember that there is NO fanservice or ecchi content in any of the Lina stories and it is not needed if a series is well written and entertaining.
This ‘season’ goes to back to it’s roots, with a level of comedy and humor that could only be found in the original Slayers. So, expect a lot of crazy slapstick comedy, explosions, demolition action and serial mayhem.
The main characters of this story are:
Last updated Friday, December 25 2009. Created Saturday, July 26 2008.
It had been over 10-years since Slayers Try came out on TV and for many Slayers fans, it was high time that a new TV series be created. With Slayers REVOLUTION, their wish came true. Now, would it live up to expectations? Fortunately, the answer for me is, "yes."
The series gets off to a great start with Lina going after pirates rather than bandits. In doing this, the audience is quickly not only introduced to the four main characters, but also to the style of show this is -- wacky and fun! Lina being a kick-bottom, take no prisoners sorceress comes off immediately too, as does the general character feel of the miko Amelia, the fighter-mage Zelgadiss, and the fighter Gourry. In this regard, the writers insure that one does not have to have watched or read anything about Slayers to quickly get caught up into things. Of course for a long-time fan as myself, this also served as pure, non-H fanservice and I loved it.
The staff takes Slayers REVOLUTION back to its roots in several ways. I've already mentioned how the wacky fun is immediately brought into the anime. However, the way Lina and company are put on their quest is similar to how they got roped into things in Slayers and Slayers Next -- they stumble into it. Also returning from Slayers is a mystery regarding the Red Priest Rezo and a return of the beast Zanaffar. Characters such as Amelia's father Prince Phil and the miko Sylphiel also return as does the mazoku Xellos.
In regards to Zanaffar, the writers go back to the source novels from Kanzaka-sensei. While Slayers had a Zanaffar story in the 2nd-half of that anime series, the creature's design and creation were completely made up by the anime writers then. This time, the writers create a true Zanaffar. As such, when Zanaffar shows up, he looks and acts pretty much as described in the novels. Further, his creation is based on how he is created in the novels, complete with the tiger-man Duclis's involvement. The writers even introduce the assassin Zuuma from the novels.
With those elements from the novels in place, the writers then create their own story. So while Duclis is a tiger-man as he is in the novel, he's not the same person as in the novel. The writers create a new, small country of Taforashia for Duclis to originate from, as well as a Digimon-like critter named Pokota. The writers also look back to Slayers to bring back a mystery element by having these events somehow tied to Rezo. This is all good (though some fans have complained about name-dropping Rezo).
Things are fine here, but when Zanaffar is finally "born," things get a bit odd for fans who've watched Slayers. While other elements, such as Rezo, have explanations given so that the audience understands that Lina and company have dealt with that before, we don't get that with Zanaffar. In fact, Lina and company act like they've never encountered Zanaffar, even if in an altered form and for me, that was odd. For new Slayers fans, I'm guessing that won't be a problem (what you don't know won't hurt you).
Out of the thirteen episodes, there's only one bad one -- episode 6 (if you are interested, you can read the summary, see the screen captures, and read my thoughts from my blog on the episode). Basically, the episode is a big waste of time. The only other major weakness in the series is a running joke of Inspector Wiser and his dealings with Lina. Fortunately, just as the audience is becoming sick of that joke and plot element, the writers leave it alone.
While I'm thinking of it, another big plus for long-time Slayers anime fans, the incidental music from the original TV series are here. I honestly think that for me, if this music hadn't returned, I don't think I would have enjoyed things as much. This is a case where music clearly helps set the tone and mood of things, thus making the viewing of this series a more enjoyable experience.
While the Zanaffar arc concludes with this series, the story with the mystery of Rezo, the assassin Zuuma, and the cursed country of Taforashia remain unresolved, but those will be addressed in Slayers EVOLUTION-R.Bottom line: Outside of episode 6, Slayers REVOLUTION is a good return to the Slayers franchise. For long-time Slayers fans, there's plenty of good things to make you remember why you became a fan in the first place. For new viewers, you'll know right from episode 1 whether this is something that you'll like or not based on the action, characters, and humor of things. For me, I can't wait for a sub-license to be handed out (FUNimation I hope) so I can buy this.
Last updated Tuesday, November 11 2008. Created Saturday, July 05 2008.