ADV Films // 1998 // 285 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // October 20th, 2005
One's cool, one's hot!
One's busty, the other's...not!
Slayers is a comic fantasy series in which a pair of female magic-wielding adventurers seek out magic, gold, and glory. The show has always been a spry mix of silly humor and light action that comes off as either goofy or endearing, depending on your tolerance for these sort of shows. The televised series was always solid, and it has built a rabid fan base both here and in Japan where it originally aired. The best thing about Slayers is the simplicity. No need to worry that you missed back story or convoluted plot lines, because they rarely exist. The show exists simply to put a smile on your face and kill some time.
ADV has released a Slayers Movie Box, which assembles all five "movie" adventures of the Slayers into one convenient box set. It's a great way to get all the OAVs (original animation videos) in a beautiful box, but these are direct ports of the initial releases. If you've been collecting these titles as they have been released, there's no need to double-dip. The only difference is the packaging, which is a nifty shelf-space-saving slimline presentation. All the same extras are included, and it looks like the transfers are the same in quality.
The discs include:
* Slayers: The Motion Picture
The mist-shrouded, mysterious island of Mipross hasn't been viewed by men for hundreds of years. Two sorceresses decide it's time to pierce the island's veil. So begins the adventures of short in stature and temper Lina Inverse and her busty traveling companion Naga the Serpent. They're about to run up against a Dreamweaver (no fair singing the song in your head!), and will be ensnared in a barrage of phantom dragons, amphibious demons, and the promise of aesthetic...um...enhancement.
* Slayers: Return
Lina and Naga start to help rid a village of villains, but soon realize their magic isn't working. Someone has a new elf-made weapon, and a grand design for world domination. Can the girls find a way to stop them?
* Slayers: Great
Lina and Naga pose for a feuding father-and-son team who make golems (large statues that move by remote control). Little do the girls know that the evil lords Haizen and Granion have big plans for how to use them. Lina finds herself in a bind when she has to save herself from Naga while, at the same time, she tries to keep tyranny at bay.
* Slayers: Gorgeous
An evil creature that has been locked away since the "Demon Wars" suddenly returns for revenge. Lina and Naga must face the monster and take on Marlene, Mistress of the Dragons.
* Slayers: Premium
Lina Inverse is teamed up this time with Gourry Gabriev; they are hanging out by the sea, catching some much needed rest and relaxation. But when they find out all the seafood they've been eating has been cursed, the girls must brave the perils of the deep to find out who's out to hex humanity.
So what's the deal with calling these "movies," huh? The longest is about an hour and fifteen minutes, and the shortest clocks in at barely thirty minutes. The bulk of them are not even an hour long. Most of these features were straight-to-video affairs in Japan, and were never released theatrically. They were quickly made to cash in on a popular television series, and as such they aren't always up to the same quality as the show's proper run. Some fans have criticized these OAVs harshly, but they have quite a bit of charm.
ADV has done solid work with this set, and it represents their commitment to the series well. The transfers have vivid colors, although there is some grain and a little edge enhancement. The English dubs are almost on par with the original Japanese recordings; voice actress Cynthia Martinez carries the bulk of the material quite well as Lina. Fans of the series may be shocked to hear her take on the character, after Lisa Ortiz had done some work on early releases of the series. Cynthia makes Lina sound a little younger, and embodies the goofy spirit of the show quite well. She's an adroit comedienne, and I hope ADV can find more roles in other projects to utilize her trademark high voice. The English dubs have much more active soundfields than the Japanese tracks.
If you're a fan of the series, and you've held off buying the "movies," here's your chance. Newbies need not worry if they haven't seen the show before; the set offers a good introduction to the world of Slayers. The Slayers Movie Box makes for a giggly good time at an affordable price. It's a sound investment for anime fans who groove on comedy adventure.
Review content copyright © 2005 Brett Cullum; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: ADV Films
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)
Running Time: 285 Minutes
Release Year: 1998
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Commentary by English Dub Actors on Slayers: The Motion Picture and Slayers: Premium
* Character Bios
* DVD Verdict Review of Slayers Excellent
* DVD Verdict Review of Slayers Gorgeous
* DVD Verdict Review of Slayers Premium
* Slayers Fan Site