No, sayeth Judge Brett Cullum—this doesn't mean that Buffy has newly-discovered colleagues. It's just another anime set.
Our reviews of Anime Essentials: Slayers The Motion Picture (published October 14th, 2004), Slayers Excellent (published April 29th, 2004), Slayers Gorgeous (published May 7th, 2004), Slayers Premium (published June 3rd, 2004), and The Slayers: The First Three Seasons (published August 28th, 2009) are also available.
One's cool, one's hot!
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
• Slayers: Return
• Slayers: Great
• Slayers: Gorgeous
• Slayers: Premium
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.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: ADV Films
• Commentary by English Dub Actors on Slayers: The Motion Picture and Slayers: Premium
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