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volume 3 issue 11

In This Issue

Contents 2
Features 3
Chasing Otakuism 9
Anime Briefs 10
Reviews 11
Web Showcase 26
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INFO FILE
Title:
Slayers Try BGM 1 & 2 CD Soundtracks
Format:
2 seperate CDs
$14.98 each
Production:
V i n k 3
Animetrax
Comments:
A great domestic soundtrack release with plenty of music to keep Lina and Gourry fanatics happy for a while.
Overall Rating:
88%

Animefringe Reviews:
Slayers Try BGM 1 & 2 CD Soundtracks
By Patrick King

It's nice to finally see more domestic anime soundtracks trickle out for fans to snatch. These two discs (sold separately) were localized by ADV Films and The Right Stuf International, Inc., under their Animetrax label. Hopefully, it's a sign of even more anime soundtracks to come, but time and the success of their current releases will tell. It seems somewhat odd to release only the soundtracks for Slayers Try, the third season of the popular TV series, rather than the first two seasons' soundtracks. For the uninitiated, Slayers is a highly entertaining slapstick-filled fantasy anime series that follows the exploits of the petite (but fiery) Lina Inverse and her not-too-bright sidekick/swordsman, Gourry Gabrielf. It's certainly a series worth getting into, though I'm not too sure people will want these CDs if they haven't yet seen the show. Lina is voiced by the multitalented Hayashibara Megumi, voice of Faye Valentine (from Cowboy Bebop), Lime (Saber Marionette), Ai Amano(Video Girl Ai), Girl-type Ranma (Ranma 1/2), and loads of other famous anime characters. She also does the vocals on many of the songs for Slayers, as well.

The cover for the first disc features Lina in a cheery pose on the front and a fuller cast illustration on the back, along with a complete track list. The cover art for the second volume is a more serious affair and only features two characters in attractive but sketchy renderings. There's a fairly comprehensive booklet included in the package that has lyrics for the songs along with a guide to which episode featured each song. It's handy and more than I expected for a CD that goes for only $14.98.

Musically, there's a lot of variety to be found here. There's symphonic music, as to be expected for a fantasy series, but there's also heavy metal, techno, and other widely varied styles of music thrown into the soundtrack. For example, there's some interesting guitar work on "Breeze," lending somewhat of a Latin flavor to the sound of the show. Then again, not all variety is good; "Fair Wind" sounds a bit weird due to its lead singer, an over the top male vocalist. It's forced me to come to the conclusion that women singing in high-pitched voices are always cute, even if they sing the English lyrics with a strong accent. Guys, on the other hand...well, they're just not cute.

Variety isn't only evident in the sound of the background music, either. One of the great things about Slayers is that it can have tracks titled "Destructive Power as Always" and "Smile Your Trouble Away!" right next to each other on a CD. Overall, this collection reminds me of a very good video game music soundtrack. Sure, the instruments are higher quality, but there are evident themes for certain moments that resurface periodically.

In general, this set is almost as much fun as the series itself, though devoted fans will appreciate the tunes far more than the average listener. If you're into the Slayers universe, then do us all a favor and pick this title up. If we show that there's a market for anime soundtracks, then pioneers like The Right Stuff and ADV Films will respond with more neat stuff for us to buy. This is only the beginning!

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