animefringe december 2003 / reviews

Slayers Return
Format: bilingual DVD / 60 min.
Production: ADV
Comments: Short, simple and fun.
Animefringe Reviews:
Slayers Return

With Battle Royale, The Ring, and the Onegai Teacher novels now available in the US, I'm hoping it's just a matter of time until the Slayers books sneak over the ocean and into my house. Until then, I suppose we'll just have to keep on reading the manga and watching the TV series, OVA releases, and movies. For now, that'll have to be enough.

Lina inverse and Naga the Serpent are back...again! This time, the two walking natural disasters agree to come to the aid of a town in need. A mysterious wizard has conjured up some demons and is using the entire hamlet as forced labor to seek out an ancient Elven artifact. Our heroic sorceresses can't resist helping out people in need, especially if the artifact in danger might be worth something!

If you're familiar with the Slayers universe, then you pretty much know what's coming. If you haven't yet experienced the madcap mayhem that is Slayers, then perhaps you should check them out in this quick little OVA.

Slayers is easily one of the greatest fantasy comedy series available today. It's been released domestically by CPM and ADV (in both manga and anime form), and you can even find some BESM (short for the Big Eyes Small Mouth pen and paper role-playing game) source books related to the series.

Most of the greatest gags in this series only work if you're familiar with the fantasy genre, though the slapstick comedy tends to work for the uninitiated well enough. However, be warned. This may be a little too geeky for those of you whose only brush with the fantasic was The Lord of the Rings. This is a whole other universe to explore, and a significantly funnier one at that.

The animation is average for an OVA release, though the series boasts some eye-catching character designs. This particular OVA isn't nearly as racy as the manga series, but Naga is as obnoxiously well-endowed as ever, which should satisfy those of you eager for cleavage.

Voice acting is a bit better than average, though I'm particularly fond of Megumi Hayashibara (the woman behind leading lady Lina's voice). Timing of lines and properly emphasizing key words help make a lot of the humor work, so the vocals for a comedy are always important. I stuck with the Japanese track for this release, as I'm content just to hear Naga's trademark inimitable laugh.

Extras are practically nonexistent on this release, unfortunately. There are trailers for various animated Slayers releases from ADV, but not much else. Since the film is so short, I'm surprised there wasn't at least a slide show art gallery included on the disc.

With a running time of only 60 minutes, Slayers Return is a fun - if a little unfulfilling - addition to the Slayers world. I need a two-hour movie to keep me truly happy, but this will certainly suffice for the time being.